Have you taken the time to assess how you've bloomed this year?
The end of 2021 is just around the corner.
Which means the end of my first year in business is just around the corner. And what a year it’s been!
I’m a big advocate of keeping track of our wins. It keeps our mindset in the right shape. It shows us our progress towards our bigger goals, towards our dreams. It teaches our brain to look for the positive and not just the problems it loves to focus on.
Before a session, my clients fill in a pre-game form. Two of the questions on there are “What have been your biggest wins since our last session?” and “What learning point have you had since our last session?”. When we start working together, my clients struggle with these questions.
A couple of sessions in? They love them. Particularly the wins question. At some point between months two and three I get a comment about how much they enjoy filling this form in because it makes them realise just how much they’ve accomplished in the last two weeks.
I keep track of my wins and learning points weekly, with a monthly note in my planner ( this one’s my favourite, https://amzn.to/3yL98id ). So, looking back at these, here’s how my 2021 has gone:
I’m still in business! That’s no small feat this year – the number of self-employed people in the UK has dropped by 8.6% this year. All of my fellow self-employed people out there, give yourself a pat on the back!
The results my clients get. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. From “I wouldn’t be where I am now without you” to “I feel like I’ve been given the keys to adulthood for the first time”, my clients have thrived. I realise that can read as a bit arrogant, but I’m just the guide. They’re the ones that have knuckled down and done the work. They’ve taken the advice I give them and made the changes, no matter how much it’s pained them to do so. For my life coaching and RTT clients, well, I am in awe of the hard work they’ve done to get past some horrific trauma and come out the other side feeling healed and whole.
I love what I do. Seriously, every minute I spend with a client lights me up. I’ve had jobs I’ve loved before but nothing that leaves me feeling so fulfilled. All throughout my working career, being useful to my employer has been a biggie for me. Delivering value is definitely high on my values list.
Resolute to healing. In January, I set my word of the year as “resolute”. It seemed appropriate for my first year running my own business. As December draws to a close, the best word that reflects this year is “healing”. Mine and my clients. For my own, I owe a huge debt to finding Rapid Transformational Therapy and Caroline Britton, a phenomenal energy coach. The work I’ve done with helping women heal from their wounds has made me realise that this is the area I really want to focus on next year. I’m so excited that the first new programme I’ll be releasing in the new year is for Inner Child Healing.
What it's all about. This year has proven to me that I’m not just building a business. I’m building my legacy. That’s an amazing gift the universe has given me.
Facing up to failure. My first programme tanked. Big time. I hadn’t even started marketing it when I got my first client so I thought I was on to a winner. She got great results but as we went along, I quickly realised that the framework I had created for this programme wasn’t right and wasn’t what we worked on. I made a classic mistake – I sold what I thought was needed instead of what my audience wanted.
Building an audience is hard. Harder than I thought it would be. But wow – there’s a ton of noise out there isn’t there?
I’ve thrown some money away. I’ve invested in systems I didn’t really need. Bought a few programmes I never finished. I have a real litmus test now before I invest in anything.
The buck stopping with me. What do you mean I can’t bitch about management?
Social media. Mostly the amount of time I’ve spent on social media. And boy have I come to hate social media. I hate the way we’re pushed to feel the need to follow a ton of “rules” to feed the algorithm gods. I saw someone on LinkedIn talking about not seeing his daughter in the morning anymore because he was spending an hour or more on LI commenting on other people’s posts before and after doing his own to increase his chances of being seen. Nothing should make us feel that and I’ve started scaling back on my posts and throwing out the “rulebook”. Not that the rules seem to matter anymore, everyone on Instagram (yep, even the big accounts) are complaining about engagement right now.
Lights. Camera. Action. Me. On camera. Doing lives. Fumbling my way through learning reels. And Instagram stories. I’m getting better but I started from a pretty low bar.
I’ve not always listened to my gut. And it’s cost me. I worked with a coach early in the year. I knew what she was offering me wasn’t what I needed. I knew as well that she wasn’t where I wanted to be. But my decision came from a place of desperation (remember that programme I said tanked?). Cue a cool grand down the toilet. Lessons learned? Always listen to my gut. Never buy from someone who approaches you in the DM’s before you get to know them better. Never buy when you’re feeling desperate – bad juju man.
I'm not enamored with the whole coaching industry. This is a biggie to admit because I’ve not really talked about it out loud until my new coach picked up on it two weeks ago. I’m struggling with what to call myself. I’m struggling with the word “coach”. Because I’m struggling with the coaching industry. I hate the focus on “easy money”. So many people out there make me think they’re coming from the same place as PT Barnum – “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
I mean, in what other industry do you see people making a successful business out of teaching people in their industry how to make seven figures two months after starting their business? I’ve got a client right now who’s worked with two business coaches but never been taught how to read a P&L or create a cashflow budget for her brick-and-mortar business. I’m tired of seeing 24-year-olds crowing on social media about charging clients £15k for a six-week programme on “magnetically attracting clients”.
Plus, the healing work I’ve been doing this year isn’t as hands-off as the concept of true coaching. This is something I’ll be spending a bit of time mulling over the next few weeks.
Dear 2021, it's time to get packing
Like all the rest of you who have started a business this year, I’m finishing 2021 a bit bruised, a bit wiser.
My biggest takeaway from this year is this – pride. I’m proud of myself for taking the leap, for sticking with it when it would have been a lot easier to head back to corporate, proud of the work I’ve done with my clients this year.
Here’s my Christmas message for my fellow freshmen – take a few minutes to reflect on this year. And then take some time to be proud of everything you’ve learned and achieved as a newbie business owner!