How To Use Hard Times to Create a Bigger Impact as a Busy Entrepreneur

With just a few days left until the new year, we’re taking a deep dive into those goals for 2023, with a five-day goal creation series. Today we’re getting started by taking a look back at the lessons we learned in 2022 and how to use hard times to create a bigger impact in the future.

So, if you’re ready to accomplish bigger things in 2023 – then make sure to click subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode in this series. And then, let’s get started.

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I just wanted to jump in here to let you know that I’m opening a few additional Mama Business Strategy Sessions over the next couple of weeks AND I’m even giving you a New Year’s Bonus. Here’s the deal: in order to have a successful business, you have to have paying clients and customers. That means, knowing who your ideal client is and how to reach them, understanding why your client should choose you over the competition, and designing marketing systems that work to generate leads – over and over again – without sacrificing your family.

That’s exactly what our one-hour Mama Business Strategy is designed to help you do. After the session, you’ll be able to:

  • Make your first sale (or 10th) without feeling salesy, sleazy, or annoying everyone you know on social media.
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  • And sleep well at night knowing you don’t have to do “all the things” in order to be successful.

Plus, you’ll know the next right action step to take to jumpstart the next phase of your business life and help you achieve those long-term goals. AND – BONUS I’m offering a New Year’s Bonus to all Mama Business Podcast listeners. When you schedule your strategy session with me and use code NEWYEAR (all one word), you’ll receive $25 off the total price. But, this coupon code is only good until Friday January 6, 2023 – so don’t wait!

Schedule your session today at Once again, that’s and use code NEWYEAR. Now, let’s get back to the episode!

How to Use Hard Times to Create a Bigger Impact

Well hey there and welcome to this first episode in the 2023 Goals Creation Series. I’m your host, Sarah Brumley, and I have to say that I think this week is going to be so much fun as we put pen to paper and design our goals and dreams for our lives – personal, family, business, health – you name it – in 2023. I’m super excited so I really hope you are as well.

The line up is as follows:

  • Monday: How To Use Hard Times to Create a Bigger Impact
  • Tuesday: How to Clarify Your Purpose + Vision for 2023
  • Wednesday: How to Create a Theme for 2023 That Keeps You Motivated All Year Long
  • Thursday: How to Choose Goals that ACTUALLY Matter for 2023
  • Friday: How to Create a Foolproof Action Plan + Achieve Your 2023 Goals

Alrighty. Well, while it’s always fun to plan ahead for the future year with new possibilities and what feels like a “fresh start”, the best course of action is to take a look first at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current year so that we set ourselves up for the greatest opportunity for success going forward.

And that’s exactly what we are going to do today and I think this might be a slightly harder episode for some of us, but I think it’s super relevant and necessary. So stick with me, okay?

How to Use Hard Times

I heard the song, Hard Days by Brantley Gilbert on the radio the other day and I bawled. If you haven’t heard the song, you should definitely go take a listen, but…no joke. Snot, tears, mascara running – the works. And I was in the car at the time so the people next to me probably thought I was a crazy person. You see, friend it’s been a year. Honestly, a collection of them, but this year has been the icing on the cake. And I’m not going to go into any detail here because that part of it isn’t relevant, but you understand where I’m coming from.

I love this song because it reminded me that you can’t have the good without the bad. Because we need both sides of the coin in order to really appreciate all that we have and all of the progress we’ve made.

For us, those hard times this year have brought:

  • So much blessing.
  • So much learning.
  • So much growth.
  • So much refinement.
  • So much clarity.

…and without them, we would not be where we are today.

So if you are looking back at 2022 with a feeling of failure or sadness or simply relief that it’s over – I’d like to encourage you to stop for a moment and give it the credit it deserves. Because, no matter how hard it might have been, the truth is the things we learned in 2022 helped to lay the foundation for what we will do going forward. Because ultimately we can allow hard times to do one of two things: shut us down OR push us to make a bigger impact.

I don’t know about you – but I want to create that bigger impact.

Okay, knowing all of that, let’s jump into the actual process of auditing 2022 and we’re going to do this from two different approaches, our goals and our calendar. If you want to grab the complete workbook to help you navigate this 5-day goals creation process, you can find that at

Audit Your Goals

Okay, so the first thing we are going to do as part of our 2022 audit is take a look back at our goals for the year. If you had the chance to listen to episode 16, you know already that my goals were mostly a failure up until September of this year. If that’s was your situation as well, that’s okay. Don’t get bogged down in it. That’s not the point. But, let’s still take the time to look them over.

Also, if you didn’t actually write down your goals or you can’t find them, think back to the things you’d hoped to accomplish this year and use those to help you through this process. Remember, no one is going to see any of this except you, okay?

As you look at them, I want you to ask yourself the following questions for each goal you had:

  1. What sticks out to you as you look back over that goal you made?
  2. What challenges did you encounter?
  3. What, if anything, is there to celebrate? What did you do really well?

So, let’s talk through these questions. And I’m going to use one of my goals as an example so you can see how this works.

I made the goal to have 27 podcast episodes published by year-end 2022 without breaks. Why? Because I was prioritizing being consistent with this podcast. Okay. So, if I’m looking at those three questions, we can just go ahead and start with the first one.

  1. What sticks out to me is that I set a very cautious goal with this one, in that I set the bar kinda low for myself. Knowing that I was going to start my podcast in March of this year and publish consistently 1x per week – that was the goal, right? One time per week, I should have set that goal at the remaining weeks of the year from that point which would have been right around 41.
  2. Alright, moving on to question 2, what challenges did I encounter? Well, I didn’t remain consistent because I took the time to deal with some family situations that took priority. I spoke a bit about that in episode 14, so you can definitely go back to that one if you want to know more. So, that was definitely a challenge to the consistency piece.
  3. The final question was, what, if anything is there to celebrate and what did you do really well? In this case, there’s a lot to celebrate. By the end of this year we will have nearly 40 published episodes – well above the 27 I had as a goal – and even after my taking a long break over the summer. Not to mention, the podcast is gaining amazing momentum and I’m hearing from so many mamas how helpful it’s been for them. So, that’s a huge win and something very much worth celebrating.

Already you can see how this is playing out, right? I’m not getting into the weeds or anything, just listing out the details and then moving on to the next goal. As much as possible, I recommend doing this for each goal you made for 2022. By doing so, you’ll be able to complete step 3 of this process much more effectively.

Okay, so once again, those questions are:

  1. What sticks out to you as you look back over that goal you made?
  2. What challenges did you encounter?
  3. What, if anything, is there to celebrate? What did you do really well?

Audit Your Calendar

That brings us to the second step of the 2022 review which is to audit your calendar. And this might involve looking at your paper calendar, planner, phone calendar or whatever else you use to keep track of things.

Personally, we have a paper calendar on the fridge, I use a planner, and my husband and I share a digital calendar as well, but for the most part they reflect the same things, so I’ll just choose whichever one I feel is most accurate.

For each month, I want you to answer the following questions.

  1. What was the primary focus?
  2. What were the distractions? The challenges?
  3. What were the wins?

Once again, this is not the place to get bogged down in. Look at what you have, make some notes, and then move on. The whole purpose is to help you see all the things that took place over the year AND, should you need to, make note of things that might impede progress in the future.

That’s all.

…also if you don’t have a calendar and you just find yourself winging it all of the time – feel free to just think back to what was happening each month of the year and go from memory. That’s okay, too. Honestly, there’s no exact science in this.

Look for Common Themes

Alright – last step. Now that you’ve done a complete audit of your goals and your calendar for the year, the final step is to look for anything that stands out to you.

  1. Was there any common theme?
  2. Is there anything that you should consider as you move forward knowing that life doesn’t always “start fresh”?
  3. Was there anything you should steer clear in the future?

In my case, if I continue to look through my goals and notice that I set a lot of cautious goals and then didn’t put them on my calendar at all, then that might be something I’d like to consider for the upcoming year. Ultimately, it’s just good to know if you see recurring themes throughout this process.

Take Action: What’s Your Biggest Takeaway From 2022?

Well, this whole episode has been jam-packed full of action which is amazing because you know that action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And sometimes that action involves reflection so that we can do better and create a bigger impact as we move forward.

Before you completely close down your audit of 2022, though, I recommend taking it one step further.

ACTION: Write down the biggest takeaway you had from 2022. This could be a lesson you learned, a goal you absolutely crushed, a heartbreak that turned into a blessing…or whatever else you can come up with.

Just one sentence.

And then file it away with 2022 – because tomorrow, we are moving forward to 2023. Sound exciting? I think so, too.

I know from personal experience that I am more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I am accountable to someone. So make sure to grab that Mama Business Strategy Session by going to and using code NEWYEAR to get that $25 off. I can’t wait to celebrate progress, strategize your plan, and cheer you on moving forward. And you know me, mama, I am definitely cheering you on.

Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you tomorrow.

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