2022 Year In Review: Money Anxiety and a Mindtrash Makeover Part 1

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In this image, Shannon Mattern is discussing the financial anxiety of the year 2022 and how to makeover one's mindset to become a profitable web designer. Full Text: profitable web designer EPISODE 24 2022 Year In Review: Money Anxiety and a Mindtrash Makeover Part 1 with Shannon Mattern

This week we’re diving into Part 1 of my 2022 Year in Review and all things mindset and numbers!

In this episode I’m breaking down:

  • What caused me to start accumulating mindtrash and how I ignored all the signs.
  • My exact revenue numbers from 2021 to 2022.
  • The choices I made to empower myself and simultaneously overwork myself this year.
  • How I FINALLY realized I was meant to go all in on the Web Designer Academy.

Key lessons I’m taking away from 2022:

  • It’s not just about financial and time freedom; fulfillment is equally as important, and the key to success is mindset – mine, as much as that of my students.
  • Sit with your numbers and listen to what they’re telling you. You’ll learn SO much about your business when you look at where you made your money vs where you spent your time.
  • Notice how you handle anxiety. If you’re like me, it leads to overworking on things that don’t even generate much, if any, revenue, which creates more anxiety, and the vicious cycle continues.

Episode Transcript

Shannon Mattern: Welcome to the Profitable Web Designer, a podcast for web designers who want to work less and make more money. I'm your host Shannon Mattern, founder of the Web Designer Academy, where we've helped hundreds of web designers stop under charging, overworking and create profitable sustainable web design businesses.

Shannon Mattern: Welcome back to the Profitable Web Designer Podcast. And today's episode is part one of a two-part series that is my 2022 year in review. So I intended for this to be a single episode, but I guess I had way more to say and process about 2022 than I originally thought I did. So this episode, episode 24 is part one and I'm gonna talk about my mindset in 2022, all the lessons I unintentionally learned, that I didn't even know that I needed to learn, and the results that my thinking created for me for better or for worse. And in episode 25, I'm gonna talk about decisions I'm making in my business in 2023 as a result of what I learned and what happened in 2022. So let's dive in. Inside the Web Designer Academy, one of the most important things we focus on outside of strategy is mindset.

Shannon Mattern: I mean, mindset is truly the most important component of our program because your thinking determines your actions, determines your results. And so we have our program content which teaches the strategy behind how to package price, position, market and sell your web design services so that you can make more money without working more and how to run projects efficiently and how to set and hold boundaries with clients. But it's your thoughts about those strategies before learning them, while learning them or after learning them that when you go to implement them will determine whether or not you create the result that you want in the timeframe that you want and all of that. And so what I realized about myself at the end of 2022 is that I was running my business while stacking up a giant pile of what my friend Jasmine Haley calls mind trash that I did not even know I was piling up.

Shannon Mattern: And why didn't I realize that I had a giant heap of mind trash piling up? Well, for two reasons. One, I wasn't really getting any mindset coaching in 2022, so I wasn't putting myself in the right situations for other people to see or hear my mind trash and reflect it back to me. And two, I stopped writing my monthly income reports. So on my old podcast, pep Talks for side hustlers, which was not exclusively for web designers like this one, is I used to do a monthly income report where I'd break down how much money my business made that month, how much it spent, and all the lessons I learned during that month. And at the end of 2021, I made the decision to retire that podcast and go all in on the Web Designer Academy. And what I did not realize is how important that time that I took every single month to reflect on what happened that month and what I needed to learn from what had happened, not only to identify any mind trash that I had and coach myself on it, but also to help me really get clear on like what I might need help with from my own coaches.

Shannon Mattern: And a lot of times I would write those income reports and I'd be like, oh my gosh, I realize I'm thinking this or doing this or, and I'd take that to my coach and we'd work through it. I didn't do that in 2022. And then combine that with the fact that the coaching program that I was in last year was super focused on strategy and didn't really have a mindset component per se. I was basically just implementing strategy with my head down , like the good a plus student that I am, and really just bulldozing my way through any fear or anxiety or discomfort or overwhelm or confusion or misalignment that came up along the way. I didn't examine any of it and I was basically just spraying air freshener on a giant pile of mind trash and getting back to work . And so what is really sneaky about people like me who overwork to solve anxiety, the external results it produces looks great from the outside looking in, right?

Shannon Mattern: It looks fine. It looks like, oh, you have a really successful business. And not that I don't have a successful business, it's just how I create that success does not come from a healthy place sometimes. So I'm gonna share some revenue me numbers with you in this podcast. And the reason I'm sharing these numbers with you is because the numbers always tell a story. Always they show me what I was thinking, which caused me to either take some action or no action and one of the results is my numbers. And I missed out big time in 2022 on illuminating my thinking and catching my mind trash through analyzing my numbers by not doing those monthly income reports. But honestly, I stopped doing them because I simply didn't think they would be relevant to you. The listeners of this podcast to web designers, because our business models are vastly different, I now sell a $10,000 business coaching program for web designers in a one to many model.

Shannon Mattern: And you guys hopefully sell high ticket design services, one to one, hopefully high ticket, right? We don't want you undercharging and over-delivering and overworking. And the reason I used to share my numbers publicly was just to let any online business owner understand the behind the scenes of what it looks like to run a business online and make money. So from back in 2018 when I just quit my day job , my revenue was a blend of one-on-one web design clients affiliate marketing through teaching new business owners how to DIY their websites and trying like crazy. They've come the next Amy Porterfield and make my millions by selling online marketing and sales strategy courses to anyone in the online business space. I was just saying like, Hey, here's what my business looked like. Here's how much money we made. Here's what we spent on, here's all the lessons I learned along the way.

Shannon Mattern: So if you own any kind of online business, it was really relevant to you for me to break that down. And so the funny thing is, my plan was always to be like the next debut Porterfield. My plan was never to become a business coach for web designers, which is what I am now. The Web Designer Academy happened so organically, so naturally and so easily that my brainwashed brain, I brainwashed myself by the way, my brainwashed brain never even considered it to be the way I'd reached my goal of freedom, flexibility, financial independence and fulfillment. And it's so funny up until literally just now when I wrote what I was writing this income report, when I wrote that sentence up until literally just this moment, I only included three of those four F's in the things that I wanted. I'd always say freedom, flexibility, and financial independence.

Shannon Mattern: I'm doing this to create freedom, flexibility, and financial independence. That fourth f fulfillment wasn't even part of the equation wasn't even on my radar. I just figured, oh, I'll be fulfilled when I have freedom, flexibility, and financial independence, right? But it literally just popped into my brain as I was writing this income report is that that fourth F was always fulfilled by the Web Designer Academy. It was always extremely fulfilling. It was so fulfilling, it didn't even feel like work. And so I have always loved helping other web designers overcome the same challenges I've solved in my own business. It was easy for me to do because I went through a hard time solving those problems and it was so easy for me to be like, oh yeah, that's happened to me. Let me help you with that. I love seeing other web designers go from thinking what they did wasn't worth that much to understanding that it is priceless.

Shannon Mattern: I love seeing them put themselves out there and book dream clients and go from feeling like a total imposter to a total badass. I love seeing them completely shift the dynamic of their relationships with their clients so that they are in control of their time and money. And I had to go through that myself in my business and it was a joy to help other people do it. It's still a joy to help other people do it, but because I had my blinders on, because I wasn't considering fulfillment as part of the equation that I could be fulfilled now while working on freedom, flexibility, and financial independence, I kept putting all of my energy and my focus and my time into growing that Amy Porterfield online marketing, online sales, let me teach everybody else how to be an online marketer side of my business.

Shannon Mattern: And please don't get me wrong, I felt so much fulfillment teaching people how to do something that they never believed was possible for them through building their own website for their business and watch them change their beliefs about what they were capable of and see that permeate throughout their entire business and lives and how that had a ripple effect. And the just the incredible businesses that some of the people who took my free five day website challenge went on to create like super successful multimillion dollar businesses because they took my free web design training. It was super fulfilling, but I didn't get to spend my time there, right? I was spending my time on that side of my business constantly trying to create new content, build my list, launch content, list, build, launch, automate as much as possible so you can scale. Because when you're selling a product at such a low price point as I was for that newbie, beginner, DIY business owner, I needed a constant stream of thousands and thousands of new people on my list to create the hundreds of customers I needed to replace my day job income and pay my taxes and pay my expenses and be able to hire some help so that I didn't have to work 24 7 and maybe possibly, hopefully someday make enough money to replace my husband's salary too.

Shannon Mattern: That was my goal. And in order to reach that goal at the price I was selling things for on that side of my business, I literally needed thousands of customers and all of that hustle to sell low ticket courses and digital products came from a belief that people couldn't afford to pay more. And therefore I quote unquote had to keep the price quote unquote affordable and make up for that in volume. And so where I spent the majority of my time was marketing and sales to create that volume. And here's where kind of circling back to the numbers thing, here's where looking at the numbers really comes into play because when I look back at where I was spending my time versus where my money was actually coming in, there was a massive disconnect. So let's dive into some of these numbers. So I started my business about halfway through 2014 doing freelance web design work on the side.

Shannon Mattern: And from 2014 to the end of 2022, that's seven and a half years, my business has generated a total of 1.5 million in the past seven and a half years. And about a million of that has come in the past two years . And about 993,000 of that 1.5 million is revenue that has come directly from the Web Designer Academy. And that started back in 2016 when it was called wait for it group coaching program that cost $600 without really even having a curriculum to now being a $10,000 high touch group coaching program with a strategic curriculum and strategies and processes and templates and community and live strategy calls and co-working like there's just so many facets and components to this program. But let me say that again, my business has made a total of 1.5 million and almost a million of that has come from one program between the years of 2016 and 2022 and up until 2020 when I really went all in on making that Web Designer Academy the transformational experience that it is for our students and really decided to put all of my effort and focus and everything I learned into that program, that program was an afterthought for me.

Shannon Mattern: Web design business coaching was this other thing. I did overhear on the side for whoever had a blast with the free five day website challenge and wanted help becoming a web designer. That's what it was for in the beginning. And then it started just spreading from word of mouth. And I'd get Squarespace designers and Shopify people and Webflow people, and I'd be like, sure, like our problems are all the same. It's not just WordPress. And it just organically grew and people wanted to join and they would ask me, when is it opening again? And all of this stuff. And it's fascinating to me that because all I wanted was freedom, flexibility, and financial independence. And I thought that when I made a certain amount of money I would have that I hustled so hard to try to make that other 500,000 from one-on-one clients, a few grand in affiliate commissions a month and trying so hard, so hard to sell low priced online marketing courses at scale to create the kind of revenue that I wanted to create.

Shannon Mattern: And I was completely bought in on the myth that is passive income, right? That you can build a digital product and it would make money on a, on its own without any effort. That is not how that works at all. There is so much effort involved in marketing that, in supporting it and selling it, it's just as there, there's no such thing as like making a digital product and having it sell itself online without any effort from you. It just doesn't exist. But I didn't know that, right? I was like, oh, someday I will. Like this won't be any work someday it'll make so much money that I won't have to like work this hard for it if I had just snuck that fourth f in there, that fulfillment. I honestly wonder where I'd be today if I had paid the slightest bit of attention to how fun it was to do sales webinars for the Web Designer Academy, how easy it was, how amazing I felt before, during, and after calls with Web Designer Academy students and went all in on that years ago, what would that all time revenue number look like today?

Shannon Mattern: And not that I'm ignoring the fact that I created one and a half million dollars with nothing but my brain and my laptop and the internet. It's undeniable proof that I will never run out of money because I can always create more with my brain. But one of the lessons that is really sinking in for me right now as I'm writing this urine review is that looking at your numbers is not all about the numbers. It's about what the numbers are trying to tell you if you sit with them long enough and you notice your thoughts about them. So in looking at my numbers without all the old judgment I used to have rolling around in my brain of I don't deserve this. I'm taking money from people, I should be farther along or it's not enough, or someday I'll make enough to feel peace and calm, like in looking at my numbers without all of that old judgment, here is the breakdown.

Shannon Mattern: In 2021, we made $499,500 and 55 cents . And the Web Designer Academy was responsible for $324,768 of that where 65% of our revenue in 2021 came from the Web Designer Academy. The remaining 35% came from the side hustle to self-employed summit. We ran affiliate commissions from the free five day website challenge our site and a SNAP templates that we were upselling in the free five day website challenge and our old subscriber to sale blueprint program. You know, that's the one where I was still trying to be Amy Porterfield and teach online marketing to people. Our net profit in 2021 after paying myself and all of our expenses and our business investments was about $128,000. That was what was left over in 2021 in our bank account at the end of the year that I went, I had to pay taxes on and I think I paid about $40,000 in taxes that year, but which I was like, yes, I paid the amount of like my very first real job or I would should say my second real job in taxes in one year, my, my very first salary I paid in taxes like I have arrived or something, I don't know.

Shannon Mattern: And then in 2022 we made $426,000. So about 73,000 less than in 2021, but $360,000 of that was from the Web Designer Academy was, which was about $35,000 more than the Web Designer Academy made in 2021. So while our overall revenue is down 73,000 year over year, the Web Designer Academy's revenue was up. So the other 66,000 we made in 2022 that was not from the Web Designer Academy was from site AAP and affiliate commissions, which honestly it sounds like a really good amount of money until you factor in that what I pay out to my partner on site and a snap who gets 50% of sales because she did the graphic design part and what we pay out to our other affiliates and what we paid our community support va to support our customers and all the other expenses to produce and support that side of the business, we're only making about $20,000 a year in profit on it.

Shannon Mattern: And to give you a frame of reference, our expenses to run our business every single month between paying me our team, all of our expenses is about $26,000 every single month. So the money from the d i side of my business was the teaching people, you know, teaching non-web designers side of my business wasn't even covering a full month of our business expenses yet. It was taking up significantly more time and resources to manage. And to be fair, I wasn't even trying to market it anymore because at the end of 2021, I had decided to go all in on the Web Designer Academy, which makes what I actually ended up doing with it in 2022. All the more fascinating to analyze. And I'll share that with you in episode 25. I reflect back on this and I'm like, what? What were you even thinking like , what?

Shannon Mattern: What were you doing? But I'll share that with you in part two of this episode, like what I did with the five day website challenge and all that. But like I said at the beginning of this episode, I had the realization near the end of 2022 that I had a dry pile of mind trash stacking up in the corner of my mind that I was just spraying your freshener on. And what I mean by that is, remember how I said I'm like the kind of person who solves anxiety with overworking? That's exactly what I did in 2022. I didn't even give myself a free second to notice that I was having a ton of anxiety, specifically money anxiety. Same thing happened to me back in 2018 when I quit my day job. I quit my day job and I was so happy that I quit my day job.

Shannon Mattern: And then the reality that you don't have a steady paycheck coming in anymore sent me into overwork overdrive because I was having a ton of money anxiety. And I called this urine review money anxiety and mind trash makeover for a reason. Because what I want you to understand is that what all my worry about money and all my money anxiety in 2022 and all the overworking as a result of that created less money for me. It created less money. And I'm not talking about me making less money in 2022 than I did in 2021. Like that makes perfect sense to me that my revenue is down on the side of the business that I didn't intentionally market and my revenue actually grew on the Web Designer Academy side. So I did make more money with the Web Designer Academy, but my expenses in 2022, ugh, like , I spent in 2022, $417,000 of that $426,000 leaving me with just a measly $9,000 profit.

Shannon Mattern: Now that's after paying myself and paying my team, but still that is not sustainable, my friends, that is not profitable. And when I went back and I looked at where I spent that money, I was like, ugh, in hindsight, I see what I was doing there. I was trying to outspend my worry and my anxiety, which is fascinating that I was trying to outspend my money anxiety by spending like . It makes no sense, but it made sense at the time because my brain was just flooded with worry. And that was how I was solving the problem, right? So at the beginning of 2022, I had $128,000 left over. At the end of that year, I was operating from not a pile of mind trash, I had a really great mindset about everything I spent, I feel like on in a review of my 2021 expenses.

Shannon Mattern: I was like, yeah, every single one of those things came from a good place. And thank goodness I had that money left over because I needed it to sustain all of the decisions that I made in 2022 and almost an entire year of operating in money anxiety that I would've made completely differently. Had I gotten aware of my money anxiety in my mind trash around it way earlier and cleaned it up way sooner, I would've spent way less money in 2022 than I ended up spending. And so I wanna talk about all the ways my money anxiety manifested itself in my business in 2022 and how that created the results of me spending nearly all of the money that we made and what I spent it on. And side note, I truly do believe that I made investments in my business that I will get a return from on that money.

Shannon Mattern: That return is not gonna come from what I thought it was gonna come from when I made the decision, right? It's gonna come in the form of a different lesson or a different something or a different decision I made. It's not gonna come directly as a result of that money that I spent. And that's okay from an empowering place, I can analyze those decisions and be like, Ugh, I would've done that differently. I wouldn't have spent that money, but now that I did spend it and what's done is done, I'm still gonna get a return on it because of how I'm gonna do things differently or something like that. So I wanna talk about all of that and I wanna just just talk about how I discovered that I even had a pile of mind trash in the first place. And I'll talk more about that in part two of this episode.

Shannon Mattern: And I'll also talk about how I'm solving it for 2023 so that I can operate sustainably from a place of sufficiency, right? It is so important to me to operate in 2023 from a place of calm and sufficiency and all of that and not how I operated in 2022, right? And notice that I didn't say grow, I said operate big, big difference like if we end up growing, it will be as a result of me cleaning up my mind trash. And that has to happen first before I can put any emphasis on growing. So we'll touch on that in part two of this year in review. But let's dive into the things that happened in 2022 that started my mind trash pile and my money anxiety. So the first thing that happened is that I hired two employees. And first I just wanna say that the decision to hire was massively empowering.

Shannon Mattern: It's one that I would not change anything about the experience of getting my company ready to hire was a joy. The experience of posting and interviewing and choosing an onboarding was super fun because we had so many amazing candidates to choose from. I had hired a company to help me hire, and I learned so much from that experience again, something that I would not change. It was necessary and like investment that I'm really happy that I made because this would not have gone that way without it. Hiring was also super challenging because we had so many amazing candidates to choose from and I had to manage my mind about disappointing people. It was just a really overall amazing, incredible and empowering experience. And it's been just shy of a year since I hired Allie to be our operations and marketing coordinator and Erica to be our client success coordinator for the Web Designer Academy.

Shannon Mattern: And like I said, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It makes sense financially when you look at our numbers, the business can absolutely sustain our salaries. But here's where the mind trash started coming up for me. I started thinking things like, Ugh, if this Web Designer Academy promotion doesn't go well, I won't be able to pay my team. I'm a hundred percent responsible for their livelihood. It's all on me. I have to do whatever it takes to make the money to pay them. And those thoughts like implanted themselves in my brain and they caused me to feel anxious and worried and like everything was on fire and massively important and had to to be done right now. Those thoughts caused me to overwork. Two was the point where a couple of months in Allie was like, Hey, is there something you'd like me to do differently because you're assigning these projects to me and then you're doing it before I can even get a chance to do it?

Shannon Mattern: And I was very candid with her and I said, thank you for having this conversation with me. I was already noticing myself doing it and I wanted to talk to you about it too. Overworking is something I do when I'm feeling anxious. And if my boss did that to me, I would hate my life. So I'm gonna sit on my hands and stop doing that to you, right? And that was one of my first clues that I had some mind trash going on, but I didn't really examine it further. I looked at that through the lens of like me needing to learn how to let go and delegate and not looking at what was really going on underneath. And had I still been writing my month in review income reports, it's something that I, I know I would've explored further on paper. I would've got all my thoughts out about it.

Shannon Mattern: I would've noticed some of that mind trash. Maybe I would've figured out a way to get some help with it at that point. Maybe I would've thought it was appropriate to take my coaching program at that time. Maybe I would've talked about it in my, to my mastermind group. I don't know what would've come of it, but I do know that I didn't explore it further the way that I should have that maybe could have created a different outcome because I continued to overwork . Like I just stopped doing Ali stuff. I overworked in a different way. And so not only did the thoughts that I was having caused me to overwork, they caused me to overspend and I overspent from a place of urgency about enrolling new students in the Web Designer Academy right now to make all the money right now to be able to pay my team life forever. ,

Shannon Mattern: I know it sounds like so dramatic, but I didn't give myself a minute in my mind to pause and notice how dramatic that is and how impossible and unnecessary that is. But I really wanted to go from enrolling 15 people during a live open enrollment and maybe one or two a month on evergreen between open enrollments to enrolling like 10 a month on Evergreen and 40 in an open enrollment. And it's not that that's not possible like we are set up right now to handle that volume. Like the structure and foundation in my program could handle that level of growth or level of enrollment. But my thoughts and feelings driving that goal were not healthy. And therefore the actions that I took did not result in going from one new enrollment to 10. They resulted in going from one to zero, which put me on the path to my money anxiety thoughts of I'm not gonna make enough money to pay my team.

Shannon Mattern: It put me on the path to that actually coming true or coming really really close to that coming true. Considering I only have $9,000 left over at the end of 2022. Like had I not caught myself when I caught myself with all of this mind trashy thinking and all of the things I was doing related to it, I would have run out of money to pay my team. I was on that path. And so if you're listening to this and you feel like you have to take on any client that wants to work with you right now because you want the money right now because you also have thoughts that are creating money anxiety for you, I just want you to notice what you're thinking or what you're believing that's leading you to say yes to everyone now. And instead of like taking on what you can take on now and getting booked out into the future and creating a plan and knowing how many spots you have in filling those spots, you're working with everyone on everything now and you're overworking and burnt out if you are doing that.

Shannon Mattern: I want you to notice, and it's something we work on with our Web Designer Academy students all the time. Either they're there when they enroll in our program and they understand it's something that they need to fix in order for their business to be sustainable or . It happens as they start implementing our strategies because they trust our process and then they implement what they teach and then they create the result of more opportunities and more people wanting to work with them. And if they still have money anxiety happening underneath the surface and it's running the show that can quickly turn into saying yes to everyone and burning out. And we help our students have the confidence and calmness and sufficiency to create a waiting list and create consistent revenue over time and not all at once. So that's one of the things that we help our students with all the time.

Shannon Mattern: That is so hilarious to me. I have to laugh at myself because I can see money anxiety in my students like from a mile away, but when I'm operating in it, I'm like, no, I'm fine. Everything's fine, I'm fine. And it's just fascinating. But my thoughts about having employees cause me to overspend and it caused me to overspent on marketing and I had, that's one place it caused me to overspend. There are a few other places which I'm sure will come up in the course of this episode, but marketing is one of the places that it caused me to overspend. I had an amazing Facebook ads consultant and I decided to hire her to test out running paid ads. And her ad strategy worked. She, it did result in us enrolling new students and it was profitable on paper, but paying her and paying for ads was resulting in negative cash flow for my business because we, at the time, we offered payment plans.

Shannon Mattern: So I'm spending 3,500 a month on my ads consultants plus between four and five grand a month on ads. And back in 2022, the price for the Web Designer Academy was 7,500. So on paper, if we just got one new client a month from that, we'd break even. And if we got two or more, we'd make a profit. And this ads consultant nailed it. I mean we were getting the right applicants and we were getting, you know, one, two, sometimes three students a month after that initial like testing period. The problem was the majority of those people opted for $50 a month payment plan, which means that my outcome was 7,500, my inflow was 1500 and I was, you know, if we got two and I was burning through my cash reserves faster than I was replenishing them. And I think there were some other problems with that.

Shannon Mattern: I haven't, I haven't done the statistics on this yet, but people that came in through our ads process tended like, I think we had a higher default rate as well on people who just like it was a one year commitment with, if you did the payment plan, it was a one year commitment. It wasn't like, oh, it's a membership, you can just like cancel whenever it was like I'm helping you out by like allowing you like financing your payment plan for you. And people would default and they would just ghost us and completely stop paying and completely disappear. And that like affected my revenue and my ability to like have the money there to pay my team. And so that was really challenging too. And so I'm like bringing in people who, I don't know if they needed to be warmer or what the deal was, but like people who stopped paying you are not your ideal clients , right?

Shannon Mattern: So I was bringing, that's the best way I can say. I was bringing in non-ideal clients through ads as well, even if they were booking and and signing up for two, staying with us for two, three months and then completely ghosting. That was money I wasn't bringing in. And so while on paper the ads were profitable, they were not, they were creating negative cash flow for us. And the solution, according to pretty much every ad expert out there, including the one I was working with, is to create what they call a self-liquidating offer or a low ticket product that you run ads to to offset the ADSD spend and the cost of the consulting. And then through that lower ticket product, you upsell people into your higher ticket program. And then again, from the unquestioned unconscious mind trash that I had going on about, oh my gosh, I have to make all the money right now.

Shannon Mattern: I'm like, okay, this is what the experts are saying I need to do. I need to put together something for like $37 and if we sell 150 of them every single month to fund the ad spend, and then I'll invite those people to join the Web Designer Academy and hopefully two or three of them will join every single month. And then we'll like, we'll be golden. But really I want 10 to join every single month cuz I wanna make all the money now so I don't have to feel worried or have this fear anymore. Ok, that is not helpful. Those thoughts are not helpful. And here's the thing, if I'm struggling to sell two web designer academies a month, do you think I'm gonna sell 150 things a month, even if it's $37? Not with the way I was thinking. So it's just fascinating for me to reflect on that.

Shannon Mattern: So what did I end up doing? I put that on my to-do list. I paused my contract with my ads manager until I could create that $37 thing. I never did it. I never tested it. And I continued overworking on tons of other projects, which I'll talk about, like the total detour I took in 2022 in part two of this episode. So would it have worked? I have no idea. I would've had to test it. I would've had to take the time and patience to test it and my unconscious mind trash was not gonna let me slow down one second to find out. And I didn't even pause to consider that there could have been a completely different way to approach all of this, right? Didn't even stop to consider that for a second. I just like, okay, press pause. We're not paying for ads.

Shannon Mattern: This negative cash flow for us right now. Yep. Let's put that $37 thing on the to-do list blinders. Let's get back to work. Working on something completely unrelated that is non-revenue generating for us. Oh my gosh, it's so funny. I say this again, like again, if you came to me with that mind trash and the Web Designer Academy on a live strategy call, I would be able to see it for you. So clearly I can't see it for myself and I needed to be working with a coach that can see that mind trash because I'm at the point in my business where the strategy that I have implemented the strategy works like the strategy piece that's working right now where I need support is the mindset. And yeah, I just didn't have it. The second mind trashy thought I had in that pile of mine trash that I was spraying air freshener on was that our curriculum wasn't good enough.

Shannon Mattern: And it is fascinating to reflect on this one because I have hundreds of testimonials from our students about the results they've created while working with us, raising their prices five to 10, even 20 times in some cases, feeling so confident when marketing and making offers, taking back control over their time, working with the dreamiest clients, the empowering feeling of letting go of those bad fit clients, making more money than they ever thought possible while working less than they thought they'd have to. Like just the the core shifts that happened to them as a human through giving themselves the gift of working with us and making that investment in themselves and how empowered they feel when they make their money back and then go on to make 10, 15, 20 times more than they ever paid us. It happens. It happens all the time. And on the flip side, we've inevitably had some situations where students weren't happy with something I did or said or weren't happy with the format of the program.

Shannon Mattern: They weren't happy with the timeframe of their results. And where I went completely sideways in my thinking is that after working with people who you know on these situations, on a case-by-case basis, if they didn't ghost us to come to a resolution that we both felt good about, if they gave me a chance to, I unconsciously made it mean that our program wasn't good enough. And then I'd update or upgrade or add or change or remove things from the program from the thought that by doing so I could fix these problems. But I never stopped to examine is it really a problem? What I was trying to really do upon reflection is prevent negative feedback from ever happening again. I was trying to prevent people from ever ghosting us on a payment ever again. I was trying to prevent people from struggling with our curriculum ever again.

Shannon Mattern: And that by somehow by changing our program and making it quote unquote better, I could protect myself from feeling bad about people being disappointed in me or from people not asking for help to get results when they were feeling stuck and just disappearing and going away. And I recently got to have this conversation with my client success coordinator, Erica, on her podcast next level course creator, about how my fear of negative feedback caused me to make unnecessary changes to our program. Which not only was a lot of extra work for me and for Erica, it cost me a lot of money. I spent a lot of money on Web Designer Academy program curriculum changes. And I love Erica so much because she did gently say to me over and over again when she came on board in March, I know you wanna change X because of Y situation, but maybe we should gather some data to see if it's a problem across the board because you might be able to handle it as it comes up and not need to change anything on the whole.

Shannon Mattern: And I would be like, no, I wanna change it and here's all the reasons why I think it would be better this way. And Erica is an expert at curriculum design. Side note, like I'm so fortunate to have her on my team because she's a former teacher, she's a curriculum designer, she's evidence-based, she makes changes based on evidence. And I think she was in, I, I don't know, I haven't talked to her yet. I hope she's listening to this episode. I think because of her role as like employee versus consultant and like her expertise, I don't know if at that time that she would've been like, no, you're not making changes. Listen to me, I'm the expert. I should have listened to her because she's the expert. She nudged me in that direction, , but I did not listen to her. And in my mind I could absolutely justify why all those changes were better for my students and the changes that we have made have proven to be beneficial.

Shannon Mattern: But if I really examined, not all of them, some of them, it just added more work to everybody's plate didn't really result in anything different except for we got to spend more time together. And that was fun . But if I really examined deeper at that time what was going on with my thoughts, I was making changes to protect myself from what I'd think about myself if I'd received negative feedback and I did a whole lot of mental gymnastics and added a whole lot of work to my plate and spent a whole lot of money to fix something that honestly wasn't ever actually broken. And this is something that I see web designers do all the time. , right? I see them do it all the time. But like for me, you can see how if I'm feeling a sense of urgency over here to make money to pay for my team and then over here I'm spending all this time working on unnecessary program up updates and money, time and money on this, that's not a revenue generating activity.

Shannon Mattern: That's me spending money on something that has already made money and it's not gonna make more money. You can see how I'm on this path to like working way harder, making less money and keeping less money. And so like I said, this is something we see web designers do all the time and I can always see them doing it a mile away, but I can't always see myself doing it. But what I see them doing is like not having their next client lined up and instead of doing outreach, they're redoing their website cuz their website's not good enough or they're setting up their entire client management or rewriting all their website copy or pivoting or choosing a whole different niche or rebranding. And that is not going to produce a new client and there's something else going on underneath the surface if you're doing that, that we need to uncover and explore and shift and transform so that you can create the results that you wanna create, which is not working more and making less money and spending more money.

Shannon Mattern: That's not the result we're all after, right? And like I said, when I'm doing the same thing, changing things that don't need to be changed from some mind trash, that things aren't good enough now I can't always see it in myself. I was not seeing it in myself and I will never not have mindset coaching ever again in my business, ever. There are two more things that happened in 2022 that added to my mind trash that I'll share with you in detail in the next episode. One of them is that my husband got laid off from his job, which I'm like, did I manifest this? I don't really believe in manifestation , but I'm like, this is what I always said I wanted, but like I wasn't ready like not in this way. I wanted it to be his decision. And you know, we chose this, it didn't happen that way.

Shannon Mattern: And that is something that added to my pile of mind trash. So I'll share with you all of that in detail in the next episode, but I feel like this is a really good place to end. Part one is, you know when you're going it alone, when you are focused exclusively on strategy, when you're not talking to anyone else about what you're doing or why you're doing it when it feels anxious and urgent and all of this stuff, and you have all these justifications for why you're doing it, but it's not revenue generating. Even if you're getting clients and making money and things look good from the outside, if you feel anxious all the time, if you feel like you never reach your big goals, if you feel like you have to keep working or it will all fall apart if you feel like you have to be on all the time for your clients or you'll lose them if you have a lot of these pressury urgent, have two thoughts, it does not have to be this way.

Shannon Mattern: You can create the same results you have now from a place of calm and peace and spaciousness and common pieces. And spaciousness is a requirement for growth. And so like I said earlier, I'm really focused on operating my business from a place of calm and peace and spaciousness. And I'm not necessarily focused on growth. The thoughts that I have when I'm focused on growth are urgent and not calm when I'm talking about like operating and sufficiency and sustainability and consistency. When I think those things and I wanna feel those things, I think completely different things and I feel completely different things and I'll create completely different results. And I'll share with you more about how I came to the realization that I had all of this mind trash and that I was like actually spraying air freshener on a giant pile of mind trash. I'll share more of of how I even uncovered that in part two of the 2022 urine review.

Shannon Mattern: So if you're not already on the Web Designer Academy wait list, go to https://webdesigneracademy.com and get on it. Now. You'll get these episodes weekly in your inbox, but you'll also get the strategy part. And so this is the stuff that we work on. You'll get strategy and you'll get mindset. And that's only things that people on the Web Designer Academy wait list get. So like I said, this is the stuff that we work on, the strategy, it's the easy part. Anyone can teach strategy, and lots of people do teach strategy. They teach all kinds of web design business strategies, right? They teach the strategies that worked for them and then you join their program and you go to implement the strategy. And if it doesn't work for you, you either think, oh, you're not good enough, or their program sucked. But the reason it worked for them wasn't because they figured out some secret strategy that always works for everyone.

Shannon Mattern: It's because their mindset driving the strategy is what made it work. And that's the part that so many people who create online courses that just teach strategy don't take into account that the strategy only works when the right mindset is driving the strategy. And it's a missing piece from so many online courses and trainings across the industry, not just the web designer designer space we work on both in the Web Designer Academy. Both are equally important and I would argue that mindset is more important. So go get on the wait list, https://webdesigneracademy.com, and I'll see you right back here next week for part two of my 2022 year end review. Hey, so if you're ready to stop undercharging and overworking, if you wanna take back control of your time, work only with the dreamiest of clients and make more money as a web designer than you ever thought possible, get started now by going to https://webdesigneracademy.com and joining our wait list. We'll send you exclusive teachings from the current Web Designer Academy so you can start replying our concepts now and you'll be first to know when enrollment opens up again so that you can work with us to completely transform your web design business.

Speaker 2: This podcast is part of the sound advice FM network. Sound advice FM Women's Voices amplified.

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

I help ambitious women web designers reclaim their time, book profitable web design projects they love, and make more as a freelance web designer than they ever thought possible inside the Web Designer Academy.

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