16 Things I Learned In 2016

Ok, so it’s the last day of 2016 and I’ve decided I’m going to punch out one last blog post for the year.

And, keeping in with the tradition of this blog, of course it needed to be a ‘lessons learned’ post (you can read the 2013 post here, the 2014 post here and the 2015 post here).


1. My podcast is actually doing really well!

When I check my podcast stats...
When I check my podcast stats…

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know I host a weekly podcast over at The C Method, that helps business professionals increase their confidence and skills with public speaking, networking and building relationships.

It’s up to episode 91, and the other day I discovered that over the last 3 months, it has averaged over 13,000 downloads per month, with the downloads peaking in October (15,000 downloads). Aww yeaah!

Normally, I’m not too concerned with the podcast numbers (I rarely check the stats) but it was super exciting to see how the show has progressed. Clearly, I must be doing something right!

If you haven’t subscribed yet, click the buttons below to do so:

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2. It’s possible to blog every single day

One of my major personal achievements this year was to complete a 30 Day Blogging Challenge. I made myself do it because I found myself procrastinating about writing, and I wanted to kickstart my blogging habit again. I was terrified at the start (especially after announcing it publicly), but as time went on, it became easier and easier.

I had hoped the challenge would get me back into a consistent, weekly blogging habit, but alas…I wrote one post after the challenge ended and it has since been 3 and a half months of nothing until this post. Dammit!

So, lesson 2.1: It doesn’t matter how set your habit is…it’s still very easy to break. I don’t think it matters how much writing I do, I’ll still need to schedule it and force myself to get it done for it to happen. *sigh*

3. I won’t compromise my values, even for $$$

Even though I don’t post on this blog frequently, it still receives enough traffic to attract the attention of online advertisers and ‘content partnership’ companies (mostly because of my paleo protein bar recipe that went viral on Pinterest*).

This means I have the opportunity to run paid ads and sponsored blog posts on my site, which means some extra cashola for moi. Pretty cool, except I haven’t actually taken the time to go through with any of it.

Until the other week, when I received a request to publish a pre-written blog post that was (supposedly) in the “same voice and tone” of my blog. They would pay me $100 USD. A hundred bucks for simply copy/pasting a post on to my site? Too easy!

So I had a read over the draft article. I had expected it to be about a health or fitness-related product or service. But the text linked to a gambling/casino site. And the writer had attempted to connect winning an online lottery with achieving one’s health/fitness goals through doing Crossfit. What the?

I told them thanks, but I would be passing on this article. Even though this blog is not my main business, it still represents my personal brand, and there is no way I would support online gambling, even if you paid me. Any sponsored posts or ads you’ll see on this blog (and my podcast) will only be for products and services I would personally endorse.

4. Video marketing totally works

Creating videos is a lot of work. Not only do you need great audio, you’ve gotta think about the lighting, the background, what you’re wearing, you’ve gotta do your hair and makeup, the editing takes longer…give me podcasting in my wardro…sorry, studio, any day!

But I’ve had a bunch of people tell me that video is where it’s at, and I’ve gotta start doing more of it.

So, I finally made a short intro video for The C Method home page, and published it on Facebook. Within 24 hours, it was seen over 2000 times (which is a lot for me). Boom! Here’s the video:

Yes, it’s more time consuming, but it’s worth it. 2017 will be a year of video for me, with a new YouTube show launching. Stay tuned.

5. Coffee is really, really bad for me

I wrote about this in my last post, The Clear Mind Project. I love the taste of coffee, and we have excellent coffee here in Melbourne, but it gives me migraines and makes me feel all fuzzy-headed. I’ll have one maybe once a week, and when those uncomfortable buzzy feelings come back it further cements why I should be giving up the glorious brown liquid for good. Damn you, stupid brain!

As a result, English Breakfast tea has become my new (albeit slightly-boring-but-better-than-a-migraine) go to beverage of choice. Shout out to The Joinery Elwood, my local cafe, for serving it up nice and hot during my early morning work sessions!

6. It’s possible to fall in love with financial spreadsheets

I’m not a details, numbers or analytics person (hence, I rarely check my podcast or website stats). So normally, if you’d spoken to me about finances, profit/loss statements, superannuation, taxes etc, you’d get some serious eye-glazing-over happening.

But I realised that if I want to run a super successful business and make millions, I MUST understand finances. None of this ‘hand it over to a bookkeeper!’ business. Nope. I had to learn and understand it for myself.

So I educated myself. I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, Tony Robbins’ Money: Master The Game, and Mike Michalowicz’ Profit FirstAll were excellent, mind-blowing reads.

I implemented the Profit First system, and now I LOVE looking at my financial spreadsheets. Yay! (I won’t explain the system here; go check out the book). And I’m proud to say that this financial year, I’ve made more revenue in my business than what I earned working 9-5 as an Architect. And my goal is to double it next year. Bring it on!

7. I seriously missed out on a proper movie education as a child

Since moving in with my movie buff boyfriend, I’ve discovered that I missed seeing many many iconic films during my childhood and teenage years. These included: Alien and Aliens, Terminator 1 and 2, Stand By Me, The Goonies, Gremlins, the entire Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, Pulp Fiction…I won’t go on in case you decide to un-friend me.

But it’s ok! I’ve been well educated this year, and blogged about it here.

8. The Star Wars movies are pretty damn awesome

Need I say more?

9. How to let go of creative control

My podcast has always been written, recorded and produced by myself, and myself only. Call it a control thing. But when I went to Vietnam for a vacation, I asked my sister Lizzay if she could record and release a podcast for me. She said yes.

She released that episode before I even listened to it, and I had to trust that she had done an excellent job. Which, of course, she had 🙂 Click here to listen to her amazing first podcast. Thanks Lizzay!

I’ve also brought a podcast editor on board for help with production. It’s taken a load of weight of my shoulders (saves me loads of time — yay!) and it’s also helping me to let go of creative control. And this is important, because I can’t do everything myself and stay sane forever!

10. How to fold your clothes

I’ve done a lot of decluttering this year, and I learned from Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo how to better store your clothes. Normally, I’d stack everything in piles, which meant that whenever I pulled an item out, the whole pile would get messed up. Plus, I could never see every single item in the pile.

Now, I fold them and line them up in rows, which means I can actually SEE all my clothes when I open the drawers. Amazing! I even fold my socks and undies (it’s not an unhealthy neurotic habit, I swear).

11. To give even less of a f*ck

I’ve written about caring less before on this blog, and as time goes on, I gradually give fewer and fewer f*cks about what others think of me, and it feels really damn good.

When I spent a month in the Philippines on a Rotary International ‘vocational exchange’ doing a speaking tour, I spoke to so many varied audiences in so many different locations, I was essentially forced to stop caring about what people thought of me. I didn’t have time!

I just had to get out there and do it, and when I came back home, I felt ready to take on whatever speaking challenge was thrown at me. I’ve learned that caring about what others think will seriously hold you back from being confident in yourself, which affects your ability to speak and present yourself effectively.

So if you learn ANYTHING from this post heading into 2017, it’s to simply give less of a f*ck. Please. Do it for your own happiness.

12. Probiotics work!

I used to not be able to eat apples, due to their high level of fructose. I’d get super bloated and gassy. But I’ve been taking a daily probiotic for a while now, and when I eat apples…nothing happens! It’s like magic!

13. When and when not to build rapport with people

There are two types of people in this world.

  1. The type who like to ask how you are, talk about your weekend, your kids, your upcoming holiday etc (personal life stuff), BEFORE getting into business or work-related stuff.
  2. The type who want to talk business/work FIRST, and when that’s sorted, they’re happy to talk about your personal life.

The problem is, Type 1 thinks that the Type 2 person is being rude (inside they’re thinking: ‘He didn’t even ask me how my day was!’), and the Type 2 people get impatient with the Type 1 people (‘I don’t care how your weekend was, stop wasting time, we’re at work for God’s sake!’)

The trick is to figure out which of your colleagues is Type 1 and Type 2, and play your conversation cards accordingly.

For example, if they are Type 1, make sure you as her about what she did over the weekend, how her family is, did she get out in the nice weather, etc. Once you’ve had a chat, THEN ask about work.

If your colleague is Type 2, when you see her on Monday morning, say “Hi Julia! Good weekend? Great. I have that report for you, but I have a question…” No fluff.

Try it, and see if you start to get better results from your relationships at work.

15. You have to learn before you launch

If you want to create a product, you can’t just create a product. You have to learn first what people want. I did this through speaking, coaching, getting feedback on the podcast, and running surveys. It takes work, but it means you’ll be much better off when you finally launch.

10. Launching a product is a lot of work

Yep, you don’t just have to learn, you also have to do a bunch of work creating the actual thing. This is another reason why it took me so long to actually launch my book and audio bundle, The Confidence Blueprint.

And it wasn’t even a full-blown launch; it was a simple soft launch to my podcast listeners and subscribers! Grrr. But I had been threatening all year to launch it, and this month I finally did it. Yay!


And, over 1900 words later, that’s it from me! Phew! Thanks for reading this 2016 round-up post! It’s been an excellent year, and I thank you so much for your support. Now, excuse me while I welcome the new year and party like it’s 1999. Here’s to a rockin’ 2017. CC