As the year draws to a close I cannot help but look back at the anticipation I had early in the year. I had two new beginnings: becoming a mom and becoming a business owner. People say nothing can prepare you for motherhood. I am sure many business owners feel the same way about business ownership. Still, I prepared as much as possible for both major life changes.
Becoming a mother was a natural transition for me. I personally believe all my years caring and taking care of horses gave me my maternal instincts. I also believe being a “young” 39-year-old, first-time mom gave me appreciation and gratitude for the entire process. There was a time when I did not think I was going to be a mom. When I became one, nothing was going to damper that joy.
I know motherhood is not natural for some women. Most assume all women have maternal instincts, but that is not the case. There is nothing natural about sleepless nights, colicky babies, and becoming a caregiver. It is a process. I believe the unknown is what makes being a new mom and dad difficult and stressful. During the first two months of my daughter’s life I had unsettling anxiety at bedtime. The moment I started my daughter’s bedtime routine the anxiety would begin: “Would she fall asleep, would she stay asleep, would I get sleep, would she roll over and stop breathing?!” You know, the typical thoughts new parents have with newborns.
As I bonded with my daughter, and recognized her wordless ques, my anxiety started to dissipate. I had to get to know her. With every new stage, the fear of the unknown pops in my mind and I have to start giving myself pep talks on how “I got this,” which is my go-to in business as well.
In June when I transitioned to the new owner of the Mid-South Horse Review, I had a very clear vision of things I wanted to do with this publication. I knew I needed to work on updating the website so we could deliver articles daily if needed. I also knew several advertising clients wanted more digital advertising options, so having a website that served digital web banners that could be tracked was one of my top priorities.
Redesigning the print issue was on the top of my priority list as well. I wanted to update the entire brand, the look, and the voice to appeal to all equestrians throughout our wide and diverse region. Making these updates was not discarding the work done before me. It was a strategy to make the print issue timeless and to make our website timely. I wanted to grow the publication’s engagement with you, the readers. My strategy behind the enhancements was to give loyal readers and customers timeless content with elegant designs to enhance stories. It also helped introduce the brand to new readers, eyeballs and potential advertising clients and partners.
In 2023 we are adding distribution locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky. What we have noticed is our issues are being picked up quickly at the start of each month. This has confirmed the strategies put in place have helped grow our reach and readership in print and online. I am extremely grateful to all our advertisers for maintaining their relationship and partnership with the Horse Review and with me as the new owner. I am extremely grateful for you, the readers. Those of you who have written and emailed me with positive feedback and those of you who have offered suggestions and constructive recommendations; I take them all to heart and my work is extremely personal to me.
We will have new sections in 2023. Our From the Experts section will follow our Horse Health section. From the Experts will have educational articles from partnerships we developed in the second half of this year. We look to bring content covering nutrition for better equine management and educational articles on how to keep us, equestrians, physically fit and healthy.
We will also have a new section, Behind the Business, where we will spotlight and feature equine businesses and professionals. Instead of focusing on reviews of products we will feature the people behind the businesses, products, books and art. I want to feature those who keep our equine community thriving: the business owners, the technology gurus, the authors of books, artists, horse show photographers, nutrition experts, health care professionals and the professional equestrians teaching the next generation of riders and the ones riding at the top shows throughout the nation.
My goal is to work hands-on with all our advertisers to help enhance their businesses and bring them more brand awareness and potential new clients, especially during difficult economic times. It is important for me to listen to advertisers’ needs and provide solutions to problems through effective marketing and advertising.
If you have questions, concerns, feedback and recommendations please email or call me personally. I am always available to listen and learn more about how our community needs the Horse Review to be the voice, the storyteller and the resource for all horse lovers throughout our region. I look forward to bringing stories to you in the New Year. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!