Since we are now halfway through 2021, we are going to do a mid-year update and check-in! Sometimes, my clients would ask me about what I’m up to in my own business and I thought it would be fun to share in this post.
I’ll share what I’ve been up to in my business for the first half of the year, and what goals I’ve set out for at the start of the year and where I am in terms of hitting these goals.
Then, I’ll share what I have envisioned for the next half of the year, what I will focus on, and what I will do differently.
Here are some of the major goals I set at the beginning of 2021.
My primary business goals are:
1) Create 100k USD in sales in 12 months
2) Become a better coach so that my clients can get incredible results
3) Increase my monthly podcast downloads
Before we go any further, I want to make a quick disclaimer that these are simply my own goals.
For some, these goals are really small. For others, these goals may feel impossible.
My intention for sharing my goals isn’t to say that my goals are the standard that we should all be aiming for. I hope no one will cast any judgement or comparisons as a result.
I think this is very possible when I look at my numbers since December 2020.
Even though I was really anticipating the possibility of creating 100k in one year throughout Q1 of this year.
Honestly, by Q2, I barely think about this goal anymore.
I think the reason is because my priorities have shifted when it comes to what matters most to me.
Sometime in 2021, I will definitely be crossing the 100k mark in my business since I first started in March 2019.
However, because my business journey wasn’t so consistent, I actually felt some shame about not hitting 100k “faster”.
For those who may not be familiar with my business journey, I stopped my business completely for 6-7 months, between August 2019 to February 2020.
Between March to August 2020, even though I was signing clients consistently, I was heavily undercharging for my programs.
When I started my PhD program in September 2020, I spent September to November of 2020 trying to adjust to my new life and career as a PhD student.
Throughout these three-ish months, I didn’t sign any new clients, but I was still working from clients prior to starting my PhD.
Starting December 2020, I started creating regular 10k USD sales months and business has been extremely healthy ever since.
My journey has been inconsistent because I literally took a 6-7 month gap and that really affected the momentum of my business.
If I’m going to be very honest, I’ve definitely had some shame about my own business journey especially when I saw other coaches crossing the six-figure mark simply because they didn’t quit.
However, now, I actually am quite proud to share my business journey because it’s literally a testament of why you shouldn’t quit!
I’m happy that I can proudly share how I literally rebuilt my business and have since then grown it to a very healthy place where it’s very likely going to create 100k in 12 months.
More importantly, my business journey has really shaped the way I do business today.
I’ve learned so many lessons because of my not-so-linear, not-so-consistent journey to get to where I’m at now.
That’s why I wouldn’t trade my business journey for a smoother or faster path to 100k.
And it seems like I’ll be crossing the 100k mark in my business very soon in sales since starting my business. Super exciting!
All that being said, this 100k in 12 months goal is becoming less and less of a priority.
The reason is because I’ve been starting to recognize that:
1) I’m literally not in a rush to hit any certain income goals
2) There are other parts of my life that I recognize are way more important to me than making money.
For example, I haven’t seen my boyfriend for one and a half years now because of covid and I haven’t seen my family in Canada for more than that.
There was also an entire year where I didn’t see my dad because of the pandemic, but luckily he was able to come back to Hong Kong for a few months before leaving again just a few weeks ago.
I’m starting to realize that making money holds minimal meaning to me, especially if I can meet my basic needs and then some.
My business is already providing me everything I need, and for that I’m beyond grateful.
That’s why my priorities are no longer scaling my business, but rather, I want to be more intentional with being able to spend time with people that mean the most to me or doing work that really fulfills me.
Of course, working with clients and creating content, to me, it’s really meaningful work.
That’s why for the rest of 2021, my priorities will shift a bit, and I’ll explain more below.
For this goal, I can confidently say that my abilities as a coach have skyrocketed since 2020.
I think my clients since December 2020 would have a very different experience and also see much better results compared to my previous clients, simply because I have upleveled entirely as a coach.
When it comes to my own strategies that I teach my clients as well as the way I coach them, the way I deliver my program is just next level when you compare it to 2019 and 2020.
For instance, my recent clients have been able to create 5k months, create consistent four-figure months even on top of a 9-5. Some have left their 9-5 jobs, and most importantly, they feel good while doing this.
That’s the most important. Being able to coach my clients so that they are happy and successful entrepreneurs. That to me is most important as a coach.
How I leveled up as a coach is really simple: I started working with a coach who coaches me hard, and I also started implementing self coaching in my own life.
I started being extremely critical of my thoughts, and I always look at my business or life from a curious yet critical lens.
I’m very intentional about the thoughts I choose to think, and thus my mindset in general has completely changed.
Because I think differently, I have been feeling really damn good overall, especially when it comes to my business.
I’m able to think differently and look at things differently.
The things that used to keep me stuck in 2019 and 2020, such as self doubt, comparisons, feeling overwhelmed, complaining about lack of time and energy, feeling behind in my business – all these things no longer interfere with how I operate in both business and life.
I really credit this new mindset to coaching – both in terms of getting coached and doing my own self coaching.
I started to enhance my clients’ experience in other ways in January 2021.
I spent about three weeks creating a private client portal, which houses many, and I mean many hours of training and step-by-step worksheets, in addition to several jammed packed trainings from guest experts.
Our recent guest expert trainings include how to host five-figure launches, particularly for group programs or any offer that have a cart open cart close deadline, how to pitch yourself successfully to guest on podcasts, how to network as a coach, and also a really juicy training all about marketing and showing up online as yourself, just as you are.
These guest expert trainings are all super good!
Finally, I’ve also started hosting impromptu workshops for my private clients.
Earlier this month, we had a training all about self coaching and mindset.
I plan to continue hosting regular training for all my private clients on a quarterly basis.
This is important to me because as I continue to grow my business, my perspectives and strategies will evolve as well.
That’s why I will continue to host regular private training for my clients so that the client portal is constantly updated with new trainings that will provide my clients with new ways of thinking about their business.
Actually, I’m still pretty amazed at what happened.
I did an Instagram story back in December 2020 where I told the world that my goal for 2021 is to hit 500 monthly podcast downloads.
The incredible thing was that in January 2021, I already surpassed that goal and hit my first 500+ monthly downloads.
For full transparency, in October 2020, when I first launched The Side Hustle Club podcast, I had exactly 190 downloads for the first month.
Then, in December 2020 when I had set that goal of 500 monthly downloads. I had 369 downloads that month.
I set the goal of 500 because I felt like it was possible, but I genuinely wasn’t sure when I could surpass it.
Then in January, we hit 510 downloads!
Fast forward to today, which is the end of June 2021, I actually think we’ll have over 900 downloads for this month. Wow.
Honestly, I think it just comes down to the quality of the content as well as the consistency.
To be quite frank, I actually don’t promote my podcast as much as I could.
For example, I usually talk about it once in my Instagram stories every week, as soon as a new episode is published.
Besides that, I don’t really talk about my podcast on Instagram.
I did try to promote my podcast on LinkedIn maybe a few times a month, for the past 2-3 months, but according to my LinkedIn analytics, I’m not sure if those posts really got any traction.
Also, I’m not quite sure if having guest interviews helped grow the podcast.
I simply don’t have enough data to draw any good conclusions here.
However, according to my podcast analytics, among my top 10 episodes, only two are guest interviews.
Overall, if I really had to narrow down possible reasons why I was able to hit this goal, I think it’s because I am really, really committed to creating my best content for this podcast. And I stayed consistent both in terms of posting frequency as well as quality of the episodes.
I really give each episode my best, and I genuinely hope that you find value and enjoyment from The Side Hustle Club Podcast as well.
Thank you so much for listening to the podcast! I really appreciate each listener for taking the time to check out the show. Thank you.
First, I focused on Instagram and The Side Hustle Club Podcast.
Those are the main drivers in my business, and I really enjoy creating content and showing up on these platforms.
As I alluded to in Episode 28, where I shared my 2021 content strategy, I mentioned that I tried to do an email newsletter and to post on LinkedIn.
Well, let’s just say I just couldn’t get my energy behind it so we are scrapping that for the remainder of the year, unless I suddenly feel called to do so.
Because right now, I’m very happy with the way I show up on Instagram and The Side Hustle Club Podcast.
They play to my strengths as well. So, I don’t feel any need or want to be on any other platform simply for the sake of feeling like I have to or because I see other coaches having success elsewhere.
Instead, I will continue to show up on Instagram and The Side Hustle Club Podcast and focus on creating the best content possible.
Another thing that’s been happening in Q1 and Q2 is launching new offers in addition to my signature one-on-one coaching program.
In 2019 and 2020, I only had one-on-one coaching.
I tried to launch a group program around September 2020, but that flopped.
In March 2021, I launched my first group program ever and I really like having an intimate small group program!
Which is why we are bringing back the group program in July 2021.
At this point of time, we have three people enrolled already for the July cohort, and there are only four spots total.
I’m pretty fascinated because I haven’t even officially started my launch for the group program, which was supposed to take place between June 28 to July 18, and the program will kick off on July 19.
But since we only have one spot left, we will just keep soft launching the program until the last spot is filled.
Finally, I worked on being a better coach.
This meant I continued to get coached, and I also did more self coaching and mindset work than ever.
One thing that has changed the way I work with my clients was being willing to have really uncomfortable conversations with clients and really challenge them on what they’re telling me.
I’m no longer afraid to ruffle some feathers with my clients, especially when I know that they didn’t pay me to sugarcoat things or to tell them what they want to hear.
Rather, if they want to see results in their business and life, I need to hold them to their highest standard and be willing to “literally” risk the relationship with them.
Because I know that this is what they need to hear from me in order to see things differently and help them recognize the gaps in their own thinking or in what they’re doing.
So that they can start thinking and doing things differently moving forward.
Also, not being afraid to challenge my clients and asking really tough questions has really changed the game for me when it comes to the transformations and results my clients see.
For anyone reading this who’s currently thinking, “So how can I also become a better coach?”.
What transformed my own coaching approach was first working with a coach who knows how to coach me hard.
Once I started recognizing how the coaching process has changed my business and life, I started believing in the power of coaching and started to develop my own approach to coaching my own clients.
In Q1 and Q2 of 2021, the biggest change for me and my business was how I thought and felt about my business.
I’m honestly really happy to say that I’m a really happy entrepreneur.
Even though there are things happening in my life outside of my business, if we look at just my business alone, I’m a really calm and happy entrepreneur.
That’s because I’ve been working really, really hard on my mindset since September 2020.
That’s really what I want for my clients and to whoever is reading this right now. I really want all of us to be happy entrepreneurs.
Because too often I see side hustlers and coaches building their business but getting so frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed and so discouraged that they end up giving up.
I really believe that there’s always another way.
You can push your way to six-figures, or you can make six-figures while being just so excited, happy and passionate about what you do as a coach.
That’s why I work on my own mindset and on my clients’ mindsets so much.
It’s because there are so many stressed out and unhappy coaches and that’s what I want to change.
I want to help people build not just a profitable, successful, and meaningful business, but I also want them to feel damn good throughout the process.
Contrary to popular belief, your business should not feel like a second full time job that you absolutely loathe.
It’s 100% possible to have fun and genuinely love building your business.
Another thing that has helped with how I’ve been feeling overall both in business and life was exercising and making efforts to feel good inside and out.
In the past few months, I started committing to running either 1, 2, or 3 times a week. And I could feel my mood change overtime and I also saw physical changes in my body.
I actually started losing the weight I gained during covid, and I noticed these differences whenever I do Instagram stories.
Lately I’ve also been making a more conscientious effort to do my makeup and my hair in the morning, which definitely does lift my mood for the day.
For most of 2020, I was making the excuse of, “Well, I’m working from home so why bother doing my hair or changing into another outfit?”.
But once I started doing that, I could see a difference in my confidence and how I felt throughout the day.
I hope that gave you a good look into what my business looks like for the first half of the year.
In terms of content and marketing, I don’t plan on doing anything differently.
Right now, I don’t have any intentions of growing on LinkedIn, growing an email list, starting another platform, or building a free webinar/masterclass funnel.
That said, if I suddenly feel like, “Wow! I have an idea and it feels like it’s going to be so much fun!”, and I actually have the time and cognitive capacity to try it, then I may look into it.
But the main thing here is that I trust that things are working already, and that my main focus is to do even better on Instagram and The Side Hustle Podcast.
I’m not in a rush to try something new or change everything up entirely, because I know there’s still room for improvement on Instagram and in my podcast content.
So I’m looking forward to exploring new ways to share my ideas and message on these two platforms.
Of course, if anything fun comes up, I’ll be open to seeing whether it fits into my business.
As for offers, I currently have my signature one-on-one coaching program and group coaching program.
For the group, I may run it once more in Q3 or Q4 of the year, but for now, I will continue honing my skills as a coach and deliver the most incredible client experience for my one-on-one and group program clients.
I will also continue to focus on what my clients need to hear and see from me, as well as thinking about how I can push them to see even bigger results in their business.
For Q3 and Q4, I will focus on welcoming new clients for either the one-on-one or group program.
I also have two passive income products, which I literally created for fun.
The reason why I created these two products was literally just for fun.
I had an idea and I implemented it right away simply because it felt exciting. Also, I had the time and energy to do so. So I did it.
However, I didn’t make it into a big deal.
I knew these were something I was doing simply for fun and that it wasn’t a huge priority in my business.
That’s why even though I sometimes get a random sale, I don’t plan on promoting either of them actively simply because my priority is to be one of the best coaches in the industry and be known as a coach whose clients get incredible results.
If I divert my attention to selling my passive income products, that will take away from this bigger vision of helping more clients see amazing results in their life and business.
So that’s why I will continue to promote my coaching programs and work closely with clients.
After all, my clients are literally why I do what I do.
It’s cheesy to say, but honestly the best part of running my coaching business has to be being able to change the way my clients think and also seeing the internal transformation that takes place, on top of their business wins.
Hands down my clients are why I continue to show up everyday and build my business.
I also want to continue having fun and feeling fun in my business. That’s going to be the theme of my month in July again.
Because I said on June 1st that this month is going to be fun!
The simple decision to commit to having fun really changed how I felt in my business and how I showed up.
Initially I thought I’d pitch to eight podcasts in June and also post twice a week on LinkedIn and engage three times a week on LinkedIn. But those simply did not feel fun. So I scrapped it.
Because I was in such a fun energy, I also did really fun things like hosting that impromptu workshop for my private clients earlier this month and I’m also hosting a free virtual event with two of my coach friends on July 3!
Like I’m SO excited about this free virtual event , we’re each going to do a 20 or 25 min keynote talk, followed by a workshop with all the participants.
Seriously, it’s going to be so much fun!
That’s really the main thing I will do differently for the rest of the year.
In the first half of the year, I would create this to-do list or goals list at the beginning of each month, but more often than not, I only wrote them down because I felt like I had to do them.
I felt like I had to pitch to podcasts.
I felt like I had to start using LinkedIn actively and engage daily.
I felt like I had to do weekly Instagram lives.
I felt like I had to do collaborations with other people to get in front of new audiences.
But guess what? Because I kept my business so simple and every thing that I do in my business has been refined, it’s intentional and strategic, the very simple things that I do are working really well.
Meaning I don’t need to do more.
I don’t need to do more simply because I feel like I have to.
That’s why I’m excited to let go of this supposed need to do certain things for the rest of the year.
Because I trust that keeping things simple is how I want to run my business and I believe that my content and messaging is exactly what my clients need to see and hear from me.
In terms of Q3 and Q4 goals, to be quite honest, I just want to repeat what I’ve been doing since December 2020.
Right now, I’m really not in a rush to reach my next big goal.
I know that if I stay focused on becoming a better coach, helping my clients get amazing results, and creating even better content, the business will naturally scale to the next big income goal just by proxy of me focusing on becoming the best coach possible.
That is my mid-year check in with you all.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you a closer peek into my business.
Goals are awesome. Goals are meant to stretch you. Goals are meant to give you direction and focus.
But goals are not meant to make you stressed and feel frustrated if you don’t hit them in a certain time.
That’s not what goal setting is for.
You’re setting a goal because you want to work towards something. That’s literally it.
It’s not meant to spin you out.
That’s also how I like to look at goal setting.
If you’ve been finding it stressful to look at your goals or if you feel really bad when you look at where you’re right now in terms of hitting those goals, I want to offer you one thing to think about:
It’s literally just a goal. You don’t have to make it mean anything about you or your business. It’s literally just a goal on your journal or Google document.
Instead, let the goal help you see what’s possible and imagine.
Let it stretch you and motivate you.
As we enter into the second half of 2021, I invite you to think about the following questions:
1) What goals do you want to set so that it can stretch you and push you?
2) How can you set goals in a way that doesn’t make you spin out or stress out?
Because remember, a goal’s purpose isn’t to spin you out. It’s literally just to serve as a direction for where you want to go. That’s it.
3) How do you want to feel in your business for Q3 and Q4?
4) What will you keep doing and double down on? What will you let go of and stop doing? And what will you do differently so that you can feel the feelings you answered for the previous question?
Please take a moment to check in with yourself and your business, and let’s keep moving forward and continue making this the best year yet.
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