*I hope this post gives heart to those of you who've struggled in the last few years in business 🙏🏼
Buckle in because this is more of a 'last few years' recap than just 2023. I think it's really, really important that as women we share long term growth stories like this frankly. Because most of what we see online is instant overnight success. And the grind stories you DO hear about are often only shared when the glow of some kind of 7 figure success follows. Not many people share the journey as it happens, just in case it doesn't work out. There can be a lot of shame involved in that.
But when I started She Owns It I could see the opportunity the online business world offered women. A 'from home' chance to build something, with the added bonus of social media to help you connect to thousands to share what you did. Compared to what we had to do with my first business, it seemed like SUCH an incredible thing.
So I set myself a challenge to prove that I could build a successful online business working part time, from home. And that I'd share that journey along the way, documenting the wins and fails and seeing where it took us. Well, surprise surprise, it didn't turn out how I thought 😂.
After a great start Covid and family life completely stripped the wind out of my sails for a few years. But that's why I feel posts like this are SO important. Because I AM still here. And even though growth stalled for a time, I came out the other side with more clarity, more strategy, more focus and great hope for the future.
So below, I'm going to share that journey, as well as some of the things I did in 2023 that really changed the record for me, and that I hope I can help you move towards in 2024 too if you're inside our Membership.
This account is for you if you've been at it a while and are feeling shaky but underneath the doubt you still love what you do and the dream/ impact remains powerful for you and your community. I hope it gives you belief that if you stay in the game, get honest about what's holding you back, stop dithering and get laser focussed on growth, 2024 can be your best year yet. Let's go!
I've just been in my Xero account and it tells an interesting story! Pre covid, in my first year of business with She Owns It I turned over 14k. Second year, bang. Up to 92k with a 40k + profit. Third year, 140k with a 90k+ profit.
‘Officially’ working around 20 hours a week, I was pretty happy with where things were going. On a mission to prove that a simple online business model- systemised, low turnover, high profit- WAS a real opportunity for Kiwi women to gain freedom and financial independence, it really mattered to me to prove that it could be done.
Those results are obviously not massive but they are important. Because a 90k profit for a woman- working so few hours a week- with a young family, is game changing.
I want to prereq' those results by noting that She Owns It was not my first business. I cut my teeth in London building a nanny recruitment company from the ground up, on a bootstring budget, in the early 2000's (pre social media!).
So I knew something about how bootstring, low investment, high profit business building went. And I already had a sense for the power of community building as a marketing tool. So, not my first rodeo.
*Pic 1. Classic 'I'm all over it' second pregnancy pose. Pic 2. Not coping frazzled how did this happen round 3 😂
In October 2019, I got home from an event in Napier and I realised I was pregnant again. After many difficult cycles of IVF for Amelia and Timmy, it was a happy surprise- it took some getting my head around (at 42 a baby isn't easy especially with a zealous 2 yr old around) but we were so thrilled.
I made my plan. Due in July, I'd clear the deck to spend April- June creating content to keep the wheels turning for She Owns It in the second half of the year. But March 2020, Covid hit. Living in Auckland, 7 months pregnant with 2 small kids at home already, it hit hard. Then, the Black Lives Matter movement shook the world- and my world too.
I realised I wasn't going to be able to deliver what I needed to to keep the business in growth mode. In fact, 'Business' wasn't on the agenda at all. Content creation? Good luck. My days were dominated trying to navigate schooling for my 5 year old, a 1 year old. Plus, I was fast discovering that the 'safe' space I thought I'd created with She Owns It most probably didn't feel that safe to lots of people.
I had a LOT of work to do to learn how to better facilitate an inclusive space.
So I did the only thing I could manage at the time, which was majorly dial back.
One of the biggest decisions I made was to temporarily close our Free Support Community for Kiwi women in business. That was serious because many business owners at the time were feeling desperate. I was getting daily messages from people reaching out to me for help and advice about what to do, how to manage, how to keep going and how to access Government Funding.
At the same time I was trying to offer support to the women who'd actually invested in and sponsored She Owns It inside our Membership. It was all way too much to keep up with and impacting my health. Anaemic and stressed I had an iron transfusion and hit a real low point.
So I made the decision to temporarily close the free Facebook group, and offered anyone who wanted continued support to join our Membership at a never before offered monthly rate of just $10.
To be fair to my existing Members who I knew were equally stressed about business, I also reduced their Membership fees to match that rate, almost halving my turnover overnight. I've been asked since if I regretted that decision or if it's something other Membership owners should do if they offer discounted rates and the answer is no!
That decision was made for my Members who's been so loyal but also for me. I knew that closing the free Facebook Group wasn't enough to give me the space I needed because I was also required to deliver a lot inside the Membership. I needed an 'out' to dial back on delivering in there without closing the Membership completely. The financial impact was worth the freedom it gave me to focus on my family, deliver my baby in good health and forget about content for a while!
In hindsight, most everyone was scrambling at the time. For me, that scrambling went on for around 3 years. Rosie was a Covid baby, born in Auckland, in between lockdowns in 2020.
By the end of 2021, lockdowns with such a young family in Auckland had beaten us and we were out. In January 2022, we landed in Tauranga, and spent a year resettling our family and moving/ renovating our new home. Rosie also unfortunately suffered a serious burn which required a skin graft and regular trips to Hamilton for assessment. In general, I was... managing. Certainly not thriving.
During this time, I treaded water with She Owns It but underneath that waterline, an iceburg of learning and strategy and growth was slowly developing. I didn't dive straight back in to what I'd been doing before, because things were different...
➡️ I no longer wanted to roll with stressful fomo based launch cycles for growth with She Owns It
➡️ I missed 1-1 contact and wanted to explore new products ideas that would allow me to offer a level of 1-1 support
➡️ I knew I had been holding myself back and wanted to explore why and build skills to change the record
So I decided 2023 would be a year for me to reflect, reinvest in myself and create a platform for powerful future growth. Here's what I did to make it happen!:
➡️ I dove into learning. All sorts of self improvement, and if you're keen to know what just some of what I consumed:
• Brene Browns' A-Z of the Heart
• Atomic Habits by James Clear
• Becoming Limitless by Bio Hacking Health expert Tanessa Shears
• Almost every episode of the We Can Do Hard Things Podcast with Glennon Doyle
• The Tools by Phil Stutz
• The Choice and The Gift by Edith Egar
You'll notice that most of these aren't business or marketing books. I was looking for greater growth than just 'how to build a funnel' or grow an audience. I know I can do those things but what stops them from working is more complex. So I wanted to understand my limiting behaviours and learn how to tweak my daily practises and thoughts to bring change.
➡️ I resisted the temptation of launches and instead tested different strategies for evergreen Membership growth until I landed on a strategy that works to bring in Members consistently month on month (yah!)
➡️ I beta tested a new 1-1 product offer that's ready to launch in 2024 💕
➡️ I did the inner work! I started journalling daily. Setting goals and learning how to create pathways to actually make them happen
Critically, I also made the conscious decision to STOP things that weren't serving me, and spend my time instead on motivating myself, serving my community and taking DAILY Messy Action to tell people about what we do to help you grow your business inside the Membership and how to join.
Not overthinking, not perfecting anything.
Here's three things I do now that I didn't before, that I KNOW are creating results for me:
1. Sleep Focussed Health
That's not an official term 😂. But basically, no screens after 8pm, instead I dim all the lights, have a nice long shower, read a book and drift off to sleep with a rested brain. I do this because I learnt that blue light before sleep suppresses the body’s release of melatonin and disrupts deep sleep. Then, if I'm up with the kids in the night, I commit to doing it in what I call 'robot mode.' Meaning, I DON'T let my brain switch on. I just do what needs to be done, so when it's done, I can drift right back off to sleep. This has been game changing for me. Off the back of better, deeper sleeps, I'm feeling more alert, eating healthier and making better decisions during the day.
2. Clear Goals with Reduced Focus
I gave myself the space and permission to actually think about what I wanted and decide on the most powerful goal I could choose that would create that reality for me. If you're in the Membership and you haven't yet done it, watch the Plan Your Bold 2024 Success Plan workshop where I share the exact powerful process I work through now to set a goal that drives growth ⚡️
3. Daily Journalling
I've never been able to keep this up so I designed something SUPER simple that I could do daily before I dove into work. It only takes me about 10 minutes and this is what keeps me hyper results focussed on the daily
And it's working. October and November were my most profitable in months. I've made more profit this year already than I did in 22/23. To get those results from an evergreen model, still working part time, with a single, low cost offer and without anywhere near the momentum I had back then- I'm stoked!
Plus I have a clear path forward to build on that from a number of different income sources which will really level things up. So all in all, as 2024 kicks off I'm feeling excited! Not just for me, but for all of our Members who're ready to step in to Messy Action and shine.
So my income goal for the 2024-25 biz year is 250k with a take home income of 150k- working part time, with school holidays mostly off.
And look I know I could shoot higher. I know I could do more, earn more. But for now, with my busy home life, I say no thank you. I've had a 7 figure business and a team and all the bells and whistles and it didn't make me happy. Life is not always about MORE. Sometimes, life is about enough. For me, this will be more than enough.
I'm also determined to make sure that how I make this money sits with me well ethically. I don't want to offer a course that I know people will buy but doesn't really get them a result. I don't want to do high ticket 1-1 work that leaves people feeling excited but without a plan.
I want to feel great about how I bring that money in and excited about telling people to work with me, so I won't compromise by sending rubbish to my community.
Finally, of course as usual I'll be sharing my learnings, what's working and the growth with everyone inside the Membership. And you can join me for monthly planning, live Q & A's, mentoring days etc so you can get my eyes on YOUR biz and what's holding you back, and my support making progress faster.
Regardless of if you join or not, I hope something in this message gives you heart that if things have been tough for you, there is hope. If you're open to growth, and prepared to stay in the game just a little bit longer, time does change things.
Have you reflected yet on 2023 and had any powerful learnings to take forward? Let me know below! ⤵️
Cat has taken her travel card game Getting Lost from blog to big business- picking up many accolades along the way including Excellence in Marketing award at the 2degrees Auckland Business Awards. This year they've been featured on Seven Sharp, 1 News, The Spinoff and even on the back of buses!
Inside the Membership this month I interviewed Cat and we talked about the early stages of growth, and the strategies they used to 🚀 bust 🚀 through the growing pains and scale Getting Lost 🔥
In this short insight Cat shares her 6 tips to building a 7 figure business and it's worth a listen!
Step 1: Create a great audience led product
Step 2: Figure out your logistics
Step 3: Operationalise / health and safety and staff
Step 4: Hire the skills you don't have (just because you can doesn't mean you should)
Step 5: Stop! Re-evaluate, and plan BIG!
Step 6: Go all in! Make your biz 100% your focus, YOU are the secret sauce!
Connect with Cat:
Getting Lost Website
Getting Lost on Facebook
Getting Lost on Instagram
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