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Samara Bortz Creative Blog

2020 reflections and 2021 business goals

Business, Lifestyle

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Holy moly, holy cow, holy guacamole, it’s the end of 2020.

You can quit reading this right now and go do a little celebration dance because I believe that we’ve ALL earned some celebration this year. 2020 has been… 

Challenging.
Unprecedented.
Unexpected.
Sometimes painful.

Basically you could take any adjective that conjures up a little hint of anxiety and add it to this list. It’s been a year like none other.

For me, and I know I’m not alone here, it’s also been a year of radical growth and change. I’ve seen so many Instagram posts lately with F**K 2020 sentiments. And while I do feel pretty dang excited to kiss this year goodbye and step into 2021, I also want to express some gratitude for all that 2020 has brought my way. Because, amidst the complete chaos, the scary changes, and the uncertainty, this year has also brought some really beautiful new beginnings.

So let’s reflect, shall we.

HERE’S WHAT I’M CELEBRATING AT THE END OF THIS YEAR:

  • I’ll start with the biggest one. 2020 was the official birth of Samara Bortz Creative Design. Building a web design business where I get to help other creative women grow their own businesses and share their gifts/offerings with the world has been a dream come true. 

  • 2020 was also myself and my husband’s first full year of both being completely self-employed creatives. This feels huge. If you don’t know our backstory, we previously worked in schools as educators and made the decision to leave our jobs to put all of our focus and energy into our creative work – directing choirs, teaching music lessons, composing, professional singing, and for me – building Samara Bortz Creative. This shift has come with challenges – we left steady income for work that sometimes comes in waves, or is completely at the mercy of a pandemic. But it’s worked! We’ve made it. We’ve learned to prioritize how we spend our money and our time. We’ve had unwavering support from family, friends, and our community. We’ve been happier and healthier in our day-to-day lives getting to do what we love for work, instead of feeling stuck in jobs that didn’t really align with our dreams or hearts. It’s been a win overall.

HERE’S WHAT I’M GRATEFUL FOR AT THE END OF THIS YEAR:

  • Zoom. This might sound like a lame one, but Zoom has been a real hero in my life this year. It’s allowed Andrew and I to pivot and still be able to hold choir rehearsals and teach music lessons. It’s made it possible to work with design clients who live outside of the Vancouver area. It’s kept us connected to Andrew’s family (they all live in Idaho), who we haven’t seen since January because of border closures and the terrifyingly high Covid cases in that part of the world. Thank you Zoom for providing us with connection and the ability to continue working remotely.

  • New friendships. One of the most beautiful and unexpected parts of launching my design business has been making new friends through Instagram. I was 100% against having an Instagram account for my design work. I realize now how insane this is, but I’ll tell you why I felt so strongly. It was largely because I already managed 3 accounts: my personal one, Crescent Choirs, and The Bortzes Music Studio. I felt ridiculous adding a FOURTH account, daunted by the task of having to manage it, and worried about what people would think. I finally decided to get over myself and I’ve since realized a few things:

  1. A designer without Instagram is kind of like a fish without water. 
  2. No one cares how many Instagram accounts I have except for me
  3. It’s the most wonderful place to meet other creative women!! I have made so many internet friends who are inspiring, motivating, and supportive. Thank you Instagram for giving me new friendships.

  • Old friendships. This has also been the year where I have connected more consistently with two of my very best friends (shout-out to Emma & Kaitlin) than ever before in our adult lives. We grew up together in White Rock, but have not lived in the same city since we were about 18 years old. Our dynamic in recent years has looked like the occasional text convos and annual catch ups when we all happen to be Vancouver (though one time 10 years ago we all spent a week together in Toronto!). This year, we’ve made more intentional time to talk once a month and chat over text. All three of us have started new businesses this year and it’s been so wonderful to be able to walk that journey together and have a support system. This may sound like a small thing, but it’s been one of the most positive and life-giving parts of my year! If you have those beautiful friendships in your life, the kind that fill you and heal you and where you feel like you can be completely yourself – make sure you pour into them.

HERE ARE MY BUSINESS GOALS FOR 2021:

THE WORD I’M HOLDING ONTO: CONFIDENCE. 

THE THINGS I’M GOING TO DIVE INTO:

  • I’m raising my prices! It’s coming, friends. Very soon. I don’t feel like my current package prices fully align with my value, time, and worth. This is one of the first things I’m committing to doing in 2021 – raising my rates to reflect the transformation my custom web design services provide my clients. 

  • A marketing groove. This year has felt a little bit sporadic and experimental in the marketing department – like I’ve been living in trial and error mode of random Instagram posts, blog posts, the odd Pinterest pin, and freebies that don’t fully match with my offerings. I’m wanting to create systems that allow my marketing efforts to be more streamlined and focused and make sure I’m spending my valuable time and energy on things that will put me on a path to results.

  • Removing fears around investing in myself & my business. I think this circles back to the the word confidence, and I can maybe throw faith in there, too. I have a hard time biting the bullet and jumping into big investments when I can’t see the immediate win or return. (Anyone else!?) This is something I’m wanting to change. The best things in life that I’ve done so far: starting businesses, leaving jobs, starting a new relationship, spending time creating – all of those decisions have come from listening to my intuition. I want 2021 to be a year of continuing to follow that inner direction and wisdom and to trust that even if I can’t see the immediate results, they’re going to be coming. On my investment list for this year: 
    • A business coach who knows the design world inside and out and who I feel a connection to and am EXCITED to work with. 
    • Brand photos! Really beautiful ones that feel authentic to me! I want this to be an annual thing.
    • Improving my graphic design skills with courses or some form of online learning.
    • A Pinterest ad expert to help set up systems for marketing

  • HEALTHY WORK HOURS. Every single personal goal I have for this year is about healing, creating balanced habits, and loving my body. I’ve learned this year that I am a high-achieving, people-pleasing, highly-sensitive human. I’m great at working and great at giving my energy away (and this isn’t a bad thing – I genuinely love these things!!), and I am not so great at resting and replenishing my energy. I’m wanting to love myself better this year by creating boundaries around time dedicated to work and time dedicated to play or rest. 

How are you feeling about moving into 2021? I would love to hear your reflections on 2020 and goals or dreams for the new year.

Sending love as always and happy new year.

Let’s work together!

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