I wish I could say I started 2018 with a loud (and productive) bang.
But the last days of 2017 and the first few days of 2018 brought me doubt, lack of direction and motivation (a deadly combo), and a deep sense of overwhelm.
Looking back on 2017, the strongest emotion I associate with the past year is exhaustion. Like I spent the last 12 months running on a hamster wheel–moving fast but getting nowhere.
This reflection began as a negative spiral, and I started the year in a general state of dissatisfaction. I couldn’t really pinpoint why my fuse had grown so short, but I knew my personal relationships were suffering due to my constant state of feeling like I was moving too slowly.
The business-minded part of me realized this “pity party” was trivial and not helping me achieve my goals, but my emotional compass pushed me into confronting these feelings instead of suppressing them. Although I was annoyed with myself for not moving as quickly as I had hoped, I was also intent on finding a way out of this funk.
Because deep down, I knew my only two choices were to keep moving forward (this time, smarter) or quit.
After spending some time reflecting, I began to understand that I was moving fairly quickly for one person who makes every dress in my collection by hand, but slowly for a multi-person company.
I was comparing the pace of one person (me) to that of a team I don’t actually have.
Every facet of the small business I’m slowly growing lies on my shoulders. While this soothes my inner control freak, the mental exhaustion that results from being a single person company isn’t sustainable.
While I wholly acknowledge how far I’ve come in one year, I also believe that building a business that enriches your life means taking a step back once in awhile and recalibrating.
Having a specific vision of what you want your life to look like requires making decisions that move you towards that, not away from it. And my goal certainly wasn’t a constant state of running on the hamster wheel.
I had to make some changes.
This brings me to my word for 2018: perspective.
I don’t want to lose sight of it, because it causes me to doubt myself and question my direction. The price of not looking at the big picture is just too high.
My goal for 2018 is collaboration.
To hire out the things that aren’t part of my skillsets.
One of the best things about what I do is being able to connect to my audience through social media (mainly Instagram) and my blog.
My other favorite thing is designing and bringing dresses to life.
These things will always be mine. But the bookkeeping and other mundane tasks will no longer weigh me down.
Because the more energy is spread out, the less powerful it is.
So here’s to no longer carrying the burden on my own and opening myself up to what others have to offer. Because when has one person ever been stronger than a team?