2022 Year in Review – Winner of the Worst Year Ever!
Overall for me 2022 wins the award of the worst year ever – thanks Bitmoji for the perfect graphic! Health and financially as well as delivering to my standards of customer service the year was an epic disaster. However, there were positives.
On the positive side: I won an award in February which was a great start! Released 32 thought provoking episodes on the FAQ Business Podcast (with some great feedback from regular listeners). Released 81 live trainings including new mindset and productivity trainings, a new implementable pricing series and other NEW sessions as well as delivering many old faithfuls. Our sessions continue to be popular with attendees with great feedback from inexperienced and experienced people alike at any given session.
On the negative side: epic brain fog and fatigue thanks to long Covid means things went in one ear or eye and out the other. Let so many people down as I simply have an almost non-existent short-term memory. If I don’t write it down it’s gone. But these are things you don’t write down, the I’ll reply to that message when off my call… and never remembering again…Opening the browser, nope no idea why… Yes these things may happen every now and then, but not ALL THE TIME!
Failed to launch the membership to where it needs to be with poor marketing and timing. In this respect I’m going to ‘rip up 2022’ and start over with a bigger, better version with more live support in 2023 and I’m super excited about this. Members who stayed through 2022 are receiving some bonus extras effectively recovering any lost opportunities from a less than fully present 2022.
Stopped the podcast months early of the season 2 close due to ill health and the time it makes to produce these (especially when down an assistant). Failed to launch my templates etc as semi passive income. They are coming!
Neutral: Lost my assistant so sad for me but happy for her.
Case studies inspire me and keep me going
We love seeing and hearing stories of people implementing our trainings and making a REAL difference to their businesses. Big increases in traffic, contacts, sales and clients. This is why we do what we do – to make a real difference, and give business owners success on THEIR terms. If you want to appear as a case study blog or podcast with social posts please let Jane know.
My assistant grew her job wings
Cheryl helped me kept ticking things over, and in particular helped me to get the podcast weekly mostly on time. However, I had hired Cheryl after a 15 year gap raising kids and with low self-confidence. I always knew she would do well (hence why I hired her) and she actually decided to get a more people facing job, and applied for and got a role with Hawkesbury Hospital. Although sad to lose her, timing worked out as because of my dropped income I couldn’t really afford to keep her, and I was happy that she had her self-confidence back and could apply for other work.
Summary of the year in numbers
If you looked at the first four numbers they could look pretty impressive in isolation, but behind the scenes there are some issues, as can be seen in the financials section.
Client meetings: Averaged 22 client meetings a month for 264 completed for the year (meetings can go up to 3 hours). Highest numbers in February and March – the only two months of the year when I was mostly well.
Live workshops/sessions completed: 81 including at least 15 brand new trainings (a numbers of others had large chunks of new content mixed with existing content), an average of 6.75 per month – a low of 1 (July ironically) and 13 high in March 2022 (again while well). Included two global summits and multiple speaking spots at one day conferences/events.
Awards: entered 4, finalist in 3 and won one – yay!
Podcasts released: 32 of the FAQ Business Podcast and 1 as a guest with Vanja Beric
Financials: expenses up, still spent well over $5k in training and courses (without any new publicly recognised certifications), insurances increased again, well over $4k but with some additional cover in place. Income WAY DOWN. Some new income sources tapped into but had failed to get my slightly more passive income options kicked off before they were needed. Financially the worst year since the year I pretty much took off after leaving corporate.
Start, stop, change and continue 2022 year in review
This section I’m going to leave largely until the 2023 Annual Planning for Business Growth session I’ll be doing with my members in January. You may want to do a similar exercise to this 2022 year in review ahead of the session as it may highlight some things for you.
This annual planning session is one of the things I’m starting – more of me live in my membership. Joining this session will be included in the FAQ Business Training Business Growth Membership as will a financial year version in June/July and a quarterly planning session in between.
A month by month look back at 2022
Seen some others do this and will not for a ‘look at me’ reason, but more for behind the scenes and to see what it can be like, and also what it can uncover. I’m a big one for being real on socials so I’ve mentioned my health issues on there around long Covid and the disaster it created. Here I go more into other things as well, so it’s not all gloom and doom. Would have done some of this for a video but closing out the year with a virus and chest infection so my barking lingering Covid cough is in full action ☹
The year started badly health wise
Started the year burned out. Two years of lots of issues with Covid, JobKeeper etc got to me, and I was exhausted. It really hit me why on one Monday morning, when two clients in a row told me they were considering ending their lives. One brand new and connected to similar issues with their child, and one a regular with family issues. I’ve certainly found being Mental Health First Aid accredited has come in handy, and of course I referred both these people to the help they clearly needed. I know my line and don’t cross it.
January launched FAQ Business Podcast Season 2
Started season 2 in mid to late January and posted 32 weekly episodes until we cut the season early due to health issues. Although we only had a few guests they were awesome – Steve Curtis on intuition and Leanne Shelton on websites. Hopefully the guests I was meant to have in 2022 will come onboard for Season 3! Anyway, we’ll be back mid-January starting with fortnightly releases to ease the pressure.
Had a few day break at Terrigal with my partner Mark, which was short but enjoyed.
Created brand new trainings on cancellation policies and refund policies after seeing demand in the market. These are available at https://faqbusinesstraining.com as part of the membership or a small fee if not.
February 2022 we became an award winner for education services
Perked up for a few months and pitched courses to City Of Parramatta.
Back into live events with a table at the Hills Small Business Expo and Conference and spoke at the event too on our 10x10x10 content planning strategy. Faced the first of many tech issues this year when their projector blew right at the bit of the session I needed the example on the screen! Also spoke to a small group at the Marketing and Me Meetup about self-coaching and using their inner voices for good.
Attended the deferred 2021 Local Business Awards for Penrith City and won the Education Services category. So we can now say we are ‘award-winning’. Felt deserved for all the effort put in over Covid with our JobKeeper and JobSaver lives, our Tea Time Tips series and the podcast which kicked off September 2021.
March 2022 was dominated by NSW Small Business Month
Luckily NSW Small Business Month as postponed from 2021 happened in March when I was healthy as it was huge:
- Extended marketing event with brand new sections on headshots, brand story and more with the Independent Business Network Inc (IBN Inc)
- Spoke at the Event with BREED and The Wealth Forum and facilitated a session on lead generation
- Event with Dural Chamber speaking about business recovery
- Event with Western Sydney Business Centre and Business Connect – recharge, renew and reconnect with new sections including an SOS (shiny object system) game and live self-coaching
- Events with Business Connect
- Our own events live in-person on product photography and creating conversations from your introductions
Joined the Penrith Valley Chamber and renewed membership with the Penrith CBD Corporation and have attended most meetings since. Enabled me to meet great immediately local businesses and also tour the local food and drink establishments with the Chamber.
Participated in a strategy meeting as part of my volunteer role with Community Bank North Richmond and Richmond (Bendigo).
The contract for Business Connect was cut in half, resulting in a loss of income from that source for most of the rest of the year. At the time not too concerned as intended to focus on my membership and other offerings.
Training happened for the Max Potential Community Coaching program. Interesting to see the coach balance had swung from women pre-Covid to men post-Covid with many saying they didn’t realise they weren’t as present with their kids as they thought they were. Home schooling and work from home had left some positive changes.
April 2022 we launched a brand new mindset series, had the big chop and then … Covid
My mindset series started really well with City of Parramatta despite not getting leads from them as expected, but luckily my organic advertising and email list contacts attracted people.
A client and friend Tanja of Be Your Best announced she was cutting her hair to raise money for charity. So given I hadn’t had a hair cut since Covid began I chopped it all off! Between Tanja, Sheila Cabacungan who joined us and I we raised over $3500 for Variety and I myself gave 10 ponytails of hair for wigs! And no I don’t blame my haircut for the Covid and long Covid that followed!
Had a great Easter long weekend away camping.
Unfortunately contracted Covid in April. Due to asthma was admitted to ‘hospital at home’ with daily online and phone check-ins. Got it reasonably bad (lost smell and taste plus the fatigue, cough, aches etc), not helped by getting it with Influenza A at the same time.
For the first time ever had to defer a training due to the Covid illness but finished it the next week. Unfortunately I didn’t at this time realise I didn’t have the few days and done version of Covid and ended up with long Covid – chronic fatigue, ridiculous brain fog (open a browser and by the time the search prompt comes up no idea what I was going to look up, go into a room no idea what I’m there for), heightened allergies (need Desonex daily to avoid rashes and scratching at my skin), the original Covid barking cough (triggered by cold, certain drinks and any illness, and of course often at the most inopportune times – like when filming).
The worst aspect from a client side was receiving a message and think I’ll reply in a few minutes, and promptly forget the message was ever received. To anyone who fell victim to this part of my brain fog, I offer my humble apologies.
Turned 50 and can’t quite believe it
During my Covid isolation period my 50th birthday happened, making it a big non-event. To be fair I had planned nothing (my 40th I had a great party with crazy hats and wigs and balloon animal making and of course copious amounts of alcohol), as I simply can’t accept I am 50. How can that be? However, I also remembered those who had passed young and never made it to 50 and decided it was still worth celebrating in honour of them, and yet haven’t become well enough to do this yet (as at December 2022), so maybe a 50 ish party will need to be held next year!
May 2022 and the implementable pricing series
The 4 week pricing series then happened in May. This was really the start off things going really downhill. Due to the intense fatigue and brain fog the ‘piece de la resistance’ of the course – the pricing worksheet was unable to be completed. It wasn’t something that could be outsourced and I haven’t found anything like it out there so this is still on the to be completed pile – for early 2023! ☹
April – August 2022 Community coach for Max Potential
Middle months I became a Community Coach again for the Max Potential program working with a year 11 student. Per the earlier 5 times I did this, loved seeing the growth in the student’s personal leadership, and have signed on again for 2023.
I also decided to try exercising in the pool by doing aquarobics over the winter months in a hot indoor pool. Although I enjoyed my time, I realised it was not helping my long Covid induced vertigo at all!
July 2022 approached via LinkedIn for executive coaching by CoachHub
We’ve all had dodgy contacts, but this one looked pretty real, so I looked into it some more, reached out to some of their coaches and learnt that the CoachHub business is totally legit and well worth chatting to. They had reached out as I was a PCC – Professional Certified coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
So, I had an interview with them and then ran a demo coaching session with a person they assigned. Then had to complete their certification/onboarding (no cost/no pay for any of this initial part) and started coaching for them in September. CoachHub is aiming to ‘democratise coaching’ allowing for coaching at more levels of big businesses. And when we’re talking big, it really is – the likes of Amazon and Endeavour Group – Dan Murphy’s).
July/August 2022 did my first career conversations event
After hearing about the programs offered in Penrith by Schools Industry Partnership and their related entities I took part as a volunteer at my first career conversations and interview sessions. This was great as it lets me utilise both my small business skillsets including my How to Job Search business skills.
August 2022 and two big parties
My partner’s work J Wyndham Prince celebrated 40 years in business, and did it in style at the MCA in Sydney. Stunning location. We made the most of it and my partner took us to a gorgeous room with a view at The Four Seasons Hotel for a few nights ( a lovely place to relax with a view from the bed of the Opera House). Even went to the Sydney Zoo on the way home for the first time.
Then our gorgeous neighbour’s invited us to their daughter’s wedding. OMG what an incredible experience. So much middle Eastern culture mixed with a rave like reception! Such a fun afternoon and night but I did pay the price with 3 days sleeping to recover (thanks long Covid – I drive home so no alcohol induced issue!).
September 2022 new trainings and a summit
September was quite big for training despite really feeling my long Covid and back pain. I took part again as a repeat speaker for the Business Business Business Small Business Skills Summit which included some panel sessions. Although attendance at the summit was not great (not helped by a lack of marketing including from people like me) I enjoyed the summit and made some great international connections with fellow panellists. Remember it’s not always what you think you’ll get out of something that represents it’s success.
Did some additional new trainings for the City of Parramatta including a brand new session on job recruiting in a tough job market. Apparent huge demand for this session from the market, but I find HR sessions are always quite hard to get people signing up for – even when sponsored so they’re free! I hope by putting this one in the online school soon, people will be able to experience it on demand at a time convenient to them.
Also participated live in some CoachHub conference sessions. Love the dedication of this business to its contracted coaches and therefore to its clients.
Had a fun long weekend to end the month at Zookana – the NSW Suzuki 4wd event with fun and serious events. Mark (my partner) took out the cup – woohoo!
October finally a small improvement in health but at a big price
This month I did something I’d also wanted to give a go personally and had a great experience. I can’t share it yet, but will when it goes to air (may give a small clue). Unfortunately during the taping a cough came in (the lovely barking Covid kind) and I tried to hold it in. Worked about 30 seconds and then led to a massive coughing fit for 10 minutes and during every break thereafter. Was mortified and so embarrassed. I’d only signed up the week before and had no idea I’d be accepted so soon and therefore would be suffering the long Covid so badly still.
Took it easy in October after a big September and towards the end of October I started feeling the end could be in sight with long Covid – my vertigo symptom had stopped after 6 months. But I’d also given up the 3 month aquarobics at the local pool and that was definitely triggering the vertigo, plus had a very small month both one on one and group sessions. It goes to show looking back like this, that resting really did make a big difference. However, as can be seen from the two months that followed it is a bit masking because I didn’t do anything, which is simply not sustainable or enjoyable. Financially this month was the worst.
Doing this exercise like this, this has been a huge revelation. So even if no one reads this, it really has made me see that in 2023 (at least while I still have back pain and long Covid) that I need to pace well – half day on, half day off. I can not be off all the time to feel better as it kills me financially and in pleasure activities. I can not be on all the time/too much as my health can’t handle it. So pacing is key.
November NSW Small Business Month and another failed Black Friday launch meant I really thought about chucking it all in …
NSW Small Business Month 2022 occurred in November. We found some things of note in November. Many people were burned out and numbers were down for most events. Also there appeared to be a lot less funding this time around (certainly impacted people we worked with previously). We held some sessions but due to my continued fatigue promoted them poorly and late (some the day before!). Although the small number of attendees enjoyed the sessions, it was well short of intentions. 3 of these sessions are being placed into our online school – job recruiting, productivity hacks and creating additional income streams.
Conducted a well received brand new session on email and SMS marketing at the request of the Hills Shire Council, live and in-person. Certainly don’t claim to be an expert in this area, but more than capable of delivering an entry level session on these topics, and attendees commented they now knew what they were doing wrong.
Ran a new Tea Time Tip (short live training) on your unique value proposition. This is now available in the membership for free or as a small fee in our online school.
Ran a great new session on Whole Brain Training and it’s impact on communication to the revived Designer Chicks group (now under IBN Inc). We guesstimated our profiles and made them visible using block towers. Some of the members are getting full HBDI ® profiles completed.
The same thing happened for Black Friday as our small business month workshops – we failed to get our launch happening and only put out a couple of token social posts and 2 emails. Well short of what was needed (especially when the reach on the social posts was super low – like 3% in one case!)
It was during this month an ad popped up for a Senior Investment Analyst on LinkedIn and I actually looked at it and a few times I seriously considered applying. Easy money, a job I could do in my sleep (okay maybe with the brain fog not as easily) … BUT would I be happy? Would I reach a state of Ikigai? Refer our what is Ikigai podcast. Would I get paid for it? Hell, yes. Would I be good at it? Long Covid getting better, yes. Would I love it? No. I’d like aspects of it – having a team, a regular healthy pay check allowing holidays and renovations to happen for sure, but it won’t light the passion I have for small business. Plus is it what the world needs? Not really. So for me I knew it was not the right call. I share this because it shows how low I got. This is the first time I’ve considered a role for real since leaving corporate in 2014.
December 2022 partying, a global summit, increased Business Connect hours = too much for my health
The session for the WBECS Global Coaching Summit took place (that I won a spot for some months earlier). Nightmare tech issues the day before luckily as I could reconfigure everything on a different laptop and tested it. When I had a chance to test some more, turned out it was a faulty dock. So annoying seeing as I got that to replace 2 USB hubs that blew (one literally as I attached an LED light cord which must have taken too much power and poof!). The dock was causing frequent drop outs during online sessions – terrible for me!
The summit session itself went well, and got great feedback with only 10% of people saying they’d keep doing things as they were before the session!
Lots of Christmas parties – probably too many given my long Covid, especially with many condensed over a two week period.
Allocated Business Connect hours increased again due to new funding and an interestingly timed email campaign to 1.3m businesses the two weeks before Christmas!
The combined effect and then my stepson kindly shared a cold/virus he has, and I’ve spent the last week struggling hard, with Covid cough back full bore, extreme fatigue and bouts of vertigo for the last few weeks.
We hosted Christmas and it mostly went okay, with only one person pulling out due to being sick, and our induction stove top tripping the fuse with gravy to go. That kind of summed up the year. Thrown curve balls and managed to make it through! But will need to make a permanent change to fix the problem.
Training I registered in (and some I completed!) year in review 2022
As a trainer I consider it important to train myself. This year I did lots of small trainings (webinars, videos, short courses), courses from bundles, and I also was in bigger/longer trainings and memberships (spending over $5000 plus time). I’ll be completely honest though I know I’ve barely used the memberships I’ve been involved in mainly due to illness and burn out. In part this has been due to a lack of live support and that’s why I’m bringing that into mine.
WBECS Global Coaching Summit via coaching.com – this is an 11 month summit with a few sessions each week. Attended a number of sessions live, and will catch up on more on replay. As an attendee (pne of 2000) I could pitch for a Showcase speaking spot, which I did and completed in December 2022.
Yael Keon Email Experience – Yael does do live sessions but timing hasn’t worked many times. There’s a lot of great content here so I have been a paid member for a few years even though I haven’t used it as I should. If you specifically need email help Yael is great.
Emma Kate’s Designer Boss Summit x 2 – enrolled in a number of the offered courses and sessions
Ryan Serhant – Sell it Like Serhant membership (I tend to binge watch the monthly webinars every 6 months so I do get value from these). He focuses on real estate (which has been a past flutter of mine) but I take from his learnings what I think works more broadly.
Donald Miller – Business Made Simple program – tend to have this playing when I do the washing etc. Has some good concepts aligned to what I teach. Pick up the odd nuggets and have shared two of his concepts with full credit to him of course (including in the IBN March session).
Grant Cardone 10x program (honestly I haven’t found as much out of the program I hoped, but I recognise I also haven’t put a lot in). I found some of the recorded sessions way too fluffy (not enough practical and to the point content), but also found later he does have swipe files etc to make life easy for people who need them. Although I will not be copying of course, it does reiterate why I always intended for these to be part of my membership – but 2022 – rip it up and start again …
Signed up to the Peter Sage program but had a bit of buyer’s remorse after a really pushy after sales call (how not to do it!) and have barely opened it – and I need to as it was on procrastination!
Was going to complete Emotional Intelligence certification with the people I did my coach training with, but will do that in 2023. It’s a great complement/extension to the thinking of the HBDI® profile.
In December signed up for the Lizzie’s Goody Bags and wow what overwhelm. Way too many courses and offers. Mixed quality. One course basically telling you as a thing to do on the course to sign up to another course by someone who actually knew what they were doing … Oh well, it made me know why for now I’ve stuck with my own trainings because I’ll know you’ll get many ACTUAL learnings, not just sent somewhere else to learn!
Final comments on the shit show 2022 year in review
As you can see 2022 was not the best. Health wise and the financial flow-on effect that caused made it my worst year ever financially. However, when you see people like tWitch (Stephen Boss) take his own life at 40 with a seemingly happy life, loving family and so much going for him you realise this shit show is just a blip in a much bigger life that I want to stick around for. Like many his passing really hit – why?! My life is so much better than others, and even though my health and bank balance suffered, I am still grateful for so much. I had friends go through much more in 2022 especially one in ICU most of the year with long Covid and others suffering from cancer, mental health and other ailments.
Many businesses found this year harder than the prior years of shutdown with no Government support, and massive issues with weather (you can’t fix a roof in the rain) and ongoing staffing shortages (hence our new workshop).
It is my personal aim to help one million people in their careers and business succeed on their terms, and for that reason I have a purpose. When I’m not sick and letting people down, I love what I do and I know from feeback and results people get I can be great at it. So if I can just sort out the $$ side and get my health/work/life not in some sort of equilibrium then hold on world.
2022 can go out with the garbage and join with me to make 2023 the best year ever!
That’s me signing off. I hope this has been helpful for you, and if it wasn’t it has helped me!
Wishing you all the best for a hugely awesome 2023! Look out for the planning sessions if you want to get it right this time!
Founder and Lead Trainer, FAQ Business Training
Online school: https://faqbusinesstraining.com
All photos credit to Jane Tweedy (except the haircut image thanks Sandra Zalud) and Bitmoji for the graphics.