A recap of the year is one of my favorite things to write, because it’s a place to be really honest. Here you’ll find several stories, learning experiences, celebrations, and strategies that you can use, which all come from my 2014 year in business. (The recap from 2013 has some fantastic ideas in it, too!)
What Happened in 2014:
Updates on “The Book,” as of the end of December 2014
All I can say is that this has been a BIG project. I was hoping that the book would have been completed in 2014, but writing an entire book is a bigger and more detailed project than I anticipated. Currently, the manuscript has just gone through it’s first round of structural edits, and I’m now restructuring the layout, and naming chapters.
A photo of my dance warm-up while getting ready to write at my writing retreat in January 2014.
I’ve taken several personal writing retreats throughout the year, which have greatly helped me complete the manuscript. Back in January of 2014, I spent 3 weeks at a waterfront mansion that was on loan to me, and I had the opportunity to write a good portion of the book then. After that, I took a break from the book for about 5 months. When I was inspired again, I resumed writing at home, on airplanes, and at a cute little house in West Seattle that was loaned to me for a weekend. Writing in different locations helps me to be more creative.
Midway through the year, I also recognized that I needed to have some one-to-one support to really finish the book. I hadn’t quite found the right person to assist me in this…until fall of 2014. In the most magical way, I was reunited with a friend and colleague of 5 years, who happened to be exactly the right person to guide me to complete the rest of the manuscript. I hired her right away, and we’re still working together.
It’s been a lot of fun to interview fabulous colleagues all year long, and I am very grateful to all of my guests, as well as those of you who invited me on your telesummits in 2014. At www.AvaWaits.com, you can easily scan the Blog and find recordings of many of the interviews from guests that joined me in 2014. The topics range from “Cracking the Charisma Code” to “Why Creative People are Often Broke & How They Hold the Greatest Prosperity Potential” to “How Your Physical Health will make you Rich.”
I started watching Oprah
I will admit it: I’ve only ever seen one episode of Oprah in my life. But after discovering how much I enjoy interviewing other people, I started scanning the internet and really admire her interview techniques. I also figure that I should pay a little more attention to Oprah, because this year, I found out that I have some huge astrological similarities to her. It’s made me very curious.
Traveling in 2014
I took a couple trips to Los Angeles this year. One was for The Unstoppable Gala, where I was very excited to meet author Jack Canfield, who co-created the Chicken Soup for the Soul series (I’m currently learning book marketing techniques through a training course that he developed). I couldn’t resist another journey to Maui and Kauai, so I talked my boyfriend into going back (his family lives on Maui), and also made a quick trip to visit my brother Monks on Kauai. I’m so glad that I went to the Hawaiian Islands again, because one of the swamis gifted me with an entire outline of a new chapter for the book I’m writing. It feels as though the book has been blessed, and I am very grateful.
Later in the fall, I attended a nutrition conference in New York City. Many of my clients and students attend or have attended The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I was so excited to meet some of them in person in NYC! Right after that, I traveled to Richmond, Virginia to visit family and museums (because giving your brain a break from work and wandering through Art Deco and Imperial China displays is very important every now and then).
Dancing on Maui ~ September 2014
At the beginning of 2014, I considered my money goals, and decided that this year would mostly be about maintaining the level of income that I received in 2013. Sure, I was open to income growth, but I wouldn’t put a lot of pressure on myself to expand. The biggest intentions of 2014 have been to write the book, maintain my income, and also have money to cover business expenses and big projects. It all worked out.
Back in 2013, I had doubled my income from the previous year of 2012.
In 2014, my business income rose by about 20% over 2013.
Sometimes I feel like there is this misconception that you take home all of the money you make in a business. I wish that more people understood that this is not true. Much of my business income gets happily reinvested into my company. I made some large company purchases this year (book costs, writing mentorship, photo shoots, a high quality camera, a new website that is near completion, and a new car to take me to speaking engagements). I also paid back somewhere between $6,000 to $8,000 toward debts, which felt really great.
Huge thanks to Devi Brule for our photo shoot in Los Angeles! And thank you Kari J. Stuckey in Olympia, WA for gorgeous photos with gold and lilies.
Here’s my newest business card, which will give you a little hint about what the new website will look like!
Some of you know that I didn’t own a car of my own for about 9 years. With the location of my home, I was in close proximity to most everything that I needed, without a car. Over the years I have walked many miles, borrowed several vehicles, rented cars, and enjoyed the company of my wonderful boyfriend, who adores driving his car with me in the passenger seat.
As the book started getting closer to publication, I saw that it was absolutely going to be necessary to have a vehicle to drive to speaking engagements. I needed a car that would have room in the back to hold copies of the book, have great gas mileage, and be very easy for me to use. In the summer of 2014, I bought a little black commuter car, and took it home.
The adjustment to being a full time driver again wasn’t easy for me at first, and I’ve even had to learn some driving skills for the first time (prior to this car, I had never driven through a roundabout.) At this point, I’ve become much more comfortable with it, and have turned many of the road rules and techniques into a game that I play in my mind.
In case you’re curious, my car is named “Nooblet.”
“Noob” is a popular term right now for “newbie,” as in someone who is new to something. When you add the “let” at the end, it adds an endearing youthfulness to the term “Noob,” kind of like a “piglet.”
My own health
As a self-employed person, I didn’t have health insurance for quite a few years. I would simply pay in cash for health services, and that worked fine. With recent changes to healthcare within the United States, I had easier access to insurance coverage, and have been enjoying a plan with naturopathic care, and access to a chiropractor and acupuncturist. Sometimes I speak with clients who are concerned that transitioning to a business will mean that they won’t have health care, but I wouldn’t let that stop you. There are lots of ways to get covered, and to receive all of the care your employer may have once provided. In fact, I’ve found that my new insurance plan covers more alternative care options than many of the employed people I know, and I’m very appreciative of that.
In 2014, I continued to focus on natural self-care, because that’s a passion of mine. Nutrition is also what I was trained in before I started supporting entrepreneurs around money and marketing.
These topics have been of the most interest to me over the past year:
~ Pituitary gland cleansing and overall hormone balancing through the use of herbs and vegetables
~ Strengthening the teeth naturally and nutritionally
~ Jaw relaxation
~ How our emotions relate to physical issues in the body
~ Essential oils
I have never been a runner, but my body began to ask me to take it out for sprints and quick jogs during some of my workdays. For me, it’s not about being on a certain running schedule. I simply sprint when I feel like it, just like a little child would go out and play. Two nights ago, I felt like jogging at 11:30pm in the icy cold weather, so I did.
I’ve also started to sleep without a pillow, as a natural way to keep my spine and jaw in alignment. It makes sense, right? In the wild, we humans wouldn’t be using pillows.
My favorite inspirational music from 2014
~ David Guetta’s newest album, called “Listen”
~ Dido’s song, “NYC” in her Greatest Hits CD
~ Taylor Swifts song: “I Know Places”
~ London Grammar’s album, “If You Wait”
And a few personal things that brought tears to my eyes this year:
~ The sad moment when one of my favorite trees was cut down by the Washington State capitol building.
~ Seeing the Northern lights dance in the sky for the first time (this was a lifelong dream for me) on a flight from the East Coast to Washington State. I realized that I was probably the only one on the plane who was watching the electricity in the sky, while so many other passengers were buried in their electronics.
Here Are My Intentions and Plans for 2015:
I’ll be on a 5-week cleanse, beginning in January of 2015
As an entrepreneur, your health must come first, and I love doing diet adjustments and self-care. The particular cleanse I’m about to start is a sugarless cleanse, designed to balance the body, and flush out heavy metals. It will be full of delicious natural foods and superfoods. I’ve timed it all so that it starts after a Half VIP Day in Seattle with one of my clients (I want to fully enjoy my sushi lunch with her), and then the cleanse is complete right around Valentine’s Day (because I want to have some sweet chocolate that day).
Finish the book
I can’t quite put a finish date on the book, but my hope is that it will be out and available in mid-2015. Before it goes to the publisher, the manuscript will go through more structural editing, receive feedback from a few key readers, and then go through several rounds of copy-editing. I’ve seen too many books lately that have spelling errors in them, and I am very committed (both with my time and my money) to having a well-polished book.
More speaking, more interviews, more stages
I love to speak, and look forward to being part of more telesummits in 2015, and getting on more stages. Before the book comes out, I will also collaborate with many of my colleagues to bring my training programs to audiences around the world.
Traveling in 2015
My passport is about to be renewed (thankfully with a much better photo than the one 10 years ago!), and although I’m not actually sure where I’ll be going next, I am very open to more adventures and plane rides in 2015. The travel schedule mostly depends on speaking opportunities related to the book launch, and I would love to get back to the Hawaiian Islands again.
Several new training courses will be available for YOU in 2015
For over a year now, I’ve had ideas for new training courses for entrepreneurs, and they are finally ready! These classes will provide a very accessible way to receive marking guidance outside of individual coaching, and the first set of classes begins on January 21st! I’ll be sharing how I turn total strangers into paying clients in about 10 days, how to promote your BIG projects in 2015, and how to have your first $8,000 month in business.
Happy New Year!
© 2014 Ava Waits
Ava Waits is an inspirational speaker, business mentor, and forthcoming author. She believes that making money should feel like bliss, and through her work, she helps innovative women build service-based businesses that richly fund their lives.
Clients worldwide have used Ava’s processes to release financial constriction and bring more business opportunities and income into their lives. For more information, to view article archives, and to schedule a Strategy Session to discuss your business visions, please visit www.AvaWaits.com.