This has been such a wild year, personally and professionally. I have to be honest -- I’m happy it’s coming to an end and I’m ready for 2018.
While I'm thinking about my goals and planning for the upcoming year, I've been reflecting on all the wonderful--and not so wonderful--things that have happened over the past year.
Being in business for three years now, I’ve periodically reshaped my understanding of who my ideal coaching client is. Earlier this year I wrote this blog post about my process of identifying who that person is. My recognition of my ideal client was a huge milestone for me because, after three years in business, I felt so clear that entrepreneurs were my people and those who I could best serve.
Clients hire me when they identify with one of the following categories:
During or soon after deciding it’s time to leave their job to pursue their new business or turn their side-hustle into a full-time thing
When they quit their job, it’s day one of being an entrepreneur, and they're thinking “holy shit, what did I do?”
When they already have a business for a period of time (a few months to a few years) and need help getting their shit together
I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months identifying what works for my business and what I really enjoy. I don’t see myself developing online courses and content to the extent that many coaches do. The majority of my business comes from referrals and I’m so, so grateful for that.
This year, I also recognized (more than ever before) how I will never be just one thing. I am a multipotentialite. I enjoy wearing many different hats and dabbling in lots of areas. While I used to compare myself to entrepreneurs who find success by concentrating on a single niche, I finally realized that model didn’t work for me. Instead, I choose to do several things—all of which I love—and I’m happy with that.
One of the things I realized I love doing, personally and professionally, is being the glue. I love connecting people, places and things. I love handling logistics and ensuring everything comes together for a project. It’s definitely the former event producer in me.
One of the biggest lessons of this year was learning to say no. I turned down opportunities. I referred prospective clients to friends and colleagues who I didn’t think I was a good fit for. I began projects and halfway through realized it wasn’t a good fit and I should get out before it got worse. I always felt better speaking up than forcing myself to continue on. I set boundaries and didn’t overextend myself. I recognized my needs and how to value them while keeping my clients happy.
You know how “they” say that money doesn’t buy happiness? It’s true. This past year, I had a consulting client that brought in a nice chunk of money. Overnight, that income stream disappeared when the client needed to take a break from our work together. As I recalibrated my client load and finances, I recognized that having that consistent income kept me playing safe. I was not spending as much time focusing on what I wanted to be spending my time doing and instead convinced myself I was content because of the amount of money in my bank account. When that money wasn’t coming in anymore, I had to reconvene and determine how I was going to make money like that again, and even more so, how I was going to spend my time doing work that was fulfilling to me.
My apartment lease was up in April. I was committed to finding a new apartment that had major sunlight. I told my cousin, The Millennial Broker, what I was looking for and overnight, yes, I said overnight, he found it. I moved into my new light-filled, floor-to-ceiling windows apartment. I spent a lot of time furnishing it and making it feel as cozy as possible. My favorite part was finding adhesive wall paper I loved. It completely transformed the space and made it mine.
Once I moved into my sunlit apartment, I realized how dark my office was. Last October, I had moved into a private office at WeWork Soho West, and while I loved having the privacy, somewhere to go whenever I wanted and meet clients, it was just too dark. I put my stuff in storage and moved out in May 2017.
I spent the majority of my summer out of the city so when I returned in September, it was time to find a new space. I did a lot of searching. I drove a lot of people crazy with my long list of must-haves until I realized what I wanted didn’t exist without a high price tag. My friend suggested I check out The Assemblage, a new coworking space that was a 10-minute walk from my apartment. And so, I joined as a founding member. It’s only a few months old and provides a very different vibe than WeWork. I don’t have a private office here, but I have access to conference rooms, meditation rooms, and different types of seating areas. Membership includes ayurvedic breakfast and lunch. It’s definitely suiting my needs right now.
I started off the year by finding out that Bon Iver was canceling his European tour. I had a trip planned to see them on my birthday in Paris. My friends and I still chose to go, and I’m so glad we did. Eating, shopping, walking and participating in the Women’s March was definitely a great birthday present. Even despite the fact that Paris was colder than New York at the time.
I spent much of January trying to find a great apartment for my time in Tel Aviv. I searched Airbnb and Facebook groups and found lots of seemingly great options, but when my friends visited them, there was a ton of crap. I finally found a place that looked amazing and decided to commit. When I landed in Tel Aviv, I arrived at the apartment it immediately felt wrong. It smelled like mold, the bathroom was dungeony, and the whole apartment had one tiny window. Meanwhile, the pictures had made it look bright and wonderful. It was a terrible way to start a month-long adventure.
I bailed out of the place within 48 hours and luckily got hooked up at a hotel for a month on the beach. No, it wasn’t 80 and sunny everyday but it was a hell of a lot nicer than snowy 10 degree New York. I didn’t have a kitchen, let alone a fridge, which is just one reason that living in a hotel can be weird.. But it was nice to have my room cleaned when I wanted and towels changed. And I loved waking up in the morning, opening the curtains to the terrace to look out to the beach and breathe in the ocean air.
It was an incredible month of working less than 20 hours a week, eating the most delicious meals, spending time with my amazing friends and their adorable kids (many of whom only know English if it’s in the form of an American pop-song lyric). This month was proof that I could run my business from anywhere. Everything could be done via Skype, FaceTime, calls and emails.
If you know me, you know how huge a role music plays in my life. If I go more than a few weeks without live music, my life feels incomplete. I shared my Top Music Picks for 2017 here.
This was my 8th year at Newport Folk Festival (NFF), which is one of my all-time favorite events to attend every summer. Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) was a surprise guest which made the experience that much. Not familiar with NFF? Check out my blog post about it from last year.
Along with listening to music, I listen to a ton of podcasts. Earlier this year I wrote this blog post on my favorite podcasts. I am constantly learning and discovering new ones. There are overwhelming amount of great podcasts out there, but listening to them is definitely how I learn best/consume these days.
This was a really crazy year for my health.
• 3 trips to the National Institutes of Health
• 2 vacations canceled
• 1 missed wedding
• 14 EKGs
• 3 catscans
• 3 Ultrasounds
• 2 IVs
• 2 X-Rays
• 1 bronchoscopy
• Weekly bloodwork
• On and off different drugs and supplements.
• Endless hours sitting in waiting rooms.
• Endless hours spent communicating and meeting with doctors.
• Endless hours of frustration, anxiety and sadness dealing with this all.
There were periods of time when I was so exhausted, weak and achy that I stayed in bed most of the day. Ten hours of sleep wasn’t enough. I had side-effects from different drugs I was on and wasn’t in the best shape. In late September, I was informed things were looking good and my team said it was time to take me off a bunch of drugs I was on. I was thrilled. I happy danced my way out of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Unfortunately since mid-October, I’ve been dealing with some challenging health stuff between my liver enzymes being extremely elevated, having swelling in my legs and feet, and not knowing why any of this is happening.
I’m under the supervision of a team of incredible doctors here at NYU and the NIH and I’m aiming for 2018 to be a better year for my health. One of my biggest takeaways from this year was how important it is for me to be my biggest advocate with my health. I’m a lot more knowledgeable than I thought. I’m also extremely grateful to be an entrepreneur where I can determine my daily schedule, factoring in appointments and time to travel to my team at the NIH.
I’m currently working on shifting my diet as I know that’s something that plays a huge role in my health and I’ve been a bit stubborn about it. Life without REAL pasta seems very scary. I recently got back into yoga at Sacred Sounds on Bleecker, and have been focusing on restorative and yin-yoga as that’s what I can handle these days. I continue to practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day. The changes I’m making, as well as the elements of my daily routine that are geared around self-care, help me maintain a sense of control around my health, even when things are very far from ideal.
Finally, ten things that made me especially happy this year (in no particular order):
• Dancing like a maniac at the Arcade Fire show -- feeling so alive
• Walks on the beach at sundown over the summer
• Celebrating friends and family members weddings and new babies
• Holding onto Matt Berninger of The National for 30 seconds while he sang and walked through the crowd at Forest Hills Stadium
• Making lots of delicious vegetarian concoctions in my kitchen
• Witnessing my clients achieve their goals
• Spending time with the people I love
• Being part of a writing group where I was extremely vulnerable
• Having clients come back to work with me after a year apart
• Reading books that were so good I couldn’t put them down
I’m excited and ready for 2018.
It’s time for some change and new experiences. Happy New Year!