Lessons of a Successful Million-Dollar Agency: 2021 Year End Review

Dec 27, 2021
year end review



Guys, it’s almost 2022, because what even is time?! It’s that special season where we make promises to ourselves about a new start, most of which we don’t keep. It’s also a time when we reflect mostly on what we’ve done wrong and assure ourselves that next year, we’ll be better. 

But before we dive right in, welcome! You’ve now entered into The Dreamer’s Lounge! I’m Ariel Schiffer, and I have made it my mission to take out the digital trash one bad course at a time. I am the creator of The Course Alchemist, Industrial Organizational Psychologist, and Curriculum and course design expert.

This podcast is for entrepreneurs who are looking to elevate their digital product suite so their offers speak for themselves. Nothing is worse than being oversold into something that under-delivers just like an overpriced bottle of wine. So, if you’re ready to develop high-quality offers, bring in consistent revenue, and have a business with long-term results for you AND your clients, grab your drink and join us inside…

In essence, this time of year is full of tinsel and self-loathing, and I for one, am ready for a change.

What if…we didn’t do that? What if, instead, we reflected on what went right; hell, on what we did right?



Reflections and Mud

I thought I would take this time to reflect on all that went down in my business life (and a bit beyond) this past year, and share it with you. Turns out 2021 was a year of growth and learning to trust myself and my team. 

I’ll be talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly, people. It’s easy to see someone’s life as perfect in the clean little squares on Instagram, but your voice can easily get lost within a fancy, organized grid.

Nope, it's not for me. I’m sharing when things were great, when things were hard, and what I learned from all of it. 


Delegation is the Mother of Freedom

First off, I realized that trying to hit my new financial goals while using my same, tired business plan wasn’t going to work. Namely, trying to do everything myself because who else could do it better?

I blame high school group projects. Anyway. 

No, to get there, I was going to have to… share my plans. And delegate. And actually trust the people I hired. 

In addition to managing new pricing and enhanced customer service goals, we all had to learn to work together, and I had to learn to let go. Not ideal from my original intentions. But this Summer we did not encounter the best circumstances.

Sales blew up, which was great, until Spring clients started to delay their course orders. This would start a rumble with Summer client schedules and timelines got involved, which made things a little messy.



Why the Delay?

It was all a domino effect from Phase Two. Onboarding always went smoothly, but when the client had to give us the information and stats for their courses, our smooth-running train derailed.

We couldn’t write everything for them without some sort of outline or brief overview on the content they wanted to include. And we tried to make it as easy as possible, asking them to just give us rough stuff and we would transform that content into a meticulously planned and polished course.

We didn’t care how it came to us, necessarily. Shout-dictate it to your phone over your 3-year old’s meltdown. Write it out after half a bottle of wine if that makes it easier. Just as long as we could gather the information we needed to get to work.

It was at this point we decided to disclaimer all of that process. Disclaim it from the rooftops! Hear ye, hear ye, from now on there will be fees for delaying timelines too much. Sorry, our time is valuable. 

So is yours, by the way, so please don’t be afraid to price appropriately, rethink pricing if necessary, and advocate for your other clients by valuing your time. 

Once we got through the hellfire that was Summer (figuratively and literally) we also realized we were going to have to revise our promised timeline. If the stars aligned and everyone gave us their content on time and birds helped us dress in the morning while we all sang, then 5-6 weeks was doable. 

Unfortunately, we do not have any woodland creatures to assist our team, so 10-13 weeks left us more of a buffer that seemed a lot more realistic. The lesson here is to work with what you've got. Meet yourself where you’re comfortable. Anticipate that things will go wrong, or at least differently. Then allow yourself time for hiccups and delays along the way.



Hitting Your Goals is Important, But So are Relationships and the Rest of Your Life

Things were finally going smoothly when my dad died suddenly, and that sent me into quite the tailspin. But it also made me realize how much time I was wasting scrambling and trying to finish everything myself. 

It made me slow down a bit, and it turns out, when you’re not trying to do everything haphazardly, you can focus on doing a few things really well. Who knew?

You may even dare to…have a life or something. I also found out my staff is amazing, and I trust them all with the business I've created. I don’t think it would be as good without them. Trust your judgment and the people it finds for you. And then let it go.

Maybe go to The Container Store with your husband. Get in a tiff and leave because that place is overwhelming but hey, at least you went. And you spent an afternoon with the annoying love of your life. And you got some plastic tubs to finally organize your closet.

Or maybe that's just me...

Happy almost 2022, and remember, getting to your goal is half the fun.

If you’d like to connect with other Dreamers in our community, join The Dreamer’s Society. And if you’re interested in learning more about working with the Dreampro team, check out our website!

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See you next week!

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