Another very odd year is coming to an end, and, as every year, I recently took a few days off to reflect on the past year and start planning for the next one.
2021 – An Important Year for my Business
It’s been a year of many changes in my business, including letting go of projects I enjoyed doing, but that were simply taking up too much time and energy and weren’t aligned enough with the way I wanted to run my business, and especially with how I wanted to live my life. I let go and consolidated what I wanted to keep (including shutting down my German newsletter and starting a new English newsletter) and made space for new things to come, which feels really good. This year also brought some pretty big changes in my team as my assistant, who I had been working with for many years, left to focus on the next phase of her own life, and I ended up hiring two new assistants, one for my own business and one for our LIT Community. As helpful as it was to have an assistant familiar with most aspects of my work, I have really been enjoying the separation between different business projects that came from hiring multiple people. Now, the question I always get asked is where are your assistants, and have you ever met them? Well, not in person, no. That’s the beauty of working online, right? One of them is currently in Morocco, and the other one is in Mexico, but who knows where they will be next month.
40 Clients – 400 Counselling Sessions
As much as I have revised the way I run my business, the inside of my business hasn’t changed that much this year. Online counselling is still the pillar of my business, and as much as I love my other projects, I love working 1:1 (or 1:2) with clients even more. I ran some numbers, and it looks like I did indeed spend a significant amount of my time in video calls this year, with close to 400 client sessions, most of them 50 minutes each, and about 1/4 of them double sessions of 90 minutes. On top of my long-term clients, there were 28 first sessions this year, with a mix of new clients and some clients returning after a longer break. Overall I worked with about 40 clients this year, many of them in German, some in English and/or French. And, while I didn’t get to travel as much this year myself, I did get to work with clients across the globe and across multiple time zones, from North to South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. A few of the clients came for only 1-2 sessions, many for 10-20 over the course of the year, and some I saw once or twice a week for most of the year. The topics we worked on haven’t changed that much overall, we still talk a lot about relationship and family issues, stress and burnout, but the pandemic keeps impacting my clients’ lives.
Online Workshops and the LIT Community
Unsurprisingly, 2021 was not the year for in-person workshops and conferences. Still, I got to deliver some workshops and talks online, especially around mental health and remote work and the impact of Covid and closed borders on expats and migrants. I also provided a number of workshops for colleagues to help them start their own online business and show them how to make the most of video sessions.
So, while I didn’t get to spend as much time delivering workshops as I had hoped for, I did spend a lot of my time inside our LIT Community and, of course, working on the backend of the community, from setting up our blog to interviewing colleagues for our YouTube channel, all the way to some major changes to our free Facebook group.
This is what my work hours looked like overall this year:
Some More Numbers and Stats
- Beds I slept in: 18
- Countries I visited: 4
- Seasons I experienced: winter – summer – autumn – winter – spring – summer – winter
- Blog posts published: 24
- Podcast episodes released: 12
- Website visitors: 33.000
- Google search impressions: 579.000
- Google search clicks: 27.100
- Weeks off work: 8
Less Travel – More House Plants
While 2021 was less travel intensive and not as nomadic as I had hoped for, I still managed to spend time in 4 countries this year. One of the weirdest experiences of my year was my flight from Europe to Australia, sitting on almost empty planes and transiting through a very deserted Changi airport in Singapore. The two weeks in hotel quarantine that followed, in a room with windows that barely opened on a very noisy street, are definitely the least fun memories of my year. But I did get to enjoy an almost Covid-free life afterwards, with plenty of flat whites and long walks on the beach for most of the remaining year, which made up for that!
Yes, 2021 was an odd year, where I celebrated my 7th anniversary as a digital nomad while living longer in one place than in any of those seven years before. I even got some house plants and furniture, and took up a new hobby with weekly classes for two terms in a row, pretty unusual for a digital nomad indeed!
So, that was my 2021. How was yours? And what are your plans for the next year? I will be sharing more about mine in my January newsletter, so make sure to sign up now to know more!