It’s that time of year again when everyone is publishing their annual reviews. I have to be honest and admit I’ve been procrastinating on writing mine.
For some reason 2016 seems a bit overwhelming. Whereas I’ve always pretty much been an open book with you all, for the last few months I’ve had a desire to keep a lot of things to myself.
And I know exactly why – 2016 has been the year of the worst case of Imposter Syndrome I’ve ever had. It’s a year when my reality is finally catching up to my dreams, and oddly enough, now that it’s here I feel like I’m crawling out of my skin.
This is the year I learned that you have to adjust to new levels of success. When you’re accustomed to grinding and fighting for so long, it can feel weird when you no longer have to fight nearly as hard as you used to. I never really thought this would be an issue, but as I’ve spoken about this with many of my colleagues, it turns out this is actually a thing.
That’s why I’ve already decided that my word for 2017 is going to be “Allow.” I have to practice allowing myself to enjoy my success and the fruits of my labor. I have to allow myself to accept recognition. I’ve worked my ass off to get here, and it’s about time I learn to enjoy it.
With that being said, here are the highlights from 2016.
After taking a hiatus from travel in 2015, I got right back to it in 2016.
First up was a random trip to Mexico that I booked on a whim. I spent a week with Rachael Kay Albers (otherwise known as the genius who designed this website) and company as I climbed Mayan ruins, hung out in colonial towns and ate some bomb ass Mexican food.
This was the first international trip I’d taken since starting my business and I’m happy to report that everything went smoothly. It helped me see that, yes, I can run my business from anywhere in the world so I’d better start taking advantage of it.
Other travel adventures included an unexpected cruise to several Eastern Caribbean islands and San Diego for The Financial Blogger Conference. I’ve already got Puerto Rico, Nashville, and Dallas on the books for 2017 with plenty of room for a few more trips.
This is the first year we started winning awards! Don’t get me wrong, this blog has been nominated for awards in the past, but this is the first year we’ve started taking them home.
The first award was the 2016 Plutus Award for Best Designed Personal Finance Blog. The Plutus Awards are *the* industry awards that take place once a year at The Financial Blogger Conference.Considering how much love and effort went into a rebrand in 2015, it meant a lot to me that my peers recognized this and awarded me with a Plutus.
The second award is one we actually took home a couple of weeks ago. This blog took home the 2016 Best Finance Blog at the South Florida Blogger Awards! This one actually made me a little teary-eyed because, well, it’s people from home who voted for me. It’s nice to get recognition from your local community.
This is also the year I had my first five-figure month, worked on a pretty big campaign in collaboration with a Fortune 500 company, added corporate freelance clients to my pipeline, and did my first ever TV appearance – in Spanish!
Additionally, I started the Make Money Your Honey podcast. What started off as an experiment has turned into a pretty cool project where I get to interview some of my favorite people – and you all are really digging it!
Part of the reason why I started blogging over six years ago (Jesus, time flies) was so I could get my financial shit together. I figured if I put it out there publicly I would have no choice but to figure it out. While in my mind I still feel like I have a long way to go, the reality is I need to stop and smell the roses because I’ve already come a long way.
In 2016 I managed to:
- Max out my Roth IRA (I’ve been trying to do this for years.)
- Far surpass the mid-five figure mark in my business.
- Get my credit score up to 782 which also happens to be the highest it’s ever been. (P.S. I did this by using Ramit Sethi’s technique of asking for a higher credit limit so that I reduce my debt to credit ratio. Turns out it works.)
- Invest the equivalent of monthly rent payments into index funds. (I’m a fan of Betterment for this.)
- Still not carry any form of consumer debt.
- Start increasing my passive income so I don’t have to rely so much on freelancing and coaching.
- Increase my net worth by 25 percent. Wooo!
While I’m always going to feel like I can do better or like there’s some new goal that I need to reach, I still have to acknowledge myself for what I’ve actually been able to do. I think some of us Type-A personality folk forget to do that a lot of the time and it’s definitely no bueno.
What’s In Store for 2017
Other than allowing myself to enjoy the fruits of my labor, I’ve got a few plans already in store for 2017.
First, I’m going to continue the podcast. I think I finally found a rhythm that works for me and you all seem to really enjoy it.
Second, I’m going to be shifting my focus to the Make Money Your Honey Academy. We already have a few students in there and I’ll be re-opening it to new students in 2017. Click here if you’d like to get on the waitlist.
Also, don’t forget that on January 9th we’ll be starting the Make Money Your Honey Makeover! It’s a free online Personal Finance 101 challenge I’ll be leading via email for six weeks. If you’re already on the email list, you’re good to go. If not, sign up using the form below.