As I wrap up what has been a very intense 2022, I have been reflecting on the last eight years running this creative business. The highs and lows, the ebbs and flows, all the things that come with being a creative, running your own business and juggling family life.
I felt like throwing in the towel several times this year. After the last couple of years of this pandemic I honestly thought this year was going to be great. I started off very optimistic in January and then since I feel like I have been hit with wave after wave after wave of life’s challenges, to the point I was really struggling to keep my head above water. My health took a huge hit which in turn affected my business which then added to the stress, it has been a viscous cycle, and my doctor told me last month I needed to stop work.
But in amongst the chaos and the sickness some really great things happened, and it is focusing on those small wins that has kept me going, making small baby steps forward in the direction of my goals. Even if it has felt like I am only inching forward at times, or at a stand still while others fly past, or even rolling backwards. This shift in my mindset has been so important in helping me through this year.
When you work mostly solo in business you need to be your own cheerleader, and sometimes that can be really hard! So I have rounded up all my wins of this year as a reminder of what I achieved in a challenging year.
We kicked off the year with the Whale Tales sculpture trail. After covid delays it was great to finally see this come to life. I have heard that my tail has found a new home up in Whangaparoa.
I finally launched the Creative Mother Podcast, something I had wanted to do for 3 years since becoming a mother. I successfully raised over $7,000.00 to kick start the podcast via a Boosted.nz campaign. I produced two seasons, interviewed 17 incredible creative mothers, had 4500 downloads and overall an amazing response to the interviews. I have to mention we got hit by covid the week before launch but somehow still managed to pull it off while doing isolation solo with a 3 year old!
I was featured in 3 magazines - Haven Magazine, Woman Magazine and In Her Studio
I launched my first online course “Starting Small: A Step by step guide to creating mini abstract artworks”. This was a huge learning curve but something that covid pushed me to do.
My sister and I created a free mini course called 15 Minutes to Calm which gives you permission to take 15 minutes out of your busy day to find a bit of calm through yoga, meditation, journaling and creating.
I got to work on a couple of great commissions and collaborations. I was commissioned by Woman Magazine to paint a landscape of my choice. I chose Lake Taupō which has been our family summer spot for years. The piece was featured in their magazine and auctioned off to support Paint NZ Beautiful.
I was asked to take part in the opening exhibition at the new Eye’s on Fire gallery created by FLOX. 25 artist friends created 25 unique pieces of art, each on a 50x50 board. I took Arlo along to the opening and it was a great show! I can’t even remember the last time I went to an in-person art event. I got to reconnect with a bunch of old faces, and connect in person with a bunch of people I’ve only ever connected with over Instagram.
I also got to create two custom boards for Paper Rain. These are my favourite pieces I have created all year, and one is on its way to its new home in Germany.
I also started working with a great VA, Kayla, without whom a lot of marketing/emailing/admin etc just would not have happened. She has kept things ticking along in the background this year.
I continued working with my business coach Natalie Tolhopf. Business coaching and mentorship has been huge for me in my business. Having someone to talk through your business vision, having someone there for accountability, cheering you on when you hit your goals. It has made solo business life a lot less lonely.
I got to attend a women in business retreat which was so inspiring. Connecting with other creative business women who understand the ups and downs of business and the juggle of balancing your passion with family life has also been really important.
I also taught mentoring workshops for creatives as I aim to keep educating women on building sustainable creative businesses that can accommodate their creativity and their families.
And lastly, probably my biggest win, I made it through another year of single mum life. Doing covid isolation solo with a 3 year old, while launching a podcast, was one of the hardest things I have done. Juggling the huge amount of sickness plus all the demands of motherhood and running a home mostly by myself has been exhausting. But we did it! And now we get to have a great summer break.
One of my favourite quotes I heard this year was in Episode #18 of the podcast with Katie Rickson.
“One step forward, two steps back, it’s not a mistake, it’s the cha cha!”
With that in mind, let’s cha cha into 2023.
Have a fabulous holiday, look after yourself
Until next year!