I realize it’s February, but after reading so many inspiring 2016 reviews from other brands and people I admire, I’ve been itching to create my own review. Afterall, 2016 was a year of many scary changes and new exciting endeavors, it’d be a shame to not recount some of these happenings!

Even though I started my business in June of last year, I have already learned an enormous amount about myself and running a business in just 6 months. SO here it goes…

The good stuff

I actually started a business!

Starting my own business was a huge leap. It took a lot of energy and faith to make it happen. Looking back, I couldn’t have done it without encouragement from my fiance, Jay, as well as many family members and friends.

Being my own boss

There’s something tremendously awesome about being my own boss. I’m the one in charge! I wake up and structure my day the way I want. I decide who to take on as clients, where to set my pricing or what direction I want my business to go in. Being my own boss is really freeing!

Mentorship & Coaching

I’ve met with a handful of business lady friends who are all incredibly inspiring. Whether it’s a coffee date, breakfast or a quick phone call, I love every second with these amazing women.

In addition to my fellow business lady mentors, I met a confidence coach who I now meet with weekly (I’m shoutin’ at you Erica!) Erica has helped me sort through some tough waters and take actions to improve my processes. She’s helped with things like:

– Identifying who my ideal clients are
– Fine-tuning my creative process by being better at managing my time
– Saying “no” to make room for “yes”
– Being a better listener

All amazing things.

Went on a creative retreat

I found that working for myself meant I needed to allow myself some break time. Not only time for my mind to relax and be free, but to get a change of scenery that wasn’t just my home office. That’s why when my good friend, and fellow creative business lady, Danielle, asked if I would come to Portland with her. I said “yes” without really thinking twice about it. It was a lovely trip filled with coffee, donuts and lots of laughter.

 


 

The bad stuff

Loneliness Blues

This didn’t come as a surprise to me. I read and heard from many sources that working from home can feel lonesome. And it does.

Luckily, I found asylum from the loneliness blues by holding meetings and work sessions at local coffee shops. Just being around other people recharges me.


 

Taxes are not my favorite

I realize every business needs to get a handle on the numbers. I’m a sole proprietor, therefore I should be paying estimated quarterly taxes. Yay!

Okay, if you didn’t sense my sarcasm, I know that taxes are what they are. It just so hard to see those hard-earned dollars disappear.

At my previous employer, taxes were automatically taken out of my paychecks. Out of sight, out of mind! Now that I physically have to write a check each quarter, it feels a little more soul crushing. BUT it’s what I need to do in order to operate as a legitimate business.

Being my own boss

Look familiar? Don’t worry you’re not seeing double. I also had “Being my own boss” listed above on my good list. Yes, being my own boss has its downsides too. For example, sometimes I don’t know when to take a break or know when to stop working! I have to be diligent about separating my personal time and business time. Trust me, the line can blur.

It’s also a heck of a lot of responsibility being the boss. I am the only one who can keep my business moving forward and my reputation is on the line!

 

The surprising stuff

Owning a business isn’t as scary as I thought it’d be.

At least, it’s not yet. It’s actually a lot of fun. I’m learning new things constantly. It keeps me on my toes and I love it.

Yes, it’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s incredibly rewarding.

 

Striving for this stuff in 2017

Being better at the numbers

I’ve finally hired a CPA to help teach me the ways of the tax world. He’s really awesome at the numbers so that I don’t have to be.

Sharing

Being more proactive on social media and sharing insights into projects I’m working on. I just get so into my work that I forget to share what’s going on until the project is already done.

Collaborations

Partnering or collaborating with an amazing business lady (to be revealed at a later date) on building out the branding part of the business.

Hand lettering

More time for practicing my hand lettering techniques and integrating more hand lettering into my work.
 

 
Is there anything else you want to know about my first year in business? I’d be happy to share! Let me know in the comments below.