2023 My Year in Review

by | Jan 29, 2024 | Small Business | 0 comments

This year in review has been a tough one to write. I started it much earlier in the month but haven’t been able to finish it, so I didn’t force it. I just sat with it and returned to it a few times before I got to this stage.

Unfortunately, 2023 wasn’t all roses and sunshine; looking back, I don’t recall many of them.

It was initially the year of Action, and I made grand plans for my small business to grow. I came out strong during January and February, but in March, my Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and all my plans were put on hold while I pivoted to maintaining my ongoing clients and managing my current project clients that were already booked in.

I quickly dubbed 2023 the Year of Family.

Boy, did I learn a thing or 500 about myself and regularly circle back around to my why.

Lessons learned both personally and in business

Other than being absolutely devastated about Mum’s diagnosis, I was also really frustrated that I didn’t have the time I usually did to work on my business. That sounds terrible, and I felt awful thinking about it until I had an epiphany one day when my why hit me.

I wanted to work for myself so I could take time out for my family when I wanted without having to ask for permission and worry about co-workers and office politics.

But I struggled big time with my plans getting uprooted.

I’d fallen into working pretty regular hours because it suited our schedules to do so. But I didn’t need to necessarily still be doing that. I could work when that suited me, whether on an evening or a weekend.

I definitely got very clear on what I needed to do and prioritised those things on my schedule.

I also got very ok with the fact that schedules are made to be changed. Which is something I’ve always struggled with. And when you are dealing with cancer, there is no rhyme or reason for the way it works or the journey you go on. You get catapulted into all things cancer, and you hold on for dear life as you ride the ups and downs and dips that are the cancer journey.

Launch of My Facebook Group

I’ve played around with starting my own Facebook group for a couple of years and took the plunge and launched Rock Your Online Business with She Rocks Digital.

The plan was for the group to play a large part in my marketing strategy. But I decided that there weren’t enough hours to keep up my strong social media presence, so my socials, including my new Facebook group, was one of the first things to be popped on hold or, as I came to think of it, developed at a slower pace.

I’ve lost momentum with the group and am struggling to regain it. The hours I have available are still playing a big part in this. So, time will tell how the group pans out.

Newsletter focus

I planned to incorporate my newsletters as a priority into my business after my Facebook got hacked in 2022, as it went to show how dependent I was on a platform I don’t own or be able to get any customer service when there’s a problem.

So, I really wanted to grow my newsletter list.

My newsletters weren’t as regular as I would have liked, but I focused on quality over quantity. And this will continue to be a focus in 2024.

Digital products

The importance of having these as a part of my small business has been on the agenda since 2022, but as I was pulled into other areas last year, I didn’t get any launched. But it’s definitely higher up the list this year.

Sometimes, you have to move the goalposts and be realistic about how many hours there are in a day.

And I’ll be honest, there’s a little bit of trying to get it perfect rather than launching and reviewing the feedback, which is what I tell clients to do. So, here’s a reminder to take my own advice, too.

My word and focus for 2024 – Me

This might sound a little self-centred, but one thing I learned about myself in 2023 was that when I’m ok, that flows through to all other parts of my life.

So, 2024 is about getting my physical and mental health back on track.

I’ve started listening to my stash of hypnosis from when I worked with Nicole from Nictritious in 2022. And I’m walking semi-regularly again.

One of the reasons we wanted to move to where we did last year was because of the landscape and walks. And I’d dropped that when things got busy. And I’ve learned I’ve become quite the stress eater, plus add on Christmas treats, so walking is definitely needed.

The year ahead

I’m not making any solid plans. I’ll continue to nurture my clients and email list, eat better, and get active.

ruth slade from she rocks digital website and seo expert hobart

ruth slade from she rocks digital website and seo expert hobart

Ruth Slade is a Hobart based digital marketing specialist in SEO and website design, as well as social media, content creation and graphic design. Ruth loves working with small businesses and rocking their digital world. A lot of small businesses don’t know what they don’t know when it comes to the digital space, which is where Ruth comes in.

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