My Business Successes & Struggles of 2018

business success and struggles 2018

Oh hi, hello!

I have been absolutely ~hopeless~ at keeping my blog updated lately, but instead of stressing out about it and creating shit content to keep to a schedule, I decided to wait until inspiration struck me…and here we are!

The end of the year is rapidly approaching, so naturally, it’s time to get all reflective about 2018. The idea for this blog post actually came to me after seeing several posts on Instagram from fellow business owners talking about how great their year had been and how well they were doing. This is, of course, awesome but it’s also a stark reminder to me that 2018 actually hasn’t exactly seen my business grow the way I have wanted it to.

But that’s OK. That’s the reality of being a business owner. There are lows as well as highs – and we don’t always get a glimpse into the lows and so sometimes it feels as if you’re the only one struggling. So this blog post serves as a reminder of both the successes and the struggles I, and my business have faced in 2018.

The Successes

I now have less guilt over my work/life balance

When I first started freelancing full time in 2017, I was really struggling to have a healthy work/life balance. I felt I had to be working the usual 9-5 in order to assure myself that I was literally doing all I can to make my business work. I used to feel intense guilt if I had a lie in, or if I went out and ran some errands during the day.

But now? Now I can remind myself that part of the reason I started working for myself was to take control of that work/life balance and make it work for me. Now I can schedule my time in a way that gives me breathing room to take time off when I need it.

I’ve started listening more to what my body needs, so sometimes I’ll have a lie in, or I may even only work half a day because I’ve achieved all I set to that day in less time than I originally planned. Instead of then finding other stuff to do before “clocking off”, I can then take the rest of the day to do other things that I want to get done…or even just ~relaxing~.

I got an old client back on the books

As much as I love getting new clients, having a client from the past reappear is one of the greatest compliments you can get as a business owner.

One of the very first clients I worked with, years ago when I started freelancing alongside my full-time job, came back to me for a new project and I’ve loved collaborating again.

I’ve started diversifying my marketing

So I need to work more on this in 2019 – but this year I started doing Facebook Lives for the first time. I’m usually pretty comfortable in front of the camera, as I used to do a lot of filming when I worked for a digital marketing agency, but live video is a whole other ballgame.

My first Facebook live sucked. Well, I thought it did, anyway! I rushed through it, felt super uncomfortable and only my Mum and one other person watched! Usually, this would put me off from ever doing a Facebook Live again. I would resign myself to just being crap at live video. But nope, I went back to it and even ran a Facebook Live in a Facebook group for business owners!

It might seem like a small thing – especially for those who are au fait at live video content, but to me, it’s been a pretty big deal that I’ve overcome that fear and can see the improvements each time I record.

The Struggles

Money has been a real issue this year

While I haven’t “run out” of money, the business had a big drop in enquiries at the tail-end of this year. In fact, throughout the year I’ve had several quiet months.

I’ve lost count of the mini-meltdowns I had this year around money – from feeling like I was failing because I wasn’t making any, to stressing about the choice of either paying my tax bill or buying people Christmas presents…which isn’t actually a choice at all! I don’t think HMRC would be too impressed if my excuse for not paying my self-assessment tax was because I wanted to buy my relatives Christmas gifts.

Luckily, it’s all worked out in the end. I’m very lucky to still be making a stable part-time income, without which I really would be in the hole.

In 2019, I’m determined to improve my relationship with money and not align my bank account quite so much with the success of the business.

I was almost conned 

I found out this year I was shortlisted for a business award. I was pretty darn excited, and even more so when the organiser told me over the phone that I had won it. Sadly I couldn’t afford to go to the ceremony, but on reflection, I’m so glad I didn’t. It turns out that I didn’t win, but was, in fact, a runner-up despite being told otherwise.

I’d been hassled on multiple occasions to come to the awards night, and told how “frustrating” it was that I wouldn’t be in attendance to pick up my award. So yeah, it reeked to high heavens of a con so I can hold my head high knowing I didn’t fall for it.

Plus, I’m Employee of the Year every year in my own company anyway so they can shove it.

I moved house

In a personal sense, this is a big win for me this year. In fact, in the future I think it’s going to be a big win for the business too but having moved in November, I have had to start from the ground up with the business again as client projects from where I lived before were tied off, I have been left with little work in the quietest months to date.

On the flipside, where we have moved to has a lot more going on with local networking, coworking spaces and other opportunities that I am fairly confident will hopefully mean big things for the business next year. Fingers crossed!


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