True to form, come early December I started nattering on about how good the next year will be, like every year past, and I turn into a grateful mess for the things that have happened in the year that’s been.
I like to see things bigger picture, seeing every moment as a learning curve (although sometimes in the moment it can be hard to handle!), and am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. This belief actually makes life’s lessons easier to handle as I use it as a tool for self-growth, business growth, and whatever other growing makes up daily life. Not height however, my 6-foot stature has had enough growing thankyouverymuch.
- An authentic business is the best type of business.
At the start of opening The Miniature Treasury, I was doubting where to come from; ‘Do I talk from my own perspective?’, ‘Do I make it purely into a ‘professional’ business and thus take myself out of the equation?’ – nothing felt right. As someone who hates being in front of the camera (‘oh my god you are SO awkward’ says my photographer friend Lucy) I found it confronting and felt extremely vulnerable.
However, once I came to terms with the fact that my brand IS me, it is an extension of my heart, it allowed me to connect with my customers and be truly grateful for them, and at the same time, be grateful for myself as well.
- When I am calm, the storm that is family is also (mainly) calm.
It’s hard not to get a tizz sometimes. Two small humans doing their best to whack each other, piss each other off, yell and scream at each other then also at you due to needing help. With all the things that go on to run a household and a business my mind was sometimes stuck in overwhelm – and it shows up when you react instead of respond.
As mentioned earlier I see everything as a lesson to grow from, and when I noticed I was stuck in a state of reaction I started to work on it. Practicing being aware and using my knowledge that raising a voice or responding in frustration didn’t work, slowly throughout the year (it was a Long Year), my children and I are calmer, we talk things through and our connections are stronger.
I will never stop learning how to be a good mother, but it’s something I strive to get better at every day. If you are after a fabulous book by the way, don’t go past ‘The Conscious Parent’ by Shefali Tsabary – life changing!
- The world is changing.
There is a shift happening. People are becoming more aware and conscious of their purchases, and the impact their hard-earned money is making to the world. The amount of small businesses popping up that are ethical, eco-friendly, vegan, animal-cruelty free, organic, handmade, sustainable, recyclable, etc is INCREDIBLE. And the best thing about it? These people and their customers, because yes there are actual people behind these brands, want to see a difference.
As a collective we are seeing the impact of plastics, of fast fashion, of deforestation… slowly the realisation is becoming mainstream and hopefully with the Tokyo 2020 Games bringing the Sustainable Development Goals to the forefront it will be the start, or end, of something huge.
- My ‘word’ for 2019 was ‘FOCUS’…
At the start of this year I told you all via social media that my ‘word’ for the year was Focus. With big dreams for the year I wanted to focus on family, I wanted to focus on the business… Focus has a slight harshness about it don’t you think, like you’re wearing blinkers and there’s a sense of urgency. But in the thick of it all it felt like there was no focus, life was just busy and happening.
In retrospect, Focus may well have been it, but in a lighter sense of the word. I didn’t push past crazy limits, I gave wholehearted attention to business, family and self when needed, and it flowed busily but gently.
(Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty hectic year and it definitely did not flow all the time. All aspects were overlooked at different times and this resulted in some overwhelm previously mentioned, but I guess by the overwhelm occurring, this just so happened to bring back Focus.)
- Kindness is Everything.
It was around my 30th birthday I had made a wish for myself and said that I wanted to be a philanthropist by the time I’m 35. Look to be honest, I have just turned 34 and unless something huge happens I’m not going to be making a big impact on Africa’s water any time soon. However. Being a business owner and interacting with people allows me to give in a way that doesn’t necessarily have to do with money.
Time, presence, gratitude is just some of the things that we can give, and when it’s unexpected it is even better. A kind gesture can stick in your memory, often changing one’s entire day or a possible life path, it is that momentous.
(A few months ago my husband chased an old lady stuck in the rain grappling with her shopping bags and walker with his umbrella, and proceeded to walk her back to her home. Ugh, the amount of lessons I have learnt from that man, honestly.)
To give value to people is one of the main things I am excited for in 2020 (big things are coming, watch this space). Will my new ‘word’ be ‘Give Value’? That’s two words, darn it!
Kindness makes the world go round, and I treasure being part of its circle.
P.s if you love coffee and actually want to help the world's water, check out local Sip4sip for a very cool scheme to give back.