If my business was a horse, then 2017 was the year it decided to start sprinting out of the corral at breakneck speed while I held on for dear life.
The good news is: business is good and life is better.
Here’s a look back at some of the best moments of 2017 at Less. Enjoy!
Hands down the best project of the year was a joint project with Special Spaces Columbus to give a dream bedroom makeover to a terminally ill 16-year-old girl named Mary. Mary has a very rare disease called Niemann-Pick Disease. I’ve tried to write a blog post about this experience several times, but I can’t seem to get it right. I’ll keep working on that, as I really want to capture this experience in words. But to sum it up, this project taught me that minimalism and organization can truly change the lives of people in difficult situations. Here’s a pic of sweet Mary and the AFTER of her amazing new bedroom. I was so honored to be part of this.
Best Media Moment
I had seven news appearances this year, up from 0 last year, so I’d call that a success right there. But my favorite media moment was being on NPR’s “The Book Nook” with Vick Mickunas. This was the only media appearance I couldn’t prepare for, since I had no idea what Vick would ask me. (And for a person who likes to know what’s coming down the pike, this was a mental hurdle!) But there was something thrilling about putting on the big headphones, talking into the big mic, and hoping I didn’t say something absolutely dumb. (Also, not gonna lie… it was nice to wear jeans and not have to do my hair.)
Best Business Decision
This is a no-brainer. Hiring Nicole Gebhardt of Niche Pressworks to help me publish my book was the absolute best business decision I made in 2017. It’s probably the best business decision I’ve ever made. What’s even better is that I get to finally meet Nicole in person this February when I travel to Indiana for a speaking gig! I hope she’s ready for some giddy hugs from me… followed by more hugs… and then maybe a fist bump. I don’t know. Gonna play it by ear.
Best Unsolicited Business Advice
If you’ve ever owned a business (or had a baby) you’ll understand this: people LOVE to tell you what they think you should be doing. This is well-intentioned, but–like advice about which diaper cream to use or when to toss the pacifier–it gets overwhelming. However, one piece of unsolicited advice stuck out: DRESS BETTER. My mentor, Stephanie, who is very blunt in a very loving way, told me that I looked like a college student in my early news appearances. Now, at the ripe old age of 36, I consider that somewhat of a compliment, but she was correct in that I needed to up my wardrobe game. So I hit up the mall with my friend Megan–who has the killer shopping partner combo of absolute honesty and total disregard for how much money I’m spending–and got myself some new duds. Lookin’ good.
This is a tie between two awesome moments:
Moment #1: Seeing my book rise to #1 on Amazon, even surpassing decluttering juggernaut Marie Kondo for a hot second. This was an absolute thrill, which only happened because of the hard work of my launch team and amazing supporters. If you bought my book on launch day, I heart you forever!
Moment #2: Having my family with me at my book signing party. I hadn’t originally planned to have my kids at this event, and then I thought–you know what? This is a big freaking deal and I want them there! They made me a sweet rainbow cake to commemorate the event and partied until the wee hours. Troopers.
I’ve had many before/after moments in my clients’ homes this year, but some of my favorite before/after photos came from my students in my first-ever LESS Method™ course! This year I experimented with teaching an online decluttering course and I was worried that my students wouldn’t be able to get the results my clients get when I am right beside them. I was wrong! Check out this amazing before/after from one of my students during paper clutter week. She rocked a major transformation in a very tricky space… the kitchen counter.
I see this type of clutter in nearly every home I go into, and I was thrilled to see my students tackle it like absolute pros. All it takes is skills! (And hey, if you’d like these skills, check out my Winter LESS Method™ course here.)
Best Lesson Learned the Hard Way
Saying NO. I’m really good at eliminating excess “stuff” from my life… but I suck at editing excess commitments. I’m a yes girl. I head the PTO. I bring you a casserole when you have a baby. I guest blog. I head up that committee. I bake the brownies for the bake sale. In other words, I am prone to running myself ragged. But then October happened. My book had launched, I started teaching my online course, and I tried to maintain my business-as-usual over-committed personal life and–BOOM–my husband came home one night to find me ugly-crying in the kitchen. It was bad. Josh said he hadn’t seen me cry like that since I battled infertility. I knew I had to take my minimalism advice and edit out the unnecessaries. It was hard. I hate feeling like I let people down, but you know who I hate letting down even more? Me. So lesson learned the ugly-cry way: say NO. I’m declaring 2018 “The Year of NO” which actually means it’s the year of YES to a lot of great things, like my priorities and sanity. I like sanity.
Thank you to all of you who supported me and made 2017 an amazing year in my life. I feel so blessed to do what I do! I’m thankful for each and every one of you and I wish you all a very happy, fulfilled 2018.
Rose Lounsbury is a minimalism coach, speaker, and author of the Amazon bestseller “Less: Minimalism for Real.” After blogging about her own journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose was inspired to start Less, a minimalism coaching company. Rose spends her days writing, helping clients clear their clutter, and soaking up the moments with her husband and their wild triplets. Rose is a regular guest on Fox News Good Day Columbus and has also been featured on WDTN Living Dayton. She calls lovely Dayton, Ohio home. If you’d like to contact Rose for a speaking engagement or help with a minimizing project, you can email her at [email protected] or visit her online at RoseLounsbury.com.