Another year of wins and lessons learned, and my goodness, was it a year of BIG THINGS! From launching a new company, new programs AND our first event, we have a LOT to talk about.
Join me in this week’s episode for a candid, unscripted and very cheeky recap from my year. Tune in to the full episode and listen to my special announcement at the end. :)
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Well, hey friend welcome back to another episode. I am here for a very, very special episode. It will be the last episode of 2022. But also, this the last episode you will hear of The Heather Sager Show. Yes, my friend. This is the end of an era of the last episode. But don't worry, this show's not going anywhere. I have a special announcement for you at the end of this new episode on what you can expect in 2023. But we're going to end the era of The Heather Sager Show and we're going to do so today by doing a 2022 recap. I'm going to share with you the top wins from this year, my personal lessons learned and give you some insights and wisdoms as you wind out your year. This is just an candid unscripted conversation around my thoughts as I close out the year with some encouragement for you and give you a sneak peek at what's to come for this show and The Speaker Co in 2023 so let's dive in.
Okay now, as we dive into today's episode, it is the week before the great holiday off. Is that a thing? Is that a thing? I just made it a thing. My family usually takes two weeks off for the holidays each year, the week before Christmas and the week after Christmas. We celebrate Christmas in our house. And this year with so many things on our plate, I decided I'm gonna be working a little bit next week. I don't know about you if you take time off for the holidays. I've been talking to a lot of business owners lately who are actually not taking a ton of time off outside of the week between Christmas and New Year's. I'm always really curious around how different people plan their time. But one of the lessons that I learned this year is when kids are home from school. I really need to lower my expectations around what is actually possible. I need to do a big shout out for anybody who is a parent who has kids at home all the time, littles, bigs, whatever that looks like. Having kids at home, especially littles at home, it is hard to get things done. I have been very, very fortunate to have the luxury to be able to send my kids to daycare, to send them to Grandma's house. Right now we have school aged, one kid, preschool another kid, but that really has been, oh my goodness, this year, especially this summer. I'll get actually, I'll get to this in a moment. But this summer was really a rude awakening because usually I got light in the summer around this year. This year, there were some lessons learned, but let's step back for a moment and go all the way back to last year.
Just a couple of wins and the reason why I want to focus on this, the first thing we do inside every coaching call people do with me I'm always like, what's the win, what are we celebrating, what's happened? And I don't know if you resonate with this but I feel like our culture, we live in a culture where we always go to the negative. You ask someone, hey, how's it going? And typically people go to the negative and full disclosure, I find myself doing this too and it drives me bonkers. I'm like, I wish it was not this person but we typically downplay what's going on our lives. We focus on like, Oh, I got a headache again, or Oh, the kids are, oh, this is wrong. It's so easy to go straight to the negative because that's where we can build connection with people because everyone is just living life in their own version of, I don't know, just surviving so I want to disrupt that. I want to be the kind of person who is of light when someone's like, how are things going? I want people to say, awesome, like, I'm loving life right now and not sound like a douchey idiot by saying that because we all know people who say that, and we're like, whoa, dude, calm like, calm them down. But I really want people to focus more on the wins and the celebrations and this comes from a place of I know in my life personally, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, or I'm feeling like, Oh, it's so hard, or this business thing is taking so long, or oh, it's not working, it's typically because I'm looking at all the things that aren't working. But the truth is, I mean, I'm a real badass, I know you are too but that there are so many things going well, going right, I just don't ever take time to slow down and talk about it. Back to have been multiple episodes talking about how we need to slow down and celebrate ourselves and quite frankly, how I suck at that. So in order for me to deal with that, me sucking with it, I incorporate that into my business culture.
So one of the things I do, I kick off every single coaching call inside the speaker society with what are the wins, what are we celebrating? And even though I know some people roll their eyes and like, here we go again, I can tell people get excited to share their wins. They're excited to show up for the call and have a room where other people are going to celebrate their shit right alongside them. Big wins, little wins, whatever the wins. People want to have a place where they can say I did this thing. Big, small, it doesn't matter. I did it and have other people be happy for them and not judge them and feel like oh, lucky you, Tony hoodie hoodie.
So I want to encourage you start sharing your wins, start being, if that's not normal in your friends circle or your business circle right now. Could you be the leader who starts asking other people what's working well for you? What are we celebrating right now? Like, what's going good in your life? What's going good in your business? Was something great that happened this week? What was something great that you caused happening this week? These are questions that I think are really important which is why we're starting today's conversation, the recap of the year with what the hell worked and what were the wins here in my company in 2022, which funny enough to say I'm used to saying my company and now I gotta use language of our company because that was a huge win of 2022 which is I went from a me to a we And no, I didn't get married. I've been married for I mean, more than a decade with my husband for a decade and a half. But I went into a business partnership and you all can hear all about it with me and my business partner Emily Hall. We started The Speaker Co so we went from Heather Sager LLC, me being sole Heather, Heather Sager Show, Heather Sager company, Heather Sager programs, from that mid year into a new entity where we merged with E & M Creative. We tarted The Speaker Co.
Now, if you are new listening to this show, you can go back we will tag some episodes, you can go back to my interview with Emily. I had her on the show in August or September of this year, where we talked about our partnership and why we went into partnership together. But far out number one, my biggest win of the year was also the most unexpected, the most unexpected win was I said yes to brunch, with a presentation designer who had a creative agency and walked out with a business idea and 108 days later. Yes, 108 days later, we launched a new company, The Speaker Co. It was the wildest, most unexpected thing I ever have done, same for Em and oh my gosh, it's the best decision ever and we are still so, so happy about it. We can't wait to share what's coming next year. But number one, I can't go through this big wins list without celebrating the fact that we literally built a company from the ground up and 108 days, it's wild. We'll also link Emily and I dove into that conversation and that whole concept of what drove that and how we built the company 108 days we were interviewed on the Cubicles of CEO podcast earlier just a few months ago. So we'll link to that in the show notes. Anyways, that was a big one.
But going back earlier in the year, I wanted to share with you a couple of things that really worked great wins and can maybe start a little bit of a case study and some some ideas for you for next year. So in 2022, I launched into 2022 with my main program at the time, it was Speak up to Level up. It was my group coaching program that I had launched in the fall of 2019 and I had rinse and repeat launched, had it on evergreen at one point and then it was coming back to live launching in 2022. And one of the things that I did different in 2022 that I tested out, was I tested out a paid launch model and I'm going to count this as a huge freaking win but at the time when I was in it, it was starting to not feel like a win and I'll share why here in just a moment. But I had been doing a webinar launches in my business. I'm great at webinars. I have high converting webinars. My programs convert at anywhere from 8 to 40% on my webinars which is crazy, but hello, I'm a speaking coach, I teach people how to speak and teach people how to get more effective with the webinars. So yes, mine is very meta, like, let me pay me to teach you to do what I'm doing right now.
So it is, I won't say easier for me to to sell but I understand if anyone has ever had that thought around like sure it's easier for them to sell the thing of them selling the thing. I don't know, tangent that I'm going on. But anyway, stepping back, I had done webinars. I had tried a new launch model in the fall of 2021, a three part workshop series which worked very well, had great conversion. What was interesting, and this is me just being super real with you and it's also very weird because I'm sharing with you business insight, but also knowing that many of you are my customers and many of your potential customers so we're just going to like, open up the curtain on here. But here's the reality, you're in business and you're going to have these things too and I think you will value hearing what someone has to say around the operations of things.
So I ran a free three part workshop series in the fall of 2021 and I loved it and simultaneously hated it. Let me explained why. I loved it because where I thrive is long form content. It statistically has shown in all of my data that the more time I spend with someone, the higher the conversion rates. So the workshop model worked really, really well for me. I had a sign up, it was a three part workshop series. So I ran a workshop on a Thursday, the following Tuesday and the following Thursday, and I had a Facebook group with it and we had people engaged. And at the end, at the workshops, I made a pitch. I'm trying to think back, made a pitch into it and we had a really good enrollment rate. It was pretty strong. The show up rate on the workshop series, it was smaller. And looking back to this, lesson learned. The more, my personal opinion, when you have something for free, the more times you're asking them to show up, the higher the drop off rate. And in my experience when people start dropping off and they don't actually start seeing the whole picture of what you have to offer, the likelihood of them to then purchase your offer is also going down.
So what was interesting is when I wrapped up the free launch in 2021, which was quite frankly, way more work, but also really fun because I got a lot of quote-unquote stage time. When I wrapped that up, I just I noticed a feeling that I had heard a lot of entrepreneurs mention but never really understood and it was the idea of, have you ever heard of someone talk about how they're, they get a little resentful of something in their business, resentful of, I've heard people get resentful of their Facebook groups or people like consuming their free stuff. I had never, I had never even had that thing clean. I'd never had that thought. I love giving free stuff away to my audience. I love over delivering on the podcast. I love, I always get comments from people around like Heather, your podcast episodes are so tangible, like you give away like workshops in your podcast, like you get a lot of free stuff. My mantra was always like, I'm either really expensive or totally free. There's nowhere in the middle. It's when someone invests in me they're like, built up, they're excited, they're investing but they're also paid. I'm not cheap. My stuff is not cheap, like we are more luxe brand, if you shall call it that, right. It's funny, I talk about poop and farts and other things and here I am talking about a lux brand.
Anyways, you're here and I know you get what I mean but I've never had any of those inklings and for the first time after that launch, I sat back and said, that was so much work. But in the totality the launch numbers and the revenue, it wasn't any larger than doing a webinar. And I just had that thought of going Holy crap, like, here, there's something that you're gonna notice about me is I love working. I do not shy away from hard work. But I also am constantly asking the question of like, what's the easiest way that we can do this? What's the laziest I could be? And I say that laughing, I'm never actively thinking that. But I'm always thinking about how can I get the same impact but in a simpler way, and that was a huge lesson learned that I had in 2020 but circling back to it, all this to say heading to 2022 which is what this is about. I decided to try something new and instead of following other people's advice or the quote-unquote launch models that other people talk about I said, why can't I just do what I want to do? Why can I try something? So I decided to take the workshop series that I had done in the fall and I said, what would happen if we charge people for? What would happen to me energetically? Would I be more excited knowing that I'm showing up for people who are like skin in the game? Would they be more excited to show up for the workshops? What would be impacted the conversion rates on that? What would be the type of people that we would bring into the program? I already have, I have the best people inside our programs like oh my gosh, in Speak up to Level up, best friggin community ever. I love the business owners who join us in there. Many of them, most of them have moved forward and are now with us in The Speaker Society and we've attracted the most incredible human beings in The Speaker Society, like I'm a very, very fortunate. Spoiler alert, this is going to come in later when I talk about lessons learned so save a little pin for that.
Anyways, so we have the best people. So I just thought like, what what would happen if we charged and it added more complexity. So what happened was we did a paid workshop model, there was a registration page, you paid 37 bucks. There was an option for a $97 VIP upgrade where you can be live on Zoom with me after the workshops for me to coach you, do hot seats, all those great things. If you've been around for a while, you probably remember this March, this launch in March earlier this year. And in my head, I did all the math and said okay, what are the numbers we need to hit? My goal was 250 people signed up for the workshops, and we had 56. And of that 56, I think 12 or 14 of them were people who did not pay as then they were existing or current clients or affiliates for the program. So I say this instantly, as I had a moment of going, Ah, I frickin failed. I failed 40, I think it was 44 people was that paid number of people in the program. I've never talked about this publicly before so welcome to behind the scenes, friend. But I add that number in and initially, when we started having registrations coming through, I felt like ah and then I instantly was like, oh, I've never done this before. How cool is this? 44 people have raised their hand and we had 56 people and I put everybody's name on a post it note and I had them on the wall of the closet here in my office which is directly in front of me right now. I can visually like picture in my mind those names up on that wall. And I remember every day I was talking about on Instagram, I was putting more names on the wall building more hype, more excitement and by the time we got to the live workshops, people were in it to frickin win it. We had active engagement. I ended up opening up and doing the entire thing on Zoom because my streaming software did not work. My streaming software did not work at all and so the day of the trainining, I'm like shit, alright, so we pivot and we did the entire workshop series on Zoom and people showed up and I do what I do. I pulled people quote-unquote onstage with me, like, give me the challenge on this and I coach people live in front of others in the group was so engaged and I was giving them challenges and they were going live on Instagram stories after the workshops and there was hype and it was so much fun. It was so much fun. And as we got to the point where the workshops ended and I then went on did a webinar to talk to them more about the program and and that point I opened up applications for Speak up to Level up. It was the first time that I had on in a long time, I had done applications versus a live sales page. And that program or that workshop series converted from the people who paid for the workshop series that were not the free existing clients, we converted at like 44% or something crazy bananas, who's a very profitable launch. It was wonderful. It was wonderful and I felt elated, excited, like yes, this is the model now. It's just how do we get more people in it so I was on that high. I was super excited. And six weeks later, is, so that was my big win. The big win was the march paid SULU launch that really unlocked something that was really, really exciting so that was a huge one.
So starting Speaker Co later in the year, the SULU launch in March but what's interesting is coming out of that launch and running that program, that cohort was so freakin fun. People have their wins left and right. It's part of this, I'm going to jump to a lesson learned this year. Things were going really really well in 2022 on paper and in my own mindset and which is how things were going with my clients and the business trajectory, things were going really, really well. There was no reason for me to even consider this idea of pivoting, having a partnership, starting a new company like why, why on earth but I do that and still there was something in my gut and something in the conversations between Emily and I and then I would go home and talk to James my husband and it just all kept making sense. And this one I'm going to, go into a, I'm gonna go hit on one of my lessons for 2022. One of the really big things that I've known all along and I feel like I've exemplified and I keep exemplifying, especially for my clients inside our programs, is it's okay to pivot. It's okay to change your mind. It's okay to do things over again. It's okay to take a mulligan and say, well, I'm gonna try that, it didn't work, I'm gonna do something different. I think a lot of people and I had this for a beat. A lot of us think, ah, what are people going to think if we launch that program and then we rename it? Or are we allowed to rename our podcast, which you're gonna hear, hello, that's coming up at the end of the episode. I've already done at once. This show started as Finding Your It Factor and because of illegal curveball, I had to change that shit and now here we are at The Heather Sager show and for a very different reason, you're going to find out what's coming next but it's okay to change.
When I changed Speak up to Level up from a cohort model to a digital course model to an evergreen 12 month ongoing coaching program model to then I changed it into a membership and then I changed it back to a course and then I got it got into a spot where I was so freakin proud of, at a very handsome price point, might mind you, at a very high conversion rate with a very profitable launch mode and I decided to close it down. It doesn't logically make sense but it also makes sense because I believe that every experience we have in our business, every next thing that we do, we got to watch the data to see what's working and make decisions based off the data but I saw an opportunity that was incredible. I saw the opportunity to host a program with another person who had a very different skill sets, a skill set that filled a gap that I had in my company and it wasn't one that I wanted to have filled by an employee, I wanted somebody to be in it to win it just as much as me. Somebody who's going to care about my clients just as much as me, someone who's going to care about the program and the integrity and the quality just as much as me if not more. And that's why for me like this idea of pivoting and reinventing and changing your mind and continuing to show up for your people was one of the most beautiful lessons that was doubled down on for me in 2022 and it was just just so wonderful and I'm just so grateful for it, and I hope that you have a version of that for you.
If you've been doubting making a decision because you're fearful of whatever somebody else is going to think or if you're wondering like, ah, I did that thing but now I'm I don't like it, but I can't get out of it. What would my people think, or my clients are going to be so mad if I take away this level of support, or people are going to be confused if I change the something something, the reality is most people don't freaking care. Just tell them what the change is, tell them why the change and come at it from the benefit for them, tell them why this is going to ultimately be great for them and share whether you're excited about it too. But if you do that and you have a good relationship with people and you're consistent in showing up for them and showing them you care and showing value through your content, even if they don't love or agree with a change, they're gonna respect you for it. They will, they absolutely will. What's stopping you is your fear of what other people think and you don't even know that they're thinking it. You haven't even given them an opportunity to think it. It's all imagination in your head and I speak from experience because I had that too. But the moment I started actually doing the things that I wanted to do and the things that would be in better alignment with the future, the company for me and my clients and now my business partner, that's when things really started clicking. And anytime I feel resistance, anytime I feel myself adapting to what I think I need to do, that's when shit goes sideways. And the same thing is true for you, you need to start listening to your intuition, trusting your judgment, validating it with data, validating it with is this something I'm going to want to be doing like 12 months from now, 36 months from now? I don't think you need to go much further than that because it's going to change in the meantime anyways. But if we start validating these gut intuition things with logic, we can be a little more brave in our decision making and that is my side tangent TED Talk for you today.
Okay, back to my wins. So number one, the win was launch The Speaker Co. Number two, the great Speak up to Level launch of March, the paid launch of this year. Number three, oh I love this month. This year, 2022 was the first year that I went full ass on an affiliate launch. This was huge for me. I had been an affiliate for other people's programs in the past, but I hadn't fully, fully committed. I was an affiliate for a program back in 2020. I want to say and I got some sales from it. I was okay with it. It was totally a half assed, half assed approach, but this year, my word my phrase for this year as you know if you have been around the show for a while. My year, my thing this year has been full ass, full ass. If I'm going to do something I'm going to go full ass. In fact, this is my number one lesson learned to carry forward with me in 2023, it's this. It's better to go full ass on a few things that light you up than half ass on everything. It's better to go full ass on the few things that light you up than half ass on everything. And here's the thing, you are exceptional. You are an exceptional human. And I don't have to know you directly to tell you that I know that if you're showing up to a podcast to better yourself, to build a business, to be able to communicate more directly or compassionately and effectively and be able to show up in a bigger way, you are exceptional. The challenge is if you're not showing up an exceptional way right now, if you're not making the progress you want to make in your business if you're feeling a struggle with that it's because you're diluting that for yourself. You're diluting your exceptional miss, you're diluting it by trying to do so many things and no one can be exceptional all the time. Believe me, I've tried. I am freakishly good at a lot of things. Actually, fun, okay, fun side tangent. Can we go here for a moment? Years ago, my husband and I, I brought him with me to a work event. This is so funny, oh, this is so terrible. I'm going to tell you, I'm going to tell you this. Okay. I brought my husband with me to a work event in Phoenix. At the time we were running these conferences for college students in audiology, they, we were kind of courting them. We wanted them to work in our practices and so we ran these events. We were running quite a few of these events each year. We wanted to dine them, great educational program. It was wonderful.
But at the time in my company, there was another director, in the company, I was a VP, this was a director, and we were collaborating together. And this other person, he didn't like me very much is the short, short story version. He didn't like me very much but we had to work together so he had to pretend like he liked me in the office which was very fascinating. Anyways, we were in Phoenix, I brought my husband to the event and we took the all these college. They were graduate degree programs so these weren't like kids, graduate degrees. They're like 23, 24. We took them to Top Golf, which is an outdoor driving range with drinks and dinner. People having drinks, we're having drinks. My husband's with me. Owen was a baby at the time so Owens there too. And my husband is like the friendliest person on the planet, like he is the people person. He is the easy peasy extrovert of our relationship. He makes friends with everyone. I just like, if you if you ever had the chance to meet my husband and I in person, you're going to love him way more than you loved me. Anyway, so he's chatting with this dude, that doesn't really like me much and I'm up to Top Golf, getting ready to golf and I am not a golfer. In fact, when I ran a golf tournament back when we had a nonprofit, I was so bad. I want high score. I'm determinate, which, if you don't play golf, you want the lowest score, not the highest score so I'm terrible at golf so which is why I was, I drove the beer cart.
Anyways, back to Arizona. I'm at Top Golf and I'm looking at my style. I'm like, screw this. I have a glass of wine in my hand because I can. I have the golf club and the other hand and I like whatever. Okay, I'm gonna do this. I'm gonna do this. So I set the wine down and I like square up and I went out. And evidently, it was good, like the shot was really good. I did a couple times and I'm like, damn, I'm good with this. I kid you not my husband later tells me. He's sitting next to the guy who doesn't like me and goes, isn't it so annoying that she's good at everything? Isn't it annoying that she's good everything. And my husband looked that man dead square in the face, he's like, No, I think it's f*cking awesome. F-bomb, my apologies. I don't think I've ever used a F-bomb on the show before but that is a direct quote. My husband is so proud of me and he's my biggest supporter. And it's my like, it gets me emotional and like, ooh, so sweet thinking about it.
But here's the thing back to you, my friend, I would imagine you have a very, like similar thing in your life where you are freakishly good at a lot of things for no logical reason and the hard part is when you run a business, we wear that hat thinking that we can be awesome at all these things. But the reality is, when we're trying to show up and be awesome at all these things, we aren't actually being exceptional in the things that we're really, really gifted at. So my number one lesson learned for 2022 was hone in on those things that I am uniquely gifted at the things that light me up and go full as with them, and when I lean into that, that's when things started feeling really, really, really good. So back to it, my third win from 2022. I made the decision to go all in on an affiliate launch, which was me promoting another person's program. I promoted James Wedmore's Business by Design last spring. You probably remember many episodes on the podcast dedicated to that. And I'll tell you, showing up, showing up for that, it paid off in spades, both from energetics perspective, relationships perspective, the networking, the client tally booked from that. It was great, great energy and I'm so proud of that launch for me and my team. I'm also very, very proud of the experience that we had and what we created for all of the people who purchased Business by Design through my affiliate link. So side note, if you did not, and you are curious more about that program, we will be an affiliate for it later in 2023 when it launches again in June, but that for sure is ease.
Now the lesson I want to take away from that for you is align yourself. Don't just say yes when people are like, hey, you want to be an affiliate? It's not just like, extra stuff that you love but people sometimes say yes not out of courtesy, not out of if you're gonna, you're asking them to be an affiliate so you feel awkward so you feel like they you should do too. Only say yes, only say yes and promote programs that you can fully, fully stand behind and can fully promote. That was a huge lesson learned for me. So we're gonna do fewer affiliate sale things, but we're gonna go full ass on those things and I generally think that's going to be a huge asset for us as we go into next year.
Number four win of 2022 and this one is my little pet baby child, so favorite. We hosted our first live event. And I say we as a first Speaker Co event but was also first Heather Sager event, first Emily Hall event for our companies. So Emily and I both used to do a ton of events each in our own past lives. So I used to, we talked about this a lot last week, I don't have to go into announcing for this but I used to host a lot of different events, right? Emily did a lot of events in her world, too. She did corporate trade shows, she did event production, the slides and content for different corporate companies. So events was a huge thing, but hosting our own, oh my goodness, it was so wonderful. The energy, the feeling in that room to be in person with the people who we have been serving and working with, who are building their own businesses, there was just nothing like it and we're so excited to do more of that moving forward. But oh my gosh, that was from like, a deep, I feel in my bones perspective that that was a big win. That was a big win this year and I will be the first to tell you, it was not our most profitable, nor was it profitable, profitable at all win. It was a future investment. It was a future investment in us, in our brand and what we want to create and we are so frickin proud of that. So the Boujee Retreat that was our event in October that we held in Phoenix. It was just wonderful. For those of you who invested in your time and your money in coming, we so, so appreciate you. Thank you for taking the risk in us, taking time away for your families. For those of you not able to make it or this is the first time you're hearing about it, being in a room with other people go back and listen to last week's episode around the importance of investing in your time at events and why the ROI is interesting financial return, there's so much more than that but that for sure is was a huge win for us this year.
Okay, those top wins for 2022. I'm gonna, I'm gonna also say, top one for 2022 is our podcast. Our podcast this year, I hope you're listening, you're enjoying this, you're listening to it so here you are. This has been, this has been just a wonderful, just a wonderful, frickin full creation. It has been, I launched the show in Labor Day of 2019. When I launched the show, I made the commitment that, hey, if I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do a full ass. I didn't have that language at the time but that was the intent. And I said, if I'm going to do this, I am going to show up every single week. And for the first time, in three and a half years, I missed a publishing episode back in November and I think I shared that I told you about that. I was intentionally missing it over the week of Thanksgiving here in the US but it was the first time that I really allowed myself to say okay, it's cool, it's okay, to skip a beat. They'll be fine. There's plenty of other episodes, a 180 of them exactly. So the win of the year was is show up, keep showing up, keep being creative in the types of content. A win for me is I don't know if you felt this too. I've really gotten a lot more comfortable sounding and talking like me. Episodes are less polished and little more like side tangenty and rifty and juicy in terms of the little value nuggets and the real talk. That's been really framed for this year and a lot. It's exciting to record episodes for you so I hope that you have felt that too and I hope that you carry that forward in your content and get to find ways to fall in love again with what you're doing. I think a lot of times content can feel very stale and we can get, we can get into routine that it can no longer feel fun. It's up to you, nobody is going to come in and say to you, nobody's gonna make your work fun for you. You have to figure out how to make your work fun yourself and that's been a big part of what I've been working on this year is how to make how to make things fun. It wasn't that it wasn't fun, but I knew it wasn't as juicy, as exciting as I want it to be on. I have that fire on that pet back again. I'm not proud here to my boys in my throwing out on F bomb today. Again, my apologies. My apologies to my sister who listen to the show. She's gonna be like, oh, girl, what are you doing? Anyways, here we are.
Okay, let's go into my top five lessons learned from the year and more importantly, what are we doing next year. So I already gave you number one, it's better to go full last on a few things that light you up than half ass on everything. Enough said, big overarching message. I also gave you lesson number two already. It's okay to pivot. It's okay to change your mind and it's okay to do stuff over again, if that's what you need, as long as that's in alignment with where you're going. We look at this in our business, Emily and I call this the the twisty cone effect. You know the twisty cones when you go to Costco or I don't know in an ice cream shop and it's a soft serve ice cream and it's like twisty swirl all the way up. Here's what's interesting. A lot of times in business, it feels like we're constantly pivoting or going in circles and it feels like we're going in circles over and over and over again and we're not covering any ground and here it's been another year that you haven't achieved your goals. Well, what I want you to think about is when you think about the perspective, if you were to rise up into the air and look its way down, it would appear that you are running in circles. Let's say that you for another year you haven't hit your goals, or your email list growth has stalled, or your Instagram or whatever it is that you're building, you're just feeling like you're going in circles and not getting traction. So from that vantage point, it might look like you're going in circles. But if you're to change your vantage point and come at it from the side, you would look at it, it actually isn't a circle, but you're running the same track. You're actually running like a track on a twisty cone and there is an upward spiraling motion, or another metaphor would be like a switchback mountain that you're going up and down, up, up, up, up. But from the top, it looks like you're going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
So one of the things that we have to honor is when we pivot, when we evolve, when we change our mind, when we circle back whenever starting back at ground zero, we always are starting a little further down the road. We have to give ourselves more credit for that and I hope that you take that into next year but that was a huge one for us too. Emily and I laugh all the time on our Voxer rants, we're like here we are. We're back at an idea we had back in May. It's not the exact same, we've actually evolved the idea over and over again. Sometimes it feels like you're running in circles but that means you're on to something great because if you're constantly scatterbrained going all over the map, you're not able to focus and get anything done. But if you're if you're ping ponging back and forth the same ideas or reiterating, oh my gosh, you found your sweet spot that you're just trying to figure out that click to make it really happen. So allow yourself to pivot, allow yourself to twisty cone your way up to the top, wherever that is for you.
Okay, lesson number three, all the good shit is on the other side of very difficult conversations. This was a personal lesson slash business lesson that I learn this year. I think a lot of times we get used to doing things the way we're doing them and we just go through the motions but a lot of times for us to break through that next level, we need to have difficult conversations, so this came out a lot now having a business partner. Emily and I have, it's kind of running joke that we had a healthier relationship than either of our marriages and it's because Emily and I have figured out a really effective and productive way to communicate. We don't always get along, we don't always see eye to eye on things. I am a manifester, super external process, super idea all the time, every day all the time. Emily is an internal processor. She's a thinker, she wants to be efficient. She wants to make sure we find like, how are we going to get this done, and so that there's a dichotomy with that that actually plays very beautifully but it also means that we don't always see eye to eye, and the beautiful thing is she and I have learned how to have head on really difficult, potentially awkward situations very, very effectively. We talked about this on our interview with Ellen Yin on Cubicle to CEO. Again, we'll link that in the show notes but that has been something that's been really, really beautiful and I'll give you kind of this example. Anytime that she and I have tried to help soften our opinions. I'll give you a great example of this, actually super tangible example. We were trying to come up with our slide deck template for a thing we were releasing back in, I don't know August or other and we had just had a brand new name for the company. We were bringing our ideas together on this one brand. We're creating a slide deck and realized that we had all the branding done but we had two different visions around how we wanted them to come out in a visual ie., like a slide deck template and both of us had our strong opinions, but neither of us wanted to sit boldly on those opinions, because we're like, we need to figure out how to collaborate so we both kind of softened what it would be and we both sacrificed and compromised in areas that we like, ugh. And what ended up was the slide deck that we created, we both joke that neither of us actually really liked it but we both sacrificed our opinions because we thought that's what it was we were supposed to do in collaboration, that later I think fast forward six weeks, we were working on something different and one of us I can't remember had the courage to actually say, here's reality. I actually hate this and here's why. And I opened up of oh, my gosh, I hate it too and we talk through those things and what we realized is when we compromise without communication, what we make is like, medium mediocre, but when we don't compromise when we discuss and talk about why we feel the way we do about certain things, if we talk about why we have opinions, or why we're tied to something and potentially get a little prickly, and having about with deep respect, right, but not offending the other person, when we wade through that stickiness, the stuff we create is so much better, and so our willingness to go into difficult conversation has been the best return on the discomfort this last year, we just have loved it.
My fourth lesson for 2022. This one is, well actually, I'm gonna flip this. I'm gonna give you a different one. I'm gonna end on this other one. So my fourth lesson for 2019 to 2022 is that make your big investments focused on your future goals, not on your past problems. Make your big investments based on your future goals, not your past problems. We made a lot of investments in 2022, like, like a lot, the retreat being one of them. But our investments while big have really been an alignment in the future that we're creating whether that was photography and videography for the event because we want to have an event side of our company, whether that was investing in beautiful branding, or websites, or other variety of things that we invested in this year, a lawyer, a partnership lawyer to make sure all of our legal shit is tight. Those types of things is we really invested in the future that were created in our company. In the past, if I'm being super honest, while many of my investments were like exciting in the future, a lot of times my investments were based off of past problems or what I saw as gaps. So for example, I bought a lot of courses around who this area of my business is not working, I need to pay someone to teach me how to do this. And if I'm being real honest with myself, I don't need to build my company like other people have built theirs. I don't need all of the different traffic strategies, all the different components, I need to figure out what's the way that's going to feel light for me? What are the gifts that I have that I'm gonna play with the best in this online space and how can I heavily invested in those? So moving forward, we've agreed all of our investments are going to be aligned with our future us not just to fix the pain points or the band aids of other things, we need to make sure that we're solving those problems. If they're important, we solve them, right? But our big investments are going to be anchored towards our future or projected towards their future, not our past but that was great.
Okay, number four, and this one is my favorite. My number four, it wasn't even a lesson it was like an awakening and that sounds so freakin cheesy, but I'll just share it with you. What a gift and a privilege it is have, it is to have the microphone and hold space as a leader. That has been a really beautiful lesson for me this year. I've been in a leadership position. I've always been in a position where I've been with groups of people, I have naturally fallen the leadership position my most of my life. But this year in particular, I felt what it's like to be a leader for an audience and a community in my world, in this world of a little corner of the internet. And I've always known that we have had the most incredible following here on the show, inside my programs, on social media, on our email list. People are so generous with their feedback in their replies and I've just loved that. And this year, I really saw that come to light by having a multiple products. I'll do the numbers for you this year. By having the Speak uo to level up in March, the BBD launch in June, then having the retreat and the Speaker Society both in the fall. There are a lot more opportunities for people to invest in themselves by working with us this year. And oh my gosh, this is the year that I saw that idea lifetime value of a customer. The volume of people who invested in Speak up to Level up and then immediately invested into Business by Design through me and then immediately upgraded their tickets to the Boujee Business Retreat. Holy crap, hola. I have this moment of like, what a fluke. What a fluke. Oh my gosh. And then I realized it's these beautiful women are looking at me as the person who they want to learn from, as their business mentor, as their business friend, as their business big sis, as their business whatever. They were looking to be more than just speaking and what an honor and a privilege it is to hold this space on the microphone every single week and share with you not just tips and strategies for speaking but encouraging to show up and bring your brilliance to whoever it is that you serve and to your families. That is such a gift and such an honor and I don't take that for granted and this year, it was really incredible. I will share with you this sweet, sweet comment. I wrote, I wrote it down because it made me cry. I didn't tell her this. So if you're listening to the show, this one's for you. I had a call this morning. I'm doing a for the first time ever, I'm offering a 90 day one on one coaching program. I haven't talked about it publicly. I only shared it to a very small group of people that were at the Boujee Biz retreat, but I made the offer. I'm going to start doing business mentorship and business coaching and I'm offering a 90 day. It's 12 week with weekly coaching just with me called Aligned and Amplified. It's not a pick Heather's brain session. It's true coaching, I'm doing high performance coaching to help someone get unlocked and really chase their goals and not only make big moves in business, but do it without sacrificing their lives, actually achieving their personal goals, in their health, the quality relationships alongside it. I had a call today as a sales call for that. We have two spots taken, only one left in the coaching program and here's what she told me. I asked her, I asked her what it was like, why invest in this coaching? Why me? Like what are what are you looking for? And what do you really want to achieve in 90 days? And this is what she told me, she goes, Heather, I want to connect with my people the way that you connect with yours and it hit me and it's hitting me right now I'm getting emotional thinking about it and to have somebody share that with you. That their aspirations, their dream is to walk the walk that you've walked, that hit me so hard by heart and it was such a gift. I'm so grateful that I asked her that question that she and she that's what she shared. I mean, she could have shared anything but that was just eye opening for me and it really makes me think about one of the very early things I shared on one of my first webinars. I said this phrase, it was genuine but now I really think about the impact of it. I talked about that when it comes to encouraging people to share their message, to speak their mind speak their truth, whatever you want to call it, share their message, their ideas or expertise with the world. For me, yes, speaking as a marketing tool, that's the jam, that's what our business is about. But for me speaking, it's also it's a ripple effect that I genuinely and truly believe that entrepreneurs can change the world if we're brave enough to speak what is in our heart and what the message that we know we need to share if we're courageous enough to actually share it, the ripple effect of that could change the world and it will change the world. The question is, are we brave enough to share and her sharing that with me today reminded me that by me showing up and not just communicating, it's not just showing up on a podcast, it's not just having a program. It's that all of those little touch points, all those little things that we decided to do here at Speaker Co, they all send a message and they all send an example to other people and that to me is so beautiful knowing that. Sometimes when you post, have you ever had a moment where you're like, only, only three people liked it, only three people saw my stories are the only number. You never know who's watching and you never know the compact effect, compound effect of all of those moments. It's just a really, really beautiful thing and what a gift it was to have that have that feedback today but I really want to encourage you to think about it's the same thing for you and your audience. What a gift it is for you? What a privilege it is for you to be able to step up to a microphone, whatever that looks like in your business. maybe it's going live, maybe it's posting, maybe it's sending in your newsletter, maybe it's speaking on somebody else's podcast, what a gift it is the opportunity to take the microphone and hold space and share something from your heart, share something practical, something logical, something emotional, whatever it is that comes to you, you have a message to share and what a privilege it is that there are people in the world that are listening to it, all over the globe. More than 100 countries are tuning this show every single week and that is mind boggling, mind boggling to me. That people can be listening all hours in all time zones while they're doing their makeup, they're brushing their teeth, while they're cooking their dinner, while they're on their walk, while they're in their car, while they're, I know people who have their kids listen to the show, sorry about the F bomb earlier. What a gift? And for you two, maybe three people in Minnesota are listening to your podcast today. But what if it's 13 next week? What if it's 300 next year? The ripple effect. Never underestimate the power of that one conversation that you have, that one go live that you do, that one post, that one email. And the truth is, you're most likely never, you're most likely never going to get the feedback that they watched it, they heard it, they saw that it resonated in their heart. But you have to know deeply within yours, that it matters. It hasn't matter to you that much. That has to be more important than the feedback with a praise that you get of other people acknowledging that you've said it.
That's a big lesson that I learned this year. I have had this person who told me this earlier who's in the coaching program, it's a person who has been following me, listening to the podcast, for at least a year, maybe more. She never bought anything from me. And this year, she invested in in coming to the retreat and then she invested in the Speaker Society and now here she is invested in a one on one coaching program. You never know. You never know. Some of my biggest advocates, people who have never invested in me, they've never paid me to help them in their business but they are the number one person to promote me and refer me to their friends. You never know how your message is going to land and we stay short sighted of always just looking at the data and if we abandon the heart and the need to share our message, that's when things start becoming less fun and more sterile. I always think that the heart in your business, this part of your message, the heart has to be there and it will keep you fueled to keep going. You got to be making money if the data is going to help you and that's important too. But for now, today, we're going to focus on our mission and you showing up and what a gift it is for you to be able to take space on the mic.
So on that note, let's talk about where we're going next in 2023. This officially is the last episode of The Heather Sager show. As I mentioned before, I'll tell you this, 2021 a year, I learned the pivot, it's actually 2020. I eventually had launched the show it was called Finding Your It Factor. We changed it after being served up with a cease and desist on a total BS situation. But instead of fighting it, which I totally could, I'm like I'm not gonna waste my energy and effort. So we rebranded the show, kid you not, in 48 hours, we rebranded the show and I was like why not just pick one thing and that's my name, who's going to compete with that. It's about the content. It's about the people, The Heather Sager Show and we've done that and I've enjoyed every freaking single moment. Having my face be on it, having my name be on it. It's just this genuinely is me showing up every single week, sharing with you my heart sharing with you, my friends, share with you different expertise and insights. As I think about the future of what we're creating in Speaker Co and when I think about my impact I want to make on the world. My name is part of it for a short season. I mean, Hello, I'm me, Heather Sager is not going anywhere. But what I want to do is have a show that is going to transcend beyond just so I'm still hosting it but just spoiler alert. It's still my show. It's gonna be with Heather Sager and there's gonna be a name change coming here, friends so I'm bad at keeping secrets. Here we go.
I started thinking about it and when you think about some of the largest shows in the industry and the ones that make an impact they, some of them have people's names on it, which is all well and great. But when I think about impact and reach and wanting to help more people share their message, I have a duty to get my message and my voice, my weird, quirky crap in front of more people. I need to reach more entrepreneurs to help them equip themselves with the tools the inspiration to be able to share their message forward and so it's my responsibility to get my message on front of more people. The truth is a man who's searching for Heather Sager outside of people who know Heather Sager. So I've known for a while that I want to rebrand the show, I just haven't. I haven't been happy with the angle because every time I would breach the idea of it, it would always come back to an idea around speaking. And if you've known me for any amount of time, you know that I'm a little more multi faceted than speaking. My niche, the industry that I work in, I help people get better with their words with their voice. I help people use speaking as a marketing tool to grow their online businesses. That is the niche corner of the market we have captured and we are rocking it. But I think about my impact on the world, the message I had to share, it's bigger than that. So I've been sitting with this for 18 months of going what is that larger slice. And then earlier this year, we had a little pivot and sidetrack and we started this whole idea with the Speaker Co and we doubled down on speaking and then we have this new company all around helping people amplify their ideas through speaking. But I keep coming back to what's the thing, what's the thing? What's the message? How can I capture up and describe what it is that I do? How can I capture and describe the weird slice of life that I bring to the world? How can I capture like the what I do for and with others. Recently, my client, Clay, he talked about he was trying to describe the work that we did in our coaching to a friend and he's like, you're kind of like my CEO therapist, and he laughs he's like, it's like words and therapy and all these things. And I'm not a therapist or one play one on the podcast or TV, full disclaimer. But it's just so much more because I'm a huge fan of your ability to articulate yourself, it's confidence. It's articulation. It's competency, it's all those things. But you have to be the kind of person that's going to show up and inspire others if you want to bring an inspiring message. That is the truth. You have to be an inspiring person, if you want to show up and share an inspiring message to others.
So for me, it's always been more about helping the person who they become in the journey of becoming a better speaker, that's always been more fascinating to me. And if you've ever been a client of mine, or worked inside of one of our programs, you know, I'm going to get more into the but like, what's going on with you? How can we unlock another level of excitement and energy and confidence within you so that you can show up for your people? So all this to say this comes down to Emily and I were at the airport in Phoenix after the Boujee retreat in October. And we were chatting about how everything went, we were just talking about how inspiring it was, how fun it was to brainstorm and where the light bulbs went off and where people's eyes lit up and we were speaking about things. And I was sharing with her and people were surprised is because a lot of people think Speaker Co they're going to come and learn about speaking but the Boujee Biz retreat was so much bigger than that. We talked about business. We talked about designing the life that you want, how your business becomes a vehicle for that, how your voice helps you amplify that. We talked about so many different things. And I was doing one of my Sager rambles which I do. I share it with Emily. I was like, you know, for a moment, I want to pivot and say there's that pivot. Let's ignore the speaking part for a moment and talk about the who we help, who are the people that we both attracted in our businesses. And now that we're attracting here at The Speaker Co at the retreat. We started talking about the who. I was like, you know, here's the interesting thing. I, the kind of person that is drawn to the podcast that continues to work with us continues to invest, repeat over and over again, they're woman who's not afraid to work hard. She's probably been successful in corporate or maybe has another business and professional services but she sees this opportunity to make a bigger impact. And she's seen this opportunity in the online space, whether it's coaching or digital courses or digital programs. And she's lit up about the opportunity to be able to bring her expertise and experience to make a big impact on others. That's the person over and over again, they are a badass with a good rap sheet and great experience. But they're in this tent that they're in this transition to but how do I bring this to this online marketing space, that is the person. The person who we work with, the person who keeps showing up for us in our brand and keeps resident is a person who's not afraid to work hard, they are not afraid. They don't subscribe to this whole like lazy entrepreneur thing, this whole like work on a beach in Fiji or like, not work at all, or like set it up on autopilot passive income, the person that we are attracted to like any of those big goals that you achieve, you got to work your ass off for that, like nothing is handed to you. Nothing is handed to you got to work your tush off. That's the kind of person we have attracted. But the interesting thing about the kind of people that we work with, and I would imagine you fall into this category, that person is a person who also has said, I have done the years of grinding. I have earned my seat at the table. I have climbed the ladder and now I am jumping into a new realm and I don't want to grind in that way. I'm not afraid to work hard. I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid to hustle but I don't want to hustle all the frickin time I also want to rest. Our kind of person is the kind of person who wants to like, have a hint of hustle. That's our person. And I shared this with Emily whilst over margaritas and a phrase, hint of hustle. We thought there's something there.
And both of our eyes, shot big, and we've repeated Holy crap, hint of hustle. There are so many people in this online space who are talking about hustle culture versus anti hustle culture. And there's this dichotomy between the two, and then the anti anti hustle culture. And then we were laughing of going oh my gosh, and then the next day I literally saw posts from Laura Bell Gray, how she breaks down this whole hilarious nature of the people who are anti, anti, anti, anti, hustle culture and it was hilarious but back to the margaritas in Phoenix. At the table, we start realizing that our person is the kind of person who isn't afraid to hustle, but they want to know what they're hustling for matters. They want to be able to hustle at the right moments that are going to allow them to intentionally take rest, to spend time to their family or in their hobbies or to take a nap or to go on vacation. But also they want to work their tails off when they want to work because they like to work and to hustle, and that my friend is the name of the new podcast that is launching January 9. Hint of Hustle for me it's all about this idea that we're gonna work hard. We're gonna work our tails off because we can and we want to but we're going to do it in seasons. This idea that if you want to build a new program or if you want to go into a launch or you want to do a blitz to get on more podcasts, you're going to need to work your tush off for anybody who tells you that it's late and easy. Bla bla bla, you and I both know that we don't believe it, right? We know that it's going to take a lot of hard work. The problem is, we're subscribed this culture right now, where we're trying to do all of the things and remember Lesson number one, when you try to do all the things even as exceptional as you are as a human, you try to do all the things and that exceptional nature about you. It's gonna be degragated.
So what we have to be really intentional with is how do we stop chasing being good all over the board and how do we really bring our brilliance to the moments that matter? That's what hint of hustle is all about. It's not about balance. That's not what we're after. We're not trying to have equitable split between life and business. We're not trying to take all of this time off. Although I love having time off, I work less than 30 hours a week, and it's wonderful, take vacations with my family but I also hustle. When we're in launch mode, when we were building our website, Emily and I were up until 2am. There are seasons of hustle. And when you're aligned and doing something that matters to you, you frickin love it and then you rest. And when you have a hint of hustle, you know how to rest well and you don't feel guilty for it. That's the kind of culture that we're building in. That's the kind of conversation I want to start bringing the podcast, sharing more stories of that, giving more permission to women to take rest when they need to take rest and not feel guilty about it, give women permission and the empowerment to say I'm gonna work my ass off on here, I'm gonna work through dinner, I'm gonna work in the evening, if that feels aligned and feels good to you. Building a brand, building a message that matters, it's going to make an impact on the world, it's going to take some hustle, but it doesn't mean it needs to be all of it all the time. I've learned through my self as a manifester. I go through seasons of following my excitement and really working hard on things but I also have learned to listen to when it's time to rest and not apologize for it. And one of the beautiful things is that we believe that when you know how to communicate really, really well. We believe that when you know your message, when you know what matters to you and your audience, when you can show up and speak really effectively when you know how to amplify your message in a really big way, you only need a hint of hustle to achieve your business goals and that's exactly what we're going to be focused on in the show is how we can help you amplify your ideas in a bigger way, how we can help you bring more rest into your world, how we can help you build your empire, whatever that looks like, but also not in a way that sacrifices your relationship or your health or other areas of your life. How do you bring a hint of hustle into your world? How do you bring a hint of energy when you don't feel like it? How do you bring a hit of confidence when you're terrified to step up to that opportunity? How do you bring a hint of of, of excitement when you're just feeling like not? How do you start noticing, okay, how am I showing up and what's required of me to reach that next level. That's what it's all about.
So my friend, let me be the first to introduce to you the new podcast that is starting again January 19. It's the Hint of Hustle. We have all new branding, all new stuff that's happening. I'm gonna have a series of interviews with people giving you examples of what that looks like and shows like in their life. We're going to show you different examples of how people are proving this concept of a hint of hustle to build businesses that feel aligned for them. We're also going to bring you great content around how to leverage speaking as a way to create more freedom in your life, more flexibility, more rest. But we're also going to show you that when you hustle and you have a good message behind it how your results can be amplified and I'm so freaking excited.
So my friend let me say goodbye to you and a goodbye to this chapter of The Heather Sager show. It has been an absolute honor doing this show with you under this brand and moving forward. I'm excited to see you in January of 2023 as the host of Hint of Hustle. I am just so grateful for you and the happiest holiday sent from my heart to yours. If I can ask one thing from you this season, if you found value in the show the entire year, can you help me do me a big freaking solid? When we launched the show in January, I'm gonna need your help. I'm gonna need your help. And here's the thing we're not going to launch a new podcast section, it's going to be new podcast is going to be on this exact same stream so you do not need to subscribe anywhere else. This is the show for you to subscribe but can you keep an eye out for it in your podcast player and when you start seeing some stuff, can you download the episodes? Can you share like a messages with your friends? Can you help be my hype gal to amply bring this message to more people so that we can help more entrepreneurs step up being courageous with their message? Could you help me? Can you be my hype team? No, there's no formal hype program but can you just frickin share it? Can you share in your wins with me? Can you share in our wins with us? And lastly, can you go leave a frickin review of the show? If you haven't done that yet. Please please please and it's the best holiday present you can gift me is the gift of a review on the show because that will surge into the podcast platform of saying this is a great show so when we start dropping in episodes for Hint of Hustle that will just help us so so much so just a little message. We love the heather Sager show we are so excited for him to hustle, type that a new review whatever else comes out of your heart. I appreciate it so much and my friends, I will see you and speak to you in 2023. Bye, friend.