You already know that I LOVE hearing about how other women have created businesses that sparkle: how they got started, their highs and lows, the secrets of their success, the real insights on what’s challenged and inspired them. I always learn a little something. During my hiatus over Christmas and New Year, I’ve spent some time reflecting on the year that was and planning for the year ahead, and I thought I’d share my own peek behind the scenes in the hope that I can, in turn, help someone else starting out…
My 2013 highlights
Connecting with inspiring entrepreneurs:
As a self-confessed introvert, I can happily spend hours working away on my own: writing, creating, planning, I’m one happy lady. But, in 2013, I loved connecting with women entrepreneurs that have inspired me to share their stories in the Secrets of my Success and Behind the Scenes interview series. I’ve featured almost 30 women business-owners in a variety of creative industries from photographers to designers, from stylists to health coaches. I have been so proud to feature these women who are living out their sparkle and making an impact in the world. And, the cherry on the cake has been hearing from YOU, hearing what has touched and inspired you. You can look forward to more to come in 2014…. And if there’s someone you would like me to feature, let me know.
Growing the Glitterati community:
I’d set myself the challenge of ‘getting the word out’ last year. I spent time therapeutically blogging in my own little digital corner, but I also challenged myself to write for other blogs and magazines that I admire. I was a happy lady to achieve the goal I’d set and more, including Huffington Post, Under 30 CEO, Design Sponge and Women Unlimited. You can see the full roll-call here. And my efforts have been rewarded by seeing the Glitterati community grow this year… it’s doubled in size and is now represented by 24 countries. It makes me really proud to know there’s a Glitterati Girl on every continent!
Finding my groove:
The more I shared my ‘voice, through blogging and guest-posting, the more I began to find my groove. All advice I’d read and heard was to find a niche and, in the early part of 2013, I think that held me back. I felt hesitant about taking the next step because I hadn’t magically ‘discovered’ my niche… I knew for sure that I wanted to use my skills in success-mindset coaching to support women in awakening to their fullest potential but, as the year progressed, it became strikingly obvious which group of women I specifically want to help. Mums! I was in my first year of motherhood myself and experiencing some pretty big life adjustments: my whole world changed over the course of the year in unexpected ways. I truly believe that there’s a lesson in everything and my experiences gave me a taster of the challenges I’d heard so much about: of being a mum and having an identity, a career and a life of your own. Not an easy juggle. It became obvious: I can support ambitious mums who feel overwhelmed, have lost their sense of identity and direction to get reacquainted with their inner sparkle so they can nurture their dreams and ambitions as well as their family. And a niche was born! My advice: don’t wait to have everything perfect before starting, take baby steps and you’ll find your path.
- Learning to enjoy being a mummy: Yep, you read that right. It took me time to adjust to being a mummy, I certainly wasn’t one of the women that had an instantaneous moment of clicking into mummy mode as I’d heard about. I was anxious and, in honesty, a bit of a hermit in the first few months of Louis’ life BUT then I started to get out and about more, tried to worry less and began to appreciate all the magical moments. I’ve loved to see my little baby learn to sit, to eat, to crawl and now, to walk and talk. He gets funnier by the day and I love our bond, made all the more special now I appreciate how very precious it is.
- Family celebrations: I am at my happiest when I’m surrounded by my big, loving, crazy family. We shared some special times in 2013, from Louis’ christening, my Dad’s 60th, Jack’s 30th, Louis’ 1st birthday and lots of little occasions that I’ll add to my ‘memory bank’.
- Finding time for me again: In my flailing new mum mode, I completely lost my sense of identity, the real Emma. With a few ‘date nights’ and some well-earned ‘me time’ to enjoy the things I love – reading, yoga, baking and a little pampering – I started to feel like me again.
- Listening to my intuition: 2013 was, for me, a year of resilience. When the going got tough, I kept going, all the while listening to what my intuition told me and with the support of my amazing family and friends. And my intuition has taken me down an unfamiliar path, one that is less safe and secure than is my usual style. I took the leap into my business, into self-employment, and I’m continuing to listen to the whispers and see how it all unfolds.
- And last but by no means least… We found out we’re expecting another addition to our little family this springtime. It was at one of the family parties that, quite out of character, I didn’t fancy my glass of vino but I was hungry like never before … and the penny dropped. An unnecessary number of First Response pregnancy tests confirmed it, the stork is on its way and we’re ready to adjust once more….
The 2014 looking glass
With the juggle of one and soon two babies to look after, I know this year will, again, have its challenges. I also know that I’m super-lucky to have the opportunity to live out my ideal… being a mummy that’s around to enjoy my babies while they’re little AND to pursue my passion in life: to inspire and empower other mums to nurture their dreams too. With time (and energy!) at a premium this year, my business goals are short and sweet:
Simplicity: To April, I have around 15 hours of ‘work’ time a week. And then, when the baby arrives, I’m allowing myself at least the first 6 weeks of our newborn’s life to indulge my maternal side. After that is anyone’s guess. I will have to learn a new rhythm, find snatches of time to work around the needs of my family. And so, my keyword is simplicity. In the final months of 2013 I was putting loads of pressure on myself to do everything: webinars, videos, create new programmes, social media, blogging, newsletters, workshops and speaking gigs…. Argh! I got totally overwhelmed with all the things I felt I should be doing. In 2014, I’m going back to basics. My goals are:
- to create just one new VIP programme where I will be working with a handful of women through private coaching and a small community.
- to be selective in writing guests posts for a small number of blogs on a regular basis. I’ve had a breadth of exposure on different sites, now I want to focus my energy on building a stronger presence with the ones that fit most with my community and my direction.
- to build my community through the Glitterati newsletter and one blog post per week.
And that’s it. Anything more will be a bonus. The biggest challenge for me is how simple it is. I feel like I should be doing more. Instead, I’m leaning into a new simplicity: “success lies in doing simple things consistently” – it’s my new mantra.
Consistency: Overwhelm brought a plus-one to the party: distraction. In 2013, on reflection, I was doing lots of everything and not very well. With my renewed focus on simplicity I’m committing to consistency. My focus will be on keeping my 3 big goals in mind and, without fail, seeing that they happen. I will:
- Write one blog post every week. I love writing so i could happily blog daily (time permitting) BUT I realised I’m not a blogger – I’m running a business. I’d rather write one high-quality, high-value blog post each week than churn out below-par thoughts more often. If the mood takes me, I may write more (it is my hobby after all) but I’m committing to one and one only.
- Connect with my community every week: This was on my goal list in 2013. I intended to send out my newsletter weekly. Sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t and I feel like I let myself down… and my community. The truth is I took too much on (see above!), AND there was a lot going on in my personal life that served as another distraction. In 2014, I want you to be able to rely on me when I say, I will share with The Glitterati community every week. From today, on hearing from you busy ladies out there, the newsletter will go out on a Sunday evening (UK time) as I hear that, for a lot of you, this is when you’re ‘getting your head back in the game’ after the weekend and are most looking for inspiration and motivation for the week ahead. Sunday night, me and you… it’s a date.
Getting help: By nature I’m fiercely independent but the past year has taught me that I can’t do it all alone. This year, I’m going to be a big girl and ask for help more: to create space and time to work, to make sure I’m giving my best to my family, and to make sure I have a little time to recharge the batteries. I’ve also made an investment in working with a business coach to keep me on the straight and narrow: she’s my very own cheerleader as I work towards growing my business set against my unique set of family boundaries.
And that’s it…
Now it’s over to you. I’d like to know:
– what were your 1-3 biggest successes of 2013?
– what’s your one big focus for 2014?
– if “success lies in doing simple things consistently”, how can you make things more simple and consistent in your life/business this year?