It’s that time of year to reflect and look back. 

If I’m honest I’ve never really liked these pieces. Many seem so self-indulgent, focusing on the amazing successes people have had and rarely mention the challenges and hardships the year has dealt them. 

But being self-employed has taught me, among many things, that it’s important to reflect. Especially when it includes both the positive and negative experiences that have happened. 

You need to praise yourself, say ‘well done’ and celebrate the wins. And you need to be honest and admit when things have gone wrong or didn’t work out as you hoped it would. How else do you learn? 

2019 has brought both massive highs and incredible lows both professionally and personally. 

From delivering training workshops with reputable brands to delivering a high-quality promotional brochure to gaining national and regional media coverage across a number of different outlets for clients, this year has seen some epic results. 

Dame Kelly Holmes is an inspiration

A few highlights include:

  • A video I produced was called ‘the best one we’ve done’.
  • I organised a PR event with Dame Kelly Holmes and got to spend time with the inspiration athlete.
  • Got my Christmas on, five months early by attending the Christmas in July event with my client being named in the top 10 products of the event. 
  • Obtained national media coverage for Hampshire festival aiming to shine a light on mental health
Christmas in July

The part of the business I’m most proud of though is developing long lasting relationships with clients and colleagues that will last and hopefully continue to be successful into 2020 and beyond. These relationships have brought new experiences and enabled me to try new things. On a personal level I’m happy to say that some of these working relationships have turned into friendships, which is so valuable when being self-employed. 

I’ve also worked in new areas of PR and on projects that I only had limited experience until now. For example, I’ve learnt so much about the magazine industry which has resulted in great coverage for clients enabling them to reach their target audience and key times. 

However, I’ve had some challenges and some disappointments. I would have liked to have delivered more training workshops and I’m disappointed that I didn’t. I’ve had press releases that I thought would get media attention but failed to do so and I’ve spent hours pitching to journalists to be turned down or not even acknowledged. 

I’ve had projects and clients leave me and quotes turned down. 

Imposter syndrome has been my constant companion and I’ve had sleepless nights worrying about whether I am any good at my job, being a mum, a wife and a friend.  The grief I feel every day for my dear mum has, at times, been so consuming at times it’s been hard to breathe. 

What is clear, is that no year will be a walk in the park nor will it be a constant struggle. I’ve had a great time this year with my business, it’s been busy, challenging and very rewarding. I’ve learnt a lot and dealt with some disappointments. 

Now it is time for a well-earned rest over the festive period and to look forward to 2020! Who knows what it will bring.