Uncaged Year In Review 2014

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Ok, I know – just a few weeks ago I posted about how I don’t believe in planning. But I wasn’t totally honest. I do actually do a little planning each year, and there is a way that I like to plan that lets me set out my intentions, without having to stick hard and fast to any kind of schedule.

In my Yearly Review post at the end of 2013, I laid out everything that happened in 2013, and what I wanted for myself in 2014, because I always think it’s interesting to get an inside look at someone’s business, and had clients say that they’d love to get a look inside Uncaged.

Now, I’m going back to that post, and giving you the real scoop about whether I achieved everything I had set out to do (and where I failed miserably).

And of course, you can grab your own end of year review sheet at the end of this post.

Here are the tangible parts of the review:

Income goal for 2014: $100k

Actual income for 2014: I’ve decided not to divulge this information, but I will  tell you that I reached my goal. It’s not the money that makes me proud of this. It’s the fact that creating a business that can bring in sustainable, consistent income means that I must be helping a lot of people, and THAT is what makes me happy. If you set an income goal, whether you reach it or not, always remember that even ONE person paying you for your services means that someone loves what you do, and that you get to help one person. Staying humble and grateful will help you get there faster.

List size end of 2013: 2180

List size goal for 2014: Don’t have one/don’t really care

Actual list size at end of 2014: 3250

So it looks like I grew a little in 2014, but not a ton. I am totally ok with this, since I wasn’t really focusing my efforts on marketing. And, it goes to show that you don’t need a list of 10k to sell our your programs. It is possible to do a lot with a small group of people. Whether your list is 1000 or 100, start with those people and make sure you are creating exactly what they need, and the whole list size obsession won’t be nearly as important.

Total pageviews in 2013: 163,834

Pageviews goal for 2014: Don’t care, as long as it doesn’t drop significantly!

Pageviews in 2014: About the same as 2013

Once again, I wasn’t making a focused effort to put my website out into different communities, or get more traffic to my site. But it didn’t affect my sales in a negative way, which means I must have done a good job engaging the people in my current community. Goes to show that a smaller number of raving fans is always better than a larger number of people who don’t really give a shit. Nurture the people who love you NOW for best results.

Weekly hours goal for 2014: 20

Weekly hours for 2014: Probably about that (and much, much less some weeks!). Ok, I’ll admit, I don’t track this stuff. But after Hey, Nice Package! was released in the spring, I took a significant amount of time off and reduced my hours by a LOT, so I’d say I was right on par with my goal. If you’re struggling to work LESS, systems definitely help, and the sooner you can implement them, the easier

Ok, so that was the tangible stuff. Now for the rest. Here is what I set as my intentions last year for 2014. Once again, you can read the full post here. Did I accomplish all my goals? Read on!

My theme word for 2014 is: LIFE

I definitely stayed true to this in 2014! I spent more time rock climbing near home than ever before, enjoyed some time away with friends, and really let myself step away from my work a LOT to get back to LIVING. Ahhh.

This year I will commit to doing more of: Creating courses that are online and require less of my attention on an ongoing basis. Right now I have Biz Shiz and Coaching Business Jumpstart, and I know that a lot of what I do has great potential to be turned into online material, so I can get out and enjoy my Uncaged Life more, instead of working like a 9-5er (ironic, right!?)

I reached this goal! In the spring, I hustled my butt off and created Hey, Nice Package!, and I am SO proud of it. It is a great stream of income, and more importantly, it is SUPER in depth and has helped hundreds of coaches and service providers take the confusion out of how to create packages. So proud of myself for this one! If you have been thinking of creating online courses – it’s a great addition to business IF you have already done the legwork to work with enough one on one clients that you KNOW what to put in your course. My courses are typically 1-2 years in the making, so be sure to pay your dues first before you invest the time and money is takes to create a killer online program,

I would be most proud of myself if: I could get to the point where my biz runs smoooooth like butta’ and I can stick to 15-hour workweeks. Right now I’m at about 50+, so wish me luck!

I did it! I did it! After HNP rolled out, I significantly reduced how much I was working… and kind of got used to it. It’s been hard getting back into hustle mode now that summer and rock climbing season have ended! You can absolutely work fewer hours too – just don’t expect your results or your income for that matter, to remain the same.

 

Things ebb and flow in business, and sometimes taking a hit is totally worth it to have a rockin’ summer off.

 

I will commit to accomplishing: Creating a little book that I have just started thinking about thanks to the amazing Illana Burk. Also, the homemade body care products. Keep your eye for Uncaged toothpaste in 2014.

None of these things happened. Oh well. Though I did start making my own face scrub with sugar and coconut oil. Sometimes I eat it as a snack when I am working.

 

Don’t beat yourself up about the things you didn’t do – there’s likely a good reason you didn’t create them. Figure out what that reason is, and then either dump them, or get to work!

 

I will also commit to… Setting a schedule for my marketing so that I have one day a week where I am doing all things marketing related, because marketing is fun and important.

Nope. Definitely did not do this. In fact, I stopped writing guest posts, pitching myself for interviews, and writing blog posts for my own site altogether in the spring. I really took advantage of the theme of LIFE, and spent a lot of my time focusing on things outside my business. Super necessary to avoid burnout! Don’t forget that you can’t hustle all the time, forever, with no breaks!

I will also commit to… ONLY taking client calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and taking Mondays and Fridays off like a bawss.

I did do this, and I will never go back! It is SO nice to have dedicated days off during the week and even though I usually end up working on those days, it gives me a full chunk of time to get shit done, instead of having the flow of my day interrupted with client calls. Love working this way! It’s all about finding out how YOU work best – simply copying someone else’s workflow will never work for you, so don’t bother trying. Experiment and see what feels good for you.

I will STOP doing: Spending so much time on Facebook. I love it, and it serves me well in my business, but I am committing to setting my Self-Control app on the regular and getting the hell off the crack.

Ha! You can probably guess how this one went. Facebook can be a valuable business tool, so don’t cut yourself off totally, but be wary of how much time you spend working versus messing around.

I anticipate my biggest challenge to be: Growing my reach big enough that I can sell out my group program every single time at the price point I’d like. Hence the marketing focus early in the year.

Somehow, even though I reduced my marketing efforts, I still managed to sell out Uncage Your Business every single time it ran. Hoorah! I attribute this to growing an amazing online community who is active and engaged.  And having such amazing clients who get such amazing results that they practically sell the program for me with their referrals. You ladies know who you are – THANK YOU! You can do this too in your business by putting in the time to create packages that you KNOW people want to buy, instead of playing the guessing game, and then feeling bad about yourself when no one buys. Click here to learn exactly how to structure your business so that it sells.

I will make it easier on myself by: Committing to one day of marketing a week, because for some reason I can’t seem to work on things in small chunks if I have an hour here or there. I’d rather hunker down and do it ALL at once. Are you bored of hearing about my marketing plans yet?

Once again  – yeah, no dice on this one. This is actually a good plan, but as you know, I suck at sticking to a schedule.

This year I will not tolerate: Tons of back and forth emails. I’ve already greatly reduced the number of emails I get, but this year I plan to be super vigilant. I’m all about getting to the point, so my emails tend to be 1-3 liners (if you’ve ever emailed me you’ll know what I mean). Pretty much every week I get an email from someone telling me LITERALLY their whole life story, along with details about how their parents want them to become an engineer, they have dreams of travelling the world, but maybe they should get an MBA instead or maybe go into acting or actually I guess engineering doesn’t sound all that bad and what do I think?  This is of course back from when Uncaged wasn’t super focused on businesses. As hard as it is, I usually send a kind but succinct 3 liner with a referral on to someone else. It’s all about training people to NOT email me for every little thing. Seriously. If you get a ton of emails try it. They always say you have to tell people how to treat you, and email is no exception.

Definitely accomplished this one! I have focused on really being clear and concise in my emails, so that the other person always knows what the next action is (ie. I will email you back; or please go schedule your session here. Always a specific action so that no one is left hanging and we can forward the action).

This year I will take the risk of: Pitching myself to bigger platforms! Eep!!

I have no idea what I meant when I wrote this. But I definitely didn’t do it. Haha.

This year I will go: Belize, for the Catalyze retreat! And to Portland for WDS (but just to hang out at the after-parties). Also, Spain in the fall for a 3 week climbing trip! And likely some other mystery destinations that have not yet revealed themselves.

I almost made it to all of these places! Belize was amazing, and the next Catalyze Retreat is running again in January! And then I went to New York for the first time ever (can you believe it?) for an Uncaged meetup! And Portland was also fantastic! AND – I also ended up in Whistler running ANOTHER retreat. And while I didn’t make it to Spain to climb, I did get to Italy to hang with my friend Kira on her retreat. Oh, and I spent an entire month rock climbing in West Virginia, kind of on a whim. I’d say it was a pretty good year!

I will have: Lot of fun… and hopefully no babies.

Woot! Goal accomplished. Phew.

I will be: Vigilant about LIVING more. Also, you guessed it – making my homemade bath products.

Done! Except I only ventured out to making bath scrubs and nothing else. Got any other great recipes for me? Post them in the comments!

I will have a relationship that isAssuming this means a relationship with my work… It will be one of those relationships where we don’t smother each other and we get looooots of time apart so we can really appreciate what we have when we’re together, but when we’re away from each other we don’t really miss each other that much because our lives are filled with so many other fulfilling things but we’re still very much in love. Yeah, that kind.

I loved reading back on this description, and I feel that I have achieved this in 2014! It makes me realize how insanely I was working in 2013, and makes me appreciate all that hustle so that I am able to take a few steps back now. If you feel like you are working your ass off and you think it is going to be that way forever – it won’t.

 

The hustle won’t ever stop, but once your business gains some momentum, it runs a lot more smoothly than when you are just getting started. I never thought I’d get there. And I did. You will too.

 

I will have friendships that are: REAL. I have met so many amazing people through my business and I’m excited to make some new friends. Because let’s face it – online friends are no longer reserved only for ICQ.

I LOVED meeting some amazing online people in person this year, including Jamie Jensen, Ashley Williams, Rebecca Santilli, Kira Sabin, and reuniting with Makenzie Chilton. And of course, seeing the always amazing Lis Dingjan and Kate Marolt in person is always so special too.

Oh my gosh, and how could I forget my DREAM teams that keep me sane pretty much every week. My FB mastermind with Nikki Groom, Jessica Kupferman, Ellen Ercolini, Illana Burk, Maggie Patterson, and Marie Poulin has me laughing so hard with ridiculous conversations that I often have to triple check that Facebook isn’t publishing them publicly.

And my weekly mastermind with Andrew Owen, Amy Smith, Kate Swoboda, and Kira Sabin has really helped me to finally feel connected in this huge online space of coaches. Thank you ladies. Truly.

Wow. It’s pretty incredible to look back and see how many true friendships you can make through your business. It’s pretty amazing. If you have been trying to do it alone – please, stop now. There is a whole community of online entrepreneurs out there who GET YOU, and who can support you. Connect with them. It will change your business forever.

I will have a body that is: Bangin’. As in, strong and healthy bangin’. Because I’ve been working so much I haven’t been going outside NEARLY enough, which means the old body of mine has been hurtin’ (and since I literally work on my couch everyday, well, you can imagine). Less computer time and more play time makes Becca’s body happy.

I am pleased to announce that my body = happy! Other than a few climbing specific injuries that I am working through right now, my body got LOTS of action this year ; ) Honestly, I don’t think you can survive in business if you’re not taking care of yourself physically.

I will have a career that: Makes people jealous but also inspired to go out and finally do what they want to be doing.

Based on the number of folks who take the time to email me, to join the Uncaged community, and to reach out on Facebook letting me know that I have made them feel like their dreams are possible – I’d say I reached this goal. It is seriously amazing to watch the people in my community hustle and grow and start to shape Uncaged lives of their own. Thank you for sharing that space with me and letting me be a part of your success!

I will hold myself accountable by: Keeping it going strong with my mastermind group. And, dare I say it, PLANNING ahead. Gulp.

Planning. Hm. You might have read my last post about planning. That pretty answers whether or not I stuck to this! LOL.

But seriously – I kind of did. I had an income plan, I knew when I would be running which programs and when, and as always, left some wiggle room for plans to change.

This year, I’ll never, ever: Get stuck in the trap of comparison… for longer than a few minutes.

I have unsubscribed to almost ALL email lists. I still have 2-3 that trickle in, but they go into a separate folder, and I haven’t checked it for months. It has been SO refreshing to just focus on MY business, without worrying what anyone else is doing. I highly recommend this if you are struggling with staying focused in your business.

And I’ll always, always: Aim to do better.

This one was super intangible, but I actually don’t like that goal. I don’t think the struggle to always do better, to BE better, is very helpful.

 

Instead, aim to do the very best you can, in each moment, and recognize that each moment will be different, so your best will change. That’s ok.

 

And what do I want for myself and The Uncaged life going forward into 2015?

I want to continue to make time for yoga, for rock climbing, for riding my bike, for spontaneous trips, and for other unexpected surprises that could change my life just by giving myself the flexibility to say YES.

And I want to continue to cultivate a community of amazing small business owners who want to create THEIR Uncaged lives.

Want to grab your own Uncaged Year In Review worksheet? Click here to download (no opt-in required).

Here’s to having your free-est, most Uncaged year yet!

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 What’s your big Uncaged dream for 2015? Share it in the comments.

Read 13 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. anungv

    This is great. Its nice to hear that others don’t do everything that they plan. And it’s not a fail. This year I want to make enough products to to sell on my blog. Focus my blog more and be more regular in posting. My big goal is to finish three short stories and possibly a book. Not completely edited and ready to publish, but written.

  2. coachkamara

    Can I just say this is a really freakin’ awesome post and I can’t wait to do some sweet self-coaching with your PDF and see what it reveals.  Thanks Becca!

  3. halfasleepshop

    Love reading about the inside look of other people’s businesses! I had fun filling out my answers this morning too – lots of interesting things to think about. Thanks!

  4. Ramona Fellermeier

    My dream for 2015 is to empower my coaching clients to make their own miracles happen! As for the miracles I want to create in my own life: A private pilot licence, a loving realtionship with my boyfriend and lots of travel & yoga! Btw, great post Becca!

  5. MetNightOwl

    Love it, Becca! These year in review posts are always my favorite. Since you didn’t focus on marketing and your list still grew, what do you attribute that to? Word of mouth from the FB group? What was the primary thing you did to grow your list before this year?

  6. MetNightOwl I did DID market my business, I just didn’t make it a hard focus like the year before. ALl the usual stuff is what works – guest posting, getting interviewed, putting yourself in front of new audiences etc, and just helping as helpful and generous as you can work your work.

  7. halfasleepshop Thanks so much – glad it helped!

  8. Ramona Fellermeier pilot license – ohhhh FUN!!!

  9. coachkamara awesome – hope you find it helpful!!

  10. My 2015 in one word: START!

    Serious. This is the year. No more “someday.” I can’t take another year of that word!

    Also, I’ve just been handed an opportunity in disguise… a change in my full-time job that will provide me the mindspace I need to FOCUS on creating something awesome.

    I know some other Uncagers are with me on this journey and I can’t wait to see what they create, too!

  11. Monica

    My big uncaged dream for 2015 is to become my own boss. I have all the small things (DBA, website, etc.) in place for this to take place, but getting my husband on board since we don’t have the finances to back us up if I can’t make ends meet is the hardest part.

  12. Carol Merllott

    Fantastic commentary – For what it is worth , if anyone needs to merge two images , my business came upon post here http://goo.gl/vo5obZ

  13. “The fact that there are speculative components does not eliminate the fact that there are well-established bits,”These so called experts just keep harping on and on with their dangerous drivel.They will never admit to being wrong!