As an entrepreneur, we experience both the good and the bad things in managing our businesses. Kendra Perry jumps into this quick year review to share her struggles and successes in 2021. Kendra believes that showing love and compassion is still the best way to overcome these trying times. This episode will teach us that whatever goes on at the surface level, none of us have it figured out, even the topmost entrepreneurs on the planet. The key is to just live one day at a time, one year at a time. Stay tuned to find out more!
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My Year In Review: The Good & The Bad
This is Episode 98. I can’t believe how close I am to 100 episodes. If you are brand new, nice to meet you. I’m here to help you start, grow and scale your health coaching business. A little bit of a shift for this episode. This episode is about me but I am hoping that talking about me will help you. We are going to be talking about my year in review the good and the bad. I think this might be helpful for you because it’s easy to look at someone else’s business from the surface level and think that they’ve got it all figured out but none of us have it figured out even the most top entrepreneurs on the planet.
We have good things, bad things, struggles, growing pains. We are all going through it. No one has a perfect business and nobody doesn’t have business struggles. I’m going to be taking you through my 2021 and everything that went well for me and things that did not. To note on Episode 99, in our next episode, I’m going to be bringing you through a planning process, how to plan for 2022. It’s going to be a great episode. What I will tell you is planning is important. If you want to have a successful year, it does start with planning. I have always been against planning until 2020. Not planning screwed me over and I learned my lesson.
First off, if we thought 2020 was weird as crap, 2021 got way weirder. What I will tell you is personally, I have been through a roller coaster. I’m sure you and most other people can relate. The year 2021 started amazingly because I was skiing every day. My favorite thing to do in the world is going to the ski hill to ski. I was doing lots of that in early 2021 and that was great. We moved into the spring, where we ended up in this lockdown and things got weird again. Suddenly, everything was open on Canada Day, July 31st. Everything opened, the mask came off, and all restrictions were dropped.
I feel like I had about 6 or 7 weeks of this sense of freedom. The sense of maybe I was wrong or things are going to get better. What I will tell you is I’m a bit cynical and being cynical has not served me well throughout what has been happening the past year or so. I have always felt very cynical about everything that’s going on. I have always felt like there’s this deeper nefarious reason as to why certain things are happening. I had this six weeks where I felt, “It is going to end.” Mid-August or end of August, British Columbia announced their vaccine passport and so that’s where we are now. Now, we are moving into this place where there are a lot of divisions and hate. There’s this vaccinated versus unvaccinated thing going on.
The unvaccinated are losing a lot of their civil liberties. The right to go to a gym, yoga studio, restaurant, to go to indoor events. At this point, ski hills in British Columbia are saying, “You need a vaccine passport to ride the chairlift.” Not all of them but some of them are taking it upon themselves to do that, which is crazy, in my opinion, and sad. I have a lot of friends who have lost jobs. Not only healthcare workers but a lot of other friends losing jobs, people going through hard times now. I’m sure we all feel it. The energy of the end of 2021 has been heavy and intense. As someone who has chosen not to be vaccinated has been difficult, especially as someone who puts freedom, number one, for non-negotiable values.
It has been challenging for me to watch my world gets smaller in a lot of ways. I understand that in the US and a lot of places in the world, things are more open and Canada is a different story. Now, there is not a single province or territory I can go to in Canada and be legally allowed to be in a restaurant, gym, or yoga studio. There’s nowhere to go here. At this point too, we can’t even board a plane to leave the country and go to a country where they have no restrictions. We cannot get on a domestic flight, an international flight, a boat or a train.
Even the topmost entrepreneurs on the planet have had good things and bad things happen to them.
I have had friends being denied medical treatment. It has been a lot to process as I’m sure it has been for many. It’s a hard thing to see. It’s hard to see this division. There are a lot of reasons why someone might choose not to get vaccinated and it’s none of my business. I don’t care about people’s reasons. I’m a big proponent of choice. I think people should do what feels best for them based on their medical history and health goals. I’m considering that for myself so I have decided against it and I am confident that is the right decision for me but it has been difficult to experience the shaming and the hatred towards me for a decision that I know, deep in my gut is the right decision for me.
That has been challenging. I wanted to put that out there. If you are experiencing that, you are not alone. A lot of people are feeling that way on both sides. It’s a very intense and difficult time to navigate. My goal has to try to deepen a spiritual connection with myself, which I have to be honest, has been difficult for me. I’m highly analytical and much in my brain has a hard time getting into my body.
I have only been pursuing a more spiritual path since the beginning of 2020 when I realized that was going to be the best way for me to cope with what was going on. I came from being essentially atheist nihilistic to trying to connect with spirit. That, my friend, has been incredibly challenging and I have struggled to feel that presence and connection with God.
A big part of my goals for 2022 is to keep pursuing that and not give up because I know when we have a deeper connection to self, spirit, to our purpose, and trust in our path, I do think it’s easier. I’m reading an interesting book called Man’s Search for Meaning, which is a very powerful book, highly recommended. It has written by a Holocaust survivor. Someone who spent many years in horrible conditions in a concentration camp. He is also a psychiatrist but he essentially discusses how they found meaning in their day-to-day and how that connection to meaning and purpose is what got a lot of them through because once people gave up and stopped having meaning, he said that they passed quite quickly.
It’s a great book, eye-opening and relevant for these times. That’s a goal. I wasn’t planning to talk about any of this on this episode but that is how it has gone. Hopefully, you can relate to some of that but it has been a very challenging year for me in that sense. Everything else has been amazing but I have been dealing with a bit of an internal battle that I don’t know if I always do the job of speaking to. It’s stuff that can be very hard to talk about but how I see it is before COVID, our world was not normal.
We were ignorant and living our lives on autopilot. We were very blissfully unaware of a lot of issues in our world. I believe the amazing thing that has been given to us in the past couple of years is a very brutal awakening and awareness of the fact that our world is crap and our systems are not working. There are a lot of corruption in every single one of our systems.
There are a lot of people suffering. We need new Earth. In any collective global awakening, it’s not beautiful. We can get to a place where it’s beautiful but I believe the path to getting there is quite dark and challenging because all this stuff is being revealed to us and it’s hard to stomach. I think what’s important to know is that this has always been there. Now, it’s in our faces.
If you have had a difficult year, whether you are vaccinated, unvaccinated, left, right or whatever, you are not alone. It has been challenging for a lot of us. As I see it, the greatest pandemic is the division that I see among humanity and we need more love and compassion. We are never going to get to a good place if we cannot love, accept and have compassion for each other, regardless of choice of, whether we understand it or not. If you know a friend who is struggling or maybe you don’t even know they are struggling, a great thing to do now is to reach out and say, “How are you?” That can go a long way in someone’s world who is struggling.
Enough about the world’s crap. Let’s move on to the business stuff. I want to talk about what went well for me in 2021. The first thing that went well for me was hiring an online business manager. It’s a position that I have wanted to hire for a very long time. I hired this woman named Elise. She is amazing. I’m so grateful because the experience I was having, especially during launches, was that I felt unsupported. I felt like I had no support and I was creating the entire structure myself.
I was organizing the whole thing, showing up for the whole thing during the customer service. Also, as someone who has a fair amount of contractors, I was struggling to organize them all and it became apparent that having an online business manager would be valuable to me. I’ve got a great recommendation from my friend Shanae, who brought on a lease at the beginning of 2021 and it has been fantastic. It has helped and as time goes on, I’m giving her more tasks and taking more tasks off my plate, so that has been great.
Another great thing about 2021 was that I found a fantastic assistant. Someone who’s very self-directed, she knows her crap and can do things. She doesn’t need to ask a lot of questions because she knows what’s up. Having that new assistant, her name is Danielle, has been amazing. In early 2021, I was running my third round of Health Coach Accelerator as a live program. I ran it in January. I ran it again in April 2021 as a live program and that was amazing. Those live programs went well. We had fantastic students come through the program who’ve got great results.
It’s challenging to watch the world get smaller in a lot of ways.
What was amazing is my intention with running it live was to eventually turn it evergreen. Meaning that instead of teaching the modules live, I would record them into video modules and have them so that people could sign up at any point. I ran it live twice, once in January and once in April. I spent April through September 2021 updating Health Coach Accelerator, recording all those modules, and turning it into an evergreen course. At this point, you can enroll at any time. If you are interested in joining Health Coach Accelerator, you can enroll at any time.
There is the course side of things where you get those video modules and you complete them in your own time at your own pace. You also get 90 days of access to the group coaching side of things, which is our live coaching component. We do a one live Q&A and live review call per week where you get my eyes on whatever you are working on, your projects. We also do a monthly breathwork call with all my students and access to a Facebook Group. I have essentially turned it into a course slap/group coaching program. You can enroll at any time and the course updates went well.
I didn’t only update Health Coach Accelerator. I also updated my next-level program, Group Program Academy, which teaches coaches how to move from a one-to-one to a one-to-many business model. That was a lot of work. I will say I was updating courses from April through September 2021, so it was a lot. I was very busy but the process went well and I’m very proud of the programs that I have put together.
The next thing that went well was the online summit. I was asked to be a guest on a few summits this 2021. Three to be exact and those were fantastic. I have found that being a guest on summits is one of the best ways to grow my social media following and email list. I want to do more of those in 2022. I already have one lined up for January 2022, which I am very excited about.
I’m hoping to get two more lined up in 2022. Now, my year-end for my company is July 31st. It’s hard for me to talk about income because I don’t do it in a year’s schedule. The typical year-end would be January 1st to December 31st. Mine is from August 1st to July 31st. It’s hard for me to talk about annual income but what I will tell you on July 31st, I made less revenue than I did in 2020.
I increased my profit margin. I took home more money and that was partially due to having fewer expenses and streamlining my expenses. Being on it with doing audits, regular audits, making sure that I’m only paying for what I should be paying for, and making sure that I’m not overdoing it with contractors because I tend to hire.
I like to outsource a lot and sometimes, I pay more than I should. That was a win. It was fine-tuning my expenses and bringing in less money, taking home more because I had more profit. I had fewer expenses. Another thing that went great was my breathwork facilitator program that I did with Pause Breathwork. This is a six-month facilitator training program that I loved and highly recommend. I learned so much. It was great to do breathwork that often. It helped me with all the personal struggles that I had. Facilitating was also an incredibly powerful experience for me. I thought I would hate it and near the beginning of the program that I might drop out.
Once I started facilitating, I experienced how powerful it was to facilitate someone through this amazing process and watch people have these shifts to watch people have these emotions and see positive shifts in their mental health and life. Again, I mentioned at the beginning of this episode how difficult it is for me to get out of my head and in my body. With facilitation, especially when it’s in person, it’s something where I feel very present and in my body. That’s not a common experience for me, so that went well.
The other thing that went well was Instagram growth. I felt like my following had stagnated for a while. In 2021, I was able to add a couple of thousand new followers to my Instagram account. It felt good to finally figure out what worked for my account, with the algorithm, and to finally see some growth in my Instagram account. Also, I separated all my funnels. I have a lot of different free opt-ins. I have a niche workbook, my webinars and free masterclasses. What I did was separate all the funnels based on the source.
For example, for my build webinar. It’s a framework for building a profitable and impactful health coaching business. I essentially created four different funnels depending on where that traffic was coming from. I have a funnel in click funnels solely for Instagram, one for Facebook ads, and one for the show. If you sign up for my webinar in this show, you are going through a different funnel than someone who signs up through my Linktree on Instagram.
The purpose of that is so I can truly understand where my traffic is coming from. This was a great suggestion from my business coach because prior to that, I didn’t know where my traffic was coming from. It has helped me learn a lot. I do get a lot of leads from Instagram, so that tells me I’m on track with putting my energy and focus into Instagram.
I have also noticed that I do get a lot of traffic from my website. What that has told me is I need to focus on search engine optimization and creating blog posts for my website because we do get a lot of traffic that way. The final thing that went well and this is something that I did in September of 2021 is I created automated webinar funnels for HTML Expert in Group Program Academy.
Serving people should be the focus in scaling your business.
Essentially, when you sign up for those masterclasses, it will take you to a prerecorded masterclass that gives you all the value and sells you into one of those courses, especially the one for HTML Expert. It has worked amazingly and has brought in a lot of new students into the courses. Turning those on has been incredibly effective. That’s everything that I felt went well this 2021. Lots of good things.
Now, let’s get into the bad and the ugly. The beginning of 2021 was one of the most stressful times that I have had in my business. That was because I had this huge virtual debacle. The VA that I have had for a couple of years, Jennifer Walter. She decided to move on, which was great. I was very happy for her. I ended up hiring someone who was recommended to me, whom I trained for an entire month.
I also had my previous VA help with the training. I was paying two VAs who came in, seemed great and were positive. Everything seemed to be going great but then two days into her being officially on the job, she quit and said it was too much work, which was frustrating for me because there is a learning curve with any new business.
VA work is not easy and she was like, “It’s too much work. I’m working too much.” I was like, “Of course, you are brand new to this job. You are a newer VA. There’s going to be a learning curve and it’s going to take you about a month or two.” She was like, “I thought it would be like three days.” That was very frustrating. I felt very screwed over. Not only did I waste a ton of money paying my old VA to train her but also paying her and being lost without a VA. That was not great.
I never get upset about people quitting because people have to do what’s right for them. Ultimately, she had to do what was right for her but I felt that she shouldn’t have taken on the job or she should have at least given me some sign that it was a lot of work, we could have stepped in and helped her out as she learned the job.
I ended up hiring a new person, again, a recommendation. Another woman had an agency. I thought this was going to be the right fit for me, and then it ended up again, not working out. Tasks were not getting done. Nothing was being done on time. I was super confused. The email inbox was overflowing. It was very stressful so that lasted maybe 2 or 3 weeks and I knew. I was like, “This isn’t working,” so I let her go.
That was a bit stressful because I was about to launch my spring experience of Health Coach Accelerator. I was essentially launching and being my own virtual assistant. Now, I did have at least, my OBM and she helped me a lot. I’m very grateful for that but luckily, I was able to find Danielle, who was able to come on quickly, a very talented virtual assistant who knows what the crap she’s doing. She took over and has done a great job ever since.
While that was a very stressful two months, where I was very stressed out that things weren’t getting done, people weren’t being supported and customer service, and I was doing essentially at the end all the work myself. The silver lining of that is I did learn the job very well. I understand. I hadn’t done that job in four years, so now, I could hop in and be virtual in my business if I had to. Also, finding Danielle has been a gift, so that was really great
Now, I mentioned what things that went well was updating my courses. That was great and the update went well but it was stressful. It was a lot on my plate. Unfortunately, those updates all took place over the summer. Usually, I like my summers to be open. I like to adventure, go hiking and do all these things. I was a bit overworked. The caveat is that in British Columbia, we had a horrific fire season. We had thick smoke, so we couldn’t do a lot. We didn’t do any Alpine hiking this 2021 except for a couple of day trips because it was hot and we were dealing with so much smoke.
Typically, I don’t like to work in summer but with the smoke situation and how it has been a few years, I’m thinking that I should probably have September be my time off because not only is it less busy because it’s not summer anymore and kids are back in school but also, by September, the days start getting shorter. It starts cooling down and the smoke goes away. It’s something I have learned for the future.
I would say probably my biggest struggle of 2021 has been Facebook ads. I have always dabbled on and off in Facebook ads. I have never used them consistently. I used to run them myself when it was easier to do so. They are a crap show now. It’s not something I recommend that you do on your own but essentially, I used to run them a decent amount when I was doing health coaching.
When I switched over to business coaching, I switched over to doing fully organic marketing and that’s served me quite well. I have done well using free tactics and not doing paid advertising but I’m at the point where I’m ready to scale the business. I want to serve more people, hit that seven figures, and I know that paid traffic is going to be a big part of that.
You just have to keep trying, testing, and doing new things.
I have been working with a Facebook ads agency. I quite liked them but we have struggled to get good results from our ads. Part of it is because Facebook ads, again, are a bit of a crap show now. It’s not easy for anyone. We have struggled to optimize. What I have noticed is we were originally running ads to my free niche workbook. That was converting well. We were getting a low cost per lead and building the list but what I discovered was those leads were very low quality. I don’t mean low-quality people. I mean that they didn’t give a crap about what I was doing.
They were happy to opt-in and get the workbook but they didn’t care about what I did and had no interest in investing. The biggest moment when I realized this and this is a little bit of insider information but essentially, how I have decided to promote Health Coach Accelerator is by doing a weekly live webinar. Every single Tuesday, I do a live webinar.
It’s the same webinar and people get offered access to Health Coach Accelerator at a promoted price. I’m doing that every single week on Tuesdays. We had about 150 people signed up for it and they had mostly come in through Facebook ads. We were offering them the free niche workbook and on the thank you page, we invited them to the masterclass.
I was very excited about this. I was like, “A hundred and fifty people. This is fantastic.” I’ve got on the live webinar and only one person showed up. I was confused about that. I’m very grateful for that one person who showed up. I’m always grateful for anyone who engages with any of my content but typically, a good live showing rate for live webinars is about 25%, so 25% of 150 is probably 40 people or something like that. That’s what I was expecting, so I was confused as to one person and I went through and looked at all these emails who signed up and a lot of them didn’t look like legit emails. They looked spammy. I realized that we were probably getting spammed and we were getting a lot of low-quality leads.
My ads manager did some stuff to clean that up. On the following webinar, we had about 100 people sign up and 5 showed up. I knew and I was looking. The people who weren’t showing up, who weren’t opening the emails, for all the people coming in through Facebook ads. The people who are showing up live or coming in through my organic funnels, so from Instagram, the website, and the show. It became very apparent to us that it’s not worth my money to be paying for these people to get onto my list because not one of them showed up for the webinar out of the hundreds of people that we brought in from Facebook ads.
What we decided to do is to launch an SLO funnel, which stands for Self-Liquidating Offer. Instead of running ads to a free offer, we are running ads to a low-priced offer. I’m selling my niche like a boss workshop. It’s low priced and essentially, I will get fewer people on the list but the people who I do get on the list are engaged shoppers.
They are interested and already put some money down so they are a higher quality lead. So far, that has been working well. Why it is called self-liquidating? It covers your ad spent. You are not going to make a profit from it. Some people turn a small profit on it but if you can break even with your ad spend, you are getting your ads for free and building your list for free.
That has been working really well and I’m glad we made that pivot but Facebook ads have been a huge pain point. Overall, I would say the pain points or growing pains that I’m going through is the scaling, which is normal. I have moved from a live program model to an evergreen. From only available at certain times a year to always available. It requires a different strategy and a different type of funnel. Making that shift is difficult for everyone. Now, I’m going through the growing pains of that. It’s challenging but I understand that this is the way it goes. You’ve got to keep trying, testing, and doing new things.
That has been my 2021 in review, the good, the bad, and the ugly. As you can see, I have been in the business for years. I still experience hard times, growing pains and frustrations. I still get those feelings like, “I’m never going to be able to make that work.” It’s all normal. We all experienced that. I hope that helped you and gave you an interesting insight into what’s going on behind the scenes in my business. I hope you enjoyed this episode.
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Let me know your biggest take home and I’m going to get a little ping, a little notification and I can meet you, thank you personally and we can jam out in the DMs. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Remember, we are doing a planning session for 2022. It’s going to be a super fun episode. Tune in, same time, same place, where I help you become wealthy AF.