By Alison Ball-Kilmer
OKAY, WAIT A MINUTE! HIT THE BRAKES! As a matter of fact, pull the emergency brake! Someone needs to explain how this just happened. IT’S THE YEAR 20—WHAT? OMG!! HAPPY 2020 EVERYONE! HAPPY NEW YEAR! HAPPY NEW DECADE! That time is upon us and––I’ll admit it––it is completely surreal.
To each friend, follower, client, family member––to all who’ve been supportive of me throughout this journey––I send warm greetings, thanks, and well wishes. I truly hope the close of your 2019 was powerful and positive––and that your holidays have been merry and memorable.
Thanks to all who helped make 2019 an extra incredible year for me. Let’s make some brand new history in 2020!
MY Favorite Way to Spend New Year’s DAY
Today I begin my new year the best way I know how. My famous Gumbo is brewing on the stove, filling the air––a tradition in our household. I am encamped in my favorite place with my favorite people––at my beloved home with my beloved family. My anchor. My rock. My launching pad. On this day, I am super chill, calm, and reflective about my 2019.
I’m treasuring these moments. My children are getting older, wiser, and I know that hanging out with Mom and Dad on New Year’s won’t be considered cool much longer. I’m figuring I’d better take advantage of as many of these family new year celebrations that I can. We’re all changing and growing into a brand new future. On this January 1, 2020, I anchor my soul and ready myself for the outstanding decade coming my way.
2020: THE INTERNAL TRANSFORMATION
2019 was such an amazing year for me. I’m super thankful for the wonderful ups, downs and in-betweens––the speed bumps, off-ramps, on-ramps––plus all of those rocket-fueled opportunities that came my way. All made the year an exhilarating ride. ALL shapes the beauty of the journey and the person I’m becoming along the way.
I knew this year was going to be all about massive change, after I made some personal history last week. It was so shocking. For the first time in 30 years, Ali-in-the-Valley, herself, did not have to cook for her entire family tribe! WHAT? Our house is usually the central hub for the big holiday gathering for my extended fam. But this year Ali was on Christmas staycation. Can you believe it? My brother did all of the cooking. And I was like… YAY.
Knowing how much I love to entertain and lay out scrumptious feasts for as many people as I can fit into this house, CLEARLY, something different MUST be going on. And I am honoring the shift that is happening inside of me.
This revolutionary Christmas was by design. When I decided to go to Egypt at the end of 2019, I set things up that way. I made sure that when I returned home, my relaxation and centeredness would continue.
That trip made me very reflective. And while on it, I decided to bring some new honor to the Queen. I made a life-changing pact to––finally––TO PUT ME FIRST. THIS is super difficult as a mother, wife, and as a professional who always helps other people with “their” visions––mothering their dreams, essentially. But I knew it had to happen someday. Today is that day.
Egypt: Dawn of a New Era
As mentioned, at the end of 2019, I gave Ali a beautiful gift. And OMG…let me tell you. It was so mind-blowing. I decided to travel to Egypt for the first time! And it was so incredible. I saw the Pyramids. I rode the camels. I met the locals. I took in all the ancient art. I touched the hallowed sand that represents the genesis of civilization as we know it. I’m still filled with so much gratitude about it.
Being in Cairo, Egypt right before the beginning of the new decade was so appropriate for me. That trip was more like my New Year celebration in advance, because something in me could feel that I am on the precipice of a new era in my life.
A 2019 Revaluation of Me
Have you ever felt those rumblings in your soul? Like something calling you to “massive change” and “growth” now, now, now? I don’t know about you, but I’m afraid to ignore stuff like that. Intuition is too real. So at the end of 2019, I did a very difficult SELF-EVALUATION. I did a fearless accounting of my current strengths and weaknesses.
I was in search of every area in which I needed transformation or where I needed to clip my vines. It’s time for me to simplify my life. And this is very challenging for the resident superwoman. I’m the type who believes she can do anything and everything. And with good reason. Because I’ve done most of that “everything” with that red cape flapping in the wind. But wait. It’s not always a question of what you CAN do. Sometimes it’s about what SHOULD you be doing at this juncture in life?
Listen, you guys… I had to look in the mirror and be brutally honest. I had to admit to myself that I am only one person. I had to admit that it was time to let some things go. It was a BIG reality check for me.
Ali is never going to be the person to say you cannot do it all and have it all, but I will tell you this: here’s the truth: You cannot do it all at one time. You must choose your priorities, choose your battles, and be clear on what it’s all for in the end. There’s no use in fervently playing the game of life and not knowing what your ultimate prize is––for you. THAT PRIZE HAS TO BE DEFINED BY “YOU.” Know what all of your sacrifice and hard work is truly for. WHAT DO YOU WANT? Know the answer to that question.
And for me, it’s HAPPINESS and PEACE OF MIND.
So, upon my triumphant return from Egypt, I created a magical little phrase. It’s a self love tool. I say it to all the beautiful people in my life now. It is called, “I cannot do that right now.”
Boy oh boy. Whew! And that little phrase feels good!
Notice the phrase did not say, “I cannot do it.” It just said, “I cannot do it right now.” So, I still get to be superwoman, just a superwoman exercising more choice and wisdom in her life. GIGGLE. These are precious mind hacks, people!
Bottom line: I have powerful moves planned for 2020 and beyond. And if you want to do something GREAT, it’s not the same as doing something GOOD. You have to narrow it down––to do something GREAT.
I do not want to feel depleted everyday anymore. I want to feel fulfilled. I’m learning to narrow it down to what’s most important and essential to me. Am I the only one on this page of life? I can’t be. That’s why I’m sharing. To inspire. To help more than just me.
MY 2019 Reevaluation / Decisions
After my honest reevaluation, here are a couple things that became very clear for me. This is what I want and am committed to for the new decade.
- I want to get my career-life super thriving again. I’m talking 100 MPH. Doing what I love and being successful at it. It’s time to come off of cruise-control.
- More world traveling. I want to begin seeing this beautiful Earth again, meeting the people, tasting the cuisines, learning the cultures. Though my duties at TuneGO call for an international travel, I’m committed to more.
- A 24/7 commitment to being happy. Life is too short for anything else. So this will mean constantly clarifying and staying focusing on what my inner happiness is.
- Learning and mastering the art of saying, “No.” Smile. And the smile part is important. You have to be happy with yourself after you say it, plus let the person asking know that it is nothing personal to them.
- Saying “yes” to more great opportunities! But ONLY to those that are in strict alignment with my core vision.
- Working out at least five times per week. No schedule conflicts. No “too exhausted” to do it. Just… #InTheGym.
- Delegating more household duties to other family members: i.e. children and husband. YOU GUYS ARE ON NOTICE! LOL! Get ready. This is so not a joke.
- I want my hubby to uplevel his help with the kids. That’s going to mean taking them to school, to practice, picking them up, etc.
- Oh, and while on the subject, I want my hubby to do more household chores: the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry. Yes, I’m buying him a “Mr. Mom” tee-shirt. We’re bringing you off the bench, buddy. You’re about to be a Starting Forward in this game, in 2020. Start stretching!
Delegating more chores and duties around the household will enable my return to building a thriving and fast-paced executive career. I’ve been in the slow lane for too long. I’m bringing this Ferrari out of the garage. Alison is ready to ZOOM, again. Don’t get run over…lol.
2019 Accomplishments / Proud
1. GRATITUDE: I Heart Ali-in-the-Valley
Even though the end of 2019 was all about self-reflection and self-reinvention, in early 2019 I set out on a couple of core missions. And I’m super proud of myself for accomplishing them.
- My 2019 call-to-action was to grow my social media and growing my personal media platform. I’m ready to put my cooking and home entertaining VLOG on top! I made a commitment to release at least one Ali-in-the-Valley video per week. And I accomplished that! YAY! I released 54 videos in 2019.
- In 2019 I made a commitment that Ali-in-the-Valley would start generating income this year, and start building critical partnerships to become hugely successful. Which we are doing!
I am in love with my Ali-in-the-Valley family and platform. I love producing cooking and entertainment media content. I have done it out-of-pocket for quite a number of years. Now it is time to make it super profitable. I am so thankful and proud of my team at Ali-in-the-Valley. We have come up with an amazing product. I am super excited about the future.
2. GRATITUDE: TuneGO
I also had a mission for TuneGO Music Technology. As President, steadying my mindset was everything. My years as VP of A&R at Warner Brothers Music taught me that your teams feed off of your exhibited mindset. How you are sets the tone for those around you. TuneGO is a powerful music technology platform with a bright future ahead of it. And as we develop, the most important thing is to “steel” our mind states and determination to make it through our formative years. These critical years become the foundation and concrete that a company stands on for decades to come. Being a corporate veteran, I know this. Being a President and corporate stateswoman, in the burgeoning field of Music Tech, one of my main jobs is to exemplify and transfer this to our team.
Our ideas and plans at TuneGO are so forward thinking that our main discipline is to be patient and let the technology catch up to all that we have planned. In 2019, it seems that I helped transfer that patience and reassurance to our team. I hope I did.
I also met my goal of immersing myself deeper into the field of music technology–– broadening my knowledge base on all sides of it. At TuneGO, figuring out the best ways to help the independent artist win, using technology, is our constant goal. I help define what it is that a label normally provides, that we may incorporate it into on-demand tech, endlessly empowering the independent music artist of tomorrow. I love being in this field.
In 2019, we further developed our platform and tech offerings––passionately––to be ready for the giant ambitions we have for 2020. I’m so proud of you guys. I’m so proud of us. We all know how exciting this decade is about to become. Wink.
I am grateful.
I’m so excited for the future of this company.
Right Age / Right Time
I am in the sweet spot of my life. At this age, 55, I feel like it is all getting better and better. This is that sweet middle-age spot I’ve heard so much about. When all things fall into place. I get it.
I know who I am. I know what I want. My children are old enough to give me independence. I can travel and earn without worrying about them.
In 2020, I feel like I am at my absolute best.
The casual onlooker may conclude that I am a late bloomer. No…lol. It’s just that I have bloomed many times and plan on blooming some more. I’ve had many chapters of my life. I value them all. And I’m making more. I’m proof that it’s okay to take time to live a well-rounded life.
If my life were in chapters, it would go like this:
Chapter 1. Growing Up in LA / Learning The Entertainment Game. (I was surrounded by it. I couldn’t help but to soak it in. It’s no mystery it became my life.)
Chapter 2. The College Years / Thinking I Was So Smart. (Until I got somewhere where everyone was smart. I had to find and discover what was unique about me, then excel and stand out in a way no competitor could.)
Chapter 3. The Music Label Years
Chapter 4. Walking Away From Career for The New Wealth of Family
Chapter 5. A New Art to Master: Raising a Special Needs Kid
Chapter 6. Helping Hubby Build His Successful Business
Chapter 7. Re-Entry into The Entertainment Business
Chapter 8. How I Fit Into The Music Tech Generation
Chapter 9. Life Beyond My Wildest Dreams
Full disclosure: You’re looking at a rough outline for the Business Memoir I plan to write in 2020. It’s one of my MAIN GOALS––penning my journey as a blueprint for other young women seeking to rise in the corporate entertainment world.
I especially like the sounds of Chapter 9.
It’s the chapter that I’m living and designing right now, for 2020 and beyond.
NEW FUTURE / NEW ME
I am on my way to becoming a liberated mom. And that’s because I have such great kids. My kids are so on-point right now; I could not be prouder. In 2020, I’m committed to putting more time into helping them clarify their life goals and putting them on track to meet them.
We stay forward-thinking in this household. So, I aim to assist their career development now, while they are very young, so they can become financially independent earlier. I want them balling in the game by 18 years old––generating an income and loving what they do. Because of tech, so many kids are creating six-figure incomes and even becoming millionaires in their teens. It’s a new world. Opportunity is everywhere.
This is truly an era of independent wealth and diversified income streams. I don’t just want it for them, I’m also building more for myself. Doing the kind of work I do, it can be done from anywhere in the world. That means… Freedom. Doing what I love. The new wealth is about QUALITY OF LIFE. If you also feel that calling within, I say follow it. Diversify your income streams without being overwhelmed.
In the 2020s, I aim to live a life of travel, exploration, self-expression, and mega earning. I want to be the happiest person I possibly can be, in a balanced, healthy, and thriving life––period. Working out, eating right, taking care of myself before others––all of these things will help better enable me to BUILD A MORE POWERFUL SELF, and A MORE POWERFUL FAMILY.
But it all starts with me. I’m the foundation.
Today, New Years Day, 2020, I count all of my blessings, while planning for many more. Life is so sweet. I’m creating my own lane. I’m living my dharma right now. I’m so thankful!
I raise my glass to you…
To the future and beyond!
Happy 2020 everyone!
Now… back to this DELICIOUS GUMBO!