Thank you, 2017

Well, my friends, we’ve blinked and it’s 2018!

January brings an opportunity for that fresh feeling, a clean slate, a new opportunity. And while I recommend caution for trying to make too much change all at once, a little dreaming and intention setting is definitely the theme around here.

But while we look forward to an exciting new year, there’s also a year just finished, one in which many people experienced change and uncertainty, but many also experienced success. And because nothing is ever black and white, it’s a chance to notice and celebrate the good, as well as move happily on to new adventures.

So I thought I’d share a bit of what I’m grateful for – business and pleasure – at the end of 2017 / beginning of 2018…

Thank you for a home

In April, we moved into a new home in north Cambridge, having moved to Cambridge in March 2016 and started looking for a permanent home almost straight away. The move came after a long wait, and my goodness I was ready to settle in and never move again!

Our home has already provided a lovely foundation for life and business. I love having a garden to enjoy, and after a couple of reshuffles, I now have a desk in our front room with a log burner. Bliss!

Thank you for two sell-out retreats

Last January (can you believe it!) I ran two retreats within 3 weeks. They were both sell-outs, and one included retreaters coming for their third year in a row. Retreats have always felt like my calling, ever since that first one in 2015, and the feeling was there again in January.

There’s so much magic in uncovering dreams, opening up ideas, and creating friendships and support. It’s a pleasure to behold, and an honour to be part of.

Thank you for a marriage

Oh my goodness, I got married! And what a day it was. Hot. Bright. Completely delightful! I grinned all day, alongside some tears, and got to hang out with my favourite humans. I’m most grateful for my new husband, who I’m more in love with now than ever.

And of course, there was also a honeymoon which feels like a dream when I think about it now. Tropical beaches, long naps, sunshine, sea, delicious food, books. I’m so grateful for that time and the experience of being somewhere completely new.

Thank you for clarity on my business

2017 was a big year, for me and for my clients. Like many years, it threw up unexpected questions and challenges, as well as some truly wonderful moments. I made some changes at Copper Boom Studio to make it more manageable. For about 18 months, I worked two full time jobs, and so it was a relief to adapt and make everything more sustainable.

I also started getting some clarity on working with clients specifically around the challenges of depression and anxiety. I’ve been working with one client on just this for several months, and it’s been amazing! The feedback, the feeling of progress, the clarity and understanding of how mental / emotional health impacts our businesses. I’m gathering so much goodness for more support in this area in 2018.

Thank you for boundaries

I started working with Randi Buckley in 2016, but 2017 was really the year that healthy boundaries kicked in for me. Boundaries with work, life, relationships, myself… It’s been so valuable to map out what’s okay and what’s not okay, and learn more about how to communicate that.

I created Self Care on Social Media for Business Owners off the back of this work, which has been an incredibly enjoyable course to lead. (And will run again in February / March 2018.) I thoroughly recommend Randi’s signature programme, Healthy Boundaries for Kind People.

Thank you for wonderful clients and friends

I love the people I work with, and that makes every challenge, every long day, every effort totally worth it. I’m as grateful as I can be for all of you who have supported me in 2017 and worked with me. To all the one-on-one clients, retreaters, Planning With Purpose group, friends and colleagues – thank you so much!

And you?

What are you grateful for at the end of 2017? Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready to move on swiftly to a calmer, more successful year! And yet taking a moment to notice all the things that went right has been so helpful to my confidence going forward.

What are the things that boosted your confidence?

Where did you find success?

When did you rely on your amazing resilience and creativity?

What really made a difference to you?

Oh, there are so many questions I could ask – and would love to hear the answers to! If you’re so inclined, I’d love to hear your reflections on 2017 so please do get in touch.

You can also get The Year’s End workbook and video package, which is a more comprehensive collection of questions and reflections on the past 12 months, and looking forward.

Here’s to a wonderful, successful, happy, healthy, wealthy, magical year ahead!

Jenny x

Here's the thing: how to stop financial over-worrying

how to stop financial overworryingWorrying about finances – do I have enough? how do I get more? how do I spend less? – is the sort of thing that keeps us awake at 3am, tossing and turning, imagining all the wonderful new ways we’re going to make money to that we can be safe.

In the 21st century, money and having enough taps into our survival instinct as human beings. We know that this is the equivalent of have a safe and secure cave. We use money to buy food and the fundamental things we need to live. So of course, that ultimate survival part of our brain worries about it.

Here’s something I’ve noticed: yes, there’s a need to plan finances and be responsible. But there’s also a need to change the way we view money in our small businesses (so linked to putting bread on the table tomorrow).

When we believe that there fundamentally isn’t enough money for us to have everything we need, and perhaps some things we want, we stress ourselves out and, somehow, make that come true.

We get caught up in doubt about our product or service offering. Perhaps we over-invest in ideas because we need something to work, not realising that we could have just invested fully in one idea that would come through. The worry about having enough means we rush products to market before they’re ready, and then we have a lower return on investment.

Here’s the thing

I wanted to share a few pointers on being happier with your finances. These aren’t the sorts of things your accountant is going to tell you, but they make a big difference to me.

Connect with the reality of your finances regularly – every day if possible. Whether that means looking at your bank balance or your accounting software, or your own spreadsheet, take a moment each day or every other day to get a good realistic look at what you’ve got right now. Having a firm grasp on reality helps us make good decisions.

Change the story you tell yourself about money. Consciously move from ‘Oh help, that’s not enough. I’m not doing very well. I’m going to struggle to get by’ to ‘That’s less than I would like, but it’s plenty to see me through right now. I’ve got plenty of potential, and I’m determined to prioritise the things I really need and want.’ Once you start thinking differently, the worry doesn’t take over as easily.

Make sure that you’re working towards long term abundance. If you know you’re working on projects you’re proud of, are high quality, and have good commercial potential, lower bank balances become bearable. You can start to see them more as blips in the grand scheme of things. You’re investing time and energy wisely, choosing projects carefully, and not just blindly following every single idea or opportunity that comes your way. You’re chipping away at the immense amount of free marketing tools we have these days to promote existing products or services, and you’re building a business slowly (because it is a slow process). This will also help you feel like you’re investing the money you do have wisely.

Feel grateful for the money, work, stuff and opportunities you do have. I honestly believe this works to help you attract more money/work, and to help the gremlins at 3am be quiet. Practice writing down or saying out loud what you’re grateful for. If your home is secure, be grateful for it. If you get some sales, love those customers, and be grateful they’re there. If you have a wardrobe full of clothes you love, be grateful that you can keep wearing them. And be grateful for any windfalls that come your way. Any little ways you find to save money, or a fiver you find in the sofa. Be grateful for the little things when they pop up.

Okay, so it’s not a watertight plan to make you a millionaire by the end of the year. But in this world of freelance work and no steady income, it can certainly help you to find solid ground and feel better about where you are. In my own life and business, I’m incredibly grateful for what I have, and for every single person who decides my work is worth their hard-earned cash.

Happy (and abundant) Friday!

Jx

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