I don’t know about you, but I basically never remember what my “word of the year” is.
(For the record, this year it’s technically “curiosity“. Can’t wait to totally forget that little tidbit by March!)
But if I could come up with a WoTY for 2022, in retrospect?
It would be two words:
2022: A Year of Holding Things Lightly
(In my business AND personal life. You can read more about my non-business celebrations right here.)
It was the year of practicing saying an uncomplicated, happy little YES to things that my control freak mind routinely overcomplicated — without beating myself up any time it became challenging, or went wrong.
It was the year when it was difficult to find joy sometimes, as the online business industry, made white hot by the pandemic, cooled back down to normal levels… making almost everyone doubt their talent, longevity, and financial future.
And so, faced with another long stretch of uncertainty in our Wild West of an industry, there were tragically few ways to respond.
“It’s either ‘choose possibility’ or tank”, a friend wisely counseled.
They were right, btw.
Reflection Tees up 3 Major Swings in My Business
When it comes to high level work in this industry (and every industry, honestly), it’s easy to assume the only way out of a difficult era is through discounts that create “accessibility”… until you find your crew doesn’t want the discounts, either.
Instead, you have to shift your focus to the things folks ARE ready for.
You have to speak directly people who ARE ready to rumble, and ARE finding their way through the dark.
In the zone where we repeatedly ask ourselves over and over “WHY would I make a move right now when everything’s so topsy turvy?
Growth begs us to respond: “Why not?”
And it led to some pretty major swings and changes in my business.
Here’s a brief recap of each — and what happened next.
Big swing #1: I took back the reins of my content
Why I did it:
After years being supported by some seriously awesome teams helping me repurpose my small mountain of content on social — specifically Instagram — I noticed something earlier in 2022:
While I had 0 regrets about the teams I hired (it was vital for the skills-and-business-building season I was in), in Q1 of 2022 I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d lost my touch, a bit — and now, I had a ton of new things to say.
Sure, I was still writing emails to you all, and posting my own Instagram stories.
But as the platform was changing rapidly to prioritize video content/reels, I’d lost my grip on something SO vital to being memorable on social: a deep understanding of its cadence, and the type of content that cuts through the noise.
The fact is, each of us has our own “style thumbprint” and approach to creating for the public, and it’s something we can only master by showing up and working at it every day, both to understand our own ideas, and the platforms we participate on.
Content teams can absolutely get close, and offer consistent strategy, which is wildly helpful when your focus needs to be elsewhere — but when it comes to being masterful at sharing outside-the-box ideas about your own work?
There’s just no outsourcing that. Dear Reader. In some seasons, it’s just gotta be you.
So, intimidated as I was to single-handedly take back a task I’d had teams of people working on over the years — I thought to myself:
I released my teams. Canceled subscriptions to my schedulers. And I got back to my roots as the one-woman-show behind everything I put out on social media.
How big swing #1 went:
Real talk: I f*ckin loved it.
Not because taking back the reins of my content suddenly skyrocketed me to 50 bajillion followers (I’m still proudly standing strong at a few awesome thousand), or made me Perfect At Instagram — but social media became something so much better for me again: a creative outlet.
Heck yes it’s still a lead generator and sales tool for me, too. BUT A CREATIVE OUTLET, PEOPLE! SOCIAL MEDIA BECAME FUN AGAIN!
With nothing on the schedule and a do-or-die commitment that it had to be me, I was able to play with the form.
To test a combination of writing and reels. To blend funny stories with notes from the trenches of my work. And to build back my muscle of “shooting from the hip” creatively — putting things up in minutes instead of hours, because this is just a test, and if this doesn’t work, something else will.
It’s been a blast. And this year: the party continues.
Big swing #2: I co-hosted my first live event with Dusti Arab, called the Fun Factor Retreat.
Why I (we!) did it:
Economic anxiety and inflation reaching a fever pitch over the summer made it a PERFECT time to launch a live event. Not.
So — why’d I choose to do my first ever high-end, in-person group experience in the fall of 2022?
Well, for the same reason I do pretty much anything: because I’d been thinking about it for an absurd number of years, and I got tired of waiting.
(See: my story of waiting years to retire from copywriting all tidily and perfectly in the spring of 2020, Covid doing its thing, and freaked-out-me pushing it off two more months before deciding to throw waiting into the garbage in July of that same year.)
I always thought committing to planning a live event required some kind of Moment of Aplomb. That after years of delay it would FEEL like the right time, the stars would align, and I’d be Ready For and Certain Of its success.
But what actually ended up happening?
My friend of 10 years Dusti suggested it over Voxer chat because she thought it could be fun — and fun was something SERIOUSLY lacking in the industry over that summer.
And I agreed. When things got tough, it was always the fun I was having with my clients, and social, and in my offers that kept me going.
When you’re EXCITED and having a blast in your business, it’s easier to show up, test and make stuff, and sell what you’re working on.
That’s what we wanted to do. Create something that made business feel FUN again, for burned-out business owners who were feeling blah after years of rolling with the punches.
This was in July, and we planned to run the event in October.
The timeline was tighter than I’d normally prefer.
Nevertheless, I said: “Alright, why not?“
How big swing #2 wound up:
Well, given the fact one of our participants suggested we be nominated for a Nobel Prize, I’d say pretty well.
We’ve also been getting a ton of End of Year love from folks who were there, including this lovely post by Jenn Robbins that BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY WEE EYE.
We did what we set out to do, and we couldn’t be more proud.
But if I could give us one note for next time? It would be to have something else planned for after.
Our goal was to run the experiment: could we get butts in seats for the retreat, and create get-ish-done content that feels helpful AND enjoyable?
Could we make it profitable?
Could we create an environment and activities that helped people cut loose, connect to each other and themselves, and be reminded of why they got into business in the first place?
Blessedly, the answer was YES to all the above. But, aside from a poppin’ group chat that’s still going strong, we had no “in the room” offers, and no upsells.
That might change next time, if we can cook up something that feels like a perfect fit.
But for now, I’m super satisfied that we let Fun Factor just be… fun.
Because truly: why not?
Big swing #3: I did a major overhaul of my offers suite
…including taking my group program (The THUNDER Collective) into the shop for maintenance, and completely updating my signature Power Position program
Why I did it
I wrote a longer explainer about THUNDER here, but when it comes to why I updated both offers, the answer is simple:
Sometimes, things work until you realize they can and should be working better.
THUNDER and Power Position are experiences entrepreneurs all over the world have stepped into, with phenomenal results.
And dare I say, industry wisdom dictates when you have an offer that works the way they do, you scale it to the dang hilt to make it to that sweet 7-figure mark.
Imagine: Power Position as a group program with 50 people in each cohort! THUNDER welcoming hundreds!
And maybe I could have.
But towards the middle of this year, I started seeing some patterns I didn’t like.
After all – no matter how much care, skill, and love you build an engine with, years of that machine running will expose weaknesses in the structure.
It’s not that folks stopped getting results — but as a leader, you have to be mindful of the spots where your people sometimes get stuck, or the points at which they can sometimes start floating in circles around the same step.
THUNDER would take more time to rejig. So we shut it down in the fall of last year, and are currently figuring out how to re-tool it to make it work even smoother and smarter than before.
Power Position, however, had a clear solution: I wanted to offer a tighter timeline, and a teeny tiny group component (3 people ONLY) — because while the work in Power Position is FUN as all heck, it is challenging.
And the best way to go through that kind of season is together.
“Wait,” said my control freak brain. “You want to shut down one BIG source of income, and completely reshape another with no certainty it’s gonna work? In THIS economy???”
And to that question I replied “Why not?”
How big swing #3 landed:
While I’m excited for THUNDER to take its new shape, I don’t have as many updates for this email.
But oh man… I can’t say enough about the new version of Power Position.
The tighter timeline (from six 1-1 sessions over 12-16 weeks, into four 1-1 sessions, in-between group coaching calls, and an all-day Website Writeathon over about eight weeks) keeps folks from spinning out into Procrastination Land…
… and the group component has offered an incredible extra layer of magic, support, and accountability.
We’re almost through the home stretch of the beta round (with an optional mini brand photoshoot for everyone happening at the end of February!), and I’m so in love with the whole experience, and everyone in it.
I’ve been Voxxing with participants about breakthroughs and results… and I couldn’t be more excited about what’s coming through.
- One participant, for whom December was always painfully slow, had her best month in business EVER in December (and is $800 away from hitting that number again this month as of January 4th. AHEM!)
- Another participant is running a DREAM program that’s helping her build the courage to shut down a past offer she’s outgrown, and step fully into the higher-level teaching and consulting she really wants to do.
- Another participant pinpointed why she was attracting clients who were always in need of “saving”, but were rarely able to pay — and has transformed her content and offers suite in a way that’s already attracting phenomenal-fit opportunities and humans who can’t WAIT to work with her.
I’m so so proud of this little crew.
Curious if Power Position Could Be a Win for You?
Good news! I’m likely opening a new cohort at the end of this month.
I’ve got three folks already eyeballing spots, and… we cap at three. SO!
If you want more information, hit “reply” to this email (or email firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know. I’ll pass along what I’ve got!
(And, if you’re a Power Position alumni who wants to go through the process again, I’ve got options for you, too. Reply email@example.com let me know.)
As always, this email was FAR longer than I intended it to be.
But I’m sending it anyway because, as the saying of 2022 goes:
If you can look back…you made it – congratulations!
It’s weirdly a treat to reflect, every year, that the breakthroughs so often show up in the in-betweens, the limbos, and the downturns.
You don’t always see them or understand them while they’re happening, and you might not appreciate the ride while you’re on it — but in the aftermath?
You start to understand that that painful eye-of-the-needle is where the fun and clarity REALLY began for you.
And you got through it. And now, here you are.
So good on you Krista. You made it through another year #likeaboss.
Good on you for the many needle eyes you undoubtedly passed through.
For the swings you took.
For the wins and the losses.
And for the joy that you find in it all, all the while.
May the swings you take this year be held lightly despite the potential for fear to stop you in your tracks.
And may you always be willing to ask yourself: