When I shared my 2017 recap post, I didn’t really share very much with you, beyond how grateful I am. I wanted to share more with you, but I just didn’t know what. Looking back, I think that I just hadn’t unpacked 2017 yet, in fact I think I’m still processing it.
There aren’t any regrets though, 2017 really was fecking amazing. But there are lessons in everything, if only you are willing to learn them.
TAKING STOCK OF 2017
What went right?
You know what – I am so, so proud of what 2017 did for my business. I actually reached every goal I set out for myself; and I have no regrets. I wouldn’t go back and change a single thing! And that is amazing.
I got out of my comfort zone, and attended a bridal expo in January, which helped me to grow my wedding season. I set out a goal of booking 10 weddings for 2017/2018, and I freaking did it! Going to the expo was so nerve-wracking, but it introduced me to some of the most amazing clients whose weddings I photographed last year, and whose weddings are coming up this year too.
My brand really came together this year, all the hard work I’ve done feels like it has paid off and I’m so proud of my brand. From my website to my photography to my pricing guides to my customer experience to my workflow, it all feels so cohesive now.
On a personal level, Dan and I paid off the loan we took out for our wedding and honeymoon through Europe – WOOHOOOOOOOOOO! This business enabled us to do that, so thank you dear readers and clients for supporting me and this business ♥
Dan and I went through some stuff, which has brought us closer together than ever before, and I’m beyond proud of him and me and us, and all the sweat and tears we pour into making ourselves the best version of ourselves that we can be for each other.
What went wrong?
2017 was also a year of epic isolation and loneliness for me. While I love, love, love working from home; 2017 showed me that I can’t deny my extrovert ways and that human connection is a necessity for me.
I also failed to reach the goals I had set myself for my health and well-being. I’m not sad that I failed!! Really grateful actually (failure is just an opportunity for growth). I’ve spent a lot of time over the last month really, really analysing what exactly is the heart of the issue.
It’s not that I don’t know what I’m ‘meant’ to be doing – because I do! I’ve been working with an amazing PT since May last year and I’ve learned *so* much from her. But the frustrating thing, is that despite knowing better I was still actively choosing the lazy and unhealthy alternative.
All that thinking has led me to the realisation that I’ve created a frantic mindset in myself, and that if I want to change my health, I need to change this mindset first.
Truly, I couldn’t tell you how many times last year I felt frantic – so many things to do and so little time to do them in! And one day I just asked myself - how did I get this way? Why am I so frantic? So out of control of my time, and the way I spend it?
Here’s what I’ve come up with, and I’m sharing in the hopes that maybe this will resonate with some of you too.
The person I am today, is vastly different (yet same-same) to the person I was four years ago; and the same thing goes for this business. My business grew really, really quickly; by that I mean I learned a LOT, very quickly.
It might make more sense to you, to know that I am insatiably curious about everything. EVERYTHING. Learning is a lifelong passion, so as soon as I learn something new, I want more! So I would learn another new wonderful thing; then another, and another; and I think I’ve become frantic trying to keep my business up to date with all this new knowledge.
And because I have been so focused and so busy with my business, that I have set this frantic pace and without realising it, taken that frantic busy-ness and applied it to my personal life; which has negatively impacted my health. There was no time for cooking, or exercising – because look, I’ve got more important things to do! Too many things I want/need to do and too little time to do them all.
While having so many things on the go at once in my business keeps me inspired, excited and live; rushing headfirst into the next new and shiny thing just because it “inspires me” is not always best, especially when it means kicking important [and boring] projects to the curb (like my health).
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR 2018?
2018 is telling me that it’s time to slow the heck down, and settle into all those foundations I’ve spent years building. It’s time to work smarter, not harder.
I am here to serve my business (I am not a slave to my business) and I can’t work smarter, without taking care of myself too.
Don’t get me wrong! There is still SO MUCH growing to do in this business (I’ve got big plans for 2018) but there is absolutely time for me to embrace moments of quiet, peace and to slow down and to nourish my personal life as well as my business life (I am after all, the one who controls my time and how I spend it).
I’m making a small shift in my perspective, and in my priorities. Health gets prioritised before business, which means there will be time for yoga every damn day before I start work for the day. Cooking every day. Reading books (because I’ve banned myself from the Book Depository until I’ve read my growing collection of ‘some-day-I’ll-read-those’ books). Writing more. A daily gratitude practice. Maybe I will even [finally] become a morning person – anything is possible [right?!].
This will be especially good for every part of my life, especially when I’m photographing you, dear clients. This year, I want to slow down and embrace life with you more during our time together. I want to be able to create a space for you where you can slow down, where you can let go and be present in the moment to just be with each other, without distractions. To breathe your babies in, to soak in the love you have for them (and they for you). I want our time together to be a sucker punch to your heart full of emotions, in the moment so that when you look back at the photos I capture you can feel it all over again, and it will be sweeter and deeper all at the same time.
But I can’t do that for you, if I can’t do it for myself first and foremost.
Here is to 2017, and all the lessons it taught me.
Here is to 2018, and new goals - and holding on to the hope that I’m not completely full of shit and that all these profound realisations stay with me this time, instead of falling over the very second life gets ‘busy’.
ps: I'm one week into this daily yoga thing, and so far, so good! How are you going with your New Years resolutions?