February is not too late for a ‘year in review’ post, right? 2023 was another big one for me, and different again from the years that preceded it. Time does seem to be accelerating and while I’m still using my historical data to inform decisions, I’m only looking at data from the last 12 months, not data from the last 3 or 5 years, because 2020 onwards has been so volatile.

Get yourself a cuppa and settle in, because this is a long one, combining both business and life (because seriously, these things are seriously intertwined) with as many useful details as possible, so you can get value from what I’ve done (including maybe what NOT to do).

This article includes:

  • What I sold
  • Highlights of 2023
  • Disappointments of 2023
  • My best-performing marketing in 2023
  • What I’m doing differently in 2024
  • Future trends I’m paying attention to
  • What I’m looking forward to in 2024
  • My personal focus in 2024.

What I sold in 2023

I ran Summer Bootcamp accountability program from December 2022 to January 2023, to encourage owners to do bare minimum marketing and business development, over the (Australia) holiday season, when business is typically far slower.

Matera ItalyI ran my full-day online business retreat, Business Reset in February, June, and November.

Our Business Reset in February had great numbers, which also served as a lead-in for the Hustle & Heart program, acting as a free bonus for program participants, as well as a ‘try before you buy’ for paying participants who wanted to check me out before committing to six months of working closely with me inside of the program. I did this again in June.

I launched and ran two cohorts of my flagship Hustle & Heart program, in February and June. February was a much larger group, with about two-thirds coming through my November 2022 promotion (committing early to the program). This made the February launch less stressful because I already had good numbers before the launch had even begun.

The surprise performer was my Lifting the Lid on my Online Launches masterclass in March. It had a high number of checkout views and a higher-than-normal attendance. Not surprisingly, because I shared a huge amount of invaluable real-life data for a normal-sized business (ie: I don’t have a massive email list nor huge social media followings). This left me with a pretty wicked vulnerability hangover.

This was the first live masterclass I’d done for a while (I did a lot of live masterclasses throughout 2021) and, especially at the $97 price, it proved very popular.

I ran the Writing Sales pages (that sell!) course in May, following my Life’s a Pitch! free challenge. Writing Sales pages (that sell!) course is a great course for any owner or copy writer who wants to know how to turn their words into money with excellent, high-converting sales copy, however the numbers were far lower than they should be, especially as it has a waitlist.

I suspect this was because of the incongruence between the price and the value (which, funny enough, is part of what we cover in the course!). So I’ll be changing up the course and increasing the price to better reflect the (significant) value. (Register your interest here.)

And in September, I launched the Leverage Mastermind, with my collaborator Simon Kelly! (See more, below.) 🎉

Highlights of 2023

Hands down the most exciting part of the year was travelling! In September, my family and I had five and a half weeks in Italy and England, to visit my in-laws. We hired a car in Rome and drove south, exploring the region of Puglia (the ‘heel’ of the ‘boot’ of Italy), before flying to London, to hire another car to drive to North Wales, then Essex.

It was in the gorgeous ancient town of Matera that I closed the doors to our Leverage Mastermind, and hosted our first group call with an intimate cohort of owners who are leveraging their time and elevating their expertise through creating and selling out their own flagship group programs.

It felt bloody marvelous to welcome the group, and then wander down the road in beautiful Matera, to celebrate with my partner and daughters over lunch, with prosecco of course. Woo hoo!

I kept a ‘work diary’ in a Google doc throughout my trip, that I shared with clients, to keep me honest. It was encouraging to see how few hours I could work while traveling (some days not at all, or 40 minutes, the biggest days during the mastermind launch, were four hours), while still making sales and service clients.

This really motivated me to be more discerning with my time and hone my focus more on value-generating activities (such as making sales!).

Having a Leverage Mastermind sale come through when flying to Europe was a total buzz, and flying home, from London to Sydney, another invoice was paid. Work was lined up and sales were made while I was enjoying my holiday. Yay for online business!

Malaysia Kuala LumpurI also traveled twice to Malaysia in 2023, to run five courses in total – three courses back-to-back in May and two courses back-to-back in August (I was seated two rows behind the attempted hijacker. I had to really hustle to get myself on the last flight out of Sydney, and was the only passenger that managed to do so, arriving at 5am to start my course at 9am). My partner Pete joined me in May and we had a great three-day holiday (sans kids), exploring the streets of Kuala Lumpur and eating far too much.

I (finally) launched my podcast, Meaningful Work, Remarkable Life, after many years of thinking about it. I had even planned out 100 podcast titles, while in a bubble tent in the rain on holidays! (That was fun, lying in bed listening and watching the rain, and dreaming up ideas on my Google Doc mobile app.)

Highlights of 2023 have also been appreciating that I’ve built my life around my business (not the other way around) and slowing down after a very busy and sometimes (way too) stressful 2020-2022.

My sister was pregnant, then on maternity leave, then had her first baby, the totally chill Louis. She often dropped in for a swim mid-week, which was a great reminder to stop working and enjoy every moment. Now she’s returned to working in the city, no doubt, she’s thinking fondly of lazy days around my pool too …

Disappointments of 2023

Overall, 2023 was slightly less revenue and profit than 2022. This was mostly due to the last quarter of the year, when I was traveling, as well as occupied with our lovely Leverage mastermind cohort, and creating training materials with my collaborator Simon Kelly. That meant less time for other things, such as a short, live course or promotion.

Malaysia gold Buddha

When analysing my year in review, it was clear that I hadn’t timed courses and promotions well enough – with nothing scheduled in October, November or December.

I like to plan my year in quarterly sprints, with quarterly holidays (we had a few mini breaks, over Easter in Sussex Inlet, NSW, and Magnetic Island with friends and family!) I love having a couple of quiet days away by myself in November, which acts as a circuit breaker for the busyness of December. I didn’t organise myself last November, and I felt it. Some quiet time alone, or with a small group of fellow business owners, can make a massive difference to my energy levels, particularly at that time of the year.

I also did far less custom training and keynote speaking in 2023, after a stellar time in 2022, when I was flown to Melbourne twice.

In the last quarter of the year, I relied too much on recurring revenue from payment plans and VIP Strategy sessions which tend to sell really well in the last quarter of the year, as people push forward in getting help for those big projects that haven’t yet happened.

My best-performing marketing in 2023

In 2023, I increased my average mass email send, from fortnightly to weekly. I sent 54 mass emails over 2023 (and many many more, to smaller, targeted segments of my list). I also did something smart which was also really simple (my favourite kind): I had my assistant pull out my best-performing email subject lines and I recycled these.

These two things – more frequent emails and recycling top-performing email subject lines – netted me an average increase in open rates of 12%. That’s a great result, and I’m doubling down on this, to try to increase this further.

Alberobello, ItalyMy click-through rate is lower than I’d like, but that’s the problem with sending longer emails with multiple links – generally, the shorter the email with the fewer links (or just one link), the higher your click-through rate will be.

My top-performing email subject lines for 2023:

  1. {REGISTER} The future of premium group programs
  2. The real reason why you haven’t hit your $$ target yet
  3. Rewiring your brain into BOSS
  4. Divorcing your self-worth from your productivity
  5. 5 most common mistakes when moving from one-to-one to group
  6. Joy & profit
  7. I’m missing you
  8. Every day I have the blues
  9. Who’s afraid of accountability?
  10. Your secret weapon in business

I did a lot of podcast interviews (you can listen to them in this playlist here) and collaborations throughout the year, particularly online summits and bundles. These aren’t new, but continue to outperform other email growth strategies such as (awesome) lead magnets.

I did fewer speaking gigs and training in 2023, so I’ll be focusing on increasing this, as this also typically results in new clients.

I still get a steady stream of quality leads and inquiries through Google, so business blogging (and optimised long form content, such as a podcast or longer videos that sit on your website) remains a great ROI marketing strategy that I’ll be continuing. (I’ve been business blogging continuously since January 2010 and its netted me a lot of business while enabling me to explore my thinking and showcase my ideas).

What I’m doing differently in 2024


My marketing has also become a lot more complicated this past year. For many years, when I taught social media marketing, I was on all the social channels to learn and observe what was working. But I don’t need to be there anymore, especially if it serves little purpose.

Nowadays, Instagram and LinkedIn are my main two channels, with Facebook a close third, particularly Facebook groups (my own and others).

I want to spend more effort on TikTok as it has a far greater reach than Instagram. I regret not taking my own advice and getting onto YouTube more seriously. So, I will be further streamlining, systematising my efforts, and recycling my content as much as possible.

The podcast was just as much work as anticipated, which is why I postponed it for as long as I did. Eventually, a workflow process was ironed out in Asana (this is the tool I use to organise projects) but this is still laborious. I can batch-record episodes in threes (which is the extent of my voice and mental acuity), but things become a lot more complicated with guests.

I’m getting better at showing “the work behind the work”, which was a key goal for 2023. This includes sharing what I’m doing as I’m doing it (rather than sharing the glossy after photos), sharing screenshots of positive clients’ messages, and giving as much useful detail as I can (such as this article) in the hope that it helps others.

In the last quarter of the year, every time I did a short, live, ‘behind the scenes’ of a VIP Strategy session, another one was booked! Easy.


I noticed a lot of sales calls in 2023 were from unqualified leads, which was frustrating, because I have strong boundaries and a clear process that makes it abundantly clear to people that sales calls are sales calls (not a forum for people to think out loud with me).

I want people to be armed with all the necessary information to make a decision, with the sales call being the final cherry on top. I have detailed sales pages (with pricing), plenty of value-paced free resources that people are welcome to. I have videos so that people can get a sense of me and whether or not I’m their cup of tea.

The job of marketing is to do the heavy lifting of sales for you.

More frustratingly, many of the people I had sales calls with hadn’t taken advantage of my lead magnets, despite me prompting them to do so.

Conversely, as always, I’ve made most of my sales from people who I’ve never met, who didn’t book a sales call. People are buying my high-ticket programs and masterminds without sales calls.

This creates a dilemma – I enjoy sales calls with people who are prepared, who are an easy ‘yes’, and who are only really talking to me out of curiosity, having already decided to buy. These are fun, upbeat conversations with like-minded awesome folks that leave both of us feeling amazing about our working together.

I’m undecided as to what to do.


I love training, coaching and facilitation. In 2024, I’m entering my 16th year in business and 11th year in business coaching and training. I’m focusing on owners and leaders who are ready to claim their expertise, elevate their brand, and leverage their time.

I’m also offering mentoring for coaches and marketers, having worked with many in the past, who sought me out because they wanted to redesign their business model, free up their time, and have a confidential sounding board to debrief on complex or tricky client situations.

While I enjoy training, in all its different facets, I love facilitation more – bringing together savvy, ambitious groups of owners and leaders who know they can go far further, far faster, together. We all need more support in business than we’re likely getting, and I love supporting and cheering on owners as they outrun their fears and refine what impactful, meaningful, profitable work looks like.

Future trends I’m paying attention to

In 2023, there was a lot of attention given to AI, and particularly AI marketing, and whether there will still be jobs for marketers. I didn’t weigh in on this conversation online because I didn’t know enough to contribute something new.

It remains that people who resist change and cling to what used to work will be the first to be negatively affected when AI improves. Change is the only constant.

It’s clear that human ingenuity, creativity and that ‘special something’ is still required; businesses that are relying too heavily on AI right now are doing themselves a great disservice by eroding their brand point-of-difference. It’s never been more important to stand out, stand for something, and turn up the volume on your quirks, style, story, and unique approach, whether you’re a personal brand, or not.

As the economy tightens, there will be yet more movement in the small business space: some businesses will close as people spend less; more new businesses will open as the war on talent endures, and ‘return to work’ orders highlight the ineptitude of organisations who still can’t make hybrid work work.

Despite negative economic news, people are buying, but they are being more discerning, taking more time to consider large expenditure, and (in my experience), opting for pay-in-full more than payment plans.

The premium market isn’t affected by economic downturns, making this an excellent time to elevate your expertise, upgrade your branding, and position yourself as the expert in your field. (This is exactly what I help owners to do.)

Life design is trending, as people explore health pursuits such as sobriety, breathwork, anti-ageing foods, and time management trends such as working from home, hybrid work, three- or four-day work weeks and more. When the wider world feels scary and out of control, people look at what they can control, including their homes, lifestyle, families and health.

What I’m looking forward to in 2024

I’ve just launched a second mastermind, Audacious, which is for driven, ambitious business owners who are already earning six figures, and looking for a thought partner to make their next strategic, high-level move. It’s exciting welcoming new owners in, many of whom I’ve worked with in the past, and supporting them over the next six months.

I am collaborating with an overseas business buddy on something exciting. I can’t share anything yet! (Watch this space.)

In March, I’m heading to Hong Kong with my partner for some meetings, leaving the kids at home with my sister. My daughters are now far more independent now, making work-and-pleasure travel with my partner much more possible.

My focus for 2024

My mantra has been ‘How can I make this easier?’ This includes shortcuts, templates and ‘hacks’ (I frequently use my own templates for work, and turn the systems that are working well in my business into client resources). But it also includes how I think about certain things, including timelines.

When I feel into the belief that all my big goals are possible, and it’s only a matter of when, then I free up the timeline for everything to happen today. I can hold onto that feeling of expansiveness and excitement without the grasping dread of feeling like time is running out.

The truth is, we live a big, full life, with lots of travel, plenty of parties and people, and mid-day swims, bushwalks, reading and relaxing. There is absolutely nothing that is ‘wrong’ or in need of changing. And yet (and yet), I am ambitious. I have big goals for creating big impact through the ripple effect of entrepreneurship and business.

I want to be surrounded by similarly ambitious owners and leaders who know they have a wonderful life AND are striving for more. This is the paradox at the heart of Hustle AND Heart (love and money, profit and purpose, gratitude and ambition, etc…).

Thank you (and more please).