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2022 in Review: What Worked? What Didn’t Work? Lessons learned.

What a year! It was challenging and beautiful, hard, unexpected, and full of delight. Is this toddler life? 

First I just want to say thankyou. Thank you for taking the time to read this review, for supporting our business and our family. This year has made me so aware and grateful for the absolute privilege to own our own business, work as a family, and have the amazing clients/students we have! Thank you! 

What Worked?! 

From watching Miss Madelyn take her first steps to launching a podcast, so many wonderful things have happened in both our business and our lives this year. I want to highlight three big wins: 

1) The podcast!

Launching Consider the Wildflowers has been such a big win. I love getting to host this show and it feels like such a privilege to have business owners share their stories with me and our listeners each week. I learn so much from each episode and always walk away with a nugget of wisdom or encouragement. 

Related : Top Five Episodes of 2022 Podcast Recap 

2) Launching our new membership, The Money Club!

We are currently beta testing a new mastermind/membership program that we plan to open to the public in 2023! I wanted to create a space to continue working with my students on a monthly basis: a place for accountability on goals, to talk about business ups and downs, and of course to ask questions about money! It’s like having a financial advisor on speed dial and a group of business besties to bounce ideas off of. 

I know I’m biased, but I’m convinced our community is one of a kind. It’s full of incredible entrepreneurs working diligently to build profitable and sustainable businesses while also creating a flourishing home life. Being able to spend time with these humans weekly/monthly is so wonderful. 

Not only that, it has been the perfect offer/revenue stream to add to our company in this season of toddler life. A huge win for our students: education and accountability at a sustainable pace and affordable price-point. A huge win for the company: steady income, scalable, and a sustainable work-load for me.  I’m excited to see where it goes in 2023! 

3) Fully updated my goal-setting program, My Blueprint Year.

While I’m primarily known for being “the money gal” and have two programs fully dedicated to finances, I have a third program that is a passion of mine. Goal Setting/ Annual Planning! A way to live intentionally throughout the year and (Shhh.. don’t tell the others), it’s my favorite! This year we fully updated the program, expanded the curriculum, and reformatted the companion guide to be a fully printable one-year business journal with prompts for living on purpose, tracking progress towards goals, and business stats throughout the year. It’s like my brain on paper and I love it. I’m so proud of all the updates and can’t wait to get My Blueprint Year in the hands of more entrepreneurs! 

Resource Mentioned: My Blueprint Year

What didn’t work? 

1) Relying on big launches to fund our sales goal.

Since 2016 our main source of income has come from launching our signature program The Blueprint Model. I’ve known for a while now that I don’t want our income to hinge on one or two big launches a year and have been working to create more consistent sales. I’m proud that we made a lot of progress toward that goal in 2022, but consistent monthly revenue continues to be my #1 business goal in 2023. 

Related: Looking Ahead: My Goals for 2023 

2) Basing personal salary on unreached business goals.

When our second big launch didn’t go as expected, this put us in a tight cash flow situation personally. This has shifted how I’m setting our personal salary this year as well as business goals (more on that below).

Related: Behind our Latest Launch: What Worked, What Didn’t, What We’re Changing Moving Forward.

3) Inconsistent working hours.

Between not finding a daycare for Madelyn or a full-time nanny, and not being able to rely on our part-time childcare… we struggled to find childcare this year. Work came second most of the time leaving me feeling behind most of the time. Forced to work unhealthy hours (read late at night) and rushing to meet deadlines. Toward the end of 2022, we finally figured out a better rhythm. Now I’m working through my “time-bank” exercise (if you’ve taken The Blueprint Model, you know!) to determine how much work is realistic in the hours I have to give. 

4) Not making time for myself.

Reading, working out, eating well. It was few and far between this year. If I’m not with Madelyn, I feel like I should be working. If I’m with Madelyn, I feel like I need to be with her. I have felt guilt utilizing the YMCA childcare or even letting her play independently so I can throw in a load of laundry. I’m recognizing that I thrive in outlined boundaries and clear expectations. I want to better define how I want to show up as a mom, and also hope that with more consistent work hours the evenings will return to actual “down” time. 

 

What I’m taking into 2023: 

1) Sales & Marketing Strategy Shift.

After taking 2020 off, I did *not* expect it would take years to get back to our “normal” revenue numbers nor did I anticipate how much the industry has changed the past two years. And boy, has it changed! I absolutely *love* what I do and I love helping more entrepreneurs do what they love doing! That’s why we are tearing our marketing strategy (and selling model) down to the studs and rebuilding it— to serve more people while staying true to our personal life values and time availability in this season. Fingers crossed it works, I’ll report back! 

2) Living within our means.

If I were to “Shanna” my business, I would tell myself that expecting to double your sales every year is unrealistic. Yet I’ve based our personal salary and projected business sales goal on huge leaps in sales the past couple of years. The reality hit hard when I ran our own home budget numbers… we are paying ourselves like its 2019 yet the business hasn’t generated that kind of $$ in three years. Instead of living off income we aren’t *yet* generating, this year I am basing our personal income off of a business sales goal I can confidently expect to sell (last year’s sales number). I don’t want to be in another cash flow nightmare personally or in the business. In my business finance program, The Blueprint Model I teach my students to set a “need, want, and reach for the stars” sales numbers. I am doing the same. While we are still setting our goals high, I’m basing our personal salary off a very low, conservative business sales projection. 

3) Optimizing!

My almost word of the year. Doubling down on what’s working, optimizing our content, growing our audience and hopefully reaching more business owners who need the courses we already have. While something new always feels shiny and exciting, I want to go deep on what we’re already doing! Focusing on SEO, optimizing Pinterest, and overhauling all of our sales funnels. We are putting a lot of time, energy, and money into content creation and now I want to make sure we’re optimizing the back end so more people actually see that content! 

4) Hiring (and asking for) Help!

ICYMI, we’re hiring! I want to be better at delegating this year and using my limited work hours toward only things I can do, outsource the rest! Same personally, we are looking at how we could have more time for things we love and outsource the rest. Of course this requires the funds to do so, which means we are looking at our business and personal budgets to see where spending money to outsource is worth the time we get back. 

5) Expect the Unexpected.

This year I anticipated everything going as planned. We would have a full-time nanny and incredible sales. When those two things didn’t happen I felt stuck in an impossible situation of needing to work more to bring in more income while simultaneously having less time to work. This year I am dialing down my task list to the most important and impactful, and bumping deadlines up well before they’re due so I’m working ahead and not rushed. 

6) Being Fully Present Where I am.

This past year has been extremely challenging because I’ve felt distracted and overwhelmed and stretched most of the time. I look back with gratitude for how much time I’ve gotten to spend with my family and I know that is such a gift, but I also see a girl with a mushy brain and jumbled thoughts. While I wish I was one of those people who can seamlessly integrate life and business, I am recognizing that I need hard boundaries and clear expectations for both. Thriving for me means being fully present in whatever it is I’m doing, and while in some ways that’s likely a pipe dream, I want to work to set myself up for success as a business owner, a wife, a mama and a friend. That means undistracted work time (do I need to leave the house?), planning my days with Madelyn, time for myself, and time for Kyle. Wish me luck!

7) Count My Blessings.

As a over-achieving perfectionist married to an over-achieving analytical perfectionist, it’s easy in our household to see opportunities for improvement. As they say, your biggest strength can also be your biggest weakness. For me this manifests its ugly little head in that I can get stuck seeing how far I need to or want to go, and don’t stop to celebrate PROGRESS often enough. One of my favorite books of the year (and yes, it’s a children’s book) reminded me of the importance of our attitude and perspective. Just the last few weeks I’ve been focusing more on celebrating progress instead of the destination and I’m telling you, I can already see the difference focusing on gratitude has made. Something I’m taking into 2023 for sure! I use this one line a day journal to document happy moments and Val Marie’s yearly journal. Love both!

By the Numbers:  Business

  • 177 new students 
  • 8 one-on-one clients 
  • 4 Team Members: 2 Full time Team Members (Kyle and Shanna!), 2 Contractors (virtual assistant, copywriter)
  • 1 team retreat to Chattanooga
  • 1165 hours worked
  • 22 Hours Avg work per week. 
  • Personal income $134 per working hour
  • 1 in-person Speaking Event
  • 7 Features : 4 Podcast interviews, 2 Mastermind Speaking events, 1 youtube/blog feature
  • 54 blogs written
  • 25 Podcast Episodes
  • 5 Student Spotlights
  • 1600 avg website users per month.
  • 4285 avg page views per month

By the Numbers:  Personal

  • 6 trips taken 
  • 2 concerts 
  • 1 lake day
  • Countless trips to the pool and splash pad
  • 1 wedding attended
  • Celebrated 3 high school graduates
  • Countless family walks
  • Not enough family bike rides
  • 10+ date nights
  • 1 Vols football game
  • 2 cars sold
  • 1 car purchased
  • 1 room wallpapered
  • 1 Basement addition completed
  • 4 Visits to Dollywood
  • 2 Family photoshoots
  • 700+ xs rocking Madelyn to sleep
  • Thousands of memories made

Related: Our 2022 in Pictures

I always love looking back at the year that’s been, it reminds me of all that WAS accomplished, all the MEMORIES made, and all the good that is to be celebrated! If you want to conduct your own End of Year Review, you can snag my free guide, here.

xo.

Shanna

 

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December 31, 2022

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