Written by Roota Mittal on
2023: A Business and Life Review
I’m writing a year in review for 2023 for the second time in my 7-year entrepreneurial journey. You can read the 2022 review here.
The reasons for writing this are three-fold:
- I love reading these myself from other entrepreneurs I admire even as a not-so-beginner entrepreneur. It gives an in-depth summary of the entrepreneur’s journey, more than any social media post can.
- I want to document my journey better for my reference and see my thought process and decision-making process evolve. And in doing so publicly, I think it can help other entrepreneurs as well.
- I promised myself I would make space for writing. So here we are, writing and making it productive for business in the form of a blog post.
I have divided this blog into below sections:
- Q1 2023 summary – Jan-March
- Q2 2023 summary – April-June
- Q3 2023 summary – July-September
- Q4 2023 summary – October-December
- My final thoughts about 2023
1. Q1 2023 summary – Jan-March:
I remember January was slow in terms of launches because the team was recovering from back-to-back launches in Nov, and Dec 2022. We mostly worked behind the scenes on launching a brand new funnel for Vortex Mastermind. I did a BW photoshoot by myself for the funnel and it was so much fun.
I did a lot of cycling around Singapore and went on hikes with friends. Rachit and I went on an early anniversary Staycation and we celebrated 5 years of being married. The photos never made it to social media. I document everything in my life for memories but never post in real time as I want to enjoy the present moments. Once I’m done with the trip, it feels lazy and pointless to curate content for social media, at this point. This happened a lot through 2023. I try to share as much as I can but the majority of content never made it online. It is what it is.
In February, I flew my parents and lil sister to Singapore for their first-ever international trip. It meant so much to me to take care of everything and show them around my favourite places. My dad, my sister and I did bungee jumping for the very first time. I remember being sh*t scared because of my past vertigo experience but did it anyway. I’ve done a tonne of adventures before including skydiving, but the major difference in bungee jumping is you have to jump yourself. There’s no instructor behind you.
If you were MAA, you know this (taking my fam for an international vacay) had been a goal for years and it finally happened after multiple delays. The team took care of the day-to-day operations and enrolled a few clients while I majorly spent time with my family.
I remember March being hard for me mindset-wise. I remember feeling lost and less motivated. I think 2023 was hard for a lot of businesses. A lot of entrepreneurs gave up and we also saw the effect of people of the post-covid world and economic slowdown. I don’t believe in letting it impact my mindset as a CEO, but you also cannot put your head in the sand and expect it’s all merry and nice around you. That’s blind optimism and toxic positivity in my opinion.
We completed 1 year of Vortex Mastermind in March which meant we were up for our first renewal cycle. This was an exciting challenge. And it meant a lot to me when some of our soulmate clients renewed to work with us for another year. You know who you are. Sometimes, my Vortex clients are my biggest strength and it genuinely gives me so much joy to see their progress and wins. Not just numerical tangible wins, but they grew as a person in just a year.
We also did the Vortex Quarterly event as a 2-day event for the first time and it was incredible.
We saw the Harry Styles concert in Singapore, I started going to painting classes and got red highlights (which were too subtle damnit and I paid good money for them so they should be blinding really, but ok done with the rant) and we did a staycation at Marina Bay Sands.
2. Q2 2023 summary – April-June:
In April, I flew home for a few days to spend time with my family. I also decided we would host a team retreat and a community meetup for the first time in Goa.
We bonded together as a team, prepped for our meetup, and had such a ball hosting the meetup. We had a lot of entrepreneurs and MAA people from Goa attend. Vortex clients flew in from all over the country just to attend the meetup. I took Vortex Mastermind clients out for dinner after the meetup. And it was so good to finally meet in person. After covid, I think we all craved physical connections much more. I would love to host more physical events in 2024 and beyond. I have a couple of ideas already and Vortex clients have been lovingly nagging me to host something again.
I chilled for a couple of days in Goa by myself after the meetup and the team did their trip after that. We came back, and all the energy and insights we learned led us to completely shift our messaging and really zero in on our client avatar for Vortex.
We hosted an impromptu masterclass in April with a very minimalist Zoom registration to test out this messaging. I think it was received well and we signed new clients to the mastermind.
I went to Sidemen, Bali to work on my book draft at April end. I completed 30,000 words of the book draft here.
A team member left in May, which meant it was just me and my right-hand person as full-time members of the team now. I also started looking to hire an in-person video editor in Singapore.
We hosted the Quarterly event for Vortex in June 2023 and levelled up our video content game.
In June end, Rachit and I went on a road trip to Iceland to celebrate my 30th birthday. As always, time away from social media is so dear to me during my birthday. I prefer looking inward and Iceland is like a whole other planet. We went on an epic road trip, went whale watching, climbed volcanoes, saw countless waterfalls, hiked on the largest glacier in Europe, and made memories that meant a lot to me.
3. Q3 2023 summary – July-September:
For these 3 months, we went hard on promoting with the main launch vehicle being ‘content’. A lot of time entrepreneurs think they need fancy funnels or virtual events to get sales. And I’m a huge fan of virtual events myself and they are our most profitable launches but if you strategically use content, you can close consistently. And sell every day.
I flew home to spend time with my family. And completed the first draft of my book. I took my family to Udaipur to celebrate my parent’s anniversary and Udaipur’s hospitality and luxury is just next level. I’m so grateful my business lets me create amazing memories for my family. It was also healing in a lot of ways. I also completed the first draft of my book and wrote 60,000 words.
In August and Sept, we celebrated Singapore National Day with friends, we attended the Singapore Grand Prix and I took Rachit out to Binta, Indonesia on his birthday trip.
Q3 was our best quarter in terms of sales in 2023 so it was pretty cool to see without any big funnel launches or virtual events while I was travelling we could do a lot. We also hosted the September Quarterly Event for Vortex clients.
4. Q4 2023 summary – October-December:
At the end of September, my right-hand person moved on after 4 years. So essentially we had no full-time members at this point. This was a huge change. And I took it slow and thought things out during October.
I was burnt out leading a team. For the past 5 years, we had anywhere from 3-10 team members at one point or another. Both full-time and part-time combined. The team was built based on our previous goals. But as you will further read at the end of this blog, this year felt like rebuilding. And I didn’t want to rush. I wanted to take my own time. We still had a couple of part-time contractors to help with video and social media. But I essentially was a solopreneur after 5 years and honestly, it felt great and a relief. I wanted to take the time to think and clarify my brand vision for the next 5 years and build a new team based on those goals. I thought I was going to do everything myself in Q4 to audit what tasks are necessary, what I enjoy doing personally, and what can I delegate.
I decided to host a virtual in November, as we had been doing for the past 3 years during this time. I did everything myself from funnel to social media, to emails, to ads, to hosting the virtual event, to doing all Vortex Enrollment calls. And it was exhausting but honestly so rewarding. We broke all our records in terms of the close rate, conversion rate from the event, Cash collected % and Pay-in-fulls. It was a launch for the books.
I also realised I can’t keep doing everything on my own. It’s crazy that my family also saw me working like a horse and were like Roota, you need to hire now! You can’t keep going like this. I worked all of the Diwali holidays at Rachit’s place and my place. And the 6 weeks of Nov-mid December were intense! After the launch, we also hosted the December Quarterly event for Vortex which was amazing. We created our 2024 plan together, and everyone loved the 2024 planning process we discussed.
I took the last 10 days off in December as we travelled to Maldives. I swam with a whale shark and rode a jetski by myself. And came back red like a tomato because of all the time I spent swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, and jet skiing in the sun.
I started working on the New Year’s Eve weekend, dumped all my old files into a folder called “old”, and created a new folder named “2024”. And created a whole set of documents – 2024 hiring plan, 2024 planner and launch calendar, January Monthly Planner, 2024 ads tracker, 2024 sales tracker, 2024 customer tracker, 2024 Math and 2024 Profits. It feels amazing to finally feel clarity after a directionless year.
5. My final thoughts about 2023:
I remember this year being hard. In a different way. I think some years were hard externally because of what was happening on the outside. This year, I might have made things harder for myself just by torturing myself internally.
I was extremely self-critical and hard on myself. I doubted myself as a leader, and my life direction a lot. I think I had one foot in and one foot out sometimes in business. I also did a lot of overthinking. As I turned 30 this year, I started doubting all areas of my life and felt like double-checking if I was really on the right path. Which led to a lot of dissatisfaction. It’s so crazy that we humans, sometimes, when life is just good, will create problems for the sake of it.
I know I’m my biggest critic and sometimes have to remind myself that I just do the best with what tools I have. And to be easy on myself. It’s a lesson I’m taking for myself going forward.
And you know maybe I needed to doubt everything in my life, break it down, process it, heal myself, create a mess, fix the mess, get lost. And be here. Which is having a tonne more clarity, and a clear life direction and business direction. Sometimes you just gotta break it all down and rebuild it back up gain. And if life was perfect or easy, what was the fun in that?
I’m much more self-assured now on where I’m going and I am at peace with that.
I also taught myself to stop obsessing with numbers and attaching my self-worth to it. Be it business numbers or social media numbers. Numbers are just that, numbers!
I want a chill life, I want to write, I want to paint, I want to cycle, go on hikes, I want to travel a lot, fly to see my family a lot and have new adventures. I want to make great money that supports my lifestyle and my family. Do fulfilling work with my books. And run my business like a lifestyle business. And not obsess about 100% number growth year on year.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still ambitious and I’m here to win. But it’s not the only thing I want out of life. I’ve changed my definition of winning.
I am creating my business around life and not the other way around. I’m checking out of the rat race that a lot of entrepreneurs subscribe to. I don’t care what XYZ person is making or how they are doing 7 figure launches. Who the eff cares?
You don’t know the full picture by looking at it from the outside. You don’t know what kind of person they are if their health is suffering if their personal life is in flames or how tortured they are mentally. It’s one data point amongst thousands that make a person’s life. So, let’s all collectively stop judging businesses and human happiness from social media posts, shall we?
This year also hit me hitting investment milestones, and real estate deals which I’ve wanted to do for a while. Still don’t own a car or a home at 30, but well we’re investing and growing our wealth with diverse options and I’m proud of that.
I hope you found something you need in this blog today! I wish you the best for your 2024 goals!
If you liked this blog, grab a screenshot, share it on your Instagram Stories, and tag me at @rootamittal and I promise to re-share.
Until next time.