A Look Back on My First Year in Business
I want to celebrate a few fun numbers in my business as my first year is coming to a close…
PRE-FULL TIME BUSINESS (6 Weeks Prior)
I was scared. I put 6 weeks in with my previous employer and I had no idea what I was going to do.
I’m a planner and this wasn’t part of my plan. I loved my boss. I loved the team I’d been on for 2 years. But I felt a strong “no” in my gut and I followed it.
It became a 6 week count down to figure out how I was going to pay for my life. Yes, it was that dramatic.
So I started to figure out my name. I went to a thesaurus and put together two columns:
Column 1: Customized
Column 2: Systems
I came up with the most disgusting lists of words. Seriously though. And my mom and I somehow had to figure out a name to move forward with.
So we landed on Personalized Procedures. Ew. I didn’t like the name from jump, but it described what I was doing.
A few hours later and a LegalZoom confirmation email, Personalized Procedures was born!
And the next six weeks were honestly a blur, but here’s the gist: I landed 3 monthly retainer clients and a project-based client that tripled my monthly salary. All of this without a website or social presence.
I don’t say all that to brag; I share that because I took a TOTAL leap of faith and it came back 10-fold. Don’t let anything hold you back. Stop your excuses and just jump!
Also, my good friend Chelsea joined my team from Day 1. It was such a blessing. She handled my client relations and podcast projects. Another crazy miracle for starting my business and fun fact – she is still with me today!
So this takes us to May 1, 2016 – my first full day as a full-time entrepreneur.
Safe to say, never move and start a business in the first month…
I moved from Virginia (my parents house) into a townhouse in Dallas. All I can say about that was that it was extremely chaotic with a shot of insanity.
But good news, I joined a free mastermind with 5 other women in the online space. It was truly magical. I knew 2 out of the 5, so I made 3 new business friends. Yayy!!
Oh! I almost forgot. I swapped services with a graphic designer to get my website done at the same time. There was a lot happening in June, but still setting up everything I thought my business needed. And let me just say, I completely ignored social media for the first 7 months of my business. It just wasn’t a priority to me.
- St. George, Utah – Celebrated my grandmother’s birthday with a girls trip with my mom and aunts
- Kansas City – Visited my two best friends
- Nashville – Traveled for a client’s mastermind event to be of support
As I settled into business and things were going smoothly, I decided to start a podcast as my main content strategy.
I batched my first season of Systems Saved Me. My first guests were all folks that I knew. I was under pressure to get the episodes done before my trip to Aspen with my family.
My sister, Margaux, thankfully knows how to edit audio so I hired her on contract to edit my podcasts and write my show notes. (Yes, I pay her).
I also took quite a bit of time off for my birthday and family vacation.
- Dallas – Staycation at the W hotel for my 26th birthday!
- Aspen – Traveled for a family vacation and went paragliding for the first time
I brought on a 4th monthly retainer client this month and officially launched Systems Saved Me Podcast! YAY!!
I also decided to rebrand my website because the services I started with weren’t the ones I was currently doing. I hired the incredible ladies at Bold & Pop – they know how to give a great client experience.
Guys. Take it from me. As you read this, you’ll see I rebranded like 3 times in 1 year. Don’t do it. Save yourself the stress 🙂
And lastly, I wrote a magazine article (8 page spread) in Belong Magazine. It was titled “Making Room for Relationships” and I shared how I have time for being in community because of the systems I setup in my business.
- Costa Rica – Spent 9 days completely off the grid from business (CRAZZYY!)
This was a smooth sailing month. I got interested in passive income a bit since I pretty much had a full client load so I enrolled in Funnel on Fire with Stephanie Nickolich.
I met some really cool women inside that program (some of which I got to meet in person!) and learned a ton about sales funnels.
In my personal life….my very first car, my Honda Civic CoCo, died on me…so unfortunate. But I got a new one – yay!!!
- Miami – Traveled for a 2 day intensive with Stephanie to nail down an epic sales funnel for my business.
This month was madness….all of my clients were launching this month. WHYYYYY!??! This was the first inclination that I needed to do things differently.
The second inclination was that I just really didn’t like the name Personalized Procedures. It really started to bother me.
I didn’t want to put a stake in the ground and be visible because I hated that name. That really stunted my business y’all. I basically was running an underground business that no one knew existed. There isn’t much I regret, but that’s one of the things I would’ve done differently. I was content being on people’s teams long term and still being behind the scenes.
But I hired a branding agency to help me really start to focus on my “brand.” Anyone who knows me knows that branding is one of the hardest things for me to rationalize spending money on. I just have a hard time finding people who get me.
- Austin – Traveled for a 3 day event with Regina Anaejionu of the incredible byRegina.com
- Miami – Traveled for a client event to help out and support (met my future sales coach there)
I let got of 1 client to start making room for a new way of working. Monthly retainers were starting to wear me out. I didn’t really know why, but I wanted to work in a different way.
This coincided with the fact that I was rebranding and feeling more in my element. I was changing my colors to more neutral with a touch of yellow (my favorite color). I also wanted to incorporate fashion illustrations. Lots of fun branding ideas happening!
At the brand meeting, we came up with the name The Kolada Group. It came from the fact that my clients just wanted to take a vacation. They wanted to implement systems because they wanted to be able to sip pina coladas by the beach without their business imploding. So we took the word “colada” and changed it up with a K and voila! My new brand was born.
This month had a lot of travel going on….I was planning to go to New York City for Ramit Sethi’s Forefront event, but cancelled due to the other crazy travel coming up.
- Phoenix – Traveled to a wedding for a great friend from college
- St. George’s Utah – Traveled for a family spa trip
- Washington D.C. – Traveled for my 1 free mastermind group in person meeting (it was MAGIC in a room)
- Madrid – Traveled with my mom, sister and I to spend some time in Europe (shopped at Zara like 17 times)
It was that time again to batch the next season of my podcast! So I batched my January-May 2017 podcast episodes. Done!
I was also continuing to travel a lot so I was focused on those opportunities this month.
Lots of head down work.
- Lisbon – Traveled for the second part of our European girls trip (ate lots of chocolate cake)
- Baltimore – Traveled to my eventual sales coach’s event and met some of my internet friends in person!
- Nashville – Traveled for a 3 day planning session with a client of mine centered around updating his product
Finally, I started the website planning with one of my amazing biz besties Melissa Burkheimer. That consumed a lot of time to write copy and schedule a photo shoot.
I also had my 3 hour intensive with my sales coach, Laura Wright. We put together my new packages of intensives and VIP days. I also got my first intensive sale this month and we went from there!
And I attended this incredible dinner in town called Entrepreneurs Dinner here in Dallas. People flew in from DC and LA to be there. I met some amazing business owners and it’s been fun to continue those in-person relationships.
- Denver – Traveled for family Christmas
It became the new year and I was SO ready for some newness!
I had our TKG photo shoot by Bryson G Visuals with Chelsea and declared my word of 2017: Visible.
So one of the first things that happened was getting to be part of a panel at the amazing Chakayla Taylor’s event Blog Like a Boss Brunch. I got to spread my systems love!
I also hired on a great PR gal, Laci McKinney of The People’s Voice PR to help me with my social media strategy. I wanted to up my consistency and be seen! Remember, visibility is my word of 2017.
So I then batched my social media (shocker) and if you want to see my top 6 suggestions of software to use, grab that freebie here!
I mutually separated from another monthly retainer relationship so I kept making room for these new intensives.
Also, no travel this month! Yayyy!! I deemed January to be my month of no travel and I stuck to it….surprisingly.
Whew…no slowing down here. I had 3 events on my plate this month to get connected and find more clients. I ended up going to 2 to preserve my energy.
Funnel Hacking Live – Dallas
Practical Magic Live – San Antonio
I also enlisted a lot of mindset help because I was going to be experiencing a ton of upleveling and needed support. So I had an intensive with the amazing Kelly Ruta and then a call with Paige Filliater.
They both gave me such breakthroughs and have helped me to prepare for what was to come!
And lastly, I hired 3 interns this month to help with a variety of tasks – social media, blog posts, and PR outreach.
- San Antonio – Traveled to a women’s empowerment event to support some of my friends speaking!
This was a big month for me. I wanted to get more into the marketing side of my business.
I became a resident teacher in Lexi’s incredible Biz Woo School. Think Hogwarts for female entrepreneurs.
Then, I attended a VIP day with the incredible Lee & Natalie Collins in Atlanta to get a marketing system rolling in my business. Something I never really looked at due to my pretty active referral network.
But I wanted to get ahead of the natural referral slumps that happen.
Also I hosted a Quarter 2 planning retreat with 2 of my interns and Chelsea my Project Manager. It was so much fun and made me so so thankful for my team.
Also, my website was done by the end of the month, but had to update it with all the podcast shownotes and other goodies!
And lastly, it was a big pitch month for me. I wanted to get on podcasts and meet new communities for trainings.
- Atlanta – Traveled for a VIP day with my marketing coaches
- Austin – Traveled for a workshop with Vasavi Kumar all about writing the perfect pitch
Guys. This month was a doozy. For reals. I’m in deep recovery of traveling, connecting and getting ahead on work.
Early in the month, I spoke on a panel at the Vision Casting event hosted by my amazing friend Layna Ware. I really got vulnerable and it was an empowering event.
I added on a few team members – the incredible Erin for sales and Emily for Facebook ads/funnels. My team growing is such a blessing. I hope I support them as much as they do me.
I also did my batching for Season 3 of Systems Saved Me (July-December). It was an intensive 5 days, but I survived!
- Austin – Traveled for Seen Heard Paid Live with Jen Kem
- Milwaukee – Traveled for She’s Building Her Empire with Stacy Tuschl (*spoke)
- Washington D.C. – Traveled for Creative CEOs Live with Mallie Rydzik (*spoke)
Well this month is just beginning, but I’m excited to see what’s coming next!
- Miami – Traveled for Success Without Sacrifice with Stephanie Nickolich (*spoke)
- Unstoppable Coach (episode link coming soon)
- Strengths Empowered Podcast (episode link coming soon)
- Biz Start-Up Podcast (episode link coming soon)
What’s coming next?!?!
Jordan is the head honcho at The Kolada Group. Her business love language is efficiency and she’s boss at organizing everything. Strengths Finder: Focus, Discipline, Responsibility, Futuristic, Maximizer