Oh, how I love these end-of-year reviews. I am so nosey that I devour other people’s reviews with equal measures of curiosity, delight and inspiration.
Settle in, it’s a long one….
Each December, I set my Be, Do, Have & Feel goals for the following year.
If you’ve been in my world long enough, you’ll know that the most important of these is the FEEL goals. What’s the point of setting action-based goals if you achieve them and you still don’t feel satisfied? Or if you don’t achieve them, you feel crappy? Nobody sets a goal to feel crappy. I base my whole life around my FEEL goals.
Looking back in my journal, these were my Be, Do, Have & Feel Goals for 2022:
Able to travel freely
Free in mind and body
A confident leader & mentor
Travel to Noosa and Europe
Grow The Creative Business Hub membership
Our own home
Growing savings & investment accounts
More cycle trips with Fran
Emotionally stable (2021 was a mental riot for me due to covid restrictions in Australia)
Fit & strong
So, which did I achieve & which fell short?
Healthy: ✅ I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so health is always a priority. I don’t want to rely on my medication alone. I lost 3 kgs in the final 4 months of 2022, just due to eating less and dropping dairy. Bran flakes or porridge for breakfast, light snacks at lunch, cup of tea with a biscuit at 3pm, a healthy supper at 6:30pm (with 2 glasses of wine while cooking) Bed by 9pm. Up at 7am. I feel great.
Able to Travel: ✅ – gosh, did I travel this year!!! This is not the place to bang on about my rebellious thoughts about covid restrictions and rules, but needless to say, eventually I was free to get on a plane. Six weeks in Europe: back home to England where I travelled to Cornwall, The Cotswolds and Cheshire with my husband, spent precious time with my parents in Surrey, and then we indulged in a week on a yacht around the Greek islands with friends (and crew because I do not do sailing or catering – it’s my Diva rider 🤣🤩)
Free in mind and body: ✅ See above.
A confident mentor & leader: 🤔 hmmm. I must admit that although I’m a naturally confident person, I did succumb to comparisonitis wobbles this year. “I’m not where I should be with my career. Look at XYZ humble-bragging about their multi 6 figure business etc etc” Luckily, I can call BS on myself, and remind myself that I am doing well and, most importantly, I am genuinely happy.
With friends and crew on Nomad II in Greece. I’m on the back row with Simon. Fran just below me in red.
Travel: ✅ Noosa was stellar as always; it’s my favourite holiday destination in Australia. It has the perfect mix of stylishness and the great outdoors.
Europe – ✅ It was divine. ‘Nuff said.
Grow The Creative Business Hub: ❌ This was a struggle in 2022, as I split my focus between my design business and my mentorship program. Yes, I welcomed new and delightful members to the group (we are 28 strong today) but I had a goal of 100 members. I think I need to write a separate post on this because it’s a complex situation. I need to earn well, which I do with my design business. But eventually, I want to replace that income with more leveraged income from The Creative Business Hub; my driving factor is to help fellow creatives run their own profitable and joyous business. It’s a juggle I haven’t got right yet and there’s been a significant dip in my earnings this year as a result. I am yet to find the sweet spot solution to this!
More exercise: ✅ Exercise is a part of my life. But there’s always room for improvement. I started 2022 strong but let my fitness lapse mid year. But I’m now back to spinning 3 times per week on my terrace, overlooking the ocean with Dua Lipa and Miley Cyrus pumping in my ears. Heavenly and sweaty. I also do 100 arm reps every day with my dumbbells and elastics: I am determined to fight the dreaded floppy arms as I hurtle towards 50 😂 💪
Some of The Hubsters during a monthly group mentoring session. Yes, we have 1 male Hubster, the fabulous Peter – everyone is welcome. This is not a female-only group.
Our own home: ✅ After 19 months of living in limbo waiting to settle, we finally signed & moved into our apartment in September. It’s heavenly. After 10 years of renting, due to various factors you may have read about in previous blogs, we now own a home again. I literally went around touching walls, sinks and door handles, saying “This is mine, and this is mine, I own this….”
Growing Savings & Investments: ✅ A few years ago, I set up automated weekly and monthly savings. Once the amount reaches $1,000, I buy ETFs (Vanguard on the ASX) because I am not a risk taker. I don’t want to stock pick. I am a cautious investor, not a trader, so this is a long-term strategy. It’s been a rocky year for the market, but I’m not concerned. We have some crypto; again, it’s the long game. I was lucky enough to have some inheritance come my way, so I saved some, put some in our home and spent some on 2 beautiful pieces of art.
Cycle trips with Fran: ✅ We love to cycle together. In February, we spent time near Tilba Tilba, cycling the ocean roads and mountain tracks. We also cycled in Noosa. Bliss. And now, we cycle locally to explore the new region. I’m pedalling merrily on my e-bike as Fran sweats away on his road bike!! 🤣 🚲
Me on my beloved e-bike. The view from our new home, across the ocean.
Settled: 🤔 I must admit, that 2022 did not start off feeling settled. We were in a temporary rental as we waited for the developer to stop being a pillock. Most of our stuff was in storage, and I am such a home-body that I felt lost without my art, books, furniture and collected belongings. But today, I feel much more settled.
Emotionally stable: ✅ for 46 years, this was easy for me. My emotional set-point is naturally happy & optimistic. Then in 2020 and 2021, covid came along and it sent me spiralling into frustration, anger and disbelief. Mixing that with living in a short-term rental, it was a murky time. In December 2021, when I set this goal, I was dreading yet another year of the same emotional turmoil. Thankfully, 2022 was a delightful year!
Fit & Strong: ✅ I love how my body allows me to live this marvellous life in this beautiful world. And as I age – did I mention 50 is close 😳 – I want to ensure that I’m in good shape to enjoy the next 40 years without too many pills or medical interventions. Plus, I firmly believe that exercise activates creativity; it opens our minds to new thoughts, ideas and perspectives.
Financially Free: 🤔 This is work-in-progress and an ongoing practice. In 2022, I felt more financially free than I have in years: we have no debt beyond a mortgage which we can confidently service (though the rocketing interest rates are unwelcome) and we have 4 income streams between us. I do want to earn more so that I can help pay off the mortgage within 5 years – that would make me feel truly financially free.
Feeling Wealthy: ✅ generally, I felt wealthy in 2022. Remember, feeling wealthy is not about being wealthy in financial terms. It’s about how you view the money you do have and how you choose to use it. Big things and little things can make you feel wealthy. Buying luxuriously scented candles and new towels made me feel as wealthy as spending 6 weeks in Europe did. Saving $20 per week can also make you feel wealthy. Little upgrades can feel very expensive and wealthy.
At ease: ✅ For so long I felt untethered because we had to sell our family home back in Switzerland, but now we own our first home in Australia so that feeling has gone. Today, as I potter around the apartment or as I slowly fall asleep while reading each night, I finally feel at ease. What a great way to end the year 🎉
Fran and me on Christmas Day at home. The dream team!
You may have noticed that my 2022 Review revolved around my personal life more than my business life. It was a big year for us personally – which is precisely why I advocate building a lifestyle business; if you work 24/7 you won’t be able to focus on what really matters in life.
So here’s a business review.
Rough Business Numbers
- Bespoke Backdrops & Branding clients – 13
- The Creative Business Hub members – 28 (11 new)
- Revenue – down 25% from 2021
- Gross profit – down 23% from 2021
- My pay – down 35% from 2021.
- Expenses – down 40% from 2021. I cut a lot of spending this year, which may have also contributed to my lack of growth. I didn’t really invest in my business growth with mentors, professional development or marketing.
Yes, it wasn’t a great year in terms of financial growth, but I am OK with that. I know why and I have a plan to fix it for 2023. The key in business when it fluctuates is not to panic and throw the towel in – it’s crucial to keep going and trust in the long-term process.
One thing I did well in 2022:
My October campaign, $10 for 7 days Membership, brought 5 new members into The Creative Business Hub, which was a 71% conversion rate. I think people loved trying before buying to see if the mentorship program was the right fit for them, including being part of a live group mentoring session. I will be doing this again in 2023.
One thing I didn’t do so well in 2022:
Managing my time between The Creative Business Hub and servicing my design clients. I felt really conflicted; when I was designing, I wanted to spend time on The Creative Business Hub. When I was focusing on The Creative Business Hub, in the back of my mind I knew I had design work to complete. Mentally, that’s exhausting.
Plans for The Creative Business Hub in 2023:
- More try before you buy opportunities to grow the membership.
- Adding monthly co-working and accountability Zoom sessions for members.
- Creating a Member Gallery – there are so many talented creatives in the group that I want to have a public, online gallery to promote their art, designs, illustrations, creative endeavours.
- Member Spotlight: again, there’s so much experience and knowledge amongst the members, that I will invite members to teach something or share something.
- Focus on growing my mailing list, being interviewed on podcasts, taking SEO seriously and improving my messaging to encourage more creatives to join. Once in, everyone loves it!
OK, time to stop here. I could go on and on and on!!
This really has been very cathartic for me and I hope it’s been insightful and interesting for you too.
Here’s to a stellar 2023 for us all 💕🎉💰😎