I found this great idea while browsing some old blog posts I had bookmarked. It seemed like a great idea to wrap up the year by examining what things happened. So I modified a few questions, compiled a couple of lists together, brainstormed a bit, and came up with the following list. I'm applying my answers specifically to my business life, but it works with personal life too.
Looking Back at 2015
- If you had to describe your 2015 in 2 words, what would they be?
Frustrating and triumphant. Frustrating because this year has been tough for me personally on many levels, with several illnesses and a car accident. Triumphant because in spite of these setbacks, I've found a way to make things work for me. I'm still in the process of fully recovering from all that life has thrown at me, but I know I will be successful.
- What new thing did you discover about yourself?
That I can run a successful small business! I'm still learning every day, but I am fully capable to taking my management experience and applying it to my own business.
What was the favorite compliment that you received this year?
I've had so many people tell me how much they love my products, but my favorite one actually happened recently. I had put on a dab of my Vanilla Cream body butter before teaching a piano lesson. My student came in the room and told me that I smelled fantastic, and that she wanted to "eat me up...but not in a creepy way or anything."
What future major goal did you lay the foundations for?
I am working on getting my products into more physical stores for wholesaling. I have a couple of lists of stores to reach out to in the next couple months, as well as a completed wholesale line sheet/catalog for their review. It's been a huge process to narrow down my products to the main ones I am willing to create on a larger scale, but fun at the same time.
- Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
I worried a lot that launching my business was a waste of time, that perhaps people were only being nice about enjoying my products. In my head I knew this was a baseless worry, but I couldn't seem to actually convince myself of this. After almost a year of being "officially" in business, this is no longer a worry.
- What experience would you love to do all over again?
Being a part of Bramble Berry's S.O.A.P. Panel. It was so much fun to be in on testing new fragrances, and seeing how each of them worked in soap making. I loved the whole process!
What was the biggest problem you solved?
Storage. I have limited space for my soaping stuff, as do most of us. Really learning how to organize everything so that I can find stuff easily has been a huge undertaking.
- What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
During my testing for the S.O.A.P. Panel, Mystery Fragrance #5 went rogue on me. The soap batter madly accelerated, seized, and then gelled in the mold within 5 minutes flat. It was stressful at the time, but hilarious as well. Now I look back on that and laugh so hard at all the stuff I was thinking while it was happening.
- What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
I bought myself an impulse sealer and heat gun this year, and both have made shrink wrapping my products so much better. I love both of them so much!
- What one thing would you do differently and why?
I have been timid about letting people know about my business. If I could go back, I would be much more forward about telling people that I am selling my products. Sometimes it's hard for me to promote myself to people I know, but it's something I am working on improving.
It's fun to give you a peek inside my personality and life. I'd love for you to share yours with me! Feel free to copy and paste your answers in the comments, or link to a blog post where you explore them.