Highs & Lows of 2023 and The Lessons I’m Taking Into 2024

So much can happen in just one year—this year felt like so much changed. In today’s episode, I’m sharing the highs and lows of 2023, along with the lessons I’ll be taking into 2024. From mindset shifts to challenges faced, I’m sharing it all.

Listen to this episode now:

Apple Podcast | Spotify

Search for episode 91 of Called to Both on your favorite podcast player!

This Episode is brought to you by my PitchPower Templates:

Today’s episode is brought to you by my PitchPower email template pack, you’ll find 10 email pitches to get you the visibility and collaborations you want in your biz. This email template pack includes emails for reaching out cold and a template for turning free product or affiliate collaboration offers into paid deals.

Challenges & Lessons Learned in 2023

Behind the scenes, I faced a lot of challenges in business, which we often don’t see talked about by entrepreneurs. I want to be transparent with you in case you also face any of these, while also giving you insight into the lessons I learned from it.

  1. Shifts in the Team: Two core team member left after being with me for two years while in the middle of a project for different reasons. While we’re all on great terms, professionally speaking, it was really tricky. One of team members was actually stepping away from the agency through which I hired her, which kept us from being able to legally continue working together outside of that agency for two years—therefore, I will not be hiring through a VA agency again.
  2. Childcare: I lost childcare for 1 month over the summer (at the same time that I lost the team members). Ultimately, it taught me that I really could step away from my business and still make money, leading to my summer sabbatical.
  3. Brand Deal Experiences: I learned so much about brand deals, negotiations, contracts, and payments. I had a brand deal that didn’t end up paying me, which led me to changing my workflow to getting paid up front. If you want to start pitching for brand deals, make sure you can get my PitchPower templates here.
  4. Photoboss® Infringement: Earlier this year, someone was infringing upon my trademark for Photoboss® by using it as their podcast name. This led to me protecting my intellectual property, enforcing the trademark, and starting the process of trademarking Called to Both (which was something I’d been delaying).

Highlights of 2023

While there were some really tough hardships that I faced this year in business, there were also a lot of highlights that led to amazing experiences.

  1. My Sabbatical: I took an entire month off in my business and still made money. This was a powerful teaching opportunity for my business to run without me.
  2. In-Person Connection: I got to meeting my best friend, Kayla Brint, in person in January at Elevate and then spent a full week at her house in September!
  3. Adding New Offers: I added a few new offerings to the business this year, including visibility coaching, PitchPower Templates, and The Photoboss® Method!
  4. Hiring: I was able to rebuild my team and hired my new virtual assistant, which felt really great.
  5. Personal Highs: In addition to the business highlights, we also experienced a few personal ones as well: deciding to move to Tampa, my husband got a job in Tampa, putting an offer in on a house, and so much more!

Key Takeaways that I’m Bringing into 2024

As I reflect on the past year, I want to also make sure that I’m bringing lessons and takeaways into the new year.

One of the biggest takeaways was stripping away all that is unnecessary, and focusing on what truly matters. The phrase, “What got me here won’t get me there,” continues to come up for me. If I want to continue to level up and make more impact, I have to take away things that aren’t necessary

If you’re there, consider only doing the things that have to get done in your business. This will tell you how much time you actually need to be spending in your business so that you can adjust for the ROI you want to see.

I believe that everyone has unique gifts and talents, so I’m pouring into my own in 2024. If you can identify your own, work it into your business in a way that others can’t replicate, you will stand out.

Lastly, I have a rapid-fire list of do’s and don’ts in my business for 2024:

  • I won’t be accepting free product for content creation (within reason).
  • I will be journaling (and highly recommend that you read The Artist’s Way).
  • I will be revisiting my rates, contracts, and boundaries.
  • I will be giving myself a raise in 2024.

If you’re enjoying the content we’re creating on the podcast and want to connect with others who are called to both, make sure you come join us in the Called to Both Facebook Group!

Mentioned in this Episode:

Episode 72: Sabbatical Recap: Reflections from Taking a Month Off from My Business

Episode 79: Navigating Sponsorships and Brand Deals: Are They Worth It? A Guide to More Successful Brand Collaborations

Episode 16: How to Live a Simple Yet Rich Life with Kayla Brint

Episode 49: Investing in In-Person Education: Elevate 2023 Recap

Visibility Coaching

PitchPower Templates

The Photoboss® Method

The Artist’s Way

Connect with Joy:

Instagram: instagram.com/joyymichelle

Youtube: youtube.com/channel/UC-Ou6jRKxcjMrVMxWxLO_fQ

Facebook: facebook.com/joymichellephotography

Coach with Joy: joymichelle.co/coaching

If you decide to use any of the links above and buy through them, I’ll receive a small commission back. All of those affiliate income commissions really add up over time and help generate revenue to help support this podcast.

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