It's that time of year again. Where we reflect on the past year and set our intentions for the upcoming New Year.
To be honest, I didn't really want to think about this past year. It's been one of the toughest years I've been through, both personally and in business. Coincidentally, it was also the first full year of my life that I was completely self-sustained. I quit my job in July 2021, so for the entirety of 2022, I worked freelance gigs while I went to as many pop-ups to grow Kono's Kitchen as I could.
It. Was. Tough.
I've been in survival mode for most of this year, and to be honest, I still am. I hope that by being transparent, other small business owners can see that they're not alone, and that perceived success on social media may not equate to actual success. Then again, that depends on how you define success. And by my own definition, it's been a pretty successful year.
Yes, I've had to go through savings and hustle to find writing & marketing gigs to pay myself what Kono's Kitchen currently can't pay me to cover my expenses. But I've also lived this entire year on my terms and on my own time. And that is pretty fcking priceless.
I put together a montage a couple of days ago on our Instagram, and as I rewatched videos from this past year, I realized how much I'd actually accomplished. I was a featured speaker at not one, but TWO events (one was on stage and streamed to hundreds of people!), I launched two podcasts, I did an average of 3-4 pop-ups per month, I got myself a residency at a local brewery by shooting my shot, I attended my first SuperZoo event, I launched Kono's Club, an online community for dog parents, I built some pretty solid relationships in my local and IG community, and I launched my first rep search and met some amazing women. And that's just scratching the surface.
As for me and Kono, our bond only grew deeper this year. We went on a bunch of adventures and worked hard on his recall. We started learning a different perspective when it came to his training as we worked with Sarah from Etsu & Me, and we slowed down and focused on getting him to a calmer mindset. We've still got a lot of work ahead of us (we always will), but I have a good idea of what some of our goals are for next year.
Some of our training goals for 2023 include:
- Bringing Kono to newer environments more often and trusting in the training we've done so far
- More 1-on-1 meetups with friends who have dogs, and creating a safe space in our community for others to do the same
- Continue my learning from various resources and platforms, and being transparent about our reactivity journey along the way
As for Kono's Kitchen, my 2023 goals include:
- Continue building local community through a big, first-of-its-kind event that I’m planning, as well as a couple other hosted events and monthly Kono’s Club meetups and training opportunities. Expand on that community at a national (and maybe international) scale
- Focus on getting my treats into more stores
- Create more written content on the Kono’s Kitchen website
- Make training info more accessible with more IG lives with different professional trainers
- Keep building Kono’s rep team
- Launch a new site
It could be easy to focus on the fact that I'm not where I would like to be in my business at this point. But the reality is, I had a pretty amazing year with some incredible adventures. And I can only imagine how much better the coming year will be.
Bring it on, 2023. Let's do this thing!
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