Happy New Year!! Sometimes you don't realize how good a year has been, or how much you have accomplished if you don't take a good hard look back and then prepare, and possibly adjust your plans for the upcoming year. So, you will have to bear with me while I relive the past year for my businesses and look forward to 2010.
It was one year ago today that I lost my job doing chores for and shoveling you know what for a vet that the relationship had been going south for quite some time. What I was shoveling on a daily basis was a good metaphor for how things were going at that time. Boy, did things change from there. It's kind of funny, because I can't say we are any better off financially yet, but I can honestly say that the money is not as important to me either. I am now entirely working for myself and my family and I couldn't be prouder. Plus, all of the projects that have come up since then are things that take time to build, but will make us an income for a lifetime.
It started with Naked~Nure; our organic llama manure "tea bags". It really is a fabulous concept. We use the nutrient rich llama manure and put it into two various sizes (one for indoor and one for outdoor) of organic, over-sized tea bags. The reaction from the public has been very supportive so I know it is a great product. I have come up with some new ideas though that I am going to launch in the Spring because I came up with some great ways to bring the cost down. It is always a good thing to make a great product cheaper!
The creation of Naked~Nure led us to its wonderful logo with Naked Johnny; which we have now created a line of organic shirts with. I also plan on expanding from simply Naked~Nure to an entire line of organic gardening supplies such as handpicked, very hardy wildflower seeds, other types of high nutrient, organic manures and even specialty picnicking supplies; made by yours truly or other artists who have great products I love and support.
One of my biggest accomplishments of 2009 was the completion of my children's book Llucky Llama. It is a story about my lead llama Marcel and his adventures since arriving here at The Royal Ranch. The story is one that was important for me to tell because it talks a lot about my rescue animals and the love they have brought into our lives and that they share with each other, with just a touch of humor of course. This project is one that I really put my heart and soul in. I hand picked an illustrator from right here in my own little town that is a freshman in college. I also chose one of my best friends to do the layout of the book, which is a little different as I usually have a rule to not work with friends, but Viv is the very best. It was important to me to stay local and to use people that I knew would bring good karma to the project and do it for the love of their art and the strong belief in my book.
It is now just a matter of time (waiting for the ISBN #'s) and it will be in print! I think the thing I am most excited about is my marketing plan for this book. With the dawn of the new year is the dawn of my new marketing network; and it is a place I am already quite familiar with, schools. I plan to do author visits with Marcel in tow to get the word out about my book. To me this is such a great win win situation because I will get to see the kids' reaction when they hear my book, and they will get to see a llama up close and personal!
The ranch itself has even seen quite a bit of growth this year. With the addition of the chickens we have added farm raised eggs to our repertoire. I hope to raise some chicks in the Spring as well. The sheep have been a wonderful addition and we are all so anxious for the lambs that will arrive in early March. The Royal Roost, our "Nest in the Woods" as I call it, saw huge growth this summer and is now having its first return visitors, which we take as a huge compliment. This winter will be our first to rent snow shoes, not having too much luck with that yet, but haven't done any advertising. That is another thing on my to do list for the new year.
It's kind of funny, I'm feeling a little bit like a hibernating bear, just waiting for springtime to consume a huge amount of calories, but for me it will be work. I feel quite confident that my gardening line will take off when mother nature comes back to life, especially with the new products in mind. It will also be early Spring before our renters move out and I can get to work on my Studio. I am plan on turning half of their house into a B&B similar to the Royal Roost, and the other half I am going to use as a networking studio (more on that as it becomes a little clearer).
I've got to say one of the most rewarding experiences of 2009 was starting this blog. It has been a lot of fun for me to meet so many nice people with similar interests. This blog has also been a great networking tool for my business adventures and if you've ever thought of trying one, I would highly suggest you do it!
So, I'm feeling like I need to spend the next few months marketing my book and preparing for Spring, I think that all of the groundwork that I have laid is really going to come to life in 2010! So, today remember the miracles that you have already created and figure out how they are going to continue to work for you!