This episode of The Empowered Business podcast is going to be a little different. I am delivering some news that is sad, but also a little happy in some ways.
This podcast is going to be put on a temporary hiatus.
The story behind why is a little convoluted and outside of my personality. This doesn’t mean it won’t be back, it just means that I need to take a short break from it. There are a lot of reasons why and I want to be completely transparent with you about this decision.
There have been so many changes in my life and business in the last year, and I need to take some time to regroup and figure out how I want to move forward from here. I usually use a script for my episodes but I am speaking from the heart on this one.
Just because I am stepping away from the podcast, for now, doesn’t mean I am stepping away from The Empowered Business. In fact, we have some pretty cool stuff coming up for you all in the very near future! I will still be supporting you all as you start your digital product journey in any way that I can.
I know this is a lot and it is probably pretty unexpected. I recorded this on a whim because this is what felt right for me and my business. If there’s any message I want to leave you with after this episode, it is that this isn’t goodbye. It’s more of a “see you later.” We will be back for the next season in a few months!
I have a lot of plans to do some searching and learning so that I can come back and serve you better than ever. I’d love to hear what you have to say about this and what you think. You can send me a DM on Instagram here.
You can also get on our email list so that you can continue to get updates on what’s going on in my business, the new programs, and the ways I will be supporting you.
See you soon!
Head over to http://monicafroese.com/listen to listen to this episode and previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform!
Monica Froese 00:04
You’re listening to the Empowered business podcast. I’m your host, Monica Froese, a mom of two and your secret weapon to creating a six figure digital product business. I’m on a mission to help 1000 Women make $100,000 a year. That’s right $100 million towards financial independence for women. As an online business expert, I am teaching you everything I know, right here week after week. So you can join us on the journey to $100 million dollars. Sound good, then let’s jump in. Welcome back to another episode of the Empowered business podcast. This episode is going to be very different than any other episode that I have done on the podcast, mainly because I am going to give you some news that is sad, but also happy in some ways. And that is that this podcast will be going on an indefinite hiatus. And actually, the story behind why is sort of convoluted, sort of not sort of outside of my personality, which makes it kind of interesting. So let me also say, I usually have notes when I record solo episodes for you. And I really don’t have notes this time, which is very, very odd for me. So I hope you’ll stick through what I have to say, and appreciate the fact that I’m really just speaking from my heart. So I’m recording this about 10 days before it goes live. And I woke up this morning and decided to put the podcast on an indefinite hiatus. It doesn’t mean we won’t be back. In fact, I very much anticipate that this podcast will come back. But I need to take a break from it. And there are a lot of reasons I feel like I need to take a break from it. But in the spirit of being completely transparent, I will tell you that we are in the last day of what should be our biggest launch of the year. And it is not going to be our biggest launch of the year. In fact, I am recording this on the last day of January 2022. So I have a pretty good feeling of where our numbers will finish this month. And this month is January 2022 is lower than January 2019, January 2020. And January 2021. And the thing is, is that I’ve actually seen the writing on the wall for quite some time that something had to change. And the issue I’m having right now, because I’m going to be completely honest and transparent with you is I can’t quite put my finger on what it is just yet. I completely think that the online industry online business, especially if you’re in the b2b space, which I am when it comes to the Empowered business brand. It has changed significantly during these pandemic times. But I feel like it has changed in ways that I haven’t quite identified how I want to fit into it yet. Or if I just want to go back to my redefining mom side of the business and concentrate on b2c stuff. I don’t know I don’t have that answer for you. Right now. I do know that there are a lot of things that I still want to do under the Empowered business brand. And I don’t want to just walk away from it. So I am not putting this podcast on hiatus because I want to walk away from the brand. I think that there’s so much power and what we’re doing, especially when it comes to helping women reach financial independence. I am so passionate about that. And I’m not going to walk away from that. But I do need to take a little bit of a break to figure out exactly how we can do that in the best way possible. So let me tell you just a few things that come to mind about 2021 Because this was going to be my my recap episode, I was going to have a very structured outline about what I wanted to talk to you about in 2020. What went well, what didn’t go well what our numbers look like what we spent money on, you know, if you go back to episode three, four and five, that’s basically what I did, starting with our first full year in business in 2016 all the way through the end of 2020. I was going to do that but I just I couldn’t bring myself to do it to be honest, because I think I’m just still processing everything that is going on in the industry. So but things I can point to I am not a sky is falling person at all. And even though I’m it might, it might seem like Whoa, she’s making a dramatic shift here, I’m really not because I actually have extreme optimism in my ability to make on money online, your ability to make money online, I think that the online education industry, which is basically what I’m in, you know, producing programs and courses to teach you a skill, that’s not going anywhere, that’s still growing. But the way we mark it might be changing. And the way we talk to people might be changing, when I say might, I think it’s pretty much definite. So let me just explain some things that I saw happen. So I am the person who has always been annoyed when little things would happen. Not little things, but you know, changes would happen to Facebook ads, or new law would come out and everyone would say, the sky is falling, I am not that person, I take a very not laid back approach to business, but a very, like, even keel approach to business. And I think that comes from my corporate experience. However, when iOS 14 came out, and Apple and Facebook got in a little bit of a tiff with each other over our data privacy, iOS 14 did significantly impact Facebook ads and their effectiveness. And that just is what it is, it had a significant impact on my business. And here’s what I know, I have spent six years building a community in audience and that means I have a decent sized warm audience, people who know like, and trust me and are familiar with me. And because of that, I have been able to keep the business functioning, rather stable. However, there will come a point where if you’re not bringing in new leads consistently, it will catch up to you. And, you know, one could say that it caught up to me in this launch that I’m about to close out right now. I actually don’t think that’s totally the truth, though, I actually think I still have a very strong community and warm audience, and likely you are in that community by listening to this. Now, that actually relates, though, to this podcast, because this podcast is listened to mainly by people who already know like, and trust me. And that’s great. And I want to keep putting out content for you as well. The flip side is that the podcast really needs to attract people who don’t know me as well, for it to make sense for the amount of money time, we have basically the amount of money and time that’s that we put into it. I mean, it’s not only that I have a podcast manager that I pay, but it takes up a significant amount of my time, and the scheduling and booking and all that and it also takes up my team’s time, because then we have to go out and promote it on social media and, and it’s actually a pretty big process. And right now, I can’t say that it’s giving us the leads that I needed to give us for it to be worth us continuing at this point. So really, everything kind of comes down to the big question right now of lead generation, and where is the best place to get leads consistently, it needs to be consistent. I am very fortunate that I do have a decent sized community. And I am I feel so so lucky every day that that’s the case for me. But I want to I need to step back and figure out what’s next. And that’s why I decided to put the podcast on hiatus. So I told you about Facebook ads, there have been some changes with Apple, also with iOS 15, creating some changes with email marketing, though I don’t think that that has impacted my business as much as Facebook ads have. Now, on top of that, it’s not just you know, Facebook ads are changing or email marketing we need to adapt to there’s something bigger going on. And this is the thing that’s really, I still feel like I can’t put my my finger on it quite but the way that we want to consume content, because of what the world has been through for the last two years, and the messaging, our marketing messaging has changed, it has to change, because people have changed. And I hope when I come back with the podcast, that I can tell you the full conclusions I came to and what I did to adapt to it. Because that’s the goal here, right? I’m going to take some time to sit back and evaluate what I want to do. And then hopefully, you know, I come back and I can say hey, these are my learning lessons. I’m sort of in the midst of still going through their learning lessons right now. And so it’s actually kind of hard to record this because I I’m still learning. But what I do know is that what resonated with people before doesn’t necessarily resonate any more. And one of the biggest ways, I feel like this has changed. Someone gave me the example of a mom. And this is very applicable to my redefining mom days, when I launched redefining mom, it was really born out of this need to have more time with my children, because when I was in corporate, I didn’t get to see my child as much as I wanted to see her. And I really wanted the flexibility to work on my own time, be my own boss, and not have someone tell me what I can and cannot see my kid. And that’s really where it was born out of. And now we’re in such a different world, that if you think about it, a lot of parents are not begging for more time with their kids. In fact, they are overwhelmed with the amount of time they have with their kids, because it’s preventing them from earning a paycheck and making a living because I know someone who she is a therapist, and basically, she doesn’t have any time off left. And it’s only January, she doesn’t have any time off left for the rest of the year, because her kids keep getting called out of school due to exposure, and quarantine. And it’s just, she’s completely overwhelmed. And that’s the thing, how you market it before the pandemic, how you talk to who your target market is likely has changed since the pandemic, the issues are different. And that is something to sit back and take some time to evaluate as well. The other thing I think really shifted because of the pandemic and the fact that we have been doing less is the way we consume content. And I think this was a change that was probably imminent anyways, but it really got accelerated by the pandemic, and I’m going to use Oh, the example of tick tock which I will say I was a tick tock naysayer for a very long time, I wanted nothing to do with it. I didn’t want to consume content on it. But tic tock has changed the way we are consuming content. We want our content to be fresh all the time. That means content creators are in this predicament of constantly needing to come up with new and engaging content. We want to be short into the point. And somewhere I heard that Tik Tok is basically taking over as the number one music streaming. And I don’t really know if that means like, existing music, I don’t think I think it’s the number one platform that new music has been discovered, essentially. And I will say that it’s totally true because I got roped into Tik Tok now, and I don’t create content on there. But I do consume content on there. And I strongly feel it is changing. It’s going to change the way we consume content, as online course creators as well. People don’t have the intention, attention span to sit there for an hour and watch a video that we record. People want quick, quick information. And the other thing is, I think that there’s a lot of changes happening in the course industry, or just in general how we create online programs, because people really don’t want to do so at their computer and needs to be on the go. And I know like my course platform Thinkific doesn’t even have a mobile app, you know, you can pull up a mobile browser, but it’s Is that really a way for my people want to consume content. And so it’s really, my mind is just very unsure of how I want to proceed to teach the things I want to teach. I know I’m always going to create online programs and courses. But what that looks like, I think is changing. And I just need the space to go figure that out. And I think that’s okay. The other thing is, and I wasn’t even gonna say this today is we’re going to experiment with some different ways of getting our audience results. So we’re about to launch a series of four hands on workshops. So one of the things we’ve heard is that from our students and our community is that everything just feels so hard nowadays, everything feels so tough, people are burned out, and they just want to feel accomplished and like they gotta win. And so we’re gonna do these series of four workshops, where it’s not just us teaching or giving you information. Instead, we’re actually going to work in tandem with you to accomplish something. So for example, one of the biggest questions that we’ve gotten asked over the years is how we create our spreadsheets and sell them as digital products. I do really well selling spreadsheets. My very first digital product was the family budget spreadsheet, and that’s made over $300,000 and I barely, we don’t really promote it at all it just works in the background. We have a CEO planning spreadsheet, like we just have so many spreadsheets that we sell. And people are always asking us how they can create spreadsheets to sell as well. So we’re going to do a workshop on how to do that, but you’re not going to just hear us tell you how to do it, you’re actually going going to do it with us, we’re going to give you the templates to do it, we’re going to show you how you package it, people just want wins right now. And I am to the point where that’s how I want to pivot my teaching, I want to give you quick and easy wins, and at a very affordable price. So if that doesn’t interest you, I will tell you get on our email list, you could do that just by going to Monica rose.com. There’s plenty of ways to opt in to our email list there, and you’ll get an email about it, when we launch it, it’s going to be super affordable, these workshops are going to be super, super, super affordable. Now you might be thinking, Okay, since she really doesn’t want to go into how 2021 performed, it must have been bad. Actually, that’s not true. I know, that’s like the shocking part of this whole episode. It’s kind of like the mic drop, like, I just made things sound like they’re bad, but they’re really not. This is just part of me processing. So I tend to come off a little bit pessimistic while I’m still processing what is going on, when in reality, it’s really not that bad. The good news is, is that once I make up my mind about how I want to proceed, I promise you’ll be the first to know because we will revive the podcast and it will. It will serve the purpose it needs to serve. But let me tell you a little bit about 2021. We were up 22%. Year over year. Yeah, I know. It kind of sounded like wow, her business jumped off a cliff. But no, it didn’t. It was up 22% year over year in revenue, our profit margin jumped 10% year over year. So again, we did make more money. And there was more money left over in the business at the end of the day. And so it’s not as bad as it sounds, but I will tell you it was definitely off from Target. And I will say it’s still we did not make the money with the sort of ease that I would like to make the money. And I don’t mean ease that I think it should be easy because I actually do think anything worthwhile is not very easy. I think it takes a lot of work, and a lot of grit. But there’s still just something missing. And I’m not sure what that is. But I do have big goals, my big goals are still very much there. And I feel like making the decision to shut some things down, take some time to think about what’s next is going to mean that we’re going to go through a really big positive evolution as part of our business. On a personal note, I will say that I did have a quite a year personally that I haven’t totally talked about publicly. Some of you may have followed me on the redefining my Instagram account for quite some time. That’s really where I showed up as myself on social media, it was across between my life and the business, I was basically like treating it like a lifestyle account. And a few months ago, I would say maybe in early November, maybe late October, I made the conscious decision to stop posting on my brand accounts in a lifestyle way, I should say we still use the Monica froze Instagram account for business stuff, but I just felt like I needed a break. And I needed a way to separate my business life from my personal life. Because I was going through a lot and I would say I’m still going through a lot and then maybe at some point I’ll share all of that. But one of the things I will tell you is I made a significant change to my health in 2021 which resulted in losing 70 pounds, which is quite significant. And I’m very happy about that. And I think that process has also lent itself to why I feel this need to pause and regroup and come back even stronger. And I think that the message I want to leave you with is first of all this is not goodbye. This is more of a See you later. And also so that I can come back and serve you in the best way possible. And I hope that makes sense because I really recorded this a little bit on a whim which I tend to think always makes for the best content that I create. I want to hear what you have to think about what do you have to say about this? What do you think about this? You know I’m I’m all ears I’m not going anywhere. You know get on our email list. Like I said go to Monica froese.com. We are going to be emailing every week still we are going to be putting out new programs we’re going to we are still going to be around Round. We’re just taking a pause on the podcast. But if you want to talk to me directly, I answer my DMs on Instagram. So that’s at Monica.froese, go ahead and send me a DM, I would love to know what you’re thinking about this episode about where things are headed in 2022. And I do think when I do relaunch, what you’ll find is I’ll come back with what I think has changed, and what I’m going to do about it. And I’ll be excited for that episode, and you probably will be too. All right. My kids are about to come home from school. So on that note, I’m going to go, oh, they literally just pulled it and look at that timing of me recording this for you. Alright, I’m going to go hang out with my kids. And please, please, please stick around because we’ll be back. And it will be. It’ll be awesome when we get back. But until then, I’ll see you later. It’s been about 24 hours since I recorded the episode you just listened to and there is some additional information I feel like I should share. So I recorded that episode. Most definitely. In a somewhat emotional state, which is rare for me. I don’t believe in making business decisions in an emotional state at all. And I’ve actually talked about this before, when I’ve done laundry caps, that making emotional decisions during a launch without data is not a good idea. And I woke up this morning and thought, did I just do that again? Because I did say we were in the last day of our launch when I record it. Today’s episode? Well, I will say this, as it turns out, January did not end as our lowest January in four years, we did end up rounding out the launch a little bit higher than I expected when I recorded yesterday’s episode, which of course is great news. I took some time this morning to reflect on if I made the right decision about pausing the podcast. And I think the decision still stands because I know that there are some decisions that I have to make about where I want the business to go. And it’s important for me to have that freedom and brain space to do that. Also, I tend to operate really good under pressure. And so just 24 hours later, I am pretty confident I know what we’re going to be doing to not make a huge pivot, but a pivot enough that I think things will click into place a little bit better. And I’m really excited to share that with you when we announce it. And it really won’t be that far off from right now. So my plan at this point is to pause this podcast for probably three months. So we could almost look at the first 56 episodes is season one, which I know a lot of other podcasts do. I’m really excited for what’s to come. And even though the January launch did not go how I wanted it to. You know, I’m a firm believer that there are always lessons to be learned in every, quote, failure that we feel, I’m sure I’ll have an episode that goes deeper into a total recap on 2021. And I’m sure I’ll also do a January launch recap when I’m a little bit further out from it. But in the meantime, I would love to invite you to join our monthly membership called the Empowered business society. It’s $29 a month, there’s no long term commitment. And it’s really the place that I spend the majority of my time. And also we have a private podcast called The Monica memo that we put out every month. So if you still want to get my insights, and listen to me on a podcast, I’m still podcasting even though I’m going on a short break from this podcast. So we’d love to have you inside of the Empowered business society. And we’ll leave the link to find us there in the show notes. It’s empowered business.co forward slash society. So I hope to see you inside of there. And also, please keep this podcast in your podcast players because I promise we will be back and when we’re back we’ll be better than ever. I hope you enjoy today’s episode of the Empowered business podcast. Be sure to follow the show and leave a rating and review. I read each one and I love hearing from you. As always, you can find all the links and information mentioned in this episode at Monicafroese.com forward slash podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in.