Looking Back on 2019 and Forward to 2020
At the end of every year, I write a blog post summarizing the wins of that year and setting goals for the upcoming year. It's so fun to look back on these posts to see how far I've come and also to see where I've missed the mark.
At risk of sounding like a broken record (this is exactly how I started last year's and 2017's post 😂), 2019 was an incredible year. There was SO much personal and professional growth and I feel so lucky that every year that passes I consider “the best one yet.”
By the way, if you're curious how I went from 9-5 cubicle dweller to owner of a half a million dollar biz as a social media influencer in under three years, I talked about my entire journey here.
Let's jump in…
2019 Personal Achievements
Traveled to incredible destinations
I explored 10 countries in 2019 – USA, Mexico, Peru, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, the Bahamas and the Cook Islands. Each place brought me some of my most treasured memories:
- Sleeping in a bunk bed with my boyfriend Cem on the luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer on a 2-day journey from Arequipa to Cusco
- Sailing on the bluest water I've ever seen in the Cook Islands
- Enjoying an incredible 5 days at the Four Seasons Punta Mita with Cem and then spending a few days in the smaller town of Sayulita afterward
- Spent a few weeks in Bali, Indonesia reconnecting with my closest friends there
- Hiking to a viewpoint in Petra, Jordan that was so steep a Bedouin man had to pull me up the rocks by my hand the whole time 😂
- Sleeping in a bubble hotel in the desert in Jordan and spending a night in Wadi Rum, the closest to Mars it gets on Earth
- Sleeping in an open air felucca (traditional Egyptian boat) on the Nile River with 8 other influencers, being awoken by the Call to Prayer from mosques surrounding us
- Flying with 24-hr notice to the Bahamas with Cem. While floating in the turquoise waters of the Exuma Islands, we found out he didn't have work the next day and promptly cancelled our flights home 🙌🏼
- Eating delicious pasta and octopus with my mom in Cinque Terre, in a restaurant on a cliff overlooking the ocean
- Traveling for the very first time with my new friends Rachel and Justyn to Oman
Grew an amazing relationship
Cem and I traveled to Peru, Mexico and the Bahamas together in 2019, which gave him the travel bug and made our relationship even stronger.
Moved into a new apartment
In October, I moved into the apartment of my dreams in New York City. Cliche to say, but I truly never thought I'd be able to afford or live in a place like this, and I literally pinch myself every time I go onto the balcony and see the skyline views!
If you want to see it, I have a highlight on my Instagram called “home” with a tour around the place and tags on where I got the decor & furniture!
2019 Professional Achievements
Grew my team
At the time of writing this in December 2019, my team is now seven people strong and includes:
- 3 ads team members
- 1 community manager
- 1 CFO
- 1 manager
- 1 payment recovery technician
I talk more about what exactly each of my team members do on this episode of Her Life By Design.
Launched my podcast
I won't lie to you – launching my podcast, Her Life By Design, was terrifying.
Committing to one episode per week? Pitching guests? Talking by myself for an hour?
I had a LOT of fears going into this launch, but with all things that scare me, I pushed past that nagging voice in my head and did it anyway. And I'm so glad I did because the podcast is now one of my favorite things I'm doing in my business.
The feedback from all of you has been nothing short of incredible so far. If you haven't tuned in yet, here are links to the first two months of episodes on Apple Podcasts. The show is also available on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts!
- How to Work with Hotels as a Social Media Influencer
- How to Work Online as a Virtual Assistant
- How to Adapt to an Instagram Without Likes
- How to Pay Off Debt and Improve Your Money Mindset
- How to Negotiate Brand Deals Like a Pro with Christina's Manager
- My Story: How I Built a Half a Million Dollar Business as a Social Media Influencer
- How to Land a Spot on Press Trips
Impacted thousands of women with my online courses
The Influencer Bootcamp‘s community grew dramatically in 2019 and I also launched my second online course, The Blogger Bootcamp – a course that teaches influencers how to grow their blog traffic and email list.
Students of my courses have done the most incredible things and these wins are what continue to drive me:
- Landed paid collaborations with brands like Essie, Burberry, Marriott Hotels, Pantene, Kay Jewelers, Sirius XM, AT&T, Liquid IV … The list goes on and on
- Left their full-time jobs to work as influencers & bloggers full-time
- Grown 100,000's of followers and, more importantly than the number, cultivated ENGAGED communities
- Started their own social media management agencies
- Saw massive increases in blog traffic from the Pinterest & SEO strategies I teach
Exceeded the revenue goal I set for this year in 2018
I'm always transparent with my business' numbers because 1) I believe more small biz owners should be, and 2) when I'm teaching influencers how to build empires, knowing how much I make in my business is important for credibility!
Anyway, I had a complete “OMG” moment reading this snippet from my “Looking Back on 2018 and Forward to 2019” post:
I had my revenue goal set at $300k for 2019 and I remember typing that feeling so unsure of myself. Fast-forward a year, my business generated $530,000+ in 2019, from a mix of brand sponsorships, content creation and online courses.
With hard work, manifestation and declaring your goals for all to hear, anything is possible.
Looking forward to 2020, my personal goals are…
Compared to 2017 and 2018, I traveled considerably less this year. I know some of you may look at the 10 countries I visited and think, “Uhhh, LESS?” but you gotta remember… In 2017 and 2018, I was GO-GO-GO. Barely at home long enough to do laundry. Comfortable with hopping from country to country with no home in between.
I did travel far from home in 2019, but it was a different year in the sense that I spent extended periods – months – at home at once. This slowing in travel was due to a few things:
- A new-found love for routine. I'm not lost on the irony here: I left my 9-5 because I hated the routine. But I suppose when you swing to one extreme (constant travel), you're bound to come back to the center.
- A relationship. Another reason I crave home is because of my boyfriend. Though we've built a relationship where we're comfortable being apart and independent, we are closer than ever and that's a big reason I'll be traveling for shorter periods!
- Shifting of business priorities. I went into 2019 with the intention of growing my online course business. With the success and focus on that, I was able to be pickier about press trips and travel opportunities, which overall resulted in less jet-setting.
So in 2020, my goal is to travel even more intentionally and, inevitably, less. I don't want to travel for the sake of traveling; I want to travel to the places I REALLY want to travel to.
Some places on my list:
- More of Africa. I've been to Egypt and Morocco, but I want to explore countries in the South like Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Seychelles and Zanzibar.
- Bali again! And hopefully bring Cem this time.
- United Arab Emirates.
Bring a pup into the fam
Less of a goal, more of a to-do. I have always been a BIIIIIG dog person and 2020 will be the perfect time to bring a pup into the fam. This will happen probably sometime in mid-2020!
Master a morning & evening routine
I use the Full Focus Planner from Michael Hyatt, and each day in the planner has boxes to check off that you've completed your morning and evening routine, so I'm hoping the planner will keep me accountable!
Here's a peek at the morning & nighttime routines I've set for myself:
Learn how to meditate
I've been long hearing about the power of meditation to clear your mind, reduce stress and center yourself, and I've been wanting to commit to learning for so long. My goal by the end of 2020 is to truly be able to silence my mind for minutes at a time.
And for my professional goals in 2020…
Launch a coaching program
I love my online courses and their power to teach the best Instagram, brand collaboration, blog and email list strategies, but there is limited opportunity to connect 1-on-1.
In 2020, I am going to work much more closely with a small group of driven women to give them personalized coaching & strategies and help them build their empires.
I'll be announcing details in the next couple months, so keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram 👀 If you're interested in being one of the first to know about this program (it's going to fill fast!), enter your info here:
Grow as a leader & business owner in all ways
2020 will be very focused on getting more press, moving fully into the CEO role and growing my team. It'll be about creating an entire suite of offers that can every person in my audience, no matter what level they're at.
My revenue goal for 2020 is $1 million. So… that's out there. 😱
Grow my podcast to reach new ears
Her Life By Design will be a HUGE focus in 2020 – growing the audience, getting incredible guests, providing the most value possible.
That's it from me, and now I wanna hear from you – what are YOUR big goals for this year? What are you most proud to have achieve in 2019?