My Biggest Lessons and Takeaways of 2022 - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

My Biggest Lessons and Takeaways of 2022

December 28, 2022

How did your business do in 2022?

I’ve had some pretty big lessons and takeaways during this year and in this episode of Art of Online Business, I want to share them with you. As a result of these lessons, I have some plans for how I’m going to be moving forward in 2023, and I’ll be sharing those in the next episode. 

To be honest, this year wasn’t as strong of a year in business as last year, and I learned a lot from it. A big one is that you need to be consistently planting seeds, or marketing, whether things are going well in your business or not. Aside from this podcast, I didn’t do as much marketing, and that taught me a lot. 

You can’t control what happens in your business, but you can control your thoughts about it and what you do with the lessons you learn. I’m sharing more about this lesson and the others that I had this year so that you can see how I’m planning to move forward in my business and start the next year off strong. 


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What I learned from my health emergency
  • Why you can’t compare your business this year to last year
  • Some highlights from this year
  • The importance of asking for feedback
  • What I learned about list building and email marketing
  • The value of social media 


Links & Resources:

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use and love and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.


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Hey, my friend, real quick, just to remind you that I’ve made some big changes to our accelerated coaching program. So if you’re looking for personalized coaching and mentorship to help guide you to the next level of your business, whatever that next level looks like for you through help with optimizing your sales and marketing, ethical marketing leadership and being the CEO of your business team, building systems and processes, etc.. Go over to Rick Mall for Accelerator and fill out the form right there to see if we potentially could work together. All right. Rick Morris, Ford Accelerator. Now let’s get into today’s episode. And. All right, Welcome to today’s episode of The Art of Online Business podcast. My friend Rick already here. Today, I want to share with you my biggest lessons and takeaways of this year of 2022. And I’ve had not a ton of them, but some big ones. And I want to share what those what those are in today’s episode. And then what I’m going to do in the next episode is share with you what I’m going to be doing instead in 2023 and what my plans are as a result of these lessons and takeaways that I’ve learned here in 2022. Now, I wasn’t planning on doing this, but I want to start off this episode with some lessons based on some a little life update for you. So I’m recording this episode on Friday, December 16th, and my vacation was supposed to start yesterday. 

And I’m off for three weeks. I took the last couple of weeks off of the month, as most people are, and then the first week of January off. I am working today because on Tuesday morning I was awoken at 440 in the morning. By the way, this is a little bit of a trigger warning. Going to be talking about physical pain here in just a second. So if you don’t want to hear that, skip forward a couple of minutes here. But there are some lessons here that I want to share. 440 In the morning I wake up from this excruciating physical pain in my right abdomen and I’m like, What is going on? I never felt this before. And so I’m trying to figure out what’s going on. And like, I was like, have an upset stomach or whatever. And eventually I start, I start vomiting and I’m like, something is not right. And so finally my my wife wakes up at her sort of normal time. And. Unlike babe, like something’s not right. Like, I am really sick right now. And she’s like, What? Like what’s going on? And so and then I start vomiting again, and she’s like, Oh, my God. Like, are you, you know, like, are you all right? Like, And I’m like, I have never felt this pain before, this kind of pain before. And it is excruciating. And she’s like, Do you think we should go to the emergency room? And I am never one to be like, Oh, yeah, you know, I think we should go. 

But I was like, Yeah, I think we should. And so she rushes around. My daughter Mya, who just turned four yesterday, by the way, I can’t believe she’s four years old already. For any of you who have toddlers, you know how long it can take them to get going. But Maya was super champ. Like, she got ready really quickly and she could kind of sense the urgency of what was going on. And so we get out the door. We have our health insurance here in Southern California is Kaiser Permanente. And so my wife is looking up like, where is the, you know, the nearest emergency service with Kaiser? And it was like 20 minutes away just up north from here. And so we get in the car and because I didn’t think I’d need an ambulance. But as we’re driving, it’s like 20 minutes. And I’m like, oh, like. I want green lights all the way. I am in so much pain and my wife is just like staying super calm. She was just like the most amazing person ever getting me there. And we we get there and she drops me off at the doors and it’s and so she goes to park and I walk in and it turns out it’s an urgent care, not emergency services, which is what the website said. 

And so I’m like. And it’s closed. It’s closed. I’m like, You’ve got to be kidding. So a couple of minutes later, my wife walks up with with Maya and she’s like, wait, this is this is urgent care, This isn’t. And I’m like, Yeah. And I’m like, and it’s closed. And she’s like, so angry that they mis labeled it anyway. I’m like, We need to call an ambulance because I can’t take this. And so call an ambulance anyway. Turns out, long story short, I spend 6 hours in the emergency room, have all kinds of tests done. My wife is fearing that it could be like my appendix or whatever. It turns out I have a kidney stone. For those of you who have had a kidney stone before, you know the kind of pain, it’s small and I’m saying it is small because I currently still have it and it is not fun. I feel a lot of pain right now. Not as bad as it was on Tuesday. And so I’ve been thinking about sort of like some lessons that I’ve been experiencing and thinking about this week, But that is the reason why I am recording this today, because I meant to do it several days ago. But, you know, life happened and my health is obviously the most important thing. And so one lesson that I’ve taken I’m taking from this right now.

So first of all, I have amazing, amazing people in our accelerated coaching program. I had eight coaching calls lined up to do on Tuesday. It was a coaching heavy day. And the reason for that is because my, my, my daughter had a holiday thing at her preschool on this past Wednesday morning. So I move things around because I wanted to be there for that. And I had some coaching calls that I’d actually just move back to Tuesday. So it was a coaching heavy day in accelerator. We do for one part of it is one on one coaching with me. Coaching heavy day. I reached out to my team that morning before we were going to the to the emergency room and I was like, we got to cancel this. And typing is all kinds of typos. So anyway, everyone was super understanding. And so, you know, that’s this says so much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that kind of support from my members. Just like there. There’s a very big reason why I’m so particular about the type of business and the person that we allow into the program. So that was number one huge lesson there. Another thing here is like, look, like we cannot we we never know what’s going to happen, right? We can plan for whatever in our business, in our life. But like, you never know what’s going to happen. And right now, I as if you’ve been listening to the podcast for any period of time, you know that I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression, anxiety especially for years and years, going back to like seventh grade or something like that. 

And I’m in this period right now where the pain is not what it was on Tuesday, because that was unbearable. But there’s pain there and people keep sharing. Like how? Like it’s like giving birth, you know, like I’m like, oh, my God, Like, is this what’s coming my way here in the next few days? And so I’m actually really well controlled. Like, I’ve really my brain is doing a good job of like, look, I can’t like, this is my this might not even be at anything for me, you know what I mean? Like, I had somebody tell me yesterday, like, yeah, you might not even know that it passes. I’m like, Oh, I’ll, I’ll take that. But like, it’s the whole running your own race kind of lesson here that I’m really starting to think more about because my experience could be extremely different from somebody else’s. And maybe it won’t be, but I have no idea. But our thoughts have so much to do with obviously, how we’re feeling and what we’re doing instead of, you know, and stuff like that. I could be freaking out right now. I kind of a little bit, but at the same time, I’m not. I’m like, All right, you know what? I just want this to be done and let’s do this. 

You know what I mean? And who knows when it’s going to happen, but I can’t control it, Right? And so I think a big lesson here is we just cannot control what is going on or what’s going to happen. All we can do is, you know, you’ve heard this a million times. We can control what we can control. I can control how I think about it. And that is that’s been a huge lesson here. Also, you’ve heard a zillion times about like when there experiences like this, you slow down from it. It causes you to slow down really quickly. Well, that’s been 

the case with with me. And we just had a ton going on here, both in the business and also just personally in time of year and all that stuff. And I have had to come to a screeching halt and really listen to my body. And just like, you know, it’s the old cliche thing, like your health is the most important thing. And I’m not saying that I could have prevented. I mean, yeah, there’s ways to prevent it, but 

like, these things happen all the time. And so I notice one thing. Also, another lesson is like not drinking nearly as much water, which could have contributed to to this as I probably should be. Yesterday I drank 200 ounces of water. And I know that because I have a big hydro flask here in front of me and it’s 40 ounces and I drank five five of those things. 

And I may know I don’t drink that much every single day. But, you know, the lesson here is, as I’ve been doing some work this morning, I’m not drinking as much as I have been, just kind of laying around a little bit the past couple of days. So anyway, I just want to share that update, just some simple lessons there and very different from what I’m going to share with you on the business lessons coming up from the year. But yeah, that’s where things are at right now. Hopefully today, tomorrow, this weekend, things get better. But I’m doing all right. Doing all right. And I’m pumped to do this episode for you here. I’ve been wanting to do this episode for a few weeks now. So anyway, let’s get into that said episode. So as I mentioned back on episode 639, which is Rick Mulroney 4639. 2020 and 2021 were great years for so many online businesses. You know, they were great years for my business as well. Last year. 2021 was the best year that I have ever had in January. Next month in 2023 is nine years in business for me. And last year was the best year that I have ever had. Now, this year, though, in 2022, compared to those two years especially, has not been as strong like I’m the business is down considerably. 

Last year. And in talking to a lot of different people, I’m hearing the same thing over and over and over, that sort of same kind of theme from people that, yeah, they experience kind of similar things in their business. And so of course I’m a data like all about numbers, right? So I looked at the data and based on the things that I can control anyway, like again, the lesson going back to this kidney stone. I hypothesized what was going on based on the data that I was seeing, and I feel strongly that nailed kind of like what’s happened and what’s been happening this year. And I’m going to share all of that with you in just a minute. And like I mentioned, the very beginning of the episode, in the next episode today, I’ll share with you all my lessons and takeaways. The next episode I’m going to share with you what I’m going to be doing instead in 2023, what my plans are as a result of all these lessons and takeaways. I want to first start out, though, with sharing some highlights from the year in the business this year and things that have gone really, really well. And the first thing that I loved about this year is we got back in person with our accelerator coaching retreats. We did a retreat in Vegas and one here in San Diego.

The San Diego one was the best live event that I’ve ever done. And, you know, so many people have done an episode about it, but so many people ask me like, well, what made it so great? And it is exactly what I mentioned to you earlier. It’s the people that are in the program that make it so amazing. And it was just such a great event, such a great group of people. And I love doing these events and they’re often a big highlight for many of the accelerators who are in the program. And it was just so good to get back in in person again. So that was a big highlight. That was a huge win for us. Number two, within Accelerator, again, we had a ton of amazing wins with our members this year and just to kind of share a few with them. One person got their workweek down to about 10 to 15 hours per week. They took an entire month during the summer off, and during that month they had their best sales month ever. During the month, they had off and at different points of the year, they’re like, what more can I be doing? Because they they had streamlined their business so much that they were like, wait, I want to get back into some things. That was a huge one. Another person joined accelerator after being in the hospital due to stress and burnout, and they were working like 80 hour weeks and really unhappy. 

And they’ve been able to get their hours down through our work to about 30 hours per week. And they’ve experienced a sales month of close to six figures, which is their highest month ever. And they’ve never been happier and more grounded in their business. That’s been a lot of fun to be part of that journey. Another person had their first 100,000 month. Another person is having their highest revenue year ever in 2020, 2022, while working 10 hours a week or less. And I could go on here. Right. The reason these wins mean so much more because I get to see the impact that these wins have on that person, their relationships, you know, in their life and on their on their family and their overall stress, on their health. And that’s exactly why I do. What I do. So huge wins all around. Another highlight for me this year has been seeing the huge success that one of my revenue share partners is experiencing in their business. I talked about the revenue share partners, that partnership part of my business in last episode, now two episodes ago, and their businesses just exploded and I could not be happier for them. And what’s even more fun is just this is just the beginning for them. So that’s been a fun highlight of the year. One more highlight that I’ll share with you is I ran a pilot in my accelerator coaching program and you might be asking like, well, if you’re new to the program, thank you for listening. 

Why is Rick always talking about accelerator? Well, this is my one offer in the business. This is what I do. And so I ran a pilot in the program during Q four here in 2022 where I began offering weekly one on one calls with me. And this came about because I’m always asking for people’s feedback. All of our members, you know, they have the opportunity to give us feedback and we have sort of like a more formalized process, if you will. Big lesson there, by the way. If you do not have a formalized process where you’re asking for feedback from your students, from your members, from your clients, what have you. Get one in place, right? Because you should always try to be iterating your offer and making it as best it possibly can so that, you know, they’re doing the marketing for you, your students, your your members, what have you. They’re letting people know like, Hey, this is amazing over here, I’m getting such great results, etc.. And so one of the pieces of feedback that we got was they’re like, I’d love some more one on one calls with Rick. And so I ran a whole bunch of models just on my end just to see how we could work it, etc., etc.. 

And so I decided to run a pilot in Q four. This is in addition to the 90 minute call that people get with me when they join. And so I tested this because I wanted to dive even more deeply into people’s businesses when they when they join the program. And so I was like, all right, I don’t know how I’m going to like this with the addition of the hours to my schedule. And so that’s why I rolled it out to the members as a pilot, was very upfront about what this was and what this wasn’t. And I loved it. And based on the feedback that I’ll be getting from the members, I’m very likely going to continue with this. I don’t see this changing. And so that’s been a big win to it’s been a lot of a lot of fun. And so now let’s shift back to why I firmly believe 2022 wasn’t as strong a year for the business as I was hoping for. And before I share what I concluded, you do have to look at what’s going on in the world this year, with the world opening back up more or less from from COVID. You know what’s going on, the economy, inflation, etc.. You know, and as I shared in my email to my email list the other day, so many people are simply feeling spent at this part of the year. But we can’t control any of those things that are going on as far as the economy and inflation and world opening back up. 

All that stuff is what I mean. But what we can control, again, going back to my experience this week with kidney stone is we can control our thoughts and how we respond to things. And so here’s what I firmly believe that I did or I did not do in this case for 2022, for it to be not as strong in the past couple of years. And I’m genuinely apprehensive to share this with you because this is what I teach. This is a big part of what I teach, and that is I stopped doing the basics. I stopped marketing. I know it sounds like. What? Like, are you kidding, Rick? Like, so outside of this podcast? I stopped marketing. I know, right? Like marketing your online business is one of the core things that that I teach one of. And so for the first few months of 2022, I was working with a social content agency. I’ll call them for my podcast. But that turned out to be a giant, very expensive learning lesson for me and did not turn out the way that I had hoped. And I stopped working with them in May. And so outside of that, I really didn’t do any marketing outside of doing this podcast. And Dunkin Donuts, I’ll talk about here in a second, like the this podcast is very successful and I’m very grateful.

For that, but I kind of rested on the laurels of the show and again, I stopped doing the basics. So here’s a list of all the things that I feel. I basically did not do well enough. And I say for this year, but it’s actually more about last year when things were so good, because that’s really when we want to be, you know, sowing for the future, if you will, so that we can reap the rewards. We reap the rewards. Got it. Later, when things are going really well so that you’re planning for future stuff. Right. And like I said, I’ve been riding the success of this podcast for a very long time and that’s great. It has worked really, really well and it still continues to work. I’m not saying it doesn’t, but again, I wasn’t planting seeds when things were so good in the past, especially last year. Right? So there’s a huge lesson for you. You consistently want to be planting seeds, i.e. marketing, regardless of whether things are great for you or not going so great, you don’t want to stop that. And I know it sounds so obvious, but you know the part that is like apprehensive to to share this with you and honestly vulnerable with you is like this is the core of really what’s got me to this point. Obviously, this is just one piece of the puzzle that I teach and help our members with and accelerator and I talk about here on the show, but. 

You might be thinking like, Really, Rick? Like you stop marketing. What’s up? And as you’re going to hear, I don’t have great reasons for this, and I’ll share this with here in just a second. But especially when things are going great for you, you likely have more resources to put into your marketing and planning those seeds, whether it’s, you know, whether it’s money to be spending, whether it’s time, etc. you likely have more resources when things are going really, really well. And so take advantage of those opportunities. And so all right, here’s that list of examples of the things that I basically did not do well enough. Number one. Yep. List building. Wish I had a great reason for this, but I absolutely do not. This is a huge regret of mine. Now, again, I rested on the laurels of the success of this podcast. The success of the podcast has not changed. It’s still the primary. If I look at my business, if I look at the marketing in my business as like an umbrella at the top of my business, that umbrella is this podcasting. Here is this podcast here. That drives the overall marketing. It’s like the the the big channel that I have. Right. And so that doesn’t change. That hasn’t changed. But I got I got lazy with it basically, not with the podcast, but lazy with relying on it and you know, list building just like cool. 

Got the podcast here. Full steam ahead. Yeah, no mistake. So that is number one. And again, I wish I had a great reason for it for not doing it, but I don’t and I’ve talked about it here in the podcast. But I have a very small database. I have a very small email list, and I would guarantee that most all of you have larger email lists than I do, which is just another lesson there. It’s not about the size of the email list. It’s like the quality of. The less that you have and the relationship that you have with people, that’s what it’s about. So, all right, That’s number one things I do not do well enough. List building number two, Guest podcasting. My messaging is really shifted over the past year and a half. And the excuse that I was telling myself was that I wanted to nail things down, that I wanted to talk about in other shows before approaching other show hosts. No excuse. There is no excuse here, though, as I know what I want to talk about. I know what people want to hear from me, etc.. You know, especially. Especially when there is no excuse when the very best way to grow your own podcast is by being on other podcasts. I am very well aware of that. 

I help my members, my students with the exact same thing. I did not do a very good job of it. You know, I was on other shows. Yes. But like, I want to be on way more shows in 2023 and I have a plan for it. So that is number two. Again, the basics, my friend. List building, guest podcasting. And then number three, repurposing this podcast. After the experience I had with the agency earlier early in 2022, like I referenced earlier, I really took my foot off the gas and I just deprioritized it. I have reprioritize that here at the end of 2022 and going into 2023 because, I mean, what episode is this like 670 or something like that? I started video podcasting, by the way, if you have a podcast. And you are not doing video of the podcast. Please start doing video. As soon as possible. You you’re going to want to be it’s going to be a critical piece of podcasting come I mean, it is now, but even more so with everything that YouTube is doing in the in the podcasting space, etc.. So get video recording yourself as you’re doing this podcast. Literally, my setup right now is I’m talking as I normally would, but I have my camera on and I’m recording this if you’re watching Hello. And we put it on the out of online business YouTube channel full length episode if you want to watch the episode. 

And more and more people are watching, by the way, not just my show, but just shows in general. So anyway, repurposing the podcast number number three. Number four. Oh, consistent emailing. No excuse here. Absolutely no excuse. This is the bread and butter of an online business. And what would happen is, is that emails would take the back seat when I had a whole bunch of other things going on. Because I do, I say like to be I like to write the emails I don’t love. I mean, I like to be the one to write the emails, but writing emails takes me a long time. Because the writing part just doesn’t come easy for me. And yeah, I’ve had other people write emails for me and all that stuff, but like. Off and on this year, but it just wasn’t consistent. And again, this is this is this is basic stuff here. Absolutely no excuse for myself here. This again, this is the bread and butter. But yeah, my this is emails that take a back seat when I had a whole bunch of other things going on in the business. And that’s a result that is an absolute no no been better about it here in the second part of the year but nowhere near what I want it to be. And that’s going to change in 2023 to. So again, I’ll be in the next episode. I’m going to share with you my entire plan for the New Year for 2023.

Based on all these lessons and takeaways that I’m sharing with you here today. Very open. Social media. Did not do a good job of social media for me. That’s really for when it comes to social. There’s repurposing of the content that I’m already putting out, right, i.e. this podcast. Then there’s the actual showing up on social right. And I, I don’t love, you know. I have this weird relationship with, like showing up on on social. I’ve always felt, number one, that it takes a lot of time for the amount of return that you get. But I also know the value just at the same time. I also know the value that exists with it. So I’m trying to find that balance, just being honest with you. Trying to find that balance. I also know that as I talked about in an episode here on the show this year is that you absolutely have a seven figure business. You do not need to be doing social media, and I’m living proof of that. But yeah, I go all into it in that episode. But anyway, that is something that I’m going to be looking for a balance in the new year and I’ll talk more about that. And so as you can see here with these one, two, three, four, five things, these are all the basic building blocks of marketing, my friend that I got lazy on. 

And as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been riding the wave of the podcast here, which continues to be a huge wave, mind you. We’ve done two and one half million downloads this year. Which is just which just blows my mind. But I got lazy. And I’m not saying anything’s wrong with being lazy. I’m just saying, like, I. I let the basics go because I relied. I was allowing myself to rely too heavily on the one channel which I talk all about, right? Like I’m always like one offer, one channel. But then once you get that going, okay, now move on to other things in terms of channels and so forth. But I just stayed too long with it. So that’s the big lesson there is I stayed too long with the one channel. Not again. This podcast is 670 episodes in. Like, I still feel like I’m just getting started with it, so it’s not going anywhere. But there are these other things, other pieces that I need to be doing a way better job in. And, you know, I wish I could tell you that these are all, you know. Complex funnels or whatever. No, this is the basic stuff. My friend and I wanted to share this with you today because. Number one, I want to give you a recap of the year, what kind of like what I’ve learned this year, some huge wins and takeaways and lessons. 

But I also want to share with all this with you and be transparent because nobody’s perfect, my friend. And regardless of what you might see or hear from somebody on a podcast or in videos or whatever, like there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. And yes, even when you specialize in something, you too can get lazy with it and it’s okay. The most important thing is what you do with it, how you think about it, because you can beat yourself up and like just go down that spiral or you can understand, All right, hey, what’s going on here? Maybe why is this going on? And then you start looking at it, start thinking about it, start feeling differently about it that are going to drive the actions. And so that’s exactly what I’ll share with you in the next episode. I’m going to share with you. As a result of not less, building gas, podcasting, repurposing the podcast, consistent email, social media, etc. I’m going to share with you my plan for 2023. And what I’m going be doing instead as a result of these lessons and takeaways. And I’m really excited about it, and I’ll share all that with you here in the next episode. So thank you, my friend, as always, for listening and listening to my story about the emergency room. Don’t normally share the size of things, but hey, there you go. Appreciate you. Until next time, be well and we’ll chat with you soon. And. 

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