This blog’s focus is on how to find, organize, enter and win sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways. I also post tips and tricks and occasionally rant about the promotions industry. At the beginning of 2011, I shared a bit of my personal life to explain the long pauses in between posts that year. For the next two years, I thought it would be nice to post an annual review, and last year I missed it altogether.
LOOKING BACK TO MOVE FORWARD
I thought it was time to revive the annual tradition I had started, give you a glimpse ‘behind the curtain’ to see the wizard. I enjoy sharing my journey as it’s not all prizes and glory. Winning is what gets many of us through rough days. Dreaming about a prize or opening our mailbox to find a package is what puts a smile on our faces and a jump in our step, as life occasionally knocks us around.
If you are new to me or want to review, here are my last three annual posts:
Now that you are caught up, here’s what happened in 2013 and 2014 and what my goals are for 2015.
As I would normally post about the previous year in January, and I was still sorting myself out from my move, I never got around to my annual review. The toughest year of my career was 2013. I had the slowest year as an entrepreneur since I registered my first business in 1994, and I couldn’t find a job or contract.
The divorce wasn’t finalized, nor was our separation when 2013 began. As Craig (my now ex-husband) was planning to bring his fiancee over for a visit for several weeks, I planned to make myself scarce. What started out as an escape turned into one of the best adventures I ever had. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones that attended one of my workshops on The Contest Queen’s Secrets to Winning Sweepstakes Tour. (photo album & blog posts) While I was on tour, our separation was finalized, and soon after, I moved out.
Between job hunting, the tour, and traveling, I never finished my book or blogged as often as I wanted.
Even though my divorce was finalized in January 2014, I spent the first part of the year catching up on my corporate financials and dealing with my lawyer. I am hoping the last of the legalities will be finished this year, as I feel they take my energy away from both my business and my hobby.
To focus on the positive, at the beginning of the year, I created a virtual vision board on Pinterest. I didn’t meet all of my goals, but I made progress on some, and others materialized in ways I couldn’t fathom.
- I started a new digital marketing agency, Idea Majesty.
- I went back to night school and got my Web Optimization Analysis certification from Seneca College.
- I began attending Toastmasters meetings again. I didn’t get either of my bronze-level certifications, but I am now only one speech away from my Advanced Leadership Bronze and two speeches away from my Advanced Communicator Bronze.
- I attended four sweepstakes conventions and two blog conferences. Attending the blogging conferences was the best decision I made as I learned a lot, made fantastic connections, and have new plans for Contest Queen in 2015.
- I didn’t attend an event hosted by Robert Ohotto, as he didn’t hold any. However, I am now his Community Manager. I am currently working with Twitter, and that role may expand to include other platforms in the new year. I do not see myself attending his first event in 2015, and I hope I can attend the next one he holds.
- The emotion of the whole divorce process took its toll, and I lost a big prize. On December 31st, 2013, I won a book publishing package. A perfect win as I had wanted to finish How To Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More! I thought this prize was just the incentive I needed. Between putting my energies elsewhere and struggling with the end of my marriage, I couldn’t meet the publishing deadline.
- I never did start a regular meditation or yoga practice, and by mid-year, my health began to lag. I started seeing a naturopath. My energy is coming back, and I plan to be at 100% in 2015.
- Business slowly returned, and December 2014 was my busiest month all year!
Here is what I am planning to do to make 2015 a winning year, and in the process, I hope to help you become a big winner too.
- I plan to finish writing the last chapter of How To Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More! the first week of January. Then editing, layout and printing.
- We have already started redesigning ContestQueen.com. Stay tuned for the launch, along with a pre-sale announcement for my book.
- As Facebook is changing its algorithm (again), my focus on connecting with the contest community and teaching will shift to this blog (far more frequent posts than in 2014!) and my newsletter, along with Google+, YouTube videos, and either/or Google Hangouts and webinars.
- Business is growing, and I am continuing to work with Branding & Buzzing and Alokozay Tea. Stay tuned for promotions from both companies. I am excited to see what new companies I will work with in 2015.
- As for my health: I plan to continue working with a naturopath. I bought a juicer after watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and look forward to starting a regular yoga practice again in the spring.
- After all, is said and done, my first priority will always be my daughter, Nicole, especially as she is scheduled for back surgery in February. The healing process is long and may pull me away from work at times. All your prayers are greatly appreciated.
As you may have guessed from this post, I have not had a regular entering schedule for the past few years, although 2014 was far better than 2013. One of the main keys to consistently winning is to enter consistently. We’ll see if that is something I can get back to in 2015, or not …
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
Here are two quotes from Robert’s podcasts, which I have posted across my desk so I can see them every day.
“Every day and in every way, I am aligning more and more with the fullest expression of my highest potential as per my soul contract and destiny in this lifetime.”
“All events, people, and experiences in my life are bringing out the best in me and serving the fullest expression of my purpose.”
May they help you reach all your goals.
ON A FINAL NOTE
I know many of you like to track your wins. Here is the link to my annual Track Your Wins spreadsheet. Scroll down to download your FREE copy.
GOOD LUCK IN 2015!