12 Things I’m JOYful About This Year

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Before 2012 comes to a close, I’d like to share with you some joyful thoughts of reflection on everything that’s gone down these past twelve months. This year has been far from what I expected, and I’ve fallen flat on my face more times than I would care to admit.

BUT, as I reflect on my overall journey, I realize God has blessed me with many amazing gifts, such as tremendous shifts in my mindset, countless lessons learned, and a wondrous convergence of my love for design + art, my new-found passion for helping women entrepreneurs promote their businesses with class + authenticity + pizzazz, and my desire to serve others through my business. And this is the joy I share with you now…

JOYful Thoughts + Gratitude

#1: I have wonderful family and friends! Not only have they loved and supported me for 28 years and counting, but they’ve been tremendously patient and encouraging during these last two years of business-building. I’m ultra-grateful to them for allowing me to follow my dreams via this unconventional solopreneurship thing, which is so far-flung from any “safe” traditional J-O-B. (Thank you Mom & Daddy! Love you! ♥ ).

#2: With every passing year, I find more reasons to love the freedom of work-from-home entrepreneurship. Like being able to pursue my own creative passions, and saving a ton of money on gas and other commuting costs.

#3: I’m choosing to be happy! The age-old advice of “enjoy the journey” (as opposed to being fixated on the end goal, only to get there and be fixated on the next end goal, and so on) is finally sinking in. I’m happy right now, but still looking forward to the exciting things that lie ahead :).

#4: I am feeling more fulfilled and purposeful than I have in forever. (An amazing feeling to have!).

#5: I love the fact that I have unlimited creative possibilities. Instead of looking at my business in black and white (graphic design/freelance/work-for-hire), I’m looking at it in color (artistry/making a difference with design/teaching/sharing), and marveling at all the different forms and iterations it could take in the coming years.

#6: The Mayan apocalypse turned out to be a bunch of baloney, so I have 2013 to look forward to after all! (Not that I really expected anything to happen on December 21st, but there was that 1% of me that was concerned…).

#7: I’m learning that I have so much flexibility to grow and adapt. Running into the brick walls of life, I used to get more upset and discouraged at each road block. But gradually, I’m learning that if I can’t bust through the wall, I can always climb over it, around it, or dig under it to get where I want to go!

#8: Finally, I’m learning to see my uniqueness as an asset, rather than a liability. It’s tough to shake off that desire to conform, to be “popular” (whatever that means), but it’s so much cooler and more natural to just be ME.

#9: I’m continually amazed at how God has aligned all the different variables to lead to Sweet Dreamz Design. At the beginning of my (albeit young) career, all I wanted was gainful employment at a nice design studio or an ad agency, but He had other ideas. Turns out, providing intuitive design and personalized service to my fellow women business owners, is my true calling! Makes me feel kind of sheepish about all those times I complained about the down economy, the boring day job, and other things that led to this unexpectedly wonderful thing called solopreneurship ;).

#10: With a few days off to reflect, rest, and rejuvenate during the Christmas holidays, I’m looking forward to starting 2013 fresh, with a solid plan of action! (No wonder people embrace new year’s as a time for goal-setting and life-improving; it’s perfect timing, coming off of the busy, activity-filled months of November & December, with a few days of vacation at the end.)

#11: For the first time, I’m glad to have the support and feedback of an awesome mastermind group going into the new year. Terra Bohlmann, Hilary Martin, Elizabeth MacLeod, and Meire Weishaupt, we shall conquer 2013 together!

#12: As I get ever nearer to the big three-oh, I’m joyful that I’ve been able to learn so much about myself, and acquire wisdom that is in some ways beyond my years. Oh, and embracing my creative passions and finding my life’s calling via entrepreneurship at such a (relatively) young age isn’t bad either ;).

Merry Christmas ya’ll! I’ll be posting one last time in 2012 on New Year’s Eve day, so we can wish each other a Happy New Year then 😉

Hang with me in 2013!
...I promise it'll be fun, with lots of business advice and freebies ;)



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About Barbara Austin

As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!

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