I always love reading about new year intentions/”word of the year” type posts on other blogs, and yet I realized I’ve never written one myself!
I’m a great “do-er” – I love a to-do list and I get a lot of satisfaction from checking things off a list.
This “go-go-go” mentality definitely means I get a lot done. But one thing I haven’t been great at with my business is sitting down and taking the time to think strategically; giving myself the space to come up with a vision/plan for where I want things to go in the future.
I don’t usually stop moving long enough to see where those thoughts would take me!
When I first started my blog in 2009 (whoa), it was just for fun. Sure, I thought it would be great to eventually make some money from it, but I basically just had a blast posting all sorts of random and quirky, unpolished posts with terribly lit food photos, and sharing my adventures in going back to school to become an RD, training for my first half marathon and then marathon, etc.
My blog and business have continued to grow over the years, but I haven’t spent enough time reflecting on where I want this to go, or how I can be more strategic about the content that I’m posting.
Then I had Riese, and my business took a backseat – something I did purposefully and was incredibly grateful to have the ability to do – so that I could focus on my daughter. I’ve been keeping the lights on, so to speak, but I certainly haven’t been giving my business the attention or time that it would need to really grow and thrive.
Maybe it’s because Riese is 2 now and I have a little more mental energy/space to think about things strategically, or maybe it’s because I’ve been really inspired by other bloggers I know that are hiring team members and massively growing their businesses.
Either way, I decided it was time to take a break from the nonstop to do list crossing and give myself a minute to think about where I want this blog to go, and how I want to run my business – and potentially, hopefully, grow my business – this year.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot for the past few weeks, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that I feel ready for a change.
A big change that feels scary because it’s a bit of a gamble, but I think it’s well past time – and honestly I wish it’s something I had done sooner.
What is that change, you ask?
I’ve decided I’m ready to bring another person into my business!
I’ve spent the past decade more or less working alone. I’ve been lucky to collaborate with others for some of the products I’ve created (my Nutrition for Runners program and my Joyful Eating program), and I was also extremely lucky to find an amazing contractor (hi Jackie, you rock!) who has been helping me virtually with my recipe development and food photography since 2013, when she originally joined me as an intern.
But everyone I’ve collaborated with has been virtual, and on a limited/super part-time basis, and as an extrovert, I’ve always really craved the energy that comes from having someone to collaborate with.
I love running my own business, and I love being able to make my own decisions with my brand. But I feel I have lost a lot of excitement and potential business opportunity by always being solo.
I am my most energetic and creative when collaborating and bouncing ideas off of others. Mastermind groups have certainly helped, but I’m ready for something more.
My word for 2020?
Growth feels applicable on many levels, both personal and professional.
I want to continue to grow as a mother and wife.
I want to continue to grow and deepen my relationships with friends.
And in business, I want to do something that I haven’t super actively tried to do in a long time: I want to grow this blog.
My big blog redesign that I’ve been mentioning for the past year is finally (fingers crossed) getting super close to being ready to launch, so that’s a big step here. (Shout out to Emily, my virtual contractor who has been painstakingly tagging all my recipes into different categories so the amazing recipe search function on my new website will actually work!)
But the other big thing I want to do this year is hire someone (hopefully local) to be a big part of my team!
Imagine me not alone in the photo below… 😉
There are a lot of things on the back end of my blog that I know I should be doing to help grow my site – specifically focusing on SEO and optimizing old content.
I’m sitting on a treasure trove of 10 years of content, but a lot of it isn’t getting seen anymore, and I’d like to change that.
I’m looking to hire a local content + SEO specialist who will help me to grow the blog, particularly from a traffic perspective. I’m also hoping we can work together in person on a weekly basis to generate fresh ideas for content, and to be more strategic with what I’m sharing and re-sharing.
I’m excited to see where the business goes this year – thank you guys for joining me on this journey!
Do you have a word of the year? What is it and why?
Curious to read more about the business of blogging? Check out this post: How I Make Money as a Blogger.
Photography credit: Rachel EH Photography