It’s pretty unusual for me to talk about negative things, after all I am a glass half full kinda girl. Last year will forever be known as my year of miss-takes and hard learned lessons. It was a year where I ‘enjoyed’ lots and lots of business and life lessons.


Why am I sharing my miss-takes and hard learned lessons?

There are so many positive, ‘what I learned’  and ‘My 6 Figure Year in Review’ blog posts circling the interweb at the moment. They paint nothing but a positive picture of this entrepreneurial life. You and I know that for most of us, it’s not all roses and rainbows all the time and not everybody has a year that went according to the grand plan.


They say that the tough lessons are learned from mistakes, mess ups and a thousand and one face palms and my 2015 was a year packed to the rafters full of those moments and months.


2015 was not a total mess. I had some big wins, and more than a couple of high five moments. (I will share that good news in a future blog).

Here we go, a boots and all post about what I did wrong and would change in a heartbeat given the chance.


Mindset Mishaps

I was telling myself all of the wrong stories.  What I find fascinating is, I didn’t realise it at the time. I was sailing along thinking I was ‘Princess Positive’.  But, if my inner voice was a stranger at a party, you would be looking for an excuse to walk away…AND FAST.

‘It won’t work.’

‘Who do you think you are?’

‘You’re not disciplined enough.’

‘What will people think?’

‘Rejection is a reflection of who I am.’

‘You’re not good enough.’

‘You don’t deserve success.’

I could go on here, but you get the general theme, right?.

This mindset hung around for a good chunk of the year.

I am happy to say that things have improved out of sight compared to this time last year, gosh even compared to a a few months ago. The work is constant and knowing that I need to be vigilant with my mindset is a big step forward for me, and indeed every entrepreneur I know. I don’t know where I would be with out the gorgeous Kylie Patchett.

Kylie encouraged a complete audit of what I read and look at too. That was a real turning point in the way I looked at myself and my business. I wrote about falling into the comparison trap in a blog post.


Self-care? What self-care?


Looking after myself didn’t make it onto the list at all. I ate badly, I didn’t move much or sleep much. Oh! I pretended I was doing all the right things. I would exercise a day or two, then the excuses would kick in,

‘I need to get this finished.’

‘I don’t have time today.’

‘I have a full day of client calls, I need my energy to show up for my clients.’

‘I didn’t sleep last night, so I will sleep late this morning.’

‘I deserve this treat….for the third time today.’

‘I want that stodgy meal; I’m going to have it.’

Then there was the fake looking after myself. You know, when you tell yourself it is a healthy thing to do, when in all honesty, you know it is a lie. Things like:

‘I’m not counting calories. Food is not the enemy, if I have what I want, I won’t crave it later.’ (Which of course is a load of BS…you always want it later too!)

‘I’ve worked so hard’ A glass of wine never hurts!

‘I haven’t eaten all day’…and then cramming an entire weeks’ worth of food into one meal.

And, true to form, my body and my health took a hit. I grew what I have nickenamed ‘The Online Entrepreneurs Waistline.’ Because it is a lot more common than you think.

I added 10kg’s to my already bigger than I would like butt, my clothes don’t fit nicely and I felt (thank goodness this is past tense) like I look, out of shape, low on energy and dull. Dull skin, dull creativity, dull dull dull!

I’m not one of those people who love to exercise. My favourite foods aren’t exactly on the healthy food pyramid. It’s just not how I was made. There have been times when exercise was like breathing for me, but that was a while ago and I miss that chick. She was full of energy, fun and dare I say it, she was sexy. She and I are slowly becoming reacquainted. It’s a pretty cool re-union.



I rarely left the house.

Working from home is amazing. The commute is fantastic! And my office is my little patch of paradise, in paradise. I love my little beach shack, it cosy, comfy and an inspiring place to grow my business. I love it so much, I didn’t want to leave, ever. It was my place to hideaway from the world. (Which is completely out of character, by the way.)

2015 will forever be known as the year Kylie Gabutto stayed home.

We aren’t meant to hibernate. Humans are social creatures, we need to socialise, interact with others. Hiding away in a home office is not a healthy practice for me or for my business. I wasn’t being lazy, it was for much bigger and almost traumatic reasons. I just didn’t realise it.

I am happy to report, that I leave the house every single day, even if it is for a short stroll to the beach. Rain, hail or shine…this little duck will leave the house every. Single. Day. From here on out.


I worked for Free


I did the sums earlier this week to determine how many free hours of expertise and my time I gave away for free. I am embarrassed to admit it was well over 500 hours in 2015. (That is more than 3 months worth of  standard working weeks) I actually gave one person more than half of that time…for FREE.

Imagine if I spent that time, working on my business?? The possibilities are endless.

If I was still working in the corporate world, that would be like having a high end client and NEVER sending an invoice. That would warrant a serious chat with the boss and one that probably wouldn’t end well.

A tough lesson, but a really really valuable one.


Poor Planning

Like all good entrepreneurs I sat down in December 2014, and built a gorgeous, full and really exciting plan for the year ahead. I wrote:

My plan for 2015

My dream board

My goals list

I also joined a yearlong professional development program for women entrepreneurs. In hindsight I must have thought I had super human powers.  There was way way way too much in my yearly plan. Let alone achieving it with ease, balance and time to actually sleep.  There was no space AT ALL for the inevitable curve balls that can and will happen in business.

If I had pulled it all off, I would have ended up in hospital or a home for the mentally exhausted. It was crazy town. I now realise that it wasn’t a plan,


And what is really important to mention, is taht is was a plan for the type of business I didn’t want! WHAT??! Filled with 30 plus unrelated goals that would require hours and hours and hours for each of them to be successful.

Now, if I hadn’t given away all of that time for free……


And Then I Ditched the Plan

2 weeks into 2015, I realised that I was building a cookie cutter business, listening to the  ‘experts,’ ignoring my instincts completely, so I scrapped my ENTIRE plan.  You can read about that here.

BUT…I didn’t write a new plan, that meant that the rest of the year I spent in in a weird kind of haze of activity with no real direction. No wonder the wheels fell of with my mindset, self-care, boundaries and feeling in control.


The Number one lesson I learned

A solid plan, with milestones, how to’s and simple steps is a VITAL.

It gives you the framework for boundaries, projects, what to do next, when to turn off the computer and walk outside, self care, health, sanity, goals and so much more.

2016 is looking so much better already. I have hit some major personal and professional goals and January isn’t even finished yet.


Sweet 2016, I Like Your Style

Too many goals is confusing and more like a list of wants rather than goals. the more you have the easier it is to excuse why you didn’t achieve them. My 2016 is filled with a set of  streamlined goals for business and for my personal life…I gone from 30 goals to 3. (Three for business and three personal goals. Yes, there is a butt beautifying program is in there.)

Rest and space is all planned  this year.

My client intake level has been capped and product creation has been carefully timed too. This year is all about delivering the best service I can to my clients.

There are now a set of pretty strict rules around what I will and won’t do. If it is not on my goals list, it is simple…I say a very respectful ‘no thank you.’ Or, (this one is much harder), I say no to myself.

This requires some real discipline, on my part. Tough and necessary discipline, because my goals matter as do the small and daily tasks I need to do, to get it all to fall into place.

I know, that if I follow the steps, do the work and meet my deadlines, every single goal on my list will be reached. Consistency is so important and consistency is a learned habit.


Final Lessons

If I had any advice from a tough year of miss-takes and hard learned lessons it would be this. Your skill, your talent and your dreams matter. Give them the space and respect they deserve. Plan your year, with your eyes on your goals.

To make this all easier for me, I created the Stylish Sales Planner. I am so pleased with how simple it is to use and how practical it is. It is an entire year’s business plan in one place. Even my blog posts are planned for the whole YEAR!!

I know how much of a difference this has already made in my life that I wanted to share it with you.

If you want to Stylishly plan 2016, you can still download your planner here.

I have also created a weekly single page planner for you and your can download that here. This is a one-page document for you to print out and pin up in your office to help keep your week on track.

Here’s to 2016 and a year of ticking of your goals one at a time.

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