What an amazing year.
Truly. I knew I was going to end the year with a year in review post and podcast, but when I really started thinking about this year it kind of took my breath away. Both in my business and personal life, although the personal changes are really internal and probably not something most people on the outside looking in would be aware of. I absolutely LOVE reading other people’s year in review posts, hearing what worked and what DIDN’T work (not everyone is comfortable being that transparent, but for me it’s the only way now) and seeing what plans (if any yet) they have in store for 2014. I’ve already started planning for 2014 and will hitting the road running in January (more on that in a minute) but it’s unlike any other planning I’ve ever done. *On a side note: I have to tell you that when I was looking for an image for this post I wanted to find an image that not only showed what was in the rear view mirror (o.k., so it’s a sideview mirror in this picture, but you get the point. It still shows what is ‘behind’) but the current location as well. As in the present moment (you thought I was going to say looking ahead, huh?). Because that’s one thing that has shifted for me this year, in a BIG way. Really learning to be present. Focusing on the here and now, not what I should / could be doing, where I’m going OR expending energy on the past (when it doesn’t serve me). It’s honestly changed my life. Enough of that, let’s get onto the Review [divider top=”no”] I wish I could tell you that this was going to be a chronological review in terms of what occurred month by month, but that’s just not how I roll (you probabaly knew that already, right?). I’ll do my best to keep it somewhat organized and clear, just bear with me.
I launched the Podcast
Without a doubt I can tell you that launching the podcast was the BEST thing I did for my business in 2013. And easily the most FUN (if you’ve never watched my Manifesto, then check it out here… one of my commitments to myself was that if it’s Not Fun I’m Not Doing It. So the podcast blew me away on ALL fronts). I truly had no idea how much I would enjoy recording the podcast, writing the show notes and getting my message out to the world. The relationships that have come from the podcast via interviews and sharing of the podcast have not only opened doors for me but have simply enriched my life in ways I couldn’t imagine. The importance of building relationships in business is something you hear over and over again but until you put some serious effort into it you can’t quite imagine the impact it will have on things long term and how grateful you’ll be for the people that show up. In large part because of everything that has occurred through the podcast I’ve decided I’m going to launch another podcast with my new brand (KimDoyal.com, coming VERY soon) and teaching a podcasting course unlike anything else out there. More on that soon too. Podcasting is hardly new, but it’s still a GREAT time to get in and get started. To me it’s still a bit like the wild wild west and everyone has the opportunity to stake their claim.
This is something I sort of ‘fell into’ for lack of a better description, but it’s also taken things to a whole new level for me. Coaching is something I wanted to do but really wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it, how I would offer it and what I would charge. Fortunately for me I didn’t have to think too hard about this because someone emailed me asking if I did coaching?! Whaaaat? (See what happens when you start getting clear on what you want?) A subscriber of mine emailed me and asked if I did coaching so we set up a Skype call and talked about what she was looking for. Prior to our call she had sent me her site and some notes and I had an idea as to what I wanted to offer going into the call. The rest as they say is history. We set up a 3 month coaching plan with weekly calls. Then I decided to look for some ‘case studies’. And I ended up with two more coaching clients. One was a weekly call and the other was a bi-weekly call. With each call and client I became clearer on how I wanted to work with people, who I wanted to work with and what this would look like in the future. *Big Question & Disclaimer* First, the disclaimer. I honestly don’t think there is a one size fits all when it comes to coaching, yet that’s how many people run coaching programs (and where I had run into frustration with coaches in the past). I think some of that is because at one point it worked, but if you’re not changing how you do things you’re not really growing, are you? You can’t do the same type of marketing that worked 5 years ago and expect people to flock to you because you’re associated with a ‘guru’ or name. There are too many amazing people online to connect with, show someone how YOU’VE grown and changed over the years so they don’t feel the pressure to “get it right” the moment they start their business. Now the Big Question. How do you scale this? I’m only one person and there are only so many hours in the day. And trust me, if I’m on the phone all day everyday I will literally end up throwing things (o.k, maybe not literally throwing things, but I’ll certainly get pissy). Over the last couple of years I’ve developed a pretty consistent habit of working on my own content and working on projects that require me to be at my most creative in the morning. If I have a lot of calls somehow that seems to get derailed pretty quickly. I’m still working on the best solution and am going to try something different going into 2014 (I’ll announce that next week). I’ll continue the one to one coaching but will have to limit how many people I can work with at one time, so there will be a model of one-to-many, but I’m ironing out the details.
While I haven’t started on my taxes yet (yes, next year this will be done by someone else) I know one thing: I doubled my income last year. My passive income increased significantly as well, which is part of the bigger picture (and something I absolutely intend to increase in 2014) of why I do what I do. I also increased what I spend in my business. And not in terms of buying more plugins or shiny objects. I spent money on advertising. Game Changer. I have an interview for the podcast that will be airing SOON which shares the how and what of getting started with advertising and my good friend who opened a huge world of possibility for me (and someone I am truly grateful for). [divider top=”no”]
Here are a few questions I’ve taken from a post over at the Suitcase Entrepreneur (Natalie Sisson) that will sum up some of 2013. Q. What did I achieve in 2013 that I’m most proud of? A. The podcast, connecting with new people, trying new things even if they didn’t go as planned (plugin development.. ugh.) and trusting myself more with my business. Q. What am I grateful for in 2013? A. The relationships and connections I made and being able to do something I love EVERYDAY. Q. What did I learn about myself? A. That I’ve got this. Q. What worked really well in in 2013 that I want to bring into 2014? A. Putting myself out there more, connecting and engaging. Teaching & Training! I love doing it, I love creating it and intend to really step this up in 2014. Q. What didn’t work so well? A. Not trusting my gut. Whenever I ‘strayed’ from what I thought was best for me or didn’t put something out there because I was concerned about what other people would think it backfired. Every. Single. Time. Do I care what people think? Sure. But it’s not holding me back this year. There will always be snarky haters but they’re simply not worth the time & energy to engage with. Q. What can I do differently to improve these situations? A. Taking the time for myself first. Always. When I take the time to meditate (even just 10 minutes), exercise and feed my soul EVERYTHING in my life flows. Q. What am I letting go of or forgiving myself or others for which will bring more ease into my life/business? A. I’ve done a lot of work on myself the past few years and don’t really hold onto things the way I used to, but we all make mistakes. I’m not going to beat myself up for things that didn’t turn out the way I hoped (*ie, letting go of expectations) or balls that got dropped on projects. I’m bringing a project manager on board this year to remove the bottleneck (um, yea, that would be me) to keep things on schedule and moving. Q. How would I like to feel in 2014? A. Inspired and on purpose. Q. What do I want to achieve in 2014? A. Launch the new site (KimDoyal.com) and podcast -Add at least 5 new products for sale (a split between this site & the new site. So probably 3 here and 2 there. One is already in the works for the new brand). -Track and measure what’s working, what’s not working and leverage what’s working (I sort of did that this past year, but I’ll be more strategic about it). -Attend 3 -4 events. I’m attending a Mastermind in San Diego the third week in January followed by the Traffic & Conversion Summit, so I’m starting the year off with event #1. AND… I’m selecting the events I attend based on what I need to focus on in my business. I debated on attending New Media Expo in Las Vegas the first week in Jan. (I haven’t gone and have wanted to attend for the last few years) but I knew that the Traffic & Conversion Summit was what my business needs more.
Joined a Mastermind
I’ve joined a few different Mastermind groups in the past but the one I’m in that focuses on Facebook advertising is like nothing else I’ve ever been in. And not just because of the content or focus of the group, but because of the level that everyone in this group is ‘playing’ at. I’m not referring solely to income here, but everyone in this group is committed to showing up fully in their lives and businesses, truly supports one another and is always there to help each other. You’ll be hearing more about this in future episodes of the podcast (I’ve got an interview with the founder, Adam Spiel, already in the can & ready to go for an upcoming episode) as well as my report back after our live Mastermind meeting in San Diego at the end of the month.
My life is never dull, truly. And 2013 was no different. Outside of my pool leak and the normal joys of home ownership (I hope you’re sensing the sarcasm here..) the kids and I had a pretty nice year. We had some goodbyes (lost my grandfather in April and our beloved dog in early December), but we also had some amazing adventures (a trip to Scotland in the fall, my daughter is a licensed driver with her own car and my son is now a teenager). The rest of my family is doing great so for that I’m truly grateful. I didn’t get to see my girlfriends as often as I’d like to (this was the first year we didn’t have a weekend getaway, at all!) so I intend to change that in 2014. I’ve also been blessed with some amazing new friendships online this past year and hope to meet as many of these people in person as possible in 2014. I’ll keep you posted on that too. I also managed to tile my office myself… something I’ll never do again, but have to admit I’m pretty proud of the job (although it’s not a good idea to stop tiling midday to get your hair done… just sayin). Besides seeing my girlfriends more in 2014 I’m ready to get myself back into the dating pool… or at least be open to it. Being a full time single parent and business owner my time is pretty limited but I know for the right person it won’t feel like I have to ‘make time’. I’ll simply want to. I also intend to do more traveling this year. Scotland was an amazing trip and I’m ready for another stamp on the passport (and truth be told, probably some trips sans kids, as awesome as they are a little time away is good for everyone). SO… That’s it. That’s my year in review and a look at what’s in store for 2014. I’d love to hear what some of your biggest takeaways from 2013 were and what you hope to do in 2014. Happy New Year everyone and as always, Thanks for coming along on this journey with me. I wouldn’t be here without you. Much love, Kim