About this time every year we start asking this classic question with a tone of utter surprise as we blink and look around wide-eyed like we’ve just woken from a sleeping beauty-esque slumber.
Whilst I’m all for a good cliche, I thought I’d turn this overused phrase into inspiration for this week’s blog post – so here’s where my year has gone…
Off to an uncertain start, like a toddler discovering their legs for the first time, I returned from a 6 week trip to the UK about 10 minutes before midnight. 2015 had been a complete and utter dick to me and I was determined to make 2016 count. The first working week of January saw sheets and sheets of A4 paper hastily Sellotaped together to form my canvas for the next year’s strategy. I also welcomed my first hire – a CFO named Stella… She may have 4 legs and a lot of fur, but man is she good at her Chief Fetch Officer role.
February saw yet another iteration of the website (I must be up to v100.0 by now) and lots more fervent planning. Having only moved to Queensland 3 weeks before having to drop everything and head back to the UK, I began to build my network in my new town and reached out to other small businesses. This is when I started to realise that small businesses and startups was where I could use my expertise and skills best.
March was a very exciting month for OrigamiGlobe as I ventured into the very first competition collaboration. I also launched our Instagram account with a picture of a coffee mug (oh how indicative that was of the rest of my year) and started building followers. I also knuckled down and started to write The last guide to competitions you’ll ever need to read.
April in stats: 53,000 words written, 2 speaking gigs and reached our first 250 followers on Instagram (not bad after one month!). We also launched our first ever competition with Language Lane.
May saw copious amounts of coffee drunk as we started renovating our tired little house ourselves. My office became a dumping ground and all around was chaos. However, the final edit of the book was done (hooray!) and there was yet another iteration of the website…
June saw the launch of the Luxe.It.Fwd competition which I absolutely loved working on. Apart from the fact that it was with a dream client, we had an awesome result and the patented (but not actually patented) OrigamiGlobe process was born. I also enjoyed some much needed R&R time with my bestie who flew over from England for 2 weeks of creative adventures.
Personal achievement: learnt to crochet.
July welcomed the first (and quite possibly last – well, for a while at least!) event I’ve ever co-organised – the EOFY party for a fabulous bunch of kick arse women business owners in Brisbane. Whilst PayPal made me want to rip my nails off one by one in frustration at freezing the money to pay the venue the day before the event (don’t get me started…) it was a wonderful evening of drinks, food, laughs and huge amounts of people overcoming their fear of public speaking. What a privilege to know these amazing women and their incredibly supportive partners!
A new month, a new competition! This time the launch of Flowers Across Melbourne’s Win a Trip to Port Douglas competition. This one felt like home to me as I was back in familiar territory of travel prizes where my love affair with everything competition and giveaway began. The team was awesome to work with and the winner was over the moon (who wouldn’t be!) we’ll see more photos from our winner when she takes her prize next year.
September saw yet another competition for a fellow small business and excited development started on the competition collaboration platform… before grinding to a halt when I broke my finger and typing got very slow for a while.
Yes, it was every bit as awkward and painful as it looks…
October started off quietly as more planning and strategising for the final quarter began; then ended on a huge high as friends and family spoilt me rotten for my 30th birthday when I got this new piece of bling from my fiancé (that still sounds so weird to say…)
November (not to be outdone by October) welcomed our first ever expo appearance thanks to RDABrisbane, Advance Queensland and CLICK! Digital. I absolutely loved being able to talk to people face to face, especially when you see that moment when their face changes from suspicion (‘are they going to try and sell me crap I don’t want or need?!’) to a smile (‘oh! what you do is actually pretty cool!’) when you start chatting with them. We also started testing our competition collaboration platform as an MVP with a group of 50+ awesome business owners. I can’t wait to share the exciting feedback and discoveries as well as our platform with you all in 2017!
And that brings us up to December, with our most successful competition to date that has only just launched and smashed its competition goal on day one. Yep, you read that right! Revoir’s second hand fashion competition definitely launched with a bang and got over 100 survey responses within the first day of opening!
So I guess that’s where this year has gone, this is the highlights-only version of course, I skipped the meltdowns, tears, broken toe, letdowns, the part where I forgot to post on Instagram for 2 months, the countless kilometres driving to clients and events and times when I felt like just giving it all up and surrendering my soul back to corporate. Any business owner will tell you the highs of running a business are so high you feel like you could float away, but the lows are also so low that it’s hard to imagine recovering, which is why it’s important to reflect on all you HAVE achieved this year.
I’d love to know where your year has gone and what achievements you’re celebrating in the comments below!
Looking forward to the next year with you,
Chief Paper Folder and general giveaway geek.