It's my birthday! Yay!
It's become a kind of tradition that I reflect back on the last year + share what I've learned (and accomplished) each year on my birthday.
Of course, I always do this on my own, for myself (I talk about that more in tomorrow's episode)…but I also share it here for two reasons:
- It takes time.
I think that, when you're looking at anyone's life and business from the outside, it's easy to miss just how long it took them. (More on that here). By sharing the last year (and a quick brief on the years before), I hope that it helps you see that everyone's growth goes slowly, piece by piece.
- Celebration is important.
It's more socially acceptable (and comfortable!) to be modest, humble and self-effacing…to the point where we skip over acknowledging our accomplishments and move on to the next thing. (Claudine and I chatted about just this!) But celebration is important – it keeps you going, it reminds you of your awesomeness, and it builds your confidence so you try the next thing. Since I build my work around encouraging others to celebrate, I have to do it myself in order to have integrity. It's my hope that, as uncomfortable as this may make me, it serves as a model for your OWN celebration.
A look back…
Last year, I reflected that you never know where a tiny step is going to take you
Two years ago, I shared my secret of success. Then I started leading in-person workshops, finished two quilts, and explored my enthusiasm. I trained for (and ran!) a 5k
Three years ago, I explained why I was giving it all away and opened the Starship. The following year I got a book deal, wrote my book, and gave my first live speech. It was a sparkly year, full of firsts + traveling + feeling like a rock star.
Four years ago, I welcomed you to this site. The following year I moved from individual classes to building a community for makers, and got my first “big” client. My house was broken into (multiple times) and we moved suddenly into a 10×10 room, with all our stuff in storage, for 3 months. It was a rough year, but by my birthday I was feeling brave.
Five years ago, I was at the beach, about to quit my dayjob. That year I became self-employed, and opened a yarn shop (and quickly closed it, when I recognized that I wasn't having fun). It was a year of boldly following my enthusiasm through fear.
Six years ago, I was working full-time in an office, making yarn at nights and weekends, growing my business.
Seven years ago, I was teaching and dyeing custom colors for a local yarn store.
Eight years ago, I was managing a paint-your-own-pottery studio, beginning to dye yarn, but hadn't even dreamed of starting a yarn company.
This year, I feel like I fully let my enthusiasm become by business advisor and I doubled the Starship membership, opened the Solo Mission, and created 4 new digital workshops.
I also got brave + bold with my in-person teaching: I taught at the national trade show for the knitting industry (!) in San Diego (and learned an important lesson), two workshops in Boston, at community colleges and arts councils around North Carolina, and signed a contract to teach with CreativeLIVE. I dedicated myself to helping you explore your Enthusiasm, by hosting the Exploration Party in July and by starting a podcast (Explore Your Enthusiasm) last month. Oh, and I totally redesigned by whole website.
I found a good balance between work and play- I finished 2 quilts (and started 2 more), I started painting and I picked knitting back up.
But I definitely made less this year than others, because I spent a lot more time outdoors: I ran my first 10k, in the Redwoods (and of course, trained for it most of the winter).
I went to the Outer Banks with my extended family, took a roadtrip with a college roommate, watched the sun set on my brother's boat, visited my dad twice, celebrated a friend's wedding, and met a whole host of students, friends and fellow biz explorers during my travels. Jay and I spent endless evenings snuggled in with great food and our favorite TV shows.
There were, of course, less-than-awesome moments. Beau had a weird growth on his mouth, that required several hundreds of dollars in vet visits (and one surgery)…to discover it's just an bacterial overgrowth of skin and nothing to be worried about. There were misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and one friend-break-up (Jay's). There was hope and possibility, disappointment and impatience.
But really, when I look back, I can't remember much about the bad, sad, or exhausting. I remember the beautiful spring runs, the seabreeze, the hugs, conversation, smiles, and gigglefits. I remember the moments when I felt loved or understood. I remember that this was a year full of love and opportunities.
And that's all I can hope for the coming year.