2022 – The year it all comes together!
2022 – The year it all comes together!
It’s that time of year, the lull where my Facebook feed is flooded with invitations to attend goal-setting webinars. And my inbox is about to be flooded with all of your out of office messages! That’s when I know it’s time, after careful deliberation, for me to publish my 2022 goals. It’s been a tradition here at Green Umbrella for many years to publish our goals publicly. Some think it brave, but in honesty, it’s more about accountability than anything else!
There’s a bit of a process to it; Think about what we want to achieve next year, reflect on this year, write some big goals, figure out the actions required to make it all happen. Write it up here, hit publish, send it out to the database. Then sit back and relax until the first day back in the office when Mark and Jane go ‘Christina – we need to talk!’
What do you want to create in 2022?
Here’s my answer…
“A business that runs without me, that the whole team feel they have ownership of. We serve our clients and they love us for it. We’re integral to the success of their businesses. Their success leads to our success.”
That sounds very grand doesn’t it! The truth is I don’t remember ever sitting down to write my goals and feeling like I didn’t have something big to implement. Changes in the way we do things, new products, restructuring… there’s always been some big project that requires my focus either professionally or personally. But for 2022 I feel completely different! When I read the statement above I don’t feel like I’m about to embark on some great big quest in order to achieve it.
I feel like we’re already a long way to achieving that!
Reflecting on 2021… Did we do what I said we were going to do?
Reading back over things from last year, my first reaction was ‘Crap. I dropped a ball’. The year did not go as planned at all – and I can’t even blame Covid or Brexit for it! I take full responsibility – Let me explain.
I had some personal challenges early in the year and in April had to prioritise family over the business. It was unexpected that I would take so much time out and so there was no plan in place. In May I was back ‘in-flow’ but I didn’t really reconnect with the goals I was supposed to be working towards. I was playing catch up – without really knowing what I was chasing or where I was heading. I think if I ask the team to reflect on it, they’d tell me 2021 was a challenging year because of this.
We’ve had a fabulous 2021 and seen wonderful growth – but much of it has been reactive rather than proactive. This isn’t where I do my best work and so I need to ensure I’m back swimming in my own lane in 2022 for myself and the sake of my team!
The truth is I have amazing people by my side.
When I took time out early in the year, the danger was that things would fall apart. Luckily I have a Mark and a Jane! Hopefully, they’ll read this and be nodding along to the previous paragraph. The great thing about the business is the people in it. I could not imagine repeating the successes of this year without them. They keep me grounded – they tell me when I’m wrong, stop me when I need to listen and make sure I hear what they’re telling me, and they support me. Always. I am so grateful for them.
So as things played out over the year and we had to be reactive, the team grew. Not in the way I planned if you look at my 2021 goals, but in the way we needed. The growth has been rapid and my concern was a loss of the culture we had built or a shift in the dynamics that I’ve just described above. However, turns out I did not need to worry! We have a bunch of people with shared values, who all take the success of the business personally. Who are not afraid to get over-excited at my next brilliant idea – or tell me exactly why it isn’t all that brilliant.
Good teams work well together – Great teams speak up and push back when it’s needed. I have a great team.
It isn’t just about the people in the business though. I have a wonderful panel of mentors I can talk to who not only kick me up the you-know-what and call me out when it’s required but also celebrate me and the success of the business. Would I have made it through this year without having those people to reach out to when I needed – I really doubt it. My mindset has been kept in check because of these relationships, and so has my motivation.
But was 2021 a success?
Hell yeah! Just not by design!
OK – I’m being hard on myself.
We completed about 50% of what we set out to do when it comes to the goals for the year. Some goals were completely abandoned, some have rolled forward to this year. I read some of them and thought I forgot about that, but we did them anyway!
For example –
- I said we’d relaunch the training hub. That didn’t happen but we’ve been working on it and you’ll get to see what’s coming very, very soon!
- Mark didn’t get his Junior Designer, but instead of that one hire we made four hires!
- I said I’d give myself a break and that I wouldn’t beat myself up over things. I’ve been able to take more time out than I expected, and I havent felt guilty about it! (Well maybe a little guilty here and there.)
We have worked on projects we are immensely proud of, things that have excited us, maintained consistency in our own marketing activities, increased our client base, revenue and profits and reinvested back into the business too. 2021 has been a truly epic year!
But it’s essential we go back to working to a plan – imagine how much more we could have done if we’d achieved 100% completion on those goals!
So what’s the plan for 2022?
The over-arching plan is to maintain! 2020 we introduced a ton of new stuff, 2021 we grew rapidly, so 2022 is all about letting everything settle and strengthening our foundations. There are a few things that need a refresh, some projects that need more attention, some changes to the way we work here and there but nothing all that dramatic!
There is probably only one goal for 2022, and that’s to commit to the vision!
But let’s break it down – here’s what I mean by that…
Go Team GU!
“We have a proven track record of success, as individuals as well as the business and enjoy the benefits of this.”
One of the big lessons of 2021 was that one of the USPs of Green Umbrella Marketing really was the team. I knew this already but it was hammered home.
The team will be showcased more, you’ll see them across our social media activity and you’ll hear from them more via this blog. They do fantastic work and don’t shout about it nearly enough, so we’re going to push them out of their comfort zones in order to make this happen. (The GU Live Lunch will hit episode 100 in Q1, I think that’s going to give us an opportunity to do more of this!)
It’s all about the plan
“I have a team of loyal individuals who are aligned with the goals and values of the business.”
We started work on this just before the Christmas break by looking at our purpose, mission and values. We’ll do more to build on this as we plan to extend the team further in 2022. It’s essential we are all aligned (which we are – phew!) and that we are implementing activities to ensure we stay aligned as a team.
This means investment in them both in terms of external training and my time. We’ll introduce HR support to ensure that things are covered with 100% on that front and re-implement structured development activity for everyone at GUHQ.
“I own a fully scalable business with systems and processes that give us certainty. Everyone is clear on their role.”
In small businesses, a team tends to be made up of a group of people who all cover a lot of areas. We need to identify where this is happening so we can make the right hires going forward. It’s a messy way of working when you increase in size and can lead to frustrations and errors when not addressed. So we also need to be honest about where the gaps are right now so that we can communicate effectively and put things in place to ensure we are serving our clients at the highest levels at all times.
The way we do things has changed as our headcount has increased, so we need to update our process documents and communicate these to the team. We also need to look at where we need to update our systems to improve our efficiency as we work on a greater number of projects.
Creativity And Innovation
“There is creativity in everything we do. We relaunch better versions of our products to keep them innovative.”
We’ve created plenty in the last couple of years – we don’t need to create anything new in 2022! However, we need to ensure our products remain innovative!
To remain innovative, I need to spend the time required exploring and testing new strategies, new platforms new everything from social media and digital marketing perspective. This means sharing the load a little, which ties in with external training for the team!
I also need to spend more time hanging out with my peers to exchange notes on best practices and have real conversations around what is and isn’t working. I have my eye on a couple of events I want to ensure I’m attending in 2022 so I can learn from the best.
In order to do this, I need to change the way I work – and so there are some changes coming relating to some of our services. In particular, we’ll be making changes to the Green Umbrella Coaching Club which I’m really excited about!
I already said we don’t need to create anything new – but when I look at some of what we do, a refresh is required. So expect to see some relaunches in 2022, a few tweaks, a bit of beefing up here and there – that sort of thing! First up will be our on-demand training provision.
I should mention that when I say ‘we’ I mean Green Umbrella. I have a couple of pet projects I’m committing to in 2022. They’re my personal projects – one is to monetise The Christina Talks Podcast and promote that further, the other is top secret for now! (Watch this space!)
We Practice What We Preach
“Our marketing plan guarantees our success and brings everything we do together.”
You’ve heard me use that phrase before I’m sure. ‘We practice what we preach.’ How can we possibly advise you on things we haven’t tried and tested ourselves? It’s one thing telling you I’ve tried something – another for it to be self-evident.
Over the years, we have created a huge amount of content. 2022 is about consolidating, updating what needs to be updated and, as the saying goes, trimming the fat!
Our marketing plan is strategic, it works without doubt but there’s still quite a bit of it that exists in my head and so if I get busy, I become a block. A huge amount of our marketing activity is also dependant on me, so if I don’t feel like recording that video, I become a block. One of the biggest activities I need to complete with the team this year is to map out our marketing plan in full and identify every point where I become a problem and work out a solution to that. (I am not looking forward to that task!)
Surely that isn’t everything?
Obviously, all of the above have some very specific actions associated with them. There’s a plan of when they’re going to happen and who’ll be responsible for what. There are also a few things I’m not sharing as they extend into areas of finance and cash flow – I think it’s obvious why I wouldn’t share that publicly, but I will be sharing those with the team.
Then there’s the personal stuff too – my personal goals this year are very much centred around the following:
- How I take care of myself physically. – Getting my nutrition right is key to success this year, and so is getting enough quality rest.
- Ensuring I have more fun outside of business activities. – I’m blessed to have met some fantastic people through doing business that have become friends. I get to hang out with like-minded people and share stories. For me that isn’t work.
- Feed my mind – 15 minutes a day to consume something that will motivate me, teach me something, inspire me, offer me clarity in my thinking via a visualisation or meditation. I have not read in 2021 the way I have done in previous years and I am feeling the impact of this. i have a daily, weekly and monthly plan to make sure I am spending less time feeding my brain with Netflix and more time feeding it what I believe will continue my growth!
Guaranteed Success in 2022
I mean this whole-heartedly. Our success is non-negotiable in 2022. My success is non-negotiable.
Success is guaranteed!
- Everything is measurable.
- There’s nothing stopping execution.
- I have the best people around me.
- I’m not afraid to ask for help.
- I have 100% faith in the team.
- I have 100% faith in myself.
- We have, I have, EVERYTHING we need to acheive the above and more!
and… in my head, all of this is already a reality.
I’m excited for 2022, I really hope you are too.