~2018 Word of the Year~
A couple years back I was inspired by one of my industry mentors, Pat Sloan, to embrace a word for the year. This word was meant to keep me on track. Whether it be personal or professional. The first year I committed to a “word of the year” was 2016. Today I will share with you my past two word’s and my 2018 Word of the Year. I’d love to hear what your word will be too, be sure to leave you 2018 Word of the year in the comments below.
When/Why did I start – Word of the Year?
In 2016 one of my industry mentors, Pat Sloan, encouraged me to embrace a Word of the Year. This seemed like an easy task, choose a word and then just do what the word says, right?
January 1st 2016, I sat at my desk. Pencil and paper. Wrote a ton of words all over the page. Kept thinking to myself, who will even know if I don’t stick to my word? Will it make a difference if I chose the wrong word? It’s not like I’ve got someone looking over my shoulder reminding me of the word, right? I went through about 20 different words. Each had a special meaning to me. Each make me think differently. Finally something clicked. The word which jumped off the page for 2016 was – Focus.
2016 Word of the year
My Word of the Year for 2016 was Focus. Personally and professionally my 2015 was a bad year. I felt like I was being pulled in far too many different directions. Between traveling for business over 25 times, moving for the third time in three years and my daughter beginning grade school I was worn out. When the word Focus landed on my page, my eyes lit up and I just knew that was the word which had the most meaning. I needed to slow down and just Focus on things, life, people and my business. What I didn’t expect was the time I was wasting, spinning my wheels on dead end projects, relationships and how looking at my “Word” each day would keep me on track to clean my life up. Focus was the word I needed in my life and I’m pleased so say, by the end of 2016 my life was more Focused.
2017 Word of the year
2016 was over and a new year had begun. Again, the word challenge popped up in my Facebook feeds. Pat Sloan, once again, challenged me to define what one word would make 2017 a great year. Again, I sat with pencil and paper. This time I played show tunes in the background. Nothing beats a little Andrew Lloyd Webber, a hot cup of tea and clean sheet of paper.
What word would define my year? What “Word” would help me keep that same Focus as my word from 2016 so splendidly achieved? Not only is it a “Word” but it is really a mantra. Something for me to remind myself of daily. For 2017 I needed to push myself. Do something I had not done yet. Create something I had not yet created. The word which stood out the most was Challenge. I needed to Challenge myself. Push myself beyond my comfort zone. Make new relationships. Form new friendships. Make new things and connections. Challenge was the perfect word for me in 2017 and because of it, many exciting and new opportunities came to be.
Just to name a few of the things which I was proud of for 2017:
- The Sewing Gnome Aurifil thread box and designs to accompany
- Does this Notion REALLY work? I created over 20+ videos featuring a new sewing notion
- In the Hoop projects new and different
- Created FREE sewing and machine embroidery projects for my fans
What’s to come…
Now, third year in a row, Pat Sloan’s challenge of choosing a single word to represent my year has come again. January 1st, 2018. Pencil and paper. This year it should be easier, right? I’ve got two years under my belt with this “Word of the Year” thing. Two years of successful words which launched some exciting things for my brand. So, what is my 2018 Word of the Year?
For whatever reason, this was by far the most difficult. There’s a lot I want to accomplish in 2018. New and exciting plans on the horizon. With new things though, sometimes the old or comfortable gets lost. Once upon a time, I had a boss, Elizabeth. She looked like a Barbie doll. Beautiful, stylish and empowered all the women around her. She still remains a mentor in my life. Years ago, 15 or so, Elizabeth helped me at a crossroads in my life. Her saying for me was “Embrace Change, it is the one thing you can count on”. Ever since then, I have done my best to keep this in mind as it is so true! Each day, new technology comes out. New ways of presenting, new things to work on. It’s nice to have memories of the “Good old days”, but it’s also nice to embrace the NEW. This is important because for my 2018 Word of the Year I need it to remind me of the old but embrace the change.
2018 Word of the year
2018 is full of change for me. Exciting new things and I don’t want to loose who I am or what I am to others. This year I couldn’t choose just one word. This year so much will be going on and I want to remain Authentic to myself and my audience. I also want to continue providing the great Content which has been so enjoyed. Content being: Designs, patterns, blog post and videos. This Content takes time to produce. Sometimes it can take me two full days to write a great blog post, but when I do, it is well received. Something I also need to do is Inspire others. I too need inspiration. To inspire or to be inspired is critical for all creative types. There are places I go for this inspiration and I also realized that I am a place others come to, to be Inspired.
Because of all these thoughts in my head, words on my paper and goals for 2018 my 2018 Word of the Year is actually three. These words are Authentic, Content and Inspire!
What these words mean to me?
A word is just letters pushed together until they have meaning, at least that is how the 2018 Word of the Year works for me. 2018 I have selected three words. Is this wrong or will this be confusing? Not at all. In fact, I believe these words have given me a clear goal for the year. Individually they all have special meaning but together they ignite an exciting feeling deep inside me. Below are my three words for 2018 and what they mean to me. Not Websters definition but mine and that is why my 2018 Word of the Year are three different ones.
What Authentic means to me?
Be myself. Don’t loose myself to fit into a box of what others expect. Wear makeup if I want or be Au-Natural on other days. Film, sew and create things I like and what represents me as a designer the most.
What Content means to me?
This word has two very different meanings to me.
- Content (being happy with what I have) Do what I can, not push myself past my means, I am not like anyone else and can’t compare myself to others. Some designers have rich husbands, fancy houses, huge supportive families and things I will never have. For me, to compare myself to what others have or do is silly. I’m happy with who I am and what I produce, as a person and a business woman. If I had the resources my competition had, would it really change what or how I create it? Doubt it. I am who I am and I like myself. I get excited about what I produce, create and share. When I hear others say, you should do what “so and so” does. You should make the same things “so and so” makes or “Why don’t you do what “so and so” is doing? My answer is and always will be, Because I am unique and genuine to my brand, there is only one Sue O’Very and I like what I do!
- The other definition would focus on what I provide for my audience. The content in my blog post, videos, etc. When I write a blog post, create a free pattern, make a new video or develop a line of in the hoop projects – these are all consider Content. These can take me a few hours to a few months. Truly, it just depends on the detail, quality of photos, learning curve of new software for digitizing or video editing and who else is involved. Am I partnering with a company and need to follow a schedule, etc. One FREE project I created in 2017 took me 181 hours AND it was FREE to my audience. My hope is (as anything), my audience will see it, stitch it, love it and perhaps want more like it and eventually support my brand by buying something else. Does this always happen? Not at all. Some folks stop by, say hi, grab the FREEBIE and I don’t see them until the next time I offer another FREEBIE. Many times I capture the attention of one of their stitching friends who fall in love with my brand and support my little business.
What Inspire means to me?
Not sure about you, but I need to be inspired. Granted, sometimes ideas will just pop in my mind and then I jot it down as fast as I can. Most of the time though it requires me to see something, hear something, feel something or experience something in order for that next big idea to appear.
There are several women in my life who mentor and coach me through my personal and business choices. These women are long time friends, people I explicitly trust with my thoughts and secrets and women I trust and believe in. These women challenge me, push me and most importantly Inspire me. When I feel that tingle in my brain that glides to my fingers and writes the idea on a sheet of paper I smile, giggle and feel like I’m in my twenties again. Unstoppable and throw caution to the wind. That is what I aim to ignite in others. Inspire, motivate and empower!
Sum up three words into one sentence
Earlier I mentioned these three words work together to create who/what I want to do/be for 2018. Here is how the three words are all connected.
As a designer, it is my responsibility to offer the BEST Content my audience loves and be Content with how I live my life. I must remain Authentic to my brand and aesthetic and continue to be inspired by life and Inspire my audience.
Perhaps this is a little more than just a word of the year and resembles a mission statement. This is my commitment and promise to you, the one reading this right now for 2018.
What is your 2018 word of the year for?
Leave it in the comments below and tell me what you plan to do in order to make it happen. Please be honest and in one year we will revisit this post and chat about it. No mater which word you choose, just be Authentic to yourself and focus your efforts on Family and Creativity!