Y’all, I don’t know about you, but this year has been TOUGH. I thought 2020 was gonna be the whopper, but 2021 came in swinging. Changes, endings, constantly trying to find my balance.
This week I’m sharing what went on behind the scenes, personally and in business, and how even with all the garbage I’m still ending this year on a positive note.
P.S. This will be the last episode of 2021 – The D2G Show will be back with new episodes in Jan!
I’m gonna share what went on behind the scenes in my business this year and usually when you listen to the episodes like this it’s a list of accomplishments – 10 things that rocked this year. But I’ll be honest, this year was hard. The first 5 months I spent leaving a long-term relationship which meant I’ve spent the last 7 months in self-care mode. There’s been a lot of sleeping in and therapy and just asking myself what I needed non-stop. I went through two journals in the past year so I’ve been working through some shit. I have been going to therapy which is helping.
A weird side effect of that is that I feel very untethered right now. All of my life plans for the next year were with that person so I’m starting from scratch on what I want for my life and the fact that there are endless possibilities (because I don’t have kids or work a corporate job) and none of them are really jumping out to me at the moment is slightly more uncomfortable than exciting. I just don’t know what to do with myself yet but I know if I just keep going it will come to me.
The reason I’m sharing the personal stuff is because that’s my reality. I could just focus on sharing the business side of my life but that is only a piece of the puzzle and what’s happening in our personal lives can greatly affect what happens in our business. I share to give you a realistic picture of my business and also in case there’s one person listening who also had a shit year. Just in case there’s someone who had to take things slowly or put your business on the back burner or work less hours than you planned. I want you to know that it is OK to have a slow month or a week or a year. The only way that your business ends is if you stop and never start again. It’s totally OK to slow down when you need to.
Part of remembering that myself means I’ve also been working on not judging myself for moving slowly, for not rebounding from my relationship quicker, or healing on some arbitrary timeline. Not judging myself for taking more time off every day and more days off every week. For watching an absurd amount of TV – on the Real Housewives of Potomac right now. I keep reminding myself that this challenging time is temporary however long it lasts – there is always sun behind every cloud.
I can’t talk about slowing down and working less without sharing the logistics of that and without also talking about the financial side of things. At the end of 2020, I moved all of my courses into a membership – that move still gets two thumbs up for me or three or four thumbs up. Then at the beginning of 2021, I stopped running my group coaching program which was the main revenue generator because I wanted to focus on the membership. I did make less money this year both from slowing down and also switching up my offers, but I also ended up with a lot more space in my schedule which I ended up needing.
Now I’m really glad I switched to the membership because it is more succinct and easier to run – everything I teach is in one spot, it also has created consistent monthly revenue whether I show up on social media or not, and it’s turning into exactly what I wanted.
Slow growth is allowing all the members to comment and ask for feedback and get to know one another in the process because there aren’t 100 people on every call. Everyone gets the help they need. My coaching is more high touch at the moment because it’s a smaller group. For example, I spent time yesterday copyediting a sales page for a member. That’s something I really enjoy but don’t get to do often.
My members end up connecting outside the group pretty often – In fact my current client is a D2G member and her last client is a D2G member and that client was also my client earlier this year.
In order to bridge the income gap while the membership grew, I pulled some money out of savings and I took some one-on-one clients. Which turned into a blessing because I got to work with some amazing women and see every aspect of their business which reminded me of all the things there are to get stuck on as you grow.
That is something that I want to keep doing, probably not a full client load, but a handful of clients each year because you get more in-depth information when it’s just you and one other person on the call as opposed to group calls. That goes a long way to understanding the intricacies of what people are going through when you’ve been doing the thing you do for a long time.
Strategy-wise, this year I really stuck to what worked to keep things easy on my end. I ran a bunch of webinars and free trainings that I had already run in the past, which made it easy to pull out all the landing pages, emails, social media posts and reset everything to run again.
I also ran three challenges, two inside Dare to Grow – we did a Reels challenge because I could see a lot of members holding off on doing them even though IG was prioritizing that type of content. Encouraging everyone to get uncomfortable and try things as a group worked really well. I also ran a Fast Action challenge inside Dare to Grow where I created a list of 30 tasks (things that are an important part of an online marketing plan) and I gave away a 1:1 coaching call to the person who checked off the most tasks in a week and that was awesome. Probably something I’ll do multiple times/year because it really shows people how much they can accomplish in a week and gets them to check off some tasks they might be holding back on.
I ran the third challenge – a 10-day stories challenge and then included a 30-day version inside Dare to Grow as an upsell at the end of the challenge. Again, it worked really well. Over 200 people signed up. I got lots of positive feedback from people who were doing stories for the first time, and a bunch of people bought that upsell and joined the membership.
All of those challenges are going on the calendar for next year again, which makes planning my 2022 promotions a quick process.
One of the other changes I made this year was to rebrand the membership – I did a name change, a price hike, and trademarked Dare to Grow. Those are definitely going on my list of accomplishments, right next to taking all the naps. People already knew the membership as The Essentials, so I worried about the name change being confusing or disrupting my marketing, and it really wasn’t. Once I created the logo and loved how it turned out I started to feel more positive about it. I’m actually in the process of making some Dare to Grow merch now, so it was a good reminder to hold off on worrying or judging the outcome before I’ve done the thing.
If you haven’t taken the time to look back on your year I encourage you to do so because I really thought this episode was going to be a bummer – like Ugh…do I really want to look back on this dumpster fire…that’s still kind of burning? But, I actually feel more positive about my year than I did when I started writing this. I am going to get out my journal and write out all my accomplishments because they might have been little compared to the difficulty of the bad stuff, but I’m still going, still showing up with a smile on my face, so I think I did okay.
And truly – having to show up for coaching calls and create content and trainings helped me get through this year. Even focusing on little dumb stuff like making TikTok videos got my creativity going and help me think about things outside of myself.
Whether you joined the membership, listened to a podcast episode, or even just hit like on a handful of posts I want you to know how much I appreciated it. When I’m having a shit day and someone DMs to say they just posted their first Reel it really does keep me going.
Thanks for listening and hanging out with me this year. I’m going to take a few weeks off and will be back with new episodes in January.
Also, I have to shout out Alison and Steve from Podcasting for Creatives who edit The Dare to Grow Show and make me sound so good every week. There would be no podcast without them. I would have never made it to episode 92 if I had to edit my own episodes. You can find them at @podcastingforcreatives on Instagram and podcastingforcreatives.com if a podcast is in your 2022 plan.
Hope you enjoy some time off and celebrate all you’ve gotten through and accomplished this year, and I hope you’ll continue to hang out with me next year so we can both continue to Dare to Grow.
Have a great rest of your year!