It was one year ago today that I walked out of my 9-5 job for the last time. I remember walking in the side door of our house, staring at my husband from across the room, and simply saying the words:
"I'm done. I'm finally, finally done."
For the next few weeks, I kind of started to feel a bit of an identity crisis. Nobody "needed" me all the time. My phone wasn't constantly going off with something being wrong or a fire needing to be put out. It was... quiet.
Don't get me wrong, I had some clients lined up for work and I had work to do. But, it didn't feel like work. It felt like a few days off... which was also weird. My days off up until that point included being sick, a toddler being sick, and maybe a few days of vacation, if I was lucky.
So, what's my year been like?! Let's check it out...
- Launched 36 websites for creative + small business owners
- 35 Squarespace and 1 ProPhoto (2 ShowIt 5 in progress!)
- Launched two PDF guides
- Partnered with Kelsey at Honey Side Up Creative
- Check out our branding + website packages here!
- Met Kelsey at Honey Side Up Creative in person
- Check out our feature on The Rising Tide Society!
- Partnered with Alyssa at Alyssa Joy Co.
- Check out the latest brand + website launch with Alyssa!
- Partnered with Megan at Captured Elegance Design
- Partnered with Shannon + Beth at Papermoon Creatives
- Check out the latest brand + website launch with Shannon + Beth!
- Had brand photography completed by Jenn Kathryn
- Check it out all over my Instagram!
- Featured expert on Ladyboss Breakthrough Summit
- HUGE thank you to Sam Bell at Brand IT Girl for this opportunity
- Grew my mailing list from 0 to 700+
- Lots of networking, PDF freebies, and speaking gigs helped this!
- Re-launched the HSHS website
- You're looking at it. ;)
- Changed by client management system to Dubsado
- Hired a virtual accountant for my taxes
- Thanks to Jake at JB Accounting + Tax for curing my fear of taxes
- Tons of new friends, new connections, new resources...
Now, of course, there are no celebrations without a few bummed moments along the way. I definitely had my fair share of, "what if I NEVER book another website contract?!" moments. Also a few situations where I way underpriced my work given the amount of work being put into it. I've had a few people tell me "no" due to hiring another designer, not having enough social media followers for speaking gigs, or not having the "look" they wanted for the opportunity I was after.
That's okay, though. There's one number that I do care about. It's not how many Instagram followers I have, or even my mailing list. It's my referral rate. My referral rate is how many of the websites I launched were as a result of that person being referred to me by another customer. With OVER HALF of the client websites I launched in 2016-2017 being referrals, I couldn't be happier. I truly have the best clients I could ever dream of. Thank you times a million.
I'm excited to think about the opportunities that my second year as a FULL TIME business owner will hold. I already have a few INCREDIBLE projects and opportunities in the works. I'm already working with some pretty amazing clients that will be launching over the next few weeks. I feel like I have a really great support group of women surrounding me, providing me advice, a virtual shoulder to cry on, and laughter each and every day.
More, and most, importantly, though.... I was able to spend one more day per week with my son and have SUCH a better work/life balance with my husband than when I was at my 9-5 gig. My little guy goes to preschool Tuesday through Friday and is home with me on Mondays. My goal when launching Home Sweet Hyatt Studios was that I would be able to walk him to school in Kindergarten and be here with him when he gets home from school. Little did I know that I would be able to go full-time within six months of launching my business - before he even turned 3.
I want year two to bring more excitement, more smiles, more friendships, more balance, more learning, more hugs, and to still stay grounded in it all. At the end of the day, when I can lay my head on my husband's shoulder and hold the hand of my son, life is good. But, getting to wake up and literally live my dream each and every day is pretty damn cool, too. ;)
I'm so ready for year two. Let's do this.