Lessons Learned in 2022 & my improvement plan for 2023

Hello friend!

How are you?

I will be honest with you. My 2022 didn’t come out as good as I would expect especially in terms of the financial goals. However, I did learn some valuable lessons that I am willing to take and improve in 2023 trusting it will help me turn things around.

Today, I want to share with you these lessons and how I plan to enhance my business.

Lessons Learned in 2022

1) You are your most important customer.

As a small business owner, you need to generate new leads consistently if you want to survive in the market.

For way too long I was hiding behind my client’s backs focusing on helping their businesses to grow and forgetting about my own. And I am not saying I shouldn’t be dedicated to the projects I take on. I learned that looking after my own business is just as important. I believe that ignoring this fact led me to financial inconsistency and unnecessary stress.
I kept making the same mistake: once I took on a new client, I wasn’t working on finding another one to secure the income flow.

HOW I PLAN TO IMPROVE
In 2023 I commit to spending half of my time working on my client’s projects and half of my time on my own business – reaching out to new clients or asking for referrals, networking, creating content, social media planning, online marketing, advertising, etc.

2) CONSISTENCY, no matter what, is the key to recognition and ultimate business growth

My most successful clients were those who dedicated their time to creating content consistently. EVERY DAY they would post on social media, at least once a week they would write an article on their website, once a week they would send an email newsletter to their subscribers and once a month they would run an online masterclass or workshop or create any other piece of content (eBook, mini-course, lead magnet)

I don’t create content for my clients because that is more authentic and genuine. I only help with distribution and promotion. But when it comes to my own business, I do both (at least for now). And I must admit that I suffer from the “post & ghost” syndrome.
I put myself out there consistently for 2 weeks and then stop and repeat the cycle over and over. This strategy is not sustainable, nor does it bring ANY results.

HOW I PLAN TO IMPROVE
In 2023 I plan to learn from my customers (!) and be consistent with creating content. No matter what I will dedicate my time to:

  • Post on social media EVERY DAY (I will create a schedule ahead for 2-4 weeks using tools like Canva, Metricol, Later)
  • Send email newsletter EVERY WEEK (at the moment I use MailerLite)
  • Write a blog article EVERY WEEK and eventually repurpose it into other content like video, podcast, Reel/Shorts or carousel post, newsletter, mini-course, eBook, or workshop.

That is an absolute minimum for my content creation and NO MATTER WHAT I will be extremely dedicated in 2023 to stick to the plan.

3) Having T&C in place is a must!

When I worked full-time as a PA, I remember my boss was very particular about writing contracts with each client, contractor, or business partner. He would check every sentence, word, and paragraph and run it through his lawyer several times. When I asked him: “why to bother?”, he said: Magda, you sign contracts for the bad times not for the good times.
And he’s so right.

I tend to build my business on trust and choose my clients wisely following my gut feeling about people. I want to work with those who share my values and at least in most cases would act in similar manners. But sometimes you can’t predict everything. Things might go smoothly and suddenly shit hits the fan. When you don’t have at least T&C in place it’s your word against theirs and you ought to find yourself in a difficult and uncomfortable position.

I want to run my business for real and avoid any risks as much as possible. Things might go smoothly and suddenly sh*t hits the fan. Sometimes it takes just one situation to turn things badly.

HOW I PLAN TO IMPROVE

I will have a T&C in place and before taking on any new projects or selling a digital project I will make sure people acknowledge what are the terms and conditions of working with me, especially when it comes to payments and delivery.

4) Manage your energy, not just your time.

For the past year, I was observing my levels of energy throughout the month. I wouldn’t say that hormones dictate my life, but I am sensitive to changes in my body depending on which cycle phase I am in. I wasted enough time forcing myself to work on projects when I didn’t feel aligned with my body’s natural state, for example pushing myself into social situations when all I wanted was peace and quiet and creative contemplation in my own company. It led me to frustration, procrastination, and projects piling up because I was trying to complete the wrong ones at that time.

HOW I PLAN TO IMPROVE
I will plan each month depending on the menstrual cycle I am in. Around my ovulation I feel most energised, social, and fearless – this is the best time to create ahead, especially video content, promote my products and services (because my inner critic and judge is not too active then), organise online workshops, or reach out to people I was too afraid to do when around my period – time when I want to hide and focus on reflecting, planning and silent creation.

5) It’s ok to ask for and accept help

I usually am too proud to admit I am struggling with something. I tend to pretend everything is ok until it isn’t, and I desperately need someone to help me. Sometimes it can be as simple as a phone call to a friend and a chat when I feel down and stuck in my head creating the worst possible scenarios. Sometimes it’s accepting financial help from your partner when your cash flow is inconsistent during the growing phase in your business and appreciate the help rather than feeling ‘like a failure’. Sometimes it’s asking if your business coach could lower their rates so with their help you will be able to accelerate the growth of your business and pay them in full.

HOW I PLAN TO IMPROVE
By accepting I am not perfect, I am only a human, and accepting help from others can take me to where I want to be faster. Also by remembering that by allowing people to offer me help I contribute to building community, friendships and long-lasting partnerships.

 

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