I plan the entire year in January. This year I took a full seven days to look deeply into my business and get high level enough to see what I want to create this year and the areas I want to change. I’ve been doing it for ten years with a group of small businesses through my business coach Nina Kaufman.
Every year I follow the same path to uncover the upcoming year. I start with what didn't work and then move to what did work from the year before. And with these learnings, I plan the future based on my values, vision, and mission, in view of my 20, 10, 5, 2, and 1-year goals. This is how I stay high level and accomplish our biggest picture goals. One goal at a time, precisely crafting Botnia.
What I uncovered about 2022 was that we had a year of foundational inward transformation. We looked at our systems and changed how we manufacture skincare in our lab by creating a harmonious pace of production. We doubled our sourcing and added new farmers and higher-equity ingredients. We helped our spa partners through continuing education and support and finalized our back bar system for estheticians by adding a new foundational product. But it was the bricks we were laying to launch this year that took up most of my personal headspace. I spent my creative time last year in the lab working on an SPF for you to use and love that’s protective and also meets my standard for skin health. I feel so proud that I’m not rushing this product; instead, I’m letting it take the time it needs to be perfect. Alongside spending much time on Zoom with our new designers, crafting a new visual and physical representation of Botnia that will blow your socks off.
As for the areas I want to change, I didn't allow myself to be human inside my business. I had a personal loss that I powered through like nothing ever happened. For me historically with grief, it's easier to move forward and grin and bear it. But it’s at a cost. What I’m saying is not that I should have come to work and overshared and cried all day but in hindsight I see that I should have stepped away to care for myself for a week or even two weeks. But instead, I took the capitalistic view of business that the show must go on. So this year, I want to be humane to myself inside my business as a goal. Maybe that means I will get to work all year on the beautiful things I have planned and sink into joy and the exhilarating feeling of offering something I love to you. And maybe that means that since life rarely goes as planned, I will need to be humane to both being a business leader and a human.
At the end of my reflection of 2022, I can see clearly that we have so much to be proud of and ways I want to change and grow in 2023. The next year will be huge for us as well. We have new product launches, new packaging that I’m obsessed with and is truly 100% sustainable. Like actually fucking sustainable, no greenwashing. A new and beautiful website and more ways we can connect to each other through community and communications.
When I peer through the window at the year ahead, I see we’re primed to take on this year with integrity, systems, and the best team imaginable to transform into the butterfly that we’ve been gestating.
I feel so lucky to have this dream and produce these products for you to love and care for yourself. Thank you for trusting me with your humanity and for following my personal journey through business. It's an honor to share real struggles and real dreams with you. Cheers to going for it this year!