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What a year!

Sometimes, looking back helps us to remember what matters most. So, here I am… looking back on what has probably been my favourite year of life so far.

Let’s start at the very beginning… this time last year, I was a few months out of the job I hated. I’d taken some time out, been on holiday, and I guess distracting myself with different things. I was feeling lost, and I wasn’t sure what was next for me. Spending time with family and friends last Christmas, with questions like “Why don’t you just go for it?”, made me realise I no longer had a valid reason not to. I can remember on New Year’s Day last year thinking “F*ck it! What have I got to lose?!” So, go for it I did. And I launched my new website and the “Jack’s Creative Studio” Instagram on 10 January 2018.

Jack Watkins Instagram throwback grid

I started off by saying yes to any project that came my way. Whether it was design, web, photography, video or music… spreading myself quite thinly you could say! I definitely wasn’t charging enough, but I was loving every minute of the freedom, and the empowering feeling of doing whatever the hell I wanted every day. It also helped me to really hone my processes, figure out what worked and what didn’t, and helped me to understand which projects I really enjoyed doing and the types of projects I wanted to find more of.

In June, I went on an awe-inspiring holiday to the Seychelles with some of my best friends. It was incredible! It came at the perfect time for me to have some time out, relax, and think about what was next for me and my business. When I came back, I decided to merge both of my personal and business Instagram accounts, so that I could start to show the real me, authentically tell my story, and generally keep things simple. I love simple! It’s one of the best things I did this year, and it kickstarted a lot of the other changes I wanted to make moving forward.

Jack Watkins paddling in the sea on an island in the Seychelles

Life changed quite drastically (for the better!) in summer when Willow came along. Initially, I had no clue how I was going to manage my work as well as bringing up a puppy who needed so much time and attention. But it forced me to bring some structure and routine to the day which has worked out perfectly… she gives the day purpose and keeps me company in the studio. I love it!

Jack Watkins cuddling new cockapoo puppy

I started working with my mentor, Lucy, in August this year and it’s been absolutely transformational for both my business and life in general. We started by stripping everything back to basics, did research and gained insight from potential clients, identified the magic of working with me, and refined the message I was putting out into the world. It’s the biggest and best thing I invested in this year, and I even found an amazing friend in the process.

Lucy helped me to start saying no to projects that didn’t quite feel like the right fit, and what a game changer that’s been. Not every client will be right for me, and that’s ok. Saying no to one project makes room for a dream client to come along instead.

Jack Watkins in a meeting with life coach, Lucy Sheridan

In October, I was working days, evenings and weekends to bring my new brand to life as well as working on client projects. A new strategy, mood, colour, typography, website, new everything! Professional photography had been on my wish list for a long time, so it was a dream come true to work with the amazing Cecelina who captured the experience of working with me in the most inspiring way.

I launched my new brand at the beginning of November and things have been a little crazy ever since. Awards(!), features on websites I visit every day, and dream clients coming left, right and centre from all around the world. It really showed to me the power of a brand with clarity, and the results that can come when you invest in yourself and your business.

Jack Watkins branding flat lay, with MacBook, succulents, plants, Moleskine notepad and glass of water

I’ve learnt so much this year. I’ve grown as a person, as a business, and I’m so excited to continue growing this company of one. I’m passionate about building a better, not bigger business. It would be easy and probably logical to most people to start expanding, employ staff, take on more projects… but that’s not me. It’s definitely part of the magic of working with me, and I love the results that can come from working directly with visionary founders to bring their dreams to life.

I can’t wait to see what’s next. Thank you so much for following me on this journey. I appreciate you so much.

Jack Watkins signature
What a year!

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Jack Watkins on a window seat, contemplating his thoughts and making notes in a black Moleskine notebook.

Meaning, intention, purpose.

The three key principles that run through everything that I do.