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When 2014 began, I was trying to survive….survive a dead-end job, a devastating breakup, and an unfocused future.  The first few weeks were really difficult.  I didn’t know what to expect from the days ahead of me, and I was just going through the motions.  I wasn’t really contributing to society or my blog or my personal development.  Then, something changed: I realized that no one else can be responsible for my success except me.  And, unless I make a drastic change in my life, my default future would be as ugly and as stagnant as the life I was currently living.

The biggest decision I made was beginning my company, Climb Out of The Cubicle, LLC.  

Starting a business has been life changing.  I’ve never felt so sure and focused about a career change – and major life change – in my life!  Creating this opportunity for myself has widened my eyes.  My mindset has changed.  My group of friends has changed.  I’ve learned so much.  But, I’ve also had some awesome experiences too.

Here’s a short recap:

Joined Twitter – I know it sounds silly, but joining Twitter has been a game-changer.  Of course it’s a great platform for connecting, but I’ve met some people who have turned into true friends.  Since Mallie and I first had coffee, we were instant friends.  She’s a fellow coach; she’s brilliant; and, she has a podcast.  How cool is she!  And….of course, there’s Jae.  She is my pillar of light that gets me through the day.  She’s my sounding board; she’s hilarious; and, she’s always there to give me a stern talking to when I’m can’t hide my crazy any longer.

Completed BSchool – If you’ve spent anytime in the online entrepreneurial world, you’ve heard of (worship???) Marie Forleo.  Each year, she hosts an amazing online program for entrepreneurs: BSchool.  After blogging for a while, I discovered Marie, but after I started the business, I knew that I had to take BSchool.  This program gave me so much insight to running a business.  While most of what she teaches is self-explainatory, it was so helpful to have it presented in one place in a digestible form.  Going through the course completely changed my way of thinking about my business and perspective on business as a whole.

Went to BlogHer – Over the summer, I took my first solo vacation before I went to the BlogHer14 conference.  My vacation was in Napa Valley and San Francisco.  I spent the first couple of days at a beautiful hotel in Napa at a self-imposed writing retreat.  The time alone with my thoughts, my laptop, and the natural Napa beauty brought so much inspiration.  I was so productive.  And I will make no apologizes for the massive amounts of In-N-Out I ate!  After I spent some time alone, I was suddenly surrounded by thousands of bloggers at the annual BlogHer conference.  It was ah-mazing.  I left feeling like I had a place in this big blogger world…even though I was (am!) new to this world, I felt loved and accepted.

Traveled to South America and the Dominican Republic – I also took two spur-of-the-moment trips.  First, my friend Janine told me that she was planning to go on an REI trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos.  The invite was open, but she was going with or with me!  After two days of crunching numbers, I made the decision to go!  Once I paid for the trip, my dear friends invited me to be a part of their wedding in the Dominican Republic.  The best part was the timing of the trips: a couple weeks after an intense South American adventure, I flew off to my last adventure in the Dominican.  I spent the weekend with some of my favorite people, and spent most of my time lounging on the beach soaking up the sun.  While that’s not usually how I choose to spend my vacations, it was perfect.  Visiting my 6th continent and relaxing on the beach was a great way to spend the final parts of the year.  I don’t know how I’m going to make it to Antartica, maybe I’ll book another spontaneous trip!

Quit Grad School – Well, I haven’t officially dropped out, but I didn’t exactly go back in the Fall.  (What???  I had the opportunity to go to South America!  Don’t judge!)  There’s no ill-will against the wonderful Johns Hopkins University, but I just couldn’t continue.  I started having bad dreams and imagined stabbing myself in eye with my pen.  Now, if we haven’t met in person, you should know that I have pretty, blue eyes that change colors.  In a self-preservation attempt, I decided to forgo last semester of classes…..and…..I haven’t exactly looked into classes that start in a couple weeks, so I assume that won’t be going back for the Spring semester too.  And honestly, I feel really good about this decision.


So, yes, basically, this was an great year for me.  But here’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned:


Like I said, when this year began, I was in survival mode.  And while I felt lost and unfocused, I had a loving support system that helped guide me.  I also had an open-mind to accept everything coming my way, and I had the personal motivation to keep pushing forward.  I refused to continue going through the motions; I refused to let my personal development suffer.  And the consequences of choosing to stop wallowing and create opportunities for myself has been the most rewarding part!

I hope that you had a rewarding year also.  I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings to the both of us!

Happy New Year!!!

2014 Year in Review

by Amber time to read: 4 min

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