I feel like I say this every year, but HOLY SHIT, I CANNOT believe 2018 is over.
While a LOT of great things happened this year, honestly, my main feeling about 2018 ending is:
Good riddance, bitch!
Over the course of the past year, I:
Went through a mental breakdown and the worst depressive episode of my entire life.
My theory is that this happened because of a combination of lots of things. My step-dad’s unexpected death in summer 2017, the fact that I’d been overworking myself for far too long, etc.
At one point, I was having daily anxiety attacks – sometimes more than once a day. It was miserable, and the scariest panic attack I ever had was one where I literally thought I was going crazy.
I wouldn’t wish that on ANYONE.
And a low dose of Zoloft.
I’m feeling much, much better now.
Got skin cancer for the second time and had lots of biopsies.
The uncertainty, the worry that it’s going to come back, my perception of my own invincibility being shattered (because I think every healthy person in their 20s thinks “cancer is something that happens to other people” until it happens to us).
It was scary.
My #1 feeling about this experience is gratitude.
I mean shit – if I’m gonna get melanoma TWICE (once in 2015 and once in October of this year), THANK GOD both of them were caught at stage one!
It was terrifying, but it could have been SO much worse and… idk. I’m just grateful.
(Side note GET YOUR SKIN CHECKED! It could save your life like it saved mine.)
Worried about my business because I wasn’t mentally able to work nearly as hard as I have in the past.
When I was at my lowest point mentally and didn’t even want to get out of bed, I remember thinking:
“I just have to make myself get up and work. I can’t lose everything I’ve worked so hard for. I can’t.”
Slowing down work-wise made me panic…. even though I was actually doing fine financially!
I guess I just wasn’t used to slowing down!
But the truth is, my business can run and make revenue without me needing to show up every day. I had to make a mental shift and realize that I don’t NEED to work as long of hours anymore.
This is another thing I’m hugely grateful for, because it has allowed me to really focus on healing and improving my mental health – something I’ve needed to do pretty much my entire life but never prioritized.
To be clear:
I’m sharing this stuff with you NOT to complain – but because I want you to know that entrepreneurship and the life of an entrepreneur in general isn’t all ~*rainbows and butterflies*~.
I also want to give you hope if you’re having a shitty time right now.
Even when things got really bad, I got through it, so if you’re struggling with depression or something similar, I’ll tell you something my therapist told me that really helped me:
Everything is temporary.
This seems like a common sense thing, but REALLY think about it, and it’s so comforting.
Everything is temporary.
This panic attack. This depressive episode. This slow month where I’m not making as much money in my business.
It will pass.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a year in my life where I’ve experienced so much personal growth, and, as cheesy as it sounds, worked so much on self-love.
So at the end of the day, I’m grateful for the experiences because they helped me grow like never before.
Nothing like having a mental breakdown to kick your ass into actually taking care of yourself!
Now, let’s shift and talk about the awesome stuff that happened this year.
My business revenue almost doubled, I had a successful launch, and I finally whipped my sales funnel into shape.
All that worry I had about my business?
Yeah. Totally pointless.
(Side note: Crazy how the anticipation of something bad happening is almost always worse than the actual thing, isn’t it? Sometimes the “thing” doesn’t even end up happening!)
As far as my products this year, I re-launched my Killer Cold Emailing course for the first time in a really long time, and it went FAR better than I thought.
Over 100 students enrolled, and it’s been so amazing hearing about their results!
I even published some blog posts where I interviewed students, which was an awesome experience.
You can check ’em out here:
- How One Freelance Writer Made $3,600 in TWO WEEKS!
- How One Freelance Writer Made $1,200 for ONE BLOG POST!
Looking back, I should’ve guessed the launch would go well since my email list has grown so much since the last launch!
Aside from my launch, the other big thing I’ve worked on a lot in 2018 is my sales funnel.
Right now, I’m pretty happy with where it’s at, but I have more ideas for my main funnel for 2019 and I’m excited to see how that goes once I implement it!
It’s awesome to be able to have a positive impact on others via online courses while also being able to support myself with some semi-passive income every month.
And I know that people say money can’t solve your problems, but I think money can absolutely solve a lot of problems.
(While I understand the intention/message behind “money can’t solve your problems,” I still think it is a pretty damn privileged way of thinking… but that’s a rant for another day lol.)
The money I made this year allowed me to pay off unexpected medical bills for myself and my dog (who had an unexpected trip to the ER) in cash, take time off when I was too depressed or anxious to get out of bed, and pay off a bunch of my student loans (ya girl is trying to get #DebtFreeIn2019).
….Those are some pretty big fucking problems to solve, if you ask me.
I was also able to take a couple of trips, which is something I have been wanting to do for FOREVER!
I went to New York City with my brother:
And not long after, my husband and I want to Portland/the Oregon coast:
Overall, two awesome trips and some of the best life experiences I’ve had.
None of this would’ve been possible if I hadn’t taken the leap and started a writing business years ago… so I’m really glad I did it, even though it was terrifying at first!
In 2019, I plan to visit Iceland, Disney World, and lots of other places.
I’m even going snowboarding in Colorado next month (follow along with my travels on Instagram)!
Pretty damn excited about that, and I could NOT do any of it without YOUR support and this amazing community, so I hope you know how genuinely grateful I am. <3
As far as how my business grew financially this year…
I made a healthy six figures (in profit!), and I feel so happy that I was able to have a positive impact on others with my business.
I used to have a scarcity mindset and lots of negative beliefs in general surrounding money, which stopped me from really reaching my potential financially.
I’ve had to work on my money mindset a LOT as a business owner.
And let me tell you… this money mindset adjustment has been 100% essential to my business growth.
I’ve also become a more straightforward salesperson.
I’ve always enjoyed sales (at least with selling my own products, where I know with 100% certainty they are valuable and helpful so there are no weird guilty feelings involved), but I’ve really kicked my own ass this year to be even MORE shameless about selling.
When done ethically, selling isn’t something you need to apologize for or feel guilty about!
^^ (Read that twice. Maybe even three times. Let it sink in.)
Remember, when you’re selling something valuable, you are benefiting AND the customer is benefiting.
It’s a win-win!
I worked with a virtual assistant all year.
I should’ve done this WAY SOONER.
My assistant handles the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox and helps admin the Writing Revolters Facebook group, which may not sound like a ton, but it’s actually been SUPER helpful and relieving for me while I focus on the bigger-picture stuff in my biz!
That being said, I still hang out in the Facebook community almost daily (because I love it!) and respond to emails sometimes.
It’s just nice to know that I can be out of the office for a few days when I need to, and that stuff will be taken care of!
If you’ve been thinking about hiring a VA, I want to encourage you to really sit down and figure out what you’d want to outsource and how much ROI outsourcing those tasks could bring you.
You may end up like me and realize that your business revenue and sanity will increase when you get a VA, in which case it’s definitely worth the money!
My community is growing and thriving in a way that I’m SUPER HAPPY about.
I fucking LOVE this community. We are small but mighty!
Seriously – if you’re reading this and if you’ve ever supported me in any way (even just by joining my email list or sharing a blog post I’ve written!), I hope you know that I’m incredibly grateful for that support.
It’s because of YOU that I’ve been able to take time off to heal mentally and get through one of the toughest years of my life. I don’t think words can quite describe how thankful I am for this.
It means EVERYTHING.
I appreciate you so much, and I’m excited to be here with you going into 2019. <3
That’s it for my year in review, but I couldn’t end this blog post without giving you some practical resources to help you grow your business like crazy in 2019!
Here’s what I want you to do TODAY to set yourself up for success in 2019:
Think about what your “big picture” goal is with your business (write it down), break the goal down into small steps, and DECIDE which small step you can take soon.
(Because business success isn’t a giant leap – it’s a series of small steps.)
Give this first small step a deadline, and get to work!
Then, repeat this process with the next small step. And the next one. And the next one. (You get the point.)
Whether your next small step involves picking a niche, setting up a portfolio website, pitching or something else, I’ve got something to help you out:
- FREE MASTERCLASS: How To Make $1,000 Freelance Writing in the Next 45 Days (Even With NO EXPERIENCE!)
- How to Set Up a Freelance Writer Website in 1 Day or Less
- FREE DOMAIN from Bluehost (This is an affiliate link, which means I receive a commission. But it costs you nothing extra to use – just saves you money, and I only promote products I have personally used and enjoyed. I appreciate the support a TON!)
- Divi WordPress Theme Design Tutorial for Your Portfolio Website
- My best-selling course for writers: Killer Cold Emailing
… I’m working on a blog post writing course that will be released in the near future. (The KCE Bundle is also launching briefly in early 2019. So plan for these courses soon if you’re wanting to enroll!!)
It’ll be the first course I’ve ever created focused strictly on writing and not marketing, and I’m really excited because I know lots of you have been asking for help with writing blog posts! So if this is something you’d be interested in, start planning for it and you’ll be notified as long as you’re on my email list (sign up here, and I’ll send you a free case study on how to land writing clients using Twitter!).
STAY TUNED! 🙂
And, totally unrelated, but a little personal update:
I’m working on music consistently for the first time in forever. Just covers for now (hopefully originals in 2019 though!), and it feels really good! I played/sang in a couple bands before I started my business, and I have missed music a TON.
Anyway! That’s it for this blog post.
Thank you SO much for reading!
I appreciate you.
Here’s to a fucking amazing 2019. <3