2015 Annual Review
An Entrepreneur’s Look into the Past Year
Whew! 7 days into 2016, and I’m just now posting my annual review. Well, life happens, and I’m traveling, so it’s ok to be a little late.
2015 proved to be a productive and life-changing year for me. In my personal life, I made the big move of quitting my cushy 9–5, selling my worldly possessions, and starting an adventure to the other side of the world. Of course, this took time. There was a lot of planning involved. There was money to be saved. Family needed to be seen. Plus, it was scary. Really scary. So, I had to mentally prepare.
Professionally, Climb Out of The Cubicle grew a lot. I had some pretty awesome opportunities that I seized. I created some opportunities for myself too, but in other areas, I didn’t do so hot. That’s to be expected of course, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow.
So, without further ado, here is my 2015 review:
What worked / Major Accomplishments
Masterminds — When the year started, I was in a local networking group in Washington DC. It was much more of a see-each-other-in-person group to bounce ideas and less of a training and growth environment. I needed the latter. I had been with this group of a while, so it was hard to leave. But, I felt myself growing beyond what it could offer. I took sometime away from the group and ultimately realized that this is a good thing! Growing beyond the beginning stages is good. So, I left. I was mastermind-less for a little while, but soon enough, I found one, and it’s perfect for me. The leader is someone I greatly admire, and she provides so much training and resources, personably and professionally.
Coaching/Accountability Partners/Therapy — I had all three of types of support at various points throughout the year. They were all helpful in their own ways. Currently, I have an accountability partner, which is exactly what I need right now. I’m sure I’ll be hiring my next coach in the VERY near future. My therapist told me I was basically done for the foreseeable future, which is good because I moved.
Business Development — I am a huge proponent of business development. I am determined to continue to educate myself and to surround myself with people who are much smarter and more experienced that I am. In 2015, I attended Savvy Sexy Social Live, World Domination Summit (where I attended and hosted meetups), and participated in tons of free training and workshops. And I read. Man, oh man, did I read.
Quitting Grad School and Starting iPEC — As you may (or not!) know, I was accepted to a great graduate program to study National Security. I was writing my thesis on terrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa. This fit in quite well with my 9–5, but had nothing to do with what I actually wanted in life. I was quite torn between dropping out and finishing what I started. Looking back, I’m so happy that I cut my losses and moved on. In the meantime, I found a program that actually fit in with who I am: a coaching certificate from iPEC. It took 8 months of highly intense training, but I am now a certified coach. YAY!
Knowing my Limitations and Sticking by Them — As 2015 wore on, I solidified my goal of moving to SE Asia by giving myself a date. I set it in stone by telling the world. But, even with this larger goal, I still had things I wanted to do, like hang out with my friends, play organized sports, date, and take advantage of Washington DC. I decided to drop the sports leagues so that I could focus on my business and moving. It was hard, but the right decision. This is just one of the many examples of ways where I had to prioritize my larger goals. FOMO is very real, but the rewards are worth it.
Coworking Spaces — These are a *must* for me because I can’t work at home. It’s worth adding it into my budget instead of being highly UNproductive at home. I had one in DC. I have one in Thailand. I’m only moving to places in SE Asia that have the infrastructure to support coworking spaces.
Creating a Course and Giving it Away for Free — Building this course gave me a lot of good experience in the course-making field. Plus, by giving it away for free, I grew my list by 20%. Now, it’s available for sale, which is great because it’s purely passive income at this point. You can find it here.
Hosted Live Events — While I was at World Domination Summit, a friend asked if I wanted to co-host a meetup with him. Honored, I immediately jumped on this opportunity. The first event went so well that we decided to do the same meetup a few days later. It was so much fun and we were sold out each day! Also at World Domination Summit, I met a fellow-businesswoman who lived about 15 minutes away from me. We had a lot of similarities in our businesses, so we decided to host a workshop together. It didn’t bring us in millions of dollars, but it did bring in some money, AND it was great experience.
Moved to Thailand — This is pretty self-explanatory. Setting this goal at the beginning of the year AND accomplishing it is the biggest things I’ve done. The adjustment period was a challenge, but now that I’m settled, I realized that this was a great decision. I’m living in an environment that allows me to focus on my business. Plus, I’m surrounded by a group of peers who are totally focused on their businesses too, which is an amazing feeling.
What Didn’t Work / My Failures
Not Being Consistent — Shocker, right. Not being consistent did nothing but keep my business and me stagnant. I had big goals of doing webinars, creating more courses, and setting the world on fire, but I didn’t follow through. This obviously didn’t work out very well.
Vlogging — I think deep down, I really want to be a vlogger. It’s easy to make video. I finally figured out how to edit, and I could create a month’s worth of content in ONE day. But, I didn’t really see the return on investment that I was hoping for. This could have been for a variety of reasons: (1) my audience doesn’t live on YouTube, (2) I suck at SEO, (3) I didn’t market myself well, or (4) all of the above + more things that I don’t know about. I’m not saying that my YouTube channel is dead. In fact, I just published a recent webinar from a few days ago. <insert link>
Climbing Mt. St. Helens — Read this. Enough said.
Making Money — not saying I made $0, but I didn’t reach my financial goals. This is a huge priority in 2016.
Not Being Business-y Enough — Here are a few areas that need to work on A LOT in 2016: marketing myself better, creating more products, focusing in a few key areas instead of floundering about. I didn’t do any of these things well this year, and it showed.
I’m taking a lot of my failures from last year and making some giant strides for progress. For example, I’m only focusing in a few key areas in 2016 instead of trying to do everything: collaboration, exposure, figuring out my next move after this year abroad, and creating more consistency in my life and schedule.
That’s it. I’m only focusing on these 4 areas.
I have three main goals for the year, which I’m hoping to let you in on as they become more relevant: to write, to create courses, and to podcast. I do have a plan to make it all happen, but I’m not ready to share it yet.
Theme for the year
If you couldn’t guess already, my theme for this year boils down to one simple word:
As you can tell, I have a lot of room for growth AND I have the drive. I want it so bad. I want to work hard, and I want to keep creating. I want to be more creative too, literally. I want to keep traveling and exploring the world. I want to meet tons of new and inspiring people. I want it all. And, I’m determined to have everything I want.
What does 2016 look like for you? Do you have a theme by which you will construct your year? Are you going to take your successes and failures to heart and create a plan of action?
This post originally appeared as a blog post on Climb Out of The Cubicle, my blog. Each week I share actionable advice on how to live a more adventurous, creative, life OUTSIDE OF THE CUBICLE. If you liked this article, I’d love for you to stop by and learn more about me.