2020 was definitely a year for the books, to say the least. I don’t think it quite panned out how anyone expected. I remember my mindset at the beginning of the year, and now at the end, I’m pleasantly surprised how things have shifted.
Big changes are coming up for me and my little business, but before we get into the next chapter here’s a look at how things played out in 2020…
Little did I know this would be the last time I’d attend any in-person events for the rest of the year. Alt Summit was a memorable experience, and I’m so glad I went. I learned a ton, and I met a bunch of new people. I’m hoping by 2022 things are in a better place where I can attend in person again.
I had been eyeing the Organize & Automate course for a while, and after coming back from Alt Summit I was on a learning high that made me dive into the course. It was exactly what I needed to get a good foundation going for my business. Process and organization is so important, especially because it helps screen clients and makes life a lot easier. This course was such a valuable part of my business, and it introduced me to new tools that I didn’t even know I needed.
I added a new platform to my toolkit in the form of Showit. I was apprehensive at first, but the creative freedom it gave me paired with the power of WordPress is what really drew me in. I’m a huge fan, and so are my clients.
I was determined to spend more time this year working on my business rather than in my business, however my sweet clients were all too excited to refer me out. 😄 I ended up seeing an increase in inquiries and projects this year.
Things like what services I wanted to offer (and not offer), what tasks to automate, and saying no to potential clients all played an important role in how my business was shaped.
My priority above all else was being a mother, so with only a few hours in the day to “work” I very quickly learned what tasks I wanted to spend those limited hours doing. Despite having a very wide skillset, I knew I wanted my main focus to be designing websites.
When I first started freelancing 10+ years ago, I said yes to every opportunity, whether it was a good fit or not. I saw this happen at the agencies I worked at and how it chipped away at morale. Saying yes to everything is not a good way to run a business.
I couldn’t afford to do that this time around. So I said no to opportunities that didn’t align with how I wanted to spend my time. I learned to identify red flag clients and to be confident in saying, “I’m not a good fit.” And for those moments where I questioned if I was saying no too quickly, I put together a “no sheet.”
At the end of October, I was surprised to find out I was pregnant again. It happened about 5 months sooner than we planned, so with a baby due in June 2021, I started thinking about how I’m going to run my business with a baby and a toddler. Which brings me to 2021…
With a new baby on the way, I’ll be reducing my workload in preparation for maternity leave and beyond. Current clients will get the love and attention they need, but I don’t intend to bring on any new clients after March.
I plan on writing a whole separate blog post on why I’m switching (don’t worry, I still love Dreamhost), but after building two client websites on Showit this year I found I really like working with the platform! The other reason leads into this next item…
Yes, I’m going to be offering Showit website templates for purchase. In order to do this, I have to already be on Showit, so TheLovelyGeek.com will be moving in order to host my templates.
Offering templates will be a more affordable option for those who are unable to invest in the full 1:1 website design experience with me and are comfortable with a little website DIY.
I honestly don’t know what my availability is going to look like once baby #2 arrives, so I’m shifting my business model to include more passive forms of income that will still give me that creative outlet.
Showit is a fantastic platform that I’m excited to share more about as time goes on, and I’m looking forward to taking my creativity to a new level!
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The Lovely Geek is a one-woman studio based in Sacramento, CA working with small businesses throughout the United States.