2019 is almost over (insert scream) how in the HECK does that even happen? Let’s dig into my year in review.
It’s so easy to gloss over an ENTIRE YEAR and think about what’s next, goals, New Year’s resolutions, and the like. But hold up, what about all the stuff we planned for in 2018?
Did we do it?
And what didn’t work?
What did we wish for but not take action on?
The most important thing you can do BEFORE you plan for a new year is to review THIS ONE! Let me take you down memory lane. My personal year in review and let you peek inside my personal evaluation of how I did. Wins, losses, flops, hard stuff, great stuff, and everything in between.
Don’t worry you, little planners, you this is only part one of a two-part series. Next time, we will dig into 2020. How to create a successful strategy for your most fulfilling year ever.
I pray this blesses you!
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
What up, Sis! Welcome to episode number 118. And today I’m pretty excited because we are going to be digging into the 2019 year in review. What the heck happened this year for me, wins losses, breakthroughs, strengths, and weaknesses, and analysis of the year so that I can do more of what’s working, less of what’s not working and how you can do the same. You are going to love it.
Now, I want to let you guys get on my little secret. I am master planning the hundred thousand download giveaway for this show. We are hopefully hitting that number this year, if not for sure in January, and we are going to be doing something super special. And then next step did you know, I have a list of every single software, every single resource that I personally use to run my business from email marketing, to hosting my courses to this podcast host to, Oh my gosh everything in between all put together for you over stefaniegass.com/resources.
The number one problem or the number one question I had when I started was which software, which one is the best? What should I use? And all the people I followed use different stuff. I did my research. I’ve tried everything and I’ve pared it down to the ones that are the most easy to use and the most affordable, because that’s important. I don’t have a lot of time to be wasting on stuff that’s difficult. So go check out my resources, all of my software, stefaniegass.com/resources. Let’s dig into today’s episode. What’s up girl. Okay. So real talk. I have got to record this on my phone because I haven’t been hitting my steps every day and I need to pace while I record.
And also I feel like this episode is just so fiery that I know I’m going to need to walk around and do the things. So I’m currently walking around the minefield, which is my house right now, because I have to talk to you guys about just the year. I mean, it’s so flipping crazy, right? Where did 2019 go? That’s my first question. And the second thing is that I’m just so anti hustle right now. It’s weird. I was meeting with my mastermind group yesterday. There’s like six women in there ranging from millions in revenue to, you know, early six figures. And I’m just super grateful to be a part of it.
Anyway, we’re all talking about what’s next? What’s on the table for 2020. I’m like, I don’t know. I literally didn’t know. Didn’t have an answer. And I actually felt really resistant to answering the question at all. I felt like, why do I have to have another audacious goal? Like I flipping worked my booty off this year. There was so much that I did. I’m not ready for just the next thing. And it hit me that as entrepreneurs, we’re always being asked the question, what now, what’s next? How are you going to build on this momentum? How are you gonna hustle? What’s the next phase of growth for you and more and more and want and why, why, why? And I’m like, screw that really.
I’m not saying that goal setting is not critically important. And we’re going to talk about goal setting. Actually, I’m actually going to share with you my entire plan for 2020. But what I am saying is that we have to take a minute and sit in the glory of what has been, we have to inventory all of the incredible things we’ve done this year. We’ve got to revel in the wins. We have to analyze the losses. We have to evaluate, what’s working. What’s not working. We have to celebrate. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t celebrate enough. So why I had so much resistance is because I just wanted to sit in all of the work and the beautiful, incredible, miraculous gifts that I’ve gotten this year, that I’ve received.
The hard things that I persevered through, the miracles, the provision, the favor that God poured down and showered upon us. The people I know that were healed, the clients that I was given, that I was able to help and on and on and on, and just like bathe in that for a second because you know what it feels really good, this year has been incredible. So I actually sat down this morning and that’s what I started with. I didn’t know what I wanted to say to you guys about goal setting and goal planning and vision casting and 2020 baby. But I do now, I do now.
It all starts with this first part, which is our year in review, our year in review. So I’m going to walk you through how I reviewed my year and the things that happened for me this year. And I want you to do that exercise first. And then in the second session of this coaching session that I’m giving you, we’re going to talk about 2020, and I’m going to give you a success strategy formula for not more money, not more advancement, not to crush it and kill it and hustle, baby. No, I’m going to give you a success strategy formula for ultimate fulfillment next year. And I think it’s going to change your life.
I did the exercise for myself so that I can give you a visual roadmap of what that will it look like for you. And I want you to do that exercise. Okay. So let’s go ahead and start with part one, which is the year in review. Holy smokes. My word of the year was truth and authenticity. You guys have heard me say that a couple of times.
And I tested myself. I really stepped into that and I really took it seriously. And I don’t think I’ve ever had more truth and authenticity in my entire life than I have this year. The major thing that happened for me this year, that really tested that was the major surgery that I had in March of 2019. And pretty much leading up to that point. That was my main focus, right? It was mentally preparing for surgery. It was trying to get my business stuff done, prerecording episodes for four to six weeks, like getting my family stuff in order. I had breast implant explant surgery.
I had my 13 year old breast implants, completely removed. They were heavy. They were just in the way I couldn’t work out. And I read about the FDA and all of the crazy health implications of having breast implants. I was having anxiety attacks. I didn’t know if it was related and I was, they were 13 years old. They’re a ticking time bomb. So I went under the knife. I have an entire episode about it. If you guys want to listen, scroll back and check that episode out from earlier this year, I talked about it in February. I went public with it and the fear was debilitating and I didn’t want to share it. I was embarrassed. What is everyone going to think about me?
Some people don’t even know I had breast implants. Like, should I talk about this? What if I get backlash? But y’all truth truth. That was my word. So I sat behind the computer and I asked God to give me the message that I needed to share about it. And I just did it. I just ripped off the bandaid, I just shared, it was incredible. I didn’t get any pushback, backlash hate, I got love so much support, incredible support. And I felt so free.
I felt like liberated that I was able to just share my truth. And that was the moment I was like, that’s it. You know, if I’m going to really do this and I’m really going to speak to Lola, like my best friend, I’m really going to talk to her, which is you like my best friend. I’m going to be my weird, quirky self.
I’m going to share those really awkward stories, like talking about breast implants and everything in between business losses, successes, failures, what I’m going through. Mindset struggles, all of it, because truth, because truth. So that happened in March of this year, which was absolutely flipping crazy. And so that was one of the biggest things I went through this year. It tested me in so many ways, physically, emotionally, I’ve never been in so much pain in my life that I can remember. It was just crazy, personal on a personal level. My family and I went on 16 trips this year, crazy 16 trips. I had one of my babies turn five, talk about crying my eyeballs out. My other baby turned three.
I feel more in love with my husband than I’ve ever been in my entire life. And I’m not a real emotional person. So this is weird to share. But the closer I grew to God this year got really deep into a new Bible study, got some really incredible sisters in Christ to work, you know, work alongside. And the closer I got to God and his word, the closer and more in love I became with my husband. It’s so cool because you start to, I started to see my husband in like this godly light and start to notice all of his incredible attributes and the things that are so great about him. And it was just a new way of looking at my family.
I think I attribute that to getting into the word and looking through this lens of scripture at every piece of my life. And it just really transformed on a personal level. Next on a personal level, I also stopped doing keto, low carb and really struggled. I was like, what am I doing? What am I eating? What am I? And I, you know, working out has been great this year, but I didn’t know what I was doing with eating. And I finally, in the last 30 days have figured out kind of an eating plan for myself. I’m using an app called NuMi. I don’t know if you guys have heard of it. I’ll link it up in the show notes. You can try it out, but it’s doing really, really well for me.
It’s basically just a mindset shift around food psychology. So I feel healthier and happier in my personal life. And so balanced you guys so balanced than I ever have before I work out every day. Not every day, let’s not get it twisted. I work out four days a week, I go to Bible study once a week. I do my With God, She Rises journaling five days a week. We go to church every Sunday. I’m at every single one of my son’s sports events. I take my kids to school, both of them. And I still run, I believe a very successful business. And it’s like, this is the dream. This is the dream.
So let’s talk about on a business side, along with all that personal transformation this year went to two live events, Pays to Be Brave with my girl, my friend, Angie Lee, went to a Christian women’s conference through my church here locally. And I’m doing a mastermind with some incredible women on a personal development level. I’ve done a couple of hours with various coaches this year just to work through specific issues. And it’s been wonderful. That is definitely an area that I need to expand on more, note that word in 2020. Personal coaching for myself, going to continue to look into what’s next in that arena.
By the time this airs, we will have over 100,000 or close to 100,000 downloads on this podcast. I don’t even know if that’s good. I don’t even know. There’s so many metrics floating around about how many podcast episodes people have, how many downloads and ah, like what’s good. What’s not good, but here’s what I know for sure. I can only compare myself against myself and my number one goal when I started this show was to grow every month.
So if I had 1000 downloads in May to have 1001 in June meant winning. And all I focused on, all I focused on this year was my own metric of growing my own show against my own show, by doing PR for the show, by doing interviews, by finding incredible guests that would add a ton of value by pouring my heart and soul into you guys, by asking God to give me the words, to give me the content, to transform your life.
I know that He did that, I get your DMs, I get your emails. I get your reviews. And my heart just explodes. Every time that I hear that you guys had a win because of this podcast, those are the metrics that I used, but a hundred thousand crazy, crazy. I just never in a million. I was like, if I have one listener, when I started this thing, I’m like, that’s cool.
Like I just had no major expectation, which I think that’s why it feels so surreal to me. Cause I’m kind of over the whole expectation, hangover thing. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of saying I need to do specific number of something. And then I don’t get there because it’s this big audacious goal. And I have like this expectation hangover because I didn’t hit it. I feel like a loser and it wasn’t realistic for me in the first place. And there are so many variables that would have gone into whether I hit that number or not. I’m just blown away because I went into it with an excited, open heart. I had no number expectation for the show and I think that’s why it feels like such a huge win for me.
And lastly, on a business note I launched my bestselling course Podcast Pro University this year. I mean, Holy smokes. It’s my sixth or seventh course that I’ve ever done. It’s the one. When you see the one you’re like, that is him. Literally y’all. When my husband walked in to audit my company, this is not, this is not a facade. This is a true story. Right now, buckle up. I’m working in finance. The auditor walks in and I said to the girl in the cubicle, across from me at the ripe age of 26, I will marry that guy. Two years later, we were married on a beach in Cancun. Another year later, I was Prego with our little booboo miles and the rest is history.
And so, you know, you know when, you know, when you know, and Podcast Pro University is the one, at least for today, God gifted me the idea to start the podcast. And then he pushed me into so many clients asking me for how to start a podcast, which led me to creating a course of podcasting, which has blown up and it’s exceeded every expectation. I’m having success story after success story, after success story from women, launching podcasts that are helping them grow their brand, speak their mission, speak their truth. And ultimately they monetize that using online courses.
It’s exactly the business model that I set up that is very, very, very successful for me. After years of struggling to have a passive online business, that just felt super right. It felt super right. Like you guys right now, I’m recording this podcast for you while I pace around my messy living room in my two day old PJ’s with a huge zit in the middle of my forehead. And I don’t have to go on video and it’s flipping life and my baby’s sleeping in the next room during nap. That’s the dream for me today. It may not be the dream for me in five years, but it’s the dream for me today. It’s crazy.
And most days I sell a course or I have a coaching client and it’s like, what? This is so cool. And if I can do this, so can you. That’s why this year has just blown me away, like on so many levels on so many levels, not to mention the caliber of clients that have come into my heart. And I’ve been, I’ve been blessed enough to mentor. You guys know who you are. I mean, I couldn’t have asked for, I think that you guys helped me more than I helped you. I think you lit my soul on fire to an extent that you don’t even understand.
You’re just the most incredible gifts each and every one of you that I worked with privately this year. I can’t, I just can’t like, we’re bonded for life. You are my, you know, little Lolita. Cause we were like literally BFFs. And I just thank God for you every single day because you just fulfilled. You’re the cherry on top of this year. Okay. That’s what you are. You’re the cherry on top. Okay. Last part of the year in review. So I want you to do that. Go through every month of your planner, pull out. What did you do on a personal level, on a family level, on a spiritual level and on a business level, pull it out, figure out how many trips did you do?
What did you do with your family this year, what were your personal health wins? What were your spiritual wins, what were your business wins? Write all of that down and then really sit in it, take a whole day, sit in it, revel in it, share it. Those deserve to be lifted up. Now the second thing I did, I wrote down some wins and I wrote down some losses because I want to do more of what’s working and I want to figure out a solution for what’s not working.
Have you ever heard you are only as successful as the problems you can solve? I truly believe that. And I also fiercely believe that any problem that you face any problem has a solution. You just have to get resourceful and uncover it. So here are the wins. I outsourced a ton of stuff this year, outsourced podcast editing, outsourced graphic design, outsourced my blogs, outsourced podcasting public relation. I outsourced my support inbox, all of it. Yeah. It takes money and yeah, I could do it myself for free cause I’ve done it myself for years, but it’s time. It was time, it was time to let go and time to grow.
So I did that and I’m going to continue to do more of that. Another huge win for me, I had the largest affiliate relationship I could ever flipping dream of come through this year. I just, I’m still in disbelief. And that affiliate relationship will lead to a lot of open doors and so much incredible growth in my podcast, in my course. I’m going to continue to cultivate more affiliate relationships with influencers in my space this year. And then the third major win for me is I stopped getting distracted by shiny object syndrome. Raise your hand, raise your hand. Is that you? That’s all of us.
I just, and it doesn’t mean ideas don’t creep in. Okay. I’m still having ideas creep in on all the cool things I need to do and all the new courses I want to do and all the new blah, but it’s like no stay focused. And so one thing I believe I did really well this year was I stopped being distracted by all the cool new ideas. And I got laser focused on one initiative and one initiative only which we’re going to talk about in part two, which is the 2020 success strategy formula.
I got super clear on one thing, one call, one mission. And I didn’t do anything that didn’t support the mission. I turned business away that wasn’t in line with my mission. I stopped taking clients that weren’t in this exact sphere. Okay. I got picky about how I was going to grow and that was polarizing. It got rid of the people that I wasn’t meant to work with. I lost a ton of engagement, but guess what? Business went through the roof because the right people were resonating with me, were learning from me, were growing with me and I had a specific solution.
Anytime anybody asks the question, how do I launch a podcast? I was getting referred. Anybody asked the question, how can I launch an online course? What would my course be about I’m stuck? Or I don’t know my zone of genius. And I don’t know how to monetize it. I was recommended I started to shine in one specific area. So those are the wins I’m going to continue to do more of that next year. Here were some losses, the first loss for me, I don’t know if this is a loss or not, but the income goal I had originally set, I fell very short of like tens of thousands of dollars short of my income goal. Why? Because it was too audacious because I was in a transition.
I had just started the podcast October of last year, I wasn’t really sure how I was going to monetize it, I had a bunch of courses in a bunch of different areas. I wasn’t super clear on who Lola was. You guys. It was just what 14 short months ago when everything became super clear for me and even not even then probably just a year ago, but so much can happen in a year. And that’s my point for you, no matter where you sit today so much can happen for you in the next 12 months. So much clarity, don’t worry. It’s all gravy. Here’s what I don’t like about that. I don’t like about that a couple of things.
Number one, that I set a goal that wasn’t realistic because I was looking at what everyone else was doing and saying. The second tier of that is I fell short of my income goal, which means we didn’t pay off the debt that we wanted to. You know what I’m saying? Like the goals that I had that were tied to that income level couldn’t happen. So I feel like that was a loss. And another huge situation that came through for us was we have a tax situation going on and not getting into it, but I’m going to have a humongous tax bill flowing through pretty soon.
And that’s a loss getting the brunt of something that really wasn’t my fault. Or at least I’m going to say 60% of that wasn’t my fault. That’s okay. I now know I have the ability and the responsibility to fix that problem. And I’m going to be gravy going forward and Hey, maybe I didn’t hit my income goal. Cause I had to fix this first. You know, God works in really cool ways and maybe He’s like, let’s get this stuff straightened out before we, you know, kill it in 2020 Stef. So there you go. I want you to do the same thing. Go through month by month, map out your wins.
How can you do more of that next year? What are the losses? The things that are tough, the things that were hard, how can you change too? Right? Like how could I change things physically about my diet, about my eating habits, about, you know, choosing sobriety for a while to focus on personal growth. How can you change even when it’s hard, even when it’s uncomfortable from a business standpoint, how were the wins associated with the actions that you took and how can you do more of that next year? Also, what did you love about this year? Do more of that.
What you love ultimately does equal success. And especially if you kind of take like an energy gauge and say, what did I do this year? What lit me up the most on purpose guys, you’re feeling that high energetic flow. And I know that sounds new agey, but you know what I mean? Like Holy spirit pushing, you’re waking up with excitement and energy and passion do more of that. Okay. And what did you hate? Outsource it. Get rid of it. I don’t care that it costs money. I’m telling you I am cheap. I don’t like to spend money. I don’t like to outsource things that I can do myself case in point.
I am still folding my own laundry literally. Well, first of all, I did ask my cleaning lady, if she would do it for me. And she said, no, she’s all sister, I have seen that laundry room. Nope, hard no. Now her actual words were not even interested, not a little bit so awesome. I try to outsource it, but not very hard. If you can outsource something, get rid of it. I’m telling you, especially the stuff that doesn’t light you up and I’m going to do that myself on all those final remaining things this year. Okay?
Next up, stay tuned in the second session of this amazing year in review recap, we are going to go into next year. Now, after you’ve done this homework and I challenge you to share this homework with me over in the Facebook group, we’re going to get more. We’re gonna get more lively up in there in 2020 ladies, I got some ideas for our Facebook community. Anyway, share with me or DM it to me. I want to see it. And then in the next episode, we are going to talk about the success strategy formula for ultimate fulfillment. Next year, I have a specific formula for you.
It’s a long acronym, so you’re gonna have to write it down, but I promise you if you follow this formula, there is no way you’re not going to become the woman of your dream life by this time next year. And I’m telling you that because I’ve done it myself and I’ve done this exercise and this formula for my business, for my life. And I’m going to share it with you. I’m going to get vulnerable and share my goals and my dreams for next year with you and how the heck I’m going to get there so that you can then visually walk alongside me and do it for your own business and your own life because you deserve to be living the life of your dreams.
I love you so much. I’m cheering for you. And I just pray over you, beautiful human. That no matter where you sit right now in your business and your life and your health and your relationships in motherhood, you know that every day, every day is a gift. Every moment is a blessing that all that hard stuff that you went through this year, it was on purpose. You were being prepared and that God has been with you the whole time. And He knew what you needed to grow through. He knew what you needed to get better, to strengthen, to get closer to Him.
It was all divinely laid out before you, even though you don’t understand it, I pray that you trust in Him, that you work through whatever mindset and beliefs that you need to work through so that you can flow into next year with an open heart and expectant mind and say, Lord, surprise me. I’m ready for this. I’m ready for the dreams that you have and the life that you’ve crafted for me. And I’m going to do this thing. I am ready. I’m excited. I am willing. And I am with you sending you a huge hug. I’ll see you soon, love and light, Stef.