As I sit here typing on this eve of the New Year, I am thinking about how absolutely giddy and excited I am about all that is to come in 2017!

2016 seemed to be a pretty rough year for many people. All throughout my social media feeds, I’ve seen countless posts with anticipation to end such a dreary year, and with hope that this upcoming year will be much better.

I am a generally happy, bubbly, and optimistic person (you kinda have to be when it is your job to motivate and speak life into others), but I must say that I experienced several challenges and personal setbacks this year that has me running to the finish line, and ready to leap into a year full of happiness, fulfillment, and abundance. In fact, I have declared that my word for 2017 will be LEAP.

Last year, I wrote my very first “Year in Review” post, and it was very therapeutic in a way. It was great to reflect back on all of the positive things that happened in my life as opposed to dwelling on the things that didn’t quite go as planned, or that downright sucked.

So, here goes…I bring to you my highlight reel of 2016:

Doubled My Number of Speaking Gigs

I achieved one of my top goals for the year, which was to double the number of speaking engagements that I had in 2015. Mission accomplished! Speaking and teaching are undoubtedly my two most favorite aspects of my business, so not only do I get to do what I absolutely LOVE, but I truly feel like I’m walking in my purpose every time I step on a stage or in front of a room. In 2017, I hope to keep it going by doubling my numbers again…and also to add INTERNATIONAL SPEAKER to my resume (Yes, I’m claiming it in advance!)

Nikola Ahaiwe Speaking at The PowHERful Woman Conference

Speaking at The PowHERful Woman Conference – truly a “Mama I Made It” moment!

Nikola Ahaiwe Speaking at Women of Power MixerSharing my story at the Women of Power LA Mixer.

Nikola Ahaiwe Speaking at ALM Women's Empowerment EventWhat a pleasure it was to serve on a panel with these wonderful women of God at ALM’s Women’s Empowerment Dinner.

Nikola Ahaiwe - Motivational Speaker

The look of complete happiness to be walking in my purpose, teaching a Social Media Strategies for small businesses workshop.

Nikola Ahaiwe Speaking at Noir Unicorn Event

Pouring into the women attending the Noir Unicorn’s After Work Sisterhood Pop Up Mixer…sharing tips on how to create their 9-5 exit strategy.

Nikola Ahaiwe - Motivational Speaker

I’m very expressive and tend to talk with my hands alot. That’s when you know the message is GOOD!

Nikola Ahaiwe Teaching Social Media Strategies

Just a few of the other workshops and events I had the honor of speaking at this year. In 2017 I will be better about getting pics of my speaking gigs.

 

Launched My First Mini Course

This was a major accomplishment for two reasons: 1) I had been sitting on this idea for over a year, and finally took the time to make it a reality. I launched it as a mini course first, as a sort of test run leading up to the launch of my signature course, of the same name, that will be launching this year. 2.) I had absolutely NO knowledge of how to go about getting this done, but I didn’t let that stop me. I did the research. I implemented what I learned, and I DID IT. It was a lesson in not waiting until things are perfect, but instead, just getting started and improving as you go. I got a lot of really good feedback, and am so excited to launch the full course, in addition to several other courses, this year. Stay tuned!

Mogul Marketing Bootcamp Mini Course Launch

Hosted My First Signature Event: Say YES to Your Dreams

Another “just do it” moment. I was going to wait until the new year to host this event, jut because I felt that January was the time when most people go into vision board/planning/goal setting mode. But I realized that mid-year was the perfect time to do an assessment of where you are in the pursuit of your goals and to get a little motivation to keep going. I’m happy to say that the event was a success! Each and every panel speaker was AMAZING and the women in attendance walked away with a lot of valuable information and the confidence to boldly walk in the direction of their dreams. Planning is already underway for the next event, which will be a little different, but equally, if not more, wonderful than the first!

Say YES to Your Dreams Vision Board Event

Launched Moguls Give Back

I literally started Moguls Give Back on a whim! I wanted to find a way to give back to my community, and I figured what better way than to start my own initiative?! The goal was for my fellow entrepreneurs to band together and do our part to service our communities.  I reached out to my tribe via social media and was overwhelmed and thrilled at the amount of support it received. In the summer, we hosted a School Supply Drive where we were able to bless almost 100 students with all of the supplies they needed to have a successful school year. In November, we hosted a turkey giveaway, where we were able to bless 6 wonderful families. This could not have been done without the generous donations we received. A special thank you goes out to Kenya Kirkland of Shop 1323 for letting us host the first event at her boutique, and Shelley Mechette of The PowHERful Woman for being an official partner for the second event. In 2017, I hope to take these efforts to the next level by officially forming a non-profit 501(c)3, and hosting more charity events throughout the year.

Moguls Give Back - Nikola Ahaiwe Non Profit

Moguls Give Back School Supply Drive

Moguls Give Back Turkey Giveaway

Weight Loss Journey

My weight has been a big struggle for me for YEARS. Prior to being involved in the car accident that left me unable to walk for nearly 6 months, I was finally able to get a hold of it by dropping nearly 40lbs. Unfortunately, after that horrible ordeal, I just could not seem to get it back under control. The main reason was because I had on-going ankle issues that prevented me from working out the way that I would have liked to. This year, however, I decided not to let that hold be back anymore. I invested in a personal trainer (shout out to Lance Branchman) and finally started working toward my health and fitness goals again. In just the last two months of the year, I’ve been able to see a difference in, not only the way I look, but more importantly, the way I feel. Although the scale has only just recently started to be my friend (I wasn’t seeing much of a difference in my weight), I experienced so many non-scale victories, such as my clothes fitting better, loss of inches and a change in my body composition, better eating habits, and overall feeling healthier and stronger (I no longer feel like I am going to pass out after each workout lol). Also, its given me increased confidence that is showing up in other aspects of my life, and business. Therefore, I will continue training into the new year, and who knows…I may even run a marathon or two before the year is up!

Nik Gets Fit - Weight Loss Journey

Nik Gets Fit - Weight Loss Journey

Made Memories and Enjoyed Life

This was probably my most important fete of 2016…MAKING the time to experience life and make memories with those that I love. There is nothing like a near fatal experience to make you realize just how precious life is. Over the last few years, I’ve had this feeling that I’ve been merely existing, as opposed to living. This year, I can truly say I took my first steps to changing that by getting out there and making memories with my loved ones. After all, one of the main reasons I started my business was to have full freedom and control of my time, and because I wanted to live life on my own terms. In 2016, I finally figured out exactly what that looks like…

Took a couple of Kid-cations (vacays with the kiddos)…a road trip to San Diego and to visit family in Texas…

Nikola Ahaiwe - Time Freedom

Spent a lot of quality time going on family outings and experiencing fun, new places.

Nikola Ahaiwe - Time Freedom

Nikola Ahaiwe - Time Freedom

Nikola Ahaiwe - Time Freedom

…was even able to get in a few Mom-cations (without the kiddos) to Catalina Island and Washington DC.

Nikola Ahaiwe - Time Freedom

Nikola Ahaiwe - Time Freedom

…and I made a conscious effort to get out more and support friends, family, and fellow business owners at their events, celebrating life occasions, and on their creative endeavors.

Nikola Ahaiwe - Time Freedom

I know a lot of people that experienced quite a few challenges and hardships in 2016 (myself included), but it’s so important to take a step back and remind yourself of all of the things that went well, all of the things you’re grateful for, and the many blessings that you have in spite of everything else.

Now that you’ve had a glimpse into my year, I want to know:

What has 2016 taught you

What is the one thing that 2016 taught you? Drop a comment below.