July 31st was my one year anniversary of quitting the regular day job! Whoa!
Happy first birthday to an-independent-artist/entrepreneur-me 🙂 I’m still here, alive and kickin’!
I honestly can’t believe it’s been a year, and I just feel so grateful and privileged to be able to pursue my passion every day.
When I left my day job, I gave up a steady paycheck and good benefits. And in return, I gained the freedom to create work from my passion and decide how I’m going to achieve my goals.
And, I love being my own boss. For the most part anyway.
But one of the hardest part of being my own boss is – well, not having a boss.
What does a boss do? They give you a guidance, direction, support and a feedback. Well, at least they should, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have bosses who did all those things 🙂
And it can be extremely difficult to do that for myself sometimes.
Especially when you work so hard and don’t see the results right away, not getting that constant validation and encouragement that your’e doing a good job can be tough.
I’d imagine many entrepreneurs feel this way. Or if your’e a parent or a boss’s boss. It gets lonely up here!
You know another thing I miss about the day job? An annual performance review!
Is that weird? I always felt so refreshed after my review. It’s a wonderful opportunity to sit and reflect on all the things you’ve accomplished and set an intention for where you want to go next.
So I wanted to review my last 12 months and share with you what I’ve learned.
What I’m proud of:
- Started taking mini sabbaticals every 7 week. I believe self-care is super important and wanted to put a regular self-care practice in place to prevent burn-out.
- Did 5 art shows
- Ran the Creative Coaching 4-week email course and a pilot program
- Have been meeting with 2-3 accountability partners regularly to stay focused and motivated on my goals
- Consistently writing & posting blogs and newsletters
- Launched my first art collection, Eat a Rainbow, this summer
- Started teaching Introduction to Block Printing workshops locally
- My revenue grew almost 5x from the same time frame between 2014-2015
- My work was featured in Seattle Magazine and Uppercase newsletter (and a couple more in the works! Yay!)
- Created my first video tutorial and taught in an e-course, the Journey Within
- Partnered with Sakura of America to produce 5 tutorial videos (launch dates TBD)
- Participated in 10 arts & craft shows
- Made 4 times more sales on my Etsy store alone
- Grew my social media followers by 200%
- Joined the gym and consistently working out
- Went to a 10-day silent meditation retreat and continuing my daily meditation practice
- Started selling my products at 5 retail store locations
What I could do more or better:
- Create sustainable cashflow strategies & implement it!
- Create a better, more streamlined system for marketing
- Explore new social media platform (e.g. Snapchat etc.) so I can interact with my followers more deeply
- Continue prioritizing my health and wellness and take regular sabbaticals
- Allow time for reflection and long-term strategies (every quarter or 6 months?) even if everyday busyness seems more urgent.
- Narrow down my focus
- Become more comfortable with taking a risk, don’t be afraid to make a mistake, and if I make a mistake, don’t dwell on the negatives. Learn the lessons, and move on!
- Prepare better financially for slow times (e.g. In-person teaching is super slow during summer so maybe do more shows to create a better cash flow).
- Expand my wholesale capacity and partner with more retail shops
- Expand my teaching offerings both in-person & online
What I want to learn:
- Research and learn more about product business/manufacturers/wholesale, to make my biz more profitable
- Effective social media marketing strategies & apps
- How to make better videos and shoot photos
- Sewing and more fun creative projects for myself!
- I’ve made an appointment with myself later this week to sit down and do a planning session for the next 6 months. I’m going to figure out timelines for my goals, break down my goals into baby steps, and make a plan of attack!
I was surprised that it didn’t take very much time to make a list of my accomplishments. It’s so nice to remind myself that I am moving forward even if the progress seems slow.
If you don’t have a boss to give you a performance review, I highly recommend you do this with yourself at least once a year. I bet you’ll feel inspired and motivated by how far you’ve come, too!