2023 Year in Review – Business Results & Strategic Shifts

Woman cheersing with Champagne As we come to the end of the year, I have really been reflecting on 2023. When I think back on this year, I did not have the year I expected to have. What I can tell you is it was one of the best years of my life though. Before I can explain why, I have to share a little backstory from a business strategy standpoint and my own growth and development. As many of you know, I worked at IBM and had a 20 plus year corporate career. I also was a Vice President at IBM. It was a big, big job. It was a very successful career, but I wasn't happy. I wasn't feeling fulfilled.

What's fascinating is the deeper that I go in Human Design, it literally is written in my design how that was not the right space for me to be in. That was not the career I was meant for, which is why I'm so passionate about bringing this out to people, especially my children. I look at their designs and am doing work with that so that I can help them because I don't want them to be in the wrong career or the wrong environment. It really sucks your soul dry, and that’s the language I would use all the time. I would say things like my job was sucking the soul out of me, but that doesn’t mean that was the case for everyone that was there. We're all so different. We all have a different role that we're here to fulfill.

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From Confusion to Breakthrough

When I left IBM in 2018, I had already established my business and I was really working to grow my coaching mentoring business. It was really hard. Honestly, the hardest part of it was being in confusion.

  • What was my niche?
  • What was I going to really offer?
  • Who was I here to help?
  • How was I going to structure the business structure?
  • How was I going to structure my offers?

I have so much experience now in the last five and a half years of this work. It's why I love helping other people with strategy and getting to that clarity because it was such a struggle for me in the beginning. I think the first 18 months of 2018, I was just bouncing all over the place in terms of what I was offering. What was I bringing out to the market? What was my sales strategy? I was so all over the place, and I really didn't make any money. Having left a really big job and not making any money is kind of a challenge.

Then in 2020, I hit the breakthrough. It was great. It was also a very different time. It was during the pandemic and people were home and no one wanted to go back to the jobs that they had. Therefore, my message at the time and who I was helping resonated at a huge level. My signature program at the time, very much geared toward the woman that was just starting her business, or maybe had a network marketing team and business. I had a lot of network marketers in that first year or so of the business. Fascinatingly enough, the network marketers would come into the program and then would want to actually create their own thing. They would get very inspired. Many times, they came into the program because they didn't love what they were doing. They didn't want to be selling products and building teams. They loved coming to work with me to create what they really wanted to do.

Then, I Got Sucked into the Race

2020 and 2021 were incredible years in terms of financial success in the business. The two years combined generated over $1.4 million in revenue. It was incredible. And then in 2021, going into 2022, I got sucked into the celebrity entrepreneur mentality of “Grow as fast as you can,” and “scale to multiple eight figures as fast as you can” based on who I was around, who I was listening to, and what I was exposing myself to from podcasts and coaches. 2022 was one of the hardest years for me in business, not financially, but by being all over the map. I was working so hard to put automation and evergreen funnels and all of these things in place.

Again, I was following advice that was not correct for me. This is before I ever really understood Human Design and the Gene Keys. I was just trying to listen to gurus and authorities in the space of shiny object syndrome galore on this mission to double my business. At that time in 2022, my goal was to get the business to $3 million in revenue a year. We just got under $1 million in revenue in 2022, which is still an incredible success that most people don't have in business, but that wasn't my goal. My goal was to get to $3 million, and I ended up doing just a bit less than I had done in 2021. I finished 2022, honestly, feeling like a failure. I was feeling like a failure, and I was confused about what the next steps would be. Because of that fear, because of the disappointment, because of being frustrated with the results of 2022, I went into January 2023 with this deep desire for changing that outcome, and I still had the $3 million goal.

After that, I went all in on what I know worked. That was people wanting practical solutions in business. Therefore, I dove back into the basics of helping people with their marketing and business strategies. But here's the thing, teaching strategies is something I’ve very good at. However, I am not a fan of any one given strategy, marketing or sales wise, or how you construct your business. I think it has to be very unique to you. I love working with women to help them craft their businesses or careers in alignment with them. But, this is before I ever had Gene Keys and Human Design for business.

When Gene Keys & Human Design Changed Everything for Me

Woman standing in front of conference table So in January, I was all in on more of the logical, strategic side of everything, and it was great. We had a really great first quarter, but I wasn't feeling satisfied. Something felt missing to me. That's when, right about at the end of January, all of a sudden I got exposed. Exposed like it was a virus. I got exposed to the Gene Keys and Human Design. I had heard of Human Design several years ago, but I didn’t completely understand it and I totally poo-pooed it. Then, when I started to understand the Gene Keys and I dove deeper, everything clicked and gelled.

What happened for me this year was it was a massive year of self-education, mentorship, and growth. In that process, I really solidified my offers and the way that I was going to organize my business based on all of that education and growth.

What Do I Mean by That?

Once I started to learn and apply for myself the Gene Keys and Human Design, I knew in a heartbeat that this is what I needed to bring to my clients and bring into my business. I really invested a ton of time and a ton of money into two aspects of this. One was for my own personal growth and development. I hired one of the top instructors at the International Human Design School and top instructor at the BG Five Business Institute, which is what I call, the MBA for Human Design. I hired her personally to eat my own cooking, to really walk the walk and get that additional support and help directly from her.

The second thing is I wanted to get the certifications from the official schools. The first certification that I got this year was the Gene Keys certification, and then I went deeper into the BG Five Institute. It's a business institute. It is what I call the MBA for Human Design, and I am over halfway through that certification. It's a multi-year certification. I was able to fast path a bit of that certification because I went very quickly with it and I got it quickly. It's part of me being a 2/4 Profile. I'm kind of a natural at being able to study, and at being able to consume the content and put it into action. I've been spending that time and that money on these certifications at the official schools.

This will continue into 2024, but what's so powerful is being able to bring all of that to my clients has been life altering for them. One of the things as I look back and reflect on 2023 that is so incredibly powerful is that the lives of my clients have changed more this year than any other year. I have a lot of clients that are on their second or third year of working with me, and they can’t even believe how things have shifted for them since introducing the Gene Keys and Human Design. That time of investment and money into my education, my personal growth, my certifications and things like that was just critical.

Simplicity is Key

The next thing that I did was I cut out so much. Making things simple and truly trying to ensure that my business and offers got simple. It has been a process. When I think of 2023, I think of my own personal growth, development and certifications, and I also think of simplifying my business, helping my clients, and how we're going to market in 2024. What's so powerful is that I feel like 2022 was just me trying to tread water and figure things out. I was so confused for so much of 2022. In 2023, everything gelled, clicked, and solidified. The clarity is through the roof. I really thank Human Design and Gene Keys for that. Now, I feel like I'm in this catapult. It’s been being pulled back all throughout 2023, and as I’ve learned and grown and added to my skillset, I’m now ready to release the pull and launch it.

I have every intention of taking this simplified version of the business and just doubling down on that. I’m going to be doubling down on the simplification, and amplifying it. I simplified in 2023, and now it's time to amplify in 2024.

Peace & Satisfaction

One last thing I'll share about 2023 is that I had this sense of peace during this whole process. I have a deep satisfaction in the work that I was doing this year. I can't begin to tell you how much I love pulling up my clients' Human Design body graph, pulling up my client's Gene Keys Profile, and being able to guide them and help them to see themselves in a way that creates clarity, conviction and confidence to be able to step out into the world, into their business, into their career, into their lives, as who they're perfectly designed to be.

Yes, there was much peace and satisfaction, but there was some confusion and a bit of chaos as I was trying to simplify the business. There was some confusion and chaos when it came to really solidifying the offers, in how I wanted to structure my offers and all of those things. There was a bit of chaos there. There has to be. In order to get clarity, you have to have chaos before clarity. It’s just the way it works. It's polar opposites. It's the duality. It's two sides of one coin. You have to have the confusion and the chaos to get to the clarity. Despite going through all that, my level of peace and calm of knowing that God, universe, source was cheering me on through this year and through this process, because they knew what was coming. They knew what was on the other end, and in a sense, so did I. I didn't know exactly what it was going to look like, but I feel so phenomenal about it now.

Reflect on YOUR Year

woman walking down sidewalk passing storefrontsI would love for you to reflect back on your year. What was your goal? Here's the thing. When I started in January, it was the goal to get the business to $3 million in revenue. We in no way did that. At best, we made it a third of the way there, and I’m OK with that. I didn't hit my goal. I'm totally okay with that because what transpired because of that goal over this year, I am so grateful for. I can't even tell you how grateful I am for where I am now in December from January, and it's not monetary, it's clarity. It's complete conviction. It is total confidence. I am absolutely ready to amplify. It feels so good.

I want you to do the same thing. I want you to look back. It doesn't matter if you hit your goal or you didn't hit your goal.

  • What happened to you in the process?
  • What do you feel great about?
  • What do you feel amazing about?
  • Where do you feel like there's still some gaps?

There's nothing wrong with that. Look at it as that compassionate scientist observing the last year and deciding what you desire for 2024. What's that word of the year for you?

Send me a DM on Instagram at @julieciardi and let me know what you reflected on and what your word of the year is!

I hope that this blog post brought you clarity in building your personal brand. Why is that important? Because as a coach or a consultant, you are the product. You are the brand. If you want to work directly with me on your brand or perhaps you want to explore the Gene Keys and your unique profile, you can find it all at www.igniteherbrand.com.


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I’m Julie Ciardi!

I am a former Fortune 50 executive (20 years in the corporate world!) and I finally answered my soul’s calling and started my own business in 2017. I am a mom of 3 and married to a retired first responder. I am on a mission to help women create income aligned with their life’s work. I would love to help YOU.

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