If you’re really sick of everyone saying “wow, I can’t believe it’s 2017!” then let’s cheers to that. While I could do without the constant reminders of what year it is, I’m really enjoying everyone’s year in review posts, and plan on doing one of my own for 2016, but I also needed to update y’all as loyal blog readers and community members on what’s to come from me as a person and me as a brand in 2017.
While my companies have always been split behind the scenes, they’re officially getting two separate, distinct homes on the internet. What do I mean? Take a preview:
If you haven’t noticed, my websites are getting a big makeover. Maybe this is the year I will finally get branding done!
I’m also kicking off my first Incubator with seven amazing women on January 9, which has been laying in wait since last summer.
What the heck is an ‘incubator’? Well, it’s something I’ve never heard of either (it probably exists, everything exists on the internet!) but I remember getting to this point in my business and thinking, “gosh, I WISH I had a boss that would just tell me what to do today! I wish I had the safety and support of someone else to just show me what to do through this time in my business to get me to the next level where I just know I’ll be profitable!” I finally did get profitable, but there was no boss, incubator or prince charming to save me.
Last year, as I became increasingly disillusioned with courses and all the NOISE out there, I established that I didn’t want to keep shouting with everyone else. Instead, like a true introvert, I chose to create a decidedly quiet offering. I sent out private invitations to my incubator, and now seven of the women who said ‘yes,’ are going to spend the next five months with priority access to me through a slack channel, and receive access to my business consulting + legally strategic brain through ten hours of 1:1 time and over 20 hours of group + workshop support, and on top of all that as a bonus, I threw in a gulf coast retreat.
The ‘launch’ was a huge success for me- I didn’t have to spend any time marketing, I didn’t have to run any challenges, I didn’t have to spend any money on ads and I didn’t have to do anything that felt icky or salesy. All I did was create something that I know could help others, and found the people it could help the most. I had a 60% conversion rate, with three women who wanted to join but I ran out of space for. That felt pretty good to me, and when I see these ladies usher in the return on their sizeable investment with me, I know it’s going to feel even better for us all.
So, if you haven’t noticed, nothing is going away, it’s just different and expanding, and hopefully more clear. Scalera IP Law LLC (ScaleraLaw.com) will offer only legal services, as it always has, but that will be more apparent than ever. Christina Scalera LLC (ChristinaScalera.com) will still maintain the store, publish tons of free, useful content (like this!) and it will host my incubators and other business growth + marketing + consulting offerings.
And don’t forget! I’m the co-owner and co-host of the Creative Empire podcast, which I tend to forget about when we’re not constantly recording because it’s already so distinct and separate from my personally owned companies.
Anyone that knows me knows how freakin’ ANNOYING I am about business. If left unchecked, it’s all I talk about. My poor friends are just trying to get their wine buzz on and I’m all like, “Did you know that if you were to just re-orient your profile picture to look at the text you’d have a higher conversion rate, which could…” and that’s when they look at me and in unison say, “SHUT UP CHRISTINA!”
Moral of the story: all that energy and enthusiasm has to get spent somewhere, and as I’ve turned ChristinaScalera.com more and more towards business consulting, I can’t help but hear the pain points of my fellow lawyers who haven’t been as lucky as I am, and need help building their practices. Butttttttt, for you creatives out there, it would be super boring for you (and not at all a good business practice) if I droned on and on about businessy-lawyer stuff like lawyer’s trust accounts.
Soooooo. In February, I’m launching Ruckus: Marketing for Modern Lawyers (RuckusLegal.com) which will provide lawyers with business strategy and practice tips. Basically, it’s an answer to all the “how did you do this? what are you you using for this?” emails I get pretty regularly now.
On the creative side of things, aka, most of you reading this, you can expect a little mini-incubator type offering from me, possibly on an ongoing basis ;)
Spring + Summer
We’ll be preparing the second round of our mid-level incubator (there are three possible levels coming- I’ll reveal more soon), and by then you’ll have had a chance to join the introductory level tier. If you feel like you are at the place where you are JUST about to be profitable, or you have some income but it’s not consistent, this mid-level incubator is going to be the offering for you that takes you to the next level confidently without leaving you exhausted (like a little chick hatching from an egg!). You can join the waitlist by clicking here.
My round 1 incubator’s bonus retreat will be taking place on the Gulf Coast, and we’ll be sure to post our pictures of amazing sunsets, mimosas and breakthroughs on Instagram.
Fall + Winter
Next Fall, we’ll be working with a new group of gals (or guys) in our second mid-level incubator, and gearing up for our biggest offering yet (more details coming this Summer). Our second round bonus retreat will take us somewhere warm, sunny and maybe even foreign...after all, my favorite island is Eleuthera, and I know where all the secret blue holes are.
I know I’m going to kick myself for posting this, but it could be fun to look back on when I do my review of 2017, so here goes:
1. $300,000 in revenue; at least $200k in profits
Super lame and cliche to have my first goal be all about money, and I even felt self-conscious writing this- “are they going to think I’m conceited for sharing this? For making it my number 1 priority this year?” But guess what? There’s a lot that you can do with money.
You can take care of yourself, you can buy yoga classes, you can buy time away from your business to go hiking or travel, you can afford spa days and you can generally earn your way out of stressful things like overwork, overwhelm and debt, as long as you clean up the habits and patterns that got you there in the first place. I know because that’s what earning more has allowed me to do with my business and life.
You can also take care of others. When you make more, and you’re well-fed (proverbially) you’re in a better spot to continue to create and uplift others, whether that’s through philanthropy, giving out scholarship spots or just doing good work for your clients. So yeah, this is my first goal and I’m not apologizing for it.
You may have also noticed my goal is segmented into revenue and profits. It takes a lot of money to run a high-revenue business! Sure, there are people out there that run a business with a lot more margin, but for me, this would be a reasonable, achievable but exciting goal to reach on both sides of the revenue/profit spectrum. (FYI- each of my companies supports a little boy in need of resources, you can read more about that if you click here).
2. Exercise 3x a week.
I promise my whole list isn’t just cliches of New Year’s past. Lately, I’ve fallen out of the habit of exercising, or doing anything nice for myself. I’ve had a lot of litigious legal matters to deal with, which, even though I should be happy because my clients have to pay me more, I’m stressed because I don’t want to run their bills up due to some jerk on the other side of this thing. I get very personally involved with my clients’ legal matters, which I know I shouldn’t, but because I love each and every one of the clients I’ve hand-selected to work with SO much, I can’t help it.
3. Hire at least two of my team members full-time!
If you don’t already know, I have an amazing team behind me that keeps things running even when I’m sick, or tired or just don’t feel like writing my own newsletter. It didn’t always use to be that way- my team is a recent invention of late and yes! I will be revealing how to scale quickly and efficiently (read: not super expensively!) in my incubator offerings (see above). Because teams rock, especially this one, and I want to keep them forever.
4. Host a team retreat.
I came close to being able to do this last fall, but fell short and wasn’t able to provide this for us all in 2016. I’d like a team retreat where we can all meet and bond in person later in 2017 or early 2018 (some of the team members have kiddos so these things must be carefully planned far in advance!). Nevertheless, it would be a dream come true to all gather in person and get to know each other better outside of work since we’re all over the country.
5. Flip a business.
Like all of you, I’m obsessed with Fixer Upper, but I just don’t have the energy or the know-how to flip a house. No JoJo, I am not brave enough to take on a fixer upper. I’m not even patient enough to wait for a flea market to pop up, which is why my house has tons of overpriced stuff from Pottery Barn or that Joe built me (he’s the best!). But seriously, it is a dream of mine this year to buy a business, 10x its revenue, then sell it.
6. Write a personal post monthly on my blog.
Does this one count? Seriously- I LOVE reading others’ personal posts, but stopped writing personally on mine because I’m like, “who would want to read about me?” I honestly started to consider starting a new, separate personal blog to write reviews about yoga classes, restaurants and general ‘lifestyle’ things, then I remembered I already spend my life on the computer, why would I want to do that even more? I’m not ruling it out, and my business isn’t suddenly going to be about anything other than, well, business, but once a month you can expect some sort of personal spin on a post. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it will be a yoga studio review, but maybe I’ll share some BTS stuff.
7. Move to Africa.
Only half-kidding. I’d like to live in the Zedd-A (South Africa) for the maximum amount of time I’m allowed to be there (three months) from December to February 2018, when my seasonal affective disorder gets the worst of me :( I don’t know why I haven’t done this yet- my business allows me to work from anywhere, which I am so grateful for. So, business as usual, with a few zebras in the mix.
8. Streamline my businesses even further, and even remove myself from CS.com (not entirely, don’t worry, I’ll explain…)
I keep waiting for that day I’ll wake up and everything will be as easy, quick and neat to check off as my after-dinner cleanup routine. Ha! That’s never going to happen. But, I do feel the need for me to be as pesky as I once was on a day-to-day basis receding. With a team in place to take over a lot of the work I used to do, it’s much easier to clock out at 6 and come back to business after barre class the next morning. My goal is to remove myself even further so that everything has my touch or approval, and the only thing I’m doing is big idea generation, outlines, videos and 1:1 client work. Hopefully for you that will appear seamless and cohesive, even though I’m not the one pulling all the strings anymore. And, don’t worry, I love to write so you’ll still be getting a good bit of info directly from me.
9. Take Fridays through Sunday totally off.
I got close to this in 2016, but still felt guilty and found myself checking email on rainy Fridays when the weather stunk. I felt like that was a good compromise. But I’d like to have a four-day workweek, for the benefit of my client’s getting the absolute best of me, and for my mental health.
I think there’s something really good about not working- about just giving yourself totally free time. Even if you’re super stressed, give yourself an hour of escape, and go right back to the stress, I don’t know what it is, but I feel like that hour of nothingness is super good for your brain.
10. Do some big giveaways.
This one is kind of vague and lame because I’m seriously lost when it comes to giveaways, challenges and all things promotional. It’s just not my style. But I do want to say thank you to everyone when I hit big numbers! Though my big numbers are probably different than most- I don’t really care about Instagram if I have consistently satisfied clients and high revenue haha.
And in case you’re wondering, my word of the year is BIG. Runners up were ‘move,’ ‘fight,’ and ‘smile.’
11. Consistently show up on the top 100 of iTunes with the Creative Empire podcast.
Thank you all for your overwhelming support and praise of the show. It’s so fun to see it grow, and influence new podcasters as they release their shows. In addition to monetizing the podcast this year, my goal is to get it to the iTunes top 100 consistently, ya know, where Amy Porterfield and John Lee Dumas hang out. Hey, it’s just a goal!
P.S. We’re on Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play Store and more in case you don’t have an iPhone.
I wish I could reveal more but for now, I feel like I’ve just bared my soul and will definitely be having a ‘vulnerability hangover’ as my friend and co-host Reina of Creative Empire calls it!