happy new year!
How are you feeling about 2020 and your business?
In this episode I am sharing some reflections on 2019 as well as some tools and questions I am using to map out my plans for this year. I really care to go beyond simple number based goals and to feel into what wants to be created in a sustainable, fun and creative way and I also talked a bit about trends and developments I am seeing for 2020.
This is just a preview of the free business roadmap workshop I am running on the 20th, you can sign up for it here: yarrowdigital.com/free-workshops/
Here are the questions I shared to reflect on the past year:
What felt really good last year?
Where do you wish you had more help?
What was decision making like?
What do you want to release?
What are you most proud of?
Listen to the Embodied Business Podcast
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⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow.
My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a livelihood with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I offer practical guidance on tech, strategy, ethical marketing, creativity and money and interview other small business owners who do things their own way.
You can learn more about my work, listen to other episodes or join my community at PinkWellStudio.com
You can also sign up for my newsletter - I offer free monthly Spark Sessions and share resources, ideas & new episodes about once per month over on Substack ⋒
Hey, everyone, my name is Yarrow and you’re listening to the DIY small business podcast. Thank you so much for your patience. And thank you for spending some time with this podcast today. I needed a tiny break while I was travelling and had some guests stay with me here. And I’m excited to be back with the last episode for 2019. And for the decade, friends told me that that’s a big thing on social media at the moment that the decade is ending. And we’re meant to be thinking about how to end on a high note, I’m ending on a sleepy note, if I’m honest, I really pretty tired, I have a lot to reflect on and integrate, some of which is really beautiful. And I would love to share that with you today. And I’m not making that many plans for next year yet. But I still wanted to record an episode with a little bit of a business recap for 2019. I want to share a bit about what I’ve observed what kind of trends I’m seeing what has worked, what hasn’t worked so well in my own business and other people’s businesses. And I also want to touch base on leaving social media for a month ago and tell you a little bit more about how that’s going and how I’m feeling about it. So yeah, thank you for tuning in. So before I start a few things that I’m offering at the moment, you are welcome to book a free filler call with me. She interested in working together next year either for web design project, or for business mentoring. I am really excited about those two things and have space kind of a little bit further into the year. And then I’m also opening eight spaces on the DIY business community. So to recap, that’s a community a course and a programme with monthly coaching calls Monday themed workshops, quarterly business planning workshops, and really journaling prompts. It’s over and mighty networks where everyone has their own little profile. It’s a bit like being on your own little Facebook, but with other like minded business owners. And it’s really good fun. Yeah, I’m still always recording these sessions for the chorus, the group coaching calls, I really beautiful way to be together and feel less alone. We support each other, we ask questions and ask for feedback. And just feel good. It’s the kind of programme that I would have really wanted when I was starting out. And to make it easier to kind of orientate yourself, and also to offer something a little bit lower in cost. And my one on one mentoring programme over three months, am offering a whole year of membership starting in January, together with a one on one kickoff session with me in January. So you can sign up for a year that includes the course itself, which has 10 modules, as well as all the monthly live calls, there’s at least two of them each month to kind of release help you stay engaged and in a growth mode and an excitement and in support. And then you’ll also get a one on one session with me where we really can about your individual journey through the programme. Think about your priorities and what your next steps are. And that is $300, or three payments of $100. And I’ll link to that in the show notes. Okay, so now let’s talk about 2019. When I begin a little bit more chronologically about how this year has been going, last winter was a little bit slow. For me, I think right up to Christmas, I was working quite hard flogging new things. And then January, February, I really slowed down. And I really needed that my health wasn’t that great. I was just not bringing that much new stuff out. And I felt like it about that I think it’s really important to make space for those kinds of periods sometimes. And to just be honest about that as well. And I also the DIY business community went into second year, that was really exciting. It really kind of made me feel like, yeah, this is sustainable, I can do this for years to come. This is something that’s really needed. It’s not some kind of one off offer or like an eight week course, that’s meant to transform your race up to your business, and then you’re on your own again. But instead it’s like a long term, the experience that is going to give you as much as you’re putting into it. And I think I also really wanted to offer this experience of there always being support available at any point in the year that you can dip in and out of as you need. Because we all live cyclically cyclical, in some ways, right? Some of us experienced periods of expansion while others are taking things slower and it’s really nice to meet in the shared space. So I feel like that has grown slowly and organically. I haven’t done any big marketing pushes this year. But that felt good and I want to continue in that path.
I also in the late spring began offering business mentoring. And that’s really interesting. Oh my gosh, it’s so much fun to work with people one on one. But it’s really not something I have ever expected to do. So when I started out five years ago, obviously, I saw a lot of business mentors around. And I was fascinated, I was interested. But I really never set out to become a business mentor. And how that came to be was that I started as a web designer, I was really, I’m still really passionate about creating good custom WordPress sites. And then I also began offering tech support, and kind of surrounding stuff like social media strategy, content, support, launch, project management, that kind of stuff. And obviously, that meant that I got to see so many businesses from the inside, or from behind the scenes, which is really interesting. So I feel like I have a very strong foundation in understanding software systems. And at the same time, people’s intentions, and really what motivates and five makes them thrive, and what sparks their creativity, that kind of stuff. And I also understand design, and I have supported many, many launches, it would definitely very different approaches over the years, I feel like I can give people a really good overview of what’s possible and available, but also providing gentle accountability and that container within which stuff really gets done. So that feels exciting to me. But like I said, I had never really seen myself as a business mentors, as such, that kind of unfolded very organically, from people first beginning with web design, and then booking me in a more ongoing way for social media content and launch support, and then be like, hey, actually, I’m noticing that a lot of my client halls kind of shift into the area of mentoring more and more, and what I maybe want to offer that as a more intentional container around business mentoring. So I started doing that in late spring, I’ve worked with some really, really beautiful people. I have a bunch of really lovely clients in that area at the moment. And I’m just excited to see things unfold. And just really, yeah, really enjoy holding that space in that way. Where Where does that haven’t hasn’t shifted so much this year, I’ve created a good bunch of websites. And I really still care about making them long lasting, and sustainable. So I’m not really chasing after big trends and web design, I just want to create platforms that people can work with for years to come, and that they really understand and can edit and update themselves. So I’m still kind of really also caring about not making people depending on my work, but instead really empowering to understand how the website has been built and how they can make changes to it. That feels really good to me and divvy the platform or the theme that I’m working with has made a bunch of big updates this year. Change is always hard, especially in tech if you’ve become used to you know, doing things a certain way. But anyway, I think these updates have really great they’ve really expanded what we can do, and how we can integrate the WordPress site into other services. And so I’ve mainly focused on that, or maybe making the most of that. And also simplifying that in the way I’m teaching working with Divi and WordPress. Otherwise, of course, that’s been new software development is here outside of WordPress, I’ve been interesting. So I started using a service called bundoora, for example, with which I’m sending custom welcome emails to people who sign up to my newsletter. Not always I haven’t been as consistent with that as I wanted. But it’s definitely on my list on my mind. And I think it’s a great tool. As you know, last year, I said this was 2018. I also switch to mighty networks. And I think this is a platform that many people enjoy. It’s really great to have a community outside of Facebook, where we can connect without getting distracted or kind of weighed down with social media. And then Patreon is also something that’s still I think, at the forefront for many small business owners, which is really exciting. I can’t think of a new social media platform that kind of came out this year, the way that maybe periscope has a few years ago. But I haven’t really been looking so maybe there’s stuff out that I don’t know about that might well be true. Other big things that happen for me in the summer is that I left social media in August relatively spontaneously. I had at that point been talking to a friend for a couple of years and sometimes said like, Oh my god, wouldn’t it be nice if we were just known enough for our work that we wouldn’t have to be on Instagram every day anymore. And then I had this moment as summer after moving to Scotland, Scotland where I looked at the
zenscreen ab and I realised that I was spending 10 hours on average on the app and I couldn’t, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. And I didn’t want to be in this experience of not having enough time for other things that I really cared about anymore. And so I made a clear break that I did prepare over a couple of weeks, I ticked all my links, I made sure people knew about my newsletter, if they wanted to stand to hedge. I mapped out kind of a list of other things that I wanted to do to kind of share my work more outside of social media, I reached out to a lot of people about being on my podcast. And I transferred a few 100 contacts kind of, well, I think, like 150 or so into an extra sheet for people that I wanted to still stay in touch with, outside of social media. And I refer to that list. So many times since it’s really cool. Just a very different, less overwhelming way, I think, for me to hear about what people are up to. So that’s cool. I still want to reach out to so many people about being on either of my podcasts and haven’t gotten to that yet. But it’s definitely something that I want to do next year. So yeah, there will be many more interviews. I think leaving social media and really realising that it didn’t mean that everything just came to a halt. I didn’t lose business. As such, I think I made pretty much. Yeah, I think my income was really consistent between kind of June and December. And I left in August, so there wasn’t like a dip in income. I can say that. And I will also say I think there has been less interest maybe in some of my courses that I would usually promote on social media. But because most of my one on one work is coming from recommendations, I haven’t seen any decline. And that enough is really good, because I love working with people who are friends of people that I’ve already worked with. And I just really love this community of mutual recommendations and supporting you to the end. That’s great. Well, two things I’ve been doing instead of being on social media as writing themes, I’ve published six over the next few last few months. I’ve really enjoyed sending them to people and linking to them for free in my newsletter. And it’s been nice to kind of share something in a really different medium. And I hadn’t created a Xen in a few years. In case you don’t know what they are. They are self published, booklets that come out of DIY culture. And I’ve written some about moving to Scotland and becoming a country career. And about things I’ve realised were hiking, and about loss. And yeah, it’s been really nice to talk to people about them. Another thing that I’ve done more of is podcasting. And that’s also been a really big of my wish list, I’ve been able to be more consistent with bringing frequent episodes out, I spoke to more people for interviews, and that’s been really rewarding and nourishing. And again, that’s something I really want to focus on next year as well. my patreon has shrunk a little bit, I want to be honest about that. I have had mine for about two years now. And I’ve seen a decline for several reasons. One is, in winter and spring this year, I was bringing out a lot less podcast episodes and sharing us on social media whether it was kind of like hibernating a little bit. And then also another factor is that I’ve shifted payments for some of my programmes. So initially, people would pledge for both my embodied magic programme which belongs to my other business Daydream goals. And the Doa business community which belongs to Yarrow Digital on Patreon. And now the business community is actually paid separately. So naturally, some people would have shifted or some people will have left and they’ve been replaced by people that haven’t signed up on Patreon. But even right now where I don’t offer anything specific to patrons, I’ve had new signups. And that was so touching. Like I really want to say I got it made me so happy to see that people sign up to become a Patreon and just pledge a couple of dollars just to see, you know, show the support for the free content that I’m creating with this podcast, for example, and the other one they draw. So that’s been really just super heartening. And I really appreciate that so much and I really do want to offer more exciting things for patrons next year. I need to turn on WhatsApp so sorry. I forgot that before I started recording. Okay, where was I? Okay, so we talked about pitching a little bit. I still think it’s a fantastic tool and I have so many ideas with which you can build a Patreon or really use it as a tool to support your creative or healing practice in some way and also offer people a chance to
you know, receive little extra treats and support you in a way that means you have sustainable income. I have about 150 patrons. Now, at its height, it was about 150. And have really good and I’m excited to see kind of how I’m going to build it next year. As I’ve already mentioned, I have entered the embodied magic programme this month. This is a programme that I’ve been running for two years. It began as something called monthly magic. And it was in the end called and body and body magic. And it had at at its height, about 75 people in it really, really loved doing that I was offering monthly theme and kind of packages with self care tools, like herbal recipes and playlists, and recorded meditations and self massage practices. And we also had live monthly calls. And yeah, like I said, that was really beautiful. And also, I’m ready to create something different next year. And I was just feeling kind of, at the end of my creativity and ideas didn’t flow so much anymore for what to create, and what to add to that programme. And I just don’t want to kind of spam people with content out create stuff, just for the sake of it that I don’t feel absolutely excited about. And I’m also noticing that many of us actually need togetherness and a space held so much more than more content. So that’s something that I’m sitting at the moment, and it was just really liberating to say this month, okay, this is going to be the last month in its current form. And I’m just going to give myself a real real break over the holidays to think about what I want to offer patrons next year. And and generally what I want to offer with Daedra was because I’m really excited about my breathwork training and really excited to offer breathwork and that kind of more reflective, intuitive container to my business clients as well. And I’m just not totally sure certain yet what I want to commit to. And I want rush rush that process. So you’ll hear more about that in January, or in February. For now, I’ll just say it’s definitely Okay, to pivot if you want to. And we should always remember that our businesses are meant to be fun. They’re meant to help us make a living and express ourselves. And they’re also meant to be fun. I’ve also been thinking a bit about what it means for business to mature. And I recognise that what I’ve just said, in a way is a privilege as well. Many of us begin businesses, because we’re unemployable for all kinds of reasons. And we don’t always have the luxury especially often not right away, to say, Oh, I’m not gonna do anything that isn’t fun. Or I just, I’m just gonna follow my heart. You know, it is often more complex than that. And I think I’m very lucky now, to feel like my businesses are both maturing. And I don’t know exactly what that means. But I think I sense some of freedom and autonomy, and really the trust that I can do things differently. And that’s something that leaving social media is not going to end my business, if that makes sense. I’m also wondering about what is regenerative? So thinking beyond sustainability, beyond just looking at my weekend thinking, can I work like this long time long term? Is this financially sustainable? What do I really want? Like? What do I want to regenerate in myself in my communities? This is just a question for now, I haven’t found a really good answer. But just sharing my thinking. Like I said, I’m observing also that people want togetherness, more than more content, and that less is more. And I think that’s maybe a way in which our business culture is maturing collectively. And I’m interested to see where, where else that is going. And I’m also finding that it’s often more about unlearning. So really, when we think about that the internet is still very young. podcasting is still very young, you know, these are not things that have been with us 100 200 300 years. They’re very new technologies in our lives. And we’re just beginning to understand what they do to us what they do to our relationships, our brains, the way we act and to interact with the world, and the things that we believe possible. So I think, for example, the story that artists always have to be poor, is something that we’re unlearning, rather than learning or the idea that we have to be posted on Instagram every day. You know, that’s something that we can unlearn. And that will be the next step rather than always reaching for the next programme and the next thing that’s shiny that we should think we should learn.
My main intention right now is to really, really rest. So today’s Monday, I’m going to start working on Thursday. I’m going to work three more days and, and then I’m gonna really wind down Put my autoresponder into my emails. And I’ll be gone till January for two whole weeks. Yes, I am adopting that puppy that’s moving into my home tomorrow, which I’m really excited about. I just want to be super present with that and just rest and nap and sleep, maybe play with weaving in that bed. But otherwise, just take it super easy. I have some ideas and it’s tempting to tempting to kind of get the journal out and write about them, or map things out for next year. But I really think that I will be more creative and expansive in my thinking if I if I really give myself rest first. And I’m inviting you to think about what that means to you as well, what you really want from your holidays, before you sit down and map out your year or decide what success is going to mean to you in 2020. Yeah, I don’t really have a lot more to say. Like I said, I’m excited to bring out more episodes next year. I’m excited to speak to more people about what their business journeys like. If you want to be interviewed or you want to send someone my way. Let me know. If you want to work on a web design project next year or see some business mentoring, or during the DIY business community. Check the links in the profile. If you have any feedback, I would also love to hear from you. And I just want to wish you really beautiful holidays and a great start to the New Year. Thank you so much for listening.