3 Years in Business, an honest look back!

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It’s THIS time of the year again - The anniversary of Dreamlife Deluxe!
Phuuuh.

How many business owners make it until here?
8 out of 10 business fail.

How come, what makes mine different, and what where the milestones of my 3rd year in the online coaching world? 

 

First of all let’s look at some snippets on how I’ve grown in my branding, income, numbers and messaging: 

September 2018

Old Website 2018
September 2018

September 2019

Website 2019
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September-2017-2
Mindset and Business Coaching - Susi Kauefer

In my 3rd year in business I said goodbye to self-made Canva graphics and my self-built website, and hired a web designer and a graphic designer. I also had my first branding shoot in an actual studio, which was gold for my website.
Keep in mind though - I built a successful 6-figure coaching business with what you see on the left.

Some stats: This year the growth factor was called ALIGNMENT

September 2018

Facebook page 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

Total Income: $166,000 USD

 

September 2019

Facebook page likes: 3,146

Facebook group: 14,016 Location Independent Biz Babes

Instagram followers: 26,711

Website: 28,400 visitors

Clients I worked with: 240+

Email List: 2,900

Total Income: $152,000 USD

You can see beautifully what I focused and didn't focus on this year.


What I didn’t focus on (but should have):

Marketing Funnels, Email List Growth, PR features, Facebook

What I focused on:
> Instagram
> Daily Content Creation

> Being fully aligned with everything that I do, burning the rules and finding my personal way for launching, selling and serving my audience
> Cancelling offers that don't feel 100% right, even when they brought in money
> New fun projects like live events and retreats

 

Major Milestones:

1. Hiring my partner full-time

After 1,5 years of traveling around the world as a couple, we went back to Sydney Australia for 6 months of house sitting, so Andy could work in his old job again and build up his savings account.

As much as I enjoyed living in different areas in Sydney (We moved 17 times that summer in Sydney - you see, nomad at heart!!), I wanted to hit the road again and be overseas. 

So in May 2019 we said Goodbye to Australia again, Andy quit his job (again) to travel the world with me, and my company (aka ME) employed him full-time.

We are now doing all the major business activities as a couple, run our retreats and VIP days together and whilst I’m taking care of being the face of the brand, coaching and content creation, Andy is handling all things finances and accounting, bookkeeping, customer service, emails, and all the tech set up for sales pages, opt ins etc. 

It’s sometimes challenging to be a good boss to your partner, I tend to be snappy when things aren’t done 100% my way, but we’ve been working amazingly well as a team and I am super happy about this new constellation in our relationship, business and life.

I sometimes feel pressure “to make this business work” mainly to pay for Andy’s salary - not so much for my own - but so far, we’re doing well.
All whilst traveling the world as full-time nomads for our 3rd consecutive year.

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2. Retreats and Live Events

Having Andy helping me out at my retreats is gold. After my first retreat in 2018, where I was running around trying to organize everything like drivers and food, whilst holding space for my clients and coaching them it became clear that running events overseas is not a 1 person job.

I really really love meeting followers and clients in person, so this year we hosted retreats and VIP days in 4 countries.

I don’t know if these will ever be a major part of our business income - and honestly, I don’t care.

They are just so fun and soul aligned as I love to see the immediate impact my work has on women all around the world.

I’m getting more and more comfortable speaking in front of a small crowd as well, we’ll see where this is going to take me next.

3. Our main income source: Online Programs and Courses

Whilst I’m still offering 1:1 Coaching, which I limit to 3-4 clients at any time, our main income in our third year in business came from online programs, courses and group coaching.

I finally found my own soul-aligned way of creating live online programs, which usually include lots of interaction with me as your coach during the program, before I package up the content and turn it into a self-study course. 

 

During my third year I have created High Vibe AF, re-launched Visibility Queen, created a course Balance & Boundaries, Soul Guidance, Content Queen, The Fast & Easy Launch Process and my absolute favourite program in being a personal brand: The Abundant Alpaca. Puuuh, I’ve really been productive!

We also majorly upgraded our course system and customer management with a membership area, so all customers can access all their courses directly via our WordPress website.

We are using Wishlist to manage and protect our course content and have been happy with the switch.

4. Changing the team structure

You know what? You won’t hear this often, but I hired too many people!

Time overwhelm and “things not working” in certain areas of my business made me grasp every freelancer offer like the last straw.

Until I saw myself with team expenses that were almost matching our income and having several freelancers that got paid more money than I did.

 

The worst part?

I STILL had a lot of stuff on my plate that I felt like I hired people for AND I was busy for hours a day to communicate and delegate and meet up with all those team members and freelancers.
When anyone was offering me a “free chat on Zoom” I was literally freaking out. 😤

Working with Kathrin and Brennan from Manifestation Babe and the book Traction brought the solution - even though it was an uncomfortable one:

It meant that for the first time I had to let go of team members, that were actually not doing anything wrong.

It was a huge relieve.
Andy took over most of their tasks, and for the areas we needed support in, we wrote a job opening.
We filled 2 positions for 30 hours per week, and that’s it.
A team of 4.

 

We will expand at some point again, but this time WE are going to be the ones creating the job and filling it with someone who actually wants to work in a job to support us, instead of solopreneurs who are trying to get their own million dollar business of the ground.

Dreamlife Deluxe hires only people who fully stand behind the Dreamlife Deluxe mission and love to work in their jobs with full commitment. 

Travel life in my 3rd year in business:

We flew first class for the first time.
We met Quokkas in Western Australia.
We ran our 2nd Bali retreat.
We went to Dubai and Qatar for the first time.
We lived in Budapest for one month.
We travelled Europe for 3 months.
We lived with 3 beagles.
We went to UPW and Date with Destiny.
I became a Master NLP Coach in Sydney.
We flew to Bali 3 times.
We lived in Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney. We also visited Darwin and Perth.

 

We moved 54 times during the last year. 😱😱😱
We did 11 house sits.
We traveled to 10 countries.
We boarded a plane ✈️ 13 times.

 

Ok, now that I pulled those numbers I’m not even surprised anymore that we didn’t triple our income like last year.


That sounds CRAZY. 😜

It’s been amazing, a true Dream Life Deluxe, but I think moving 25 times per year could be enough for next year.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t let ANYONE tell you what you can or can’t do.

$150,000 whilst hopping from country to country, meeting and coaching clients all over the world, making money whilst I sleep, and being able to tick things off my bucket list - I am entirely grateful! 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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