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  • Writer's pictureAshley Hutchison

2023: The Year I Almost Walked Away

Sitting here at the beginning of 2024, I have been working on getting as clear as possible on what I would like for the upcoming year. What do I want for my family? What do I want for my company? What do I truly want for myself? I absolutely love the silence of the holiday season; the in-between where time seems to disappear! It is a time where I can simply exist with no timeline, deadlines, or activities on my calendar; yes please! In order to get clear on my goals for 2024, I think that it is vital to acknowledge where I have been with 2023.

January and February 2023 saw me halfway through my business mentorship and it was business as usual in the field. I was able to travel to KBIS (Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) and MKT in Las Vegas for the first time ever. The shows themselves were absolutely great! Both shows were filled with new industry products, brand representatives, and booths that inspired the creative soul. Being able to actually see and touch so many products helped me gain an industry confidence to further help guide a client through the building/renovation process. The hotel of my choosing, I will simply say was "an experience", and pretty cringe worthy, but I guess I have a great story(glass half-full).

March through to June was all things renovation and blueprints. A few large projects had begun while others were starting to wrap up. I look forward to the day in the near future where I can bring in the team to document after shots! I also created my Signature Service package that helped me hone in even further on my ideal client. The package showcases the services I offer that include Architectural drawings through to Interior Design and implementation. The intent here is to make this a downloadable document on my website so stay tuned for that one day.

Granville Views of Vancouver

It is no exaggeration when I say there are two people in this entire world that know this but, in July 2023, I was at my lowest low for business. I was floating high above the Canadian Rockies on an airplane headed to Vancouver from Edmonton debating on the how to begin to close my business doors. Vancouver was the destination where my last mentorship was taking place, and I knew with my last session I wanted to discuss the logistics of closing my business with my respected mentor. Simply put: running a business is one of the hardest things I have done. Running a business solo feels like a relentless mountain that I had ran out of the will to climb. One day I may share a more in-depth note on what led me to this doom and gloom, but this post is not it.

The thing about business is it is incredibly hard to walk away from something you have built for over the past 10 years. The thing about me is I am too stubborn to quit. I had/have to believe that every high, and ever low, and the late nights (or all-nighters) have to be worth something. So, for the rest of the 2023 year I had to trust the process and trust myself. My mentor reminded me of who I was, and how far I had come, all while ensuring me that it was completely ok to walk away if that felt right; the choice is always mine!

September to December came and went in a blink of an eye like they usually do. I started to become a bit more active in the social and marketing side. Met so many more great professionals through DIDAA. Hired an architect that will help build better templates within the CAD system I use. I began to recognize (more importantly accept) that I do not have to do everything myself, and for my sanity I could not do everything myself.

Did I have some crazy lows again? Absolutely! Did I have some amazing highs? Absolutely! I am still working hard at a lot of the changes I need and my business will never stop evolving. I had two more notable projects wrap up in December that I am crazy proud of! I have had the most amazing clients, talented trades, and supportive contractors this past year that kept me going as well! My family also kept me going when I felt utterly lost or when one of the kids was sick ((again) or what feels like always)and I needed a helping hand.

So, while I have grand ideas for 2024, I am still working through some of the stepping stones to get there. Will I have more lows? Always! Will I have more highs! Without a doubt! If 2023 has taught me anything it would be that I am only one person but, I have the most amazing support system routing for me. I look forward to what 2024 holds but, I certainly am grateful for what 2023 has shown me. Cheers to the unknown, the adventures, and the mountains we shall climb!

Until Next Time,

Ashley Hutchison

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