Wow, didn’t we just start 2015? This year has absolutely flown by and so many wonderful things have happened. Not to say that it has all been sunshine and rainbows but there are so many things that I am so grateful for.
In 2015, I wrote 60+ blog posts, 95 email newsletters, delivered 2 webinars, was a guest expert contributor on two programs, was interviewed for 2 podcasts, was interviewed for an online radio station, had my first on-stage speaking gig, launched a new website, was nominated for an award, got to know myself better, ran the Ostrich Guide to Social Media with a small but amazing class of 6, did a course overhaul and launched Soulfully Social with 9 lovely participants, launched FB Ads for List building, joined the Conquer Club, joined the Beautiful Business Mastermind, more than doubled my mailing list, have an amazing group of Facebook followers and a super duper amazing group of coaching clients. All whilst still working a full-time day job, yup it’s possible…
Phew, what a year!
I feel so much gratitude I feel like I’m going to burst. I keep a gratitude journal next to my bed and write 3 things I’m grateful for every day. It has been such a grounding exercise to stop and express my gratitude daily and to continue the pattern, I’m going to share my top gratitude moments for 2015.
On 12.12.15 we were married with our friends and family to witness our special day. It was truly magical and I couldn’t have wished for anything else. I married my soulmate and best friend, my rock, my everything. Richard has supported me throughout my business journey, as well as my life journey and I can’t wait to start the next chapter of our lives.
We were married under an old gum tree, in a paddock on a 10 acre private property. This is something we both wanted, as we love the Australian bush and rural landscape. After our ceremony we partied in the renovated barn with wood-fired pizza for dinner, delicious lemon meringue cupcakes and upbeat tunes to dance to. It was truly the best wedding ever!
My beautiful mastermind ladies
Having a group of like-minded ladies that challenge you, support you, keep you accountable is the best thing since sliced bread. Throughout the year we talked, we learned, we grew together. I was actually part of two mastermind programs, the Conquer Club which was a much bigger mastermind with people from all over the globe and the Beautiful Business mastermind which was an intimate group of 10 ladies from across Australia. Both were immensely valuable and contribute to all that I have achieved today. The Beautiful Business Mastermind concluded with a full day of in-person masterminding followed by a speaking event. This was the cherry on top of an already amazing cake, it was so good to be surrounded by like-minded ladies and really deepen the connections and the work we do. Every time I think of the event, I get a fizzy heart feeling (a term I learned from Laura Banks) and I’m on a high… it was so amazing!
In September Richard and I spent a week in Tasmania, which is absolutely spectacular. The scenery is just breath taking and it was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle for a little while. It’s something that I crave, each year I just need a holiday. Whether it’s in Australia or going overseas, I’m always ready to explore what this wonderful world has to offer. In Tasmania we drove along the east coast, stopping in picturesque little towns, going on hikes and eating delicious food. We spent time admiring the bay of fires (I even did a Periscope!), hiking into wineglass bay and eating delicious food. Bliss, and absolutely necessary for any entrepreneur to recharge the ‘ideas bank’.
This year I’ve spent a lot more time ‘finding myself’ and getting to know myself. I had gotten a little bit clouded through all the blog reading and following what everyone else was doing that I’d lost what I stand for. After some serious self-care practices and really digging deep I found clarity and wow it was great. That’s when I decided to create Soulfully Social, an amalgamation of the Ostrich Guide to Social Media and Masterly Newsletters. I liked these two courses but I didn’t love them like I love Soulfully Social. I’m so grateful to have had the time to find myself and with that clarity, it’s amazing when it all falls into place and get back to your purpose.
For those who follow me on instagram, you’ll know all about this one. I absolutely adore our dogs and wouldn’t know what to do without them. They’re cute, cheeky, they make me laugh and they make me tear my hair out on occasion too. Mostly they’re my WHY. They’re the reason I smile every day. It’s so amazing to feel unconditional love, every single day, no matter what.
In the past year I’ve spent quite a bit of time really getting to know me, mainly through stepping back and listening to my feelings and desires. I’ve also used tools such as the Desire Map, read books such as Playing Big, listened to mediations, coloured books and worked with a variety of coaches. I feel that I have a lot more clarity, stand stronger in what I actually want from life and can express my ‘WHY’ with so much more power and confidence. I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities and tools that have helped me get to where I am right now. Radiant and ready for 2016!
In a similar fashion I have grown in a professional way through being part of masterminds and working with coaches. I know so much more now than I did a year ago and I’m so super grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to learn and grow. I love learning, it’s what I’m compelled to do so on a daily basis you’ll find me reading blogs and books, listening to podcasts and watching videos. Learning propels us forward.
Friends & family
I could not have done any of the above without the support of friends and family. Having people in your life who are close and know you inside out is extremely important to me. Even though my family is miles away (in the Netherlands) we are super close and speak on Skype frequently. I can always talk to them about anything and even though they sometimes question my choices, they wholeheartedly believe in me and support me. I love them so much!
Similarly with friends, they are my surrogate family in a way and I treasure our time together, just chatting, having tea, laughing and doing the simple things. It’s in these moments I feel happy and know what is really important in life.
I also want to share some lessons that I have learned throughout the year, both as a reminder to myself and for those who are also at the start of their solopreneur journey.
Surround yourself with a support network
I’ve been saying this pretty much everywhere and it’s because I wholeheartedly believe that you should not and cannot do this alone. Whether you find support in baby sitting, get your hubby to cook dinners or find a coach or mastermind, you can’t do everything yourself and neither should you. I’ve been so grateful for all the support I have received in the past year. By this I mean the support my *now hubby* (I still have to get used to this term) gives me by being patient, cooking dinners, waiting for me to finish yet another blog-post before heading out, taking the dogs out when I have a podcast interview or just simply cheering me on, whatever he does I am so grateful for it.
Also, I love my group of mastermind girls who totally get where I’m coming from. I love that we’re on the same journey, that we lift each other up and give each other a loving kick up the bum when we’re stuck. I love that we got to hang out in real life and mastermind our business directions. I love that we support each other by collaborating and push each other forward. I love that I can ‘go’ somewhere I will be understood. Find yourself a coach, business buddy or lady posse… it’s truly invaluable and you’ll need it (trust me).
Get to know yourself
This was a big one for me this year. I think throughout university and then being in the corporate world made me lose myself a little bit each year and it took me a whole year to find myself again. I knew that I loved helping people by teaching them what I knew, what I didn’t fully know was what my core desired feelings were and what my big why was. It has taken me a lot of work to find myself again, to find that fun loving, confident, smart and happy go lucky girl. It has taken a lot of time to grow into what I stand for, to find my voice and to truly back myself and not constantly please others or do what ‘society expects’.
I did this through working with life coaches, reading books and meditating. If you’re also a little bit stuck, find what works for you and take some time to get back to yourself. Stop the crazy train, get off and explore your feelings.
Follow your intuition
This may sound obvious but in a noisy online world and with multiple coaches I was getting a little bit too much advice. It was all good advice and it was meant well but it meant that I lost touch with myself and wasn’t doing what felt good to me. Funny because it’s exactly what I teach in my programs. I guess sometimes even the teacher strays from the path.
Throughout the year I made a few decisions and created a few programs that I was advised to create by coaches but they didn’t always feel good. Once I made the decision to listen to my intuition and do what feels good (with a bit of encouragement from my meditation teacher) I felt so much lighter and so much more excited about the direction I was heading in after I course-corrected. So my big lesson for you is to trust your instincts and only do what feels good to you. I don’t mean to say to only to what feels safe to you, because we need to go beyond our comfort zone, but whatever you create and do in life and business needs to feel right, it needs to light you up.
Boom! Don’t compromise on this one, pretty please don’t! I did this in my first year which made me change direction and workload in my second year because I simply couldn’t keep going the way I was. Your body, mind and soul need time and space to heal and rejuvenate.
Even if it’s a 10 minute meditation or an hour long walk regularly, you need time-out from your business. I now listen to my body before I listen to my to-do list. I now acknowledge the fact that I still work a day job and sometimes I don’t have the energy to work on my business after work. I am now ok with that, I can’t do it all right now. My time will come. Slow and steady, because my mind, body and soul are more important than blogging/emails/invoices/images/social media posts/etc. Look after yourself first, your business won’t exist without you if you push yourself over the edge.
Get systems setup
I’m still in the process of getting my own systems setup so I’m by no means qualified to talk about this but I have learned in the past 18 months that I really need them and I wish I’d created them earlier. Basically what you can and should start with is documenting how you do certain tasks in your business so that when the time is right, you can outsource and thus grow your business.
I’ve started creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for my business and I know that it won’t be perfect in the first go but starting is better than not starting. By the end of the Christmas holidays I plan to have a much better idea of all the tasks that happen in my business and how they are done, only then can I think of growth and outsourcing. So my little tip is this… start now.
Know your numbers
This is pretty much linked to the previous point, but it’s important to know the numbers in your business. If you don’t know your numbers, you can’t grow. You can’t grow what you don’t know. Start tracking your social media numbers, your list growth every month, products/services sold, the number of people you’ve helped, the number of blog post sent in a year, the number of newsletters sent in a year, the amount of money you bring in monthly, the money that goes out monthly etc. Track everything that’s track-able in your business.
Keep showing up
I have found that consistently showing up and doing the things I love doing has given me much more traction and taken me to where I am right now. Doing a little bit of the work each day gets you places, even though sometimes I feel like I’m going at snail pace. It’s all the little steps that add up to a big leap. So keep showing up, every day. Do the work you love and are meant to do.