So, it’s 2018! A new year, a new opportunity – time to make plans, work out your goals and make this year the best ever for your business!
Except, what happens when you start the year a bit stuck? What happens if, like me, you’ve had time away from your business and now you’re back and wanting to get on, but your head is distracted and still in coffee, cake and duvet mode?
I’ve had a bit of an odd start to the year. My uncle took ill and died very suddenly on New Years Day. He complained of not feeling right on the Saturday and died on the Monday after being wired up to life support machines. We weren’t close, I’d only seen him a handful of times in the last 20 years, but it still makes you reflect on your own life and mortality.
Without wanting to start my 2018 blogs on a morbid point, we do only have a finite time on this planet. You can be here one minute and gone the next. I am fully aware of trying to make the most out of every day, but sometimes it’s hard isn’t it? Especially days like today, when I’m back to work at my desk after a few weeks off, and struggling to get going. Not particularly seeing any potential in anything and feeling like my brain hasn’t switched back on again.
I really do want to attempt to make the most of every single moment though, so to help me, I’m looking back at the last 12 months to help me think about what I want the next 12 months to bring. I’m trying not to think about the ‘what ifs’, as I don’t want to be pulled down by the possibility of what could have happened but didn’t – I really do want to focus on the ‘what next’.
If I reflect back, both professionally and personally, I have learnt a hell of a lot during the course of 2017. It was a year of real low points but some utterly brilliant highs too. But because of that, I believe it has given me solid foundations to work on over the coming months.
The Creative Business Network had a really interesting year. I started 2017 so busy, full of energy and excitement, with loads of different projects going on, but by early Summer many of those had ended. I hadn’t got a back up plan, and the direction that I had been so passionate about ended up coming to a standstill. It was hard to admit that things had changed, and that I would need to change the vision for the business. I had to get another job to make up the money I wasn’t making, and I felt quite lost and low.
However, I got so much support from so many of you, and slowly but surely, things started to click into place again and I started opening myself up to new opportunities. I put myself out there more to meet more people and ended up creating new friendships and relationships that led to more work. I ended the year really busy, and feeling good. I made plans for this year, that I know, once I start finding my mojo again, I will be able to pick up and persevere. Maybe I just need a little more time?
Making myself accountable has forced me to pursue my dream of creating a series of online workshops, and these will be launched in February. I will be taking bookings for these soon (although it scares the crap out of me to be honest!! What if no-one books on? What if they are rubbish? What if it just ends up a big fat disaster?!)
I’ve just got to keep remembering why I do what I do. I do it because I care passionately about helping you make a success of your business. I want you to be the best person you can be, and create an exciting, inspiring vision for who you are. If I think like that, I know I can do it.
It’s easier for me to do it for you, than it is to do it for me. I don’t want to let you down.
On a personal basis, I’m not a massive fan of new year resolutions, but one decision I made at the beginning of last year was to start wild swimming. I had wanted to for a few years but hadn’t been brave enough to try. It wasn’t the swimming outdoors that I was afraid of – it was putting myself in a new social situation with strangers that terrified the life out of me.
As I get older, I am embracing the introvert within me, and being more honest with who I am, and admitting that new people and new environments scare me is the first step to learning who I am becoming. What happened however, is that during a conversation with a friend I found out that she had also always wanted to try wild swimming but hadn’t found anyone to go with. So, I didn’t need to do it on my own!
Taking the step (albeit with my hand being held) to get in the open water was the best decision I have ever made. Personally I’ve had some desperately low points during 2017, but having that time to swim, be connected with nature, breathing and feeling free, helped enormously.
So what about this year? What do I want to do for me? I’ve seen loads of brilliant suggestions and had lots of thoughts about personal projects but I know that if I give myself too many, I won’t manage them all. So I’ve decided on two.
Firstly, I am going to start a photo project. During my walks in our beautiful surrounding woodland I love seeing the changes that happen during the seasons. So I’ve picked a couple of spots that I will visit regularly (I’m aiming for every week) and take a photo. Hopefully at the end of the year I can put them all together and see all those changes in one place.
The second, I am going to attempt to be more body positive. I’ve always had a really unhealthy view of my body, but I’m determined to be kinder to myself. It doesn’t matter what my body looks like, it’s about what it can do. I’ve been enormously inspired by the Instagram account @bodyposipanda and I want to be able to feel that way about myself. I’m not quite sure how I am going to do it, but by reading books, following more inspirational accounts, and immersing myself with really positive body images I hope that I can learn to love myself.
One more thing.
I’ve done my best to have time away from digital devices over the last couple of weeks, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I do feel sorry I haven’t been active on social as I’ve missed the opportunity to engage and chat with a lot of you, but I’ve needed some space for my own sanity. I have been getting more and more saddened and frustrated at human behaviour over the course of 2017 and social media only aggravates that so it has been refreshing to have some time away.
However, it is my job and I need to be immersed within it – so how can I balance this?
This is something that both professionally and personally I need to consider, but I hope that by taking more time to focus on my own needs and to keep my head and heart healthy and balanced, I can remain positive even within all the negativity online, and stay clear and focused for the business.
More than anything, I am looking at the year ahead to be an opportunity to take time to do the things I love – in business and in life. I want to spend time with the people who lift me up, who inspire me, and who encourage me to be me. I want to teach you, to lift you up, to inspire you, and to encourage you to be the very best you can be.
What about you? What do you see 2018 giving you?
If you’ve made it right to the end of this post then well done – it’s a bit of a mammoth one!! Please do come and join me at one of my workshops or creative events to chat more. It will be so good to welcome you along.
The Creative Business Network is a place where you can ask questions, find answers, receive mentoring & advice, and have access to a directory of suppliers and providers of creative businesses.
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4 New Buildings,
01884 266045 / 07969 044006
4 New Buildings,
01884 266045 / 07969 044006