2019! What a year! Honestly, I’m grateful that the year just flew by. It was terrible, enough.
There were a lot of good things that happened to me this year, but the bad, because there always is, outweighed the good. From the emotional turmoil, to career & life related disappointments, from personal body image issues to health issues in family… the year wasn’t how I wished it was. I had expected 2019 to be better, much better.
However, 2019 still was a year in which a lot happened. A lot of it, I can share. Parts of it, I cannot. Yet.
Hiring my first employee
The decision was made in 2018. But hiring in a small town for the kind of work I do? It’s tough. Luckily, I did find a person but as months would pass, the person wouldn’t be a good fit for the job after all. I would go again to search for another person way sooner than I had hoped for, with feelings of betrayal, disappointment & pure frustration. But let me tell you one thing of the many self realisations I’ve had about life – the good things when they’re happening to you, they almost always feel like the worst.
How else would you explain I happened to find another assistant, who has been working with me for 8 months now and who has made my life simpler? So, even though, hiring my first full-time employee was a short stint, it paved the way to hire my second one and I’m so grateful for that experience. Why? Read the next point!
2. Getting over micro-management
The reason why I wouldn’t even think of hiring an assistant before 2018 was I just felt nobody could do my job. Really. It was very unlike me – the person who gets bitten by the ‘what if I’m not good enough’ bug every once in a while. But still, it was the case. I could find nothing in my task list that could be outsourced. But I knew that was the next step towards my growth as a person with a side business and I had to do it. And also, I didn’t want to part with my dear money. I was trying to save it, you know.
However, as 2019 would begin and race through, I would realise how to get over micro-managing and start trusting people, even though there are ones who would break your trust time and again. Honestly, there are still days when I question myself if I really need an assistant. There are still days when I’ve a difficulty finding a task for my assistant that matches her skill level & that I want to give to her. But hiring one has been the greatest mode of learning for me this past year.
What about the money? Read the next point!
3. Saving up my emergency fund
Obviously, I increased my expenses. In fact, apart from having a full-time employee, I hire freelancers for several things – graphic design, content writing, web development & design. There are also tools that I can’t live without. Visit my Instagram profile and see that link in bio? Shor.by link? It’s a paid subscription. Several such paid subscriptions are part of my business expenses. So, really, the expenses have grown in 2019.
But so has the revenues. Hiring an assistant seemed like a big financial commitment, but it also freed up my time. The time that I would spend on tasks that were important but added no value to the growth of my business are all handled by my assistant now. Whether I want a canva graphic for some experiment I want to do for my profile or there’s a video I want captioned or I again need to change the descriptions of my 500+ videos on the internet, or I need to post a blog on this very blog which I’ve written but can’t post because your girl also have a full-time digital marketing job to handle… all of it can be done by my assistant. So, in the end, the money wasn’t really an expenditure. It’s an investment that frees up my time – time which I have the liberty to decide what I want to spend it on – on growing my business or as this year has been for me – on chilling out.
How did I still end up saving my entire emergency fund? One thing – small F.D.s
On any other day, I would pick mutual funds, SIPs and all that when we’re talking about investments. But if you really want to save everything you can, which you need to do if you’re serious about your emergency fund, you need to do this – ensure you’ve online banking access, and make an F.D. even if (& right when) you’ve Rs. 10,000 in your account (that’s the minimum amount required to make an F.D. in the bank I use). If you look how many Rs. 10,000 F.D.s I have, it kind of still gets me embarrassed. But that got the job done. I have the money saved.
4. Lack of Travel
One of my biggest unfulfilled wishes of 2019 have been my inability to travel. I did go to Amritsar to speak at the Indian Domain Summit but it was a one-day trip. I also went to Delhi twice – once to attend YouTube Creator Camp & the second time for a secret meeting. I ended up having fun – interviewed one of my favourite authors, visited this awesome place Kingdom of Dreams with my bestie, and tried living in a luxury hotel in Delhi. But the whole year, I felt trapped, with my own commitments.
The work, the dog and then finally, when I booked flight & hotel for a trip to Pune, my father got sick. I did lose a LOT of money on cancellations with no refunds.
All I have longed for this year is to see the beach. See that ocean that scares me and excites me at the same time. Do you know when you walk towards a beach and you haven’t seen it for a long time or ever before, the sight kind of looks like a mountain as you walk towards it. And then, that blue mountain becomes an ocean. That’s what I have missed the most this year. Maybe, next year.
5. Trying To Live To The Fullest
The year had been full of turmoil for me. Little disappointments. Let me say that a lot of good things also happened but they weren’t exactly what I wanted them to be per se. One thing that has gotten me through this year is trying to enjoy everything I did – trying to go overboard with celebrations whether it’s Karva Chauth or Diwali or some random thing to attend.
In life, if you are ever going through a prolonged state of disappointments and sadness, the first thing you do is try to be happy. It wouldn’t work. It will be nearly impossible. But that’s the first step. You gotta do it!
So, that’s what I have done this year. I have tried to load and offload things. I have been on an almost break from both of my YouTube channels even though they’re the things that make me incredibly happy. I have taken on newer things and let go of older things. I’m learning a new freakin language. I’m trying to continue my low carb lifestyle even though I know I’m ordering a pizza every 5th day of my diet (I just did, you know). I’m trying to plan and hope for a better year. Because that’s what you do. You take the disappointments and sorrows, absorb them in and then, say – okay, so what’s next!
Hope for the better future. Work for the better future. And things will change. That’s the law of life.
Okay, I’m done with this weird preachiness. Over now. That’s my year 2019 in review. See you in 2020!