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I can’t believe 2018 is almost over. With the end of the year wrapping up, it’s time for my annual recap! I’ve done this for two years now (check out 2016 here, and 2017 here). This year, I’ll recap both my successes and lessons, with the negative before the positive, so I can leave it all on a good note. I have so much to share from this year, so let’s just jump right in.
I tried to do too much.
It’s like I was set up to be an over-achiever. I’m the first born, an Aries, Type-A, an INTJ-T, and so many other “types” that focus on me being one of those people who have to do EVERYTHING. This year, I had to realize that as much as I wanted to accomplish everything, I couldn’t. Unless I wanted to stay up 22 hours a day, there was no way in the world I’d be able to accomplish all that I had on my list every single day.
Don’t get me wrong, this frustrated the hell out of me at first. I love being the one who proves people, and myself, wrong. I’ve been able to accomplish things that many people thought impossible. This year, that bit me in the butt a few times. Overextending myself left me feeling tired and burnt-out. It’s not that I’m not skilled at being productive. It’s that I pushed myself too hard because I felt like I had something to prove (which by the way, I didn’t).
I didn’t bring someone on as quickly as I should have.
Along with doing too much, I also took a really long time to find an assistant. I knew I needed to. I just didn’t want to spend the time (and money) looking for one. This was a huge mistake. I had so much to do in a given day that my blog and social media went untouched for months at a time. I’d been too busy working on other tasks, that I completely neglected what got my foot in the door in the first place.
I grew up in a household with very limiting beliefs around money, adulthood, and working. These beliefs moved with me into adulthood, and it has taken years of therapy, soul searching, and more to get rid of them. But this year, I made the mistake of feeling unworthy.
I felt there was no reason for ME to be the person that made as much money as I made. I also felt like I didn’t really deserve the quick success I’d achieved as an entrepreneur. I’d read that many people didn’t see a profit on their business until year five. But here I was two years in and I could support my family and afford the small luxuries.
I started unconsciously self-sabotaging myself by not doing my best work, neglecting some of my duties as a business owner, and even went as far as allowing people to pay me what they thought I was worth vs. what I KNEW I was worth.
It took me a few months to get out of that mode. There were a few times where I thought about shutting my business down altogether. I just didn’t believe that I deserved what I was achieving, even though I had worked really hard for it.
I earned more this year.
Even though I self-sabotaged quite a bit in 2018, I made more than I had in 2017, 2016, 2015…you get the picture. I earned more than my husband and I earned COMBINED in 2017. It was a fantastic feeling to look at my profit and loss in Quickbooks.
Now, earning more did come with paying more in taxes, spending more money on investing, etc. Earning more money doesn’t automatically mean you get to keep all of that money. However, seeing my business grow, even with the learning lessons that came up during the year, made me incredibly grateful and solidified that I was on the right path. I don’t do what I do just for the money, but to see my hard work come to fruition is pretty sweet.
I hired an assistant.
Even though I took a while to jump on board with hiring an assistant, I finally took the leap in March 2018. Luckily, my friend Kayla created a course for people to learn how to be a virtual assistant, and I was able to hire one of her students. I knew she would be an asset to my company. She has proven that time and time again in our 6+ months of working together. She’s fantastic, and I really wish I would’ve found her sooner!
I streamlined + prioritized.
While I did overwork myself quite a few times in 2018, I also streamlined my processes and learned to prioritize. Tasks that didn’t make me money or took away my time got sent to my assistant to handle instead. This allowed me to focus on the most important aspects of my business to keep it running. I wanted to work on my business, not in it. I was looking to serve the community I was placed to serve, mothers who are entrepreneurs and want to integrate the two without feeling overwhelmed.
This year, I also got super serious with Asana, my task management system. I organized the hell out of the back end of my business. I was tired of feeling like things were getting done. Having a system to show me tasks were being completed made me feel better about my business, and allowed me to focus on growth.
(Want to learn how I set up my Asana for success? Sign up for my resource library and get access to the workshop and workbook for FREE by clicking here.)
I invested in my business.
Along with organizing the back end of my business, I also invested in a ton of new tools. While my assistant was a valuable asset to my business this year, I couldn’t rely on her alone. That’s where the tools came in. They helped us work as a team and allowed us to automate a lot of the “little things” that we didn’t want to spend too much time on.
I also invested in my business by investing in myself. As you may know, I don’t have a college degree. But I know that your business can’t grow if you aren’t growing. So, I purchased courses, paid for classes, and watched quite a few webinars to help me learn more about marketing, social media, organization, and more. These courses, classes, and webinars played an essential part of my business growth.
I didn’t prioritize self-care.
I PREACH self-care, especially to mothers who are also entrepreneurs. However, I didn’t so great on my own personal care this year. It’s not that I didn’t have the time, because honestly, I did. I was just lazy and the self-sabotage crept up in my personal life too. I would ask myself why I felt like I deserved to take a break and clear my mind when there were people out there begging for jobs. Yeah, I seriously had thoughts about stuff like that.
I came to realize that the negative self-talk that I had with myself was just my past trying to come back to haunt me and make me feel guilty for what I had and what I’ve achieved. In the last few months, I’ve taken much better care of myself, and I have even bigger self-care plans for 2019.
I didn’t listen to my husband.
My husband isn’t what people would consider a manly man. He’s quiet, allows me to “run the show”, and he’s super easy going. So when he told me I was heading down the wrong path, I didn’t take him seriously (big mistake). I’ve learned this year that when my husband speaks up about something, it’s for a reason, and I need to listen to it. He lets me do my own thing, so when he’s telling me about myself, it’s usually for my own good.
Now, my husband didn’t say anything mean. He just told me he was concerned about my well-being and how I was overextending myself and not focusing on my family as much as I should be. He was worried that I was turning into a workaholic, and he didn’t want our daughter to grow up feeling like her mom cared more about work than her. And as much as it hurts me to admit it, he was right. I had spent a lot of the year focused so heavily on work, that I neglected a lot of quality time opportunities with my daughter.
So in August of 2018, I made a vow to stop work at a certain time, spend more quality time with her (and my husband), and to continue to show her that women can work and have families, and they can do both successfully without feeling guilty for it. It’s been four months since that vow, and I’m doing just as well in my businesses as I was when I was overworking myself, plus I have more free time. I just had to go back to my “why” and prioritize.
I was able to put my daughter in preschool.
If you’ve read my previous posts, you may have read that my husband and I were planning on homeschooling our daughter. Well, that didn’t work out as planned. We decided to put her in preschool because we learned that she was an extrovert. It came as a shock to us (we’re both introverts), but it was the best decision we could’ve made as a family. My daughter flourished in school. She made new friends, her teachers loved her, and she learned things that we wouldn’t have been able to teach her as fast.
Granted, we got lucky to live in such a terrific area with great schools, including preschools. But we also learned that our plans won’t always work out, and that’s okay. As long as she’s happy, we’re happy. And the best part? I could afford it. For the first two years of her life, my husband and I worked separate shifts so we didn’t have to put her in daycare. It was exhausting. However, this year, I was able to pay for her childcare in full every month, and we didn’t struggle. That was an awesome feeling for all of us.
I took vacations.
I was able to take four vacations in 2018, more than any year before. My husband and daughter even got to meet my extended family. It was amazing to be able to pay cash for our trips, and I loved showing my hometown to my daughter. We have a lot more travel plans in 2019, and I’m excited to turn my daughter into my little travel buddy! I loved traveling as a kid, so I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.
I could afford healthcare.
I honestly hate that this is considered an accomplishment, and I have some bones to pick with my government about healthcare and how expensive it is. But this isn’t the time to talk about politics. I am so grateful to have been able to afford healthcare. My family and I are on a healthshare plan, which means we aren’t covered under traditional health insurance. It works well for us because we rarely go to the doctor, and don’t have any previous health conditions.
Even with our annual visits, eye exams, and dental exams, I was able to cover everything in cash. I’ll be honest when I say that I was a little nervous some months. We didn’t know how expensive things would get. But we diligently saved in a separate savings account. We also chose options like visiting a dental school to save costs. This helped us save on costs while getting the full benefits of healthcare. For the first time in over four years, I was able to afford to go to the doctor for myself! That’s a huge personal win in my book.
I attended my daughter’s first school play.
My daughter had her first school play at the beginning of December, and it felt good to be able to attend it and watch her shine. A few years ago that wouldn’t have been possible, because I worked late nights and ten-hour shifts at my full-time job. But this year, her first year in school ever, I got to sit in one of the front rows and cheer her on. That was one of my favorite nights in 2018. It was a great feeling to attend and not have to worry about asking for photos later on because I had to work. I can’t wait for her spring play!
I’d have to say that 2018 was my best year yet, even with the ups and downs that I had. My life and business seem to get better and better every year, so I’m excited to see what 2019 brings!
What were some of your accomplishments in 2018?