It wouldn’t be the end of the year without a year in review blog post, right?!
I initially didn’t plan on writing this blog post, but it came into existence because of a few things:
- it’s the end of the year, therefore obligatory “year in review” posts are expected, welcomed, and consumed
- I was reflecting on my year while reading Make It Happen by Lara Casey and realized just how much I accomplished in my business (and life) in the past 12 months
- I realized how helpful the lessons I learned could be for my community and had to share
With that said keep reading to learn my top 10 big blogging, business, and life lessons learned in 2018! (The good, the bad, and the messy!)
10 Blogging, Business, and Life Lessons Learned in 2018 Click To Tweet
1. Practice Gratitude Every Day
The good, bad, ugly, little, small…find the good in it all and see how you can learn from it. And how to make improvements moving forward.
Practicing gratitude every day allows me to overcome self-doubt, imposter syndrome, negative self-talk…which is something I struggled with A LOT in 2018.
Entrepreneurship is hard…but if you can commit to practicing gratitude every day you’ll recognize all the amazing things you’re doing which sets you up to do more amazing things.
The easiest way to practice gratitude? Keeping a journal and cultivate a habit to write 3 things you’re grateful for every day.
I do most of my journaling at night before bed, but I recently started doing morning pages which has allowed me to practice gratitude in the morning before starting my day.
2. Cultivate & Maintain Healthy Habits
HABITS!! They are so important, especially when you’re building a business on top of having a 9-5 and other commitments.
For me, maintaining healthy habits improves my focus & output.
I’ve noticed that I’m so much more motivated and on point with my to-do list when I am maintaining habits.
Habits that I focus on include practicing yoga and meditation daily, working out 4-5 times a week, saying daily affirmations, writing in my journal, and practicing my manifesting game.
I’ll be honest and admit that 2018 was not my best year for fitness. After looking at my habit trackers inside my Bullet Journal I realized that I struggled to exercise regularly…every single month!
But when I did maintain exercise, I noticed a huge difference in my energy, productivity, and confidence.
So make a commitment in 2019 to cultivate and maintain healthy habits. Doing so will make you a much more successful person!
3. Hiring Help, Helps
2018 was the year I hired a Pinterest Manager! It was a big goal of mine and the moment it happened, I couldn’t believe it.
As bloggers and solopreneurs we can be filled with too much pride sometimes that we don’t want to ask for help.
And on the flip side, some of us might not want to dish out the money to hire help. Especially if we’re still in the beginning stages of our business.
I can do it myself! I can do it better! Why should I pay someone else to do it?
I struggled with both of those mindsets, but I knew that hiring someone would allow me to spend time on other areas of my business.
Pinterest is an integral part of my business. It’s something I need, but it was also an area that takes up a large chunk of my time.
Time that I needed to use in other areas of my business.
Like creating course content, showing up for my students, marketing and sales, and so forth.
NOW if you’re not financially in a position to hire, don’t. That’s not the message I’m trying to communicate.
But I do want you to know to ask for help. Help doesn’t have to mean paying for help. It can take on other forms!
4. Failure Isn’t Failure–It’s Feedback
Oh yeah. This is a big lesson I learned in 2018 from my mentor and coach, Krista Dickson.
If you set a big goal or launch something in your business and the outcome doesn’t turn out the way you want it to…that’s feedback, NOT failure!
In business, “failure” is inevitable. Entrepreneurship is a profession that’s full of risks.
But an entrepreneur is someone who is persistent. They keep going until they get results. They analyze, tweak, improve, and do it again.
Soon enough, you WILL get results.
I had a lot of launches in 2018…most of them great, a few of them not so great. But instead of viewing them as “failures” I look at them as feedback. And man, I learned A LOT from them!
But if you let failure consume you and hold you back, you’ll never reach your dreams.Click To Tweet
5. Comparison is the Thief of Joy
This quote never really resonated me until the end of this year. It’s such a cliche, but it’s SO true. And this year I spent way too much energy comparing myself to other entrepreneurs.
One of my biggest struggles is comparing myself the others. I thought I overcame that in 2016-2017 when I worked on my personal development, but it came back to haunt me this year as I focused on growing my business.
When I reflected on my year, I realized that I spent a huge chunk of my energy comparing myself to other entrepreneurs. Here’s a great quote from Make It Happen that really resonated with me about this:
“Stop checking up on people in the name of inspiration. Connect back to what matters.”
I was using the excuse of “inspiration” to allow myself to compare myself to others.
So in 2019, I’m committed to NOT compare myself to others. If you struggle with the comparison game, I highly encourage you to do the same!2018 was a year spent comparing myself to other entrepreneurs. That ends in 2019! Click To Tweet
6. Niching Down = More Money
I have always been against niching down because I felt like it would put me in a box. I know many bloggers have this fear too.
Which is why I preached that you didn’t need a niche to be successful.
Which, I still believe you don’t. Success doesn’t look the same for everyone.
But for me, success meant helping bloggers become business owners AND earning an income from doing what I love.
When I was still “all over the place” my bank account reflected that.
BUT when I finally niched down and felt good about it, I started making more and consistent income in my business.
And I think this is where the line is drawn between hobby bloggers and business owners.
But here’s the thing: you need a niche if you want to attract an audience who will buy your products. I learned this the long and drawn out way…
No niche=no $
Now, here’s another way to look at it that I realized this year and it blew my mind
A niche is a solution to a problem.
Thinking about a niche this way instead of putting yourself in a box will allow you to open up and expand the possibilities of how your business because you’ll be focusing on how you can help your target audience and not about what topics you “have” to write about.
7. Great Things Will Happen When You Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Listen. I really like comfort zones. I like being safe, secure, and in control.
Which is probably why I was never attracted to entrepreneurship.
Well, also because I didn’t believe I could be an entrepreneur, but that’s a different blog post…
When you get out of your comfort zone you’re faced with challenges. And when you’re faced with a challenge you start thinking outside of the box.
And that’s when things start to happen.
2018 was a year of exploration, trying things out, “failing”, trying again, and getting results.
For me, I hate failing and not being in control of things. Entrepreneurship has taught me to embrace these things.
So here’s to 2019: another year of GETTING OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!
8. Big Projects Aren’t So Overwhelming If You Break Them Down into Baby Action Steps
Let me tell you…I have never felt more productive and focused in my life and business than I do right now. And one of my goals in 2019 is to become EVEN MORE productive AF.
If you don’t know, I have a 9-5 and work 40 hours a week. I get asked all the time how I “do it all” as in, growing a blog and business with a 9-5.
Well, first of all, I’m not a robot. And second of all, that’s another blog post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while.
BUT one of the things that have allowed me to “get sh*t done” even with a 9-5…is breaking big projects down into baby steps.
When it comes to blogging, business, and turning your blog into a business, there’s a lot of BIG TASKS you have to do.
And people get stuck because of just that: they assign themselves big tasks that are actually PROJECTS that need to be broken down into small tasks.
When I started doing this in my business, I instantly became more focused, productive, and less stressed. I got more done and not just that–I got the RIGHT things done.
Because for so long, I wasted my time on the wrong things that weren’t pushing me forward and not bringing in the money.
In 2019 I’m on a mission to become even more efficient in my output while putting in less work. That should be one of your goals too!
9. Get on Top of Your Bookkeeping From the Beginning
2018 was the year I got IN CONTROL of my MONEY STUFFS.
Both in my business and personal life. And man, it’s been an AH-mazing feeling!
You see, I’m not horrible with money, but I’ve never made the best financial decisions.
And I was using a pretty basic spreadsheet system to track my income and expenses. And somehow, by the grace of the Gods, I managed to file my own taxes.
But it wasn’t until I had a clarity session with Katie Scott of The Lazy Source that I finally made my business finances a priority.
I also started reading Profit First by Mike Michalowicz that I am now following to manage my biz finances.
Let me tell you…it’s a REAL game-changer.
I highly recommend reading the book to learn the method, but the biggest takeaway I got from it that I’ve implemented into my business is to have a separate operating expense account that I put a percentage of my monthly income into.
What this does is it forces me to make wise decisions on what I invest in for my business. In 2018 I went a little over the top with my expenses and by October I made the commitment to cut back on things.
This has saved me money AND allowed me to make smarter decisions on how I use my money. It also motivates me to make more money so I can justify the investments I want to make.
Like I said, game-changer! Grab the book on Amazon or at your local library to learn. Katie also has a blog post called An Intro to the Profit First System which is a great place to start to get the jist of it!
10. Goal Setting is Great if You Set ACHIEVABLE Goals
This was the year I got trapped in the mindset of having a love/hate relationship with goal-setting.
I’ve always loved having goals before my business started growing. But when I started setting business goals and not achieving them…I began to feel like goals only made me feel like crap.
So this year I still had goals, but I didn’t check in on them or really try to achieve them. They gave me direction, but I forced myself to detach from them in order to avoid feeling like I failed.
Towards the end of the year, I started educating myself more on goal-setting and productivity because I wanted to get on top of my game in my business and at my 9-5.
I was getting stuff done, but I wasn’t being as efficient and feeling as focused as I knew I could. Then it hit me: I hated goals this year because I set ones that were not achievable.
I took the whole “dream big” notion too literally and set some ridiculous goals.
So going into 2019 I now know what kinds of goals are too big (and not realistic) and ones that are much more attainable.
I also learned that goals are great to give you direction, but whether you reach them or not is no reflection of your worth and how successful you are.
And I have a really really good feeling that 2019 is going to be a great year for goal achievement for me. I invested in the Powersheets goal setting planner from Cultivate What Matters which are going to revolutionize my entire approach to goals. I am so excited!
So here’s to 2019: a year of PURPOSEFUL goals that are ACHIEVABLE.
What Did You Learn in 2018?
And there you have it! My messy, good, and bad blogging, business, and life lessons learned in 2018. It was an amazing year of personal growth for me and getting my business off the ground.
It involved a lot of trying, failing, and trying again until I got results. 2019 is going to be the year I really take my business to the next level, I can feel it!
Ready for the Blog to Biz Fast Track?
Now, if you’re a go-getter who wants to take the blog to biz fast-track, I have something you NEED!
The Blog to Biz 2019 Challenge kicks off January 21 and runs through January 25.
By the end of the challenge you will…
- Know the exact steps (in order) to start making money online in 2019
- Steal my exact strategy for growing a community that’s totally obsessed with you
- Map out your full-proof blog to business action plan for 2019 that you can’t wait to start
- Transform all your big ideas in your notebook into irresistible digital products that sell like hotcakes
- PLUS: My productivity secrets to GET MORE DONE with little time (even with a 9-5!)
In 5 days you’ll have the answer to “how the heck do I turn my blog into a business and where do I start?!” PLUS an action plan you can’t wait to dive into.
If you’re ready to make sh*t happen in 2019 I better see you on Day 1 of the challenge!