In 2014, I wrote my first ‘year in review’ as a business owner and it was a wild experiment in radical vulnerability . I expressed the true ups and downs of how I function in the world, and it was quite lengthy. I remember the moment I hit publish, I blushed something fierce. I was scared to really lift the curtain.
This year is no exception. 2015 makes 2014 look like child’s play – by a long shot.
I’ve done an overarching of what went well and what could have been better in a couple categories, then a chronological play by play, and I ranked how I was feeling in a few categories. My review is long, but it gives a VERY clear picture of my year, which – to say the least – was… ahem.., effing challenging.
Then, Now, Future?
What Went Well in 2015
Saying ‘No’ A Lot
I spent most of 2015 saying ‘no’. No to clients who were a ‘meh’ fit. No to attending events that didn’t resonate. The No’s that I said expanded my personal yeses and gave me S P A C E to process the amount of grieving I had to do during the course of 2015.
Joining The Author Incubator has been worth EVERY penny I paid. And my relationships with my editor and my coach keep me going even when the shit hits the fan.
What Could Have Been Better
Consistent Income/Managing Cashflow better
Less time in front of the computer
Need I say more? I spent farrrrr too much time on a phone or computer.
What the Future Holds
Life & Health
Then, Now Future?
What Went Well in 2015?
This year was a bear. It was a year of grieving A FUCK TON of losses. Read the detailed account if you want to know more. But I did move some, and I did take a skiing job to MAKE SURE I moved more. And I learned how to eat well on the road, even if I didn’t do it all the time. 🙂
I did move some. I did ski a fair amount. And I did have a TON of fun, despite the grieving.
But it was a year of curve balls, many of which I couldn’t juggle simultaneously.
What Could Have Been Better
No, but seriously. I had a GREAT time traveling, playing, etc. But every day was a reminder how difficult things were, until I embraced ease in August.
What the Future Holds
NOW! For the BIG Kahuna Break Down, or What 2015 Actually Looked Like (Warning…This is long….)
My wife, Evie, left the military in December 2014. Her last paycheck hit our bank account in January. We both looked on with shock and awe and knew that everything would change this year. We felt it in our guts.
We celebrated the New Year in Columbia, MO at a local club – our first experience at a ‘club’ in years. We started to feel old… very old.
But there was some magic in the thumpa thumpa, and we met some amazing and solid people who would be PIVOTAL to our ability to manage what we faced during the year.
I spent the month of January launching my first group experience and my first mastermind, the MB3 Laboratory & Mastermind from my grandmother’s house. She had internet installed so that I could spend the month with her, and still get my work done. Three weeks into the launch, it was a mostly flop. I only sold 5 spots in the Lab. The mastermind clients who did apply were not my ideal clients, and I said no to nearly 8 people, which curtailed my income dramatically. (For reference, that was nearly $77,000 of income!)
It might not have been the smartest decision as the only bread-winner in the family, but it felt right. And in hindsight, I am OH SO GLAD I said no.
I interviewed over 30 website designers, and I thought I found my dream designer. We agreed to start working together in April or so.
The third week of the month we left Columbia, MO and headed back home to Colorado. We left my Oma, promising we’d see her again in June to take her to her summer home in Wisconsin. She cried profusely. Little did I know, our summer plans wouldn’t come true.
A week after we left for Colorado, my mother called me to say that Oma had checked into a nursing home. I panicked and wanted to fly back to Columbia, but I had a huge trip planned with Evie, including a photo shoot with the inimitable Catherine Just scheduled. So I breathed, and trusted the Universe that all would be well.
By the Numbers:
Movement: 10 We went to the gym! We stretched! We walked!
Business: 7 Solid but scary.
Life: 8.5 Lots of quality time with ze wife and Oma. But adjusting to 24/7 life with Evie wasn’t easy.
Road Trip Car Miles: 1,500
I was desperate. It wasn’t likely that I’d get to see my Oma again unless I flew in. Right. THEN.
Both of my parents said not to do it. They told me that my Oma was barely coherent and reminded me that I got to spend a month with her just a few weeks before. So I trusted the inevitable would happen: she would pass and it would be soon. I prayed that she’d wait for a few weeks.
I flew to LA with my wife and met up with my sister in law, Clara. I flew her in to LA to be my hair stylist! (I felt super swank doing such things). The next morning, I met a soul sister, Catherine Just, the gorgeous soul behind my new brand photos.
We spent nearly 5 hours playing, taking photos, dancing, drinking green juice and laughing. Within minutes, Catherine had me topless except for a kimono. I suppose we were comfortable with each other! That night, we celebrated.
Afterward our celebrations, I fell into a deep sleep and dreamed of my Oma telling me all was well. My Oma and I walked through forests in my dreams, barefoot, sharing secrets, and giggling like school girls.
I woke up at 5:30 am to go to the bathroom. Something in me stirred. I got back to sleep, only to wake at 8 am to the news that she was gone. She’d passed at about 5:30am-ish Pacific time – the exact moment I woke to go to the bathroom.
I didn’t cry, not even one tear. I smiled, and breathed and knew that all was well for my Oma.
I prayed that her soul rested easily, and I lit a candle for her. She was 87.
We flew to Salt Lake City to see Sleater Kinney in concert (first of two concerts this year). We drove to Mystic Hot Springs for a deeply healing two days, and I got to meet Aubrey Ixchel. Aubrey took some magical photos of me – photos that I cherish deeply to this day.
Suddenly, after nearly 20 years of camera shyness, I was joyous in front of the lens, thanks to Aubrey and Catherine.
Then Evie and I hit Vegas for Rugby Sevens. Then we headed back home, and then we drove back to Columbia, Missouri for my Oma’s memorial service. It was a lot of driving!
On February 27th, I got a call telling me that my 11-month-old puppy was sick. My dear friend and dog sitter took her to the vet. The vet royally fucked up and sent her home. My puppy died in my friend’s arms that night. Our precious Mabel was gone.
The next day, I had to speak at my grandmother’s memorial. I’d hit rock bottom on sadness and wondered how I’d ever recover. Strangely enough, my business exploded.
Movement: 6 (mostly skiing)
Life: -225 There were a lot of tears, lots of bargaining, and lots of anger.
Road Trip Car Miles: 2,300 or so
My designer, who I thought was awesome, dropped off the face of the earth. I interviewed 20 more. No one was a good fit. I resigned myself to not getting a new website, at least not in the very near future. I continued to hope that maybe my dream designer would show up again.
I flew to NYC to meet with one of the coaches I hired and to go on retreat. I got to spend nearly a week with Kate Marolt, one of my besties. I found myself wondering what the heck I was doing with my life and why the hell was I still coaching… Strange upper limit pondering after such a successful month.
Health: 3 I was often sick, emotionally exhausted, ignoring my grief, and drinking too much wine to numb the sad stuff.
Movement: 4 Mostly skiing
Road Trip Car Miles: Few hundred, back and forth between our house and ski mountains.
There was lots of sadness, frustration, and exhaustion in the experience. We debated keeping her house and using it as a rental property. We were reluctant to let go, as my Oma had built that house. She designed it; it oozed her. But we had to let it go.
We drove – one last time – from Columbia, MO, home. I drove for 10 hours straight, and spent a good portion of the drive reminiscing.
Movement: 1 (what movement?)
Business: 5 Mindset based. I felt sad about saying no to so many clients earlier in the year, but I was riding the high of a big month, and hiring people left and right.
Road Trip Car Miles: 1,500
Quick Lessons: French bistros are tasty, but 6 French bistros in 3 days is far too many. And French wine is delicious, but it does get old after a few days. Who knew!?
I hosted my first retreat for my mastermind. We had a gorgeous time, but I spent a good portion of the time stressed by cash flow. It was NOT the best way to spend a retreat. But, the retreat was productive. The company was good. And we had a grand time in Steamboat. There are massages, adventures, and trips to hot springs.
I decided to write The Intention Generation, and realized that our current way of operating in the world is deeply flawed – even in sso-called”intentional communities”. I started writing.
Movement: 3 Except for some stretching, I was not moving
Business: -3 In terms of profit (I took out my first business loans). 8 In terms of joy it was bringing me
Life: 1-10 Depending on the day
Road Trip Car Miles: 1,630
Quick Lessons: I love to lead retreats, but they can be hard. Holding space for that many people effectively is difficult. I am getting better at it all the time
After nearly three months of waiting for a job to come through for the reserves, Evie received a part-time Air Force Reserve job, with the stipulation that we needed to live within a certain distance from the base, outside of Davis, California. We researched the Bay Area, Sacramento, and finally settled on Lake Tahoe on a whim.
I had long let go of my ‘dream web designer’, but then I received an email that said she could start in October. I couldn’t wait that long, so I went back to the drawing board. Then I found Alyssa Burtt from Brave Narrative.
We drove home to Colorado to move some more stuff out of our house and give our tenants some breathing room. Then we headed to Canada to film for Natalie MacNeil’s Conquer Camp.
While we were in Canada, the US women’s soccer team won the quarter-final game, so we bought tickets to the semi-final game in Montreal and drove all the way across Canada to see it. We stoped to visit friends in Toronto, then headed to Montreal. We watched Canada beat Germany and then we drove to Door County.
Health: 8 Except for being sedentary, I was eating well on the road and enjoying life to the fullest
Movement: 0 All driving, all the time.
Business: 2. Stagnant and low on cash flow, but trying to pay people left and right
Road Trip Car Miles: 4,346
Quick Lessons: Road trips are fun, but having a place to hang my hat feels really fucking good sometimes. I don’t like sleeping on couches. And I learned that having kind and generous friends is important to my well-being.
Movement: 5 Some standup paddleboard action
Business: 2 Stagnant and low on cash flow
Life: Varied by day
Road Trip Car Miles: 2,532
I got to spend less than 24 hours with Evie before heading back on the road to NYC for training with one of my coaches.
I got to spend a week with my dear friend, Matthew, and I met HeatherAsh. We started an email friendship and hit it off right away. I found a soul sister.
I flew BACK to Colorado for a Sacred Living retreat. I released a lot of my grief during this retreat, and set intentions for my future in a BIG way.
My friends took a plane home, and I met up with Elizabeth Dialto for a deeply transformational weekend where I completely shifted the way in which I exist in the world.
The Untame Yourself weekend blew me open emotionally. I revamped my core desired feelings. I found space and ease and realized that things ARE easy – the problems I faced during the year were simply a part of life: unavoidable, inevitable, and deeply scarring, BUT not the end of the world! I would, indeed, be A-OK.
Health: 7.5 and on the up and up
Movement: 6 I started dancing regularly again
Business: 8 Suddenly cash flow opened up again
Life: A general uprooted feeling
Road Trip Car Miles: 2,624
Quick Lessons: Investing in your well-being is just as important as investing in your business. Take time to heal, take time to process, and then take time to integrate. Oh, and I want a freaking baby in 2016!
We went kayaking! Swimming! Standup paddleboarding! We cooked! We chatted! We camped! We watched our nephew play soccer! We met new babies! We got time with family! It. Was. Glorious.
I realized that I didn’t want to be in California, and we found out we didn’t HAVE to be there. So we made plans to move back home to Colorado.
I cooked for 17 women for four days for the I AM Sisterhood retreat, just outside of Seattle. I spent the days in the kitchen, cooking nourishing foods for this gorgeous group. I found joy in the service and the simplicity, and I was reminded (for the fifth time this year) that food is a huge part of my life.
I was given a new spiritual name, which I embraced with deep joy. I sobbed hysterically into the Salt Bowl, during a manifesting ritual of the Sacred Living Movement. I got to meet my future kiddo in the bowl, and I released a lot of bullshit into the bowl. I was spurned on to the spiritual path of the Priestess, and I sought out a spiritual mentor. I started meditating more regularly.
Most of my clients’ contracts ended, and I launched the 100 Sessions In 100 Days Project. Over the course of the rest of the year, I met with 100 women for a 45-minute FREE no pitch session, each.
I found that saying NO opens me to possibilities. Just like magic, I rediscovered boundaries and released FOMO. #magic
Evie dropped me off at the Amtrak in Bellingham, and I headed to Canada for my first professional speaking gig at Shine Live! – Chantelle Adams‘ big event. It was a HUGE deal for me, and I had the time of my life. I found a client or two, and a friend or two, too! In my humble opinion, made the experience a win!
We moved back to Colorado. I felt tension release.
Business: 7 Things were on the up and up
Road Trip Car Miles: 3,601
Planes: 4 (and a few ferries and trains too)
I headed to Soul Camp West. I spent five days at the summer camp I went to as a CHILD. It was magic. I met friends and mentors left and right. I healed a lot of the hurt that came from earlier in the summer. I sealed the final wounds in my healing journey.
Movement: 5 Resisting it. Still.
Business: 7 Feeling MUCH better – like I can do this again.
Road Trip Car Miles: 1,400
We got to tailgate in the Bliss Bus for a few days, and then we dropped it off to get some wiring repaired.
At some point during this month, we found out that our mountain cabin is being WILDLY encroached upon because of zoning issues and lot line issues. A new house was being built just a few feet from ours. Our sanctuary felt ruined, and we debated about selling the house (the decision is still on the table).
Road Trip Car Miles: ZERO (well my wife drove 740, but not me!)
I accepted a part-time job as a ski instructor at Beaver Creek, Colorado to expand my range and get me OUT OF THE FREAKING HOUSE. I spent two full weeks training and realized it was the best decision I have ever made.
My accounts got hacked. I had to put my book on hold until the March publication date (instead of January) because I was drowning with lawyers (for the house with the encroachment), paperwork (for everything), and the holidays. I rejoiced because it was easy and cost a few bucks, but it was nothing to freak out about.
The Bliss Bus is FINALLY – after a year of disrepair – WORKING FLAWLESSLY! We schemed about how we will play with it next year.
I booked two more clients, putting me at 75% booked for one-on-one coaching. I had nearly 100 beta testers for my new group program.
I got accepted into my PhD program, the one I have been DREAMING OF for a decade. Seriously. A whole decade.
The Right Now, By the Numbers:
Health: 7 I’m eating out waaaaay too much. Ski culture comes with happy hour too often, but I am learning to say no happily.
Total Road Trip Miles: 21,433
Total Miles on the Car in One Year: ~ 35,000
Total Planes: 21
Miles Traveled? Right about 100,000 (if mileage earned in coupons and driven is accurate)
Biggest Lessons Learned?
My best investments of the year? Working with Natalie MacNeil, Maggie Patterson, I AM. Creative, Alyssa Burtt, Angela Lauria, Alejandra Ortega, Catherine Just and Elizabeth Dialto. Each played a VERY important role in this year’s successes, and I seriously would have been lost without each one of them.
The rest? Fine investments, but not earth shattering. And yes, running your own business can be mighty expensive once you start hiring people, BUT it is oh so worth it!