January Recap: Why I'm Not Making A Million Dollars This Year
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 114

January was not the happiest month for me personally. However, even with a lot of gray and gloomy days, I was still able to find pockets of joy to escape the winter blues.

And, it was a month of seeing my business come through for me. It was still a month of wins.

I went to Florida multiple times, hosted a retreat, spent wonderful quality time with my family, and my business still grew. Moving forward this month, I have made adjustments for where I am in my life, and I will not be making a million dollars. And that’s okay.

In this January recap, you’ll hear:

  • How I have set up my business to succeed to leave room for travel, mom life, and retreats

  • My income lowering, and why it’s okay that I won’t be making a million this year

  • How to create a business that can you hold you through the human-ness of life!

I am offering more ways to work with me in 2024! Head over to my website to check them out. Leahgervais.com/work-with-leah

Want to be coached by Leah directly? Head to her waitlist to be the first to know when spots open up. And get the chance to win a FREE intensive with Leah!  Leahgervais.com/waitlist

If you want more inside business secrets, then head over to my Seven-Figure Secrets Podcast! There, we discuss what goes on behind the scenes of running a seven figure business, and I give you the scoop on how to make it happen for you. 

January was not the happiest month. But, it was still a month of wins. Tune in to hear a recap and why I'm not making a million dollars this year!

Hear the Episode

Episode Transcription

Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries, welcome back to the show and welcome to the first monthly recap of 2024. I’m gonna be talking about January. I’m going to be also talking about what didn’t work in January, but really the way I’m framing that is why I will probably not make a million dollars this year. And I say probably because you never know, but I think it’s important to talk that through because I have had two seven figure sales years in the course of my business and I talk a lot about them and it’s something I help my clients do and I’m really proud of it.

But it doesn’t mean that it’s always the best thing for me or for you or for anyone else. And I think it’s important to continue to have that conversation and make sure that your life is at the forefront of your mind rather than a dollar sign.

And just continuing to give yourself permission to chase what is best for you in the season of life or business that you’re in, versus how much money you can make because then you just end up becoming, you lose the freedom of your own business, which is why so many of us started it to begin with. So let’s talk a little bit about January. Okay. I hated January, I have to say, I know I don’t like to come out here so negative from the get go, but it was one of the harder months I’ve had in a long time. 

Um, I know a lot of people typically don’t enjoy January. It’s not a very popular month, it’s long, it’s cold, it’s um, kind of like the post-holiday hangover. I have always really personally been able to romanticize January in my own mind. I think New York has a certain magic to it in the colder winter months because all the tourists have left.

Um, all of the Christmas decorations are gone, kind of like the busyness of the holiday season has faded away. It can have a certain quietness, a certain coziness to it. And in the past for January’s, I’ve really just always built up how well I’m able to take care of myself during them. You know, I do a lot of workout classes and like the magic of going from cold New York into like a sweaty soul cycle class and then the sauna feels so good is such a great way to start a winter day. 

And then I always would get a lot of work done in January because it doesn’t have the chaos of Q4. Q4 is always a very busy time for me. Um, and there’s just something really nice and still about being able to sit down, focus for like eight hours and getting a ton of work done.

Um, I also think that New York restaurants and bars can really shine in the winter. There’s beautiful fireplaces and coziness and you know, it’s, it’s where I think the quaintness of New York and like the non generic non chains, non-brand places in New York really shine a lot of long dinners with friends, stuff like that. 

So I’ve actually always liked January. March has always been my least favorite month for different reasons, but January I’ve always been able to get on board with. I like the fresh, clean slate, all that this year was not like that. Okay, so first of all, if you are in the northeast, then you can probably relate to the fact that this was probably the coldest, not coldest, but grayest, grayest January, like in recent history. And I do not do well with the gray. And I feel like New York has a lot of really brisk, beautiful cold, but sunny and blue sky days in the winter that we did not have this January.

So the gray really got to me and my lifestyle just looks so different now than it did for all of those years when I was able to romanticize January. Um, I don’t have an office anymore. I spend my days home with my son and we would have a lot of fun in the mornings, but then he would take an afternoon nap till about three by the time he would kind of get up and have a snack and be ready to take on the second half of the day. 

It was pretty much already dark and it just really, really mentally did a number on me. That’s really all I can say about it. So it was not my favorite month of the year. I found myself in what I’m sure was a somewhat spurt of, um, seasonal depression and just really struggled to be motivated and to find my groove and just really didn’t feel like myself, honestly.

Uh, so if you, if you went through that, you’re not alone. And all I could think of my big theme of January, like I think the big win of January wasn’t so much the same as my wins were in Q4 where I was having six figure sales months and bucking out programs and huge launches and um, you know, all those kind of sparkly wins my highlight of January. 

The thing that kind of showed the most to me was just the gratitude for how well my business runs and how grateful I am that I set it up. Years ago, I don’t think I knew I could have never imagined the gift I was giving this version of myself when I started years ago because now I have this business where if I have days where not much gets done because I’m kind of in a spurt of feeling down, I still make money, right?

My passive funnels are better than ever. My client retention is very high. I’m still able to support my clients. So we’re still making multiple tens of thousands of dollars a month in cash, often more than I ever made at a nine to five job. Even when I’m feeling down and beyond that, um, one of the, definitely the highlight of my January was that I went to Miami and I had the retreat for my mastermind, the January retreat in person. It was the first time we got to do it in person in a few years because of the pandemic and just travel reasons. Uh, so that was really, really special and it was amazing. 

And oh my God, it just felt so good to be outside. Miami was actually uncharacteristically cold for Miami. Um, but just being with everyone together and being near the ocean and really feeling the energy of everyone in one room was so powerful and so reviving.

And that was definitely the highlight of the year. But I came back to New York and it was like the greatest day I had ever seen in New York in all my 13 years, the day that I landed back from Miami. And immediately I kind of came home and told my husband like, this is not it. Like we gotta go. 

So we spontaneously, within 24 hours after we landed, booked a flight back to Florida for the following week with my husband and my son. We went to Orlando, we’d gotta take him to breakfast with Winnie the Pooh. We gotta go to Disney World, we gotta go to the theme parks. Um, we stayed at this hotel with this really amazing toddler slide and pirate ship and everything. It was so, so cute. So we had a wonderful spontaneous family vacation, right? And that doesn’t happen if you don’t have a business set up to one, be able to afford it.

And two, for you to have the flexibility to just kind of take a few essentially days off. I still worked a bit when he was napping, but the stark contrast to the days, um, where, you know, I thought I had to be on Zoom for five hours a day at a point when I was building my business. And, and I was, um, it is just, it’s just so spectacular to see how well it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s come together. Um, and in fact I’m going to Florida again in two days. 

So I’ll be going to Florida three times in three weeks to get out of the New York City winter blues. And it just is such a testament to the power of working for yourself, but not only working for yourself, having a streamlined and freedom-based business. So I really gotta see my business come through for me this month.

And that’s one of the benefits of having kind of a downtime. And this has been important to me since I started my business because many of you know that I started my business in the wake of losing my dad and I just felt like my nine to five job didn’t gimme the capacity to grieve. And it wasn’t really their fault. It wasn’t like they didn’t care.

Uh, they’re running a business, you know, and the business needed to make money and it needed its employees to do their job descriptions. Um, because corporations are often soulless by design and they don’t have room for human error and they don’t have room for grief. And I wanted my business to be human proof, right? And so I knew from the beginning that I wanted a structure and a kind of machine that allowed for those times.

And I think that a lot of times on social media, you see people talk about a freedom-based business and all the shiny parts that come with it. You can, you know, fly on a Wednesday, you can work out of a hotel, you can, um, you know, whatever. You can do all these, you can go shopping and, and you know, not have to be at work. Or you can take the Pilates class at 11:00 AM that’s less crowded than the 6:00 AM with all the people going to jobs. Like it’s all, it all has this shiny benefit to it. And that’s all real.

And I love all that and I’ve shown that and hell yeah. And I think when it’s even more beneficial and more important is when life is hard and life is real and you need room to breathe and you have it. And I just think that that’s really the gift you give yourself when you, uh, when you do this, when the sooner the better , the sooner the better is kind of, you know, the moral of the story.

And it’s not just starting, it’s, it’s finishing and and it’s not like it’s ever finished, but it’s, it’s sticking with it. It’s staying consistent. It’s having the end goal in mind and it’s making it happen no matter what. So that was the big win of January. I really gotta see how much my business could hold me and support me. Um, the three things that worked really, really well that I think are just worth pointing out are one of my passive income streams. Ah, chef’s kiss, just working better than ever. So, so grateful. This is something, this is again an example of something I did in the past to give to my future self something. 

This was something I really started focusing on last spring. So it’s been almost a year and it took some time and it took some focus and sometimes I focus on it more than others, but it has just become such a gift.

It’s such a great way to make money while I’m sleeping, while I’m resting, while I’m with my toddler, while we’re traveling, while we’re literally at Disney. Um, but it’s also a great way to, and you know, I used to spend a ton of money on ads to grow my email list and I still spend a ton of money on ads, but they pretty much break even if not profit, they, I mean they, they profit but actually by quite a bit at this point. 

So, um, that expense has, has gone away. Um, and it’s a great lead generator. You know, a lot of people that buy these passive products in the beginning are the ones that end up joining my coaching programs, um, uh, when the time is right. So that has been such a gift. I am hosting an eight week cohort for people that wanna set this up in, well, it starts next week actually.

It’s gonna be really small. It’s for you if you have a business, this is not gonna work for you if you’re new to business and it is for you if you just want to finally have a passive product stream set up once and for all, you might know what you need to do. You might have had it on your to-do list forever. It’s not gonna be me. I will teach you what you need to do, but I’m really just gonna make sure you do it and sit down and make sure you do it right. It is certainly a science more than an art. I will say there are, I think, some very key things to know in order for it to be profitable. Um, and after eight weeks you’ll have it done.

 So picture yourself over the summer, what does that mean to you? What are you gonna do because you have a passive stream? Finally set up once and for all.

So reach out to me if you are interested in that. It’s already filling up and I’m gonna cap it at it depends on who is in it, but like four or five people because I wanna really be in the thick of it with you. So passive income works amazingly. What else is working amazingly? So last year we got feedback from our clients of Zoom fatigue. 

Actually I heard it kind of industry-wide that I think just Zoom is real. Zoom fatigue is a real Post pandemic obviously we were all on it all the time. Um, so we really kind of got creative with how to, uh, not necessarily phase it out. I still have some Zoom calls, but offer other options. Offer as needed calls instead of regular Zoom calls. Offer phone calls instead of Zoom calls. Um, offer different ways to support our clients instead of Zoom calls.

That has been great in terms of the shifts I’ve seen in my clients and obviously the flexibility in my own schedule. Um, and then the third thing that works really well is my retreat in person work is key. If you are not meeting with people that you’re learning from and with in person, I can’t recommend it enough because it is such a game changer than just connecting with people over the Internets and social media.

 All right, now let’s get to, excuse me, let’s get to what didn’t work. I actually honestly don’t have much that didn’t work ’cause we didn’t really launch anything. So I don’t have any flops or any just like things that didn’t work. What I wanna talk about now is my income being lowered, why I probably won’t make a million dollars this year and why that’s okay. And it’s just a conversation that I think is important to have because I know so many people wanna make a million dollars and that I know, and I know having a seven figure business on so many people’s vision boards and goals and, and it’s a great goal.

It’s truly life changing. But it comes with a lot that I don’t think is either always talked about or always properly thought through. And, uh, that’s just what I want to talk about so that you know whether or not it’s the right goal for you. So I have had two seven figure sales years. I actually might have another seven figure sales year this year just because our, well, it would probably be from August to August to August, right? Like that 12 month span, maybe September. Um, because our sales numbers in Q4 were so high, so it could just kind of happen. 

But I will probably not make a million dollars in cash this year, which you can obviously deduct if you follow me on Instagram because I talk a lot about my monthly income being in the range of 40 to 60 K in cash per month.

It ranges within there, but if you do the math to make a million dollars in cash, you need to be making closer to 80 in cash every month unless you have some really, really high months to carry out some of the lower ones, which we’re not doing. And there’s a few reasons for that and that’s what I think is important to talk about. 

One, the main ways to work with me, my main, uh, coaching packages to work with me directly, which is both my strategic partnership, one-on-one coaching, and then also my mastermind are closed. Those aren’t sales. I can, my mastermind’s closed for the year. So , there’s no new cash that’s gonna come in from that, you know, very important revenue stream for the year because I’m not taking on any more clients within it. It’s something that only opens once a year.

You can get on the wait list for it for next year, but it’s not something we’re gonna be doing this year again. So that’s one thing. Same with coaching. Um, it’s not something I have, I don’t, I can’t take on more than I already have for one-on-one clients. So I know I’m not gonna be making money from that. Now if you read my ebook, you can see the percentage breakdown of each type of thing that I offer and what they went into to make a million dollars. Um, so you can go check that out. I highly recommend you do. 

But  knowing that I probably won’t make any more money, uh, I I might have another one-on-one spot open and it kind of depends, but even if I do, it will probably not be enough to make a million dollars, um, because those are two such very important revenue streams and my capacity is, is full. I mean, it’s a great problem to have that I literally am booked out, have, you know, the availability to take on any more people. Oops, my microphone just went out. Uh, so that’s, you know, one huge reason.

Uh, okay, before I actually move on from the next reason that I won’t, won’t make a million dollars, I wanna talk a little bit more about capacity. So this is a great example of where I could make different decisions to still make a million dollars with coaching, but I’m choosing not to. So we have a few options here. One is I could simply take on more clients, right? That’s always an option. I could open another year-long mastermind, whatever the case may be. Um, and we could just have more clients come on. 

And, maybe at some point I will decide to do that maybe. But as of right now, as of January, that would mean in order to keep the relationship I currently have with my clients, that I would probably need to get childcare of some sort or more consistent help with my son so that I could take on more clients.

 

And I’m just not willing to do that right now. It’s not about the expense, it’s about the time. And just to be able to do the other things that are important to me right now. Um, another option is I could hire a lot more co-coach. I think that that is a great way to scale your income and have more clients served. I don’t want a bigger team right now. I don’t want to be managing 10 different people, 15 different people and having a huge payroll. I don’t want my profit margin to lower because I’m paying other team members.

 And, and in theory it wouldn’t, right? Because I would get more clients and so that would offset the expense of those people’s payroll. But you don’t, it, it sometimes takes time for that momentum to take off and it’s really more about like the client management or the team management that I don’t feel like I have the capacity to do right now, which is why I’m not doing it.

So I wanna pull this out because when you look at people with seven figure businesses, I just saw Amy Porterfield hit a hundred million dollars in her business last year, which is so impressive. I mean truly paving the way for us all. Um, but they have big teams, you know, and that’s fine, that’s what is necessary, but you just need to really ask yourself what is best for you and the time of your life and your business that you’re in.

 I have a toddler. I don’t have any interest in having a 20 person team, a 10 person team, regular team meetings, having to delegate things, having to schedule things, and having to plan things in advance. I like having a nimble business. I like being able to think of things that inspire me and execute them within the next few days or week or so when I’ve had a bigger team in the past, which I have in the past.

It’s a much bigger ship that you’re conducting or driving. It’s, it’s a lot more moving parts and that has served me in the past. That’s how I made a million dollars in sales twice. But that’s not what I want at this moment. Maybe it will be in a few years, but not right now.

 So ask yourself and, and and in case you’re ever considering working with me or you don’t know if I’m the one for you, having a lean team is one of my values, is important to me to be able to stay within my freedom of creativity because to me that’s a big reason I started my business and having a team that doesn’t, you know, give you that flexibility is not worth the money to me right now. So I wanna just share that perspective.

Okay? The other reason that I might not make a million dollars is because other than my coaching packages, my products that I sell are pretty low priced. Um, it would take a hell of a lot of traffic in order to sell enough of them to make a million dollars. Now it could happen. They’re , they’re on a pretty good runway I have to say, but I’m not expecting them to because I have no interest in spending $20,000 on ads a month at this moment in order to get them to that volume. 

It’s just not something that I feel like is necessary to do.

 I also could sell ones that are more expensive. Um, I could do that, but I’d either need to create them, which I don’t feel the need to do. Or two, have a bit more of a sophisticated passive funnel to sell them, which I also don’t feel the need to do.

So if you’re wanting to sell something passively for something between a thousand and $5,000, you can do it. But it’s a big undertaking. It’s a big undertaking to set up a passive funnel that can convert to something at that dollar amount. And my rule of thumb in that situation would be that you probably won’t see actual traction from that funnel for at least six months, maybe even longer if you test it in and out. So that’s just not something that I feel the need to do right now. Now you might hear that and be like, you know what? That I’m so in it for the long game that I’m willing to not see results for a year or whatever. 

And that’s great, but you also can take this moment to say, you know what, instead of actually putting my head down and not seeing results for something for six months, I’m gonna instead make the goal to make an extra 10 grand a month from passive products, have it be lower price and be okay with that rather than needing it to be a million and having to put in all that kind of like upfront time and effort, um, for something that will eventually pay off, but is really just more for the dollar amount and like kind of saying you did it than, than it actually being what the desire is.

So long story short, all this is to say, own the season of business that you’re in. If you want a lean team, if you want low expenses, if you want flexibility, if you want mobility, it might not be the year for you to make a million dollars. And that’s okay. If you want a million dollars and you’re okay with hiring and you’re okay with scaling and you’re okay with testing and you’re okay with working lots of hours a week, that’s great too. 

But having that ownership instead of torturing yourself, like I see so many people do with wanting to work less, wanting a lean team, wanting to do things with flexibility and mobility, but then also wanting to make a million dollars. That is so much tension for yourself. That’s so much pulling in two different directions. So identifying the pros and cons and the trade-offs.

That’s what my coach Lacey talks about all the time is the trade offs of whatever you’re choosing. And then deciding, you know what, this is the year for me to nail down my passive products, to um, get to, I don’t know, maybe your goal is like 20 or $30,000 a month in monthly recurring revenue, which is nothing to snuff at. Okay, that’s so much freaking money and, and you know, then that brings you to around $300,000. Excellent. That is such a win, especially if you have almost like little to no expenses because you’re not paying a huge team and you’re not doing the most to build out a huge complex funnel. Or maybe you’re like, I’m willing to actually make less this year because I wanna make a million next year. 

So I’m gonna, you know, do the grunt work this year to set up these really complex funnels and to train my co-coach so that they can take on people and to really get my team well oiled so that we hit it next year.

There’s no wrong answer, but the best answer is what makes the most sense in your season of life. And like remembering that your business is yours and, and you don’t need to prove anything to anyone other than you and your family and the fact that you want your life to be the best that it can be because of the business that you’re building. 

Okay, I hope you guys enjoyed this. Happy February. I will talk to you guys on the next monthly recap, if not sooner. Be sure to reach out to me at Leah Gervais, and if there’s anything you wanna hear on the podcast, I’d love to hear from you. Otherwise, I will talk to you guys very soon and I hope you have a wonderful day. Bye everyone.

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