Growth Strategies Café EP52 Do This Before You Dig Into Your Metrics From Last Year with Teresa Cleveland

In this episode~

Hey, it's me, Teresa!

Today I'm sharing what I like to do before I dig into my metrics when I am reflecting on the prior year. It's served me well and I hope it helps you as well.

I'm also sharing my Word for 2022, how it came about, and my overall goal for 2022.

If we haven't met yet, you can learn more about me here on the site.


Also  mentioned~

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And the award for making it through another unprecedented year goes to -ALL OF US.

Happy New Year!

Intro: It's time for the Growth Strategies Café podcast designed specifically for female online business owners. I'm your host, Teresa Cleveland and I believe we can all make a difference and that having a successful online business is one of the best ways to do that.

Let's be real, though. Growing an online business isn't always easy, it definitely doesn't look sexy all the time, AND it's one of the most fulfilling endeavors you can take on.

There are no secrets to building a successful business, there's just the stuff you don't know yet and we'll be talking about it all here in the Café. Whether you're on your way to 6 figures or beyond, you are in the right place.

So grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair. Let's get to it.

Hey, it's Teresa Cleveland with Growth Strategies Café. And I'm telling you what! That's exactly how it felt as I was getting ready for this episode, like we should all be accepting awards with I'm Still Standing playing in the back.

What a year!? My goodness, it was a lot. It was a lot. And so many people that I talked with, even over the holidays, they said it doesn't even feel like Christmas or New Year's. Just there's been so much going on.

And then when I started thinking about this whole award thing and who I would thank, I thought, you know what? There are a lot of people who made it possible to get through 2021. There's the usual suspects, like friends, family, of course, everyone that listened to the podcast and my team who. Oh, my gosh. I could not do this without my clients, my mentors, my guests that were in the podcast, even the young lady, Madison, who brings our grocery order out to the car, right? Yeah, I know. I could have that delivered to the house, but then when would I get out?

And then there were service providers, like my dentist, my doctor, my hair stylist, and the list goes on and on. It takes a village, right?

And then, of course, like most business owners, we look back over the year to see what worked and what didn't. And different people have different processes. And the thing that I have to say about this is - do what works for you. Be sure you do it, don't just not do it, but be sure that you're doing something that works for you. And that's all in alignment with my word of the year, which I'll share a little bit later.

So when I start to reflect and figure out what's working, what's not working and we can do that. I like to do it in October, typically. And sometimes, like in 2021, I didn't do it until the very end of the year. And that's okay, too, right? It's about what works for us. There's not just one way to do things.

So the first thing I like to do is to ask myself, before I roll up my sleeves and dive into the metrics and the details and all of that, I like to ask, "How do I feel about my business overall for 2021?" And then I followed that up with "How did my business make me feel throughout the year?" And overall, I feel grateful for Growth Strategies Café. For the shifts that we've made, the growth that we've had and that's personally and professionally and at the end of the day, I do love my business. I love the people that I get to work with. I love the relationships that have been built and my life is better for having this business.

And then when I stopped to look at how I felt throughout the year, oh, my gosh. There is a myriad of feelings, right? There was frustration because I was shifting and I wanted to grow and I just couldn't nail things down when I wanted to. That's some deep work and it can't be rushed.

And there was joy and pride and guilt. There were times where I didn't show up the way that I had wanted to for one reason or another. And so there was guilt. And there was fear, especially as we started this rebranding that will be coming out soon. We're just finishing up that process. But there was fear. What if we get this wrong? That's a lot of money that I invested in this. What if we get it wrong? We all have those voices, right? But what the hell? What if we get it right?

Also, there were some embarrassments that happened. I was exhausted some days. I got a lot of clarity about who I work with, how I work with them in a way that makes my business very enjoyable and fits into my life.

So once I work through those processes, armed with that knowledge, then I feel really prepared to jump into my metrics. Let me share this. Here's a pro tip. It's really easy for us to forget or lose sight of wins, struggles, and stuff like that throughout the year. When we sit down and try to sum it up at the end of the year or at whatever point that you do that, I found it very helpful to have a bowl or a large vase.

I've use different things over the years. Now I have a tall, big base that's in my office, along with a pen and some index cards right beside it, so that as these things happen andor at least once a week and end of the week is great if you can make it a practice. I'm not a traditional journalist, so what I do is the cards are there so I have no excuse, no reason why I can't just grab one, jot down whatever is going on and drop that in the vase.

It's amazing sometimes the things that we forget. Things that in the moment, it's like, oh, my gosh, that's so great. But we just don't remember with everything else that happens. So again, since I'm not a traditional journalist, I've tried and failed way too many times. It's just not for me. This really helps me keep track of those things that I might otherwise forget. And then, of course, I jump into my metrics and I look at the different programs and the different services that I offer. Where we were marketing those efforts and see what paid off, and what we want to do more of and what we want to do less of. Again, so that this stuff doesn't get lost.

I do have, and I'll put these in the show notes for you, the links to doing a monthly CEO Day, quarterly business review each quarter so that you can stay on top of these things and you're not waiting until the end of the year to do them. But it's very nice to be able to pull those things out as you're looking at all of this, to see when you made shifts and things along the way.

Another practice that I have is Word of the Year. And as I'm sure you're aware, there are many people who recommend having an overall word or phrase to help guide your year.

There's exercises and workbooks out there, if you want to go that route to find your word. Personally, I let mine come to me. I don't really spend a lot of time thinking about what it should be because I don't like to should on myself. So typically, somewhere between the last two months of the year and the first couple of months of the year, it's another one of those things do what works for you. It doesn't have to be that you have to know by January 1, one year I didn't have one, and that was perfectly okay.

But typically sometime within that period, the word will come up. For this year, it came up probably early November, mid November. And again, when this happens, I'm aware that that's what's happening. It will come up in a couple of different ways. So my word of the year came up and I thought, oh, that's interesting. And then, I don't just jump on it, I'm just like observing it and I look at it and I say, oh, okay, that's interesting. And then I go on with what I'm doing. And then over time, a couple of other words came up and same thing I was like, oh, that's interesting, because when I know, I know. There's just this knowing.

So I don't try to force it, and I don't try to make it some buzzword, like it should be like, growth or whatever it is. I wrote a blog post about it a few years ago. I'll make sure that link is in the show notes, too for you. It showed up again, the one that had originally come to me and then it showed up several times within, like, a week's period, and I kind of saw why it would be a good word and how it would be good.

So for me, there's this knowing it's like, oh, okay. That's the perfect word or the perfect phrase that fits my whole life, not just my business. This is something that is my whole life. One year it was communication, and that was within my family. That was within my business. That was with my friends. So it's interesting. And again, don't feel like you have to force it. It's perfectly okay. Maybe that's why I don't do the exercises and all of that that. It works for some people, again, there's not just one way to do this. So do what works for you.

So this year, my word is sustainability. And ever since I accepted it as my 2022 Word of the year, I continue to see all the areas, big and small, that will benefit me, my family, my clients, the world around me.

And first and foremost, is how I'm going to be able to focus my time and energy. I'm a Boomer and at this phase of my life, I'm blessed to have adult children and a nine year old, an 80 year old mother who just moved a couple of miles from me, I have my business, my health, my friends and all of these fill my days, and I want to find the ideal mix that allows me to enjoy all of them.

My financial goals this year really aren't the driver for me. I realized last year that they wouldn't be. Now, of course, I need to make enough to cover my expenses and some fun, and a cushion for those unexpected things that come up. But that's a specific number. That's not an arbitrary number.

My overarching goal, though, is to operate my business in a way that allows me to enjoy all the different parts of my life. And I'll share more about that in a few days.

In the meantime, come visit me in our Facebook community and share your word of the year if you have one and how you're wrapping up 2021 and moving forward in 2022. You can get there by going to I'd love to meet you.

Thanks for tuning in to this week's episode of the Growth Strategies Café podcast. If it resonated with you, be sure to share it on Facebook and tag me to let me know how you're using this info to grow your online business. And, of course, you're always welcome in our free Facebook community. And you can get there by going to While you're at it, go ahead and invite a friend. We'd love to have you.

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