Before I can set my intentions for 2014, I must first cleanse and reflect on all that transpired in 2013. Come along with me as I celebrate wins, share lessons learned and make space for what my soul craves next.
May this post inspire you to honor and learn from from 2013 so you can be primed and ready to go in the New Year.
13 Celebrations from 2013
1. Made space for baby #3
Out of everything that happened in 2013, this is what I’m most proud of. Being the mom of two young boys is FULL (Sean turns 5 on January 5 and Luke will be 3 in April). Add onto that being a wife and running a business from home and I’m surprised I even have energy to know my name at times!
But this new baby soul spoke to me in my quiet moments and told me she / he was ready to join our family. And instead of ignoring the voice and being too busy or scared, we made space and said yes.
You should know that I never was that gal who always wanted to be a mom or was a babysitter as a teenager or daydreamed with my husband about the children we would one day have. No, this all happened organically as I evolved into the woman I am today.
Being the daughter of divorced parents who don’t speak to each other … and having lost a sister to cancer as a young girl, I was scarred to the core and afraid I wouldn’t know what to do as a mom since I felt I didn’t have a lot of my emotional needs met as a child.
Honestly, there are days I know what I’m doing and many days I feel like a wreck, but as I reflect back on my year, my family is what I’m most proud of creating.
And I’m proud to have made space for a new baby in my business so it can keep growing when I take time off after giving birth. (I hadn’t done this with my first two babies, but I’ve learned.)
This soul growing inside me is a blessing beyond measure.
2. Grew the business
After crossing the 6-figure mark in 2012, I know now we can do that every year. So of course I wanted to break 6 figures again in 2013. And we did … and it was a lot easier than the year before because I knew where to focus my energy for maximum impact at this stage in my business cycle.
In terms of numbers, we experienced 30% growth in revenue. I wanted this to be higher because that’s how I’m wired, but I got over it once I realized everything else I had on my plate this year. The cool thing is that I have a good sense of what we can do in 2014 to strategically grow the business even more while lowering our expenses and boosting profitability.
I hired a bookkeeping company mid-year that specializes in online businesses to help me get a handle on the numbers because I couldn’t do it myself anymore. Huge decision. Should have done it sooner.
I’m proud that we doubled our list size and let go of the peeps who weren’t in alignment with our message. I used to get totally sad when people unsubscribed from my list. Now I celebrate because they are making space for women who are ready for my teachings and who want to be part of this tribe. We have more systems in place for tracking growth (I never did this before!) and will continue to rock this in 2014.
And I did all of this by chunking my time and working about 20 – 25 hours a week. I take Fridays off with my kids. This is often my most “challenging” day of the week, but I protect that time at all costs because my kids are only little once.
3. Wrote my 1st book
This was a big doozy for me. I’ve had this on my goal list for a LONG time. Finally, in 2013, I said “I’m freaking doing it.” So I hired writing coach Rachel Resnick of Writers on Fire and paid her $17,000 to help me birth my book in 3 months. I had never invested that kind of money in such a short time period. You better believe I hustled my ass off to make good on that money.
This was one of the most intense 3 months of my life. Lots of deep digging into my past to tell my honest story of what I’ve learned on my journey and how these learnings apply to YOU living a gutsy, dreamy, rich, kick-ass life using your natural gifts and talents.
Mind you, I started this process at the EXACT same time we broke ground on our home renovation and addition. Crazy? Yes. Were there times I wanted to give up? YES.
In 2014, I will polish and fine-tune the manuscript and get it ready for publishing. I’ve chosen to self-publish for this book and am excited about this. I had to take some time to figure out what the PURPOSE of this book is in the grand scheme of my business. Now that I have that clarity, I’m ready to share it with the world.
I’m not sure if I’ll publish before or after baby comes in April … will do what’s right for me and my energy level (this is huge – listening to my body and not pushing so damn hard to the point of pain!).
4. Got and gave regular support in my soul sisters mastermind group
I’m in a mastermind group of 6- and 7-figure female business owners from around the world and we have this awesome thriving forum on Facebook where we share just about everything related to being a woman, entrepreneur, mom, wife, human, you name it.
I seriously do not know what I’d do without these gals. We champion each other, are full-out honest about whatever comes up and just totally get what each one of us is about.
Getting together in PERSON with these gals is a dream of mine that I look forward to making real someday. For now, our online universe rocks.
If you don’t yet have a mastermind group, get one! I created a beautiful one this year called the Business Adventure School. I LOVE all the women in it. Total rockstars who lay it all out on the line in the name of building their business to change the world. I’m honored to be their guide!
5. Streamlined systems + strengthened team
After almost having a breakdown a few years ago, I am a systems maniac in my business now. We use asana.com as a project management tool and use it religiously to stay on track. When problems arise (and they will), instead of blaming people, I look for the glitch in the system and then fix it. I’m building a business, not a job. Most newbie entrepreneurs suck at this. Don’t be an amateur. Get good at this.
We also tightened up the team this year. I let some peeps go who got us to a certain point but couldn’t get us any further … and brought on a few new team members to get us to that next level. I currently have two part-time assistants – Darcee Sellers, a tech master and Infusionsoft pro, and Samantha Homeyer, a project manager and client care maven who comes with me to all my events – who I adore. I also have a bookkeeping team who gives me regular profitability reports, as well as a brand studio who creates my brand identity and knows my voice and personality SO well (the head of the studio also a client in my mastermind!).
Who do you need on your team to get you to that next level? Free yourself up so you can focus on your brilliance. Don’t try to do everything yourself.
6. Traveled to important events
I was a traveling banshee this year. After having my second son Luke in 2011 and feeling pretty attached to being close to home in 2012 as we were still nursing (he still nurses now from time to time – he’s a fan!), it felt GREAT to get my wings back and fly around the country mining for “gold” as I like to call it.
I attended mastermind meetings in Connecticut and California as part of my work with my mentors Fabienne Fredrickson and Ali Brown.
I went to InfusionCon, hosted by my CRM software company Infusionsoft. That one blew my mind. Never had been around so many men at an entrepreneurs conference – LOL! It was refreshing to see the way this gender operates. They seemed to have no problem with growing their business to epic levels. Men just go for it and figure things out as they go without overcomplicating things. Nice.
One of the coolest events I attended was the Women + Power Retreat at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Brene Brown was a speaker, among other inspiring women. My pal Christine Gallagher and I went together. It was special to grow that friendship with her. She was also a guest speaker at the Retreat for Goddesses and nailed her talk!
Near the end of the year, I attended a Dress for Success Gala in Arizona. My mentor Ali Brown was an honorary chair for the event and it was awesome to see her in action. Hearing the stories of women impacted by this organization filled my heart in many ways. The trip to Scottsdale also allowed me to do some maternity clothes shopping at my fave spot – a Pea in the Pod!
Going to events is a crucial component to growing your biz at certain stages of your biz. Look at your calendar now and start circling dates of the events you want to attend. Make it happen!
7. Hosted my 1st telesummit – the Business Adventure Summit
I had been wanting to host a telesummit ever since telesummits came on the scene. My former corporate job as a conference producer made this a PERFECT project for me … I just had to carve out the time.
This year, I made it happen with the Business Adventure Summit, featuring 14 women biz owners I find particularly empowering and inspiring.
Not only did we receive rave feedback on the Summit, but it was a huge list builder for us and many of these new peeps to my tribe became private clients in the Business Adventure School I also launched this year. Triple win!
Note to telesummit virgins who want to host one: Pulling a telesummit off is a HUGE undertaking. You need a team to really do this right. But it’s totally possible and it’s so worth it … as long as you know WHAT the intent of your telesummit is (money maker, list builder, platform booster, etc.). Be clear from the get go and get gutsy when inviting some awesome “big draw” speakers to take your virtual stage. Make sure they promote for you, too!
This is crucial.
8. Created new, mostly “evergreen” offerings
Here’s a list of what I created (with help from my team and angels, of course!):
- Cash in on Your Calling Coaching Program (NOTE: the next round of this biz transforming program starts January 13. Get in on the action!)
- Wrote my book (see celebration #3)
- Business Adventure Summit (see celebration #7)
- Make Money Love You 7-Day Cleanse (for now, this is only being offered as a bonus for customers buying certain programs, but let me tell you it’s amazing!)
- A LOT of free preview calls, webinars, and livestreams (I probably averaged about 1 a month)
The coolest part is that much of this content is EVERGREEN meaning it can be sold and offered over and over again as part of the business. We’ve set up the back-end systems to make it all work automatically for our customers and clients so they have a fabulous experience. It’s taken me 6 years to nail this concept.
9. Completed new home renovation + addition (and am still married after it’s all over!)
This was probably the toughest of all of my celebrations. The sheer timeline and money outlay attached to this was brutal. Totally shifted me out of my comfort zone … not to mention my house was a fucking wreck during the construction and we LIVED here during the whole process.
But good. And Steven and I got through it together!
Our kids LOVED watching the construction take place and learned so much. Just today Sean and I were at the library and he was building with blocks and he asked another mother who was helping if that was the foundation she laid down. He then proceeded to tell her why he knows about foundations and how he put his hands in our wet concrete when the cement truck poured it. I smiled like a proud mama!
And now, our house is an absolute sanctuary. I have an office that I can’t get enough of (I call it the Sunshine Studio).
My old office was in a spare bedroom that never felt quite right for what I was creating. I knew I had to change that. So we did. Now that spare bedroom has been opened up to be used for my baby’s room. Sweet!
My hubby Steven has an office in our new library that our kids also use for projects. We have a beautiful gas fireplace in there as well that warms me up on every level.
We added a front patio which opened up our land and my kids love going outside to play now through a door in our kitchen that didn’t exist before. We organized all the kids toys and sports equipment in the garage and it’s awesome. Our kitchen is very Zen and SO conductive to family living and entertaining.
This house is one that my family will grow into and make so many memories. I’m forever grateful we took this on and appreciate everyone on our team who made it possible. It takes a village.
10. Practiced yoga, sacred self-care + oodles of self-love
This is a non-negotiable in my world. The more I take exquisite care of myself, the more my business and soul grows. Try it! You’ll see.
I’ve been practicing yoga consistently for 12 years. It’s my rock. Make sure you have a rock to get you through the ups and downs of life.
Every morning look at yourself in the mirror and say I LOVE YOU. Then treat yourself with the utmost love and respect.
Om and namaste.
11. Read A LOT of books
I probably read more books in 2013 than I ever had in previous years (not including textbooks I read in college).
A big focus of my reading was on money and wealth consciousness. I read “The Law of Divine Compensation” by Marianne Williamson, “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles, “Get Rich, Lucky Bitch” by Denise Duffield-Thomas, “The Energy of Money” by Maria Nemeth (still reading this) and I just ordered “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko.
I also read “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, “May Cause Miracles” by Gabrielle Bernstien, “Embrace Your Magnificence” by Fabienne Fredrickson, “The Golden Motorcycle Gang” by Jack Canfield and William Gladstone, and “Love is the Killer App” by Tim Sanders. I’ve just started reading “The Desire Map” by Danielle Laporte and will be participating in a book club about that book in January.
My tip for you in 2014: read more! Always be reading something to strengthen your mind and expand your horizons.
12. Went on a bunch of family adventures
Travel and adventure is a family value and we made it happen in 2013. My husband Steven travels for his job quite a bit so the boys and I often go along and shack up in hotel rooms around the country.
A highlight for us this year was Montreal and Mohonk Mountain House in the Catskills (this is the spot I hosted the Retreat for Goddesses – see #13 below). Both of these trips were pure pleasure and we had a ball.
I double dare you to go on more adventures in 2014, even if your adventures are close to home!
13. Hosted my 3rd annual and last ever Retreat for Goddesses
This offering was something I brought to the world in 2011 and I’ll be forever grateful for the journey it took me on. The women who stepped up and joined forces with me and the other gutsy gals will forever stay etched in my heart. I just knew that after 3 years, it was time to left this retreat go to make room for what was next on my biz and spiritual path. I’m proud of how this event evolved from its organic roots into a luxurious retreat for women who believe they deserve the very best in business and life. (We hosted the 2013 event at the #1 resort spa in America.)
My next live event is being born as we speak and will take place in the fall of 2014 in the Northeast of the United States. The next stage of my evolution is coming and I’m honored and humbled by what I’ll co-create with Source for the benefit of my tribe.
13 Lessons Learned in 2013
- Not all clients are a match. Be courageous and only take on ideal clients (you must first know who your ideal clients are!). This is hard at first. It gets easier after you take on a client that’s not an ideal match. Always remember you are responsible TO your clients, not FOR them.
- Some offerings run their course. It’s okay. Be willing to let them go to make room for your evolution.
- Don’t throw your money away. Be vigilant about what your expenses are and cut anything that you don’t use. Understand the difference between investments and expenses and understand that investments take time to mature.
- Email can be a beast. Don’t chain yourself to this tool. Set limits and only check at specific times. You don’t have to reply to everything. Set up automatic filters. If you’re a biz owner, set up a support mailbox where your general inquiries go.
- Do it the way YOU want to do it. You’ll hear every piece of advice out there for what you’re doing. Most will contradict each other. Tips and advice from peeps who have your best interests at heart are gold … but at the end of the day, listen to your heart. Do what’s right for YOU and your path. No one is wiser than you.
- Consistent marketing works. This year, we published 50 ezines (just about every week, skipping a few weeks for vacation!) and 100+ blog posts. This is MUCH more content than we’ve ever published before. Our biz grew as a result. If you do nothing else in your marketing, BE CONSISTENT and do what you say you’re going to do. And if you’re publishing an ezine, newsletter or blog, once a month isn’t going to cut it. Put on your big girl panties, create a schedule and STICK TO IT.
- Family is the most important thing there is. It’s true. And great friends count as family, too. Don’t take your family or friends for granted. Let them know you care. Cards in the mail work really well because they are so rare! So do cute notes and surprises at home. Little things go a long way.
- Sacred self-care is crucial. Seriously, this has to be a priority for you. I tell my clients their top 3 priorties in terms of how they spend their time are current clients, money-generating activities and sacred self-care. Don’t neglect yourself. For me, it’s yoga, massage, facials, pedicures, solo dates, reading and deep breathing. What are your self-care faves? These are not luxuries. They are necessities.
- Giving is better than receiving. Way, way better. What organization or person can you make an impact with today? For me, I love giving to young people. In 2013, we gave college money to high school studetns in my hometown in Flroida. This was the 4th year we gave the Julie Amon Dolphins of Strength Scholarhisp in my late sister’s honor. Feels great! I also gave to the Unstoppable Foundation and Dress for Success. Give money, give time, give love, give whatever you can. Just give.
- Entrepreneurship is the most intense personal growth path you can walk (in addition to parenthood). This is simply the truth. All your shit will come out to be dealt with. It’s okay. You can handle it. The upsides far outweigh the downsides. Just make sure you have a sacred support system you can share the journey with. This is not a road you want to walk alone.
- You will have critics. The more you shine your light, the more you’ll attract some people (a very small percentage) who won’t like what you’re doing and will tell you they don’t like what you’re about. Have buffers and boundaries in place and don’t let these energy vampires get the best of you. Focus on your fans, not your critics.
- Policies, procedures and agreements will save your butt. You must have these in place and HONOR them when it comes to cancellations, refund requests, payments, scheduling time with you … and more. Don’t leave this to chance. Be a CEO. Always remember you’re running a business. Have high-level clients sign agreements so you both are on the same page about the terms. Don’t leave this to chance and a handshake. You’ll thank me for this later!
- If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, who will? It starts with you. Have a regular practice to boost yourself up everyday and stick to it. Your mindset is crucial to doing this work in the world. Be strong! You can do this.
I’m still letting my vision for 2014 drop in and formulate in my mind. It’s okay if you’re in the same boat … or if you already have yours fully mapped out. Wherever you are is perfect.
I do know that I’ll be following these two pieces of wisdom throughout the year and I share them with you here.
What are your biggest lessons learned and celebrations from 2013? Share now. Let’s join forces to rocking out 2014 with grace and style.
THANK YOU for being with me on this journey. I love you and appreciate you.