Saying Goodbye to 2018: A Year in Review

I don’t know about you guys, but the end of this year totally flew by. More than ever before. I probably say that every year.

Here’s a rundown of 2018 — what I loved, didn’t love and what I’m excited about for the new year. Bring on 2019!


BUSINESS

This year was filled with some really incredible clients. Some old ones, some new ones.

This year was also filled with some business trades. I always encourage my clients to do this. If you’re going to spend the money on something and know someone could benefit from your services, a trade is a great way to eliminate the financial transaction. Make sure you’re on the same page and have open communication throughout the agreed upon timeframe and services offer. You want it to be an even trade. Having a contract is not a bad idea.

I had a lot of prospective clients and new clients who came from Google searches. It was thrilling! I spent the first few years of my business writing for many different platforms (some big, some small, some paying, some non-paying) and for a long time was feeling like they did nothing for my business. No new business, no followers or traffic on my site. Without paying for someone to help with my SEO, my name is coming up at the top of Google searches for business coaches in NYC. I’ve even had people in Finland and Australia contact me!

I hosted two (female) client dinners at my apartment and my clients absolutely loved each other. The first one was a potluck and the second I cooked. I loved watching these phenomenal aspiring/existing entrepreneurs connect and learn from one another. Can’t wait to do it again in 2019.

I revamped my pricing model and recognized the value of offering a monthly retainer instead of clients paying for a few sessions and then wanting more of me. My clients often want my hand-holding. They want me to review documents and support them throughout the week, not just a single session every two weeks. It’s worked out really well.

I’ve been working out of the Assemblage since October 2017 and couldn’t be happier. I have met the most wonderful people there. It’s so nice to walk to work through Madison Square Park knowing there are people who will make my day brighter.

Boundaries have been a really big theme throughout the year and especially in this last month. Working out of a communal work space, I am surrounded by fellow business owners who want to pick my brain. I have previous/current clients who work in the space and I am big on creating boundaries so I can get my work done and not have them feel like I am available 24/7 simply because I’m in the space.

I put together a proposal for a project over the summer and when things were starting to progress with it, I listened to my gut and realized it was not something I wanted to do. I wasn’t aligned with the project and it wasn’t relevant to any of the goals in my business. It wasn’t something that would bring me joy or significant income, so what was the point? It felt good to say no.


PODCAST

When I was in Tel Aviv earlier this year, I was advising my friend, Maya on her podcast, We Are Mothers. I loved the role as a producer but quickly realized I wanted my own show.

So, in July my podcast, Made Visible was born. I recognized that majority of the content out there around chronic/invisible/mental illness is quite depressing. I can often relate to it but it’s not the kind of things I want to read. There certainly wasn’t a podcast I wanted to listen to that I could resonate with.

I don’t think I’ve ever done something I loved so much. I love the project management/producer role as well as being the host. I am so lucky to have an amazing team who supports me and help make the podcast come to life — Gemma Leghorn, Eilise Bonebright, and Krista Gray.

I’m so grateful for my guests for sharing their stories and their willingness to have a conversation with me to share with the world. And I’m certainly so grateful for my listeners — many of whom have invisible illnesses and others who don’t but are learning to become more compassionate and understanding towards people with invisible illnesses.  December also brought in our first few sponsors — thrilled to share amazing brands that are relevant to my listeners as well as help me bring in some money for the show. Launching a podcast is a huge undertaking and unless you do it really, really scrappy — can add up!

Really, really exciting things to come in 2019!


TRAVEL

I spent the months of February and March in Tel Aviv. Last year felt too short with four weeks, this year felt too short with seven weeks so next year will be nine weeks. I’m inching my way to spending half my time there. It’s a completely different lifestyle mainly because of the time difference. I get so much more accomplished in much shorter time periods. It was a magical experience and I can’t wait to go next month.

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In April I went to my 9th New Orleans Jazzfest which is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Incredible music, food and vibe. I love that city so much. We went to the opening of Saba, the restaurant by Alon Shaya. It was excellent — best pita outside of Israel.

In June, two of my best friends and I went to London for a music festival and to eat our way through the city. I didn’t love London on my last trip a few years ago but really loved it this time around. They have some great restaurants like Dishoom and Morito Hackney. Saw friends and family there and really enjoyed our time.

In July, my family and I went to Ft. Collins, Colorado and Laramie, Wyoming for my first, first cousin on my mom’s sides wedding. I then spent a few days with one of my closest friends and her baby and saw a dear college friend and her newborn.

The last weekend of July, I went to my 9th Newport Folk Festival which is another one of my favorite weekends of the year. Newport was followed by a quick trip to Boston where we saw David Byrne (been dreaming about doing that for years) and saw some good friends. Walked around my old college neighborhood and had flashbacks to my past life as a college kid.


HEALTH

In January I went to my pulmonologist to get clearance to travel to Tel Aviv. She was thrilled with how well I was doing. In October she called me to see if I was still her patient because she hadn’t heard from me. I had been doing so well. When I went to the NIH right before Halloween, I was feeling good but my CT Scans of my lung wasn’t as good as my doctor’s had hoped. They added two new drugs into the mix and we’re hoping they’re helping my lungs. I hate being on more drugs but if they’re going to keep me going — I’m giving them a shot.

I had a lot of dental issues this year — you can hear more about that on the upcoming episode #27 of Made Visible podcast. I found a new dentist who I love. There’s nothing better than feeling you’re in good hands with someone who genuinely cares.

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Overall, it was an amazing year and I can’t wait to see what 2019 will be like!

Lots of travel and exciting things already planned. Happy New Year!



Lifestylekrista gray