It’s a big week here at Natalie McGuire Designs, being that I TURNED 1 YEAR OLD THIS WEEK.

That’s right, internets! My business is an over-sized drool-y and constantly leaking 1-year old!

Adorbs! (Also, grooooooooss.)

For my birthday, I have a brief list of demands: Cake (so! much! cake!), a pony, and lots and lots of jewelry that won’t make my skin itch.

So, ya know… Get on that, friends. That Amazon Wishlist ain’t gonna start ordering things all by itself.

Being that it’s my first year of working for myself full time, I’m feeling a little reflective and I thought I’d share some of my pretty high highs and some lowly lows with you. After all, we all enjoy a good peek-y poo behind the curtain from time to time.

Unless I’m in the shower, then you best leave that curtain alone. You WILL get cut.

But first? Some back story.

One year ago this week, I worked my last day at my day job and gave my ex-coworkers some sweet parting gifts to remember me by. I cried a lot, hugged a lot, drank a lot, and wasn’t able to sleep for about a month afterward because I couldn’t kick that feeling of sheer terror questioning every single decision I had ever made in whole life.

Cue the JAWS theme song…

Sure, I planned. I had spreadsheets. I had work in my queue. But was it enough? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WAS IT ENOUGH?!

Clearly, confidence has never been my BFF.

As luck would have it, months went by, and before I knew it, I didn’t feel nauseous anymore. I was able to sleep at night, my hair stopped falling out, and I stopped badgering my poor Husband with affirmations that I made the right decision.

And now? Here we are 1 year later, and I’ve survived! Here’s proof:

  • After, ya know, math, it turns out I grew my business income by 180%(!!!) over the previous year
  • I nearly doubled my client list from 29 to 56 clients
  • I grew my e-mail list by 700%
  • Designed and launched 23 websites and 2 e-courses
  • Designed 30 logos, 1 book, 3 e-books and 2 magazines
  • Revamped my own website, added an e-mail opt-in list, and got a video made
  • Got asked to speak at a 2014 Women of Power Virtual Summit
  • Got interviewed at The Startup Sessions

But honestly, you guys? It hasn’t all been sugar plums, tea parties and rainbows over here. In fact:

  • I had to fire a client over ethical differences–morals save the day!
  • I got stiffed by three clients who disappeared when their final bill was due–classy, peeps!
  • I got contacted by an online bully which resulted in needing to hire a lawyer–fun!
  • Suffered many sleepless and barf-y nights due to stress, fear and general lack of confidence in myself–thanks, nerves! You’re SO helpful!

So? There you have it. That’s what 1 year of working for yourself looks like.

And spoiler alert: It’s been worth every grey hair.

Many thanks to all of you who have made it possible–there are no words for the amount of gratitude I have.

Natalie McGuire
Natalie McGuire is a Web Designer + Digital Strategist for purpose-driven solopreneurs because she believes the world is a prettier place when people make money doing what they love. Want to make more money with your website? Get my FREE 3-Day DIY Websites That Sell Mini-Course!

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