I’ve been writing annual review posts for a while now: 2011 / 2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 (not sure where this post has gone!) / 2018 / 2019 / 2020
And of course this year is no different! Today I’m going to share what I got up to in 2021 and some of my plans for 2022. I find this process really helpful, quite cathartic and I hope that you also find what I share helpful for you too.
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January – March
About 3 days into the New Year the UK was placed in another full lockdown and when I look back at that time I just remember how hard that period was. Freya had just turned 1 and wasn’t sleeping very well, I was exhausted, I was attempting (and failing) to home school Finley while also keeping my business going. It was all just really bloody difficult. At the time I was powering through but when I look back I know my mental health was taking a battering.
However, business wise I was cracking on as best I could. I launched my new website at the start of the year and that really felt like a big step because it was the first time I was really saying ‘I’m a business mentor’ and making that my main thing after being a health coach for so many years.
In February I did my paid live training, Pinterest Magic which I loved delivering and that I got fantastic feedback on.
Behind the scenes we were getting stuck into decluttering and sorting the house. We re-decorated Finley’s room and got started on Freya’s room.
In March, I ran a challenge on Creating Your Aligned Offer which was brilliant. I had a really active Facebook group of over 80 people and it was just super fun to run. The challenge led into an offer to join Wholehearted Business – my 6 month group programme. However, that launch didn’t go as well as I’d hoped and it made me relook at how the group programme was structured and positioned in my business.
April – June
In April I joined Impacting Millions on the back of an affiliate offer from Elizabeth Goddard. I’ve been in her Profitable Playground high ticket group programme all year and her affiliate bonuses for IM were wild! Though to be honest, looking back I really haven’t gotten a lot out of that programme, Lizzie’s bonuses however have been brilliant so I don’t really have any regrets. However it does make me very wary of signing up for what is essentially an online course with such a high ticket price. It really needs to be a fucking amazing course to justify a $2000 price tag.
In this quarter I also advertised for a new Virtual Assistant! I had been working with the amazing Jo for several years, however she was wanting to focus on a specific kind of business so we decided to part ways and I’m happy to say I’m now working with two wonderful VA’s Gemma and Hya. Having this support in my business has been such a game changer.
Another thing I did in April was run another paid live training which was Enchanting Challenges, again I loved doing this and the training was really well received.
In May, I reopened Wholehearted Business just to the waitlist after making a few tweaks to the programme and it was much more successful this time and a couple of new people joined.
In June I ran a 4 week live round of a new programme Blog School. Usually I wouldn’t have taken something straight to the live round stage but I knew that this programme was going to be pretty in depth and really actionable. Again, I just loved doing this programme, I love blogging and I know that the way I approach it and how it all works for coaching businesses gets results.
On the home side of things we did our garden out which has made a massive difference to our lifestyle as we spent a lot more time outdoors.
July – September
July and August were mostly off for the summer and it was glorious. I worked a few hours a week but most of my time was with the kids.
Freya still went to nursery a couple of days and Finley and I would often go to the beach early, have breakfast and a swim and then come home and I’d work in the afternoon while he would draw and play. It was wonderful and really brought home to me how much I love the freedom I get from working for myself – I know that’s a bit of a coach cliche but I’ve worked hard to create that over the last few years and I really enjoyed the impact of that in my life over the summer.
I ran a flash sale in August around my birthday (totally forgot to mention this in the podcast / video above) which was ok but didn’t break any records income wise.
At the end of August we went on holiday up the Northumberland Coast (as has been our tradition the last couple of years) stayed in an Airbnb and just had a wonderful time.
September was super busy. I took part in a bundle with Infostack called Coach to Profit and that went really well. A bundle is where you offer one of your courses or programmes into a bundle with other coaches / online business owners and that bundle is then sold for a massively discounted price. You are often an affiliate so still make money when you promote it but the main way you benefit is by growing your email list. That was my first experience of being in a regular bundle and it worked really well in terms of adding people onto my list.
Then later in September I ran a challenge called Get Booked which was based on getting more clients. That wasn’t as successful as the first challenge I ran in March but I still had some participants who were really engaged. That led into my Wholehearted Business Group Programme again, and this time, unlike the first time in March it was much more successful. Several new people joined and alongside other offers I had my first £10K month this year.
I also hit 5000 followers on IG. While I’m not too bothered about numbers like that, it did feel nice to see some growth on there after being so much more consistent with it since the start of the year.
October – December
Right at the start of October I launched The Wholehearted Business Show and it’s been one of my favourite business things I’ve done all year. I absolutely love creating this unique, multi channel show for heart centred humans growing coaching businesses!
The show has steadily been growing since it launched. The podcast is getting around 100 downloads a week, YouTube views are increasing and people are still reading here on the blog too!
In October I ran a live round of my Priceless Power Hours programme (the course formerly known as Dream Discovery Calls). That went well and I enjoyed running it.
I also had a really fun trip to London. Pre covid times I used to visit London maybe once or twice a year for businessy things. It was so good to be back! The first event was a PR day that was an affiliate bonus from when I’d bought Impacting Millions in April. The second day was a meet up with people from Elizabeth Goddards Facebook community. Both were fab and it was awesome to meet up with people I’d known online IRL like Welly and of course Elizabeth who I’ve known online for years!
In November I created a new programme Super Simple Passive Income which teaches people how to create their first small digital product, that was a lot of fun and it’s a lower cost programme at £27 / $37 however I didn’t sell loads – I’ll share a bit more on this when I get to the lessons I learned this year. I also did a kind of Black Friday offer on Enchanting Challenges as I’m running a live round in January, that went ok but again, I have a lot of thoughts on Black Friday and how that all came together that I’ll share in a moment!
In December I created a quick little programme – Notion Planning Templates for Coaches. I’ve really fallen in love with Notion this year (if you’re not familiar with it, it’s an online workspace that’s super customizable) I created some templates based on what I use personally to manage everything business and made it into a low cost offer.
I also took part in Lizzy’s Christmas Party (a kind of bundle) with Pinterest Magic (now a full course) in the paid goodie bag.
And that pretty much brings us up to date!
As well as the different paid live trainings and courses and programmes, my main offer is my Thrive 1:1 Business Mentoring Programme and my Design and Mentoring Programmes. I’ve significantly increased my prices for my 1:1 over the year and that has been quite a big deal for me as it’s really linked into my confidence.
I’ve worked with some incredible humans this year as clients and I feel so grateful for each and every one of them. It’s always exciting to me to see how much they achieve and to see the potential they have going forward. I know some people scale out of 1:1 work completely but I don’t think that could ever be me, I love 1:1 work so much!
Lessons I learned in 2021
Blimey, I feel like I learned so much this year.
I did A LOT in 2021, and looking back probably too much. I wanted to create all these programmes and it felt good to create my ‘playground’ but I think at times it was too much and particularly towards the end of the year things felt very squeezed and I don’t think that was very good for my community either in terms of lots of offers coming at them almost constantly. I’m not afraid of selling and I offer a lot of great free quality content for people so I don’t mind making offers, but yeah, it just felt a bit squished. I like spaciousness, but I’m also hyper creative (is that a thing?) so that is definitely something I want to work on next year.
It’s ok to tweak stuff. I’ve said this a few times but seeing things as experiments in my business has been so helpful. I could have freaked out when my first launch for WBP didn’t work, but instead I reflected, tweaked and now it’s an amazing programme that works really well for those in it and it works for me delivering it. I’m so excited to continue to grow it in 2022.
Increasing prices. I did a fair few price increases this year and feel really good about that. I know my shit is good and I feel the price properly reflects the value I offer. So much of this has linked to my confidence. In the past I’ve really struggled with feeling good enough (not just in business but everything really) but this year something has shifted. I don’t know if it’s getting older or what but I’m taking it as a win!
I didn’t really like the whole Black Friday thing this year. It was an experiment, I wasn’t mad about it but I don’t think I’d do it again in a rush.
Lower expectations while we’re in a pandemic and you have a very small child – the lockdown at the start of the year really did make it hard to be as present in my business as I would have liked. I also have a very small child and an older one too. Just because other business owners with kids can do it doesn’t mean I have to. I didn’t quite hit my income goal this year, for several different reasons but a large one of which I feel is simply not having the headspace I would ideally have liked due to the raging pandemic and lack of childcare. And that’s ok. I think what I’m learning is that for me, in this season of life I need to give myself a fucking break. I still did really well!
My income this year was £54,254 which I am super pleased with. But it’s not even so much the final number that matters, I’ve been able to increase what I pay myself, I’ve taken money out of the business to pay for things like the garden and I’m really just in that place where my business is showing up for me in so many brilliant ways. Working 20 hours a week on a full time equivalent wage rocks.
So much changed for me and my business this year, I can really see how to make this number grow sustainably going forward.
Life wise things have been really good in 2021, we did lots to the house, as you may have guessed my home is really important to me and decor brings me a lot of joy. We also spent a lot more time outside, we bought a National Trust pass and that has helped us be a bit more adventurous!
I’ve also made massive progress with paying off debt. I mentioned this in last year’s review as something I really wanted to work towards. I’ve been able to halve my debt via paying it down and putting some of it onto the mortgage on a much lower interest rate which has freed up a lot of my monthly expenses.
I joined the Peloton app (not the bike though, I just use my old spin bike!) and that helped me be much more consistent with exercise.
Overall 2021 was a good one, not without its challenges but I feel like it laid a foundation for what’s to come in 2022.
So what have I got planned for 2022? Well first of all I want to remind myself of the lessons I learned above. There are still a lot of things I’d like to create and do in my business but I am trying to leave a lot more white space.
The key things I’d like to focus on is continuing to work with clients 1:1 in my Thrive Mentoring Programme and Wholehearted Business Programme as well as my design and mentoring offerings.
Something I slipped into last year was working with people just on their websites because I’m someone who does WordPress but I don’t tend to enjoy these projects as much as the ones where I’m actively mentoring people around their actual businesses alongside the design work so that’s something I’d like to let go of in 2022.
I’d like to create a couple of new paid live trainings / course offerings, one definitely on how to run a multi channel content show (like The Wholehearted Business Show) and one possibly on all things Email Lists and something which maybe absorbs / builds on the Soul Centred Planning Process which is more organisation / productivity focused.
I’ll be retiring a couple of old courses as well which I don’t feel are working for me anymore.
I’ll be focusing lots on growing The Wholehearted Business show and I’d like to do more research on YouTube to support that. I’m also looking to speak with an SEO expert / strategist to give me some advice on what to do with my older wellbeing related content that still gets tons of views. I know a lot about SEO but I really need someone elses input!
I’ll still be using Pinterest and Instagram but I’ll be focusing more energy on creating short form videos to use as Reels and Idea Pins to support my strategy on those platforms.
I’ll be creating a completely new set of freebies and sales funnels to my courses and offerings, plus I would like to upgrade to Thrivecart at some point although the whole admin side of that is a bit overwhelming!
There’s also a few ideas I have around improving my onboarding and offboarding process for my clients too.
And finally I’d also like to run a summit!
I’ve seen a few people run them really successfully and I love the idea of it but in all honesty it feels really scary. At the moment I’m playing with the idea of a summit / challenge hybrid that is really collaborative but we’ll see where that idea goes!
Realistically, given the still very uncertain situation with Covid I’m not going to put myself under any pressure to break any income records but I’d love to hit £60k this year which I do feel is doable. Stay tuned!
On the personal side there’s a few things I’d like to focus on.
Health wise I just need to invest more time. I’ve really struggled over the years since I had kids to prioritise my health and it’s been so easy to slip into unhelpful habits. I know what works for me in terms of food and movement, I just need to do it. I also need to be super mindful of my social media use as I know that affects my mental health. This year I started to understand that I have high functioning anxiety which thankfully doesn’t impact things like my relationships and work but obviously really negatively impacts how I feel at times and that’s something I would like to get a handle on.
For our home, the big project is creating an office! I’ve wanted a dedicated office space ever since we moved in but we’ve never had the space. Now we have some money set aside to either convert the garage or put a roof on the conservatory so fingers crossed that will be happening in 2022! That also means we’ll have a dining space that is just a dining space and can make some tweaks to the living room as well.
When it comes to money it’s just continuing what I’ve been doing. I can pay off a large chunk of debt and then by the end of 2023 we should be consumer debt free (we accrued debt when we moved into our current home because our previous 1 bed flat was in negative equity – fun times!)
A couple of specific things I’d like to do next year is learn how to use Procreate as I’m getting a new iPad for Christmas, buy some new outdoor equipment for the kids to use the garden even more, have a getaway with James and I already have two nights away with the girls planned as well.
I also turn 40 next year which feels like a big milestone and it would be nice to plan a big party around that too. My Mam turns 60 a few days after my birthday and when we were 30/50 we had a joint fancy dress party so perhaps that will happen again!