110 – A New Year: Looking Back & Looking Forward
A New Year: Looking Back and Looking Forward

Grab a cup of coffee (or bourbon) and join Laura and Nikki as they review what went well last year, what could have gone better, and what their plans are for the upcoming year – both for their personal/professional lives and for the Startist Society podcast!

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Resources Mentioned

Nikki's 2024 Calendar!

This year’s calendar is full of trees, flowers, birds and insects from my 2023 public art commission at Barkley Regional Airport. The flora and fauna are all found in and around Paducah and the piece was titled after Angles, the Paducah estate of former Vice President Alben Barkley.

Added bonus: The calendar is printed on such high-quality paper that you’ll want to frame all 12 images and enjoy them for years to come – or give them as gifts.

9.5 x 17.5 inches

BUY NOW!

Laura

00:01
Wow, Nikki, I can’t believe we reached the end of another year. I mean, dang, it’s like I blinked and the whole year went by.

Nikki

I can’t even believe it. I still haven’t even done my yearly planning for 2023. I think I actually have like a big page in a journal that has 2023 plans written at the top and maybe two vague thoughts. I think what I need to do is just cross out the 23 and write in 24.

Laura

Well in today’s episode, we thought it would be fun to share both podcast and personal updates on how the last year went, both the highlights and the challenges, as well as some of our fun plans for the coming year with you.

Laura

00:55
Hi, this is Laura Lee Griffin.

Nikki

And this is Nikki May with the Startist Society, inspiring you to stop getting in your own way and start building an art biz and life that you love.

Laura

We are artists who believe strongly in the power of community, accountability, following your intuition, taking small actionable steps and breaking down the barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you stuck.

Nikki

Follow along with us on our creative business journey as we encourage you on yours.

Nikki

01:27
All right, Laura, let’s start with accomplishments and highlights from 2023. What went well for, let’s start with the podcast.

Laura

Okay, well with the podcast, drum roll, we hit 100 episodes this year.

Woohoo! Woohoo! Woohoo!

Nikki

We hit 100 episodes a month or two back, couple months back.

Laura

Yep.

Nikki

01:54
And we are in our third year of podcasting. And we’re still going strong.

Laura

Yeah, it is awesome. We’re still in the top 200 visual arts category of Apple podcast. We have listeners in 95 countries and counting. And more than two dozen freebies are available in our resource vault. So if you haven’t checked those out yet, by all means, go to startistsociety.com and sign up for our email list, and you’ll get access to all of those great freebies.

Nikki

02:24
Definitely. And as of this past week, we have interviewed 35 awesome artists and entrepreneurs.

Laura

Yeah, some really amazing interviews, so many good gold nuggets throughout them. And we hope you’ve enjoyed listening to them as much as we’ve enjoyed recording them.

Nikki

Do you remember, I don’t know if you were as nervous as I was, but before our very first interview, which, was Shannon McNabb our first interview?

Laura

It was.

Nikki

02:53
I was so freaking nervous. And now it’s my favorite thing to do.

Laura

I know. I know, isn’t it funny? And that’s really what speaks to you being on this journey with us and us stepping outside of our comfort zones. And we hope that that inspires you to step out of yours as well. Because a lot of the things we do, we’re really scared to do them. But once we step outside and actually do the thing, we’re like, oh, well, that wasn’t so scary after all.

Nikki

03:17
That wasn’t so bad. In fact, that’s my favorite thing. What else have we accomplished here?

Laura

Well, this year, I got to visit Paducah, Kentucky for the first time.

Nikki

And that’s just everybody’s biggest dream, isn’t it?

Laura

And I got to visit my favorite podcast co-host.

Nikki

You mean your only podcast co-host, Laura, don’t you? Are you sneaking around on me?

Laura

03:46
No, but it was super fun. Paducah is a very artsy town. Tons of bourbon bars, which no surprise.

Nikki

We went to all of them.

Laura

But lots of cool little art collective places. I did spend, you know, drop some change in a couple of those stores. And we went to an amazing restaurant called Freight House that has like a world famous chef there who was on Top Chef. What’s her name again? Sara.

Nikki

Her name is Sara Bradley.

Laura

04:15
Sara Bradley. So that was super cool. So highly recommend that if you’re ever in Paducah, Kentucky. And what I loved about it was the charm of the city because it was like everything feels really old. And if anything new is built, they kind of build it in old style. So you kind of feel like you’re, you’re surrounded by hundred year old buildings, which I think is super cool.

Nikki

I only wish you could have stayed longer so that we could have done more things, seen more places and I could have shown you even more. But we spent so much of the time holed up in your Airbnb, just working, planning, plotting.

Laura

I know. I know. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.

Nikki

Yeah. All right, Laura, let’s move into personal stuff. What great things you do or happened in 2023? All right. So in 2023, I reached over 1600 students through my two Skillshare classes.

Nikki

05:09
That’s amazing.

Laura

Right? That’s so cool. It’s just amazing how I’ve been able to reach so many different students through my Mindful Mandala’s Procreate class for those that like digital art and my Copic Essentials class, which is for Copic marker students. And it’s just been such a fun, rewarding experience to create those first two classes.

Nikki

And some extra little checks don’t hurt.

Laura

05:37
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So that’s been really great as well to have that that sort of passive income coming through. Let’s see what else – I completed about 20 paintings.

Nikki

That’s amazing.

Laura

Yeah, it was really good because it’s been a super busy year. And I settled into my house finally, after putting a ridiculous amount of money into all the broken things inside of it.

Nikki

Yeah, but it’s beautiful. I can’t wait to visit you there.

Laura

06:06
Yeah, it is amazing.

Nikki

But you don’t have room to park a bus, do you?

Laura

I don’t. Yeah. Not a 40 foot bus, Nikki.

Nikki

Not very many people do.

Laura

Don’t even think it’s allowed in the neighborhood. So we’re going to have to ship you in and out.

Nikki

I’m resourceful. What else?

Laura

Well, I had friends visit me from multiple continents around the globe and they came to visit me in my new space and we were able to paint together inside my new home studio space. So that was super fun.

Nikki

Nice.

Laura

I mean, before in my condo that I had in Dallas, we’d have to like go outside on a sunny day to paint because there was like no room for anybody to do stuff inside. It was just so jam packed.

Nikki

You like painting with other people? It’s not something that I’ve ever considered doing.

Laura

Oh yeah, it’s super fun.

Nikki

To me, making art is almost, unless I’m taking a workshop, it’s a solitary thing.

Laura

Well, we’ll do workshops together. So like we’ll pick a painting to do together and then we can actually do the thing together. And then the paintings always look very different when you’re done, it’s super fun.

Nikki

Gotcha.

Laura

But I’ve also done it where I’ve brought people over and then we’ve just painted whatever we felt like painting. And it’s just fun to have that, I don’t know, that person there in the studio with you, just cheering you on and enjoying the time. So I really love that and I’m hoping to do more of that in the coming year.

Nikki

07:26
All right, when I come visit, we’re going to paint together.

Laura

Awesome. So the next thing I did was I had a pop up shop in my new town at a local art collective, so that was sort of stepping out of my comfort zone and it was just on a Saturday where I went for a day and I sold a couple paintings, I sold a hand painted ornament, so well worth the time. And the table only cost $25, so it was like amazing. So that worked out really well. I’ll have to do that again.

Nikki

Cool.

Laura

I bought around eight art classes to expand my skillset that of course I’ve hardly started yet.

Nikki

Wait, is that what went well or?

Laura

I think it’s, it went well that I found them and I’m excited about them. Not so well that I didn’t actually complete them yet, but yeah.

Nikki

08:20
Well, it’s another year coming up.

Laura

It’s another year. The other thing that was good is that I did all of this while managing a 70 plus hour work week in my day job.

Nikki

I’m actually amazed at how much you still manage to get done considering how many hours you work.

Laura

Yeah.

Nikki

It’s impressive.

Laura

Yeah, it is. I mean, it’s not great that I don’t sleep very much, but…

Nikki

Ehh, you’ll sleep when you’re dead.

Laura

08:48
So, I have really enjoyed being able to do more of these things, but I do want to have more dedicated time. And we’ll talk more about that in a minute. So, Nikki, why don’t you tell me about what went really well for you this past year?

Nikki

Well, I finally, in the second half of the year, got my solar, electrical stuff straightened out and my hot water working in my bus.

Laura

Hey, that’s a bonus.

Nikki

09:15
Yeah, having hot running water and electricity is kind of important.

Laura

Kind of important, yeah.

Nikki

I traveled to nine different states and I was going to count all the cities that I traveled to, but I don’t think I can count that high.

Laura

Wow.

Nikki

And I went to four skoolie and/or nomad gatherings where I met a whole bunch of amazing new people a new community that I never knew existed.

Laura

Yeah, there’s a whole subculture for that, right?

Nikki

Oh yeah. And even multiple subcultures within that subculture.

Laura

Cool, cool.

Nikki

On the work side, I launched five new brands and websites that I’m super proud of for some really great clients in addition to the around 20 that I consistently work with that I’ve built in the past.

Nikki

10:14
So really productive year that way. And the most exciting thing is I completed the largest, coolest art commission of my life, which we talked about in several episodes, the commission I did for the local airport here.

Laura

Yeah, super cool.

Nikki

Yeah. I just a couple of weeks ago accidentally started another new business, which I haven’t even told you about.

Laura

How do you accidentally start a business?

Nikki

10:42
I don’t know, you’ll have to ask my new business partner. Her name is Nat. You’ll have to ask her.

Laura

Okay, what is this business?

Nikki

More about that later, but it has to do with art and design and skoolie life.

Laura

Oh, okay. Okay, cool. Cool.

Nikki

Because I wasn’t busy enough.

Laura

Yeah, because you just needed to add one more thing to your plate.

Nikki

Well, you know, ideas, they just keep popping into my head.

Nikki

11:08
One of the most exciting things that happened was I got to actually sort of, kind of hang out and spend some time with my favorite musician, performer, Amanda Palmer.

Laura

Do you mean you stalked Amanda Palmer? Was there any kind of restraining order involved? Because I know you and Amanda Palmer.

Nikki

No, we totally hung out. I mean, she hung out and I hung out and we were in the same room. There was…very little actual interaction, but…

Laura

You hung out next to each other.

Nikki

We were in the same room. Who cares that I paid to be there?

Laura

Now, you know, there’s one thing I don’t see on this list, Nikki. What’s that? I remember when I came to Paducah, I saw a lovely magazine that had you in it.

Nikki

I believe you saw two lovely magazines that had me in them.

Laura

There you go. Tell us about those.

Nikki

12:03
Yes, yes, actually. Two local magazines, one is called Paducah Life, and one is called Posh, and they’re just magazines about all the cool things in Paducah, people, places, and both of them did stories about me and my art, and specifically my bus.

Laura

That’s pretty awesome. Super cool pictures.

Nikki

Yeah, I got some really great professional photos out of them, too.

Laura

12:32
Why don’t we share a picture of one of the spreads or something in the show notes so people can see?

Nikki

That’s a great idea.

Laura

Because I think it’s really cool.

Nikki

Yeah, thanks. Thanks.

Laura

All right, so let’s talk a little bit about what didn’t go as well as we would have liked last year.

Nikki

Do we have to? Okay, so let’s start out with the podcast. Okay, let me start with this. Well, we have continued to commit publicly to some personal art challenges that we may or may not have actually completed.

Laura

Well, Nikki, I did make one Facetober post. Doesn’t that count?

Nikki

Well, Laura, I downloaded the prompts. Doesn’t that count? We’re very sorry, Charlie. We love your challenge. We just kind of suck.

Laura

Well, there were also a few online and offline offerings we were planning to release this past year that are still in the works but the launch plan’s just been delayed a little bit.

Nikki

Yeah, see also Laura’s day job and my over committing to other things, which is maybe why all of these things are still gonna happen and more just on a little slower timeline than planned.

Laura

Which is totally okay. Yep, and our plan of having two planning retreats a year got a little bit off schedule.

Nikki

We only managed to fit one in-person session. I really hope we can get back to doing two a year because A, they’re super fun. And we get so much accomplished when we sit in the same room and dedicate all this time to it without the distractions of everyday life.

Laura

Yeah, absolutely.

Nikki

In fact, I gotta say, it’s easier to get more done when we meet in a city that’s not either one of our homes. Because like here in Paducah, I had to introduce you to everybody. I had distractions pulling on my time. So I really liked when we’ve met in other cities.

Laura

Well, I’m really going for Barcelona. So if you want to do that next year.

Nikki

I can’t drive my bus to Barcelona. But that’s OK. I’ll still go.

Laura

OK, maybe like Portland, Oregon or someplace in the Pacific Northwest.

Nikki

Oh, absolutely. OK, that would be cool.

Laura

Absolutely.

14:57
All right, so Nikki, tell me a little bit about what didn’t go as well as you would have liked this past year in your personal world.

Nikki

Well, I continue to be unhappy with my time management skills. And I end up working far too many hours and not being nearly as efficient as I could be. I’ve talked a lot about how systems and processes are not my strong suit. But I really want to work on that. I always want to work on that. But that’s one of the things that I could have gone a lot better. I think I could have been a lot better with my time management and gotten projects done more efficiently than I have.

Laura

And that is one thing you’ll notice that we ask a lot in our podcast interviews when we interview other artists is we kind of always want to know, ooh, what’s your secret sauce to like getting all these things done?

Nikki

Yeah.

Laura

15:52
I’m still holding out for like a Harry Potter house elf, but I haven’t gotten one yet.

Nikki

I don’t know what that is. I mean, I know what the word house means and I know what the word elf means, but I don’t know what Harry Potter means.

Laura

That’s kind of sacrilege, but okay. You know, that’s okay.

Nikki

I’m not religious.

Laura

All right.

Nikki

So the other thing is, although I have gotten, finally gotten all the important systems working in my bus, it took far too much time and cost far too much money. So, you know, one of the beautiful dreams of living in a bus is to streamline everything, make everything simpler, make everything more affordable. And because of circumstances beyond my control, I had to fix a lot of things in the bus and it ended up costing a lot more money than it was supposed to, which is part of the reason that I’m working more than I really want to.

Laura

16:52
Right.

Nikki

So that’s another thing. And as much as I love living and traveling in the bus, there is no shortage of challenges that it’s introduced into my life, which really cuts into my time and money budget for other things that I had planned to do.

Laura

Yeah, I think there’s always a romantic view. Like when you see about things like, oh, you know, moving into a traveling bus and seeing the world is very romantic. And then like the practicality of it, like when things start breaking down and stuff happens, you’re like, oh, yeah.

Nikki

Well, and just other things you don’t think about. I mean, I had done a lot of research before I did this. I didn’t go into it with completely rose colored glasses. I knew that there would be a lot of things that I had to take care of that you don’t when you’re living in a house. You don’t have to worry about your own plumbing stuff. But I, you know, I just didn’t know how much time driving and getting set up and then packing up to drive and checking all the systems and, you know, I mean, yeah, you just don’t know till you do it. And I’m sure that as I get more used to it and more knowledge, things will be second nature that I have to really think about now. But it’s definitely cut into like I had this beautiful image of when I was going from place to place, I would drive for a couple hours in the morning, and then I’d have all afternoon and evening to work and then relax. And really, a travel day pretty much takes all day.

Laura

And then if you’re not able to stay a place for say, like two to three weeks, then there’s a lot of travel days.

Nikki

There’s a lot of travel days and that eats into the time you have to do other things. So yeah. Yeah. I’m getting better at it little by little so that, you know, I’m working things out. But I had to laugh, I met somebody new who just talked about what a charmed life I’m leading and I’m like, dude, take a look in here. Does this look like charm to you? It is still cool. Like I It is cool and I love it and I’m not complaining and I don’t regret it. I’m just sharing that there are more challenges than anticipated.

Laura

Yeah, I get it.

Nikki

All right. What about you, Laura? What were some of your challenges for the year?

Laura

19:10
Well, that 60 to 70 hour workweek did not, you know, was not ideal. And there are lots of reasons behind it, but I’m really working on some plans to manage that moving forward.

Nikki

Do the plans include growing four extra arms? No, that’s too bad. I need to grow the four extra arms.

Laura

19:37
No, we’ll be expanding the resources on my team and things like that moving forward. But a lot of it is just realizing you can’t do everything, right? I’m just not a person who lets balls drop. It’s just not my personality. It never has been. And so I will kind of kill myself in the process of trying to keep all the balls in the air. You actually need to sleep sometimes.

And so I’ve just got to like let go, allow and say, you know what? This day is done. I’m going to go do this now. And like being able to let go of that and not have it sit in the back of my head for the next three hours going, Oh, you need to do this. Oh, you need to do this. Like, when you figure out how to do that, please let me know. I know like silence all those little monkeys in your head, right? Mm hmm.

Nikki

Put those monkeys to work.

Laura

20:27
But really, the plan is to get a little more balance to allow more time for my art business and all the things that I just love, like this podcast and creating daily. I didn’t launch a collection yet of my own painted work, though I have a really cool one that’s up my sleeve right now.

Nikki

It is really cool. I’ve heard a little bit about it. It’s going to be super cool.

Laura

It’s going to be awesome. And then all the things that were broken my house. So I mentioned it’s great now that that’s mostly fixed, but the first part of the year I spent a ton of time with people in and out of my house. So any of the spare time I had was fixing things that had broken.

Nikki

Oh, right. Because you were a homeowner before, but you were in a condo where you had a condo association that took care of a lot of that stuff, right?

Laura

They took care of some of it, definitely, like the roof and things like that.

Nikki

But not inside the condo. Not everything and like HVAC and stuff.

Laura

It’s just like pretty much this house had plumbing issues, HVAC issues, electrical issues, like all kinds of stuff that I had to have tradesmen come in and do like significant work. It wasn’t just like a little thing. It was like a fix the entire, you know, like underneath the house, there were holes throughout the entire HVAC system. So like the cool, the air and everything was going under the house instead of going into the house.

Nikki

Well, that was lovely for probably the animals that were living under there very comfortably.

Laura

Which was another issue I had. I had a family of possums under my house.

Nikki

Possums are cute.

Laura

Kind of until they start hissing at you. But yes, we caught the possums and took them to their new home. So no possums were injured in this scenario, they were all caught in cages and then taken away to new homes.

Nikki

All right. But hopefully you now have the bulk of things figured out, taken care of. So now you can…

Laura

Yes. Like holes in chimneys, brand new water heater system. I had to tear up my garage because the sewage system grew roots in it. I mean, pretty much like everything that could go wrong went wrong, but knock on wood.

Nikki

Knock, knock, knock.

Laura

Thank you. That’s my girl. Let me just knock on my head a little bit. That stuff’s done.

Nikki

Awesome.

Laura

Yeah. So, let’s see, what else? No, that’s pretty much it. Those were sort of the big challenges.

Nikki

That’s enough. So let’s talk about what’s coming up in 2024. I can’t believe 2024 is coming up, first of all. I know.

Laura

It’s crazy. And in fact, by the time this is released, it will be 2024, believe it or not. Oh my gosh.

23:11
I know. All right. So what’s coming up for the podcast? Okay. So for the podcast, we have heard you loud and clear that starting a business can be completely overwhelming. And we want to give you all of the tools that we can to help make that process simple and much more manageable. So without going into a lot of detail just yet, we have some really great offerings up our sleeves to help take care of this. Yes.

Laura

23:40
I can’t wait to get deeper into that. So we’re both going to have to grow some more arms and some more time. But it’s really exciting. It’s exciting stuff and we’re really excited to work on it. We think you’re going to love what we have in store for you. We also have planned a ton of great topics and episodes to address all the things you’ve let us know that you want to hear more about. And we have some really great interviews lined up to record in the upcoming weeks and months.

Nikki

24:10
Again, we mentioned that was one of our favorite things to do. So it’s really exciting to talk to lots of different people. And some of these will be more experienced, and some of them will be less experienced, because that’s another thing you’ve told us that you really enjoy for us to talk to some people who might not be as far down along the path as others. Yeah, definitely. We’ve heard from you guys that you love hearing from people who are not quite as far down the path so that they are more relatable to where you are now. So you can really see yourself in their story. So we’ve got more of that coming up too.

Laura

So Nikki, what’s up for you personally in 2024? Wait, wait, is it stalking Amanda Palmer? Because I think that’s probably one of the bullets on the list.

Nikki

I have no plans to stalk Amanda in the next year, but that doesn’t mean my plans won’t change. It’s not stalking, I swear.

Laura

25:07
She says with a smirk on her face.

Nikki

It’s not stalking, I swear. She says while she loosens the handcuffs. OK, seriously, what’s coming up for me in 2024? Well, as mentioned, I don’t have a lot of things planned. I really want to just keep getting better and more streamlined with the things that I’m doing. I want to get more efficient. I want to finally learn how to actually make a plan and stick to it, but I haven’t done all that planning yet.

Laura

I feel like we both need to reread that book, Essentialism.

Nikki

I happen to be in the middle of it right now. Okay. I mentioned in one of our previous episodes, not too long ago, that I had an awesome business coach that I’ve been working with. And she actually sent me the hard copy of the book in the mail. So I’m rereading it, even though I read it a few years ago. Or I think I listened to the audiobook, but now I am reading it, which is a very different experience than I love audiobooks. But when you actually hold a book in your hand and read it, you can easily like reread something that struck you. You know, I’m usually listening to audio books when I’m driving. So it’s not that easy to just go back and rewind or highlight a section, you know. So it’s nice reading the physical copy. And speaking of that, I really wanna make a lot more time in my schedule, in my life to read. I used to love to read and it’s so hard to find the time anymore.

Laura

Well, one of the things you talked about in a previous episode was a new morning routine and you were doing a bit of reading in the morning. So is that is that not happening for you anymore?

Nikki

For a while I was doing pretty well. I was making time to read a little, to write a little, and to just kind of actually the other thing on my morning routine was to spend a few minutes cleaning something. So I was doing well for a while and then as what usually happens with me is things I gotta just get hit the ground running and get to work. And even though I know in my brain, when I’m thinking about it, that’s probably when I need that grounding, slower morning routine the most, so that I don’t get too frantic. Because I can easily get overwhelmed and feel a lot of anxiety about that kind of stuff. So let’s add that to my list. I’m gonna get back to that morning routine and take that time for myself.

Laura

I think that’s good.

Nikki

27:52
Another big thing that I want to do is – I so enjoyed doing the Airport Commission and the downtown Paducah building, which you saw when you were here.

Laura

I did. It was so cool, guys. It was huge. It was three stories tall with massive butterflies. And I think it was Black Eyed Susans, right? Black Eyed Susans and monarch butterflies. Beautiful.

Nikki

And a good friend of mine who works in economic development and city development had the idea to actually put together a package to market doing that kind of artwork for Main Street organizations across the country.

Laura

Which is amazing. Like what a perfect way to pitch your work because you have two real examples of it. You can prove you’ve done it. You can prove how you can take like an old building that’s not being used for something and turn it into something beautiful.

Nikki

And I’ve got some great testimonials from people who work for the city and for just people who love seeing it downtown and have said how much they enjoy it and people are taking selfies in front of them. And so I think I can put together a compelling package and try to market that. And that would be such a fun project to do.

Laura

Oh, super fun. Yeah. Super, super fun.

Nikki

So other than that, I want to continue improving things on the bus. There’s always, it’s like having a house that’s under earthquakes all the time. So aside from the normal projects, there’s always something that needs tightening or fixing. So aside from getting the bus, you know, perfect, in quotes, just doing more traveling and getting that routine down better so that I can have a good balance of traveling, working, resting, playing, meeting new people and just do a whole lot more of the same.

Laura

29:45
I think it’s a great plan.

Nikki

Thanks. What about you? What do you have coming up?

Laura

Okay, so for the next year, I plan to release a really awesome collection of paintings this year.

Nikki

That you just hinted at.

Laura

Yes. So I have this great idea and I just got to get started at my easel for that.

Nikki

And I think it’s something that would be easily licensable too.

Laura

So I agree. So I’ve just, you know, that I can do the pitches for it and everything once I get the collection together. And then many of you know me as a visual artist, but my roots started in music. So I’ve been singing since I was pretty much before I could talk. And then I’ve been playing piano since I was three.

Nikki

And she does both beautifully.

Laura

Thank you, Nikki. So I’m going to join Tunecore this year and start releasing some of my own music on all streaming platforms. And I’m gonna start off by committing to one song.

Nikki

30:43
It’s a good start. One song.

Laura

But I can’t wait to dive into this now that I have a space with my own walls that allows me to kind of make my own noise again, right? And so I’m just super, super excited. I’ve actually been diving into the world of MIDI instruments recently too and going down that rabbit hole a little bit. Like you can have an orchestra inside of your computer. It’s just the coolest thing.

Nikki

Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.

Laura

So I’m going to be doing some of that this year. On the business side of things, I plan to do a refresh on my website at one point. I want to expand my email list, to rework my portfolio page, as I mentioned in another episode. And then I want to create a course on a new teaching platform and to pitch some work for licensing, which will probably be associated with this collection that I’ve mentioned.

Nikki

I pretty much want to do all those same things too. So add that to my list too. Our lists are just getting longer.

Laura

Uh-huh. That’s okay, because they don’t all have to happen at once.

Nikki

31:41
And they don’t all have to happen this year. We just have to start them and make progress, take little steps.

Laura

Absolutely. Break it down into the smallest steps and go from there. Yeah. So, um, you know, as we look forward to the new year, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming to, to have a list of what you might call new year’s commitments. Right. And rather than focusing on the goals here at Startist Society, we like to narrow it down to just one word of the year to guide our way. So think of it as an intention instead of a New Year’s resolution. And we talked all about this practice way back in episode number five. So you can go back in and give that a listen. And then you can find the episode plus a free guide to choosing your own Word of the Year at startistsociety.com/wordoftheyear.

Nikki

Awesome. So Laura, talk to us about your words of the year in the past and what you’re going to think about for your word going forward this year.

Laura

All right. So some of the words that words of the year that I’ve used in the past have been flow, connection. I think connection was really big for me and COVID, for example, ease, allow, trust. I could probably have those words every year, to be honest. But this year I’m going to go with a different one. I’m going to go with joy.

Nikki

33:07
That’s a good word.

Laura

Yeah, right. So first off, that word just makes me smile. I’ve always loved the word joy. And I want to infuse all areas of my life with the joy of being in the moment, to follow those things that tug at my heart strings, to bring joy to my friends and family. And it also means I can’t take myself so seriously, right? If you’re in a space of joy, you can’t get too heavy about things. You know, that sometimes don’t need to be heavy, right?

Nikki

All right. I like it. I like it.

Laura

So, yeah. So that’s my Word of the Year, Nikki. What about you?

Nikki

Well, my history tends to be to come up with a Word of the Year and then promptly forget what it was. And not think about it.

Laura

I remember you had one called courage.

Nikki

Yes. And I would say that in the past couple of years, I have embodied that word. I mean, I have done some things so far out of my comfort zone and that many people think I’m crazy for. But they’ve definitely taken some courage.

Laura

Well, I already thought you were crazy before you did those things.

Nikki

Yes, and I’m just here to prove you right. So here’s what I’m thinking for 2024. So I have hinted at the fact that I deal with some anxiety and ADHD and overwhelm. And I tend to get like so frantic and feeling like everything is too much. So my word of the year is Breathe.

Laura

Oh, good word.

Nikki

I’m gonna take the time to pause and just breathe.

Laura

34:59
I love that, Nikki. Yep. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good one.

Nikki

When you hear that word, it just automatically calms you, right? And I want to add a little something to that because something that goes along with taking the time to slow down and breathe that I’ve been doing, and again, my business coach, Mimi Gordon, suggested this for me. I can feel sort of this like, I’m being super vulnerable here, which I don’t normally do, but I can feel this like sort of panic rise up inside me and kind of like up to my neck, my chest. So Mimi suggested take my hand and put it like on my chest and breathe. And just there’s something super comforting about just putting your hand on your chest like that, skin to skin and breathing and slowing down for a minute. And that can that can push that panic back down and calm me down and let me think, okay, there’s really nothing here that’s not manageable. I’m not being chased by a bear. Despite the fact that it sometimes feels that way. Even though I’m the bear. Anyway, so that goes along with my word. So I will put my hand on my chest like that and breathe.

Laura

Yeah, and I’m also speaking from a perspective of someone who’s had anxiety as well. And I’ve had panic attacks in the past and different things like that. And really stopping and taking that time, because I get that heaviness and I get a lot of physical sensations and then that heaviness, the tightness in the chest that feels like you can’t breathe, like you’re hyperventilating. And to be able to slow down and take a long, deep breath in and then a long exhale out, really makes a huge difference. So I think that’s an awesome word.

Nikki

36:53
Joy and breathe. Woohoo! Alright.

Well, now it’s your turn. Join the Startist Society Facebook group and let us know what your Word of the Year will be and what things have you excited for the year to come. Let’s support each other. For links to all the resources we mentioned and to read today’s show notes, go to startistsociety.com/anewyear.

Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.

And Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

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