Being that this is the first year that Cloud Coach has existed on the great wide internet, I can't write a clever intro about how I like to look back each year, or about the progress we've made here on the site.
I can't compare my results this year to my results last year, and I can't tell you about how my readers have grown or changed since the last time I've done this exercise.
But what I can do is reflect back on the last 10 months of blogging, interacting, and following my own passions. And in that refective thinking, tell you about what went well and what didn't for me in 2011.
I know that I have a wide range of readers.
Offline business owners who are trying to figure out how to use the internet to grow their customer base, and online business owners who are trying to use new technology to make their lives easer.
And beyond that, regular people- business or not- who are overwhelmed with technology in some regard, and know that there's a better way to work.
This annual review is for all of you.
I hope that from reading this, you are inspired to look back at the last year in your life and business and reflect on what worked and what didn't. Even though it's January 3rd already, it's not too late to reflect and learn from your past.
Most importantly, I hope you can learn from both my mistakes and my successes to make 2012 the year that you truly begin to live and work in harmony with technology.
2/2011: Cloud Coach Was Born!
Literally after years of wanting to create a website and business that aligned with my interests and passions, I finally took action and launched Cloud Coach. I had been dreaming of starting some sort of blog for a long time. What was the catalyst for actually taking action? I decided to take a leap and work with a coach. While all the information you could ever want is available online for free, actually spending the money to hire a coach helped me stay accountable to my dreams.
What Went Well: Working with Jonathan Mead and Trailblazer (aff link) has been nothing but inspiring, and I hope that you have an opportunity to work with someone who both motivates you and holds you accountable to what you say you want.
What Could Be Improved: I didn't realize how much energy running a blog would require. I always knew that I could make the time to work on Cloud Coach, no matter how busy I was. But making time during parts of the day when I was actually fresh and ready to do great work is another story all together!
I find that my most productive hours are between 7AM and 11AM. Though I don't like to flaunt this on the blog, I do still have my “day job”, and I've been finding that it comes in direct conflict with my drive to work on Cloud Coach. 2012 will be the year when I make the transition to full time Cloud Coach, and I can't wait to be able to devote my strongest hours to this community each and every day!
5/2011: I Launched My First Free Product
It's email list building 101 that you need to offer some kind of goodie to readers for signing up for your mailing list. Since I wanted to establish Cloud Coach as an authority for people who were new to the online business world, I wanted my first free product to address one of the most important pieces for newcomers to this arena.
What Went Well: I created a product that I was and continue to be proud of. It's something that I love referring people to- because this email marketing business is not going away. My most gratifying moment was when I got the initial email from a close friend of the family- an extremely talented artist who took my advice to heart and is now putting out a great monthly newsletter.
What Could Be Improved: Once again, I didn't realize how much had to go in to creating something like this. Though I made the time and made it happen, I think I may have “bit off more than I could chew” when I was doing putting together the outline for what would go in the course.
10/2011 I Launched my Flagship Training Product
The Inbox Zero Training Program is my baby. I've been helping people deal with email clutter since long before the age of Cloud Coach. This website finally provided me with the venue and reason to create an actual course. We launched in October with 20 satisfied founding members. There are big things to come in 2012 for the Inbox Zero Training Program, so if you missed your chance to sign up in October, stay tuned!
What Went Well: I have a product that I'm proud of and that is worth the money I charge for it. What more could I ask for?
What Could Be Improved: The launch of the Inbox Zero Training Program coincided with my planning and eventually leaving on a month-long bicycle tour of the west coast. Once again, I feel like I may have overextended myself and assumed that launching a product AND planning a big adventure could happen at the same time. While I did pull it all off, I will be more careful about when I plan product launches in the future so that I can give them my full attention.
So, to sum it all up, I see some themes from the last year of my business.
Working with a coach
Once again, this has been an increadible journey and I am truly grateful to have shared it with you. So.. Here's to you: I wish you amazing things for 2012 and can't wait to support you on your own journey.
Now it's your turn: What went well for you in 2011 and what could use improvement? How did technology help or hurt you?