goals

A Reflection on 2016 and Changes for 2017

A Reflection on 2016 and Changes for 2017 | Lemon and the Sea

Can you believe that it's already 2017? I feel like just a few days ago I was setting goals for 2016 and getting ready to launch into my first full year in business.

Reflecting back on the past year

As I was thinking back on the last year, I realized that something was missing in my business - a personal connection with my audience. For a long time, I was convinced that because I provide a service and I'm not a coach or a photographer, I should only be sharing really practical posts about business and design. I came up with lots of ideas to share, but over time they felt more and more draining to write.

One of my favorite things about working one-on-one with clients (and one of the reasons I've stayed away from passive income products so far) is that I love connecting with each person individually - getting to know who they are outside of their business, helping them embrace the things that make them stand out, and creating something that helps them accomplish the big dreams they've been hiding away.

So in 2017, I want to do some things differently - I want to put more of my heart into my business, share more of my story, and trust that by being true to myself, I will be able to better serve you (and hopefully make a more steady income).

My Changes for 2017

When I first started thinking through the changes I wanted to make, I considered doing a re-brand for my business. I thought that maybe by changing my website design, my imagery, and my logo I could draw in the people I wanted to serve.

But I realized that I'm already reaching those people, I just had to change who my "dream client" was to fit the people I actually like serving best instead of the people I thought I should be working with. Plus, I love the colors and feeling of my brand (even if they are trendy right now).

So what is going to change around here?

  • Personal posts - I'm going to make an effort to write more personal posts and share the behind-the-scenes of running a business, focusing on my family, and following God's calling in my life.
  • A shift in dream client - after reflecting on the projects and clients I've loved working with most, I realized that they are all moms who are balancing running a business with raising a family. These amazing women don't want to be CEO's of huge companies, they just want to do what they love, spend time with their kiddos, and be able to provide financially for their families. (I'll admit - this was a hard shift to make as I'm not a mom yet and wasn't sure that I was allowed to focus on momtrepreneurs, but God kept putting it on my heart).
  • Putting myself out there - I've never wanted to push my services on people who don't need them, but I've realized that by hiding in the corner and waiting for people to find me, I'm actually missing out on connecting with some amazing women. So this year I'm creating a schedule for posting in Facebook groups, sharing on Facebook Live, and creating free workshops to share my knowledge and connect with the people I love helping.
  • Letting go of the wheel - I like to be in control. If you know me, that's no secret. But I'm being reminded lately that I'm not in control - God is. So this year, I'm focusing on letting go of control, listening to God's voice, and following His plan - no matter where it takes me. I've seen his faithfulness in the past and I'm trusting now that He will lead me (and this business) somewhere amazing if I let Him.

What You can expect from Lemon and the Sea

As I'm making these changes (some more slowly than others), I also want to keep my focus in the right place - on God, my family, and on helping creative entrepreneurs build businesses they love that support their dreams.

As I sat down on the first day of the year to brainstorm blog post ideas, these are some that came to mind that I'm excited to share with you throughout 2017.

  • How Lemon and the Sea Got It's Name
  • The World Needs Your Story
  • Why Your Brand Needs to Reflect Who You Are
  • How I Design Websites with My Clients (Instead of Just for Them)
  • How I Use Asana to Stay Organized (and Help My Clients Stay Up-to-Date)
  • How I Got to Where I Am Now
  • My Favorite Non-Business Books that Have Impacted My Business
  • How to Use Index Pages in Squarespace
  • How to Add a Font in Squarespace
  • Squarespace SEO Tricks You Should be Using
  • Why Your Process Matters
  • Pricing Your Services (without Feeling Like You're Guessing)
  • Why You Need a Professional Website (Even if Your Business is Word of Mouth)
  • Why Customer Service Always Matters

Of course, there will be many more posts and I don't have these scheduled yet, but I'm excited by these ideas and how they can help you grow your business.

  

Now it's your turn - what changes do you want to make in 2017? And how can I help?


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


Core Desired Feelings: Abundant

Core Desired Feelings: Abundant | Lemon and the Sea: Feeling abundant despite how much I'm making.

I've finally come to the last word on my Core Desired Feelings list. I've been putting this one off because it was the scariest one for me. It was also the first word I wrote down when I was brain-storming. (You can read more about core desired feelings here). This past week, I focused on feeling abundant.

A Definition

According to dictionary.com, abundant means "present in great quantity; more than adequate; oversufficient; well-supplied; abounding; full; sufficient; luxuriant." Looking at this definition, I wasn't sure how abundant fit with my faith, so I turned to the Bible. It turns out that the word abundant is all over the Bible and usually refers to God's love or the growth and prosperity that He brings.

First Thoughts

"Abundant is, for me, a state of overflow, of feeling, being, having enough. It is a sense of fullness, not of excess, but of knowing the security of enough without hustling and stressing over every detail, every penny. It is monetary, yes, but it is more - freedom, generosity, connection. It is knowing that I am not empty, that I don't have to just "get by," but that I have the freedom to do so much more. It is letting go of all the things that aren't serving me and emerging on the other side of release more full than I went in."

The thing is, as much as I've held abundant in my mind, I'm still not sure I've come to a complete definition. I know that I don't want it to simply mean that I have more of something, but I also feel like it's a moving target. Maybe it has more to do with being satisfied with the blessings God had given me instead of chasing more.

Pursuing Abundant

Honestly, I didn't do as well with this word as I have with the others. I don't think I ever felt totally comfortable with it because my definition hasn't been fleshed out yet. I had a lot of client work on my plate last week and I expected to feel a sense of calm and serenity around my work, but I still felt very harried. There were moments when I could step back and see the blessing in a growing business, but all too often I was so caught up in what I had to get done that I forgot to take the time and be thankful for the work.

So this week, I don't have any tips about how you can pursue abundant. I wish I did. Instead, I've decided that this is a word I need to dig into more deeply and really sit with.

Do you feel abundant?

I'd love to hear about moments when you've felt abundant and what you do to maintain that feeling in the craziness of running a business.


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.
 


Core Desired Feelings: Peaceful

Core Desired Feelings: Peaceful | Lemon and the Sea: How I'm pursuing peace in all aspects of life and business.

Over the past few weeks, I've been talking about how I'm making my core desired feelings a part of the way I choose to live. (You can read more about core desired feelings here). Last week, I focused on one of the words I knew would be difficult for me - peaceful.

Generally, I struggle with feeling at peace (my husband tells me this a lot). It's not that I don't enjoy the feeling of peace, but that I just tend to worry about way too much. And even though I know in my heart that God has everything under control, my head doesn't always believe it. So, peace, for me, is not something that comes naturally.

A Definition

Peace is defined as "the normal, non-warring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world; harmony" according to dictionary.com. And while this is certainly one definition, it doesn't seem to fit with the peace that I'm pursuing, which is internal.

My First Thoughts

Since the definition I found for peace didn't really fit for a Core Desired Feeling, it was really important that I was clear in my initial thoughts about what peace meant to me. "Peace is essential, internal, and impactful. It's the sun on your face, a mind open to all possibilities and able to let go of control. It recognizes an essential truth - that we are not responsible for anyone other than ourselves and that most circumstances are out of our control."

To me, this works much better - it focuses on letting go of control and accepting that even though I have to interact with others, I don't have to let them affect me.

Pursuing Peaceful

Each time I look back over the week I spent pursuing one of my core desired feelings, I see many small things that happened to bring me closer to that feeling. While I'm in the trenches during the week, it's easy to forget that I'm trying to be peaceful, but God has a way of making the circumstances of my week work to get me to where He wants me.

While these little things may seem too small to even count, many of them are huge for me. Because I'm a worrier and a people-pleaser, I have the tendency to put everyone and everything above myself, sometimes to my detriment. I'll answer emails after my office hours even though I know I shouldn't, I'll put off working for my business to start a new client project, or I'll prioritize work over self-care. And while at first glance, those don't seem like they have anything to do with peace, for me they do. Because my journey of pursuing peace is about letting go and learning that some things should be pushed off until another day without the guilty feeling that knots up my stomach.

  • Not responding to emails after my office hours, even when the client wanted me to work right away
  • Going to a festival without stressing over spending money
  • Buying some nice steaks for dinner without (too much) guilt
  • Postponing client projects when I didn't get a response instead of sending multiple emails to get what I needed
  • Taking morning and afternoon walks without checking my email
  • Reading my bible instead of opening Facebook first thing in the morning
  • Starting up a new exercise routine and giving myself grace when I realized how much I need to work on my flexibility
  • Being happy with my dog's progress in training instead of being frustrated that he didn't listen every time
  • Unsubscribing from emails without worrying that I'm missing out
  • Standing firm about personal decisions even when people questioned them

Each of these things individually is so small that they almost seem insignificant, but together they built a week of peace for me that I truly enjoyed.

What can you let go of to have more peace?


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


Core Desired Feelings: Impassioned

Core Desired Feelings: Impassioned | Lemon and the Sea: Why I want to choose to pursue the things I'm passionate about.

This past week was all about feeling nourished. (If you haven't read about my Core Desired Feelings yet, check it out.) The past two weeks have been really busy for me with travel and client work, but throughout it all, the theme of impassioned was at work.

A DEFINITION

Impassioned is defined as: filled with intense feeling or passion; passionate; ardent; blazing; inspired; profound. 

MY FIRST THOUGHTS

Impassioned is all about loving what you do. It's going after great because good enough just won't do. It's intense, contagious, and a little bit scary. It's not about sitting on the side, but instead require that you be all in, no compromises, no silence until it's been released.

PURSUING IMPASSIONED

With my sister's bridal shower and lots of client work, impassioned as a great theme for my recent weeks. I absolutely love what I do and get totally lost in the design process, which to me, is what impassioned is all about. These are some of the small ways that I pursued that feeling:

  • Putting together decorations and favors for my sister's shower
  • Beginning new client projects
  • Talking with clients about their designs and businesses
  • Having my head shots taken in a super fun photo shoot
  • Spending time talking with my husband for hours in the car
  • Cooking some really good meals

WHAT LIGHTS YOU UP?


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.


Core Desired Feelings: Nourished

Core Desired Feelings: Nourished | Lemon and the Sea: Learning to take care of myself and build a life around being kind to myself.

This past week was all about feeling nourished. (If you haven't read about my Core Desired Feelings yet, check it out.) I have to admit, this one wasn't as easy as connected, but I still made an effort to focus on feeling nourished throughout the week.

A Definition

Nourished is defined as: to sustain with food or nourishment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; cherish, foster, sustain. And while I hate with definitions use the words they are defining, I loved that nourishment is about more than just food - it's about cherishing and getting what you need.

My First Thoughts

My brainstorm for this word focuses on more than food as well: "Nourished is a whole being word, not just food, but heart. It is allowing yourself to care for yourself. It is rest, connection, openness, freedom, abundance, healthy, and filled. It is the assurance that you're ready for what's ahead because of the foundation behind. It is coming home when you just can't take the mountaintop anymore with the deep knowledge that you are well loved when you venture out again."

Pursuing Nourished

As I said, this word was more difficult for me than connected. Looking back over the week, a lot of the difficulty stems from my tendency to worry about little things instead of trusting that things will work out the way God has planned. However, even though I failed at times, this isn't a journey to be perfect, but to experience and cultivate these feelings in the midst of every day life. These are some of the ways I pursued nourished this week:

  • Going to church and being open in life group discussions
  • Letting go of making perfect dinners to just enjoy my time
  • Pursing passion projects
  • Trusting God when talking to potential clients
  • Taking an afternoon off to relax
  • Walking at the park and enjoying the nice weather
  • Eating mac & cheese just because it felt so good
  • Discussing branding with other creative entrepreneurs just because I had time
  • Buying a smoothie instead without worrying about paying for it
  • Folding the laundry and listening to podcasts

So many of these things are little that they don't seem to be a big change, but for me, it was more about letting go of anxiety and just enjoying the time I had. And maybe the nourishment from my food wasn't spot on, but that would have been almost too easy - to say I was nourished simply because of what I ate. Nourishment is so much more than that - it's about being full of life.

What nourishes you?


Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family.   I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.