So, let’s dive in!
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It’s my birthday!
Today marks two years since my business officially opened its doors.
NOT coincidentally, it also happens to be my ACTUALLY birthday, too.
Two years ago, I decided to take the plunge, quit my 9-5 and give this whole business thing a red hot crack. And, intentionally, I gave my notice and selected the 19th of November, 2017 to be my very first day as a free agent.
I figured that if I was going to be celebrating my day of birth that day, it would be even sweeter to start my new life on the very same day. Kind of a re-birth of sorts.
I’m not going to cover that story – or any of my first year in business, for that matter – because I’ve already done so! For a reflection on my first year in business, check out ‘Life, Mindset and Marketing Lessons From a Year in Business’ here.
So, this time of year is always cause for extra celebration.
It’s also a time for reflection.
As we draw towards the end of the year, it’s always a good time to look back on what worked, what didn’t and what we want to take into 2020.
I’ve dedicated all of December to plan ahead. I have pencilled in to have the entire month off, spending time my little baby Jimmy, hanging out by the beach and giving myself the space to make plans, think big and really make 2020 spectacular.
But, in order to do that, I also need to reflect on the year that was and what better place to do that than on this very podcast!
So here we go – a month by month summary of the year that was.
Now, when I wrote out my plans for 2019 at the end of last year, they looked very different to what actually ended up happening. Why?
Because on the 2nd of January, I found out that my little Jimmy was on the way.
There’s nothing like a baby to skew even the most well laid plans!
All of a sudden, my grand plans for a number of new programs and a slight pivot in business direction were cast aside and it was time for me to RE-PLAN – and to attempt to be as kind to myself as possible in the process. But, that was a job for Feb.
In January, my focus was on the the very first intake of my signature social media program, Hashtags Aren’t the Answer. Just like am doing this year, I launched that program in December with a January start to give people a chance to get started and lift their social media time in time for the new year.
And. It. Went. Off.
There were around 100 people in the inaugural intake, and the vibe, honestly, was electric.
Just like there will be this time around, there was a pop up Facebook group, weekly live calls and I was very hands on. Having the opportunity to really deep dive and help people with their socials through HATA was honestly one of the highlights of my year.
As February rolled around, there was a little somethin’ somethin’ that was affecting my good vibes JUST a little.. and that was the dreaded morning sickness.
It hit me like a tonne of bricks.
Literally, for two weeks, I couldn’t get off the couch. I lived on buttery potato and oranges because it was all I could keep down or stomach. Netflix became my best friend. There were days when the idea of moving to the other side of the room to get the remote control was too much, and I’d spend hours watching weird Amish documentaries because I was too sickly to change the channel.
Suffice to say, that meant that my business plan rejig didn’t quite happen.
I needed to cancel any non essential coaching, and really the only thing that I committed to in that time were my weekly HATA live calls.
If you’ve ever had bad morning sickness – you feel me.
If not? I don’t wish it upon you, ever!
March involved biz planning, and picking up the pieces from my morning sickness misery in Feb. Rescheduled meetings and coaching calls, and putting together a plan of attack for the remainder of the year that would allow me to keep a small business running without needing to work the 14 plus hours I had been putting in to date.
I decided that I would re-launch Hashtags Aren’t the Answer in May, create my Blueprint Series of smaller courses, and release those over the remainder of the year.
With that rough plan in place, the remainder of March involved launch preparation for April.
April was pre-launch month. In one month, I grew my email list by 2500 people, I spoke on a whole heap of podcasts as a guest and I generally made myself as visible as possible in preparation for Mays launch.
It all worked out for the best, because May brought with it the most successful launch in my business to date. I was SO excited to welcome a new intake of Hashtags Aren’t the Answer students.
In preparation, I dropped a few thousand dollars on portal design. Why?
Because I NEVER, EVER want to sell a program that is sexy on the outside only.
I wanted the inside to match the sexy sales page, and given that the program talks so much about branding and the importance of it, I wanted to make sure that I was walking the talk.
June – August
I’m going to group together June, July and August aka the winter months, aka the third trimester, aka trying to squish AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE INTO THREE MONTHS.
If you haven’t checked out my podcast episode on how to prepare for maternity leave, I highly recommend that you do so, because it basically sums up my June – August.
In one word, it was all about batching.
Recording bulk podcast episodes in preparation for time off.
Creating the Blueprint Series of actionable online courses, preparing sales pages and creating course content.
Hiring people to help me with outsourcing key tasks, like podcast editing.
And essentially, baby proofing my business in preparation for time off.
It was hectic, and to be honest I really didn’t enjoy that time as much as I probably should have. By cramming as much as possible into those couple of months, I didn’t give myself time or space to breathe.
What it did give me though, was time and space in the following few months, which, as it turned out, was absolutely needed.
September 2019 will always be my baby boy’s birthday month, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. I actually went over by a week, so I was 41 weeks when on 11 September 2019 I gave birth to my beautiful little boy.
The labour is a whole other story, and not really one to share on a social media podcast, but long story short a labour that went ALL through the night ended in an emergency Caesarean and with a little cry he was here.
What I will say is that motherhood so far is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and also the hardest.
I love that little boy more every single day, and waking up to him smiling in his little bed next to mine every morning is a feeling that I can’t describe. It’s BETTER than I ever imagined, and I feel so lucky and grateful to be his mum.
It’s also beyond full on. The first six weeks are, to be honest, a complete daze. Caring for a baby after major surgery and having NFI what you’re doing with zero sleep is something that only other mamas could understand. If you aren’t a Mum yet or don’t intend to be, I can categorically say that you can’t understand the LEVEL of hard having a newborn baby entails. Holy holy.
Jimmy is nine weeks old now though, and things are getting better and better. He has started smiling and laughing and is crying less, and it’s just the best thing in the world.
Thanks to all of the hard work that I put in over winter, things were happening in my business during October and the beginning of November without me needing to do a thing.
I launched my Facebook Ads blueprint over the week I was in hospital with Jimmy, and it was a super successful launch despite the fact that I quite literally was without a computer and didn’t do a thing. All of the emails, social media posts, the lot – were scheduled in advance.
It was crazy to me that I had one of my best months in business in a month when I logged onto a computer maybe twice. The power of automation!
Earlier this month, I launched my podcast blueprint and again everything had been done ahead of time.
When mid month drew closer and I realised that I DIDN’T have podcasts and the like pre-scheduled anymore, it was a shock to the system. Time to start working again!
And so, here we are!
I’m currently gearing up for the third and most exciting intake of Hashtags Aren’t the Answer, my signature social media program. I will be running a FREE live social media bootcamp in the lead up, and with 1000 people already registered the buzz around it is super exciting.
The intake will kick off, once again, in the new year after the holidays. I find that people enjoy this timing, rather than trying to start a coaching program over Christmas when they are busy doing other things.
December, for me, will be a time of thinking big, and planning for a spectacular 2020. I have SUCH big aspirations for next year – not just for what I want my business to achieve, but also for how I want my life to look. I started Stevie Says Social because I wanted more from my life. I wanted the freedom to choose what I did with my time, and the ability to create whatever I wanted.
In my third year of business, I will really be going all in on that vision.
And so, I need the time to map out exactly what that looks like, so that I can go all in when the clock strikes midnight and the new decade begins.
I can honestly say that I have never ever been so excited about the future, and what it holds and I can’t wait to be sitting down and writing my 2020 reflection to see what I have accomplished.