Happy Birthday, Bourbon & Honey! The Surprises and Lessons Learned Along the Way


CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???? It's been a whole year since Bourbon & Honey was a wee little lifestyle blog. I can't even begin to describe this past year! It has been full of high, lows, fears, triumphs, lessons and surprises.

So I want to take some time this week to celebrate the past year, recap some of the awesome events and share the lessons I learned along the way.

SURPRISE: The biggest surprise of the year is that Bourbon & Honey became a business!!! When I started this last year, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever write that sentence. Now Bourbon & Honey, the business, is a reality. In fact, it's a full-time reality. It's a scary reality, but an exciting one.

LESSON: If you don't do it now, you'll regret it. Whether it's a blog, business, idea or whatever sets your soul on fire, now is the time to execute it. There will never be a good time. There will always be a limitation. You will always find a reason to postpone it. Carpe diem and go for it!

EVENT: Feature Friday hit the ground running in September. This project was designed to share the stories of people who are doing incredible things to make Calgary the best place to live, work and play. So far, there have been 27 stories of community heroes, businesses and non-profits!

SURPRISE: There are more people who want to support you than compete with you - even if they are your competitors. Seriously! Community over competition wins every single time. Find the people who want to support you, and love 'em hard!

LESSON: You are NOT in the driver's seat of your life. I've realized that you don't just arrive at anything. We are all given gifts and talents and opportunities to serve the people around us. That might mean running a business. That might mean moving to a different city. But as we lean into our purpose with a lot of faith and trust, we will eventually arrive at the place we are to be - with a little help, of course.

EVENT: I joined an amazing networking organization that is filled with people who want to support your business through referrals. My own business has grown significantly through my small and mighty chapter, and I can expect it can only continue to blossom.

SURPRISE: When you take care of yourself, say no and focus on the things that you love, good things will come. I used to think that if I was going to get anywhere with my business, I had to work at it seven days a week, 12 hours a day. But self-care has a huge impact on your work. What surprised me is when I set aside dedicated time every day to take care of myself, I was better at my job than if I powered through.

LESSON: It takes more work than you realize. Whether you are blogging, working for an agency or running your own business, hard work will always outweigh talent. Be prepared to put in the work and commit.

EVENT: I have added some amazing businesses to the Simple & Beautiful family in the last few months, and by the end of this month, I will have closed more deals to sustain this business than I ever imagined. (For context, I imagined I would close zero deals.)

While I find it exciting and refreshing to look back on the last year and ponder all the surprises and lessons learned along the way, I am much more excited about what's to come. As Bourbon & Honey enters its second year, my goal is three-fold:

  1. Grow the extended family. (Take on more clients.)
  2. Grow the immediate family. (Hire a full-time copywriter.)
  3. Finally start the two major projects I have been dreaming about since I was little.

Finally, this past year would not have been possible if it weren't for you: the creative entrepreneurs, small business owners and blogger babes who have been there every step of the way. My clients, girl gang, food club, Instagram family, Facebook groups - you have made the first year of Bourbon & Honey a great one. I raise a glass (an old-fashioned, duh!) to you. Let's do even greater things in Year Two!

Now, lets' stuff our faces with cupcakes. (I am. Right now.)