Oh, 2018. You were a crazy year. Literally a case of “started from the bottom now we’re here” as the start of the year saw me trying to figure out how to make this little business profitable while recovering from a serious bout of poor mental health and quitting my job of four years.
Now at the start of this new year, 2018 seems like it was crazy successful, and in many ways it was. I learned so many new skills and did things that I never dreamed I’d be capable of doing. I’ve found my little community of fellow business owners and I know exactly what I want to do with the business over the next couple of years.
You don’t have to do it alone
I know I bang on about community quite a bit, but it’s honestly changed my life. It’s so easy to feel disconnected when you’re a solo business owner, but just because you work for yourself it doesn’t mean you have to work by yourself.
I’ve had quite a few days working in cafes with some of my freelance friends in recent months and not only is it fun to have actual people to talk to instead of my cactus, but I’ve learned so much from these ladies (and hopefully contributed myself, too)!
It’s important to detach yourself from your business
I won’t lie, I still haven’t quite mastered this, but I’m working on it! When I was struggling a couple of months ago, Cat gave me some very wise advice: treat your business like a job, not a part of you. It seems like simple advice, but when you’re so passionate about what you do, it’s hard not to make your business your everything.
But what this means, and I’ve learned this from experience, is that you get pulled up and dragged down by how well your business is doing. When things are going well you’re on cloud nine, but when things aren’t going your way it feels awful. Your business is a big part of you, but your mood and self-worth shouldn’t be reliant on it. I’m attempting to detach myself a bit by putting some boundaries in place, like not checking my emails at the weekend and stopping work after a certain time.
Acknowledge your achievements
When I look back at everything I’ve learned in the past year, I’m actually quite impressed with myself! But I know I didn’t feel that way at the time. When I had a win, I was often too “busy” to properly acknowledge it, but when something went wrong, boy did I give myself a hard time.
Ultimately, constantly chasing bigger goals won’t make you happy. Life isn’t about ticking things off a list. While I’m all for striving for more, this year I also want to enjoy the process of working towards my goals and relax a bit more instead of constantly giving myself more work to do.
So, what’s happening with Easy As VAT this year?
Lots! I’m so happy with the positive reception The Independent Girls Collective has received so far, and I’m really enjoying creating courses and resources for you, hanging out in our community and hearing your feedback. I genuinely get so excited when I see a new member sign up or someone mentions how much they’re enjoying being a member on Instagram! I’m currently scheduling in some live masterclasses with different companies and putting some plans in place to make the member experience as smooth as possible.
My goal for The IGC this year is to reach 300 members, which is probably the most I could handle before taking on someone to help me out - we’re on around 70 at the moment, so I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch.
Events and workshops
One of my goals for last year was to be part of some in-person events and run my own workshops, and clearly the universe heard me loud and clear, because I already have a couple of events booked in for this year!
I’m so excited to be speaking on the panel at Girls In Work’s first event in Liverpool on Saturday 26th January - I love GIW and the amazing work they’re doing (click here for more info and tickets). I’m also hosting a workshop at the Manchester Blog & Beyond roadshow (click here for more info and tickets) which I’m incredibly happy to be a part of. Charlotte, who runs B&B, is one of my favourite people and she knows her shiz when it comes to blogging, so it’s gonna be a good one. Finally, I’m hosting a workshop on knowing your worth, developing a positive money mindset and creating packages that align with the vision you have for your business at Alice Benham’s Gather & Grow retreat in May (click here for more info and tickets)! Alice is another person I greatly admire and I was shocked but so grateful that she wanted me to be a host at Gather & Grow.
Phew! I’m working on a page to share all the events, podcasts and writing I’m doing at the moment to make it a bit easier for you to see what I’m up to instead of sharing on Instagram all the time.
Making an app
Ah, 2019’s most daunting project. Yep, I’m making an app, which will (all things being well) be released this year. This year! Just putting it out there terrifies me. It’s currently in the very early stages, but I’m really pleased with what we’ve got so far and I think it’s going to be a useful asset for anyone running their own business.
This is completely new territory for me and it’s scary, but I have a big vision for this business and this is the next step.
What are your plans for 2019? Share them in the comments!
It’s time to swap money stress for financial empowerment.
The Independent Girls Collective is a members-only platform to help smart women like you to take control of their finances and feel good about money.
As a member, you’ll get new courses, resources, live masterclasses and 1:1 coaching every month to help you manage your finances and provide the support you need to build a successful, fulfilling business that allows you to live the life you desire, as well as access to our supportive community of creative female entrepreneurs.