It looks like this year’s trend is sharing our stats – the good, bad, and ugly. We’re normalizing less income, and prioritizing meaningful work-life balance. I may not be a math person but I LOVE spreadsheets and random stats, and honestly this was really eye-opening for me personally in a year where I felt so lost on what I was doing and where I wanted Millson + Main to go.
I knew this year was slow, but I also didn’t have any desire to make it busier. I was pregnant from January to October – nauseated, vomiting, sore, exhausted. My capacity for work was honestly nil, but I managed:
At some point I made a goal to take on less work for higher income, and over 2021 and 2022 I did that, but towards the ladder of 2022 I found working with more clients on smaller projects was what was serving me. Big ticket packages are cool (and trendy), but life with a newborn and 3-year old doesn’t always allow those bigger projects… not to mention I was down $46k in revenue and the cost of *gestures vaguely* everything was up exponentially, so the bills weren’t complaining about those faster turnaround projects either.
In 2021 I often had the conversation of ‘do you do web?’, to which the answer was ‘no I’m burnt out’.
Before starting Millson + Main in 2018, I worked for a home builder and designed and developed 14 WordPress websites in 9 months. These weren’t just splash pages either – they had several floor plans where you could go in and hover details, browse extensive galleries, explore neighbourhoods, etc. So yeah, exhausting.
But four years have passed and I missed the possibilities and dynamics of web, especially since I discovered ShowIt, where I have full control and freedom when it comes to design. These sites aren’t necessarily the best platform for everyone, especially shops and e-commerce (but they can be, slide into my DMs), but it’s been lighting me up the way branding once did.
Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE a good brand project, but I guess I burnt myself out of those a little too. Looking back I spent a lot of 2022 serving existing clients with new projects – website updates, brand strategies, client experience pieces like unique presentation folders + welcome packages. I dabbled with email marketing, consulted on websites, and started offering full service web design and development again after diving into my own site while I had the ‘vid at 8 months pregnant.
I hosted a little online community group called The Neighbourhood, put out new daily and biweekly planners, made a digital option, ran a small line of hoodies, and launched The Brand Workbook with the goal of helping more small businesses get a huge jump on nailing down their brand… oh and we had another TWO Peak to Prairie Market events I flew to Calgary for.
This took off as a bit of a ramble, but satisfying when I’m looking at my numbers wondering WTF I did last year. I guess I did a lot.
They say small businesses generate $68 of local economic return for every $100 spent. My business operates online, so it’s hard to pinpoint down ‘local’ return, but in a quick look through my inbox I spent just under $8,000 last year on small, Canadian businesses. That is a ridiculous stat and clearly I need to reign it in (especially since Steve is eyeing up vacations FINALLY – I haven’t been on one since 2012, him since ever), but I feel better that I know the names of all the people those dollars benefitted at least. And yes if you’re wondering a solid 25% of that was on ROWE and it’s fiiiiine.
I also invested in education during this year of like, not a lot of ‘working’ – $3,289.21CAD to be exact, not including free education incl. webinars, all my business audiobooks… which reminds me I need to make an updated list, I’ve got some new gooders (get them here).
In Q4 I really gave into that ‘influencer’ title ya’ll keep calling me. This word has become such a like taboo thing I’ve shyed away from, but having ‘influence’ doesn’t mean I’m out here trying to scam you into buying garbage so I can make millions. This isn’t an MLM, I’ve just literally been sharing random things I enjoy for the entirety of my life, and in this year of burnout I embraced a new creative outlet of *actually* consciously creating content about it.
While we’re being transparent, I’ve made $2,117.29CAD in commissions doing this this year, plus a handful of gifted things like our Endy mattress, my gorgeous diaper bag, my Kobo reader, etc. – all things I’ve asked for. Yes, I slide into inboxes and DM’s and ask to work together, because it’s usually either something I already love, or something I’m about to purchase anyway. Now that I’ve done it a little while I do get offers, but you can still trust my recommendations are authentic af (sometimes I just have specific talking points requested LOL).
I’ll also note quickly on the topic of followers because I think people get very hung up on this – I can find as far back as February, I had 7,978 followers. Today (Jan 1, 2023) I have 7,849. And that doesn’t mean I just *lost* a hundred, in the last 90 days Instagram tells me I’ve had 264 unfollows and 383 follows. This has been a season of life changes – a move across the country, another baby, pivoting of priorities, etc. A follower number is just curb appeal and will ebb and flow, don’t take it personal. If you’re one of the 1,300+ people consistently engaged in my chaotic stories or in my DMs, thanks for being along on the ride ❤️❤️
Cheers to 2023 🎉
Ps if you want to work together this year, find me here.
The humour, the honesty, the 25% to ROWE.
Fack, I love you