Reviewing 2018 and looking to 2019
With 2019 just around the corner, maybe you have already planned out your goals, maybe you are in the midst of planning (like me) or maybe you haven’t had a free second to think about the new year. Either way, I know that each of us want to be intentional about 2019 and what it could hold for us. I have found that the best way to be intentional about the next year is to reflect on the last year.
Reflecting brings up little things you may have forgotten about – things you are thankful for, things you learned, and things that challenged and stretched you.
I am so thankful for 2018 and what it taught me personally and in business that I’m sharing my year end review below.
My word of the year for 2018 was “Cultivate”. It was a very fitting word, because I went to the Make Things Happen retreat in March of this year and the whole idea behind it is cultivating a life you can be proud of. The main things I wanted to cultivate were my core friend group, my family, my walk with God, and being responsible and thriving in business. In a lot of little ways, I accomplished everything I set out to cultivate because it was continually on my mind, which is why I love the word of the year so much.
I am so incredibly thankful because this year my business has given me more freedom and flexibility than I could have imagined, and my amazing clients and supportive community are to thank for that!
I was able to take off almost three months in total this year to spend with the ones I loved. I was able to tag along on business trips with Caleb without worry. I was able to say yes to lake trips, reunions, birthday parties and day trips with my family. And I was able to take a long and relaxing vacation away with Caleb in the most stressful time of our year because it was exactly what we both needed for our health and happiness.
I have worked with twenty one businesses this year, created 15 new brands, 4 websites from scratch and countless print pieces. I have worked harder and stretched myself thinner this year (see the “lessons I’ve learned” below), and I have built a business that I’m proud of and I hope my clients can be proud to have worked with. I’ve seen my clients build from literally the ground up and have seen so many in action, creating their products and services with passion and I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!
2018 in Review
January – March
I worked on my first FULL branding suite and client website with my amazing clients at Coastal Connections Marketing. While I was doing that, I went to the Make Things Happen conference and was stretched and challenged in ways I didn’t realize were possible. I connected with so many other creatives and entrepreneurs and got to know a handful of ladies so well. This is when I also realized I was doing way too much on my own that I shouldn’t be doing, so I hired my first intern who took so much off my plate and taught me some valuable lessons about running a business of more than one and managing employees.
April – June
I’ll be honest, this period of time was really fearful in the fact that I started dealing with some concerning health issues that affected my day to day. Thanks to my amazing and understanding clients, I was able to spend more time with my family than not, which was exactly what I needed. I was also able to pull off the biggest surprise for Caleb yet, a trip to Las Vegas, and I was able to tag along on a business trip to New York City, and launch a client’s website straight from my hotel room.
July – September
With joy, HB Designs celebrated it’s official one year business anniversary with an amazing brand video explaining the heart behind the brand, shot by my talented intern. I also relaunched my email newsletter after a year break with the goal of sharing meaningful content that you would benefit from reading.
October – December
This quarter was packed with some amazing moments. The Brand Mentorship Sessions launched, which are one-on-one mentorship calls with me to go over everything from your branding, to your marketing, to your client experience and more. I collaborated with an amazing friend and fellow business owner on a photoshoot to capture the projects that my clients and I have worked so hard on. And as a cherry on top, we found out that the third member of our family is making their appearance next year (5th if you count the Bigham Pups).
What accomplishments are you most proud of in 2018?
I would say I am most proud of seeing the transformation my clients go through during the process and after we’ve launched. I have clients that were booked solid only a few months after launching their new branding. I’ve seen clients reignite their passion for their business and get crystal clear about their why behind their business. I’ve also seen clients come in nervous and cautious and leave the final week with a new found confidence for launching and growing.
Lessons I learned in 2018
I learned many things, but a few are that consistency is key in business and communication, set boundaries especially when you’re a “yes” personality, take risks because the worst thing that could happen is you get a no, and that sometimes you have to say no to great potential clients in order to keep yourself sane and not wear yourself out. The last lesson, which is something that I struggled with all year was asking for help from your community and support system when you have stretched yourself too thin, or find yourself trying to DIY everything about your business. You would be surprised just how many people are willing to help you when you ask.
What are you most excited for 2019?
Obviously I’m very excited to meet our little one in June and see how this is going to impact me as an entrepreneur and creative. Knowing this, I joined Katie O Selvidge’s Editors Course that starts tomorrow and goes conveniently through May with the goal that I will be able to structure my business and mindset for clarity and growth in 2019. I am very excited to start the course! I am also excited to launch some things I’ve been working on for over a year in the Fall of 2019. So be on the lookout!
I want to say a big thank you to my amazing clients of 2018 for trusting me with their business and branding! I feel so honored to have worked with such an amazing group of entrepreneurs and have learned so much from every single one of them!