At the end of 2014, I wrote a retrospective on what made me happy on a day-to-day basis. I love this idea because I truly believe that the things that make you happy each day, in turn, make you happy in life! So I wanted to do it again this year. Here it is our daily happiness for Love Jac & for my personal life…
#1: Artists & Crafts
My professional high of 2015 is easily Artists & Crafts, a curriculum I have developed and art class I teach that exposes children to famous artists and encourages them to create their own masterpieces. At the beginning of the year there was a very good chance that this class could have ended because the facility and our original partner closed down her shop. I was determined to not let this class fade away. I am so happy to say not only did Artists & Crafts live, but it has also grown into something even bigger. Being responsible for all aspects of running this class gave me the perfect excuse to take everything to the next level. We changed our name, created a logo, and defined our philosophy. I love the business side of this class, but I absolutely love teaching it. I love watching the children learn, participate, and create. I love getting to know them, as well as their caregivers. I love watching everyone in class become friends. I love being a bigger part of the community and running into our families in the neighborhood. It fills me with such joy. The fact that an idea I was passionate about a couple of years ago has grown into such a wonderful institution fills my heart with happiness. I am on the biggest high of my week every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.
#2: Online Webinars
If 2014 was the year of the podcast, then 2015 was the year of the online webinar. I took two extremely beneficial webinars, Trade Show Boot Camp (TSBC) and Life With Intention Online (LWIO), that have transformed Love Jac.
In March during TSBC, Katie and her wonderful panel of experts reinforced much of what I knew and shined some light on many industry secrets I hadn’t learned yet. This community of professionals has given me a realistic look at what Love Jac can become and what we want it to ultimately be. My greatest takeaway from this course was the term “multiple revenue streams” and the examples of how it is the key to so many successful entrepreneurs!!
In October I participated in Jess Lively’s LWIO. If you would like the full review, I raved about how much I love this workshop here. But I want to point out that it has shifted the way I look at my business. It has helped me evaluate how I am focusing my time and set up a new plan for the future. As a solo-preneur having both of these peer groups as part of my community now is extremely helpful. And since I mentioned “multiple revenue streams” I want to share two of Jess’ incredible podcast episodes about this concept – here and here. These episodes have given me great ideas for the future of Love Jac.
#3: Customer Interaction
We have always loved our customers, but this year it has been extra meaningful. We love talking and catching up with them at craft fairs. We love handwriting notes in their online orders. And we love hearing their reviews when we run into them on the street. Our feature in Rachael Ray’s Every Day magazine increased our customers nationwide. Chatting with wonderful people in Oklahoma that connect with the same things we do is why we have this business. We have been brainstorming new fun ways to interact and connect with you guys even more in 2016.
#1: My Values Based Intentions
Okay, by now I kinda feel like a broken record. I’ve mentioned it multiple times here on the blog and, if we’ve hung out between October and now, I have probably told you about how my outlook on life has changed since I took Jess Lively’s Life With Intention Online workshop. But, honestly, it is my biggest takeaway of 2015 in all aspects of life… from my livable, comfortable, put-together home and wardrobe to being aware & smart and making it a requirement to find time to indulge & recharge! Overall I am less stressed. I’d even say all the “unnecessary stress” has disappeared. Plus, Chad has even said he notices a difference! I often find myself going back to my values when I need to reset or look at life on a bigger picture.
#2: Tuesdays/ Thursdays
I knew this would be a game changer but, man-oh-man, having two days of uninterrupted time to work is bliss!! Sometimes I almost feel guilty. I have been able to think more clearly, get more accomplished, and, in turn, enjoy my family even more!!! In September our daughter started going to school five days a week and our son started going twice a week. To go from the past four and a half years of being responsible for another person 24/7 to having 11 hours a week where the only person I have to answer to is myself is life changing. I feel like I’ve been a sprinter running with weights on for years and they’ve just been removed! Don’t blink because I might fly by! As with most situations, I always think I’ll be able to get things done so much quicker or get more accomplished in a certain period of time. I kept saying to Chad “In September I’m going to…” and “In September I’ll have time for…” And while I have only checked off three items from my “In September”, they are the most important items. And they are done! That feels so good. In some ways this life I’m living now is what I expected motherhood to be like. I’m organized. I have systems in place and I am enjoying my kids. Before having this time I was totally happy, but I was hustling a lot more and felt like I was always trying to catch up. Plus, now our cabinets are organized!
#3: Real Life Interactions
It’s almost silly that this is on the list. Real life interactions? You mean actually connecting with people and having a conversation! This item is very similar to last year’s “Meet Ups” but this time in my personal life. For a while there I found myself getting caught up in Instragam and the people who seemed to be in my phone. I think that when you are a stay-at-home mom and run your own business you have less interaction and find comfort in those connections you have made online. I still enjoy those connections – especially the ones with people I actually know – but this year I made an effort to get together with my girlfriends as often as possible. We went on weekend trips, we spend a week in Cape Cod, we spent as many days as we could with my best friend and her daughter in New Jersey, we planned date nights with other couple friends, and we became even closer with our “mommy” friends. Those times when I almost forget to take a photo because we are having so much fun are some my favorites!! Don’t worry – most of the time I did remember to snap at least one photo!!
Bonus #4: New Contact Solution!
I have to include this just as on overall daily high!! This summer after the eye doctor’s recommendation I started using new contact solution. This is the kind that really shocks the contacts and removes all bacteria! When I first started wearing contacts in middle school this was all that you could buy. Before I made the switch back, my eyes would begin to fail me and around 8 p.m. things would always get blurry. I even contemplated getting lasik eye surgery. However, after switching my solution and making sure I change my monthly contacts every month (I added a reminder in my calendar), my eyes feel so much better!!
That wraps my top contributors to my daily happiness professionally and personally. I find it interesting to look back and compare 2014 and 2015. In a way, life has built upon the foundation of 2014 and become even better in 2015. I hope this trend continues as I “settle-in” to this awesome life we have! January is almost over and I’m ready to really dig my heels into 2016!! We hope you are as well.