Legally Bold's Year End Review - Legally Bold

Legally Bold’s Year End Review

On the many Facebook ads promising entrepreneurial bliss, you can easily be lead to believe that starting a business online equals untold riches in a few short months. These ads usually tell the classic turnaround story where the entrepreneur was lost in a wilderness of debt, an unfulfilling career, and bad relationships.  Then they found online business and bam! Their lives made complete 180s. They made a million dollars in 2 days, got married, had 2 kids, and bought their dream house all in the first year of business.

What these rags to riches stories don’t tell you is that:

  1. It definitely took more than one year to get their entrepreneurial bliss, and
  2. If it only took 1 year, those results are the exception, not the rule.

Don’t get me wrong entrepreneurship, especially online entrepreneurship, is fantastic. You control your time. You learn to make money for yourself, and you are free to work when you choose. However, the amount of time it takes to be successful is more like the maturation time for the Chinese bamboo tree.

I first heard the story of the Chinese bamboo tree from Entrepreneur on Fire, and it goes like this:

The Chinese bamboo tree seed is planted one day. Then the seed sits underneath the soil like other plants.

However, unlike other greenery, the Chinese bamboo tree does not bear fruit in a few weeks or even a few months.

During year one, you water the seed, and nothing happens.

In year two, you water the seed, still nothing.

Then in year three and four, the same thing. Water and no results.

You toil and work to grow the tree day-after-day without any acknowledgment or success.

Finally, year 5 rolls around, and suddenly things change. The tree rewards your endurance. Within 6 weeks, the Chinese Bamboo tree grows 80 feet tall, and you have your tree.

That’s entrepreneurship.  That’s why people claim to change things around in a few months on those FB ads.  They were watering their seed without result for a long time before that.

What does this have to do with Legally Bold’s Year in Review? Well, December 31, 2018, marked the end of my first 9 months in this business, and I definitely feel like I’m in the first year of watering my Chinese bamboo. Here are the highlights and lowlights from my first year of caring for the soil.

The Highlights

Started A Business

At the beginning of 2018, I didn’t have a business, website, or a bank account, and I had just figured out my business name in November.  Basically, I started with nothing, but by the end of the year, I had a full-service business with all the bells and whistles.

Got Clients

Remember when stores used to frame the first dollar they made in their businesses and hang it by the cash register? My first clients used PayPal so I couldn’t physically do that. However, in my head, those first few bucks from my first clients are in a fancy frame hanging by the register right now.

Produced Consistent Content

I had a blog for my law practice, but I could never get around to writing consistently. I tried several times. Legally Bold changed all that. I put out content on a regular basis and have finally made writing a habit.

Hired a Team

I decided to get help to avoid the burnout that came along with running my law practice on my own. Hiring help changed the game. I got so many things done including launching my business in the first place.

Upgraded my social media presence

I learned a lot about social platforms, influence, and social selling from gurus and consultants. I put the tips I learned into good use this year and created more robust profiles and pages.

Got Press

I pitched media outlets, and a few found me.  The result was a few podcast interviews and my first radio appearance.

Conquer Club Leadership Team & Business Coaching Certification

I’ve been part of the She Takes on the World and Conquer Club communities since I started my law practice. This year 10 amazing women from around the world, including little ol’ me, were invited to become part of the Conquer Club leadership team. So over the summer, we trained and became certified Conquer Club business coaches and leaders. All this means is that there are big things on the horizon for the leadership team and the Conquer Club in 2019. Stay tuned…

Survived the first 9 months in business

As Antwoine Fisher said in the movie by the same name, “I’m still standing. I’m still here.”

The Lowlights

Money (aka The Glorified Sh*t Show)

A fellow entrepreneur created this great FB post about the money concerns of entrepreneurs in new businesses. Basically, it gets real out here real quick. Sometimes we can barely make ends meet and have to beg and borrow (not steal) just to make it to next month. It’s not easy moving forward when you’re not entirely sure how you can afford to do so, but somehow we figure it out and keep going.

Paused My Team

Although hiring help was terrific, my cash flow wasn’t for the whole year. So I had to put the work with my team on hold until I can afford to pay them again. Excellent help doesn’t come cheap.

Law Practice Comparison

I feel like I was spoiled by my law practice. Because of my connections from my previous jobs, I was able to turn a profit almost immediately when I went solo. This has not been my experience with coaching and consulting. Coaching is my Chinese bamboo, and I’m still trying to figure out what works consistently.


Marketing goes hand-in-hand with the money issue.  I haven’t developed or consistently followed a marketing strategy that works. I ’m still figuring out my lead generation strategy which means I’m still learning how to get more clients.

Art in My Head vs. Words on the Page

Although I’m grateful that I finally made blogging a habitual practice, I still haven’t hit my stride with my writing.  In my head, my blog posts and newsletters are these funny, insightful narratives that offer so much value and truly showcase my voice and unique brand.  On the page, that’s not what always comes out. The art in my head doesn’t show up on the page, and I need them to match.

Public Vulnerability

Running a coaching and consulting business online today means public vulnerability. Owners need to show up on video, FB Live, Youtube and post images that let people into their daily lives. My problem is I’m not so sure that that level of public vulnerability is for me.  It feels like I’m telling everyone all my business, and I just don’t want everyone in my business. So I barely posted any videos or live content this year.

How This Review Is Informing My 2019

My words for 2019 are money and connection.  I want 2019 to be about creating bigger revenues so that I can invest more in myself and others. I also want to deepen my relationship with my audience, colleagues and friends.  This means more public vulnerability and meeting people in person for more meaningful connections.

From my review, I know that I have all of the necessary puzzle pieces for a successful business, but now I need to fit all the pieces together to create a cohesive picture. Despite these challenges, I ended 2018 with a huge smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. I’m watering my Chinese bamboo, and I have a feeling it will be 80 feet tall in no time.

Did you reflect on your year?  What did you learn about yourself both professionally and personally?  How are you using that info to inform 2019? Let me know in the comments below.