I have tried to write this about three times now so hopefully third time is the charm.
In a nutshell.
At the end of August I will be stepping back from my business and closing it down for an indeterminate amount of time so that I can follow my passions to a career that I truly love.
(If you don’t want the long story but would like to learn about what this change means for you (i.e. super discounts) skip down to the last section.)
This post originally aired on When I Grow Up as part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where Michelle shares stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008.Read More
Happy 2012 everyone!
In case you haven’t heard, this is your year to shine and be awesome and create amazing awesomeness (at least that’s what my Facebook and Twitter feeds are telling me…)
This year I’m doing something a bit different from my previous years (check out my posts for 2010 and 2011 here and here) and focus more on organizing my goal follow through. I’ve done really well at following through with my goals for each year but I have a lot of specific things I want to get done by specific times this year so I thought a more organized approach might be helpful.
This year instead of a shiny new planner or a fancy task list app, I created a Goal Binder from scratch with paper and markers!
Sooooo, hey there! I’ve been super busy the past few weeks (plus I had the plague for about a week… joy of joys…) but this week I am back to a normal schedule and wanted to fill you in on some big things that have happened / are happening for me!
You know those dreams that you have in the back of your head just waiting to become real but you think to yourself “Naw, not something I can ever do.”? Well I had some of those and now I’m on the look out for new ones because I’ve been moving through my list pretty fast this year!
Become an Actress
This past weekend I starred in a community theater production of Almost, Maine. I tried out for the play on a whim because I realized earlier this year that my passions really lived in performing (acting, dancing, singing) and was over the moon when I got not one role but TWO!
It was so much fun and the other actors were so inviting and really made me feel welcomed. Normally I am extremely shy when I meet new people but in that setting with those people I was my fun quirky self the whole time and it was fantastic. Feeling like I belonged there was the greatest feeling in the world and I can’t wait to do another one soon!
Raise the next Audrey Hepburn
Another big success of mine was my daughter’s 3rd birthday! I know, not really MY accomplishment that she is the cutest most wonderful little girl in the world but I like to think I’ve been a pretty big influence on how awesome she is turning out to be.
I tease people and say that I’m a horrible parent, and sometimes I really believe it, but this past year I have basically turned my business upside down and rearranged a lot of my time just to be sure she has as much of my attention as she needs. I think that at least deserves a vacation to Vegas… but I’ll settle with a big squeezy hug and an “I love you Mommy”.
Become a Speaker
(but preferably not one that lives in a van down by the river…)
This past year I’ve been putting together Power Points and worksheets to create presentations on branding, social media and business planning. Not all of them have worked out the way I had planned but the point is that I have pushed forward because this is something I really want to do in my business.
I love helping people and I love helping them figure out how to do something they didn’t think they could ever do before. Sometime there is a lot of hand holding but sometime they just need that push in the right direction to make things click for them. I had a great workshop on how to start using social media at the Women Writing for a Change center here in Cincinnati which I was really excited to do! I really think there were some light bulb moments for some of the attendees even though we covered A LOT of content! I’m also working on my first ebook/ecourse on how to create a plan for your one big goal which will hopefully be done by the end of the year! I’m really excited about that and I’m hoping that will open a lot of new doors for me as well!
No Fat Mommy
My other big success has been my weight loss journey. I started my journey last year, almost to the date, and so far I’ve lost over 100lbs which is a lot more than the planned 50lbs that I figured I would lose! It’s amazing to be thinner and to feel better about the way I look but my favorite things about this journey has been the way it has changed my self confidence and the way I feel about myself. I spoke with a friend last week that put it very simply for me. She said that the weight was just an outward manifestation of the way I really felt about myself and I totally agree. Once I made the decision to change my life and lose the weight everything fell into place.
All of the other items above could not have happened if I hadn’t lost the weight and gained back my feeling of ME. I feel like Sara now instead of Old Sara, as I lovingly call her now, because I was holding back so much of myself before, but now I feel free to be myself and be happy. I can put myself out on a stage and not care if people think I’m rediculous. I can act silly and chase my 3 year old daughter around the house while she squeals with delight. I still get super nervous when I do trainings and speak in front people but I’m still pushing myself out there even though it is scary.
Keep Following Your Dreams
Wow, this ended up being a sap-tastic post huh?! Well, now that you know where my passions are and how I’m moving towards them let me know where you are on your journey!
- What successes have you had in following your passions?
- What passions are you working towards right now that will change your life in awesome ways?
- How have you fallen in your journey to accomplish your dreams? How did/will you pick yourself back up and keep moving forward?
For followers of Your Creative Ally and my newsletter you may have heard a tid bit about Michelle Ward and how amazingly awesome-sauce she is a few times. Now, I have had the privilege of working through her wonderful workbook, Operation: Creative Career Cheer!, and I have some awesome nuggets to share with you!
At first glance I really didn’t think I needed this workbook. I already did a round of coaching with Michelle when I first started working as a virtual assistant so I was familiar with her worksheets and the way she worked. Plus, I really kind of have my career all figured out and I’m not working in a soul sucking corporate position that I am trying to get away from.
BUT (and it’s a big but…) I realized by going through the worksheets and the exercises that I really wasn’t fulling my passions and bringing them into my life.Sure I have a great job where I can stay at home and take care of my daughter, help awesome people and make a little bit of money, but a long the way I seemed to have lost what my true passions were.
While working through the workbook I realized there were a lot of things I could change in my business as well as in my personal life to make sure those passions were finding their way back into my life.
If you haven’t worked with a life coach (or really, even if you have in my case) the first few worksheets will be SO important for you. Finding your interests and then figuring out how those interests can morph together with your values is a big stepping stone to creating your ideal life/job/business.
My favorite worksheet was Peanut Butter Jelly Time (did I mention she’s hilarious and all of the worksheet titles are fun and quirky?!) where you start “mashing together your Skills & Interests” to find possible careers that will fit for you! Like I said, I wasn’t going into this to find a new career but by doing this exercise I was able to see how I might be able to add some additional offerings to my business as well as some side projects that would bring up my passions again! Hurray for more work for me! Wait…I need more coffee…
Pros and Cons for the Workbook
- Beautiful artwork throughout the workbook byJess Swift
- The worksheets really make you stop and think and work through them. My advice is to work through them in sections and don’t try to do them all at the same time.
- When I was done, I really had something concrete that I could look at and work with as I move forward.
- Really a fabulous workbook for anyone looking for a career change.
- Also, equally great for rediscovering your passions which is what I really took away from this process!
- The whole workbook is written in rhyme. It’s cute but gets kind of annoying after awhile.
- While the artwork really is beautiful I didn’t get to experience it because I printed the worksheets out to work through them, and color printing is expensive so it was all in black and white.
- The workbook took me about 4 hours (in two sessions) to go through and I didn’t go through the last few sections because they are really geared towards the career change process. I highly recommend setting up some sessions with yourself to go through the workbook because I kind of burned myself out going through it all together.
I highly recommend Operation: Creative Career Cheer!to anyone who is looking for a jump start in their business or anyone who is ready to find a career that is whole heartily YOU!Read More
It’s another year! Hurray!
Ok so I really liked this post from last year and I was surprised to see that I really followed what I said I would!
I definitely focused on self care this year. I started sending my daughter to a babysitter 2-3 days a week and it was the best thing I could have ever done for my sanity and for my business! She has a great time playing with other kids her age and I get to spend some focused time on work!
I was able to make my client goal and more which was amazingly awesome! I met some wonderful new clients this year and I can’t wait to continue to grow our relationships this year!
My self doubt may still be there but I have really tried to not let other people’s negativity affect me. Things happen and sometimes they suck, it doesn’t mean that dwelling on it will fix anything. I love that I can see the positive as opposed to the negative in situations now, even though I have a feeling is ticks some people off.
And finally, I created my cool free download Social Media for Noobs Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tweet (if you haven’t downloaded it you still have time to and become one of the cool people!)
Ok so here is my look into the future for 2011! I can’t wait to see all the great things that I’ll make happen this year!