I think 2020 is going to be the year of structure for me.
In 2019 I was wrapped up in a lot of behind the scene stuff that you don’t know about and it slowly but surely begun to stressed me. Here’s a really brief synopsis.
Michael and I successfully got not one but two Airbnb’s up and running which we are so proud of (I linked them below) but it took alot out of us in the process. They are in St.Lucia where I am originally from and many of you noticed us spending a lot of time on the island last year. “Lucky you!” “Goals!” were some of the comments that I got on Instagram and YouTube understandably so being it’s a lovely island and I showed the very rare moments when we escaped briefly to a restaurant or a beach, but behind the scenes it was all pure hard work every day. Once we’d snapped photos and turned the camera off, it was right back to work: having kitchens ripped out, picking up shipped over decor pieces from customs for week on end, spending hours every day in island traffic on the road while bouncing from hardware shop to hardware shop in blazing heat while trying to manage island workers who’s idea of arriving at 9am is arriving 1pm the next day. I kid you not. We did this every single day and at times we were exhausted. Also we never stay in resorts, we would sleep in the Airbnb itself that was being renovated. The good thing is it’s done but it took a toll on both Michael and me.
Coupled with that, I’ve been working alone front and back of camera on YouTube every week without a break while making sure Instagram content goes up plus all admin in the background that no influencer talks about is getting handled. The blog which you’re reading now, wasn’t getting the attention I wanted it too and I missed talking to you here but it was another thing to manage and I got writer’s block. I was cracking. My skin broke out half way through the year and I shortly afterwards developed shingles on my back and chest due to stress which I went to the doctor to help cure. It took about just under a month to go away. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way but I looked at Michael at some point in 2019 and realized that the two of us haven’t had a true vacation in years. Even in St. Lucia because every time we are there, it’s 99% work with 1% down time, the 1% that you see online and 1% of anything is basically nothing.
Over this past Christmas and New Year when most take time off from work to have a break, I was still working: sorting out Instagram posts, filming, editing YouTube videos every week, basically working the entire time. There were some family health issues too that unexpectedly came up which was really stressful too. Even though I resented my former 9 to 5 job where I was laid off (you can read about that in this popular post), I had a proper time off away from work, same on the weekends. When I left the office building it was my free time away from work. As a freelancer you’re your own boss and technically there are no days off unless you give yourself them. I realized at some point in 2019 that I hadn’t given myself ANY days off since I started doing this and have literally worked 24/7 where the week and the weekend are one.
I think this is a long way of saying three things:
1. I need to take time off this year for sure. REAL time off. Not going away and still checking my phone, Instagramming daily every moment of the trip or recording it for future YouTube videos because that’s not a break, it’s me back to work again just in another country. I’d love a proper 2 week long break at least twice a year where I literally am off the grid. Come to think of it how many of you even do that when away? That will be my goal.
2. Hire a team. I realize that 2020 is my year to delegate so I can keep all platforms running but having support from equal minded fashion people to help whether it’s on my blog here, on YouTube or helping with Instagram or just bouncing off content ideas with someone else (currently anything I’ve thought of since 2009 has come from one person: me). Having a team will help me focus on being creative again and grow.
3. Let’s make 2020 our year of setting goals both in life and in work that make a difference 🙂