Checking My Mirrors – Reflections of 2015
Tomorrow, we’ll be starting our journey into a new year. Depending on how last year’s ride went, we’ll either throw our leg over the saddle expectantly or with reservations.
The week between Christmas and New Year’s is idling time for me. I park it in neutral and gaze into my rearview mirrors to see just how far I’ve come. What roads did I travel last year? Was it smooth sailing or did I hit my fair share of bumps? Did I accomplish what I set out to do this very moment last year?
My calendar is my roadmap. I flip through its pages… retracing my route.
While idling, I focus on two questions:
- What did I accomplish the previous year?
- What lessons did I learn that I’ll take into the New Year?
I literally make a bulleted list of what I did and then categorize each ‘I-did’ into the segments of my life. The route I took in 2015 comes into focus.
This is a powerful exercise because it’ll either bring me validation or be the fuel needed for me to kick it up a notch next year.
Following are my answers to question number one.
Please know that I don’t share this to flaunt my busyness or feed my ego. I share it to inspire you to recount your own accomplishments and challenge you to celebrate your journey!
I spoke at 12 different venues that ranged from customer service training to a life-planning workshop to inspirational messages.
My favorite engagement was in Casper, WY at the Wyoming Women’s EXPO. I shared the stage with two fabulous speakers and encouraged 180 women to ‘Tap into their Power’. The women of WY were so welcoming that I extended my stay to visit and participate with them. Other than the flat tire in Rapid City, SD and my truck refusing to start in Gillette, WY, it was a fun and delightful trip west!
2015 was a fun coaching year because I did more team and group coaching. I helped small business owners with succession planning, annual retreats, strategic planning, and functioning better as a team.
My favorite coaching opportunity was leading two separate mastermind groups through Michael Gerber’s book, The EMyth Revisited. I love it when commissioned sales people, mid-level managers, and entrepreneurs come together to learn and support each other. They have visible a-ha moments and learn how they can be more intentional about growing their businesses more successfully.
Where my one-on-one coaching clients were minimal this year, I had lots of ‘can-I-pick-your-brain’ coffee dates. People want to make exciting changes in their lives and simply want to talk with someone who has done it. I’m thinking there is an opportunity to develop a product for these types of inquiries… what do you think?
My business partner and I focused on growing Elev8 Coaching in 2015. In January, we launched our first coaching workshop, Becoming a Coaching Leader. This will be a recurring workshop we hold at least twice a year.
Every month, we hosted a free workshop, open to people across markets and industries, where we focused on leadership topics. These free sessions forced us to produce content that later turned into a new product called Leadership University. As a result, we’re working with organizations to build leaders worth following. Another byproduct of our free sessions was five speaking engagements, teaching various leadership practices.
The crowning glory for Elev8 was Leadercast. In 2015, we hosted over 400 people at a one-day leadership simulcast event broadcast live from Atlanta, GA. We couldn’t have done it without our 10 sponsors and event partners! This event has been growing every year and we were asked to be part of Leadercast’s national advisory board. Our hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed!
I had the pleasure of teaching seven basic rider courses in 2015. As a result, there are 58 new motorcycle riders experiencing their own kind of freedom on two wheels. Being a RiderCoach is one of the most fulfilling jobs I have.
In February, I attended the International Motorcycle Show in Minneapolis, MN and met some wonderful people in the motorcycling industry.
2015 was the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and attendance was predicted at one million people. Not wanting to get stuck in that crazy crowd, our riding friends, my husband and I rode
the 400 miles out on Friday, rode through the Black Hills and into Wyoming on Saturday, and then 400 miles home on Sunday.
The Inspired Tour
Speaking of motorcycling, The Inspired Tour was the toughest, most inspiring life goal I have ever achieved. This cross-country trip, on the 100th anniversary of when the first women rode transcontinental, was a year in the making. I had no idea how much work would go into this movement of inspiration!
On June 5th, my friend, Kris, and I departed New York City with our eyes set on San Francisco. Our journey lasted 15 days, through 12 states, with stops at 18 Harley Davidson dealerships. We rode a total of 4690 miles in every type of weather. People we met on the road like Joi, Chris, Symone, Maggie, Bill, James, Chad, Jim, Sandy, Patricia, Kim, Annie, Jodi, Joe, Cindy, Liz, David, Deb, Mike, Suzanne, Ronda, Sharon, Gary, Marj, and countless others, encouraged us. The list goes on and on… I am forever grateful to them.
I’m also thankful for partnerships with the Harley Davidson Motor Company, Harley Davidson of New York City, First Gear, ScalaRider, KlockWerks, and Tucker Rocky. These are the folks who donated gear and motorcycle parts to make sure we had a safe ride. Rita from The Motor Market, Chad from Chad Phillips Photography, and James from Happy Marshall Productions gave of their photography/videography gifts so we could make a documentary of our journey, inspiring women for the next 100 years.
This is just the beginning of the story of The Inspired Tour. I’m writing a book about our experience and weaving in the original story of Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, the women who inspired me by making the trip 100 years ago. Stay tuned, as the documentary will be released early 2016.
Wife and Mother
Where it’s easy in business, accomplishments are harder to measure in my roles as a wife and mother. How can you measure the breadth and depth of love? My kids would measure love by how many baseball, volleyball, and basketball games I attended. By how many gymnastics sessions and cross-country meets I was at. I measure love one smile, laugh, and hug at a time. I certainly had my share of mom-success in 2015!
The best week of 2015 was when my husband and children joined me in San Francisco after the completion of The Inspired Tour. We spent seven glorious days in a Mustang convertible exploring California, driving the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
I learned quite a bit about myself in 2015… another immeasurable achievement. I’ve been intrigued by researcher and author Brene Brown so I joined The Daring Way, a group of local women who focused for 10 weeks on Brene’s work around shame resilience. Let’s just say my world was rocked and I started my own ‘work’ of living a wholehearted life. I’ve realized this isn’t easy work but it is necessary work.
In 2016, I’ve pledged to get real with myself and be vulnerable. As painful as it might be, I’ll be sharing my ‘work’ here, on my blog. I’d invite you to join my journey.
As I look back, 2015 was a year of believing in myself enough to dream big and act even bigger. Was I ever scared? You bet I was. Did I ever lose confidence in myself? Of course I did. But my dreams weren’t too big that God couldn’t handle them.
I imagine the same will be true in 2016. My route won’t be exactly how I map it out at the beginning of the year but it’ll be a thrilling ride nonetheless. My goal is to keep my eyes looking forward, through the windshield, spending minimal time glancing at the road behind me through my mirrors.
Next week, I’ll answer question number two and share with you what I learned on the road in 2015.
Oh… I almost forgot… my final accomplishment was getting my first tattoo. It’s a forever reminder of what 2015 was all about for me… inspiring others.
If there was something that moved you about this post, please share it with a friend! And as always, I welcome your comments!