Standing on Christmas Eve in the dark in front of a large storage unit after driving a 20-ft truck for 9 hours, I thought this moment symbolizes the entire year.
2019 was a crap year for me. I didn’t meet my goals. So many things went off-track. I risk being vulnerable here in the online space where everyone brags of massive wins and success but I’m doing so intentionally for the sake of helping those who also had a crap year. I want you to enter the new year all the wiser so I’m going to disclose my mistakes. Please perform a self-check to not repeat the same ones I did.
Here’s what I did wrong:
1/ I lacked clarity around my business.
In January I got it in my head to develop a self-help method for women who lacked self-confidence to overcome their fears and unleash their greatness. I wrote a book about it and build a whole 12-week curriculum. Great, right? Except the whole life coaching business never felt quite right to me. As an agency owner, I’m a natural consultant and love helping people solve their problems handa-on, not just be a cheerleader on the sidelines. Also, too many people seem to be calling themselves by the title of life coach with an industry-wide lack of credibility. I hated aligning myself with a profession where too many aren’t the real deal. Lastly, this was something totally new for me that was nothing related to my career background. I ended up pivoting mid-year to what I do now: small business mentorship. It feels so much better but I lost a lot of time before I found that clarity. By the way, I see this all the time as a business coach. People need time and experience to figure things out. Brands are not born overnight; they develop and evolve. This is normal and my only lesson is that I wished I would have had a good coach specificially to help me figure it out earlier.
2/ I hired the wrong people. Not everyone, but enough to feel frustrated and poorer by it. I hired a web designer and paid her 2k, only to lose my entire investment when she started making strange demands, ghosted me, then called off the project and blocked me, without ever delivering the site nor reimbursing me. I hired a speaker’s bureau who scammed me but gave me a refund in exchange for silence. I hired a famous podcaster for a consultation and was disappointed beyond belief when an expensive consult turned out to be nothing more than a quick, noisy, informal chat with zero value. I know now to be weary and less trusting before I hire anyone and certainly less impressed by vanity metrics. I ask a lot more questions in advance about the scope of services and I never sign anyone else’s contracts; they sign mine when I hire them. I also build a lot more trust upfront and speak to people they worked with in the past. Lastly, I purchased many bad courses. Courses that were simply not worth the money. Courses where I didn’t learn enough. Poorly designed courses. Lessons learned: there are a lot of people out there charging high rates for subpar products and services and many of them don’t even care. They buy their followers and reviews so your bad experience is not going to harm them in any way. Be vigilant.
3/ I tried to do too much at once. During the year I set up a Youtube channel, a blog, a website, all my new business socials, and a podcast, plus I was co-organizing and attending events all of the time. The problem with all my online channels is that I didn’t strategize so I didn’t set them up nor grow them as much as I could have. I got back tracked with podcast editing and I even lost a few episodes due to my guest’s retched audio. Now, I know the exact strategy for each so I can start the new year off right but I wish I would have sat down and planned better ahead and taken it slower. Again, too bad I had no coach specifically to help with this part. The irony is that I coach others on this. It is always harder to do it alone.
4/ I didn’t execute based on one clear system. Instead, I tried everything. I had all kinds of sales and marketing activities going on. I was using ads, funnels, multiple software tools, lead generation strategies, video, groups, email marketing, etc. I was busy yet not nearly as effective as I could have been had I sat down and written down one detailed strategy. I do this with my clients but somehow I skipped it for myself. Am I above this labor of love? Nooooo. Big mistake.
5/ I let my ego and pride blind me in my business. I didn’t ask for help nor get much support for my business. I was maybe stubborn or embarrassed or both. It’s a character flaw that I’m a Do-It-Yourself gal. Now I wish at the beginning of the year, instead of spending so much money spread out here and there, I would have planned out a budget specifically for the people to hire to help me most and gotten closer to my fellow entrepreneurs to build accountability and support.
One factor that plays a huge role in business and career success is personality. My strongest trait is ACTIVATOR. This means I’m the person you want on your team for energy and ideas to get things started up. However, I absolutely need a sounding board and support team around me to finish things and stay organized.
Bottom line: I am grateful for all my mistakes this year because it enables me to become a better version of a business owner next year.
Don’t be fooled. Many smart, driven people fail too. In fact, most of the successful people I know have been broke or even worse, gone bankrupt a few times. I built an 8-figure business before. But that doesn’t mean I’m not starting from ground zero with every new business. Mistakes help you grow. Overnight success is a myth.
If you know your destination, any path is good. Just keep going and be ready to handle the obstacles and don’t let your ego prevent you from reaching out for help. With every fail, a win comes closer.
Wishing everyone a strong 2020. If you are serious about your business or career goals, consider joining our business matermind group (https://kristamollion.com/product/sassy-business-mastermind/) to get the right kind of support and save yourself time and money in the long run.
Business is where I am fully in my element so I’m confident that personally 2020 will be great. Come join me!