My first year in business – 2017 in Review

Today is my day to review what happened in 2017 … the good, the bad and the ugly so I thought it would be the perfect day to write this post. Here’s the thing. The “bad” and the “ugly” were probably more important in shaping who I am and where my business is going than the “good” was.

In case you don’t really know me or know much about my story, I had worked in the corporate environment (legal field in one form or another) for over 30 years. In 2012 I went back to school to become a holistic nutritionist and graduated in 2014, at which time I started Stepping Stones Wellness Inc., started a website and my social media accounts. All I really had the time or energy for was dabbling. So in the Summer of 2016, I was stressed out, unhappy, frustrated and my health was not great. I had a long talk with myself and asked the question … is this a hobby or a business?? I knew it was a business and that meant some tough decisions.

I decided to take the leap and went into business full time for myself. I quit my cushy corporate gig with the 3 hour daily commute, and started focusing on updating my information, becoming more consistent, networking with local entrepreneurs here in Durham Region and the bonus was I kept the house nice and tidy and dinner was on the table each night.

Sometimes life does not go the way it was planned and we decided that I would get a part time job at a local health food store to bridge the gap while I built this business. I was totally okay with that because it was my intent to do that all along anyway, but the store I wanted to work at was not hiring. Well, the Universe worked in my favour and by the beginning of April, 2017 I was hired at Health Plus Nutrition Centre; a mere 15-20 minute commute by bus, and I love it there!

So what have I learned this year?

First and foremost … communication is key! Not only in business but especially in relationships. Misunderstandings happen, feelings get hurt and relationships end. But we humans are strong and capable of so much more than we think we are. We survive even when we think we’ll be destroyed.

The biggest business lesson I’ve learned is about goal setting and writing things down. This also applies in your personal life but for me it was most evident in my business. This year has been a bit of “fly by the seat of your pants” as I learned so much about business and about people, including myself.

Networking and building relationships are so important. I’ve been talking a lot lately about personal interaction; by phone or in person rather than strictly electronically. There is a time and place for everything but I fully believe that the best things happen when you meet in person. I can’t encourage you enough to get out and socialize; either with existing friends and family or check out Meetup and get to know new friends.

I’ve learned patience; not everything will happen in the timeline that I give it. I’m a firm believer that the Universe will give you what you ask for; you just have to be patient sometimes, listen to your gut and never give up.

I’ve learned more about my awesome audience. I started out with a goal of helping women in the 40-55 age range. Little did I know that it would be men who reached out to me more than women. I’m excited to help both men and women who are struggling with sex and hormones, teaching you more about what to look out for and how to know when it’s time to come and see me 😉

There were workshops, held at a local café, that I hosted. I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do. I also learned that I love hosting workshops and getting to meet and speak with people in person.

I learned to get comfortable speaking on camera and even went so far as to start a weekly show … Let’s Talk about Sex with Sandy. This week it will be the 22nd episode and while I’ve loved the topics, I realized I needed to change things up a bit. I am, after a nutritionist and want to get back to how nutrition helps hormones and your sex life. Last night (Dec 17) was our last episode for 2017. There will be changes in 2018 and I’m so excited!!!

This will be my last post for 2017. My next post will be published on January 2, 2018 and I’ll let you know what’s in store for 2018. There are so many things coming down the pipe this coming year … I can’t wait to share with you!

I really wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I hope you take the opportunity over the next couple of weeks to recharge and to spend some time with the people you love.

I’m looking forward to sharing more with you in the New Year. I know it’s going to be an amazing year!!!

Much love.

Sandy O’Shea

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