Celebrating Small Wins on my 28th Birthday

Listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting platform: Apple | Spotify | Other

Welcome to episode #16 of the Homemakers in Business podcast. Today I’m going to talk about celebrating small wins for my 28th birthday, which if you’re listening in real-time, was yesterday October 5th. I’m obviously recording this in advance, so I hope I had a great birthday, probably did, I usually do. My plan is to take the day mostly off work, just checking in with current clients. I’m going to get a massage, take a long bath and listen to some podcasts, maybe do a hair and face mask. Pretty much just do some traditional basic self-care stuff as a gift to myself. I’m not really a big spender and I really enjoy alone time, so that truly will be a gift. Especially since it’s homecoming week at my alma mater, which is also where my husband teaches, so on the night of my birthday I’ll have gone to the homecoming meal and a big community pep rally and y’know, seen a lot of people. So I’m gonna need the alone time earlier in the day to charge up, haha.

I have a love-hate relationship with birthdays. I love celebrating, anything really, but I don’t enjoy being the center of attention. It makes me very uncomfortable. Quite the predicament as an only child and now business owner with a personal brand. But I’ve learned that is something I just have to get over sometimes. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have a business. I would much prefer to hide behind my work and never show my face. As it is, I can’t do that, so I’ve learned to embrace feeling awkward sharing personal anecdotes, pictures, or videos of myself, and stuff like that. As a branding professional, I know how important that stuff is to building a personal brand. 

So on that note, birthdays, much like New Year’s Day, have a way of making us look back at where we’ve been, the lessons we’ve learned, and the goals we’ve set for the future, all that good stuff. Today’s episode is all about celebrating the victories, no matter how small they may seem. Cause sometimes we downplay our own achievements, I know I do. So I’m going to share 28 of my own small wins, and hopefully, they’ll get you thinking about your own. Let’s dive in!

Listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting platform: Apple | Spotify | Other

28 Small Wins on My 28th Birthday

Okay, these are in no particular order, and I’m not going to give much context to these wins. I maaaay expand on some of these at some point in their own podcast episode, but I just want to give you an overview of some awesome things that have happened in my life the last few years, particularly in my business, but there’s some personal stuff thrown in here too!

  1. I started a podcast
  2. I’ve stayed consistent with said podcast
  3. I had my first-ever podcast interview on the Breakthrough Brand Podcast with Elizabeth McCravy which is one of my favorite podcasts
  4. I hired someone to do my taxes every year
  5. I quit my last part-time job and went full-time in my biz last summer
  6. I invested in a business group coaching program in 2020
  7. I invested in a design business group coaching program in 2022
  8. I started creating more than I consumed this year
  9. I have consistently journaled for over 3 years
  10. I bought myself a new laptop this year
  11. My podcast hit over 500 downloads in less than 8 months
  12. Two of my favorite local businesses are now clients of mine
  13. I raised my rates on my VIP Design Days – and clients are still booking
  14. I moved my home office from our smallest, darkest spare room to our den with 3 large windows so there’s tons of natural light
  15. I was profitable my very first year in business and have been every year since
  16. My polymer clay art was featured in a magazine
  17. I have a high percentage of repeat clients
  18. I did a brand photoshoot with an actual photographer this year
  19. I got really clear on who I do and do not want to partner with in business
  20. I cut all unnecessary expenses and run a lean business
  21. I restarted my email list this year
  22. I designed a daily routine that works for ME, not someone else
  23. I started going to church again
  24. I never work more than 30 hours a week and never work on the weekend
  25. I’ve started reading regularly again
  26. I’ve started playing my clarinet regularly again
  27. I’ve been buying local raw milk for almost a year
  28. I started getting monthly massages this year

I really do hope that list got you thinking about your own achievements, whether in life or business. If it did, I’d love for you to share it with me! Seriously, go to Instagram and DM me @stephanieduke.co, and share 1 of your small wins with me. I’ll share every one I get to my Instagram Stories so we can all celebrate each other. I think that’ll be so much fun, don’t you? If you’re feeling really inspired, share as many wins as you are years old. It really does push you to think about all the good things that have happened to you, no matter how small.

After looking back over the last several years, I’m really excited about the future so I want to share just a few of my goals for the next couple of years with you. Now that I’m 28, my brain is automatically thinking of the things I want to do before I’m 30. I’ve seen other people do 30 before 30 lists, and that feels a little overwhelming since I’ve only got 2 years to go now. So I’m going to condense that down into 4 big things I want to do before I’m 30:

  1. Become a Showit Design Partner
  2. Have a baby
  3. Match Thomas’s take-home salary
  4. Only work 4 days a week

If I’m still podcasting in 2 years, I’ll do another similar episode to this and let y’all know if those things actually happened. I may even do an update for my 29th birthday. We’ll see. Birthdays make me feel very aspirational, so I may be thinking a little big for my britches. 

Before I close out, I just want to remind you to take some time to reflect on your own wins. If you don’t feel like you have that many – look even smaller! When I’m having a bad day or a bad week, a small win is keeping Thomas and myself fed and not giving in to takeout. Seriously, your wins don’t have to be as big as quitting your day job to go full-time in your business. We all have different situations we’re dealing with, different limitations, and different goals. One of my small wins may not sound like a big deal to you. One of them may sound like a HUGE win. Our own experiences and biases dictate what we see as a small win. So go hunting for yours and WRITE THEM DOWN. It’s a big morale boost.

I am so grateful for you spending this special birthday episode with me. If I could throw a big party and invite every one of you to it, I would. I know I said at the beginning of the episode that I don’t like being the center of attention and love alone time. That’s still true, but I also LOVE parties and people. Just in small doses! Soooo, let’s have our own little party over on Instagram – remember to share your own small wins with me so we can all celebrate together! Thanks again for staying to the end.

Listen to the full episode on your favorite podcasting platform: Apple | Spotify | Other

I’m Stephanie, but you can call me Steph!

I design brands & websites that get you butterflies-in-your-stomach-excited about your business again.

Simply put, I’m a graphic designer that specializes in brand identity design and Showit website design - arguably the most important aspects of your business! I live in central Alabama with my high school band directing hubby, Thomas, on our modest homestead in the country.

Grab a cup of cold coffee (be honest, do you ever get to drink it hot?) and let’s chat about your biz needs at my virtual kitchen table


Cleveland, Alabama, USA
Office hours: T-F | 9 - 3 CST

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