Do you ever wonder what really goes on behind the scenes of someone else’s business? Today, I’m going to share my year in review and give you the details on some of my highs & lows, what’s staying the same, and what’s changing for the new year.

Behind the scenes of my business

In this episode, I want to share with you about this past year in my business. I’ll tell you what worked well and some of my wins, plus what didn’t work well and some lessons I learned. In addition I’ll share the answers to a few of the questions my community submitted, and I’ll share what’s staying the same and what’s changing moving into 2022.

And while I’m not sharing specifics on my income (and I explain why), I will share where my income comes from and how that has shifted over the past few years. In addition, I’m sharing about my expenses and my investments in 2022. I hope you enjoy this peek behind the curtain of my biz!

Business Overview

What worked well in 2022:

  • Narrowing down to focus on one main part of my business: serving Christian women in business
  • Bringing everything under one umbrella and re-branding
  • Stopped actively launching courses & programs for my leadership audience and focused only on products/services for biz


  • Starting my upLIFT Mentormind and serving a total of 21 women throughout the year in this program
  • Featured on 10 podcasts this year
  • Served clients on my services side of my business
  • Collaborated with Christa Hutchins and created Level Up Your Launch and then Cultivate Your Community
  • Started the year connecting a lot on Clubhouse, which led to clients and opportunities, such as speaking at Clarity to Courage conference
  • Completed my Master Marketer Certification from FG Society
  • Rewarding relationships

What didn’t work

  • Producing 2 podcasts while trying to write my book proposal, plus serve clients and show up on my own social
  • Launched upLIFT 3 different ways; found that the challenge launch didn’t really work
  • Realized that I don’t like running Shine Online without scheduled live coaching calls
  • Didn’t stay consistent on Clubhouse
  • Didn’t grow my email list as much as I would have liked to
  • Planned to run ads to my mini-course Podcast in a Weekend, but did not have the capacity for it, and it also doesn’t directly correlate to my other main offers
  • Realized that I would like to have a lower ticket offer for my audience that directly correlates to my other programs (rather than just podcasting)

Biggest Risk:

  • The biggest risk I took was launching upLIFT and saying that I was offering business coaching – this was difficult for me! (I shared about this transition at the start of 2021 on this podcast episode.)

Smallest Change with Biggest Impact:

  • Moving all of my socials to Esther Littlefield instead of separate accounts
  • Felt big to me, but it was actually a small shift for my audience, and it saved me a ton of time and energy

What’s changing and what’s staying the same for 2022:

  • Continue offering Shine Online as a course with live coaching – will likely do a challenge and then offer this course
  • Continue my upLIFT Mentormind but it will be evergreen enrollment (for now), which means you can go learn more about the program and apply at any time
  • Continue serving a couple clients on my podcast management services side. This is the same as it’s been and operates like an agency which means I manage the process but I don’t do most of the work
  • I’m stepping down from my marketing director role with my client in early 2022 – this was a difficult decision but I felt it was the right time.
  • I will be creating less content in 2022 and focusing more on repurposing and visibility. I want to show up more in a few ways such as IG, my FB biz group, and Clubhouse.
  • Planning to hire another team member to support me on the marketing side, so that I can focus just on the ideas and content
  • I will be committing to writing and I’m not sure what that will look like but I am determined to spend more time on this in 2022

Financial Overview

Note: I record this before having my final 2021 numbers, however the percentages will likely be pretty similar to what I had available at the time of recording.


  • Done for you services: 54% (this includes the podcast management services & my marketing role with a client) [In 2020 this was 68%; 2019: 85%; 2018: 98%]
  • Group programs: 29% [In 2020 this was 14%]
  • Courses: 11% [In 2020 this was 12%]
  • Other: 6% [In 2020 this was the same]


  • Team costs: 16.8% of income [2020: 22.8%]
  • Other expenses: 29.7% of income [2020: 35%]
  • Profit margin: 53.5% [2020: 42.2%]

My income growth from 2020 to 2021 was at least 30%. In 2020 I had about 8-9% growth from the previous year, so I’m quite happy with the growth this year.

What I invested in:


Faith Focus:

Luke 8: 1-3

“Soon afterward, Jesus traveled from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with Him, as well as some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna the wife of Herod’s household manager Chuza, Susanna, and many others. These women were ministering to them out of their own means.”

This passage inspired me to be like the women described who were able to support Jesus’ ministry out of their own means.

Shine a Light Segment:

Today I’m shining a light on you, my listener! I am so grateful for you listening along with me and sharing your feedback. I truly hope and pray that this show has been a blessing to you over the past year. I look forward to bringing you more content in 2022 that will help you grow your business and shine the light of Christ in the world around you.

Connect with Esther:

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