Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling, and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles, I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, then you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator. And this is the business Journey podcast.
Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And today is one of my favorites that I do every year. And this is a look back at 2022 just a reflection of my year. And you know, what our winds were, what our challenges were and how it all looked along the way. This was a year of a lot of transition and change, we had a lot of challenge. But I am definitely a better version of myself than I was a year ago. And there were some really intentional things I did for that. So I'm excited to dive into this. And it's gonna be a little looser than my normal episode, I've got a few notes, but I'm just gonna let it flow because I feel like I don't know, we'll see what comes of it. But before we jump into it, I wanted to let you guys know about a free class that I have for you guys all about mini sessions. If you're the kind of person that next spring, you want to really rock your minis, maybe for the first time ever, I don't know if you've never done minis or you have and they just haven't gone well, then this class is for sure for you. It is all about how to market your minis, well how to structure them for profit. So many good things in this class. It's one of like our student all time favorites. And so if you've never watched it, you can watch it the we have it linked below in our show notes. If you want to type in the URL, it's Rebecca rice So go check that out. Okay, so look back at 2022. First of all, I cannot believe that this year is just about over. It's really weird, because I feel like this year went really really fast, but also slow at the same time. I don't know if y'all ever have that feeling. But it's a weird feeling. And when I like think back to all the things we did I feel like it flew by. But then also like certain seasons of it seemed to be so long and daunting. Like I wanted to just kind of do a reflection of what are your looked like in the business and just our family life, and how we grew from it. I am a huge believer that you can always grow from you know, your experiences. And if you don't grow, like, Why do them. And so I learned a lot along the way. And we, you know, just hoping to share some of that with you guys today. So the first thing that was like a big thing in our business was this year, we hired on two new team members. Both of them are part time with us. They're admins, I have one that really works on the education side, if you've ever emailed in, or asked, you know, questions in our inbox about, you know, student customer support kind of things. That was Bridgette she probably was the one to help you out. And on our associate team side, we hired Mandy, who really helped in the admin, you know, working with getting our contracts and invoices sent and making sure all of our clients were taken care of, and just all the things that went on there. So both have been just great additions to the team. And it's so crazy that they've almost been with me for a whole year now, which is so fun. So that was a big move for us. I knew that I was gonna hire this year, I didn't know I was gonna hire two people. So that was a fun kind of surprise. Just the business was growing and our needs are there. So that's always great. Another thing that happened kind of on the business front of things was I joined a mastermind after telling myself that I wouldn't. I literally at the beginning of the year, I said that I wasn't going to join a mastermind this year. I was in one all of last year. And it was wonderful. It was a great experience. But I was at the place. I was like okay, I know what I need to do. I'm going to implement this year it's going to be my year of implementing. And so I did well for the first like, I don't know, seven months and then an opportunity came by that I just couldn't pass up and I've been a part of Caitlyn James's mastermind which has been Just incredible experience and having her as my business coach, you know, and friend and being able to chat, all things has just been wonderful. So being in that mastermind, you guys know, I'm a huge believer in investing in yourself and your business. And masterminds are a really great way to do that. Especially if you're a more advanced business owner, you've been in this thing for a couple years, then you know, a mastermind is the place to get around like minded individuals to have a business coach and get a lot more personalized feedback on things. And it's just been so great for me to be a part of one myself, because you know, I tell you guys the value of them. But there's just something about being with a group of people. And of course, Caitlin's been wonderful. But also our whole group is just really solid people. And so it's been a really, really good experience. And I'm so happy that I did it. Even though I said I wasn't going to it was a good move. Another thing on the business friend was, this year, I got really strict with my work hours. So if you haven't listened to my last episode, where I talked about setting boundaries for like work life balance, I talked about a lot in there, what this year has really looked like in that sense of things. And it's something that I knew at the beginning of the year, it was like a big goal of mine to set rhythms and routines, and make sure that work was not overpowering, just everyday life, and I love working. So that was it's been very hard for me. But I have really, really loved seeing what has come of setting those boundaries and sticking to them the best that I can I can say I'm not perfect at this. But and there were some seasons that I did better than other seasons this year. But as a whole, like setting those strict work hours and those boundaries has really been good for just myself, my mental health, my self care. And it's helped me to be a better version of myself so that I can be you know, the best mom that I can be and the best wife that I can be. And it's just been really, really good this year doing those things. So for like, I want to know what you did Rebecca, go listen to the last episode, pause this, you can come back to it. But I give like really practical stuff that I did. And it just it made a really huge difference. So I loved every second of it. And it helps me I think to love work even more, because I was limiting myself. And when I would step away and recharge when I came back into my office, back on my work days, it's like I had a renewed excitement that I was ready to go. And I can confidently say that I don't feel burnt out at the end of this year, which is a really good feeling. Because I've had some years where I feel absolutely dead by the end of the year. And this year, I don't I feel really, really good. I'm really proud of that in myself, because I think that's a big growth moment for me, because it hasn't always been like that. Let's see another thing in 2022 Oh, this one's a big one. So finally, at the end of the year, we have finally found a good family rhythm after like 10 months of really struggling. For us. It's been a challenge this year just trying to find a rhythm of, you know, work hours that work for me, but also, you know, rhythms with the kids and what it you know, school looks like and all the things at the beginning of this year, we started my daughter in Acton Academy, which is there's ActOns all over the place. I heard about it first because Caitlin James started in Acton in Richmond. And when I heard about it, I fell in love with the concept. It's non traditional micro school, that is like big on training up independence and giving kids the freedom to learn at their own pace. So if they need some more time, or want to linger on something, they have the freedom to if they want to breeze through something and just keep learning keep growing. They can like fosters this love for learning. And it also has an entrepreneurial undertone to it. So that's really cool. And their big thing is they want by the time a kid graduates high school, they want them to know what they're passionate about to know their calling, and to be like excited to pursue that. If they haven't started already many of acting kids start pursuing that stuff even in high school starting their own business or if they're going to college in you know, they're doing internships and things like that. And so my daughter she's five, so she's on like the introductory and of you know the Acton scale, but she started in January and it was just amazing for us and In Tennessee and Nashville, our actin is under a homeschool umbrella. And so three days a week, she's at school and two days a week. She's at home homeschooling. And this is new to our family. I was not homeschooled. I went to public school, my husband also went to public school. But we just felt like for our family, we want homeschooling to be a thing for us. And that came with a lot of learning because like I said, I was not homeschooled. And so I didn't really have any like, basis to go off of it. It was just an interesting, it still is a great learning experience. And so with Maddie, we, you know, she started to act in it went really, really well. While she was there, I wanted something for my son, he is three, he is almost four, oh my gosh, it's so crazy. But for him, I wanted something for him to be able to do. While she was at school, too. We wanted him to have some socialization, just get out there. And also so that I could have dedicated work hours where I had some time with my kids not home. My kids are very, they require a lot of attention. My son is like a stage four clinger. He's basically attached to me at all times. He's the kind of kid that just wants to be so close to me that he'll like rest his face on my face, just to be close while we're sitting on a couch. Or like when we're standing in the kitchen. You know how like a dog comes and like sits on your feet, my son does that he like stands on my feet to be like as close to me as possible. It's very sweet, but also can pose a challenge when I'm trying to get work done. And so I knew I wanted some time where both the kids were out of the house not full time, not five days a week, but a few days so that I could get stuff done. And so this story has a purpose, I promise. We're talking about family rhythm and you know, finally finding a family rhythm. So at the beginning of this year, we enrolled my son in like a Mother's Day Out program. It was two days a week. The problem was that it was on Mondays and Wednesdays and Maddie school was Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, there were no days, I guess there was one day I had Wednesday's where both my kids were not in the house. But the rest of the time, I had at least one of my kids home. And the one day that they were both at school, Carson school day was really short. And so I felt like I got no time to get work done. And so it led me to be really frustrated. The year before that, like last year, we had a nanny with us. And she was amazing. And that was a great season. We had her a few days a week. And so like I had gotten a taste of what that felt like. And then I felt really frustrated when it wasn't like that when my kids were both at school because they were on weird days. And it was just very, very challenging. And so over the summer, neither of them were in school, and that was its own challenge. And then in September we had Maddie went back to school Carson. We just had the worst time potty training him. It was so challenging. We've been trying to potty train him since January of this year. He is one of those kids like he is not a three day potty trainer. It just took so long for him to grasp it. And he's just he was so stubborn. And also he's just a boy that wants to not miss anything. And it was really challenging. So in September, we cracked down and we're like, okay, potty training boot camp. We're doing nothing but potty training to get this kid like fully trained. And thank goodness. Finally, he did it. He's fully potty trained. But it was really hard because he couldn't be in the next class. At any daycare, Mother's Day Out. It didn't matter. He couldn't be in essentially a preschool without being potty trained. And so it was like a non negotiable had to happen. So it finally did. And then finally in October, we found a wonderful preschool for him to go to that was two days a week. That coordinated with Maddie school days. So Carson was Tuesday, Thursday. Maddie was Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So finally, I had time where both my kids were at school, you know, with great hours and I could get stuff done. And Carson on Wednesdays was with my mother in law. So I had three days where I had kids out of the house and could really get stuff done. And it's just it has felt so good to finally like be at the end of the year knowing that we had such a hard road with finding just a family rhythms that worked well with work my work schedule and Daniel's work schedule because he has he stepped out of my business a lot more now. He still does our podcast and a couple other things. But for the most part, his recording business, he's an audio producer. He produces music for artists that publish them on iTunes and stuff like that. So his business is thriving. It's going super well, but that post its own Ciao Lynch have like, okay, he has way different hours than I have and, you know, coordinating with the kids. And it was just a very challenging year on that aspect that did come into play in the business because there were times that you know, I, I do well with structure and with actual work hours, and I was trying to, you know, set work life balance. And it was hard to do in the, you know, first 789 months of this year, just with the challenges that we faced with childcare and things like that. So finally, I can say, since about October, things have gone really smoothly, we have fallen into a really good rhythm of me getting my work time to, you know, getting his work time coordinating, who's picking up the kids on which day like, it's just gone really, really smoothly. So I'm feeling really good about it, it was definitely an uphill battle. But looking back, I can say, I'm glad that we are where we are now. And that we've kind of found that rhythm. So for anybody that's like really struggling to find family rhythms that work well. I want to encourage you, like don't give up, it may be a longer season that you're wanting ours was 10 months of really hard season, trying to get all the things together. What I can say is, it will click into place at some point. And when it does, it's going to feel so, so good. So stick with it. Keep working to find a good rhythm, move things around, try new things. And one day, you'll find something that works really well for you and for your family. So don't give up another thing that happened in 2022. We traveled a lot my husband and I did we traveled just us we traveled with our kids. A lot of it, you know, I was speaking at conferences, we did lots of photo sessions for students, a lot of students to film for behind the lens. So we traveled a lot for that. And we got to go places as a family. And it was it was really fun. Before I was full time in my business. I was a full time youth pastor at a church and I didn't get a lot of time off at the church just in the nature of ministry and what it is. So I wasn't able to travel very much. So last year was our first full year not working at the church. But working for ourselves. We went kind of crazy with travel. And I loved it. I like grew up traveling. It's something that I love to do. I'm not the kind of person that gets like homesick very often. My husband, on the other hand is a total homebody. He did not grow up traveling a whole lot. We just had very different upbringings. And so for him, it was like overwhelmed way too much travel in 2021. So we knew for this year, we wanted to well, he he wanted to set some more boundaries for us when it came to travel and deciding where we wanted to go and how much time we wanted to spend. And when we would travel, things like you know, in October, he didn't want to travel as much because that's a big month, apparently, for like lawn care. He is huge about our lawn. And I don't know if any of you guys are your husband's or whoever, like loves lawn care, but it's a whole thing. So apparently, October is like vital in the health of your lawn. And so last year, we traveled a lot in October, like we were basically not home the whole month of October. And that was like devastating to him because he felt like he couldn't maintain our lawn the way that it needed to be and water it and whatever. And so this year, he's like, we can't travel in October. And so we sat together, looked at our calendar and decided how much we wanted to travel when we wanted those travel times to be and what that would look like. And I could say confidently, we did really well with that this
year, I think we still traveled more than Daniel would have loved. But we traveled less than I wanted, I wanted even more. So it was a compromise we met in the middle. And I think because we set up the travel together, that was also a big thing that worked well for us. Because last year, I booked a ton of trips, and Daniel was like along for the ride. And he didn't like not having a say in what you know where we went. And when we went and all the things he felt like I was just, you know, booking all the things. And so this year, he really wanted a hand in it. And for us to do that together. And it was really fun where especially when we were booking photo sessions to film for behind the lens working together to see where are we gonna go where on the map is it and talking with, you know, you guys are students of who wanted a photo session and where you relocated and he loved you know, booking the hotels, booking the flights and all the things it was really fun for us to do together. So that I think is a big win of we like learned our lesson in 2021. We compromised together this year and overall like we made some really good memories together and as a family and And it'll be fun to see what that looks like next year. I think in hindsight like, there are some things that we wanted to do that we didn't get to like, we keep saying that we're trying to plan a trip to California to see his grandparents who lived there, we didn't get to make it out this year, we wanted to do a family beach trip, we didn't get to do that this year, Daniel and I went to the beach several times. But it just didn't work out to bring our family along for those trips. And so there are some things I think next year, what we're going to do is like, look at our calendar and plan those things first, because I know like our calendar is just going to naturally fill up. And so if we don't put those things in first, it's probably not going to happen again. And so this year, or I guess, for next year, we're looking at the calendar, we're going to plan the must do trips first, and then we'll plan other things around it. And again, like set those boundaries to say, How often do we want to travel, you know, where do we want to go and have to be able to say no to good opportunities, if it doesn't fall within the boundaries that we set. So that was just like an extra fun one of like, something that I didn't ever think would be a reality for us. Because we went so long, we're here at a church where we couldn't really do much travel. So that's been a really fun part of working for ourselves, and just being able to work from anywhere. And, you know, just having the freedom to do that was really, really cool. I won't drag this on. I'll just do one more. One more thing, I had just like a bunch of bullet points of things. But one more thing, looking back at 2022, how the year went. One thing that we did this year was we created intentionally slow days, just in general in our life. It's funny because I grew up in a very fast paced environment in my home where it was really common like me and my sister, we were 11 months apart. We were involved in a lot of different extracurriculars in school and in high school and stuff. And at one point, like for example, when we were in high school, I played school volleyball, I played club volleyball, I wrapped volleyball, my mom owned a club and was a coach. And so I would go to their stuff, like we did a lot with volleyball. Plus, I was in choir, and I did theater, I did musicals every year at school, like we were just involved in a lot. And so it was really common for us to spend most of our days out and about and eat dinner on the road and get home really late. Like that was the norm for us. And it was fun. It was great. I don't have any complaints there. But as I've grown and have my own family, I have really found that my body and my mind, my soul really likes slow. And I do really well when my days are intentionally slow. Our schedule has a lot of flexibility and a lot of freedom to decide what we want to do that we're not like tied to a calendar necessarily. We have a few things that we do, you know, throughout the week that we are tied to the calendar, but there's a lot of free empty space. And that was really intentional this year where we wanted to feel my husband and I we just wanted to really like live in the freedom of working for ourselves. And not feel like we have to go a million miles an hour. And so a part of that was creating intentional space in our calendar and making sure that we set boundaries so that that space can, you know, can be there. And it's been really, really cool to see what that looks like. You know, my kids are homeschooled two days a week. And so we our homeschool days are really chill, we do homeschool in the morning, we leave it open. So if we want to go to the library or to a park or whatever, wherever we want to do we have the freedom to do that. And we have the space to just go at their pace because my kids are slow. They just toddlers move slowly. Maddie is I guess not really a toddler anymore. But at five and three years old. Kids just have a slow pace. And so it's been really cool to slow down our lives, to be able to go at their pace and just enjoy the life that we have. And it's funny because we went home to Texas for I don't know what for it. We were there in October for a few days. And it was super fast paced, and we just had so much planned and packed into those days because we weren't going to be there for very long. And you know, my husband and I were both born and raised in Texas. And so we had a lot of people to see we felt like we didn't see everybody we wanted to and it was crazy. And every night while we were there. We were so exhausted and got home and just wanted to like crawl in a hole for a week because we're so tired. And it's funny because we were not used to that fast pace. Like in my husband and I talked about it we're like Like, we have built a very slow paced life, and we love the slow pace. And going that fast was so exhausting for us. And we're like, oh, now I remember why we go with our slow pace. And so that has been just a great result of this year being really intentional to structure our days with freedom with flexibility, so that we can enjoy the perks of working for ourselves and design the life that we want to live. And we knew we wanted an intentionally slow life, where others may look and be like, Wow, your life's really boring. But honestly, we love it. And we still get to hang out with friends, we still, you know, socialize and see people. So it's not like we just stay home all day. But we don't feel tied to must do activities and stuff like that. It's just, we have a lot of freedom. And it feels really, really good. So all of that to say this was like a longer episode than I usually do. But all that to say, looking back at this year, I am really happy with how it went, we face our challenges, but it's gone really, really well. By the end of it all looking back, I'm happy with how it was. And I'm really excited for you know, just to build on what we built this year in 2023. To see how can we continue to foster this life that we really love. Doing things we love with people, we love keeping the pace that we want. That's not what the world says we should do, but just what we feel is great for our family. And I'm really excited. So I don't know if anybody's gonna like resonate with this episode. It like part of me is like, nobody cares about this stuff. Why am I even saying it? But you know, even if this is just for me to look back on next year, that's okay. That's great. But if this did resonate with you, like, let me know, truly, that would mean the world to me. Shoot me a DM on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography. And I would love to know if you liked this episode, if anything, like stuck out to you, Blake, let me know. That's like the insecure part of me that's like, oh my gosh, literally, nobody cares. But I think there are people out there that care. So anyway, I hope this episode was helpful for you. I hope you got something maybe from it. Maybe the slowness of life that you're like, oh, I want that. Like you can have it. And I want to encourage you like design life that you want to live and go live it because life is too short to spend it doing things that we don't enjoy and we don't love. So, yeah, this is a good this is a good episode. If you didn't enjoy it. That's okay. I enjoyed it. So anyway, I hope this was helpful. And I will see you back next year. How weird is that? I'll see you back next year with another episode here. Bye guys.

91. A Look Back at 2022