It's the end of 2016. What the whoa??? Where on earth did this year go? Even though I feel like the year has flown by so, so fast, I am very, very content as well. This combination has rarely happened to me, and I think it has to do with that this year, without doubt, will go down in one of the happiest so far in my - admittedly short - life.
I am not going to write a long reflective post on 2016 - if you want one of those, go back to "It will be worth it.". Instead, I am writing a list. A list of the things I did in 2016 - loosely inspired by Leo Babauta from Zen Habits. I liked the list he wrote and I think it's a good exercise and I'm imagining sitting down next year and looking through my list of 2016 when writing my list of 2017 (or maybe not. And that's okay too.).
Things I did in 2016:
I started writing weekly blog posts. I fell off the wagon for a while. I got back on.
I launched a shop for knitting project bags with terrible timing (hello summer!!) and the wrong payment methods (hello Squarespace!!). I sold almost nothing. Then I started selling to people I knew. Then I transferred to Etsy. Then it slowly got better. I got better. I developed a few designs I liked. I developed a design I loved. I did a collaboration that was more successful than we had hoped.
I focused on my Instagram. I found some amazing people there. I wrote a guide about it.
I did a few projects for big clients. I did more projects for small clients - which made me significantly happier. When I realised that I started to transition out the big clients.
I worried about money. I stopped worrying about money. I started. I stopped. Endless circle.
I developed a coaching program. I tested it. It went amazing. I launched it - a week after my vacation. That didn't go so well. I had amazing feedback from my testers. I have a list of things to improve. I am going to launch the new version of it in summer.
I travelled. A lot. To London, to Helsinki, to the North Sea, to Weimar, to the Baltic Sea, to Paderborn, to Italy, to Austria, to Scotland, to Munich, to Lisbon, to Copenhagen.
I started and stopped Beyond Bias with my friend Anita.
I organised two yarn crawls. I met Verena who is amazing and I am so so thankful to call a friend now.
I launched #ihavemyshittogether with Vivian who has become one of my closest friends and who is such a role model in being a kick-ass woman and business owner and everything.
One of my best friends moved away from Berlin to a cold, cold country. One of my best friends moved back to Berlin from a hot, hot country. The one thing made my incredibly sad, the other thing made me incredibly happy.
I started writing a book on how to lead a team. I stopped writing that.
I started writing a second book about knitting (WOODS - making stories) with two wonderful women.
I hoped and hoped and then I raged and cried and raged some more after the election. I got down to work. I launched a scholarship. I started reading more feminist literature.
I started a podcast.
I read 30 books.
I knit. A lot.
I stopped buying clothes. I started making my own.
I stopped eating sugar. And wheat. And drinking alcohol. And I love it.
I redesigned my website. And again. And a third time.
I spent more time saying no to other people and saying yes to what I felt I needed. I loved more. I tried to be more compassionate and kind. I meditated a lot. I worked out quite a lot. I started a Bullet Journal.
I am pretty sure that I did a lot more things. I am also pretty sure that there were a lot more people essential to 2016 than those who are named and / or mentioned above. You know who you are. You know how thankful I am.
Most importantly: I am happy. A much, much happier, calmer, more content person than I can ever remember. And I think it has everything - and nothing - to do with how I've changed over the past year. I've chosen my own path, finally, and I can only, highly, recommend it to everyone who feels this unsettling, nagging feeling in the belly or chest or heart that you're missing out on something.
And you know what? I can't wait for 2017. Not because 2016 was terrible - in some ways, it certainly was. In others, not so much. But I can't wait to start kicking ass again.
For 2017, I have goals. They've come out of a year of following my passions, listening to myself, trying, trying, trying tons and tons of things, failing, succeeding, talking about it, trying to learn.
I have this idea in my head that I might be sharing progress updates on these goals intermittently in the next year. No idea if I am actually going to do it, but if you'd be interested in them, please leave a comment below - so I know that I wouldn't be writing them only for myself :)
Goals for 2017
Produce and launch a portfolio of consulting & coaching products that makes sense.
I feel like I have a much, much better understanding of where I want to take my consulting and coaching work this year. I have tons of ideas of more specific products (Hello Goal Setting package! Hello Branding package!) and I am going to bring them to life. I've learned quite a lot through my 1on1 work this year - and through the survey! - and am so excited to package all that up into different offerings.
Write and publish more free content (MORE GUIDES YAYY!)
My Instagram guide was the single most successful thing I published this year and I want to make more of that. More free guides, more free content, easier access to content. I've already planned out the two first freebies - one coming in January, the other one in March - and can't wait to plan the rest of the year!
Publish WOODS - making stories.
November 2017. Crowdfunding starts in February. CAN'T WAIT! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here.)
I'd really, really, really like to hire someone. Now, mind you, I am not there yet in terms of my business. I more and more often think that it would be great to have someone take over some of my tasks from me so I can focus my time on things that - in my view - add more value to my business. Still, it doesn't hurt that much yet that I NEED to do it. But I'm suspecting that it will at some point next year and then I'd love to add someone to my team.
Figure out whether to keep my project bag and my #ihavemyshittogether labels separate.
Yeah. This is something I'm not going to devote very much conscious thinking time to in the first few months, but I rather see this playing out by itself. I'll know what the right decision is once it's time.
Semi-organize collections and launches for my handmade labels.
I've put together a calendar already for launches of different things - coaching, consulting, guides, collections - for next year and I LOVE the feeling of having this. Same goes for collections - I have quite a few collaborations planned, and there are only 12 months, so yeah. Planning it is.
Launch two Creative Boss Classes in the summer.
Yayyyyy!!! Can't wait to start refining the Creative Boss Classes for their two launches in summer. Summer because this is the time that most of us creative business owners don't have our hands full with making and selling and it's a good time to go on vacation or spend on your business.
Go on a longer vacation.
Most likely in late March, early April. Most likely Hawaii. With my guy.
Go to a few markets.
I haven't done any markets yet with my labels and it's time to get over my fear and just fucking do it.
Plan my Christmas season - and attend a Christmas market.
This year Christmas caught me by surprise. Wohooo. Next year, I will be ready for you Christmas!!
Fight the feminist fight.
Read more. Get people (women) into my scholarship program. Figure out other ways to engage. Don't let it slip.
Balance, joy, fulfillment. Be happy.