As I sit at my computer on my birthday, I thought it would be interesting to start a tradition of writing a blog looking back at my trip around the sun. 2018 was filled with personal challenges, amazing learning opportunities, relationship mending, self-doubt, and renewal.
I spent much of 2018 wondering "who am I?" I had to face some hard facts that decisions I had made YEARS ago were still affecting relationships with my boys in the present. I had always known that the realities of divorce would negatively impact my relationship with them, but for years we had been able to ignore some of the problems that my choices had caused. Thankfully, my boys, their mom, their step-dad, and my wife all supported us working through the issues so that our relationships could flourish going forward. While it hasn't always been easy, I am proud to say that the relationships with Daniel, Josh, and Drew are better than they've been in years because of committing to making them better!
Did I mention that Daniel GRADUATED from High School???? I can't believe that either as I type the words. He has grown into a young man that any dad could be proud of and I definitely am!! He is doing well living on his own as a freshman at Lousiana Tech University and is studying engineering.
The year continued the roller coaster ride of highs and lows not long after this graduation picture was taken when I lost my two largest monthly marketing clients within weeks on each other. I must admit that this was a HUGE blow to my confidence and drive. Both clients were ones that I had poured so much time, effort, and energy into and I wanted to be a part of their successes so badly. One of them was purchased by a larger company and they wanted to utilize the marketing agency that they were familiar with for all of their markets. As a business owner, I totally understood this decision. As a person passionate about results, I wondered if there was anything that I could have done to change their mind. As a husband and Dad trying to support his family, I felt like a failure. Thankfully.........
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." -Sir Winston Churchill
The month following this difficult ride on the coaster for me personally, my lovely wife was experiencing huge business successes. (For those who haven't been following me as long, my wife is a talented floral designer and speaker that I help with weddings and events on the weekends.) She was designing her largest wedding ever with a talented wedding planner she had wanted to work with for years and the client was a former All-American Football player from The University of Alabama. I was so wrapped up in helping her make this wedding a smashing success that I was able to hide the hurt I was experiencing from my own business.
We followed up this dream wedding the following month with another huge wedding with that same wedding planner and amazing team of professionals at The Birmingham Museum of Art. It was a garden paradise fit for a queen with flower draped staircases, custom built backdrops, and a greenery ceiling installation that took two days to install. The CeCe Designs team was functioning at full capacity and it was AWESOME!
The following month the roller coaster returned me to reality. With no huge wedding to distract my attention, I was able to turn my attention to trying to replace the revenue for my marketing business. Unfortunately, finding new clients was more difficult than I thought it would be so sadness and doubt set back in. I am an introvert, so as these feelings come I tend to withdraw and get lost in my own thoughts. I wallowed in these thoughts for a few weeks, but then something amazing happened. I was looking for a way to update my business model, and I kept seeing promotions for Business by Design.
I love teaching and had started writing the outline for an online course and a Mastermind Class for business owners and creative entrepreneurs. I wasn't sure how I was going to promote these new offerings and I wasn't sure that anyone would be interested. I looked into BBD, but my logical part of the brain made me doubt spending money at a time when my revenue was down. I had basically talked myself out of purchasing when something amazing happened. My wife told me that we had focused on her business for over two years and that it was time for me to do the same for my own business--I hadn't told her about BBD yet! Shortly after that conversation, I saw where other business owners that I admire in person and on social media had purchased the BBD course. Seeing their commitment to learn and grown with this course made me realize that it was legitimate, so I took the leap of faith and purchased it! It has been THE BEST decision I've ever made for my business. Because of this course and the simplicity of the teaching by James Wedmore, my mindset shifted and I started putting in the work to make my business be how I imagine rather than how I thought it should be based on what everyone else does.
In the final two months of 2018, I poured myself into the course modules, did the work, and really looked into why I think about things the way I do. I modified my mindset and started implementing changes into my business. I have launched my new website, took on 4 new clients before the end of the year through an idea inside BBD, and am about a week away from launching my online mastermind course.
I don't know what this post will look like when I write it next year, but I am confident that I will be able to handle the roller coaster ride much more effectively as I pursue life on my own terms rather than waiting for it to dictate my circumstances! If you read all the way to the end, please take time to share this out and thank you for reading!