I know, everybody does these posts, but I think it's really important to reflect on how we grow and there's no better time than this, every year. I wish I could show you more photos than this, but I didn't take many personal photos in 2012. I don't even know if that photo is FROM 2012. There are two reasons for this:
- After my lens broke, I was really scared to use my camera anywhere else than inside my kitchen, braced securely in my arms, so I decided to only use it for work purposes, not fun.
- I really wanted to focus on myself and figure out what it was that I wanted to "do" with my life - and I can't do that publicly, through photos or not. I'm the kind of person who throws out a whole sketchbook if one page is embarrassingly bad - I just don't want people seeing stupid things I say/do/make.
While 2011 was a big year of change for me (I quit my day job and Bob & I bought a house!), 2012 was a year of growth. I spent the whole year trying to find out what I wanted to do and what I didn't want to do. In the past month I've really narrowed it down and I'm getting much better at setting boundaries and editing out toxic parts of my life.
I'm still unsure of the "path" I want to take, but now I know what I should say yes and no to, which is definitely helping to guide me. I bought the book How to Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin and that's helped me focus my goals a lot better.
Another change in 2012, a big one for me, was that I figured out how to stop procrastinating and just do work. I used to spend days on the couch feeling down on myself, feeling stressed, and feeling trapped - but I'm learning to control that a lot more now, which is making me a much happier and successful person in general.
That work I did in 2012 was massive. (Please note in the photo above that the calendar shows October - I took that photo in December. That's how busy I am.) Right now I have so many projects I'm working on that I can barely sleep; this day in 2012 I had nothing at all.
- I didn't do as much this year with hipsterfood as in 2011, but the posts became 1000% better quality, in both content and photography. (And hey, it gets just as many followers with a high-quality post once a month as it did posting crappy posts once a day.)
- The same quality translated to Chickpea - the design and photography on my part are leaps and bounds above when we started. And now we're working with big name companies, or at least trying to! I learned a ton through Chickpea, mostly about how incredibly hard it is to grow a business that requires tens of thousands of dollars every season. (It's very very hard.)
- My Etsy shop started out with little bits & pieces and now I'm a featured seller, which I still can't wrap my head around. One of my biggest goals this year is consistently updating the shop with new products - I can do it!
I would definitely say I'm much more focused and I work a lot smarter now. I hope I can keep up everything this year and get a good routine going. All of this work has given me a killer work/life balance - the house is always a mess, I gained a ton of weight, I eat terribly, and I barely get to see my family. I'm hoping by this time next year I'll have all of this down so I can focus on improving non-work parts of my life. :)