Episode 73: Year in review 2017

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My annual review process is very simple – I ask myself “What went well?” and “What didn’t go well?” so that I can reflect on everything and take the lessons I learned into the upcoming year. In today’s episode, I’m sharing my answers to those questions for 2017.


  • How much my business revenue grew WITHOUT any new product launches – and what I spent most of my time doing instead (1:20)
  • My month of working only an hour a day during a major personal milestone (5:45)
  • The biggest productivity win this year (8:52)
  • What I did to help stop expenses from getting out of hand (13:55)
  • A sale and an advertising experiment that both flopped (16:21)
  • Why I’m not going to do live videos regularly (19:31)
  • Disappointing results from an audience survey (21:16)
  • One personal thing that I’d like to improve (23:50)
  • The central theme of 2017 (26:41)


  • Congratulations on the upcoming new addition to your family, Shayna! 🙂 That’s so exciting, and it must feel amazing to know you’ve created such a strong foundation both with your business and your new home base. I appreciated hearing how this year went for you as it enables me to envision where I may be in a few more years! I also learned how productive I am when batching tasks – I love being singularly focused for hours on end. I found your experience with live lessons very interesting too – I noticed that the biggest upside of my own live videos is that YouTube is much more likely to promote these particular videos over time – for better or for worse, the earliest live videos on my channel get the most views! I did a series of 20 “episodes” during the second part of 2017 as well as random live videos, and I’m not sure I’m going to go back to the regularly scheduled live videos either. I felt like it did help people know, like, and trust me, but for the most part I was getting the same people week after week, and they are the same people who attend every live video by everyone in our industry. 😉 My audience as a whole does seem to get excited to show up live when the videos are less predictable and so going forward I’m going to use live video for “workshop style” lessons that I’d like YouTube to push a little more. Once again, thank you for sharing your journey with us and I look forward to hearing what 2018 has in store for you! 🙂

    • Thanks, Kim! Interesting to hear about your experience with live videos. I could see how doing them randomly would help get a different mix of students each time. Have you done Facebook ones at all, or only YouTube?

      • Yes, I started my journey with live videos on Facebook but stopped doing them last January. Because of the Facebook algorithm, I wasn’t getting much reach on those videos and I wasn’t able to build engagement with my audience since they weren’t always notified that I was going live! I also found that Facebook isn’t the best platform for me to reach my target audience. My ideal clients tend to find me through organic search on Google or YouTube. Content marketing has worked best for me so far (along with email marketing). I think it’s a bit of a blessing and a curse that social media sites aren’t really the best way to connect with my ideal client but I’ll continue to experiment!

  • Stephen Leung

    Hey shayna, good to see you back after your podcast break. And congrats on your baby!

    2017 was amazing for me. I only started in 2016, so everything happened last year: creating a flagship online course, selling it successfully via webinar, hitting my first 5-figure month, and just finished automating my webinar. Im looking at another 5-figure month in january, fully automated this time.

    To recount what works, top of the list will definitely have to be webinars. It was profitable and effective even beyond what i had imagined, and practically all my business income now comes from sales made in the webinar, coupled with fb ads for lead gen.

    You know im a fb ads guy … hearing your attempt with fb ads, id be more than happy to help you do an audit of the ads and funnel, to see if i can help you make it profitable, if you are interested!

    Anyways thanks for the episode, wish you a great 2018!

    • Thanks so much for the offer! I’d actually really like to take you up on that – but maybe over the summer once my schedule settles down a little bit 🙂 I just finished recording an episode summarizing what I did and what resulted, it’ll be published 1/31 – so I’d love to get your initial thoughts on it. Then maybe we can talk a little more a few months down the road when I’m ready to revisit FB ads.

      Congrats on your 2017 success! Automated income is the best! So glad you were able to create a solid funnel. Question – when you sell on the webinar, do you have any sort of special offer or expiring discount or whatever to help motivate sales? Or is it strictly a strong and effective pitch without any extra incentives?

      • Stephen Leung

        Hi Shayna, yes no problem at all! I will listen to your next episode first, maybe give you some thoughts over in the comments, then down the road we can have a chat when things slow down for you 🙂

        Regarding my webinar, yes I do have a ‘fast-action-bonus’ that is only available for 48 hours (but for tech ease and sanity sake, it’s actually 11:59pm of 2 days after).

        I’d say from experience, that helps move sales quite a bit, because about 30-40% of people buy sometime between the webinar is over and the expiring bonus. And majority of those are on the last day (with quite a few around 10 or 11pm LOL)

        P.S. I actually hit 5-figures in my first week of January, all automated, wohoo! It seems like it slowed down the last couple days, not sure if new year resolution is helping me move sales haha.

  • Daria Molchanova

    Great episode, thank you so much! And I was happy to hear about your baby:) Congratulations!

    • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the episode. I love reflecting on the year. This upcoming year should definitely be an interesting one 🙂