There are 3 questions that I’m going to answer in my Annual Review:

  1. What went well this year?
  2. What didn’t go so well this year?
  3. What am I working toward?

What went well 

This year has been an incredible journey of exploration and personal growth, as I eagerly delved into new experiences. Among the exciting adventures I embarked on was my run for political office – a venture that proved to be quite the exhilarating ride.

Initially, I set my sights on securing the NC House District 52 seat. Back in January, I took the first step by hiring a campaign consultant and diving headfirst into the complexities of running for state office. During this early phase, I had a meaningful conversation with Vernetta Alston, who represents Durham, NC. She asked me what I considered my biggest obstacle to be, and my candid response was “being an introvert.” While I genuinely enjoy interacting with people, my comfort zone has always been in smaller, more intimate settings. Let’s just say that I identify more as a writer than a door-knocking enthusiast.

However, these challenges were not the only ones I faced on my political journey. The act of soliciting funds has never been a comfortable task for me, and in the realm of politics, fundraising is an indispensable element. It presented me with a crucial choice: should I relentlessly pursue donations or dip into my personal finances to sustain my campaign? Running a House race in my area typically carries a price tag of approximately $5,000, assuming one has connections, holds an incumbent position, faces no primary challenge, or the race is uncontested. As a political newcomer without any established influence, coupled with the stark reality of being a moderate Democrat in a predominantly red county (Moore County), I would also be tasked with representing Richmond County – a place I’ve visited only twice and where I don’t have any acquaintances. Adding to the complexity, North Carolina’s gerrymandering situation is characterized by frequent redrawings of electoral maps, necessitating the defense of my seat every two years if I were to somehow secure the position. With an annual salary of just over $13,000 and no aspirations to climb the political ladder, the financial aspects weighed heavily on my decision-making process. It came down to “money and math.”

In light of these challenges, I made the deliberate choice to pivot and run for a non-partisan position on the local Village Council. During the summer, I threw my hat into the ring and embarked on a remarkable five-month journey. This experience allowed me to connect with fellow community members, participate in candidate forums, hit the campaign trail, maintain a blog, and engage in meet-and-greets. It truly encapsulated everything I had ever hoped for. Although I fell short by just 59 votes, I genuinely believe I achieved the best of both worlds. I can continue to participate in council meetings, staying as involved as I wish without committing to a full-time political career.

Candidate Forum put on by The New Pitch, our local Whispering Pines newsletter.  Me and that mic were NOT friends, I never did get the sound right lol.

Fundraiser for Rep. Vernetta Alston (NC District 29) (top). NC Congressman Jeff Jackson who is now running for NC Attorney General (bottom).

Even though campaigning took up most of my time, I was able to do a few things with Virtual Assistant Trainer. Now, let’s dive into a 2023 business rundown, breaking things down by the numbers:

  1. Created 5 new products for VA Business Builder Boutique
  2. Produced 21 Systems Sunday episodes
  3. Launched “Summer of Systems” – one new system each week throughout the summer

Personal Growth:

  • I only did one program this year: Jen Sincero’s “8 Weeks to Awesomeness” group coaching.
  • I have worked my way up to a purple belt in Krav Maga and started pilates classes.

What didn’t go so well

Don’t laugh but I lost 27 pounds and gained back 20. Again! Smh.

What I am working towards for 2024

My word for 2024 is CONSISTENCY.

This is one area in which I’ve had trouble, so I’m going to focus on creating simple systems to stay consistent. For example, I will do great and drink 8 glasses of water for two days, then fall off the wagon. I take supplements when I remember. I create an editorial schedule for the first six months but then slack off and wing it for the last six months. I think you get the picture. One of my favorite items I just created is my “Weekly To Do’s” Excel spreadsheet. You can download it here for free and edit for your personal use.

As I ease into a semi-retired lifestyle, I’ve noticed that I’m devoting more and more of my time to volunteering. Staying true to my interest in politics, I’ve taken on the roles of Chairman in my precinct and Secretary for NC Congressional District 9. It’s been a bit of a challenge, as it seems that volunteering is an underappreciated endeavor, and when it comes to getting things done, it often falls on the shoulders of those who are already juggling a lot. 😊

In addition to my political involvement, I’ve also established a Braver Angels chapter in my local community – Braver Angels of the Sandhills Alliance. Braver Angels is a citizens’ organization focused on bridging the gap between red and blue Americans, working together to depolarize our nation.

As always, I’m grateful for your readership, and here’s to a Happy New Year! 🎉