It's December 30 and I'm finishing up my last few hours of work for the year. It doesn't seem possible. And to be honest, I'm in disbelief and trying to withhold tear of happiness writing this.
From the exterior, this year has been without a doubt one of the best. I launched a business and took it full-time. I traveled, a lot. Twice to Los Angeles, Chicago & St. Louis, once to the stunning beaches of Cozumel, and other little stops. I hosted three conferences with more than 100 attendees and six speakers at each. I celebrated our first year of marriage with the most thoughtful scavenger hunt through our city. I worked with 25+ businesses and entrepreneurs to help grow their brands. I shared my passion with the world. I purchased my first nice car with money I earned from my business. I cheered on friends and loved ones through their own exciting adventures. I danced the night away and had fun.
But oh, was it a hard one. Many know my story of how it all started. So, I won't re-hash it. But I will say that 2015 started out rough. I was job-less, completely terrified of what was ahead and felt completely deflated. I knew what I needed and wanted to do, but wasn't sure if it could ever happen. I wasn't confident. January was a dark month. And I didn't know it would turn around.
That first trip of the year to Los Angeles in early February? I went there with less than $2,000 to my name. I went there feeling like a shadow of myself with very little hope for my future and everything that I could achieve. I went there to relax, but mostly cried. I went there because I didn't know what else to do. But it changed me and my mindset completely. Something about the salty air and exciting bustle on Manhattan Beach. That was where I wrote my business plan, set my 2015 intentions and took the steps that would mold my business, and the entire year.
I decided in that moment that I would not take 'no' for an answer, that the key to my happiness and success was in my own hands and that I did have the ability to make amazing things happen. Everything changed and I went full-speed ahead with my business and life. That paired with the support of some of the most amazing people changed everything. Thank you for believing in me!
I can happily look back now and see that this year was my biggest for growth.
I had to fall so that I could push myself to the limit to see what I could do. And now I don't want to stop going. I never knew how much joy I could gain out of taking control of my life. Working with brands and businesses that want to work with me, that appreciate my thoughts and ideas, and that see the results from our work together. Educating other creatives and sharing my knowledge on launching a business you love and that is profitable has brought me so much joy that I introduced a new service just to do that. Hosting events that bring together my city and others in the Midwest that are doing amazing things has been one of my favorite things of the year. I've planned, produced, hosted and promoted more that 50 events this year, and each one will hold a special place in my heart. I found my self and how to combine the things that I love and am good at. And that makes me so happy.
If 2015 wasn't your year or it didn't turn out as planned, don't lose hope. Don't push yourself further and further from that idea. You CAN make it happen. It will be hard, but so, so worth it. Set your intentions, take baby steps and accomplish something on your list everyday. Share your ideas and plans with the world. Show that you can provide results and that you have the knowledge, but don't be afraid to keep learning and growing.
Just don't stop moving forward.
With that said, cheers to 2016 and all of the possibility. I'm not making big New Year's Resolutions this year. I'm not holding myself to big goals, because I've experienced that feeling of disappointment when things changed so much this year. My intentions will remain the same: to live a life that is filled with love and passion. I look forward to kicking off 2016 with a clear mindset and intentions for the year ahead.
I can't wait to see what happens this year.
Thank you again for your support, for reading this long post and for sharing in this journey.