New Year, New Beginnings

Happy 2018 friends!  I'm struggling to comprehend how another year blew right on past me?! Babies are another year older, chip&chisel celebrated its SIXTH anniversary, and I'm finally, after 2.75 years of "momming", figuring out that tricky little thing called balance.  I mean, I don't have *all* the answers (progress over perfection, right?), but I've had a much better handle on things recently and it's been life changing!

After wrapping up what may have been my favorite c&c holiday season yet, I'm ready to jump into the New Year!  With sleeping littles upstairs and tired eyes, I'm ready to wrap up this blog post and hit publish so I can share my updates and thoughts from 2017 and how they're propelling me into the New Year! .  

First things first, you may have seen the Concrete Boom social media post right before Christmas about the sale of that business. In case you missed it, most of you know I co-founded a screenprinted apparel company, Concrete Boom, back in 2016 which then launched this past summer. As business partners and two busy mamas that were trying to juggle family, our regular full-time jobs and run a brand new business efficiently and effectively, we ultimately felt it needed much more than we could currently give to grow it and be successful. We tried to strategize running it on a smaller scale but in the end it seemed impossible to move forward. At this time, as destiny would have it, a new friend, Tara, reached out as another mom looking for an opportunity to be creative and make something her own and a sale was born! :)  I’m so excited to watch her journey unfold and hope you’ll be cheering for her as well. I love to see other women pursuing their passions! Tara is a great fit for the brand and I know you’ll continue to be in great hands. 

So what will I be doing with all of my newfound time?  Oh, I don't know ... sleeping at night again, actually folding the laundry that comes out of the dryer, maybe cook dinner occasionally?  ;)  2017 was a rat race with oh-so-many teachable life lessons. I've chosen to take the positive from all of them in order to let them have the greatest impact on my life. When has anything good ever come from dwelling on less than stellar situations and circumstances? Yeah, never. Ever heard the phrase, "Grow through what you go through"?  That's where I'm at.  I've reflected a lot on those 365 days and have written down the three key points below in my planner to help keep me focused, avoid the burnout, and set myself up for success this year both personally & professionally.  I look at them every morning, expand on their meaning, and take them through my day.

YOU CAN DO ANYTHING BUT NOT EVERYTHING.  Do less and do it well.  I stretched myself so thin this past year and a half trying to run two separate businesses. I’m sure you’re thinking “well, duh!” … don’t worry, I did too. It was hard on me AND my family.  Have you ever read the 5 Love Languages book and taken the test?  My husband and I read it when we were engaged and scored the exact same for each category (compatible much?) with 'quality time' ranking the highest.  He's an amazingly supportive spouse and loves to see me realize my dreams, but if you asked him if he would like a repeat of last year, he would most definitely tell you no.  We had less time together than either of us liked and that's played a huge factor into the planning for chip&chisel in 2018.  Yes, you can do anything you put your mind to … but when you try to do EVERYTHING, it becomes all quantity and less quality.  Makes me cringe.  Choose the things you love and do those.

YOUR CHOICES REFLECT YOUR PRIORITIES.  My priority is my family and my business.  I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom ... I'm also not cut out to be away too much. I'm hugely fulfilled by chip&chisel and working hard, but there's a balance between the two that I've spent the past couple months trying to figure out how to actually attain. I made the choice a little over a year ago to go back to operating chip&chisel on my own. Not because I didn't have great ladies working with me, but because staying on a schedule and fulfilling my role so they could maintain theirs felt so overwhelming at that point in my life.  With two little ones and working hours that were super inconsistent and really testing my sanity, I couldn't keep up.  I scaled back.  I took on an amount of work that I could handle on my own and decided I would stick with that for a while. I put Etsy in vacation mode a lot so I could focus mainly here on the website and took care of key pieces of the business, but I was looking to just keep it manageable.  Well then I got bored.  Instead of getting back to "normal" with chip&chisel, I took on a whole new business.  WHY?  I don't have an answer other than that I'm just meant to be busy, BUT ... not in the way that I was up until the sale of Concrete Bloom.  So, I sat down and I prioritized.  I want to be home with my family but I also know that the growth and expansion that was planned for c&c back in 2015 when we launched the website has been on my brain for over two years now.  I'm in the best place I've been professionally since having my girls and I feel good, ready to grow again. chip&chisel is my heart - it's the reason my girls are here (Are you thinking “what?”? Read our story!), it's how I've formed so many great friendships and connections, it's so much of my purpose.  Showing my girls what it means to do something you love, something you're so passionate about, something that allows you to give back (more on that to come!) ... well that's everything to me.  So, with much excitement, I'm bringing back two of the ladies that used to work with me and we're diving into this New Year together!  These ladies know me, they know my brand, they know how crazy I am about what I put out there and how hard it is for me to let go and give pieces to others to manage.  But you know what?  *Because* they know that, I trust them even more.  I have learned that I can't do everything and do it well and that is okay! They will help me execute day-to-day functions in the studio and assist with the growth and expansion that I've been envisioning for some time now.  The help allows me to put my family first while still doing what I love ... connecting with and creating for YOU!

DON'T LET FEAR HOLD YOU HOSTAGE.  Growth and change is scary.  It's so much easier to just do what you've been doing because it's familiar and safe.  But taking risks is how you break out of your comfort zone and do amazing things!  I know, I know - what if you fail?  Yep, it happens.  But it's part of what makes you great!  In every aspect of my life ... as a wife, mama, woman, and small business owner ... I fail at things I set out to do (like keeping this blog post short and sweet). ;) I don't let those moments define me though.  They're life's learning lessons and you'll always encounter opportunities for them.  Consider yourself lucky - growth happens in the midst of difficult circumstances and you'll be a better person for it if you embrace it. 

Do you have a mantra or phrase that you’re bringing with you into 2018?  I’d love to hear it!

I’ve welcomed this New Year with open arms and it feels oh so good! A fresh start, a clean slate, 365 chances to write a new chapter. I am so grateful for your continued support over the years and beyond thankful to have you along on this journey with me, truly.

Sending you big hugs and the best wishes for an amazing 2018!
xo,
lindsy