2 Years in Business: An Honest Look Back
It’s my second business anniversary – and for whatever reason, I already feel like a “long-time” entrepreneur in the online world. So many personal brands come and go, lacking consistency and persistence. The second year of Dreamlife Deluxe was one of great breakthroughs and uplevels, and it was my first 6-figure year in business. Here’s exactly what happened and how I jumped from $15,000 to $166,000 in revenue within 12 months and where I am at after two years in business.
Two Years in Business: Massive Upleveling
In my second year in business, I jumped from $ 2,000 income per month to consistent 5-figure months, whilst traveling the world full-time with my partner.
Last year I was hustling and hustling, doing aaaaall the things and working way too many hours for what I was bringing home at the end of the month.
It was frustrating as hell!
I hated the first of the month because I had to start all over AGAIN, trying to make this work.
November 2017 was the month where it all finally CLICKED for me.
I went from $2,000 in October to $25,000 in sales within ONE month. Sounds like a magical from rags to riches story, but it’s not.
I put in the freaking work, baby – and I started focusing on what really makes the difference.
I stopped chasing the one and only perfect marketing strategy and focused on changing my mindset.
I reframed all my beliefs around money, making huge investments and running a company.
Branding and Online Presence
Here’s how my online presence changed within the last 12 months.
In my third year in business, I’m actually starting off with a huge rebrand and new website. However, my second year was still happening on my self-build website with Jimdo.
My Facebook header and brand photo.
My logo, focus still on the brand name Dreamlife Deluxe.
My Instagram feed One Year Ago.
My Facebook group has 11,000 members now.
I renamed my Facebook page from Dreamlife Deluxe to Susi Kaeufer.
My Instagram feed today.
Some stats: From zero to 6-figure brand in 2 years
Facebook likes: 10
Facebook group: non-existent
Instagram Followers: 54
Clients I worked with: 0
Email list: had no clue what it is or how to start one
Facebook likes: 1,544
Facebook group: 1,662 Location Independent Biz Babes
Instagram Followers: 5,240
Website: 4,145 visitors
Clients I worked with: 23
Email list: 1,300
Income: ~$3,000 each month,
$15,000 in my first year.
Facebook likes: 2,656
Facebook group: 11,220
Location Independent Biz Babes
Instagram Followers: 16,300
Website: 24,000 visitors
Clients I worked with: 100+
Email list: 3,000
Income: $10K – $25K each month,
$166,000 in my second year.
What major investments did I make?
My NLP Coaching Certification – $1,600
1:1 Coaching with Jessica, Kathrin, Celinne, Cassie ~ $22,000
Tony Robbins Seminars (including flights and hotels) ~ $4,000
Rebranding and new Website – $5,000
Courses from Kathrin, Taylor, and Amanda – $4,000
Switching from sole trader to starting a company – $2,000
Sales Funnel Agency and Facebook Ads – $15,300
PR strategist – $5,000
Team members (Pinterest manager, VA, accounting) – $2,000 per month
Systems and Tools:
- Canva.com yearly fee – $120
- Clickfunnels yearly fee – $3,600
- ConvertKit yearly fee – $480
- Acuity Scheduling yearly fee – $120
- Hosting for my website – $120
- Zapier, Zoom, Xero, Google Drive etc. – $600
- Total Investments: $79,940
What had the biggest impact on my success?
1. High-level mentors and high ticket masterminds
I completely shifted how I saw myself and who I surrounded myself with. I stepped out of the “struggling entrepreneur” bubble and signed up for Masterminds with high achievers.
Surrounding myself with colleagues who were aiming for $40,000 – $50,000 income per month, shifted my worldview of what’s possible. Suddenly my own dreams didn’t seem crazy anymore.
You have to surround yourself with people that aim higher than you and are on the level that you want to be your new normal.
Breathe their energy, model their habits, study their beliefs.
I joined two group coachings and worked one on one with multiple 6-figure mentors and it completely helped me to step up the game.
Who you surround yourself with is who you become!
Working with people I really adored 1:1 helped me massively to take them from a pedestal as well. They’re no different to me. They are normal humans as well. If they can do it, I can do it too.
(I created a course called 6-figure mindset, where I teach you all the mindset shifts I have applied. Check it out if you want to learn more about this. It includes a mastermind FB group with exactly these kind of next level entrepreneurs.)
2. Becoming a better coach every day
If you enter the coaching world with hopes of making lots of money fast, your intention sets you up for failure.
You have to LOVE coaching (or whatever your business is).
You have to work with coaches yourself (otherwise I dare say you don’t love it as much as you’re saying) and you have to have a drive and urge to become better and better at what you do.
I’m coaching people for 4 years now (2 years in corporate performance coaching, 2 years as a mindset coach) and I always want to learn more. I just finished my NLP practitioner training and Erickson hypnosis certification. I wouldn’t need any extra certification – I build a 6-figure business with three online certifications. But if you have a true passion and hunger for your online business and industry, people will feel this energy.
3. Tools, automation and outsourcing?
The biggest challenge in my 2nd year in business was to handle and keep up with all the growth. As you can see, my Facebook group now has 10x more members and my following has tripled!
First of all, I had to upgrade my tools.
I switched from PayPal to Stripe for payments.
I switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit for email marketing.
I switched from InstaPage to Clickfunnels for funnels.
I switched from Excel Sheet to Xero for my bookkeeping.
Get ahead of yourself here!
Sometimes it requires a next level tool to step your business into the next level.
Secondly, I hired a couple of new team members this year.
On an ongoing basis, I am working with my Pinterest manager, my virtual assistant, 2 admins and 7 moderators for my Facebook group, my Instagram manager, my accountant (life-saver!) and Andy, who’s handling all the bookkeeping and finances.
On a project-based basis, I worked with a sales funnel agency for 6 months, hired several graphic designers for smaller projects, a brand specialist and web developer, 4 photographers around the globe, and surely I forgot a whole bunch of people here. Basically – I got a lot of help!
This allowed me to stay focused on what I’m doing best: Client calls, growing my social media community, doing live streams and creating new programs.
What didn’t go so well? Learnings?
1. Be ready for the success, so you can handle it when it comes.
There was a moment when my business growth was actually overtaking me. I was celebrating being fully booked, which magically made another 3 people apply for a Discovery Call with me.
I kind of didn’t expect all of them to sign up, but – as life goes when you are in super flow, they all did.
The next day, I was on a cruise ship with limited internet access – my PayPal account got frozen. Quadrupling my income overnight seemed suspicious and I had to submit all kinds of proof that I am a legit company to receive my funds. In all honesty, this was stressing me out a lot!
In the end, everything turned out okay.
Next step: I felt like it’s time for an accountant.
I had been searching for months to find someone who understands my location independent business and individual tax situation.
When I found someone, I sent over my excel file, and got a friendly but clear reply that I cannot keep things in an excel sheet like
this, when earning $35,000 AUD per month. Welcome to reality!
In 2018 it was time to step away from being a sole trader and create a limited company.
I’m now the director of Dreamlife Deluxe Pty Ltd.
The transition period wasn’t fun. I needed a new PayPal account, it – of course – got frozen again, after a world record of only 6 days ? and all my clients from the Mindset journaling tribe had to be moved over to a new payment system.
A lot of tears and extra hours went into this process, but now I’m all set for a million $ brand.
2. Getting featured
At the end of 2017, I invested in a PR strategist to get more media attention for my business. It was the biggest investment in my business at this point. I got on podcasts – on many many podcasts, to an extent that was a bit overwhelming. I had 3-4 podcast interviews per week, however, the major publications I’ve been hoping for didn’t work out.
I’m still waiting for Forbes to say YES to my story, but I won’t give up.
3. Get your legal ducks in a row – my first refund request
In my second year in business, I had my first (and so far only) client asking for a refund. I had client agreements in place for my 1:1 coaching clients, which state a clear “no refund” p olicy – however, if someone bought a course or program of mine, they just signed up via a PayPal button – no contract.
It was an expensive (and a bit of a heart-breaking) lesson, I hired a lawyer and created terms of service for all my programs. You now have to tick a box before purchase, that you have read and understood the terms and conditions. I don’t know if anyone ever reads these and I doubt it, but it’s something you need to have in place for your business to protect yourself.
My highlights of the year:
1. Fully booked on Martinique in November 2017.
$25,000 in sales within 21 days and finally only ideal dreamboat clients on board – all this whilst traveling 7 Caribbean islands.
Life is good!
No doubt one of my all-time highlights and my first in-person retreat.
Nothing is more powerful than a circle of women leveling up together on the island of spirits. The energy was so loving, brave and powerful.
You get to step into your next level identity, and you leave as this kind of person.
Join me on my next women retreat on Bali.
3. Traveling the world full-time with my business and working from 19 different countries.
I don’t think I have to explain any further why this is awesome.
It’s the feeling of ultimate freedom I’ve been craving for my whole life.
It’s finally a reality.
It’s my life.
I couldn’t love this more!
Summary of my second round-the-world trip: 358 days!
19 countries, 6 of them twice!
18 flights ✈️!
I dare to call this year “the best year of my life”.
And I wrote the exact same thing in my summary of my FIRST year in business, but it’s true.
Life’s getting better and better!
My mission to empower women and my passion to smash through the self-limiting beliefs that have been holding you back is unstoppable.
The more I grow, the more value I get to spread with the world – the more I get to uplevel other women and entrepreneurs.
You get to dream big!
You get to be authentic, and that’s all it takes to make an impact!
Wow! This was extremely helpful to see a 30,000 foot view! I am a new blogger at moneymindmanifest.com, and you are so inspirational to me! You just confirmed that I need to invest big in my blog to move it to a biz in order to get big returns. Thank You! I hop you continue to update the post as your business ages.
Wowwww… I just found one of your pins and have been reading your content for the past hours. First of all congratulations on all the massive up-leveling and shifts! That’s really inspiring and give me more boost to keep pushing. And I love how you make it clear that it wasn’t easy at all and share the downs during the process. Not many coaches reveal that side.
p.s. girl next time you’re in Martinique “or St.Lucia for that matter, say hello”. lol
Sending you lots of love and high vibes for the upcoming year and beyond!
I can 100% relate to your story. I’m in my second year blogging and this year mostly focused on the monetization part but went in every direction…this year will be all about focusing on what matters for my business, get help and admit I’m not great at everything and finally surround myself with successful entrepreneurs like you mentioned. Thank you for the inspiration and congratulations on your success.