Happy New Year!
Ok so more of a personal one from me to welcome in the new year and the fresh start on the blog for 2017. I don’t normally share too much personal stuff over here, after all, most people are here for home interior inspiration, but don’t worry I’m going to be sharing some ideas for interior updates too, as well as giving you a bit more of me in this post.
I don’t do New Year resolutions. I learned many years ago that I never stick to them, and like most people I soon fall of the diet wagon, drink more rum than I should and am shouting at the kids again before I know it. But, as a freelance blogger, there’s little to do at Christmas so it’s a great opportunity to take a step away from being online and just live without thinking about work. The funny thing is, this is when I have my best ideas. It’s when I have the head space to think and be inspired about what I could do next. I feel energised, refreshed and buzzing. It’s a great feeling.
At the end of 2016, it seemed everywhere I looked, people were talking about how we needed to be setting our 2017 goals. Now I’m all for planning. And I’m pretty good at it. But I was so bogged down in the stresses and strains of the Christmas workload that, quite frankly, thinking about anything other than making it through the week, and hitting December 25th was not going to happen. It bothered me that I couldn’t do it. But then at a family party we laughed about what I wanted to achieve.
- Keep the children going in one piece
- Make some money
- Stay sane.
Ok, so that’s a bit of a joke, but essentially that is how I feel. Of course I’d like some personal fulfilment in there too, and that’s where my work comes in. So during this break, I’ve been taking the time to be inspired and reflect on what happened in 2016. Sometimes things happen so fast, it’s not until you look back that you can really see how much you have achieved. So I thought I’d share some of my highlights with you, and talk about how much planning and goal setting went into them.
Live TV: I started the year with an exciting job, working as a freelance guest presenter on the live shopping channel QVC. I would do rug shows with a full-time presenter selling for a rug brand, for a whole hour. I’d travel the 7 hours there and back for the slot, leave and then wait to be called on for the next one. I had an agent which was exciting. And each show took about a day’s prep. I did it for about 6 months and loved the actual telly bit, but the travel was arduous and the work sporadic. This wasn’t a planned job; it just kind of happened and I went along with it to see where it might lead. In the end the effort and stress far outweighed the rewards so I stopped doing it. It’s ok to say no.
Travel: One of my most exciting achievements this year has been the opportunity to travel for my job. It just started with an invite to Valencia with Porcelanosa in January, and then never seemed to stop. I visited Barcelona and went on the Ant and Dec cruise through my collaborative travel blog, We Blog Travel; went to Germany and Luxembourg with Villeroy and Boch; went back to Spain for a week-long design tour of Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid in the summer; then another design tour in The Netherlands, finishing with a whistle-stop trip back to Barcelona in November. These experiences have truly been incredible, and I’ve grabbed every one and made the most of them.
They weren’t planned, but many have led to other opportunities too. I do believe I make myself available and do my very best for the brands when I’m with them and afterwards. And I hope that the subsequent content on the blog is useful and inspiring for my readers too.
Pinterest Coaching: This year has seen the launch of my Pinterest courses. I have 3 now, aimed at small businesses and bloggers who want to make the most of Pinterest for their brand. One is completely free, another is more in depth and available here, and the final one is Pin School, a collaboration with Sarah Akwisombe, a blogger who runs the No Bull Blog School. I knew at the beginning of the year I wanted to diversify but wasn’t sure how. So I enlisted the help of creative coach Jen Carrington who helped me turn my ideas into something more tangible. (Jen is incredible for anyone looking for a coach to help them). The Pinterest courses were born. This area of my work was more contrived, but definitely not planned out. I just knew it was time to develop the blog and build something more long-lasting in terms of income. It’s been a huge learning curve, and taken me well out of my comfort zone at times but the possibilities within it are endless.
Talking of comfort zone, my final trip to Barcelona in 2016 still gives me goosebumps. The team I’d visited in the summer invited me back to deliver a Pinterest for Business workshop for their Spanish design clients. With brands like Nani Marquina, Simon and Santa & Cole present (amongst many others) I created a 3 hour workshop taking them through everything they needed to know. It was a fantastic session, and definitely something we’re going to repeat. Watch out for more on this in 2017.
So what does 2017 hold for me and the blog? Well, if 2016 is anything to go on, a lot I hope!
First up, I’m about to run some free online Pinterest training with Sarah.
Our first live webinar is on January 10th where we’re talking all about how to use Pinterest effectively to boost traffic to your blog or your business website. You can come and sign up for the session HERE.
We will also be relaunching Pin School this month so you can get on the early mailing list to find out all about it right HERE.
Next I want to do more Coaching:
This year I’d love to build on the coaching I did last year and bring more workshops, courses and one to one session to you. But to do this I need a new website so that’s first – building a new site to house all my coaching and courses.
But what about Love Chic Living?
So I want to bring even more great content and use the skills I’ve learned in my Pinterest coaching here.
What do you want? I’m thinking lots of great resources building and developing the content I’ve given in blog posts. So things like checklists for those planning a loft conversion (this is already written actually and almost ready to launch). Perhaps downloads for decorating and designing your favourite rooms – bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms. Then how about storage ideas – in much more detail than on a blog post, with something you could print off and refer back to when needed. Decorating in small spaces is also really popular on the blog, so I’ll plan some checklists and perhaps develop a workbook later.
Next I’m going to be giving those of you on my mailing list much better value. It’s been much neglected, but very soon I’m going to be sending out a new email with lots of great insights, inspirations, ideas, products of the week, where to shop and what to look out for. It’s going to be jam-packed. I want to stay in touch with my readers more and find out exactly what you want to see and hear from me. So if you’re not on the list, you can join it right now, and you’ll even get the Love Chic Living shopping guide too. Sign up here.
I guess all that does sound like a plan, but to me it’s inspiration. Some of it might happen, some might not. I’m not going to stress if it doesn’t. Remember my 3 goals at the top of the post? They are still at the forefront of everything I do so if some of this other stuff doesn’t happen it’s no big deal. As long as I move forward that’s what counts for me.
And finally, what would you like to see me tackle on the blog? What interior problems do you want me to write about? I’d love to know your thoughts. And if you’re like me and avoid New Year’s resolutions let me know.