My Year In Review
Ep. 130
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    With this being the week entering the New Year, I spend this episode doing a recap of my 2020 year. While we tend to tout all of our successes (and there are plenty of those in this episode), I’m more excited to share all of my failures. As always, I want you to see that you can’t get any of the successes if you’re not willing to go through a ton of failure. I hope my year is an example of how you can manage both. Happy New Year!

Show Transcript
Hi friends. Welcome back to another episode. I am so excited to have you here is just a couple of days away from the new year. I love the new year. I don't know why. I really just like the pause of a new beginning of being given like a cue to reflect and reset. And obviously, you can do that at any time, but I like that there's a symbolic cyclical time where we can maybe take a breath and I hope that you have that time. And I figured because we are going to jump into 2021 and I'm going to jump into the whole goal-setting workshop that I'm doing all of January. I wanted to take this episode to reflect back on my 2020 and to update you guys on what has been going on behind the scenes. I always love hearing people's year-end reviews.

And so I figured maybe you guys would be interested in knowing what's happening with the podcast, how it's grown, what 2020 looked like, and what really my plans are going forward. I went back and forth on whether to do this because I started my business in July of 2018. And so I usually track my business from July to July, but there are no rules. So I figured why not do one in January? And maybe I'll do one in July if you guys liked this, but here's how I want to do it. I'm going to tell you all of the amazing things that have happened. I'm going to tell you kind of the highlight reel that we often see maybe on Instagram or social media, which is all the great things, which I'm so grateful for, but I'm going to start with that. And then I'm going to tell you kind of behind the scenes, how those things happened, what my word for the year was, what my goals for the year were and how that led to some of those accomplishments.

And then I'm going to tell you all of the failures because I think that is what we often skip over. And you know that on this podcast, my whole motivation and the whole point of the podcast is to show you the other side that we don't typically see to show you how nobody really knows what they're doing and that your success really is directly related to how much you're willing to fail. So that's the way we're going to do it. All right. So let's get into the wonderful, amazing things that have happened in 2020. My Instagram audience, my following has gone from around 6,000 people to around 19,000 followers on Tik Tok. I didn't even have a Tik TOK until April of 2020. And since then I've gone from zero Tik ToK followers to 125,000 followers, which is a little bit mind-blowing. My podcast has doubled in downloads.

I used to get around 5,000 downloads a month, and now I'm consistently over 10,000 a month, which is amazing. I love all the new podcast listeners. Welcome. And thank you for joining me. Revenue wise, I'm recording this a little bit before the end of the year, so I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to end up, but let's just say that I went from making, I think when I started 2020 with the podcast, I'd made about 10,000 and I will end the year between around like 80 or 90,000 in revenue. Again, I haven't closed the doors yet to my goal setting workshop on I'm recording this and I have some other potential one-on-one clients that I'm going to anyway. So between 80 and 90,000. Okay. And the reason that's important is because I want to tell you how that sorta came about.

It sounds great, right? Like it was a great year. 2020 was horrible in a lot of ways and really good for me in this business in a lot of ways. And I grew a lot. I learned a ton. I was in a mastermind group that I started with myself with one other person. I just asked people to join. And it was such a wonderful group to have in this year to lean on the podcast. Obviously like I have some, you know, 50 additional episodes a lot of wonderful things happened, but I want to talk about why those things happened and how they happened. So my word for the year, which I don't know if you guys all do this 20, 20, it was the first time I'd ever done it. I'd seen people do it a couple of years ago and I never did it.
The idea is to pick one word that you want to encompass for that year that you want to focus on. Because a lot of times it's really easy to make a goal and then not go back and like check on it or to reevaluate it. And when you have one word it's easier to refocus yourself, it's easier to put that word in different places that you're going to see. It's easier when you are in a tough spot or you're making a decision and you don't know which way to go forward to think about that word and think about like, what would lead me towards, you know, whatever that word is. Like, what would I do if I was focused on that, whatever I wanted this year to encompass. And so it's just a really good tool to, I think, synthesize your goals down to like one thing that you really want out of that year.

And so for me, the word was progress. And I had picked this word because I still very much have a tendency of slipping back into a perfectionist mentality. I still have to catch myself being caught in fear of what other people think are overwhelmed and not doing anything. Right. I still get caught in indecision and thinking that there is a wrong decision and not taking a step forward. And my message to myself wanted to be like, do B minus work and get it out there. Like it is better done than just stuck in your head. And so I really wanted to focus on progress over perfection. And so that was my word. And I really ran with it this year. I'm not going to lie to you. I really took a throw spaghetti at the wall approach. And I'm glad I did because I learned a ton.
So that was my word for the year. And I had an impossible goal. If you're in the goal-setting workshop in January, I'm going to dive a lot deeper into what that means, but really what the name suggests. It's the point of the goal is not that you'll have to pick something that you're going to hit that year, for sure. And like you use it as a tool to beat yourself up, or you're constantly obsessing, you know, and, and breaking it down into like, how can you get to that? Exactly. It's meant more of like a vision, right? A, I had never made more than 10,000 with this podcast. And so I had no idea how it was going to get to a hundred thousand, but that is the goal that I wanted to get to. And whether it happened in 2020 or 2021 or 2022, I didn't care.

Like my impossible goal was to make a hundred thousand dollars from this podcast and my coaching business. So those were the two things that I started out 2020 with. I didn't know the, how, I didn't know exactly what I was going to do. I had some ideas, but as we all know, 2020, it did not go the way that most of us thought it was going to go. I am no exception. So I started out the year. I had already launched my group program, stuck to strategy in December of 2019. So I had that first cohort starting in January. So I knew I wasn't going to launch again or bring in any revenue until April because that group was going to end in March. And then in April I was going to relaunch. And then we all know what happened in March of 2020 and when the pandemic hit and we started going to quarantine and everything changed, my son's school closed.

And so now he was home all the time. I went from having childcare kind of five days a week to having none for the first month. And so I was at home with two small children. And so it became very clear that I was not going to be launching again. And I really didn't know what I was going to be doing when I was going to do it. So I pushed back the launch. And then in the midst of all that in the pandemic and kind of finding my footing, I was going to relaunch again in May. And that's really when the George Floyd murder happened and the black lives matter movement. I mean, the movement had been happening, but you knew the kind of that moment in time. And if you are a long-time listener of the podcast, you know, that I did some episodes at the time addressing that.

And I decided that it was still not time to launch this program, my head wasn't in it. And I decided to kind of start talking a little bit more about racism and implicit bias and our criminal justice system. And I made a video for Instagram talking about that. I was recently talking to a friend about this and it was interesting to reflect back and think that like, if I had never started this podcast or my Instagram if I'd never gotten over that fear of putting myself out there, there is no way I would've made those videos. Like if I was working as a lawyer, as a criminal defense attorney, even though I would have the knowledge and likely a lot more knowledge on the subject matter, I wouldn't have just put myself out there. And it was kind of this confluence of events of the fact that like over the last two years, I've routinely been putting myself out there.

I have been becoming more comfortable in front of the camera in taking these leaps, even when I'm scared. And so that's not to say that I didn't feel terrified when I put out that video. I did, I literally was shaking and I had all of the thoughts of like, this is not what I talk about on this channel. I shouldn't be talking about this. There are so many more people that are more educated than me. I was worried about any backlash I might get, but at the time I was really committed to helping in any way I could. And because I had specific, you know, subject matter knowledge on the criminal justice system, I figured I should speak up. And so I made a video. I started out with a video on defunding the police, which, you know, if you want controversy and jump in straight to that.

And it was actually incredible. I started going viral, which was very strange. And not that pleasant, even though that's what people think. That's how my Instagram kind of jumped in over 10,000 followers in that day. And I think about the fact of like, if I was stuck in that perfectionism, if I was stuck in that idea of like my IgE feed has to be curated perfectly, and I can only talk about this one thing and, you know, nobody wants to hear from me and who am I? Right? Like none of this would have happened. And so I ended up really growing the platform. And what was amazing is a lot of people that came and found me through that, not shockingly, were also people who were unhappy in their careers.

So they ended up sticking around because of the mindset work because of the career stuff. I'll also say that, like I also decided after I made a series of videos on the criminal justice system, I decided that like, it was time for me to stop. And I was going to go back to really focusing on building this business and talking more about the stuff that I'm doing now. And it was just such a great reminder for myself and lesson that I keep relearning about the fact that like there isn't one way to do this. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to be curated. You don't have to be one, the thing you are multifaceted. And it's amazing how much a lot of our experience comes up in different ways. Like I never expected to talk about the criminal justice system really, again, especially in a public format. And it was a good reminder for me to not count out my past as a lawyer or, you know, in social justice work and really evaluate how can I bring it with me in whatever it is I do.

And I think a lot of times people think that they are leaving behind what they have built and that it was for not, it was a waste and they won't be using it in any way. And I just want you to know that that's not true. You may not know how it shows up, but beyond the fact that it has shaped you into who you are and how you think in your experiences. It's incredible how much things come back full circle. And I'm really open to that now to seeing like maybe I use my background in the law and my legal knowledge in another way in the future. I'm very much open to that. I'm very passionate about that social justice work.

And so I'm fine doing it in a different way kind of thinking outside the box when it presents itself. And I think that was just a really great lesson for me then that kind of virality did really increase both my podcast listenership. And like I said, my platforms both on Instagram and on Tik TOK, what I didn't do is increase my revenue cause I wasn't selling anything. So going back to that impossible goal of a hundred thousand dollars. So we're now at like June and I have made nothing from this podcast in all of 2020. And so it's really easy for me to have said, okay, I'm just going to change my goal to $50,000. Right? So like the first half would have been 50 K the second half is going to be 50 K. I just need to make $50,000.

And that would have been fine. And that's what a lot of people would have done. But here's the thing why, right. Like the point of an impossible goal for me was to be something that I aspire to, that I check in with my future self. Like if I was making a hundred thousand dollars in this business, what are the things I would have to do right in this quarter, if I knew how I was going to do it, what would I do? Like it was more of a barometer of me like checking in and like, is what I'm doing, going to get me there is this focus going to help me get to the goal I want to do because I can do small things and make money here and there. But is that ultimately what I want to be doing in this business? And so I decided not to change it.

And then I decided to start thinking if I was going to make a hundred thousand dollars in six months, what would I have to do if I want it to be a person that made a hundred K in six months? What are the actions I would take? What is the value I have to provide? How much would I have to get comfortable with selling, with marketing, with, you know, putting out an offer, which so many people struggle with myself included how much would I have to change my mindset around that around like, I don't want to annoy people. I don't want to, you know, whatever, all of the drama that we have around that stuff. I was like, all right, let's just go all in. Because whether I make a hundred thousand dollars or not, it's not the point. Right. Because I understand that once I get to that, it doesn't mean that all of a sudden all of my problems are gone, right.

It's not a goalpost that I've put that. Like once I reach that everything else will be rainbows and butterflies. I know that once I reach that, I'll just move the goalpost. Right. And I know that I'll just have a new set of problems and new fears, right? Maybe my fears right now are, I don't know how to make that much money or I don't know how to set up the business. And then when I get there, the fear becomes what if this doesn't last? Or what if I can't get people to sign up again? Or this was a fluke. I mean, you hear it in so many different ways and I'm now smart enough to know how my brain works and to realize that the point of that goal is not that I need to get there in order to be better somehow in order to be happy.

Somehow I actually am loving the journey. I'm having a lot of fun doing this. And I am using that impossible goal as a way to have a North star as a way to motivate myself as a way to check in like, am I on the right path for where I want to be going? Not as an end all be all of, like, if I don't hit this, then, then I get to use it to beat myself up for not being motivated enough. So it wasn't that I needed to change it because I needed to prove like, Oh, I can make $50,000 in six months. It was, where do I want to be going? And what do I need to do to get there? And so I didn't change it. And as I just mentioned in the beginning, I will end this year, somewhere around 85 to $90,000.

And that only came about because I didn't change it. Right. My mindset and the questions I was asking myself would have been very different if I was trying to plan for $50,000 in six months, right. When I started asking myself the questions, what do I have to do to make a hundred thousand dollars in six months? How would I have to show up, what do I have to get over? Like, what are the mindset blocks that I need to work on that would get me to that point? That those are the answers that I got, right. It would have been a different calculation if I was trying to make $50,000, not that one is better or worse, but just what I had decided I wanted. And so for me, I had to work really hard on the mindset of thinking that I'm annoying people or feeling sleazy when I'm selling.

You know, it's really interesting, like this mindset block to work on the kind of the imposter syndrome that a lot of us have, because it's so funny intellectually to think about it. Like I have my own podcast and my Instagram page and my email newsletter, right? Nobody is forced to be on it. People are free to unsubscribe, to unfollow, to not listen to the podcast. I don't make anybody do anything. Right. People are clearly coming of their own free will. And yet I'm stuck in my head thinking like, I don't want to annoy them. Well, I don't want to like be bothersome or I don't want people to think I'm greedy or whatever. And I had to work on that and really get to the understanding of like, there is someone out there that has a problem that is waiting for me to help them.

And I am not doing it because I'm too stuck in my own mind drama. And so that's a lot of the work I did. A lot of the work came about to like, if I had to push myself even more, like if I don't know how I'm going to make $5,000 a month, how would I make $15,000 this month? If I had to think about like, I need to make $20,000 on this launch, when am I going to do it, made me show up completely different. And a lot of what I did was managing my own expectations was making sure that I'm not attaching myself worth to whatever the outcome was, was experimenting and realizing, this is just testing. It's just deciding what is working and what is not working. It means nothing about what I am capable of, not capable of. And so that's really a lot of the work I did.

And I mean, I guess it's all subjective. I think it's paid off. I have so much more confidence in my ability to help other people in, to see the transformation that I'm giving people that I work with in the transformation in me and I didn't hit the a hundred thousand dollars goal. And it literally doesn't matter one bit to me. I actually don't care at all. I didn't even know until I was going to do this episode. Like I hadn't really run my numbers. And when I saw it, I was actually so excited. You know, it wasn't that I had hung so much on this to then be like, Oh, I got so close. And that's actually another lesson. Like I could have hustled to try to get that a hundred thousand. I could have sold 10 more thousand dollars worth of services in order to hit that number.

But that wasn't the point. I didn't want to do something that would tie up my time and energy in something I don't want to do just to be able to brag and say like, I have a six figure business. Like it doesn't matter, right. It was just a measuring point for me to start changing into the person that I want to become. And I changed my goal for next year. My impossible goal is $500,000. I mean, actually my impossible goal is a million dollar business. And I don't know when that's going to happen might happen in two years. It might happen in five years, might happen in 10 years. I don't actually care because again, I'm not waiting for that point to be happy. I'm not waiting for that to like validate me in any way. I'm not thinking that I'm going to all of a sudden have no mindset drama when I'm there.

I know I will. I'm enjoying the ride. I'm loving building this business brick by brick and figuring out how I want it to look and deciding at every step, what success looks like for me, whatever that next goal is, is just there to help me become that person. So the ultimate goal is a million dollar goal, but I think for next year, I'm setting my impossible goal at 500,000. And I'm thinking like, I have no idea how I would do that. And that's the thing we get caught in. Like, I can't set that goal because there's no way for me to chunk it down. I have no clue, but I do know that it will force me to start thinking about it in a different way. Like if I was going to be a business owner that was making $500,000 in my business, what would I have to be doing differently?

How many offers would I have to put out? What would that offer look like? How much value would I have to offer people? What kind of transformations do I have to give them? And it helps me calibrate. Like, am I going on the right direction again? Maybe I won't do it next year. Maybe I have to build the foundation of the business more, but it's just that North star. So that is what I'm doing with impossible goal. Again, if you're in the goal setting workshop, we're going to dive way deeper into that or you, and I'll talk more about my own, but okay. Now I want to get to like the actual good stuff, the failures, the things that people don't want to talk about. So it's great to talk about the, you know, tens of thousands of followers on different platforms or even revenue.

But I want you to know that with everything that I maybe put out there that is going well, I probably had 10 things that I've done that have failed. And part of doing that impossible goal, again was like, how much discomfort am I willing to feel? How many failures am I willing to rack up in order to get to that goal? Right? I've talked about this before on the podcast. Like you will never hear a story of somebody that says, like I started my business and I just never had any problems. Nothing ever went wrong. Everything I threw out there worked like a charm was like, you know, gold. And I've never encountered a negative feeling. I mean, you know, it sounds ridiculous to even say it. And obviously when you hear it, you're like, of course that has never happened. And yet think about what is stopping you.

Everything that is stopping you is the thought of like how uncomfortable it will feel, how that failure will make you feel because of the story you're attaching to it. What you will have to think about yourself or beat yourself up. If you don't get to whatever goal you've set and when you can change a lot of that, it just becomes fun. It's like, all right, let me try this and use it as a data point. I'll try it and see, did this work, did this not? Do I have to change it? I won't make it mean anything about myself. And so let's talk about my failures. All right. Well, I didn't make money in the first six months of the business. So the first half, trust me, I could have used that to beat myself up for the next six months and not do anything.

Right. I could have used that as evidence of why I can't make money as a coach, why I'm not equipped to do this, why this isn't worth it. And I'm not saying that I didn't have any of those thoughts. Believe me. I did. And I worked on them, right? It's not that I, they don't creep in. It's just that I won't let it, like I won't indulge in it. I won't let myself like live in that space. So I didn't make money for the first six months. Second thing is I closed. I had to close down my Facebook group that had almost 700 members in it. Okay. I closed it down because it didn't work. I had opened up this Facebook group, hearing all the raves about Facebook groups and the community that it builds. And I promise you, you could literally hear crickets if you were a part of that group and you know, or you don't know because you probably never saw anything.

Right. I couldn't spend the time that I needed in that group. I'm never on Facebook. It, I kept trying to set up ways for me to like check in or have other people like my virtual assistant do it. And it wasn't working and people weren't engaging. And even though the group was growing, it's funny because like, I think last year grew by like 400 members. I just decided like, this didn't work for me right now. That doesn't mean I can never have a Facebook group, but I didn't cultivate the community that I should have cultivated with this group when it started. I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know how to create like a, a more engaged group. And so I just closed it because it was taking up too much of my mental bandwidth and nothing was actually happening with it. And so that failed one of the launches that I did completely flopped.

So the conversion rates, like when you actually get into kind of the numbers of these, of the business, like there's, you know, good conversion rates and it was a Bismal. Okay. Like the conversion rate was horrible and I still don't even know why really I've tried to analyze it and I'm going to analyze it as I go forward. But again it was a complete fail. What else? Oh, I made a investment, a $5,000 investment in a program that was not great. It was not the right fit for me. I ignored a lot of the signs and that feeling that I had, that it wasn't the right thing for me. I wanted a quick fix to my problems. And it was a lesson learned. It was a $5,000 lesson that I will do another episode on like investing in programs. But it was something that I learned, but I'll chalk that up to something that failed.

Oh you know, the 125,000 Tik-Tok followers that I was telling you about, I did a horrible, horrible job having some kind of way of converting them into my email list. So if you run a business, you know, that your email list is really where the gold is. It's where the most engagement, like the most people that really want your help are going to be. And a lot of what marketing and sales are, is getting people from different platforms that you don't control. So Facebook, Instagram, social media, onto your email list. So there are freebies, you know, there's courses, trainings, and I didn't have the mechanism in place to convert the people that started following me from take dock onto a established kind of funnel onto my email list. And I feel like any marketer that's listening is cringing right now because that's the thing is a lot of times like people want to put something out there and they want it to be a huge success.

And one thing I've realized through my own experience is like, how blessed you are, that, that doesn't actually happen because you're not ready for it. I'm not ready for it. Right? Like, I don't want huge growth because I'm learning how to build this business step-by-step. And with each step I realized like, where are the holes in this funnel? Where is the, where I'm letting people go, or I'm not actually helping people. So that was a big hole that I'm working on right now. But you know, vanity metrics like getting a bunch of followers doesn't mean anything. If they're not the right people for you, if they're not there to actually engage with your content to potentially become clients. And so that was a huge one. Another one is that my website is how do I put this nicely to myself? It's not optimal is not optimal.

I made the decision after I set up the website originally with just the podcast in the last year and a half. Like, I haven't changed the branding. I haven't changed my podcast, art. I haven't changed anything on the website and I don't really do much on the website. And a lot of people find me through the website. And so that is a problem. Again, like in the whole conversion, converting people to my actual email list, I need to have a way, like I've had people reach out and say, like, I know you mentioned your goal setting workshop, but I can't find it anywhere. It's not on your website. I'm like, right, right. I should have a way where you can go and actually figure out what I offer. So I tell you all of this to say that it doesn't have to be perfect, that, you know, you're never going to have all of your I's dotted and T's crossed and all that, that stuff.

Like it's all doing it step by step. And it's okay if you're doing it step by step, I let go of that. Need to have everything figured out and present some kind of like polished brand before I can put it out there. I mean, I'm not saying like, you should be out here like a hot mess, not knowing what you're doing, but you can build it. So for me this year was the year of progress. I mean, 2020 was the year of progress. And my word for 2021 is focus. So I think I did a lot of the throw everything at the wall and see what sticks method. And the next year is really honing in on who I'm serving, how I'm serving them the best possible outcome for them, what the business is going to look like. And so that is my, my focus is focused for 2021.

I'm super excited about it, even though I have no idea what it'll hold, I could have never predicted 2020. And I was still excited about 2020 with all of the bad and good. And I think it's just a invitation to keep growing and learning and trying new things. I don't in any way, think any one year is going to be the end, all be all of, you know, my business or my life or anything. And I'm trying as hard as I can to enjoy the ride and really get myself back to a place of enjoying the present moment. I hope that you are doing the same. I hope this helped. If you liked this episode, let me know. Maybe I'll do another one in July and give you an update, but I hope you take a lot of these lessons into your own year. If you're not doing the goal setting workshop, I hope you think about your goals in a different way. And you do an impossible goal. I think you, I hope you pick a word that will help you really encompass what you want to accomplish. But most of all, I hope that you don't let your happiness ride entirely on whatever those goals are. He'll be you use it as a way to expand yourself and grow and be kinder to yourself and work on all the drama that you have, but really enjoy that journey. So I wish you all a wonderful holiday, happy new year, and I will be back in 2021 with some more. Goodness, I'll talk to you soon. Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at Twitter podcasts, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.