2017 was an epic year. The things that were good were really good, and the things that were bad were pretty darn bad. Some things that happened this year:
- Quit my tech job and became a full-time freelancer
- Grew my Instagram following from 500 to 11,500
- Rebranded as a creative studio instead of just offering photography
- Worked with amazing brands such as Rothy’s, Leesa, Daily Harvest, Healthade Kombucha, sweetgreen, Sweaty Betty, MNT Studio, and ModCloth, to name a few
- Traveled all over California and the States
- Adopted a kitty
- Experienced personal and family sickness
- Completely changed my diet to become gluten-free, dairy-free, (already was) sugar-free, vegan, no alcohol, no caffeine, and limited grains and processed foods
Here’s a quick wrap-up of my biggest learnings from 2017 as I move into 2018:
- Working for yourself is difficult. It’s lonely, there’s always more work to do than time to do it, and setting your own schedule and sticking to it is so, so hard. Even prioritizing is hard when no one is telling you what’s more urgent.
- Having a community is everything. I’ve met so many amazing people in the blogging world who have taught me and accelerated my growth. There are truly supportive and caring people out there, and building a community of strong women around me has been one of my biggest accomplishments of my personal and professional life.
- Be fearless. Talk to that person, email that brand, take that photo. The only way to move forward is by taking risks and believing in what you have to offer. Trying can lead to a yes, but not trying will always result in a no. Do the thing!
- Truly believe in yourself. You are special. You are the only you that exists, and you have something to offer. You can’t succeed if you don’t believe in who you are and what you give to the world.
- Give and take mentorship. The quickest way to learn and grow is by finding someone who is already doing what you want to be doing and asking them questions. Find people with your passions and listen to every word they say.
And don’t forget to … HAVE GRATITUDE. I have so much gratitude for everyone who is following me and engaging with my content. I couldn’t be doing what I do without you, and you mean the world to me! Never hesitate to reach out – DM, email, say hi in person. I’d love to meet you!
I can’t wait for what 2018 will bring. On to bigger and better things my friends!
Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in Los Angeles.