This Was NOT My Favorite Year in Business: Here’s Why I’m Celebrating Anyways

It’s my birthday! 

While I’d love to say this past year in business was a cakewalk, it was anything but.

Today, I’m all about candles and confetti, taking a moment to celebrate and reflect on what has been perhaps my most challenging year in business yet.

Here’s the truth: 

I’m a business coach, but that doesn’t shield me from the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Running a business isn’t just about Instagrammable moments. Sometimes, growth feels more like an uphill hike than a swift elevator ride—step by step, with each level presenting its own challenges.

I used to think that “making it” meant achieving perpetual stability and the “ease” that so many online gurus promise. Although I’ve had years of consistent success, the truth is, there’s always a next level of success. At each stage, I raise the bar a little higher and step into a new phase of my entrepreneurial journey.

This year was a year of serious growth. 

Was it tough? Absolutely. There were times when it felt downright uncomfortable. But was it worth it? In the moment, I had my doubts. But now, looking back from the other side—heck yes.

Despite the wild climb, this year brought significant milestones, major triumphs, and lessons that are too valuable not to share.

So, as I blow out my candles this week surrounded by family and friends, I also want to share this moment with you—my fabulous community of creative entrepreneurs. I’m revealing the highs, the lows, and the gritty lessons learned along the way. Hopefully, by pulling back the curtain on my business over the last 365 days, you can pocket some wisdom for your own path, and together, we can toast the journey ahead.

The Importance of Regular Reflection in Business

While many creative entrepreneurs pause for reflection at New Year’s, business anniversaries, or during annual reviews, being a creative business owner presents a unique and often much more personal opportunity for introspection.

Your Birthday.

For entrepreneurs, your birthday isn’t just about cake and confetti—it’s an opportunity to check in and look back on the last 365 days. It can be a good time to celebrate your wins and, yes, nurse your bruises from the falls. Birthdays offer a chance to measure our progress, dig up hidden lessons along our path, and recalibrate. 

Reflecting on the hits and misses doesn’t just clear the fog, it stokes the fire for the journey ahead, making sure your next steps resonate with your deepest values and visions. 

So, whatever your style—be it a team huddle or a quiet hour with your journal—carve out that time. Make it a business rhythm. Because when we stop to really look back and reflect, that’s when the magic happens.

Personal Growth and Lessons Learned

For me, it’s all too easy to zero in on the hurdles and somehow miss the subtle victories waving their hands for my attention.

This year stretched my capacity, forcing me to lean more on my husband for family support. 

But I still prioritized family time and the big and small moments. 

Sacrificing the idea of “doing it all” while growing my business was challenging, and I won’t lie—I grappled with perfectionist guilt. Despite the challenges, my business has stayed true to my core values, and I’ve pocketed some priceless lessons on work-life balance that I will take forward for years to come. 

Highlights, Milestones & More 

In my business, I take time to acknowledge my birthday (not to be confused with my business anniversary) and use it as an opportunity to reflect both personally and professionally! This annual birthday reflection includes listing all the highlights and milestones. For each one, I acknowledge both the struggles and the sacrifices made—we can embrace both challenge and celebration simultaneously, with no sugarcoating

I’m excited to share these milestones with you and hope it inspires you to catalog the good, the bad, and even the utterly “meh” in your own creative business.

Launched My Course (4+ Years in the Making!)

Finally bringing this dream to life was one of the biggest milestones in my business to date. 

Seriously– this project was monumental!

It took years of sweat, a devoted team, and sheer grit, but the pure joy (and relief tbh) of launching this course justified every bit of the effort. 

Now that it’s available on an evergreen basis (meaning it’s always available), I can impact more creatives without gatekeeping, so creatives can access these resources whenever they need them. 

But I’ll be honest, the road to creating and marketing this beast – I mean coursehas been anything but easy — I hit serious burnout pushing it over the finish line. Only now am I finding my rhythm in consistently supporting and promoting it. 

And I didn’t stop there; I’ve made specific topics more accessible by offering individual modules—and I plan to roll out even more in the future (so stay tuned):

  • Business Building for Creatives. This self-paced business course, designed specifically for creatives by a creative (me!), guides you as you envision, build, and sustain the creative business of your dreams. It offers foundational strategies and practical tools tailored to the creative industry.

  • Client Experience Mini-Course for Creative Entrepreneurs. Enhance client satisfaction and foster lasting relationships with this focused mini-course. Learn how to build memorable and effective client experiences that lead to rave reviews and repeat business.

  • Pricing Mini-Course for Creative Entrepreneurs. Unlock your profit potential with strategies to price your creative services and products effectively. This course provides essential pricing knowledge, helping you maximize profits while maintaining client satisfaction.

And while I don’t advocate burning out in the name of “the ends justify the means,” now that the project is completed, I can look back and feel proud. Plus, seeing my hard work and labor of love making an impact in the world is truly surreal! Watching it transform the work and businesses of creative entrepreneurs makes every challenging step feel worthwhile.

Offering Digital Products

Another major goal was to branch out into digital products, providing support at more accessible price points while keeping the quality high. Marketing these products echoes the challenges faced with my course, albeit on a smaller scale, and I’m steadily finding my footing as I introduce more offerings.

Currently, my digital tools include:

  • Creative Business Templates for ClickUp. Streamline your workflow and ditch the chaos with these ClickUp templates, designed especially for the bustling creative business. They help you stay organized and focused.

  • 2 Pricing Calculators for both Services and Products. These intuitive calculators do the heavy lifting on calculations like hourly rates and provide capacity insights to ensure your pricing hits the mark for competitive and sustainable rates.

I am excited to see how these specific tools can directly address some of the most common and challenging pain points for creative entrepreneurs in a practical and effective way. Getting your backend systems and pricing right can truly transform your business, making these tools indispensable for anyone looking to streamline their operations and optimize their financial strategy.

Booked Out with Coaching and COO Clients

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my clients’ wins in my business highlights! In fact, my favorite part of the work I do as a business coach and outsourced COO is witnessing my clients grow and succeed. Although a few have “graduated” from my coaching, others have taken their place, and I’ve remained fully booked. 

Balancing client work while developing and launching the course stretched my capacity, but it reinforced lessons in managing my workload — a principle I teach and strive to embody. The way I look at it, I’ll be better able to relate to my clients’ challenges and present them with realistic, tested solutions

Always looking for that silver lining! 

Teaching at RISD & Co-Chairing Women in Business

I absolutely adore teaching and helping creatives flourish in their businesses. So, snagging an invite to lead a pricing workshop at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), my old stomping grounds, as part of their Art of Business series? An absolute honor. Reimagining how I teach pricing proved to be a delightful challenge—tough, but oh so gratifying.

I also co-chair their Women in Business group and this year I got to moderate several networking events and panel discussions, not to mention soaking in wisdom from some downright amazing guest speakers. 

Connecting and learning with these powerhouse women was simply unbeatable!

Another Amazing Year with My Team

Celebrating another remarkable year with my team truly underscores how fortunate I am. My VA and copywriter have been with me for years. They’re not just amazing at what they do, but they also really get the vision and values of my business. It’s pretty rare to find people who you connect with on both a personal and professional level. 

I don’t take it for granted for a minute!

We’ve got a solid team and the right systems in place, which makes everything run smoothly, even when my capacity is stretched or things get stressful. Knowing I have a dedicated team behind me takes the pressure off a bit and lets me shift my attention when needed, confident that they’re handling tasks behind the scenes.

Looking Forward to the Next Year

While it wasn’t my favorite year, it was undoubtedly successful – not just by standard metrics, but by my own measures and unique definition of success. 

Despite the stress and long nights burning the midnight oil to bring the vision for this next iteration of my business to life, I learned a lot and grew in new ways, all the while staying true to my core values.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to find a new rhythm and add a bit more stability to the upcoming year, while continuing to serve my clients and creative business community with dedication and passion.

Whether your year in business was filled with triumphs or trials, remember—and I’m reminding myself too—that every season has its purpose. Some seasons are warm and nurturing, others are tough and testing, but each one, like the changing weather, serves a vital role. This past year was my season of hustle: I planted seeds and worked diligently. Now, I’m eagerly anticipating the rewards of that effort.

In the year ahead, I’m looking forward to a season of growth where I can watch my hard work transform into significant gains for myself, my family, my clients, my fellow creatives, and my business.

Here’s to turning the page to a new chapter filled with growth, joy, and thoughtful reflection.


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