This is the year when I finally realized what I am truly capable of and I know for sure this is just the beginning. And yes, it has taken me 41 years! This year I started my own company, and it’s successful. Most importantly I peeled off the layers and finally started to see not only what I could do, but what I am really passionate about and how I can throw myself behind this and turn it into a career.
This isn’t your typical highlight of my blog posts, because after just one year and only recently blogging every day for 30 days, a “best of” is a bit silly. This is recognition of the journey that I took this past year.
January - Setting intentions
Who better to help you on your path to true enlightenment then Oprah. On January 1st (or some point really close to that date) I got an email from Oprah. And no, I am not “connected” I simply subscribe to her newsletter. The email had an invitation to a 21 day consciousness cleanse. I love cleanses, usually they involve food, but hey, my consciousness has never been cleansed - I should give this a try. I have to say I really loved it, and really looked forward to starting each day listing to the audio files. I want to tell you I made it all the way through, but towards the end it got to be way too much about God for me and I had to bail! But not before I set my intention for the year, which was to be “inspired”. I didn’t really know what that meant, but I knew that I needed it.
February - Yes I can
I got my first “new” job. I had started the year with a contract from my old employer, and although I realize that is a significant accomplishment, it was getting that first job with someone new that really delivered me the sense of relief and accomplishment and the feeling that “I really could do this”. And you know what, I sat in front of my computer and cried and even as I write about it, my eyes well up, silly I know, and monumental all the same.
March - the transition begins
I started becoming the person I had visioned for myself the year before. I hated being the mom that dropped my kid off at school in the fancy office clothes, I wanted to be one of those mom’s who looked casually hip and significantly less rushed than my old self. I had 3 new clients, lots of work, but as I look back at my calendar I see more mom/school stuff in my calendar. I was also see appointments for things like massages and facials - what is that? was I taking time for me!
April - Fire starter session
I did a Fire starter session with Danielle Le Porte. I mentioned her in my first blog post, I had heard her speak in 2009 and she really inspired my transition. After reading my post, a friend of mine reached out and contacted Danielle, which, I think is totally cool. So why hadn’t I? Partially because I was filled with self doubt and partially because I thought I wasn’t ready. The session was great, and gathering the feedback in advance of the session gave me insights (not all positive) that I needed to hear.
The outcome was that I needed to focus on hospitality marketing, kind of obvious I realize because of my background, but until this session I wasn’t confidant (like many new entrepreneurs) in targeting a niche. I walked away with a list of things to do, many of which I think about daily and many of which I never did do and until October I kept asking myself “why”.
May - 21 day detox
Oh I do love my cleanses and this virtual one was my all time favourite! Micelle is located out of Boston and participants in this cleanse were from all over the US, me in Canada and one woman from England. We had weekly calls which were encouragement and tips from Michelle. And we had the most amazing Google group where we all posted our updates and challenges - these total strangers made me laugh and cry. Michelle has amazing food suggestions and her cleanse gave me so many recipes and habits that I still use today.
Find Your Balance
June - time for boot camp!
Eating healthy, check. Now it is time to get into shape. I signed up for a boot camp, 3 days a week at 7 a.m. for an hour! And yes folks I made it to each and every class and had some very impressive shoulder and arm muscles when it was done! Sadly I have hardly done any exercise since, but it is a good reminder of what I am capable of, let’s hope that in 2011 I do more of it!
Best Body Boot Camp
June is when I started to let me self appreciate and acknowledge how powerful this change (working for myself at home) has been to my life and to my family. This post got the most comments in Facebook:
Ella says the rewards of working from home are more than green.
July and August - summer the way it should be
I enjoyed the summer, not that I took time off, cause I didn’t, but for once I didn’t feel like a crazy woman. My old work place had a summer hours program, work extra hours and you could take half day off each week or a full day every other week. But with two kids at camps in different parts of the city that started at 9 and finished at 5 (and that is after paying extra for extended care) it was almost impossible for me to put in extra time in the office. That didn’t mean I worked less, it just meant more of it was done at home and it didn’t qualify for time off. I managed to pull off extra hours in the office, but boy did I resent it! This summer there was no need for extended care and as with school mornings this year, there was no insane rushing or stressing.
September - don’t stress
I actually started to stress about having enough work and then I got more work. I had been working all year at reaching out, making connections, telling people how I could help them. Finding work didn’t happen magically, it was the result of the work I had done all year. Having it work out so quickly and easily is a good reminder that work will come, sometimes you just need to be patient and freaking out won’t ever make things better.
October - Inspiration
I got myself a coach, life purpose coach actually, her name is Sherry Waddington. And she really did help me find my life purpose. When I met with Danielle back in April, part of me knew I wasn’t ready yet, but when I met with Sherry I knew that I was ready.
One of my first homework assignments was to read The E Myth, a book that I had actually started the year before but never finished. I mentioned that Danielle had given me an amazing list of things to do to get my business up and launched, but that I hadn’t done them. For months I kept asking myself what I was resisting, was it success, was it failure? I had stopped readying The E Myth because I felt that I didn’t have enough structure and documentation in my business and I knew those would be key to long term success. But when I picked up the book again and read chapter 12 something in me clicked. This is where Michael Gerber asks you to define the primary aim of your company, and tells you that your aim needs to be you. To create a successful business he asks you to define what you value most, what you want your life to look and feel like and who you wish to be.
Its funny, for so long, I had been saying, I know “how” I want to work, but I am not sure “what” to work on. And suddenly I realized it was the “how” that mattered the most. I want to help companies and individuals create more successful and effective flexible and remote jobs. Its helped me be the mom, person and entrepreneur I know I am meant to be and I want to share this with others.
November - real accomplishments
30 days and 30 blogs. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but I am a digital marketing girl, I totally get the importance of a web presence and the value of blogging and social media and yet I hadn’t been following through. I now know, with Sherry’s guidance that it was because I was missing my “big idea”. I do details well, but I need the big picture and until I acknowledged that I want to help create more flexible working arrangements for people, I didn’t have my big picture. The blogging was my most favorite thing that I did all year. It didn’t pay me a cent and yet it gave me the biggest sense of accomplishment which is a valuable lesson for a woman who was so used to getting rewarded with salaries, bonuses and promotions.
December - Ella says ...you did a great job.
I am such a sap, is it okay that I want to cry again? Ella is my daughter, she is an incredible and amazing child who has something to say about just about anything and I promise you I am not exaggerating, that kid can jump into any conversation! The word “ella” is also the word for “she” in Spanish. My company, Ella says, was inspired by my daughter and my vehicle to to get my voice back and use it. And I have.
Its just the beginning, I will continue to provide digital marketing support to my hospitality clients and in the process show them how remote work arrangements complement their existing business structure. I will also spend a lot of time building my reputation and eventually clients, specifically focusing on creating more remote and flexible work arrangements.