So in full disclosure, this recap is inspired by Paige Brunton’s annual post that goes over what she made, what worked out for her, and what didn’t (see hers for this year!). I love the transparency she shows — it’s such an amazing resource for other entrepreneurs! This year I’ve decided to really showcase what goes on behind-the-scenes so everyone (including me!) gets to learn from my challenges and my wins in my first year full-time. Here we go!
My year in revenue:
So let’s talk about money for a second. While I don’t feel comfortable talking about the exact numbers, I think it’s entirely helpful for other entrepreneurs (and entrepreneurs-to-be) to see the truth of making money as an entrepreneur.
So you can easily see the beginning of the year was slow for me. I was fresh to the scene and hadn’t started gaining traction yet. In fact, after I started gaining traction I lost some. And then gained some, and then gained some more. And then lost more. (And am now gaining even more again in 2019)
It’s not a linear line. It never will be. Good news: I didn’t go bankrupt. Bad news: I was only riding on one service option until September, when the book club launched. And that’s one thing I’ll be changing in the new year: adding new offerings and growing my business in new and exciting ways.
My year in marketing:
In 2018, I blogged about once a week throughout the entire year (with the exception of December, which I took off from blogging). In June, I started sending out a weekly newsletter full of blog post information, amazing content from around the web, and inspirational stories. From June to December, my email list quadrupled and this is where I plan to put my energy moving forward.
But where the real magic happened? In person first, on Instagram second. My clients primarily come from personal connections, community, and meetup groups. Secondly, my Instagram followers have tripled in the past year and it’s where the second major group of my clients came from. It makes it easy to know where to put my energy next.
My year in feels:
Now let’s take a look at how I felt about 2018. What was money well spent, what wasn’t, where I enjoyed devoting my time, where I didn’t. What did I avoid doing, what would have made my year better.
Time/money well spent:
Hilary’s Rushford’s Instagram with Intention program
Networking as much as I can (Tuesdays Together, BA Women, Twin Cities Collective, etc).
Hipreneur U for SEO
Starting the Entrepreneur Book Club
Redoing my website copy to really niche down to working with entrepreneurs
Taking in a roommate! Helped with the isolation that can come from running your own business, and also wayyy cheaper than living in a two bedroom alone unnecessarily
Controversial to say, but Marie Forleo’s B School (while helpful) was not worth the full price to me, most likely due to my marketing and coaching background. While I got some info out of it, my personal experience was nowhere near worth what I spent.
Honeybook. It just wasn’t the right content management system for my line of work and I ended up getting a full refund for the software. I went with Dubsado instead and will set it up in 2019.
Honestly, too much television. It was definitely a major time suck this year, and was primarily used as a distraction more than anything else.
This year I enjoyed:
Working with clients. Always, always, always
Networking and meeting with other entrepreneurs
The truth of owning your own business. Hard work and all
The entrepreneur book club. Seriously, it’s so much fun and I love it so much
Becoming more and more authentic with who I am in every area of my life. Career, friends, health, family, style, etc
This year I did not enjoy:
Self-doubt and fear
Honestly, being self-insured (not the most fun)
What I avoided doing but should have done:
Really narrowed in on building my email list
Launching Business 101 coaching
Being truly unapologetic and getting real visible with my business
Upcoming changes for 2019:
Looking back on the last year as been enlightening and inspiring, but more than anything it’s made me realize just how far I’ve come. In December of 2017, I had no paying clients. In December of 2018, I was in the middle of a decently steady month. My business looks so different than anything I could have ever imagined.
In 2018, I established myself as a one-on-one coach in the Twin Cities and launched the entrepreneur book club. So in 2019, I plan to expand my revenue streams and marketing technique. Big goals, and big commitment, but that’s the name of the game.
So cheers to 2019! How do you review your business years? Share in the comments below, or join the party on my Instagram and share there: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/
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