I Decided to Make My End of Year Evaluation a Blog – Take Heart

Yikes! It’s that something-huge-is-coming-to-a-close, Christmas-is-just-a-few-days-away, holiday, year-end squeeze, yes? It’s always an interesting convergence of that holiday-happy, warmth and good cheer putting a delightfully nostalgic pep in your step, and the *oh my GAWD, how am I going to get all this #$!)#&$)!&#% done?!* panic. I can relate. Boy howdy, can I. As a solopreneur who just so happens to specialize in working closely with other solo acts, entrepreneurs, small businesses and the like, I’ve seen some common characteristics among us brave souls.

As a general rule, we’re remarkably perfectionistic, usually Type-A’s and we tend to do everything ourselves. As opposed to delegating tasks or functions, or taking the leap to *gasp* hire an assistant of some kind. Because we’re so passionate and awesome at what we do, “there’s just NO WAY anyone else could be in our heads and be as awesome,” right? C’mon, admit it. You’ve felt this way, too. And it’s OK. For this renegade bunch, our work is typically our passion, and we’re deeply invested in it heart, mind, body and soul; with a dash of blood, sweat and tears happening for good measure.  As such, it’s not easy to let go of the reigns to just anyone, since we each tend to hold some varying degree of that pesky control freak inside.

Because we can be so intensely nose-to-the-grindstone in our work ethic, at times not even coming up for air, we can also tend to lose sight of what we’ve accomplished at the end of a given year. We either haven’t taken the time to look, or we simply take for granted just how many wins we’ve had, or just how fabulous our accomplishments actually were. I want you to start doing that. It’s important to the health of your business and to your fortitude as a solo act.

As the year begins to come to a close, I’ve spent the morning and some of the last few weeks introspectively evaluating what I accomplished in Balance Integrated Wellness, Beary, Ink., and a handful of other creative endeavors of which I’ve taken the leading role. I’m more comfortable when my work is growing and enabling client successes in big leaps and bounds.  Being the woeful perfectionist I can sometimes be, I’m rarely OK when things move much slower than the speed of light. It’s a blessing and a curse. This year was S.L.O.W. – slow. Most everything has moved at a bit of a snail’s pace, and my accomplishments and wins show it. It’s simply been very different than business-as-usual for me. I nearly boo-hoo’d about it all because you know, the Type-A thing.

But then I dug deeper.

Deciding to rebrand and shift service specialties at the last dying minute with Beary, Ink. this year has been, in a word, hard. Because I’m right smack in the middle of rebrand-messiness and as a branding specialist it is so uncomfortable. As in, keeps me awake at night uncomfortable. I had decidedly put my focus on other business and creative endeavors most of the year, some of which progressed nicely and some that just fell flat despite my greatest efforts. So here sits sweet, little, kinda neglected Beary, Ink. that just got a swift kick in the *ss and is now fighting through this newness deep inside a sticky-icky cocoon, regrowing it’s bold, beautiful, totally transformed – wings. (Sidenote: I am SO sorry, Beary, Ink., and I will never do that to you again. #wewillgetthroughthis)

I’m learning to accept rocky or unexpected changes as part of the playing field in being a solopreneur. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, though!

I think all of us take stock of our year in business and otherwise this wintry, nostalgic season. As I traveled back in time over the year that 2017 has been, to discover what I’m grateful for, and to remember accomplishments and ‘wins,‘ I realized my greatest accomplishments weren’t as simple as the obvious as it relates to business. It wasn’t just ‘landing a new client,’ crafting great content, or masterminding a beautiful new brand that brought a client’s business to life (which is also amazeballs to make happen & I love it), it’s my passion for the craft and the people.


I had an ‘aha’ moment like Oprah does.

That passion, I realized, forces me to jump in, dig deep and start creating real magic for someone where there was none, or not enough of it, before. It’s a take-no-prisoners kind of passion. Maybe a few of you can relate, yes?

It’s the passion and excitement I have for what I’m doing, and for the greatness I see in my clients, what they’re trying to do and who they’re endeavoring to be in the world, that is.. well, it’s the magic of it all. We’re literally birthing something brand new together and mindfully ushering it into the world. It’s a true partnership.

That in-it-to-win-it drive doesn’t allow me to settle for less than the very best in my work on behalf of who I serve. It’s fueled me to sometimes burn the midnight hours until the break of day, to do damage control at wee, wee hours of the morning as I marathon-text a client in a different time zone through a nerve wracking live nationally broadcasted radio show, and it forces me to walk my talk in such a way that I couldn’t be a yes person if you paid me to be. (Meaning if it sucks or falls short of your greatness, I’ll say so. Usually nicely ; ) I have that much appreciation for the power of, and importance of my craft.


I realized the greatest anything and everything I’ve ever produced on behalf of those tucked away into the transformative tribe that is Beary, Ink., has only come to be because of the heart and drive behind it all.

So, this year I’m adding ‘heart’ to the list of what I’m grateful for and what I’ve accomplished. While sustaining that level of intensity isn’t always a cake-walk, there is not one thing I’ve ever accomplished of note, without it unquestionably being the reason why.

I have a sneaky suspicion it’s your ‘why,’ too.

Cheers to you, your success, your accomplishments and most of all, to your heart,
Mary Elizabeth


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