What 2019 has allowed me to accomplish:
- I started this blog!
- I donated five gift baskets to local fundraiser events.
- I hosted more live sales than ever.
- We added numerous kits to our online shop.
- My team and I started a weekly newsletter.
- I was able to raise around $600 for Joey's Paw from auctioning off my own personal household items!
- My team switched us over from Etsy to Shopify and we re-vamped the entire online store.
- We added new workshop options like chunky blankets.
- I learned how to use two new scheduling apps for Pinterest and Instagram.
- I attended my first mastermind in Kansas City.
- We grew our email list.
- My Facebook page grew to almost 20,000 (the year isn't over yet so it's still possible to hit that number).
- Instagram is growing - very slowly - but it is still growing!
- I learned much more about creating graphics and Pinterest pins.
- We grew our Boxed Up subscription membership.
- I met some incredible people.
But don't get me wrong...
While growing a business has been good, it's also caused me to become less present. They say it's quality over quantity. Not feeling present is just not acceptable. The very reason I started this business was so that I could be home with my children. And, while it has allowed me that priviledge, I never intended to be "home" but buried in work projects or the computer or my phone.
Did you know that every photo in these blog posts is supposed to have a description called "alt text" attached to it so that google knows what that picture represents? I only learned that about 2 months ago. The fact is, I'm still pretty clueless on this whole blogging thing. It's easy to come up with my thoughts. But all of the other stuff like SEO and internal links and external links and hyperlinks and focus keyphrases and such makes my head spin.
All of the writing isn't really worth it if no one is actually being reached by what I'm writing.
So, this week, in the spirit of simplifying...
This blog post will be free of photos! Don't worry - I'll be back to adding photos next week, but being that this is my week to sort of kick back and let a few things go... I've decided to let the photos go for just this week.
Busy is not a brag word!
I have come to dispise the word "busy." Busy is not an adjective with which I long to be described. Busy isn't something to brag about. Efficiency is the key to sticking with my resolution or goal of simplification. I want to be efficient. We all know there are only so many hours but I still want to offer all of the "things" that pop up into my mind. My focus has become less on taking care of myself this past year and more on trying to bring light all of the ideas we have in our heads - and by "we" I mean my assistants and me - as well as all of the cute ideas some of you send me!
But here's the thing...
- I'm not working out like I used to.
- I'm not planning meals like I used to (although I'm at least purchasing food more efficiently - see below for more on that).
- I'm not sleeping long enough.
- I'm forgetting things.
- I'm doing important things for our personal life at the last minute or forgetting to do them all together.
- I'm working late into the night.
- I'm not eating well like I used to.
- And, though you won't believe me because that's the MAGIC OF PHOTOS, my house has become a hot mess!
Where it all started...
You see, the "Home Matters" that formed the foundation for this business were centered around things like organization! Do you know that I went for two months not knowing where our school taxes bill went and had to call the tax collector just to ask her what we owed? And then I called her back when I got a receipt in the mail that, at first glance, appeared to be saying I never paid (when really it was the receipt PROVING that I paid)? I mean that's nothing to write home about, folks. I've got to get it together! How about the fact that I purchased ornaments for our three kids like I do every year and TO THIS DAY I still have not found what I did with them. And now Christmas has passed with no new ornaments. Oh, and one of the gifts I ordered my daughter is also missing... and it's possible they may have gone in our donation pile. THAT'S HOW BAD IT'S GOTTEN.
Where it's got to go...
It has to change! My husband has really stepped up over the last year to help with many of the household chores that fell on my shoulders - the laundry, the dishes, dinners and a lot more around the house. He's always been great with helping with the nightly running. My mom steps in when we need an extra set of hands with the kids and she really rallied for us before the holidays by coming to work as well. Darcey and Roxanne, my two assistants, are helping me keep my head above water. Without them, Boxed Up would never have come to fruition, nor would the addition of all of our kits. A frazzled mess is what I'd be before each workshop. It would be no way to run a business if I was balled up in a corner sucking my thumb (surely what might happen without Darcey and Roxanne).
The fact is, busy does not necessarily mean successful. So, with 2020 just hours away, I'm searching to find ways to simplify...to work smarter and not harder...to walk upstairs at the end of the work day and leave it all downstairs. But when I leave it downstairs, that also means not leaving the mess for my kids who also live in part of the space where I work. Is it realistic to think that I can walk away and not be tempted to work? Probably not, but I owe this to myself because the ideas for projects and workshops and are not slowing down. And, with growth, there does come sacrifices - sure, I can't be there for everything all the time. But I'm not willing to continue to sacrifice precious face to face minutes with my family because I'm "busy" working on my phone or computer just to try to keep up.
One thing I've done to help simplify life is this:
One of the things I have started doing this year, which I sometimes feel embarassed to admit, is grocery delivery. I started using Instacart and it has been a GAME CHANGER. Yes, there is a fee. Yes, the prices are slightly higher than in the store. And, of course, you also have to factor in a tip. But all these things considered, the time (and gas) I am saving by not driving 25 minutes to Costco coupled with the fact that I'm not buying items I didn't know I needed until I set foot in that store means it's a win. In addition, because it's time I'm not taking away from work or family... it's actually WIN WIN for me.
Instacart is sort of like Amazon Prime in that, if you pay a yearly fee, you get free delivery for orders over $35. Aldi and Costco are my main go-to's. It's super easy to do and - while it may not logical for everyone - it has certainly allowed me to use that time more wisely.
Try it, you may like it, too!
If you'd like to try out Instacart, they even give you a credit when someone uses your code! Simply click here if you'd like to try out Instacart! Just put in your zip code and it will tell you what stores deliver to your area. Order from one store and then go to the drop down menu and order what you'd like from the next store, and pay for it all at one time when you're done. You choose your window of delivery time and, so far, everyone who has delivered to us has been so stinking nice!
Other things I'm focusing on for 2020 are ways to simplify things for YOU, the customer as well. I want to make it easier for you to register for workshops, navigate our online shop, book a private party and more. My team and I want to make it easier for us as well which may mean narrowing things down and having fewer choices in one area in order for us to be able to give you lots more choices in other areas. Every day we're learning. But we want to get better, too... always.
I've started a list of about 45 areas of our home that can use re-organized. The list is broken down into things that can be crossed off as I have some time. It may be one drawer or one cabinet or one side of the closet but I made sure to keep many of them doable in about 15 minutes or less. That will be another post coming soon.
What are your goals for 2020? Or do you make resolutions?