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2019 A Year in Review

 In Behind the Scenes, Branding Basics, Change Makers, Content Creators Academy, Entrepreneurship, Mindset Mastery, Personal Branding, The Blog

The end of the year is always a good time to take a moment and do some reflecting.  I like to use this time to see how far I’ve come and take notice of how I’ve evolved both personally and professionally.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like 2019 flew by!

Like most entrepreneurs, this year was filled with a lot of ups and downs.  There were some very exciting up’s and the downs, well you know, they pretty much sucked.

But I’m not the type to dwell on the negatives.  I believe there’s always something to learn from adversity.

Today I’m recapping the highlights and sharing all the lessons and insights (both good and bad) that I learned along the way.

To keep it simple, I’m giving it to you in three’s.

  1. Three things that were awesome.
  2. Three things that totally rocked my world.
  3. Three things that I will be doing differently and why.

Three things that were awesome

Ok, so let’s start with the good stuff.  Here are the top three awesome things that happened to me this year.

Awesome thing #1:  I scaled my business

This was a huge accomplishment for me and something that evolved pretty organically.

I added new services like Brand Development + Design + Strategy.  Creating this all-in-one package helped me streamline my offerings and add more value. With the help of my partners and colleagues I am now a one stop shop for all things branding.

I also added product to my business.  The Copy to Convert Masterclass launched last Fall and I am so proud of it.  The work that goes into creating and launching an online course is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  I’m not going to lie – it was really hard.  But I learned so much.  And the content is pretty awesome, too!  Enrollment for this online course will re-open early next year.  Stay tuned!

Finally, I opened up the RSDS Shop where I’m selling digital products to make entrepreneurial life so much easier!  I’m pretty much addicted to creating tools for entrepreneurs who need a hand, but don’t have a lot of time or resources to do it themselves.  Keep your eye out for more amazing products to come in 2020.

Awesome thing #2:  I increased my revenue

By about 150%.  I’m in my third year and I’m so proud to be making a healthy profit year over year.

How did I do it?

  • I committed to growing my email list with a targeted audience.
  • I committed to emailing my list consistently.
  • I committed to consistently offering value to my email list.

Growing and nurturing my email list was a big goal of mine for 2019.  Why?  Because  I believe that email marketing is the fastest way to increasing profits on a low budget, while being totally authentic and helping people improve their lives.  My philosophy:  Show up.  Give.  Make offers.

I wrote an in-depth article about the power of email marketing and how it’s the number one way to drive profits to your business.  If you missed it you can check it out right here.

Try it!  It works.

Awesome thing #3:  I got really healthy

Well, I guess I should say that I’m working on getting really healthy.

Here’s the thing, once I started my business I ended up on a hamster wheel of start-up overwhelm and it created some negative habits, behaviors and drama in my life.  Three things that are completely unhealthy and now unwelcome.

When I say healthy, I’m not just talking about my physical health, but my mental health, too.

One of my personal goals for 2019 was to put self-care on the top of my todo list.  But this was going to be a lot of work since I had some pretty bad habits that needed to be broken.

Here’s how I did it –

  • I got mindful about my mindset.  As you know, mindset is everything.  And it is hard to shift old stories and patterns that have been engrained into our subconscious for years.  Meditating 3 – 5 times a week has now become a non-negotiable.  Getting quiet in my mind has become a sanctuary for inspired action.
  • I started running regularly and began working with a personal trainer to help me get strong and heal my back.  If you are on a budget and are ready to commit to being healthier, stronger and more energetic then you must check out the Prana 365 12 Week Strategic Fitness System.  It’s a high touch training app that seriously changed my life!
  • I made significant changes to my diet.  Truthfully, I’m not into dieting, like at all.  But I knew something needed to change.  I was in a constant brain fog, I always felt tired and ready for a nap and I was always feeling really bloated.  All I did was eliminate a lot of gluten from my diet and I’m not kidding, I’m a completely changed person.  I have energy!!!  Hallelujah!  I don’t totally restrict myself from gluten, but I make a point to try not to eat it very often.  Here’s a cookbook that I am obsessed with, it’s called Simply Real Eating:  Everyday recipes and rituals for a healthy life made simple, by Sarah Adler.  I’ve made most of the recipes in this cookbook and not only are they delicious, but I’ve saved so much money and time because the recipes are simple with ingredients that are mostly found in the produce section of the grocery store.  I love it and my boys love it, too!

Three things that rocked my world

While there was a lot of good that happened this year, I also experienced some tough times.  Here are the top three things that really shook me up and what I learned from the experiences.

Earth shattering thing #1:  I was blind-sided by heartbreak

In early 2019 I got pregnant.  It wasn’t planned.

10 weeks later I lost the baby through a miscarriage.

I had to learn how to keep going during my grief.  But I found a way.  Even though it was hard, there were a lot of beautiful lessons that I learned from this experience.  One of them was not be afraid to talk about the hard stuff because other people might be going through something similar and may need support.   These kinds of heartaches are what make us human.

In May 2019 I wrote an article about it called How to Survive a Setback.  It’s the complete raw story of my miscarriage experience and how I got through it.

Earth shattering thing #2:  I had a ‘for real’ anxiety attack 

I’m sure you’ve experienced some type of anxiety in your life, but this anxiety attack nearly killed me.

It pretty much came out of nowhere.  One day I woke up and I couldn’t breathe, I felt paralyzed, and my heart was constantly racing.  I was in a state of panic that I couldn’t escape.  This feeling lasted for a couple of weeks.  And I knew I was slowly dying.

Stress is the number one silent killer.

If I didn’t figure it out I was probably going to have a heart attack.

Through meditation and prayer I was able to work through it.  But I really hope that it never happens to me again.

What I learned is that there’s nothing more important than our health and wellbeing.

People, we need to take care of ourselves.  Period.

Earth shattering thing #3:  My back failed me (or I failed my back)

So, I had a big baby.  Seriously.  He was 9lbs 6oz.  I loved having a chunky monkey for a baby, but carrying him in my belly for 9 months (plus he was 10 days late!), birthing him and caring for him has done some major damage to my back.

Because of this, my back is extra vulnerable.  And sometimes I push on, doing things I shouldn’t be doing, like sitting at my desk without taking breaks  – even when my back is screaming at me.

Guess what happens when you don’t listen to your body, your body stops working for you.

So one day my back stopped working for me.  I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t bend over, I couldn’t get up from the damn toilet!

That makes entrepreneurship, mothering, and wife-ing pretty much impossible.

The lesson?  Take care of your body.  Listen to your body.  Love your body.  We can’t live without it.

Side note: To help with my back pain and strain I’ve been using an amazing tool called the Incliner by InclineRX.  It’s modern furniture designed to easily integrate wellness into daily life.  I love it because it’s an artfully designed piece of furniture that makes you feel good in every way.  It has the power to make you feel restored both mentally and physically.  I believe everyone could use one of these.  Check it out!

Three things I will be doing differently and why

With so much that happened over the past year there were a lot of lessons to be learned.  Here are the top three things that I plan to do differently in the coming years and why.

Course Correction #1:  Become way more chilled out

After about 18 total years in Corporate and three years as a startup – I’ve invited way too much stress, drama and sickness into my life.  And guess what I’ve learned, it’s not worth it.  In no way has feeling bad ever served me.

I’ve decided to make my own rules for creating success, freedom and abundance in my life.

In this new decade I’m going to create and curate a life on my terms.

What does that mean exactly?

It means believing in myself and in a benevolent Universe.  It means embracing and loving myself whole-heartedly even though I’m not perfect.  It means looking at every failure as an opportunity.  It means never giving up…no matter what anyone else says.  It means going for it even if I’m not ready.  And it means creating a life where I can serve my highest purpose.

Bottom line – life’s too short not to.

Course Correction #2:  Become more authentic

This is something that I love to help other people do, but man, I have a hard time doing it myself.

The digital age has really messed with my head.  I’m not even sure what’s real anymore.  And believe me, I’ve spent a lot of my time trying to keep up – only to fail miserably.

So, I’m about to make some pretty radical shifts that go against everything that I’m “supposed” to do and only do what feels right to me.

What does that mean exactly?

It means following the path of least resistance.  It means not doing what doesn’t come easy.  It means saying no more often.  It means sharing my story – even when it’s not that pretty or perfect.  It means getting real, honest, and raw.  And it means showing up and fighting for what I believe in.

Bottom line – life’s too short not to.

Course Correction #3:  Focus on my strengths and not my weaknesses

Duh.  Right?  But as someone who is constantly trying to improve myself I can’t deny that this will be a welcome shift.

It’s hard work to try and do it all.  “All” meaning things that feel like a struggle, things that don’t come naturally, things that are stressful and no fun at all.

For me, that would be things like bookkeeping, anything tech related, anything that has to do with an excel spreadsheet, social media.

I’m excited to eliminate, automate or delegate those things (to people who love it), so I can focus on fostering the things that I’m not only good at, but that bring me pleasure.

Bottom line – time is a precious commodity.  Spend it wisely.

In a nutshell

2019 was a great year.  Yes, there were some hard times, but I don’t regret any of it.  If anything, I’m excited to take everything that I’ve learned and make the next decade even better!

If you’re inspired, feel free to try this exercise on your own.   You might be surprised at what you’ll uncover (how resilient and incredible you really are).

Merry Happy Everything!

xo,

Ruby

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