Lessons Learned from 2018

Lessons learned from 2018


Do you have an end of year planning ritual? A process for reflecting on the year that was and preparing for what lies ahead? Up until now, we haven't. To be honest there has been a bit too much winging it over the past 12 months for comfort. 

That's why when I heard about The Maker's Yearbook 2019 by Nicola Taylor, I ordered it immediately. I knew that we needed help to get on track for 2019. Since it arrived, I have been pestering my hubby to sit down for a planning sesh and this week we did! 

One of the things that I love about The Maker's Yearbook is that before you start the planning part, you take a good look back at the past 12 months - the highs, the lows and the lessons learned along the way. 

We definitely dropped the ball in a few areas but there were also amazing improvements to our family life and the level of fulfillment we both feel about our work.

In this episode you will hear about the 5 biggest lessons we learned in 2018.


    You know the saying 'energy flows, where attention goes', well it’s true! The aspects of the business that I gave consistent attention in 2018 grew such as the podcast and the online classes, the areas where attention was more sporadic struggled. Online shop - I am talking about you! One thing has become clear, you need to set yourself specific and realistic targets. If you don’t spell it out, there’s too much room to say, ‘I’ll just do it next week’. In 2019, I’m not leaving things up to chance, I have a plan. It looks something like this.

    1 post on IG per day (optional 3-5 stories)
    1 podcast per week
    Quarterly online shop update
    Quarterly cafe/gallery update
    3 in-person gatherings (retreats/workshops) per year
    6 online classes per year


    This past year I realised I was making unnecessary work for myself. You don't need tonnes of ideas. One well thought out and executed idea can become - a body of work, an online class, a blog post, a podcast, a newsletter etc. Not everyone listens to podcasts, not everyone takes online classes. By using all the platforms available to you, you can reach people in different ways with one piece of content. Connect the threads and make your ideas work harder for you.


    There were times this year when things got pretty intense. We got behind on our online class filming schedule and this had a knock on effect on other aspects of the business. It felt like there would never be enough hours in the day so I started working through the night thinking I was doing myself a favour. I was wrong. I'd work hard only to end up being tired and ratty and lose the whole next day. The lesson here is that sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away, take a breather, press pause and recharge the batteries.


    Reach out and connect with other creatives. Have real conversations. Chat about your hopes, fears and doubts. If your conversations go anything like mine, you will soon realise that most of us have similar challenges. We are all in this together! Find opportunities to collaborate, there is so much that can be learned from shared projects. One of the highlights of my year was travelling to Bali to meet online friend, Doulene Walker. A trip that turned into a new venture together - our WE ARE ARTISTS Bali Retreat.


    Notice what you love. Pay attention to what excites you & lifts you up. This should always be your compass. Let your heart guide your art and your creative business direction. If you enjoy painting on big rolls of canvas, do that. If you get a buzz from gathering people together - do that. It sounds so simple, 'do what you love', but it works wonders. And if I could add one thing to that, I would say ‘do it well’. Make it bigger, make it important, give it the attention it deserves so that what you love can grow and flourish.

Well that's a wrap, wishing you a happy and creative 2019! What were your biggest lessons from 2018?

The Maker's Yearbook: makersbusinesstoolkit.com/makers-yearbook/ created bywww.nicolataylorphotographer.com

businessLaura HornComment