2010, By the Month (the wins, the challenges, the head-scratchers and the epic fails, too)


Positive Thinking by thinkaboutrainbows

The countdown to 2011 has begun!

The fam has left (whadda great time!), Christmas & Hanukkah are over, and there’s nothing but a big, empty week between 2011 & myself. No sessions on the books and barely any plans to speak of (nothing but finishing up Battlestar Galactica -we’re so close!, attending my hubby’s improv show & taking my weekly Zumba class!), and I’m basking in what 2010 was & what I want 2011 to be.  I’d love it if you joined me!

When I read this post by Tiffany that broke her year down by month,  it was something I wanted to blatently copy (that seems to be a theme) to start off this particular week. OK, not totally blatently copy – I’m gonna insert my own breakdown here instead of copying hers. Ha! Could you imagine if I didn’t?! Silliness.

What I really wanted to do here is to create part memory book, part growth-chart of my business as it took it’s baby steps. I certainly don’t mean for you to click every link or leave you with the impression that I have a big fat head but, as is my style, this is my way of celebrating. I’m putting the money where my mouth is, people! And you’ll see I chart my head-scratchers and epic fails, too. Bring it!

Jan 2010

  • launched the new version of my website, thanks to the talent of web designer extraordinaire Bekky Pollock
  • incorporated When I Grow Up Coach into an LLC and turned into a fancy business lady overnight, complete with a business account and a cool debit card that said, “Michelle Ward, When I Grow Up Coach” (I like to put expenses on it & say, “This one’s on The When I Grow Up Coach”)
  • featured in the Newsweek video, Put Me In, Life Coach, which ended up being all about me (eek!)
  • recommended by Danielle LaPorte as “a high energy Gen Y’r focused on getting people to their best career”, might have fainted because of it
  • announced new group coaching sessions & only got 1 sign-up, which does not a group coaching session make. Refunded her money and brushed myself off.
  • kept coaching with private clients at night, on weekends and my lunch hour while working as an Executive Assistant from 9a-6p Mon-Fri
  • kept working on Spring

Feb 2010

  • interviewed for The Sweet Unfolding
  • quoted in MetroNews, which I got to read on the subway on the way to work (so cool to see my name in print!)
  • drew a self-portrait for The Mathematics of Glamour
  • kept coaching at night, on weekends and my lunch hour while working as an Executive Assistant from 9a-6p Mon-Fri
  • kept working on Spring

March 2010


One of my “reject” headshots, which I still love.


Me and my friend Deirdre, who was my co-worker and co-Corporate-America-coop-flier, at our Freedom from Corporate America party. Those smiles didn’t go away all night.

April 2010

May 2010

  • worked for Jessica Swift at SURTEX & met her for the first time even though we knew each other for about a year!, solidified our love for each other
  • kept working on what wound up being The Declaration of You
  • kept working on Spring
  • kept working with my private clients
  • personally responded to 154 scholarship entries, picked 1 winner & launched 9 group coaching sessions from the “losers” who were interested. As you can imagine, not much more happened this month.


From l-r Kelly Rae Roberts, Mati Rose, Jess Swift & me at SURTEX!

June 2010

  • spoke on the Blog Out Loud 6 panel (& am still incredulous I was asked!)
  • celebrated my 2nd blogiversary
  • kept working on what wound up being The Declaration of You
  • kept working on Spring
  • kept working with my private & group clients
  • realized that even though I had almost 20 clients, it wasn’t resulting in 20 sessions/wk, which was my goal. Realized something was broken, but unsure what.

July 2010

  • Nominated as a finalist for The Next Top Newsletter
  • featured in the Innerpreneur Spotlight and on CRAVE
  • appeared live on 107.1 in Minneapolis on the Get Real Gals show
  • “took a lunch” with Danielle of Etsy to talk about how I can help her help the Etsy sellers
  • kept working on what wound up being The Declaration of You
  • kept working on Spring
  • kept working with my private & group clients
  • started charging my clients by the month instead of by the session, which lead to my biggest month of 2010 at that point & a strong foundation for the money to keep comin’ in; started offering email coaching & combo email/phone session packages; raised my prices 20%.

August 2010

  • interviewed by manusmade
  • attended BlogHer and interviewed on camera (there was a make-up lady & everything!) for Women, The 5G Network
  • kept working on what wound up being The Declaration of You
  • kept working on Spring
  • kept working with my private & group clients
  • made more money this month than if I had worked in my Corporate America job, fell over
  • realized I had to start a waitlist of sorts for new clients, which lead to a 4-6 week wait for new clients for the rest of the year. Scared to tell new peeps they’d have to wait to work with me, but ended up making me “exclusive” and “in demand.” Liked comparing myself to hot restaurants.

September 2010

October 2010

  • the post I wrote for the Etsy Storque, Six Secrets of the When I Grow Up Coach (they named it, not me!), goes up, gets about 400 love-filled comments & fills me with tons of warm fuzzies
  • launched the first Declaration of You e-course with over 100 sign-ups
  • kept working on Spring
  • kept working with my private & group clients
  • had the funnest time ever at the very first in-person Spring meeting (aka Carolyn’s wedding!)
  • interviewed for Life of the Freelancer and GirlHabits
  • contacted by a literary agent to see if I’d be interested in writing a book, met with said agent & received a contract, cried.


Me, Tiff and Jess at Carolyn’s wedding, and possibly my favorite picture ever.


Our Declaration of You co-host, Pierre!

November 2010

December 2010

  • finished the first Declaration of You e-book
  • kept working on Spring
  • kept working with my private & group clients
  • contributed to How to Find Hidden Jobs in amNY (& my big mug was included along with my name this time!)
  • hired Brass Knuckles Media to start doing PR for me come Jan (oh yes)
  • came up thisshort of what I realized was a ridiculous high money goal for 2010, my first year as an entrepreneur (I missed it by about $8K, I’m thinkin’!)
  • wrote a guest post for The Organic Sister and Scoutie Girl (stay tuned for both of ’em!)
  • started writing a When I Grow Up workbook for creative career changers
  • breathed, planned, dreamed, reflected and Zumba-d it up
  • spent 3 hours later gettin’ this post together and couldn’t be happier


  1. says

    Congratulations to you dear on an amazing year!! I'm so glad we got to spend most of it together!!

    And, um, it would have been hilarious if you had just copied my month-by-month break down since I spent the beginning talking about how amazingly awesome you are!! xox

  2. says

    Wow! What an amazing and inspiring year!

    I'm getting ready to put together a snapshot of my first year as a business (as opposed to a hobby) and also set my goals and projections for next year. A LOT has happened, and I have big plans and dreams for 2011!

    • says

      @Tiffany – Ha! I forgot about that part! Imagine if I was all, "I'm so great!" That would've been awesome :) And I'm so glad we got to spend the year together, too!

      @Maggie – Ooh, can't wait to see! Please please post it on your blog and/or send it my way. You've done amazeballs in 2010 & can't wait to see what 2011 has in store for you!

  3. Heidi W. says

    Michelle! You are just so, so, so very awesomely
    inspiring!! I love this post more than jam. What an amazing year
    and look at all those freakin' accomplishments! I have no idea how
    you find the time to get it all done, and with such ferocious
    sassiness. I am keeping you in my brain for 2011 and am totally
    going to do this exercise (and download that workbook now)! Loves

  4. says

    i love this post, michelle. i am amazed and thrilled for
    you, at how much success you have had in your first year! it gives
    a hard-working girl lots of hope :-) may the new year hold more
    prosperity and unadulterated joy than you can possibly imagine or

    • says

      Thank you, thank you, lovely ladies! You are all amazeballs and your sweet comments just added to my celebration. I promise to continue sharing the good, the bad, the challenges, and the fails, too. Here's to a kick-ass 2011!

  5. says

    What an amazing year, Michelle! Three big cheers!! March
    was the month we quit our jobs, as well – so we can thoroughly
    relate to what a crazy ride the last nine months have been. Here's
    to an amazing 2011 filled with adventure, enthusiasm and

    • says

      Yay for us, Jill! And is it me, or were these 9 months the fastest of your life? Holy guacamole, I can hardly stand it – yet I wouldn't change it for anything. Congrats to us both! :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *