It's so crazy to look back on the last year and see how far you've come in the last year. You know that saying you see on Pinterest all the time? Next time this year, you'll wish you had started today? That is ringing SO true for me this year, which is why I want to spend this year doing all those things I wished I had done last year. But I'll get to some of that tomorrow.
For today, we're going to recap of what didn't work and what did work last year. I like to start with the negative so we can end with the positive...so let's get to it.
What DIDN'T Work
Wasted time | I feel like i wasted a lot of time on things that didn't matter as much or I wasn't passionate for, and they would tire me out so by the time things I did want to do or things I was passionate about came along, I was so burnt out I half-assed it. And I don't want to be that type of designer that doesn't put their heart and soul into it. That's why I BECAME a designer, to use my creativity to all of its potential, not run myself into the ground.
Burg Box Fulfillment | By the end of the season, I learned a lot about filling boxes and streamlining the process, but I know I could learn more to make it quicker and more efficient. Mostly, the ordering process. Currently, a lot of the ordering process is manually done and this year I want to figure out how to automatically do a lot of it so it saves me time and allows my helpers to know how to fulfill the boxes without me writing it down on a post-it note (Yes, I wrote 156 post-its for boxes this year. but anyways...)
Burg Box Tracking | I wish I had tracked where my Burg Box clients had come from: pop-up shops, word of mouth, email list, etc. I have absolutely NO idea how people found out about them and I wish I did.
Pop-Up Shops | This is actually a little bit questionable if I am being honest. I am actually unsure if these did well for me or not because I didn't track them. Mostly, the pop-up shops left me frazzled and exhausted. Frazzled because I was never truly prepared for each one and was just kind of throwing things in to bags by the end of the season hoping I had everything. If I do them again, I need to streamline my packing process a bit more. I was exhausted because I not good at talking to people I don't know. I am an introvert so putting myself out there to talk to people and be engaging for hours and days on end is A LOT for this introvert. I'm not saying these were a terrible idea at all, but I think I will plan less of them for next year so I can make a few matter (quality over quantity) and I will bring a better A game. (Also, a huge thank you to all of my hosts this year: Ladyburg, Spencer Devon Brewery, and Skin Touch Therapy. )
Sometimes I'm Too Nice | Ok, this is a double edged sword at times, especially as a small business owner. My dad always taught me 'Kill them with kindness.' And I truly believe that, and I try to carry that out. Especially because the truth is, if you have a tough client, chances are the negativity isn't even about you, it's about something else. So I do my best to be open, listen to them and be kind in response. But on the other hand, you still need to make sure you stand up for yourself and your business; and that's a lesson I learned this year.
Financial Goals | This is a big one, and we will be talking more about this on Friday, but essentially this is the big one I wished I had started a year ago. Not only did I not really reach any financial goals, but more importantly I didn't even really MAKE any goals. I know, I know. That is TERRIBLE. Like really, really bad. I mean, I had some numbers in my head and some budgets in my mind, but I never wrote it down, I never made it a point to work on it, and therefore nothing really happened. This year, I'm making goals. And we'll talk about that tomorrow.
Blog Writing Ahead | So last year, I will say that I did a pretty good job of keeping up with the blog. It was my best year yet. BUT I didn't do any writing ahead of time...just like now, it's Thursday morning and I'm writing this blog now. I always have intentions of doing so, but never actually do. So this year, I am going to make it more of a point to write blogs ahead of time and have them available to post when I need to.
The Burg Boxes | Oh my gosh. I don't even know where to start with this. I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who helped me SO MUCH with these boxes this year. My original goal was to sell 100 boxes, and one I hit that, I raised it to 150, and I sold 156 boxes! I am just so thankful for everyone that helped this year. I learned so much and can't wait to really step up my game next year and offer an even better product.
New Wedding Invitation Process | This year, I finally established a good pricing and invitation design process that works for ME. I had been so focused for a while on trying to be like other people and see if how they did things worked for me. News flash: I'm not them! I'm my own person. And once I sat back and looked at how I wanted to do things, it all came to me. And now, the process is pretty seamless and I am loving it. It's easy for me, it's easy for the brides, and there are no more surprises.
Creating a Space for me | Most of last year, Joe and I lived in a 3 bedroom, 3 floor apartment with 2 roommates. Don't get me wrong, I loved living with them, but my office was in our bedroom and that was tough. I didn't feel like I had my own 'space' to do my work and be me. If I had an invitation suite sprawled out all over the floor, I felt bad when Joe would get home. We've since moved into a great house where I have my own office and I am so excited to have my own space back. It's decorated how I want it to be, it's fluid like I want it to be, and it WORKS. I am absolutely love it.
Keeping up with the blog (mostly) | I touched on this before as something that didn't work, but I will say that for the most part, I kept up with the blog better last year than every before and I am really proud of myself. I hope to do even better this year. I love this blog, and I love staying connected with my readers, and I truly think it helps.
Letting Things Go | I don't know about you, but if I feel like I let someone down in any way, I can't let it go. Whether it be delivering something a little late or saying no, I feel bad about it for DAYS and it just adds to my stress. I never want to disappoint ANY ONE. But I this year I learned to let it go and just move in. And I'll tell you what, it feels pretty good. It's one less thing I have to stress about, it's one less thing I have to do, it's one less thing taking up space in my mind so that I can open it up for the good stuff.
Well, there are a few of the things I felt that worked or didn't work for 2015. I am so excited to make things work in 2016 and NOURISH my life more. I do have more blogs coming up that will be talking more about my goals for this year and I can't wait to share...mostly so you can help hold me accountable!
Happy Thursday, ya'll! And more importantly, Happy 2016!
Photo by Hope Taylor Photography