Business Highlights and Lessons for 2011

As a small business owner, I like to spend some time at the end of each year reflecting on my key lessons and learnings for the year.  I then use this information to feed into my planning for the next year.

If you prefer to watch & listen, rather than read, then you can watch the video.

Here’s a summary of my 2011 business highlights and lessons which have general lessons for all small businesses.


  1. I made my radio debut early in the year with a slot on a community radio show.  I ran a 4 Week Kickstart Challenge with listeners.    I was scared when I was first asked to do it but I did it anyway and it was fun!
  2. I gave a presentation on Social Media at the Australian Image Consultants Association.  It was confidence building to share my knowledge with others and see how excited they were to apply it to their own business.
  3. I created new online coaching programs for my personal development business – Transforme.  This is a form of income that does not depend on me trading hours – I won’t say it’s passive because it took work to develop and I will need to keep it refreshed.
  4. I wrote and published my first eBook – How to Start a Business.  I now have a valuable product I can offer my subscribers.
  5. I launched a new business – The Kickstart Business and developed three Done For You online marketing packages – Shoestring, Savvy, Showstopper – to help you grow your business online faster.
  6. I attended a fantastic 3 day internet marketing event  – Fast Web Formula 3 – and even managed to be one of 10 finalists in a video challenge from over 200 people! Pretty good considering I didn’t even know how to make a video a year ago!
  7. I joined a supportive and inspiring networking group – The Table of Fabulousness – whose members are all small business owners.  We meet monthly for a working Home Boardroom Lunch over the kitchen table!  Having a trusted network is invaluable!


2011 also provided some hard-earned lessons for me.

  1. As a small business owner, it’s impossible to do everything.  Focus and simplicity is the key.  Chasing the next bright shiny object is not.  To minimise temptation, I’ve unsubscribed from all but a few of my most valued lists.
  2. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to build an online business.  The key to doing business online, is getting offline and talking to people IRL (in real life).
  3. At some point, you need to stop learning and start implementing.  If you don’t build it and ship it, you won’t earn a single dollar.
  4. Health, family and friends are super important.  You never know how long you have.  Live a full life and die empty.  In loving memory of Carolyn McCormac.
  5. It’s not possible to run a business on passion alone.  Just because you’re “passionate” about something doesn’t mean there is a market for it.  Once you know there is a market for your product or service with paying customers, then of course it helps a lot to be passionate about your business 🙂
  6. Fail forward.  That was a new term I learned at the internet marketing event from Ed O’Keefe.  As a high-achiever and perfectionist, I hate to fail.  I’m learning that failing helps us move forward when we learn the lessons and do things differently next time.  The world doesn’t come crashing down either!
  7. The internet and social media are constantly changing and it can be hard to keep up.  Make use experts to keep up to date but most importantly, provide products and services that help people solve problems and share quality content using multiple channels.

All in all, 2011 has been a year of growth and learning.  I’ve met some amazing new people, tapped into great networks and am ready to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small-medium business owners to grow profitably through online strategies. Thank you for being part of my community and especially to everyone who took the time to comment on my blog posts throughout the year.  You make it all worthwhile.  I hope you find some time to reflect, rest and enjoy time with loved ones over the holidays. One final request from me.  I’d love to hear your highlights and/or lessons for 2011.  Please leave a comment or if you’d prefer to keep it private, drop me an email.

Get a jump on your competition by discovering online and social media trends for 2012 and develop your own online business growth plan.  Join me for my complimentary online presentation “Online and Social Media Trends for 2012” which I’ll be running on Friday 13th January, 2012.  Here’s the registration link.  Please share with anyone else you think would like to join in.

7 Responses to Business Highlights and Lessons for 2011

  1. Linda ~ Journey Jottings December 21, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    What an outstanding range of highlights, lessons and more impressively – your achievements Suellen 🙂

    Love the way you guide by way of example 🙂
    Its such a satisfying exercise to reflect on where the year has taken us –

    At the end of each month, I stop and record ‘a’ highlight on one of my Map Journals, so at year’s end I can see the previous 12 months simply summarized on a single sheet –
    Prior to starting this I’d get to year’s end and feel I’d been busy… but on what? Events being inadvertently swept under the carpet with the distance of time.

    Love your summary video –

    All the best for the festive season
    Looking forward to what 2012 may bring ~

    • Suellen Hughes December 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

      Hi Linda,

      Thank you!

      I love your monthly highlights and your annual maps. They are such a lovely visual reminder.

      Looking forward to following your journey jottings in 2012. Thanks for your support.

  2. Bridie Jenner December 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Well done Suellen!

    Your post is a great inspiration for any small business owner who has items on their “to do” list – just go for it!

    Have a great Christmas and a wonderful 2012.


    • Suellen Hughes December 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

      Thanks Bridie. I’m going for it! Sounds like you are too – well done.

      Hope you manage a break over the Christmas period.

      Enjoying your business tips.

      All the best for 2012!

  3. Jay December 28, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    Hi Suellen,

    Looks like you had a great year! I will always remember 2011 for making my very first online money 🙂

    I love the term “fail forwards”, I should be way up front then!

    Have a great 2012!

  4. Shahid February 22, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Hi Suellen,

    It seems you have some good practice and experience in your Business. Just love the social media point and really it is so effective and important in business.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. Sonny May 3, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    I’ve learned to write things down as soon as possible when I get an idea. Trying to remember too many things at once stresses me out.

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