What business wins are you celebrating this year? Every winter, I set time aside to really reflect on the year so far: what I’ve learned, what I’ve accomplished, and what I want to leave in the past.
This year has been one of “birth,” both in the literal sense with having my first baby and creatively with launching new programs and offers. I’m so grateful for all the wins and lessons 2021 has brought me and my AGENCY students, and I’m excited to see what the new year holds for us all.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing the wins my team has achieved in the past year and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. I’m walking you through my three steps to reflecting on the past year, looking forward to the new one, and deciding what to leave in the past. Plus, two of my students are sharing their big business wins from 2021.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:00:00] Welcome to the Scale Your Way podcast episode number 89. You’re listening to the Scale Your Way podcast, where we share simple, proven strategies just for done-for-you service based companies. Here, you’ll learn how to scale your business on your own terms so that you can have more time, money, create a bigger impact and a better life. I’m your host, Nicole Jackson Miller. Let’s dive into today’s episode.
Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the show, so as we wrap up twenty twenty one and head into twenty twenty two, it’s kind of hard to believe that I’m saying that I thought it would be such a great opportunity for us all to take a minute and pause and reflect on a year and think about what our biggest business wins have been and some of our biggest takeaways. And then what we’re taking into 2022 from those insights and that learning.
And so this is something that I like to do, something I love my clients to do. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the day to day that sometimes we forget to just breathe for a minute and reflect, and there’s so much that we can choose to bring into the new year. And there’s also things that we can choose to release.
So as you go through this exercise for yourself, I would love for you to write down what are three big takeaways from 2021? What are the things that you’re most proud of accomplishing? And then what? What insights do you have from those wins? Like, what were your biggest learnings? And then out of those learnings, what would you like to bring into 2020 too?
So for me, 2021 was quite the year. I launched my new program, AGENCY. I had my first baby and it was kind of like birthing a lot, right? Birthing a new human, birthing a new program. And for me, I think there’s quite a few wins big and small that I can think of. I think a launching AGENCY for me was pretty big because it had me really focused on creating something that I really wanted. And when, you know, when it comes to business planning and program creation or deciding not to create a program, right, there’s so much information out there on what you should be doing when it comes to growing your business and what you shouldn’t be doing when it comes to growing your business.
And there’s a lot of like opinions that what I like to do and what I teach is that, you know, you can listen right and gather the information, but then you have to really run it through your own internal filter. And this year, I felt like I was kind of cleaning my filter a lot and having a baby definitely did this where there was only really so much time and not just time, but like capacity that I had to be able to do things. And my first priority was taking care of my clients and then really thinking about how I want to grow the business.
And what I love about AGENCY was it really forced me to get very specific. I was having this conversation with my friend Jereshia Hawk. We did an Instagram Live on her Instagram account and we were talking about that topic of like obedience came up and really the idea of just sticking to what you’re really great at and what I was able to get very clear on. This was also towards the end of 2020. But then actually implemented in 2021 is that I was like, You know what? I’m really good at removing business owners from client delivery and helping remove their managers from client delivery and really focusing on this result and focusing on who this would be best for and just really committing to doing what I’m great at.
I think that when I look back, when I first started my business six years, six, seven years ago, I’m so bad with dates. So I don’t remember because I actually don’t remember. I felt like there was so much I didn’t know. And you know, you really need to do things, a lot of different things. I think that you need to do a lot of different things to figure out what you like and what you don’t like and what you’re good at, what you’re not good at.
And so I think for a lot of my business journey, it was kind of testing and experimenting and that will never change. I will always be testing and experimenting because I really value learning and I value trying to make things, you know, better and improving things and testing things and tweaking things and improving client experience and team experience. But you know, I was able to get really clear on what I really wanted to focus on. It was almost a business maturity in a way, and I think kind of every year doesn’t necessarily have to fall in a calendar year, but I feel like every year I’m in business. I just like the business to mature a little bit more.
And so my biggest, if I were to boil down my biggest business when from 2021 it was, was really stepping into that maturity and really owning what I am great at and therefore being able to be really clear on what I wanted to put into this offering agency. And it’s been amazing. It’s been really amazing. And I think I’m sure you’ve probably experienced this too as you’ve gone. True and refined your offerings a bit that you’re like, wow, I hope there’s people out there that want this, right? Like, I hope that this lands for people and I hope this works and we’ve been able to support so many people and I’ve been able to have so many conversations. And it’s so cool because I talk to people and I’m like, you know, I always ask what kind of led you to talk to me about this? And they’re just like, Well, your podcast has been so helpful, and it’s almost like you’re inside of my brain and can really help and support me. And I know that feeling of feeling understood, right? And it’s such a relief.
And so because I’ve refined that and then also therefore refined some of my messaging and what I’m talking about, it seems that I’m actually able to help and support more people, which is just like, really, I know this right? And I teach this to a degree when I help people create their scalable offers. And it’s just been really fun to do it, to do it for myself and be able to be like my big thing is that like, I know, I know I’m good at what I do. I know this works. I’ve like, I’ve implement it myself. I’ve taught other people like that. There’s been that evidence. I just want to help more people. I want to get this in front of more people.
So really kind of getting back to that, that really staying focused and committed and obedient to the path has been such a big, big takeaway. And I think as I step into 2022 continuing to do that, I mentioned before that 2021 was really kind of cleaning the filter and really being able to understand what’s for me and what’s not for me. And I think that maybe in 2022, I’ll just be learning how to perform maintenance on that filter. I think of like our HVAC or whatever, and there’s like the filters that you have to replace. I don’t know every month and I don’t know about you and what your whole situation looks like when it comes to filters for where you live, where it’s terrible at replacing the filters. And so I think, you know, maybe for 2022 I will not only replace the HVAC filters, but I will also continuously clean my own so that I can be really clear on and have that strong compass so that when things come up, it’s just a lot easier to be able to to navigate, right?
Because just because you’re clear on what’s next doesn’t make it necessarily easy, but without that clarity, you don’t have anything. And so with that, I would say, would be what I’m taking into twenty twenty two now. I would love you to do this for yourself. We also have some other people, some clients that I work with who are going to be sharing in this episode a little bit around their biggest win from twenty twenty one and what they’re taking into 2022. I invite you to listen and to learn and see what lands with you, right? And maybe run some of these things through your own internal filter because sometimes it’s like, Oh, you don’t even realize what it is that you want or desire until you hear from someone else. Right? So that’s what I hope this episode does for you, and I hope you enjoy it.
Annie [00:08:56] I’m Annie. I’m a founder of a small but growing copywriting collective where we create conversational, human sounding copy for clients and the B2B tech space. And my biggest one in 2021 was incorporating collaboration into my process and doing it in a way that benefits me, my team and my clients. Now we’re all better off, and I didn’t realize that this was possible. I always thought that if something benefited my team, then it couldn’t benefit me, or if my team and myself are doing well, then we had to be kind of cheating my clients on something. But it really is possible for us all to benefit. So this year we’ve written amazing copy. We’ve gotten some incredible results for our clients and we’ve gotten really great feedback from happy clients. And we’ve done all this while I’ve been able to earn double what I did last year and reduce my working hours and actually prioritize my life. So in the last few months, I’ve worked 10 hours less per week, and I know this because I track everything and toggle and I’ve done all this while actually having a good time. Most of the time, everything is super easy and serves my clients really well, which makes me really happy. So two of the things that I’ve done are limiting my work hours from 10 to 5 every day. And this is something I learned from Nicole. But I have limited my days to seven hours of working, and that may not sound like a short amount for some people, but for me, I. I’ve been working sometimes 10 hour days, sometimes even more than that, and I didn’t have good boundaries around my working hours, so I’ve been able to work 10 to 5 or less. And then the other thing that has really kind of facilitated collaboration is running pretty much everything internally inside Notion. And I have used Notion for three years now, but this is the first year that I really started bringing my team in. And so we manage projects, tasks, documents, brainstorms and references all inside Notion in a system that I built myself and I’m really proud of. So in 2022, I’m really excited to grow my agency even more because I feel like now I have this really solid foundation to build from.
Julie [00:11:19] Hello, my name is Julie, the owner of Legacy Consulting, where we’re passionate about helping to create workplaces where people feel supported by providing human centered human resources, project recruiting, and interim support. My biggest win in 2021 is realizing that just because I can doesn’t mean I should, right? Stepping into that CEO role is doing those things and really taking a step away from the client delivery and really empowering your team to do the things right. I, you know, I’m the kind of person I want to be everyone’s brand, and if I can do it, I’m like, Oh, I can just do it now. No worries. But what I’ve learned is that I continue to do that and I have all of the tasks and then my team is like, Why am I here? So I think to me, that’s the biggest lesson. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should. And every time I’m trying to prioritize the tasks I should work on versus maybe what I should delegate to the team, I find myself repeating that message, just because I can doesn’t mean I should, and in having individuals do the things, they get more empowered and they want to help. So it’s essentially a win-win. It gets things off of my plate. It forces me to focus really on those things that I can only focus on those things that are going to grow my business systems, structures, things like that. So that was my biggest lesson in 2021. I’m excited to delve deeper into what that looks like in 2022, removing myself more and more, getting out of the way so that I can empower my team members to flourish and to shine. So, yeah, that is my biggest lesson. My biggest win from 2021 is learning that just because I can doesn’t mean I should. And when I take myself out of it, I’m ultimately empowering my team. So thank you. This is Julie. Thank you. Bye.
Nicole Jackson Miller [00:13:31] All right. So thank you so much for tuning in, for listening to my biggest wins and takeaways and to some of our other business owners that were so keen to contribute their biggest wins and takeaways from this year. And like I said earlier, really, I invite you to go and do this for yourself so that you feel a little bit more clear going into 2022 and all that it has in store for you and your business. All right, everyone. I’ll see you next time.
Thanks so much for tuning in today, if you are listening and know that you are committed to stepping into the agency owner role, whether you are a done-for-you service provider that’s working with a few contractors right now or you have a full team of employees and you’re ready to up level your leadership and make the changes in your business that’s needed to create a better and more enjoyable experience for all of your people, your clients, your team and yourself. Then, I invite you to check out my program Agency. You can head over to NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply to look at the details and apply if it looks like a good fit. If you are accepted, I will send you a brand new free private training only for people that we’re accepting into the program to share with you the details of how we work and how we help remove you from client delivery and allow you to step into that leadership role of your agency again. The link is NicoleJacksonMiller.com/apply. I look forward to seeing your applications.