2020 A Year in Review

2020 A Year in Review

I ummed and ahhed about doing one of these posts this year…I mean I think I’ve been documenting my progress throughout the year, but I find the process of typing it all out quite cathartic and I know my clients and wider tribe enjoy reading them.

I read back the one from last year, 2019 this morning, and the shifts have bee truly incredible – Its here if you fancy a butchers

But this is all about 2020….the year that nobody saw coming.

So here goes.

This year was supposed to be the year that my business saw real growth. It was my intention right from the off. 2019 had been a year of repositioning and the testing of new programmes and services, but this year was the year I was going to stop mucking about and scale my business properly.

A big driver for this was wanting to move out of my small apartment in East London, years of under-earning after being made redundant 4 times in 10 years the final time pregnant with my daughter Rose, had me fully aware that I was playing catch up.

I made a commitment in January that I would double my income in 2020.

I didn’t know how on earth I was going to do this.

I started the year strong with 600 women joining my 5 weeks to 5K online group programme (running, not £5K…although not a bad name for a business growth programme ha ha), followed by filling the first round of Tribe Builder of the year…but there was an idea for a new programme brewing, and little did I know I would be ahead of the curve.

In February while on the tube into Central London to spend a day with my newly appointed business coach, I scribbled out the bare bones of a new programme…One to Many, a fully facilitated group programme for experts who want to move from 121or in person delivery, to an online group programme format.

By the time I had created it a huge market had appeared. Why?

COVID Bloody 19 thats why.

I had taken the February half term off to take Rose to Butlins, and while she climbed on the soft play and danced to Little Mix in the club of an evening, I was keeping abreast of the news reports that said a virus had made its way from China to the UK.

A few weeks later I was giving my last in person talk, doing that crazy elbow fist bump with none other than Olympian Chris Akabusi who was also on the line up…strange times indeed.

The first UK lockdown was a blur, homeschooling and running two online businesses (both that boomed in the crisis), while also struggling with anxiety and panic attacks was no easy feat…

I wrote a blog post which went viral Single Working Mum Vs COVID 19

It feels that time was a lifetime ago…but in the same breath I know it could come back at any time, and that makes me fearful.


I created and launched lots of new things this year

  • One to Many 10 Week Programme
  • Thrive Inside Fitness & Wellbeing Service
  • Kickstart Your Tribe Building Mini Programme
  • Do More Bits Productivity Programme
  • The Fellowship Membership

There were probably more things, but they escape me right now.

I ran a new FREE 5 day challenge called Nail Your Niche in June and in September, bringing 600 new people into my world. I worked with a Facebook ads expert for the first time ever, to explore how this could help me scale.

Organic tribe building has been my thing up until this point.

I developed lots of free resources and opportunities to work with me live free of charge too, I think I ran a total of 12 free masterclasses, and I wrote two free ebooks

But there was another book…a book I had been working on for a while

Leading from the back.

Originally it was going to be a 10 year anniversary book about my plus size fitness business, but with the running world (and my running) ground to a halt, it didn’t feel right to publish that book.

So in September I made the bold decision to fly to Greece for 3 weeks to write a book about being a leader in the online context.

Why Greece?

I run a plus size fitness retreat on the Greek island of Rhodes, and have a dear friend there. I wanted to go somewhere I knew, somewhere I wouldn’t have too many distractions, but somewhere if shit hit the fan I’d have some support.

It was a perfect choice.

Rose had moved in with her Dad for a while. We had agreed this was a good move for us all, and that I really needed a break. What none of us saw coming is that I would stay for a total of 8 weeks as the UK went back into lockdown.

It was a massive sacrifice being away from my daughter for such a long time, but it also gave me time to recover and to take stock, and to get clarity over what I wanted to do next.

The book, Leading from the Back was finished, and is selling well, with some fabulous reviews.

I also developed a “find your authentic tribe leadership style” quiz to accompany it (you can check that out here), and even a little self study programme which folks had been asking me for ages to create.

I launched the Activate Your Tribe Toolkit yesterday and I am super excited by how many folks have snapped it up at its introductory price of just £47 in just 24 hours.

Thats the thing I have learned most this year, is to listen to what folks want and to take action before you can talk yourself out of it.

Not all of my programmes have made it to the end of the year, I am retiring One to Many, the small cohort sizes and level of support needed to help folks launch their profitable group programmes wasn’t sustainable over the longer term…but I am super proud of the 30+ business owners that I helped to…here it comes….PIVOT…their services into the online world ha ha.

And some are up in the air…

The 10 year anniversary of Too Fat to Run came and went without much fanfair…it was dissapointing for sure. Do you know throughout the whole of the pandemic, not one brand, not one government agency, not one running organisation got in touch to discuss partnerships, collaborations or sponsorship…which is evident to me that not only did they have other things on their mind, but they don’t really give a shit about plus size women in the sport.

Not sure if that will ever change…

I am committing to writing a final book on running, Pass me the Lube is due out on February 14th, and will be a book about my 10 years as a plus size athlete…and I guess we will have to see what transpires in terms of that business, I just know I can’t run it by myself anymore.

So what else happened over the year?

What did I invest in?

  • New Mac for the office
  • Apple Airpod Pros (which I have misplaced urgh)
  • New branding
  • New brand photos
  • A year long business mastermind with Suzy Ashworth
  • Humour coaching with Jeremy Nicholas (probably my fav online thing I did all year)
  • Coaching with Anna Parker Naples for support around launching a podcast (Due out in 2021)
  • A VA to help with social media, repurposing and admin
  • The development of the Quiz
  • A nutritionist (this was a must after the first lockdown where I lived on pasta, red wine, and adrenalin)
  • Facebook Adverts (Around £1000 of them so nothing too dramatic)
  • I bought a new car

And my numbers?

  • I welcomed around 3000 new clients into my world
  • I wrote around 40 blogs…far less than normal
  • I did one live in person speaking gig
  • I took around 30 days of leave
  • I did around £250K in sales…around

My non-negotiable was having £10K months…I hit that every month, exceeding it often. In November I had my most successful month in business in June when I did more than £30K in sales overall, but November was a particularly good month too, bringing in £21K in cash…while spending most of the month on the beach, or head in my book.

I don’t share these numbers to brag, but instead to show what is possible, and to be as transparent as possible….and also to illustrate the power of having a small but mighty tribe.

Cos interestingly my social media numbers haven’t increased by much, nor my email list, as many people join my list as leave, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea…nobody is, cos then you are just a mug!!

And so what’s next?

I think this year I have proved that I am an expert in this organic tribe building malarki. I don’t feel like I need to create a whole heap of new things (although I know what I’m like), I really would like to just leverage what I already have and get to a bigger audience.

My goal for 2021?

Double my income and double my impact again, and build my team so it doesn’t feel like I am doing most things myself.

I want to live by the sea, I want to live in nature, I want to not work so hard.

I want to find romantic love again (oh COVID you fucker!!!)

But anythings possible I guess.

And next year, how can folks get involved?

Dates for your diary

  • 4th January – Dare to Dream – Vision Board Challenge (Register here)
  • 8th January – Nail Your Niche FREE Challenge (Register Here)
  • 26th January – Tribe Builder (Sign up here)
  • 29th January – UNSTOPPABLE ..my new VIP mastermind (Email me to check eligibility julie@juliecreffield.com)
  • Februaryish – Find Your Peeps Podcast Goes Live (Date TBC)

And then who knows?????

This has been a bit of an epic post, but finally my biggest lessons

  • Stop giving a shit about what people thing about you
  • Don’t wait for things to be perfect to take action on them
  • Invest in yourself
  • Feel the fear
  • Find the adventure
  • Get clearer on your values…act them out daily
  • Find your people, love on them hard
  • Stay in alignment
  • Stop watching what everyone else is doing
  • Stop effing about as a consumer on social media
  • Take time to acknowledge your achievements

Right and on that note I am going to wrap up.

What a roller-fucking-coaster of a year

Sending you all the love and success you desire for 2021

And thats me done for the year


What would it take to become unstoppable in 2021?

What would it take to become unstoppable in 2021?

I don’t know about you, but I am already starting to look forward to 2021

Not because I am setting any new years resolutions, not because this year has been bad (define bad hey), but simply because I have BIG plans…and I get like this every year.

I’ve been doing some rough tallying up this year and thought I’d share some numbers with you…

  • Number of clients = 3000+
  • Number of new programmes developed = 5
  • Number of books written = 2
  • Number of FREE Masterclasses = 11
  • Number of FREE challenges = 2
  • Number of blog posts 100+
  • Number of guest expert slots = 20+

It has been a year of graft for sure.

And I am looking forward to 2021 being a little easier on a number of fronts.

I think it is important to do the maths, to think about the numbers.

I don’t care too much about social media followers, or size of email list…because although these things do matter, they don’t matter as much as you may think.

100 new subscribers is no guarantee in terms of new business…the goal is not to collect followers just for the sake of it.

For me it’s not about passive fans, but instead folks who want to take action.

Action, traction, movement…thats what we need.

Forward momentum, rather than the stop and start that so many business owners experience as they try to scale their business.

Around this time last year I decided I had had enough of the feast and famine, I decided I was done with waiting, done with playing small…I was ready to call in the success I craved.

It was a decision.

The tactics, the strategy, the graft came later…but it started with a decision.

On Tuesday I will be running my final workshop of the year, Becoming Unstoppable in 2021, a half day planning experience…part learning, part dreaming, part embedding or intentions.

Its is completely free, you just need to register here

I will be sharing the 3 biggest things which led to my best ever business year, with a quarter of a million pounds in sales, but more importantly the absolute privilege of helping so many small business owners to create momentum in their businesses.

If you are winding down and getting ready for the festive period, have a well deserved break, thank you for reading my blogs, watching my videos and talking part in my programmes.

And I will see you in 2021…ready to do great things

Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist, business mentor and speaker. She helps small business owners to grow profitable tribes of buyers not browsers.

On Monday over in her free facebook community, she will be hosting a day of interviews as part of the official launch of her book Leading from the back.

Stop needing to have all the flipping answers

Stop needing to have all the flipping answers

When is the last time you made a BIG decision based on trust, based on gut instinct, based on desire…and the feeling that it was just something you wanted to do?

Do you allow yourself that freedom in your business, or are you still following “the rules” still looking for “the right way”?

When I was 16 I made the choice to stay at 6th form and do a BTEC in Performing Arts, when many of my peers were off to college, or to do “proper” subjects.

Did it make sense? Hmm? Not really…A Levels would have been a better choice to get into University, or possibly even getting a job…but I wasn’t seen as academic by my teachers, so they never really encouraged me to take that path.

I made this decision based on 3 things,

  1. I thought it would be fun
  2. It was something I was good at
  3. I knew I’d be OK in the end

I didn’t need to know where it would lead to, I didn’t need reassurances that it would result in a high paid job, I just needed to understand myself and know that whatever I put my hand to I could make sense of.

I have made every career decision based on this.

My career path has not been linear, but its been an absolute adventure, and every job, contract and opportunity I’ve had, has 100% lead me to what I’m doing now.

Even working as a barmaid, even packing salad, even delivering minicab cards door to door.

As business owners, especially solopreneurs planning our next steps there is this tendency for us to want to control everything…to know all the flipping answers…which is bloody ridiculous.

It’s almost as though we want a structured career path laid out in front of us, to simply follow as instructed.

Has 2020 not taught us anything?

There are no guarantees, there are no sure things, nobody can really promise anything.

And just think of all that wasted energy trying to stay on the path, the path that you don’t even know leads to where you want to get to?

So what is the alternative?




Instead of needing to control, we can simply trust that WE have the resources and ability to get to where we want to get to, and have an unwavering belief that the adventure along the way will be fulfilling, interesting and absolutely part of the jigsaw of the final destination that we crave….or something better.

Yes we can plan

Yes we can dream

Yes we can build for the future

But the more you try to pin things down indefinitely, the more you limit the opportunities to find alignement, because what you choose for you now, might not be what you need in a years time, it might not be what the world needs in a year time.

Cos guess what?

We change, the world changes, everything bloody changes…and that is not a bad thing.

So stop trying to micromanage your existence in the world, stop searching for all of the answers, the best way, the most effective, efficient way, the way that’s going to make you the most amount of success the fastest.


Stop. Listen. Take action.

Based on who you are, what you desire, and what you know to be true in this moment.

Then we stop and do this over and over again.

Day after day, week after week, year after year.

That my friends is the wonderful world of entrepreneurship.

Julie Creffield is a business coach and community engagement strategist with 20+ years experience of building, scaling and leveraging communities, online and off.

Her latest book Leading from the Back is now available as an ebook

It is a book about building a profitable online business that is aligned to who you are, giving you permission to do it on your own terms and to bring people with you.

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