Hello and welcome back to the Wonder Creative Blog! You can find this full conversation over at the Wonder Creative Podcast (listen on the player above or anywhere you listen to podcasts).
Get ready for my 2022 Honest Year in Review. And man, what a year it was! This is gonna get raw and real. But hang in there with me and we will find hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s dive in, shall we?
I think we can all agree that 2020 was A LOT. That year left me striving and overwhelmed in 2021. So, at the end of December 2021, I made the decision to quit a part-time retainer job I had going in the background along with all the client work I was going with Wonder Creative. It was just too much. I knew I couldn’t keep doing what I was doing, mainly because I was extremely depressed. Looking back, it was a hasty decision to leave, but I was just trying to find relief.
So that brings us to January.
January, I hit the ground running with a glimmer of hope in my heart. I was still crawling my way out of a deep depression but I knew there was light ahead. I had a lot of plans for what I felt like the year could be. Wonder Creative was now FULL-TIME again. I was finishing a program called Design Biz Mastery, led by Morgan Rap. She’s an amazing business coach and designer and I gained so much vision for my business during this program (pro tip: she’s retiring the program so if you want to get in for the last time — join now!).
I was now also leading a team. I hired an assistant + dear friend back in 2021 who was helping me. I also had a friend helping me with brand assets and logos. It was great, but I was very new at leading a team, and I was still trying to figure everything out. Leading a team is just a whole big thing. We started the year off with a solid team meeting, we had so much vision, and thennnnnnn things just kind of…dropped off.
February was my 30th birthday. It was so sweet and I had so many deep realizations. 30 is a big year. By this time in life, you’ve learned a lot about yourself and you start coming into this place where you feel you can just be authentic with no fear. I finally felt comfortable in my own skin and like I could start to express my authentic self. I did a full wardrobe purge, getting rid of all the things that didn’t feel like me. I went shopping for new pieces that align with my true self. I felt like that was an important step for me. Anything that didn’t feel like me wasn’t worth keeping. Whether that was clothes or something else.
I launched One Day Wonder, which sold out in one night. I was honestly terrified because I wasn’t sure if I could deliver, but I felt like it was the right thing to do and so I did it. I don’t recommend launching a service that you don’t know if you can actually deliver, but It all turned out okay for me! 😅 It was a service people seemed to need and I’m so grateful I could serve them in that way.
February ended up being a very big identifying month for me.
In March, Wonder Creative turned 3 years old! That was a big deal for us and I felt the momentum. I spent the month working my butt off and catching up on projects from 2021 (I had fallen behind on quite a few projects due to depression and juggling too many things at once) + wrapping up One Day Wonders.
In April, I started to feel the pressure. We did not have a lot of money coming in, and it just felt like everyone was having a hard time. Talks of a recession and all of these things were getting to people’s heads. It felt like people were asking, “Has anybody made any sales? Is anybody investing right now?” I put all this faith at the beginning of the year into booking clients and having all this business on my own. But, I was feeling the pressure, and I didn’t want to compromise the dream of Wonder Creative just to make money. While yes, I started this business to support my family, myself, and to serve other people, but I also have a bigger vision for this. And I will not compromise it just to make money. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I had to get creative and essentially humble myself to see things from a different perspective.
Was I really in a place of having more freedom or had I just created my own cage?
May…it was a bad month. This was where I hit my breaking point. There was a local prospective client that I really wanted to work with. Our call was incredible and I loved their vision. After going back and forth for a while, they ended up completely ghosting me. This was a shot to the heart because I had put a lot of work into crafting a project proposal that would serve them well. And listen, I TOTALLY understand when things don’t work out. It happens and by no means is there any pressure in this process. HOWEVER…communicate. Don’t ghost people. It’s just unprofessional and really frustrating.
For whatever reason, this triggered grief in my heart and I just felt like the biggest failure. I contemplated finding a job because I just didn’t know if I could keep doing business like this. I felt completely burnt out.
June was a humbling month for me. I reached out to my previous part-time retainer job (yes, the one I quit) after a few months of trying to do things on my own. I started doing some projects for them and it honestly felt right. Lesson learned: NEVER BURN A BRIDGE. I wasn’t giving up, but I needed support in my business. I needed fuel in the tank. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep going the way I was, so I decided to let the Wonder Creative seed grow to the point where it would actually produce fruit. This was so freeing!
In July, I started feeling fulfilled in my work, and the pressure was being lifted. I prioritized my mental, emotional, and physical health. I worked on my brand strategy and client portal, and it made me feel more validated and comforted as a business owner.
In August, I finished my client portal…and I got bangs. And that’s pretty much it. 😆
September was even bigger as I had my brand photo shoot. I put a lot of work into it as I wanted to use this as an opportunity to usher in a new era for Wonder Creative. My friend Christina Moon from Luna Legacies Photography did the shoot, and it turned out AMAZING! Colorful, bright, and joyful just as I wanted.
I also booked my first-ever brand strategy-only client. Now I offer it as a service on my website!
In October, my favorite time of year, we went on our family vacation to the beach which is something we look forward to every year. After going through some tough times, it was nice to sit on the beach and let the sound of the waves wash over my tired soul. However, October was such a busy month with a lot of personal things going on. We traveled four times, which is unusual for us since we are homebodies!
November was a fun month where I dove headfirst into the holidays, wanting to enjoy them after feeling depressed during the previous year. We spent Thanksgiving in the Georgia Mountains with my husband’s family and had an awesome 4th birthday party for my son. We attended every Christmas event in our town and just focused on family.
In December, I got to see Anastasia on Broadway, which was a lifelong dream since I grew up loving the movie. I’ve always related to Anastasia’s personality and loved how she overcame obstacles to find home and family while being powerful and sassy (kind of like me 🙃). She’s better than ANY Disney princess, in my humble opinion.
I took it easy in December. I wasn’t looking to grow Wonder Creative because I knew that some really good things were coming in 2023. I knew that I was going to launch the podcast (and blog!), so I started buying equipment. It felt so liberating to dream and not be afraid.
I had a wonderful Christmas, but then when I got home, I had to face some really painful personal things, which sent me into another bit of grief. I sat down on my computer one night and found myself creating my new website. The whole process felt very sacred, and I felt God really close to me. He was near even in my brokenheartedness, and we created something together, which is one of my favorite things ever. It was effortless and brought joy through a painful time.
So now that we’ve hashed that out, I would say the major takeaway from all of this is to trust the process and steward every step in the journey. My little yeses throughout the year added up for me. Even though I’m not ultimately where I want to be yet, I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing for where I’m at in life right now.
There are highs and lows in business and in life, but in the midst of it all, stay centered on your why and the foundation of who you are + your business. Those things will center you in times of shaking, which is another reason why I go through all of this with my clients before we even design one thing. Not only is it important to develop a solid brand foundation for the success of your business, but also for YOU. You will need it when times get tough. ❤️
I hope this encourages fellow business owners out there! Growth is not linear. I’m proud of you for every “yes” you have given up to this point. Keep going. I’m cheering you on!