Inspired by my friend, Greg Faxon, I decided to formalize my annual review process this year. This is it. (Greg and I first met at Camp GLP in 2016 when I sat in on his “Master the Inner Game of Entrepreneurship” workshop. It was amazing. I later purchased his book, Don’t Let The Fear Win: How To Get Out Of Your Own Way And Grow Your Business...Fast, which I highly recommend to any of you entrepreneurs out there. You can learn more about him here & read his annual review here. Also, I must say, I am extremely excited to be supporting Greg with a live event experience this spring. If you’re interested in his work, I’ll be sure to share the event details when they become available). Now, on with the review.
Guiding Word of 2017: BADASS
At the end of 2016, I was feeling ready to come out from hiding, make big, bold moves and say yes to things that scared me. Last December, I read Jen Sincero’s book, You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, and I was fired up to embody the meaning of the word badass in every area of my life. My pal, Carole Ann Penney, introduced me to the concept of creating a Guiding Word of the Year a few years back, so when we gathered in her beautiful sunroom on a snowy evening last December, I knew badass was it. Looking back on the whole year, I can honestly say, it was badass. (And, fun fact, on one of my multiple visits to NYC this year, I had the opportunity to attend one of Jen’s latest book signing stops at Strand Bookstore: You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth. She is even more hilarious in real life & it was such a treat to meet her in real life).
Here are the highlights …
Traveled over 25,000 miles to:
San Francisco, CA
Fort Myers, FL
Santa Monica, CA
Cape Cod, MA
Belgrade Lakes, ME
Lake George, NY
Iroquois Springs, NY
NYC (I spent more time in NYC this year than I never to the number of times I’ve traveled there in my 33 years of life)
Led 12 highly effective Deep Dive Event Strategy Sessions.
Partnered with these incredible people and organizations to bring their event visions & branded experiences to life from intimate 1-day retreats, to 3-day workshops, to a multi-city speaking tour, yearly fundraisers, and monthly event series: Deb Walsh, Denise Duffield-Thomas, Jeannie Spiro, Jennifer Guerin, Mary O’Sullivan, Donna Ashton, Candita Clayton, Amenity Aid, The Lady Project.
Deepened my spiritual practice & reached 100+ hours on the meditation cushion. Also, joined a lovely group of spiritually-minded sisters in conversation every Monday night, which has been transformational for my personal and spiritual growth.
Started a podcast with the-one-and-only Lauri Ivers.
Started a second business with my pals Brittanny Taylor & Olivia Rodrigues when we recognized a need in the market to support creative entrepreneurs with content creation and digital storytelling. It’s called The Branding Edit, be sure to check us out.
Got a tattoo! [Side note: I never thought I'd be one to get a tattoo - but always said, if I did, I'd want it to be meaningful. ... There's nothing more meaningful than branding yourself with an icon that represents your life's work + doing it with some of your very best friends. Every time it catches my eye, I'm reminded to stop & celebrate. Absolutely no regrets.]
Attended CreativeLive to be a part of the live studio audience for Jasmine Star’s Branding Strategies for Business Growth class. It was life-changing. Jasmine Star is as authentic and real as it gets. She delivered incredibly valuable content in an awesome setting. I met so many amazing fellow creative entrepreneurs and received personalized feedback from Jasmine and Promise Tangeman of Go Live HQ. (And got to catch up with my lifelong friend Lauren and her family while I was in town). It was an experience that will forever live on my “incredible moments of all time” highlight reel. Future blog post to come about this entire experience.
Returned to Camp GLP for the second time with my pals Amy CQ & Nikki Groom. You can watch the video highlights here. (I think my hair makes an appearance around minute 3:55). So much wisdom, so much love, so many incredible conversations, so many new friendships formed, so much FUN. The people I met here and the takeaways I left with shaped the last 4 months of my year, again. Future blog post to come about this entire experience, too.
Went on a total of 52 coffee dates with amazing people like Amy CQ, Bethany Pearson O’Connor, David J. Bradley, Erica Gebhart, Jane Ferri, Jane McAuliffe, Karl Stelter, Lauren Silveira, Michelle Vitale, and Nicole Ketchum, to name a few.
During the last month of the year, I joined the board of AMP-RI and I’m excited to help this organization improve their event hosting processes and promotion in 2018.
Press: Providence Monthly Magazine, plus an appearance on The Rhode Show with The Branding Edit girls, and a feature in Rhode Island Inno’s online magazine.
Co-hosted 6 The Insta Edit workshops with @brittanny.
Increased my Instagram presence, improved engagement & celebrated over 1,000 followers.
What I did well:
Among all the big yeses, amazing client work and travel, I made time for my friends, family, sleep, nutrition, and fun! The most cherished moments of last year were those spent with the people I love. (Also, worth noting, my husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in August. The traditional gift for 5-years married is wood, so we celebrated by hiking through the woods of Tumbledown Mountain in Franklin County, Maine. The climb was far more taxing than I imagined, but so rewarding — probably one of my most cherished memories of the entire year. You can view a photo of us at the top if you scroll right through the carousel below.)
What I didn’t do so well:
Follow-up & follow-through. Lord knows I had the best of intentions. Birthday cards, thank you notes, and client appreciation gifts would pile up on my desk to be sent out, unfinished emails would pile up in my drafts folder, approximately 22 partially read books sat and accumulated on my nightstand. I truly had the best intentions, but the systems & structure weren’t in place. What could have been 15-minute projects turned into 15-hour tasks on more than one occasion ... Ugh. This pattern showed up a lot across all areas of my life: delayed email responses and text messages, phone calls home became more and more infrequent. I wrote a post about it on The Branding Edit blog, titled, It Doesn’t Mean I Love You Any Less.
Guiding Word of 2018: COMMITTED
Reviewing all of these highlights (and lowlights) really helped me get clear on my Guiding Word for 2018. I realize that in order to grow this business to its fullest potential and my clients to feel incredibly well-cared for every step of the way, systems must be created and maintained. I’m beyond grateful to have the support of Ashley Holmes by my side as we move forward into the year.
So, I invite you to celebrate it all. The good. The not so good. We’re only 10 days into the New Year. It’s not too late to look back on all you created last year, and set intentions for how you want to show up in the year ahead. When you do, please share some of your highlights with me. I’d love to join you in celebration.