Looking Back Before Looking Forward


Holy crap! December. Seriously. It’s freaking December!

It has been a year of ups, downs, sideways and sometimes backsteps. 2018 will be my 45 years of breathing and the one thing I do appreciate about adding more years to that number is the perspective each one brings. Not unlike rings on a tree, the lines and marks on my skin reflect time and moments.

With the rush of the holiday demands, I have just recently realized one of the best parts of reaching the end of the year… is planning the new one! I simply love and adore that part! So much so that I started designing a supplementary yearly project planning fold out for myWeek. 

The first step to planning what is next is looking backwards. It’s important to recap the paths you have taken and choices made that have brought you to where you are now.

  1. Solo Biz Retreats
    LOOKING BACK: I had planned a total of four retreats and ended up with making time for three. One of the things that I felt these escapes did for me was giving me permission to work on my own business.
    LOOKING FORWARD: Professional development this year will include attending the Gathering Conference in February. This will put a dent in my solo retreats but will shoot to book in at least two.
  2. Website
    LOOKING BACK: Re-designed and built a new website for www.crystalink.ca - the new site has its own online shop. I have made a total of 30 orders through the site. Not a big number but for sure a start.
    LOOKING FORWARD: Planning to give an effort to create a marketing strategy for my online shop. Giving Google Ad Words a try and will compare it to Facebook/Instagram Ads as well as clean up my e-mail newsletter content strategy. Not my forte but for sure something I will either learn or learn that it is best left to the professionals.
  3. B.O.B. (Buy Our Books)
    LOOKING BACK: I partnered with a fellow creative to build a community for self-published authors. We have hosted a total of 5 pop-up bookstores this year and have grown our community to a tally of nine local authors both new and wise.
    LOOKING FORWARD: We will be working to create at least one event in 2018 where we have a panel of self-published authors talking about the highs and lows of the niche as well creating a reference tool/publication about the steps involved in self-publishing.
  4. Independent Publishing Division
    LOOKING BACK: Failed to complete the third volume of Creatives’ Cupboard. I opted to focus the time I had on getting myLife Planners set up and solid. We aren’t there yet but I have chosen to focus on three versions: myDay, myWeek, and offering a mySCHOOLdaze for the grade school students.
    LOOKING FORWARD: My plan for Creatives’ Cupboard is to complete the third and then create and market the ‘trilogy’ and let it go for now. This will take some serious time set aside to write - and let’s be clear, writing is hard. I know there is a point when done is enough, but when it comes to the stories of the amazing fellow creative peers, I really want to do them justice! As far as myLife Planners, I am going to work on the packaging and marketing strategy - clean it up to appeal to the creative professional and similar creative entrepreneurs. I have realized the planners are not so much about the cover fun designs, but the strategy they provide and hoping to see if I can get them into some storefronts - I mean, why not?
  5. Publication Design Services
    LOOKING BACK: With the update of my website I adjusted my focus to lean more into publication design and working with self-publishers. So as of this year, I have one Independent Publisher signed on for a series of books, one of which is now available on Amazon! And it’s a hardcover too - I mean how cool is that?
    LOOKING FORWARD: I hope to extend my self-published author client base and provide
  6. Logo Design Services. Okay so here is the thing, creating logos and brands are not high on my list of loves in the industry. BUT they are so important. I find the effort to create them is big and with that my expectation huge so I find I put in quite a lot of focus on each one I do.
    LOOKING BACK: Working with Volleyball Alberta we created a new brand for their summer camps. I was quite proud of the collaboration with the staff. I am also working with the VA in conjunction with a couple other provincial sporting associations to create multi-sport camp that connects to the youth here in my province. Then I was tagged in to help a couple school peers from ‘back’ in the day and get them established with solid brand designs to help them portray the professional look that reflects their skills and experience. 
    LOOKING FORWARD: I will still be offering this service, but only be taking on a maximum of four brand design projects a year. Why? Well, this type of job needs to be done well and requires a focus on my part. No half-assing design here. It’s important to me that my client’s end up with a class act logo they are proud to share.