…the more difficult it is to come back to blogging.

I only meant to take a few weeks off over Christmas and New Year, but last year got to me just a little bit too much. It was in many ways the best and worst year of my life. Yes, there was Brexit and Trump but looking at the year on a personal and professional level there were extreme highs and lows. This is the rollercoaster of life I guess but last year felt particularly turbulent.

Business finished last year on an all-time high. I had the most profitable year and had a member of staff plus an office to pay for. I’d never had so many leads at the close of 2016 – 10 leads! For a company of our size, this was incredible. Three months later, how many of these leads have bothered to reply to my emails or voicemails? Big fat 0! Not even to say “no thanks” or give any feedback on our pitches. Disappointing, yes, and some might say rude. As a blogger and a business owner, I understand just how inundated we all are with emails, but if you’re coming to me with the potential of doing business at least have the decency to close the lead whether in a good or bad way. I have larger agencies pitch to me for other clients who I consult for, so I know my pitches and ideas were top quality and my pricing was very reasonable.

As a blogger and a small business owner, I also understand just how inundated we all are with emails, but if you’re coming to me with the potential interest of doing business at least have the decency to close the lead for me whether yay or nay or in other words: don’t leave us hanging! This is part of the reason why I have chosen to wind down the agency side of my business and focus more on consulting. I have dramatically reduced the number of clients I am working with, and let go of my office and employee.

Another reason for this decision was late payments: I seemed to spend much of 2016 chasing for payment as well as those leads! It was a juggling act paying for office and salaries, nevermind my bills and rent! The money was always coming but for sustainable growth, and peace of mind, you need a fluid cash flow. This never happened for me throughout my entire time running the agency and I don’t think the late payers realised the impact this had on my business and my own health and stress levels.

My health, happiness and those stress levels were something I contemplated greatly in the latter part of 2016. Although both Mr BB and my mother have both been through serious health conditions (pancreatitis and an acoustic neuroma respectively, my mother had brain surgery for the tumour in May 2015), it was the passing of two friends that made me stop and question everything. I couldn’t compute how these people were no longer around. One, who admittedly I didn’t know all that well (she worked in the natural products industry) but whenever we saw each other it was as if we’d known each other for years and we’d spoken only yesterday, and the other, a school friend who is present in so many of my treasured memories. Gone. Forever.

The passing of these amazing people made me stop, almost completely, only carrying out the essentials which meant putting the blog on hold and a stop to the development of new projects. I was only carrying out client work. Whilst I felt physically healthy, mentally I felt stressed, sad and lost, and I had fallen out of my yoga practice. I was kind to myself and signed up for a trial at Triyoga, which was great therapy. I discovered my enjoyment of new forms of yoga including Kundalini, Feldenkrais, Yin and Vinyasa Flow, and I also tried Qigong which was just incredible for connecting to yourself.

Without the added stresses of blogging and new projects, I was able to take time for myself and realise just how happy and lucky I am. I have a wonderful family, an amazing relationship, incredible friends, a fabulous pet, good health and success, and I am fortunate enough to travel and holiday regularly. For anyone feeling uncertain, lost or overwhelmed I can highly recommend taking yourself out of the equation for a while. This doesn’t necessarily mean getting away and travelling to find yourself. It can be as simple as making more time for yourself, that hour for meditation, spending quality time with friends, family and loved ones, and just being in the moment more.

So yes, I’m back. And I guess what I would like you to take away from this post are the following lessons:

Treasure your friends, your family, your health and time. All are precious.

Be in the moment more: keep your phone off the table and out of your hands when you are eating or hanging out (I’ve taken this into business meetings as well).

Make time for and be kind to yourself.