A personal note to you. My 2013 in review…..

This has been the best year so far for me as a business owner and for personal growth. I’m not sharing this post with you to brag, but to be as transparent as possible, tell you what’s been happening and answer some of your questions. Although it’s been an awesome year, for me, awesome is also learning what not to do, who not to work with, how not to waste time, and how not to lose money. The obstacles may hurt while they’re happening, but later, after my tantrum, I find a way to see the lessons and at least, not make that same mistake again.

I don’t do the New Year’s Resolution thing. Once I catch hold to something that is beneficial, I truly try to apply it right then and make the change now. Some of the best changes and pivots we make in life, don’t need any sort of announcement, no committee meeting, no calling and letting folks know what’s not going to happen again, usually the biggest changes in our life happen quietly and peacefully, when we’ve simply had enough of doing things one way and want to try something new.

I tried some new stuff this year… Some things, I’ll admit- I had the knowledge all along, but just pulled the trigger in 2013. Some of the biggest changes or lessons, simply required me to give time to ideas, not to rush them along or try to fit them in between my Facebook time, or phone calls, but to sit still, write it out, think about the pros and cons, then figure out the best way to implement them.

You see CEOs, all the writing I do year round in our magazine, on our blog, on Social Media, all that fear stuff, procrastinating stuff, that letting bullsh*t hold you back, that’s not all for you. Some of it, is a reminder to myself. We all suffer with holding back, not sharing our talents, and letting fear keep us stagnant.

I wanted to break down for you what did work in 2013 in hopes that it helps you in some way and answers some of the many questions I get on creating and growing the Women CEO Project biz as best as I can.

Here goes, my 2013 in review…..


11 Lessons


What I did:

  • Lesson 1: I started focusing on consulting. I’ve been a “consultant” in some capacity for a while, but had not taken the time to really work the consulting side of my business professionally, like putting a price and benefits package together until 2 years ago. Do you know how many people would pay to have you teach them the lessons that ONLY you know, and share your talent with them? Plenty will, trust me. BUT, BUT, BUT, you MUST package it well and professionally. My DIY consulting document got little play. Then I cleaned up the package, reduced it from 8 offerings to 3 and started booking out the months.

    1. Package up your awesome professionally,

    2. give benefits and tangibles (side note: this, “ we help women find their purpose crap” ain’t tangible, and will never get you clients) ,

    3. share success stories or previous clients and if you don’t have any, do 4 or 5 for free to get your portfolio going

    4. read this post and this one, they will help you

By focusing on consulting and offering it regularly, by August this year, I had killed my consulting goal for the entire year. If you’re thinking about beefing up that side of your business, read those posts above and get your package created.

  • Lesson 2: I created a “pitch” for an idea and reached out to some Fortune 500 companies that I had absolutely no chance of working with…. or so that’s the crap we tell ourselves. It got me on their radar, got my business portfolio into the hands of the CMO of a LARGE company and got me a meeting with him in New York. That meeting led to them wanting to partner or rather hire me to create a program for women entrepreneurs for them. The initial meeting was a blessing, I was really more than surprised that they even knew my name, but it got me to remembering that I should not be pitching small business and should instead always be going after the whale.

  • Lesson 3: Started going after the whales and applied some lessons from real estate. I’ve written before in detail here about how I totally changed up my real estate career several years ago, by focusing on a particular type of client, but why shouldn’t that be applied to all business? Like an old manager told me,” Kristi, it’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is to marry a poor man. Surround yourself with rich men, and increase your chances……she was right.  Ok, back to the lesson here 😉 It’s just as hard to get small deals as it is to get big deals, so surround yourself with BIG deals. ( the big deals are usually easier because they know what they want and can afford) You will not get every whale, of course not, but if you are focusing on pitching substantial business or BIG clients, you only need a few of these a year or sometimes, one BIG yes to totally change your income. A few years back, when I started focusing on real estate clients that could afford 500k and up, and starting hanging where they hang, and writing posts that spoke their language, then I started to get and work with those clients. I haven’t sold more than 10 houses in the last 4 years….. but made more money. Learn the ropes in your niche, but apply this lesson to your business as soon as you thoroughly know what you are doing.

  • Lesson 4: I made a goal of reading and finishing a minimum of 2 books a month, even if I could only read about 10 minutes at a time sometimes. I kept my book with me in my purse and if my dog was getting washed, I was waiting at the airport, waiting at the doctor’s office- whatever, I was reading. Many times, we don’t start projects/books/goals  because we don’t have large chunks of time to do them, when actually, we could get them done by just using the little chunks of time that we have efficiently. Here, I discuss in detail how to break down your goal into mini bites AND below are a few of the BEST books I read this year:

    1. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuck

    2. 80/20 Sales and Marketing by Perry Marshall

    3. Mastery by Robert Greene ( all of his books are a MUST read)

    4. APE by Guy Kawasaki

    5. The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

    6. The Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill

    7. Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill ( this is the best book I’ve read in LIFE, slightly edging out the 48 Laws of Power)

  • Lesson 5: I set a speaking goal. At the beginning of the year, I said that I was speaking at least 50 times this year. Guess what? The universe heard me, and my phone started ringing. No, I didn’t make it to 50, but I made it to 41. That’s more than I did last year, and had I not put that goal out there, who knows if I’d even gotten close. Put a number out there shah! LOUD, PROUD, then watch the law of attraction fight to give it to you. This is in addition to you putting in focused work.

  • Lesson 6: I hired out for ALL design and layout work. I submitted some pretty big proposals this year and 2 big ones last year, but the difference is…. last year, I created my own proposal layout and design which took me about a week. No joke, silly girl, I took a week and laid out the text, added a few photos, took forever to get boxes lined up, took a week of my assistant’s time to help me, and then submitted it. Dumbest thing I could have done, but not this year. This year, I had ALL design work done by someone I hired off Elance and the work was 100 times better. The proposal I submitted Nov 2nd…. baby Jesus, I promise it looked stellar, probably had the folks wondering if I was a one woman show or a corporation 😉 Lesson is, as I always tell you, let  folks do what they do best, and you work on what you do best. Get a checklist here to help you work with designers. That last proposal cost me about $75 and took the girl 2 hours. Why should I spend my time doing $10 jobs an hour when I’m worth $1000 an hour….I want you to start thinking like that…

  • Lesson 7: Took the time to truly figure out what I was good in and work on mastering it ( this is a long-term goal) Where do I shine? I was the startup girl. That was the space I was falling into, but that wasn’t my love or passion. I know how to get you started up in business, but if that was my only platform, I wasn’t sharing my talents correctly. I took a step back and made my Love, Talent, Money list that I make all my consulting clients create and I uncovered that I’m in love with the Opportunity & Product Creation, Strategy, and Digital Leverage side of business. That’s where I shine. It’s important to find out where you naturally shine. When you’re shining, and you’re the BEST at it, JEEZZZZ, there is no stopping you. TRUST me. Where do you naturally shine?

  • Lesson 8: Started pitching to the people who could give me a yes. Many people can tell you no. The secretary, the assistant, your naysayer never accomplished nothing friends….but usually, only one person can tell you yes. I find ( and have learned the hard way) that it’s much more effective and worthy of your time to go as high up as you can before you start pitching and if you can, only pitch to the folks who can say yes. A simple, “ Are you the person who would sign off on this type of transaction?”, is a good question to get closer to the person who is in charge.

  • Lesson 9: Created my own products and built a system to show you how to. This is one of my BIGGEST lessons this year. Why did I wait to do this???? Creating eguides, and our FIRST online course The Creator’s Blueprint and our Video Series, The Creator’s Mastermind…. man o man, these were POWERFUL. Creation has so many benefits to your business and I’ve been sharing them with you ALL year long. CEOs, creating is one of the most powerful things you can do to be seen as an expert, own a space, get business, create passive income, and get consulting clients. If you want to start the course where I’ve broken down EXACTLY how to start creating, click here and get something produced and making you money for the beginning of the year!

  • Lesson 10: Joined a mastermind team ( 2 actually) and upgraded our own mastermind team to offer our CEOs more. I was a part of 2 mastermind teams this year. One was live with VERY accomplished women here in Houston, Texas. We’d meet once per month. I learned a lot with this group, especially since the women had been in business, some of them longer than I had been on this earth. They had a ton of wisdom to share AND some of the connections that they gave me, seriously would have taken me years to try and get them on my own. The second mastermind group is virtual and it’s on going. It’s a pretty powerful group of entrepreneurs all over the country and we meet once per week over the phone. This group really feels like home to me. I can discuss everything, and I really respect the people in this group. This was an invite only mastermind. Then our own Global Mastermind Circles hosted by Women CEO Project, I made sure to upgrade those. We’ve had some pretty awesome successes from the three previous teams, but I wanted to change it up. So me, and the experts REALLY put our best into this one. If you think a mastermind group may be for you, click here, get ALL the details and join while the doors are still open.

  • Lesson 11:  Incorporated these 2 questions that really CEOs, totally changed some parts of my life.

    1. What is the goal of this?

    2. Is this the BEST way I can do this?

Seems simple eh? But just those 2 questions changed a good portion of my year and how I tackled projects if at all. I mean, many times, we don’t reach where we want to go, because we didn’t have a goal for where we wanted to be. It happens to the best of us. Everyone’s on Facebook, so let me get my azz on there. Everyone’s tweeting, so let me tweet. “They” ( the anonymous they) say I should be blogging, so let me throw up this tired, poorly done blog posts ( that have nothing to do with my niche by the way).  STOP. STOP. STOP. What is the purpose? Do you want your blog to bring in business? Then let’s be strategic about why we’re writing. Then there needs to be keywords involved, then it needs to be within my niche or what I want to be known for. Not some random blog posts about what’s happening with celebrities or what’s trending…. you are confusing people if you’re doing this. If you’re on social media, know what you want it to do for you. Do you want it to bring traffic to your products? Bring people to your blog? Get you speaking engagements? Yeah? Then learn how to use it for those things. Time out for us wasting our energy and giving it away to purposeless activities.

Next….. is this the best that I can do? That question rocked my world too. Kristi, is this your best? No, then let’s scrap it and start over. Sometimes I still put out my 95%, I won’t lie to you, but you have no idea how much I scrapped this year because it wasn’t my best, or the best way that I could have launched it. Let’s stop half doing, or at least, understand that if we continue to half do, we get a totally different type of client knocking on our door if any at all.


Let that last lesson sit……

What I learned

  • I got to be Kristi. I let go of trying to hide my sometimes southern drawl, and spoke/wrote to you EXACTLY how I sound in person, and gave my absolute TRUE opinion to how I feel on certain subjects. There’s a special kind of flavor to Kristi as there is to you, and everybody is not going to like it. Guess what? It’s better to have people around who love you, want to work with you, want to get emails from you and who want to buy from you. The quicker you can remove the ones who don’t, the happier everyone will be. It matters not if you have 10k people on your email list or a “fan” on Facebook if they scowl everytime they see an email from you in their inbox. You want the happy to hear from you, she’s the best thing in the world and she truly solves my problem, crew in your corner? Learn the love the ones who stay and the ones who go. Remember these words, “ they can join your tribe or wave as you walk by…”

  • You must get your mind around change. Fear of not being perfect will keep us stagnant and unpaid. Like I said last month, you WILL change that website many times, so just get one out there as best as you can afford to produce TODAY. That ebook, yep, you will find errors that will make you cringe 2 hours after you launch it. Don’t worry, you will do an even better job the next time. You will change your speaking style, you will change your audience, your prices, sometimes even the business you are in. Just do, and understand that you will make many changes, pivots, and refine some things along the way.

  • Let go of non producers, assistants, lazy designers, etc. as fast as possible. Barbara Corcoran can be heard saying this ALL the time. Fire fast. As women, we statistically fire slower than men, we consider people’s livelihood and situations, which is detrimental to our business health. I stopped doing this. I made sure I was clear when hiring, and hired folks on a probationary period. This isn’t for fun. This isn’t a party and we ain’t friends. This is my life, my life savings, and as serious as a heart attack. Non producers GOTS TO  Go!

  • I got my feelings all in a knot when folks I had helped out A LOT, who always claimed that they were broke, didn’t do business with me when they could spend money. Understand, that, as much as people love you, retweet you, share your statuses, and speak your praises, that they actually show you love with their money. I truly learned this year, that there is a position for everyone. Some people’s position is to praise you and be cheerleaders, some people’s position is to support you and your business. It saves you time, energy, and heartache if you can quickly learn the difference between the two. I also learned that if people keep showing you that when they do spend a dollar that it isn’t with you, that you shouldn’t worry, because this probably isn’t your client. You should spend your time determining and creating for your ideal client, and let them find you.  Love everyone, but keep a clean house and understand everyone’s role in your business….

With all that said, this list is pretty personal. It’s usually reserved for my journal, but hey, why not share and maybe one lesson can help one of you not make a mistake or help you make more money in 2014. What I can tell you, is that, I am definitely a work in progress. I’m good at  A LOT of things ( modest eh 🙂 but nothing is perfect…. some months I feel like Warren Buffet, some months, I feel like I should be in the soup line.

But the things that’s been keeping me out of the soup line, more than I’m in it, are the lessons that I mentioned above. Creating, focusing, consulting and going after the whale…I could kick my own behind that it took me so long to do a few of those, but hey, as my grandmother would say, “ when you know better, you do better.” So here’s to all of us not making it, not simply on our hustle game, not just doing not better but prospering for once, having money left over after we pay our bills, leaving a consulting job and feeling like you were paid your worth.  Let’s start taking ourselves and our businesses seriously and doing it MAJOR in 2014!

Any questions?

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