How would you feel if I told you that in 12 months you could realize what you want to do in life and make a living out of it? What if I told you that it is possible to fulfill all your dreams that you were scared to dream? What if I told you that no one will believe you? Or have faith in you? What if I told you that it might take months without being able to pay your rent, or days without being able to put food on the table, but to have faith? Would you still do it? This is our 2015 year in review!

To sum up, our 2015 was a year of extremes. We entered the year scared about how things will evolve and if they will evolve the way we dreamed of, with plenty of debt on our hands and not a lot of income or steady income. But we had something no one could take away, we had dreams, we had each other and a lot of ambition and determination to make it happen even if it might get hard. And it did. A LOT. We started the year with almost 20 people working with us while we only had 2 websites. We were completely nuts, thinking we need to follow a corporate example to make the big bucks come in. In a matter of months, we ended up being just 3 people with 4 websites and thriving. It’s interesting how Universe works and how friendships ended and others begun without any planning and without any warning.

2015 was a year in which we grew up, we let go of the fantasies and started being practical, stopped being everything to everyone and started being true to ourselves. It was an amazing year!

When we look back, we do not remember the days when a box of probiotics was a luxury or when going out seemed like a special day, all we remember is how strong we were to get here and all the accomplishments. Maybe, when you are reading this you might feel a bit scared about your own condition and think “But it was easy for you!” or “But you were lucky” or other similar ideas, when in fact, I do not personally know a lot of people who would be willing to go through the mud to get to the castle.

Everyone paints such a pretty picture about how amazing their life is on Facebook or on Instagram and how much profit their business turned in last year, but hardly ever we hear about the doubts, the sleepless nights, the therapy hours, the scary feeling of opening an empty fridge or the constant pressure that you have to prove you can do it differently and still succeed.

We want to change that! We want to be real and be authentic because life is a mixture of ups and downs and the strong ones are not scared to show their feelings and accept the present situation knowing that it will not last. In this article, I will present our goods and our worse for each month to paint the reality.

Nothing is ever perfect or easy, cause if it would be, everyone would do it. If you are thinking of starting something on your own, maybe a blog, a coaching practice, or something that is different from a corporate job, this article might shed some light on what it means to do so.

There is no luck, there is a lot of work. Work with your mindset, work on your skills and work on a personal level.

How does the first year in business look like for a couple of 24 years olds who rebelled against being and doing what society dictated? I guess you will find out if you read below!

2015 Year In Review-Roswitha and Mihai for Christmas

Roswitha and Mihai celebrating Christmas in 2014

2015 Year In Review


 

January 2015

2015 Year In Review-January

  • The GOOD
  • Went to Pitti Uomo in Florence and spend 5 wonderful days surrounded by fashionable men and learned a lot about Italy and Florence
pitti uomo chocolaterie-florence-2015 Year In Review

Found the best hot chocolate in Florence in a chocolaterie.

pitti uomo-florence-2015 Year In Review

Roswitha and Mihai in Florence

  • We wrote a total of 21 articles
  • Reached 30,923 pageviews/month
  • Our team had 7 writers/contributors only for Estilo-Tendances and 2 editors + myself
  • new business cards design, thanks to Romina Popescu
business cards Estilo Tendances and Male Extravaganza- 2015 Year In Review

Our beautiful new design

  • The CHALLENGING
  • We took a loan to pay for the Pitti Uomo trip
  • Spend half of the month confused about what to do in 2015 and how to start
  • Our payment for a big sponsored campaign was delayed and we had no money to pay rent

February 2015

2015 Year In Review-February

  • The GOOD
  • Had a photoshoot, our second photoshoot ever. The purpose of it was to have professional shots for products and our new websites we were about to launch soon. All pictures were taken by George Bufan Photography. My makeup was done by the talented Andra Popescu.

photoshoot Estilo Tendances- 2015 Year In Review

  • worked with my first client to help her create a new wardrobe, and learn how to shop. This is what she said in her testimonial:

If someone would ask me about you, I would say that you are a wonderful person, with whom I resonated since the first second I have seen you. You are like a magnet, I felt drawned to you because I knew you were special and could  learn a lot of beautiful things from you.
About your training: You are a comitted person who helped me in a very short amount of time to make better choices when it comes to what to buy, which gave me more confidence and optimism.

We ended up talking about nutrition, yoga and other things we had in common and I think she is the perfect choice for every person that wants to get better in life, fashion or health. Plus, I gained an honest and sincere friend. (Diana Popa)

If you also want to learn how to dress, you can sign up to my FREE VIDEO COURSE: Four Seasons – ONE Wardrobe, How To Do It In 5 Easy Steps
hat from fashion coaching- 2015 Year In Review

My first hat. I paid for it with the money I made teaching Diana how to dress.

  • Our team had 8 writers/contributors and 1 editor + myself
  • We wrote a total of 17 articles
  • Had 34,457 pageviews/month
  • we realized our readers were in love with hair

This is one of our best HAIR ARTICLES: 8 Awesome Hairstyles For Bad Hair Days – had 462 shares!

  • The CHALLENGING
  • More delays with payments, second month not being able to pay rent
  • One very important person in our team decided not to go on with us
  • I finished an ebook, but because I was working with the wrong kind of people, the design was not done on time and it the end was not done at all, leaving the project on the stand-by (at that time I hadn’t had so much confidence I could do it myself)

March 2015

2015 Year In Review-March

  • The GOOD
  • After applying for the B-school scholarship and not getting it, plus a few sleepless nights figuring things out, we finally reached the decision that it would be wise to invest in buying B-school, a $2,000 course. We paid the first month with all our savings – bold move? I guess so, although at that time it seemed crazier than just bold.

b-school- 2015 Year In Review

Did it matter? 

YES! After starting B-school, we both got more clear on what we want and how we can make it happen. This is why our next months got completely transformed.

Did we finish the course?

NO! The course is so dense and so much information and exercises that we can attempt at finishing it this year, or maybe next year. It is a brillinat course that can help you in many stages of your business, which is why is so expensive and so sought after.

  • We had a total of 9 writers/contributors and Andrada Bibi got a full-time job, so she was only able to edit articles and stopped writing + myself writing
  • I wrote a guide for the Pinterest lovers who want to grow their following:  The Secret Weapon Of Growing Your Brand On Pinterest
  • Josh, one of Mihai’s first writers for Male-Extravaganza, attended London Fashion Week for us. You can read all about it here: 4 Major SS15 Trends Seen At London Fashion Weekend
  • We had a total of 17 articles written
  • Reached 52,047 pageviews/month
  • Hosted my first workshop. It was a paid workshop about how to shop effectively and buy food that is healthy for you.
  • Celebrated Mihai’s 24th birthday
mihai's birthday- 2015 Year In Review

At Mihai’s Surprise Birthday Party.

  • The CHALLENGING
  • Losing Andrada as a writer was a bit sad because she was a big asset. But, life has different plans and all we can do is to let them happen because they happen to serve our highest good.
  • Emptying our savings account, without knowing how we will pay the next 3 payments, was not an easy thought.

April 2015

2015 Year In Review-April

Since we had dreams of making A LOT OF MONEY, we needed to prepare ourselves for it.

  • The GOOD
  • This is why, on 28th of April we started our first LLC where we added all our websites and their services. We wanted a big family for all our babies, not individual ones.

empowering-generations-srld- 2015 Year In Review

  • We dropped down to 5 writers/contributors + myself
  • We only wrote 12 articles
  • Our traffic kept on increasing nevertheless to 61,138 pageviews/month
  • I launched my second website, called WellFitsYou, which is my health coaching practice
  • I was able to practice Health Coaching legally

IIN-certificate - 2015 Year In Review

  • Got my first Health Coaching paying client, for 6 months
  • went on a day trip to see Clisura Dunarii, a beautiful place in Romania

orsova-romania - 2015 Year In Review

  • The CHALLENGING
  • We were told that we should evacuate our apartment asap without a reason why. This brought a lot of pressure on us, myself more because it was an expense we did not consider and which frightened us. Especially when we were still in debt and having to pay for B-school, plus some new expenses incorporating a new business brought.
  • Deciding if we would go for an LLC or something different, finding a headquarter, thinking about how much the taxes will be and if we will survive financially, got me laying in bed for many hours, not knowing what to do and if this would be a good choice for us.

[Now: I cannot think of a better decision! Fear is a tricky thing, I am happy we did it in spite of fear because in the end the laws changed and we now pay 1% tax and other deductions for our salaries. All in all, it is PERFECT!]

TIP: find a GOOD accountant before starting anything, it makes a HUGE difference!

May 2015

2015 Year In Review-May

  • The GOOD
  • One of the most shared and read article of the year was What To Wear To A Pool Party with 66.5K shares 
  • We had 6 writers/contributors + myself
  • We wrote more articles than the previous month, 14 articles in total
  • Our traffic was increasing to 75,862 pageviews/month
  • After B-school, Mihai decided to rebrand Male-Extravaganza, from a fashion blog for men to a self-development blog for gentlemen
  • Ran for a charitable event, 2K. It might seem like nothing, but for me, it was A BIG GOAL.
running-2k-for a charity event - 2015 Year In Review

Me and my best friend, Angela

  • The CHALLENGING
  • Searching for a new place, while wanting to get an upgraded apartment for a cheap rate, was not easy. I was really stressed out and had no idea how we will manifest such a place, in such a short time.
  • Finally, we settled for a tiny studio apartment, outside the city, which had the advantage of being a brand new apartment with new furniture in all, for a rate we could afford (still double than what we paid for the old apartment). But, life had something in else in mind…

June 2016

2015 Year In Review-June

  • The GOOD
  • Since I also did B-school, I wanted to change the face of Estilo-Tendances and make it better. At that time, Mihai was busy with other projects and he kept postponing the design for the new branding. For the first time, I decided that I can design a website by myself, plus challenged myself to do it in three days. Crazy?! YES! Did I manage to do it? YES YES! I felt like a supergirl after doing it and proved myself I can do anything I set my mind to do.
  • We only had ONE writer this month
  • Which meant we only had 1 article published
  • Our stats started to drop a bit, to 72,813 pageviews/month

  • The CHALLENGING
  • We had to delete 900 of our articles due to photo regulations. When we started this blog, almost 6 years ago, there were not so many rules about copyright. Things evolve and we had to adjust to them. This was a HARD call because we had a total of 1400 articles from which we deleted 900. We knew our stats will start to drop like crazy, but it was a decision we had to make if we wanted to be safe and not be sued for photo copyright.
  • Our team got smallerall the people that were in our team at the beginning of the year were not anymore. Besides me and Mihai, we also needed someone to help us delete articles and review each one to make sure we are safe, this meant having to hire a part-time assistant. We were not sure how we will be able to pay her, but we knew it was necessary! Looking back, it was another SMART decision.
  • Although, we thought we had an apartment to move in, Universe changed its mind and after being completely depressed, a new and MUCH better apartment came along. The same price, better location (next to water and city center) and double the space. We could not ask for something better. The lesson here: Have FAITH, even if it is scary!

This was a turning point in our year! Our place changed, our team changed and our business had a new face. All in all, we knew we had a new start. Was it a hard month? YES! This was the month when we doubled our expenses, hoping somehow we will be able to pay them, while paying our loans and the last month of B-school.


July 2015

2015 Year In Review-July

  • The GOOD
  • Since 2014 I wanted badly to do Denise’s course, the Money Bootcamp and learn how to attract more abundance and money into my life. The price was a bit higher to what I could afford at that time (around $750) but I did not give up. I emailed her, offered my services – NOTHING. Until the day she offered her course FOR FREE, if we would sign up for B-school. Which we did! This meant that I got my course and started using it and started manifesting amazing things into my life. One month I manifested alone $3,000 in products and sales.

Do you want to know more about the course? Read: Attract More Wealth with Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Money Bootcamp (Review)
  • We had 2 writers/contributors + myself + Alexandra (which became an editor)
  • Published 6 articles
  • Had 71,009 pageviews/month

  • The CHALLENGING
  • Life-Work balance was challenging. We were working a lot “to make it happen” and the balance was a bit missing. We would get frustrated to cook or to clean, thinking “I could be working right now and at least try to make more money“.

August 2015

2015 Year In Review-August

  • The GOOD
  • Launched PLAN YOUR LIFESTYLE DIARY. This was a product me and Mihai worked on for 2 years and I designed it myself. Another dream came true!

plan-your-lifestyle-diary-estilo-tendances

If you want to know more about it, CLICK HERE!
  • Had 3 writers/contributors + myself + Alexandra
  • Wrote a total of 7 articles
  • Reached 78,911 pageviews/month
diary-roswitha-estilo-tendances - 2015 Year In Review

Using the diary on a hot day of summer, sipping a cold lemonade and enjoying the river

  • The CHALLENGING
  • With no air-conditioning and a very hot summer, we were melting day after day. It was no fun trying to be creative and working productively when all you could think about was swimming in a cold pool. Promised ourselves to never be in a similar situation ever again. (Keep in mind we have not been in Romania in the summer in the past 5 years, so we had no idea what it means to survive without air-conditioning)

 

September 2015

2015 Year In Review-September

  • The GOOD
  • YES YES YES! My dream for 4 years had come to life. We were finally invited to ALL Major Fashion Weeks, in London, New York, Milan and Paris – the first time for Milan and Paris
  • We had 3 writers/contributors + myself + Alexandra
  • Wrote a total of 9 articles
  • Had 76,765 pageviews/month
  • Graduated from Institute of Integrative Nutriton and became a Health Coach
institute-of-integrative-nutrition-health-coach-diploma - 2015 Year In Review

My IIN certificate. If you dream of becoming a Health Coach, check out this page

  • Won a scholarship to work with Institute of Integrative Nutrition to publish my first book. By May 2016, I should be a published author.
  • Mihai realized what he really wanted to do, which is coaching people to start and develop meaningful businesses online
If you need help startting your own online business or tips on how to grow it, he has a few FREE webinars to help you out. Click here to get them!
  • We went on vacation for a week, to discover the country – Romania. We stayed near Bran Castle (Dracula’s castle), went to Brasov, Sibiu and visited the most beautiful road (probably in the world) TRANSFAGARASAN. We really needed a fancy vacation, with jacuzzi, sightseeing and romanian traditional food. This was our way of celebrating the “almost” getting out of debt.
romanian mountains transfagarasan - 2015 Year In Review

View from Transfagarasan

Transfagarasan - 2015 Year In Review

View from 2000 m, at sunset

mihai and roswitha traveling - 2015 Year In Review

We are a couple who LOVE to travel

  • Had our 7 year anniversary!!! Yes, we are high school sweethearts. We celebrated it on our favorite vegan restaurant.

7year anniversary - 2015 Year In Review

  • Talked about getting married and picked the venue and the date for the wedding. I did not think “we were there yet“, but now I know for sure that we are!

wedding at a castle in Romania - 2015 Year In Review

  • The CHALLENGING
  • One big advertising contract that we had been going for months had come to an end and we were not prepared for it. This was almost half of our steady monthly income and I took the news pretty bad. I started to worry a lot about how we will be able to survive because I did not want to go back to January 2015 when we had no money to pay rent or buy probiotics.

 

October 2015

2015 Year In Review-October

  • The GOOD
  • In life, if you want to receive abundance, you first need to give it. If you want more love, start by loving more without asking something in return. If you want more money, start giving it away to help other people. Since, we were in a tight financial state, we knew that by doing good we will attract good. So, we decided to buy some food and feed some families. My first coaching client, which later became one of my best friends, decided to join and had the idea to host a mini-fundraising on facebook. In 2 days we ended up with $300 and we were able to feed 12 families and their children. There is NO BETTER feeling than helping others.
  • We got one more writer, a total of 4 writers/contributors + myself + Alexandra
  • Wrote a total of 9 articles
  • Our business’ first trimester tuned in profit. Happy day!
  • My 24th Birthday Party. It was the best birthday ever, Mihai planned to get me all the presents that I dreamed of having: lots of tea, books, clothes, jewelry and all sort of cute stuff. It was perfect!
my-24th-birthday-party - 2015 Year In Review

Everyone at my birthday 🙂

my-24th-birthday-party-vegan-cake - 2015 Year In Review

Myself and the vegan cake – Happy 24th

  • The CHALLENGING
  • Financially speaking we were a bit worried because November was the month we had planned to go to Dublin for a week and we also had a lot of unexpected expenses coming in.
  • I organized a workshop where only 2 people showed up – my clients! I was not expecting this, not to mention the hundreds of dollars invested in advertising and promotional materials. I considered it as a big FAIL and it took a few therapy sessions and about two weeks of staying in bed, feeling miserable and blaming myself for not being better. It was hard for me to except that the “why” of the workshop was not the right one. You see, I organized this event to “make an easy pay” since I knew how many people I had at my first workshop when I invested $0 in advertising. I was so obsessed with making money, that everything that I did was only focused on “How much money will this bring me?. I have learned a big lesson with this and also learned to trust my boyfriend more and let him figure things out. If you are an independent woman like I am, you believe you can solve everything yourself and without knowing you might put so much pressure on you, that in the end you can ruin everything. Ask for help and trust people to take care of you. Because, in the end, we had all the money we needed for Dublin and Mihai manifested them in one week.
  • Traffic started to decrease and we ended up having 69,859 pageviews/month. We knew that deleting 900 articles will bite us. It is not easy seeing that instead of growing, you are actually going down, even if you put a lot of work into it.

 

November 2015

2015 Year In Review-November

  • The GOOD
  • Remember that ebook that I made in February? Well, we decided to turn it into a FREE VIDEO COURSE. We launched it while we were in Dublin and we already have 200+ clients that took advantage of it.
If you also want to learn how to dress, you can sign up to this FREE VIDEO COURSE: Four Seasons – ONE Wardrobe, How To Do It In 5 Easy Steps
  • Went to Dublin for 7 days and travelled around and it was beautiful. We got 4 days of sun out of 7!!!

traveling-ireland - 2015 Year In Review

trim castle -ireland - 2015 Year In Review

  • Attended WebSummit, the world’s greatest tech fest. It was an amazing experience, got to interact with people like us, meet famous online and offline guru’s and be treated like royals. Being “media” at WebSummit meant good wifi, free food and drinks, all day long, and chances to meet important people, not to mention the networking – priceless!
mihai and roswitha at websummit - 2015 Year In Review

We just arrived and got our passes

  • Met one of the people that I admire the most, named Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity Water. It’s an amazing feeling to talk to someone you have only seen online.
Meeting scott harrison - charity water - 2015 Year In Review

Me and Scott Harrison

  • Had a total of 2 writers/contributors + myself + Alexandra
  • Published 8 articles
  • Traffic was still going down, 60,965 pageviews
  • The CHALLENGING
  • Working on understanding better the role a woman plays in a relationship, especially money wise. Started the Bach Floral Remedies Therapy. Had a lot of ups and downs and mood swings.

 

December 2015

2015 Year In Review-December

  • The GOOD
  • We ended the year tripling our income, which was AWESOME! I remember thinking in January/February “If I’d only make double than what we make now, I will be so happy!” Even though we made triple, our expenses were also way bigger. But in the end, we were living a much better lifestyle.
  • Published 8 articles
  • Had 2 writers/contributors + myself + Alexandra
  • Left for our 4th vacation, one week in Vienna and the surroundings. We ended up visiting Melk, Kremes, and Bratislava. Fell in love with Vienna and it was very hard to leave. Spend a lovely New Years Eve, with new people, having great conversation, eating really healthy food, cooked by us, sipping wine. We later joined a roof party and had a 360 view of Vienna’s fireworks, it was better than ever expected.
traveling to vienna - 2015 Year In Review

Again, us traveling

Regarding Social Media, when we started the year, the numbers were:

  • Facebook: 3,625   ->   3,464  
  • Pinterest: 467   ->   2,044  
  • Instagram: 1,071   ->   4,242  

As you can see we started focusing on two main social media platforms: Instagram and Pinterest. Pinterest for the traffic and Instagram for the conversion rate. We were not very constant with being present on social media, but I have faith that this year things will explode because I have the right people next to me.

People make a business, not the other way around. Make sure you have the right people in your life: a partner that can hug you and kiss you and tell you that you can do this, friends that will motivate you and support you and team members that belive in you and share your values. Plus, a coach, or two, or three.

It is highly important to have someone trained to listen to you and help you see the sun even when it’s dark outside.

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