2020 Check in – looking back to look forward!

by | Jan 4, 2021 | Business Building Musts, Small Business Help

We did it! We made it through 2020, and we are now in a bright, shiny new year!

This blog post is sponsored by Spend With Us – www.spendwithus.com.au an online marketplace for rural and regional businesses.  If you want to support rural Australian businesses who have suffered through the prolonged drought, last summer’s bushfires and now Covid – head to www.spendwithus.com.au.  Even if you’re looking for gift vouchers, you can buy site wide gift vouchers and support the 500+ small businesses on the platform.  For corporates or bulk order, the gift cards can even be personalised for free!

For today’s blog, it’s time to do a check in with ourselves, with our business and the year that was!

2020 may have been brilliant for you. And if it was, that is totally ok – it’s fine to have had a great year, and you shouldn’t feel like you need to hide this fact from everyone either.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, 2020 could have been a complete shit show for you – and if it was, please know you have people who are in your corner ready to help back you up into 2021.

You also could have had a complete mixed bag of a year – you may have had the shit show on one hand in aspects of your business, but found you thrived in your personal life (or vice versa). That’s completely ok too.

No matter how it rolled for you, now is the point where it is time to look back to go forward.

This review over 2020 is what I did recently and I have to say, a few things blew me out of the water.

I have a number of goals for 2021 which I am so looking forward to:

  • Meet face-to-face all the amazing humans I’ve met online last year
  • Speak on stage more often, about community and marketing
  • Be a guest on more podcasts
  • Make winning more awards part of my marketing strategy

These last few things, I can’t do on my own.  So, I’ve reached out to a colleague and friend, whose business it is to do this sort of reach and PR work, and I have employed her to help me achieve my ambitious goals for 2021!

And let me tell you, there’s been a ton of paperwork to go with this little contractual agreement!

Lots of “What’s your goals”, “What’s the BIG picture” and “What’s 2020 looked like for you” questions to answer.

However, one question (or three actually) had answers that totally blew me away.

The questions were

  • What media outlets were you featured in this year?
  • What Podcasts have you been a guest on this year?
  • And did you blog for anyone this year?

Now when I sat down and went through my inventory to answer all these questions, here’s what I found I had achieved:

  • featured in 23 media outlets
  • been a guest on 12 podcasts
  • written 5 blogs for other businesses

Now these numbers might or might not seem like a lot to you – but honestly, I was blown away.  I had no idea I had done so much PR, in fact some of the things I wrote down, I had to check, was that this year or last year (which is a sign of 2020 I guess!)

I had to also write down what I achieved, what my 5 biggest/proudest achievements were and how many events I’d been involved in – noting that after I added them up – I’d hosted almost 50 webinars this year – HOLY MOLY!

The reason I’m giving you this bit of background isn’t to brag, but to point out that in the year that dragged on, and where of the 2020 goals I had set out at the end of 2019, I achieved about 5 of my 13 – once I put down on paper all that I did end up accomplishing, things were pretty good when it was all listed out. Sure, it may not have directly aligned with the goal planning I originally had, but I still managed to smash out some great things!

So that’s what I want you to do.

I want you to grab a piece of paper or start typing and answer these questions, making sure you check in with yourself:

  1. What were your THREE (or ten, up to you) achievements this year?
  2. How did they make you feel?
  3. What did you achieve that you didn’t think you could?
  4. What worked?
  5. What didn’t?

And if applicable to your business model, answer these additional questions:

  1. What media outlets were you featured in?
  2. What podcasts were you a guest on?
  3. What awards did you apply for, were a finalist in, or win?
  4. By what numbers did your social media grow by?
  5. If you look at your goals for 2020 – which ones did you achieve, and which ones, given the year, weren’t achievable?
  6. Of those you didn’t achieve are they still applicable in 2021 or should you shut the door on them?
  7. If you had a word for 2020 – how did that fair?

If you aren’t sure about the last question – I talked about choosing a word of the year on my Podcast in Episode 46 – go back and listen to that in light of a new year rolling around!

For some, goals are a little hard to set – but having all your goals focussed around one word, just one, can really help you keep on task and keep to the ambition of what you’ve chosen.

My word for 2020 was IMPACT.

All the ways I’d intended (or most of the ways I’d intended) to impact the world didn’t happen in 2020.  And honestly, if you’d asked me last week before I did that little exercise above, if I thought “Did I have an IMPACT?”, I probably would have said, maybe or sort of.

But after doing this task, and taking a focussed look back at my year, the answer is a resounding YES!

Absolutely, it was a different impact to that I had planned, but hell yes, I think it’s all g! (As my kids would say!)

So, you might be asking what my word for 2021 will be?

Well, honestly I’m tossing between having IMPACT again or COMMUNITY, or both – because hey they’re my words and I can have more than one if I want to!

I can’t encourage you enough to go back and listen to my podcast Episode 46 – follow the worksheet and the steps and come up with a word for 2021 – one that will help you encompass all your goals, all your dreams, all you can do!

As my business coach always said, “Who do you need to show up as, to reach the goals you set?” – such a powerful question.

And it’s that powerful a question, that I’m going to leave you to ponder this week!

Remember, the world needs you, because no one can do you like you.

Let’s have a conversation about your 2020 review in Like Minded Facebook group– or send me a DM on Instagram, or an email jenn@jenndonovan.com.au


Jenn Donovan is a marketing strategist and social media extraordinaire, coach and mentor to savvy business owners.  Owner and Founder of Social Media & Marketing Australia.

With a passion for making business simple, because it’s isn’t easy but it should be simple or at least simpler, she’s built a reputation for helping other small business owners simplify their marketing and businesses so they can reach their goals, be more profitable and live the dream (finding the freedom they set out to achieve when they started … the illusive small business owner freedom dream …!)

Jenn believes in giving before asking and that’s why she’s the host of the popular Small Business Made Simple Podcast


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Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!


Brilliant – it’s on its way – thanks!

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