2018 – My Year In Review

2018 My Year In Review | Denise DTThis year went so quickly that I can barely remember. It felt like a bit of a “void” year. At first, I was thinking nothing really happened. Oh yeah, that’s right, I had a baby! I also handed in my third book for Hay House (Chillpreneur, preorder here) and recorded 3 audio books. And bought a rose farm holiday house. And broke ground on our beach house.

But it felt like a slow business year. I only did 18 podcast interviews (way down from my record of 200) and it was very much a “business as usual” year. I would have loved to change things up a bit – I feel like I want to prune a few things but I honestly didn’t have much bandwidth beyond serving our current clients.

Revenue & Profit

(Note: Figures in AUD unless noted otherwise.)

Revenue was actually down this year but profit was way up.

2017: $3.4m revenue and $961k profit.

2018: $2.8m revenue and $1.67m profit.

Although ego wise, I’d love to grow our revenue figures every year, we knew that we needed to chill a bit with the baby and focus on maximising profit as much as possible. In 2017, we invested a lot of money into video production, travel for a self-funded speaking tour and went a bit outsource-crazy.

New students

743 x Manifesting courses (at $199 USD)

465 x Sacred Money Archetypes® (average price $799 USD)

914 x Money Bootcamps (average price $1497 USD)

This makes me so happy that we helped so many people.

Other income

Affiliate revenue: $904k up from $790k in 2017. This is where Mark has definitely added so much value to the company. It was $330k in 2016 before he started, and $109k in 2015. Being an affiliate for other people isn’t just “whack up a link”, it really takes time and to be successful, you have to treat it like your own launch campaign.

Other income: Book royalties were around $55k including a book advance and there were a few speaking gigs but it was hardly anything as I was pregnant most of the year.

Biggest expenses

Advertising: $265k up from $117k in 2017 (pretty much all Facebook with a tiny bit of Google advertising)

Affiliate fees: $163k drastically down from $646k in 2017 (more on why later)

Team costs: $149k down from $235k in 2017. Last year we did a ton of launches (which means more customer service and project management). This year we simplified a lot, and this is spread between two part time staff. We also hired a professional debt recovery service (we used to do this in-house), which cost around $40k.

Most people are surprised at how small my team is, and there’s no right or wrong here. The truth is that I hate managing people. My business is pretty simple – we’re not creating new things all the time and I always prefer to automate or use software than hire someone.

Consultants: $105k down from $197k – this is a mixed bag of one-off marketing consultants like copywriters, script-writers, graphic design, etc.

Charity donations: $54k about the same as last year.

Right now, my focus is to pay off my mortgages but in the future, I’d like to devote more profit to causes that are important to me, like education for women and children, humanitarian aid, environmental charities and legal advocacy non-profits.

Software, website, etc: $41k slightly up from $37k. There are so many random software things that go into running a business! Infusionsoft (for over 100k contacts), quiz software, Access Ally membership site, website hosting and then all these different apps like one click upsells, things to make our order forms look pretty, funnel things, etc.

Bank and PayPal fees: $58k down from $67k.

I pay roughly 2% plus 30 cents each transaction to PayPal.

I see a lot of entrepreneurs waste valuable time and energy trying to find ways around this – but seriously don’t stress. It’s a cost of doing business. You’re only going to get charged if you’re making money.

Plus, if I stopped offering PayPal, I would definitely lose sales. Think about it for yourself. I often have my wallet in the other room, and if some suppliers don’t take PayPal, something distracts me from going to get my wallet.

Please don’t complain about PayPal fees. They are just a cost of doing business.

Then there’s another $75k of expenses, including things like accounting/bookkeeping ($15k), video production for blogs and causes ($10k), courses/training ($10k), additional marketing costs like a new website ($9k) and then random stuff like legal, travel, postage, books, car, etc.

We could easily cut costs again next year. I have a tendency to reinvent the wheel rather than using what we already have, and I sometimes jump to hiring someone because I don’t have the time or energy to do it myself.

Like a lot of entrepreneurs, I often buy courses that I never even start!

Big changes

This year we made a hard decision to stop using affiliates to sell the Money Bootcamp. From a financial perspective (and keeping in mind we wanted to focus on profit) and also from a simplicity point of view, it was the right decision. But I felt bad when I knew we had so many affiliates who did such a great job.

On the downside, since we had SO many affiliates, we totally underestimated how much admin work it is. It’s basically another customer group, some need more handholding than others and actually paying them every month is a lot of admin work too.

We decided to invest more money into advertising instead and bring this in-house (on Mark’s to-do list) instead of hiring it out.

Simplicity

The biggest thing we struggled with is wanting to streamline a business that’s grown quite organically and can be really unwieldy. I want to declutter all my old blog posts and opt-ins but I just don’t have the time or headspace. I have little desk time right now with 3 kids, so I have to focus my time on things that only I can do (like be on interviews).

My article about how much help I have at home went viral.

Power struggles

Working with your spouse can be… interesting. Mark thinks he knows better but I’m the boss. It’s been really tricky sometimes to balance Mark’s driving ambition and hustle, with my ability to simplify and streamline. At the end of the day, it’s my face and name on the company which means that I get publicly blamed for anything that goes wrong.

On the other side, Mark doesn’t get any public credit for the good stuff, and has to deal with a cranky boss for the bad things!

One of our biggest problems is that I don’t want to be involved in the nitty gritty but then I discover that things are being done in (what I think is) a really inefficient way! It’s actually one of my zones of genius (finding short-cuts and simplicity) and Mark overcomplicates things. It has caused a lot of fights.

I don’t know if we’ll work together forever. It has some amazing advantages (like knowing that everything is for our family) but can be really challenging too.

Boundaries

My biggest lesson this year was around boundaries with my time and energy. I started the year really stressing about how to manage my Money Bootcamp Facebook group. I had a few dramas in there and it was really burning me out.

People vastly underestimate how much energy it takes to hold space for groups of people. It really is invisible and mostly unappreciated work.

To be honest – I’ve been a bad role model around this. I was in the group basically 24/7 and it was stressing me out because I never felt I was giving enough. My presence in there was being taken for granted and I felt resentful and trapped. I know I put an energetic limit on the group growing.

I was also creating bad habits and trying to be everything to everyone (my old “go to girl” persona). After some experimentation around the group (admin approved posts – a nightmare, and putting the group on “admin post only” during maternity leave), I feel like I’ve turned a corner.

For the first time in 6 years, I’m archiving the group over Christmas. It feels almost naughty – like, “am I allowed to take time off?” and at the same time, like I want to be there for everyone.

FOMO (fear of missing out)

When I was massively pregnant, I was so jealous of all my friends traveling around the world! Everyone seemed to be in Paris or Egypt or on a cruise. My mastermind buddies were in South Africa. I barely went anywhere this year (compared to UK and America last year). I did speak at a few events but travel was in the “too hard” basket.

Books I loved this year

I read hardly any business or personal development books this year. I was just TOO FULL. I needed distraction and entertainment, so I mostly read political memoirs by Hillary, Comey, Omarosa, Bob Woodward, Rick Wilson, etc.

I also read a bunch of movie books that went behind the scenes of movies like Clueless, Jaws, Back to the Future and The Bachelor. And then celebrity memoirs from Jennie Garth, Busy Philips, Lily Allen, Gaborey Sidibe, Rose McGowan, Tiffany Haddish, Gabrielle Union, Tracey Spicer, Chrissie Hynde, Fiona Horne and Kerri-Anne Kennerley. And of course, Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Personal wins

We bought a rose farm! Read about that here.

Our beach house broke ground. FINALLY. After almost two years of planning and permits, the old building was demolished and the concrete slab goes down next week. We hope to be in by Christmas 2019.

Granny club! I was sick of having no hobbies and started a very casual “cake and craft” meet-up with my friends. We forget to even Instagram it.

Piper Rose – she’s an absolute delight, a great sleeper and just all around lovely baby. After two drug free deliveries, I had planned to have ALLLL the drugs with her, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

What do I want in 2019?

Simplicity. I keep saying this and struggle to actually implement it. By that, I mean that I become even more focused on how I can help people (with their money blocks) and not try and be everything to everyone.

Book tour – I’m excited about going around Australia promoting my newest book, Chillpreneur. (Make sure you get on the notification list here). Still confirming UK, but it’s likely to be October for a quick visit. I’m not sure about USA this year.

I had an epiphany around Australia recently – I was hiding out. It was much easier being “famous” in other countries because it wasn’t “real” and if I ignored Australia, then I could pretend it wasn’t happening. Does that make sense?

Joy and fun – I really want to practice what I preach and continue to find ways to make my business as easy and chilled as possible. So I can go to the beach, hang out with my kids and do more craft!

How I can help you in 2019

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be offering two live rounds of both Money Bootcamp and Sacred Money Archetypes® with an amazing package deal in January.

I’ll also be hosting a free live webinar in early January, setting intentions for the year. Register for that here.

My book Get Rich, Lucky Bitch is on sale for December.

You can pre-order Chillpreneur here (out in February).

In Australia or New Zealand? Remember to register for tour information here.

From my family to yours – hope you finish out 2018 with grace and ease, and create an incredible 2019.

Xx

 

 

 

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