The word that guided my expert business in 2023 

At the back end of 2022, I formulated a word that would define my expert business for the next 12 months.

It was a gut feeling rather than a logical decision. But the word emerged. And that was Brilliance.

Brilliance - Word of the Year 2023 by Susanna Reay

I'd launched both the Business Spark Scorecard and my Sparkle Frameworks® Starter Kit in November. The Starter Kits were snapped up fast, bring over £1000 of revenue in the first few days and have continued to be a best-seller.  But what was next?

I got the tingling sensation in my body that guided me to lean into this more. (I get this physical effect when listening to clients speak their truth too.)

I need to "be more me, be more sparkly, and show your brilliance."

"Brilliance" isn't a strategy!

I've never trodden the traditional business coaching path, as my world is visual, we play with ideas and turn them into profit. 

Not by spreadsheets and projections, but by aligning your expertise, your lifestyle and your personality together to create solutions that really shine a light and guide your audience into your world. 

But what I did know, was that I couldn't achieve "brilliance" on my own. To achieve this would require another 3 words: 

  1. Community
  2. Support
  3. Focus

1) Community: to ignite

Relationships are more vital than ever. 

Communities are where connections are made and where, as an expert in your field you can show up and shine as the expert you are.

Great relationships can absolutely be started online - start with being human and commenting on others posts, bringing in value and showing you have something to say. 

Communities ignite the connection and ignite your business, as you share more about what you do. And the more you share the easier it is to see which elements to lean into for your business. 

  • Join the conversation. 
  • Join live events. 
  • Make time to connect.

In 2023 I connected with many local business owners at in-person events, both near and far and I have attended hundreds of online gatherings. Real connections were made, conversations were had that led to both collaborations and clients. 

Attending Atomicon in June, really spurred me forwards with how important community is to drive a great event. This is a marketing conference for small business owners that on the outside may sound a tad yawn-worthy.  

But Andrew and Pete are a shining example of how to run an event that is centred around the community. No tiered pricing or seats, the speakers stay and mingle with everyone at the pre and after parties. I had a fantastic chat with fellow introvert and keynote speaker Chris Do at the after-party (see photos).

Attending an event ignites your brain in a way that you just don't get sitting alone at home. I'll be going again next year, and if you'd like to meet-up, grab your ticket through my affiliate link to get added to my VIP in-person meet-up and post event debrief on Zoom.

Speaking was a huge part of my Brilliance strategy in 2023. I've guided over 200 people inside multiple servings of my live 90 minute workshops to 'Scale Your Expertise Business'. I'm mixing things up a bit next year - but I will still be running live workshops so you can get a taster of working with me. 

I also took on tour my 15 minute talk "The Power of Frameworks" inside over 20 private online communities, many of which were inside the amazing Athena Network, and I have 5 sessions already booked in to extend this tour into 2024 already. A new talk called "How to Create Compelling Offers" will be on the menu for hosts as well. If you'd like me to come and speak to your community of action-taking business owners, then do reach out. 

The highlight of the year was delivering my 30 minute keynote in Manchester to a live audience of aspiring speakers on "How to Turn Ideas into Profit"- this is now published on YouTube here.

From feedback after the talks, attendees shared that I'd set off sparks in their minds to ignite their business, as they walked away with strategies to share their brilliance, with their audience, their community. 

We can't do it alone - its the village that makes the person - the vibe that lifts you up and motivates you forwards. 

2) Support: to shine

As an expert business owner, it's important to not only own your ideas but discover how you can share these in an engaging manner and share one idea simply with your audience to expand their thinking

Enlisting expert support was a key strategy to help me simplify my message and share my expertise business in a way that would resonate across many different venues and audiences. 

It is very hard to coach yourself, and when I looked back on my previous leaps in income, they had always come with personal guided support. 

Support I invested in this year has been on personal development (battling those mind monkeys), to crafting a keynote and business mentoring from a variety of sources. 

You Are The Media Workshop with Trevor Young

In the second half of the year I leant into the You Are The Media community for support. You Are The Media, as declared on their home page are "The Marketing Learning Community" based in Poole, UK. This is a 2 hour drive for me, but on 1st December I made the trip to attend a workshop run by the amazing visiting guest expert and fellow member, Trevor Young on "How to Play the Bigger Game".

I'd first met Trevor a few years back and guested on his podcast "Reputation Revolution" and this man knows his industry well. Trevor lives in Melbourne, Australia most of the year, so an opportunity to meet in person, get support and dive more into community made this a definite strategic yes to attend for me. 

I look forward to connecting with them in person again at the Creator Day that is help in April of 2024.

3) Focus: to thrive

Focus was the name of the game inside my business, reducing down to one thing and doing that remarkably

In the past I have served multiple styles of offers, but I knew for me and my clients to thrive, I needed to focus in on ONE THING.

Now was the time to really hone into what I do best - help expert business owners with original ideas and processes to grow their authority brand

And to do this meant focusing on just one version of everything I do:

  • Deliver one community talk multiple times on: 'The Power of Frameworks'
  • Create one keynote to deliver at live events: 'How to Turn Ideas into Profit'
  • Run one workshop, nine times (online and in person): 'Scale Your Expertise Business'
  • Sell one offer: The Spark Space Mastermind

Practice makes perfect and by focusing in on ONE IDEA, you can and will gain more traction than serving multiple ideas.

Everywhere I focused my energy this last year has led to growth - in sales, and in connections. 

My 2023 expert business takeaway: 

Human connection is the guiding light to a brilliantly successful business.

On a personal note... 

2023 was also the year I embraced my changing hair - it's gone curly with the menopause and part of "brilliance" to me was being more me...so I've been busy getting updated brand photos as well. 

Plus I've been sharing much more of all my amazing diverse thoughts, as I've realised with the diagnoses of my teen being neurodiverse that there are many elements I carry with me as well. And that needs to be celebrated!

One of these is "dyslexic thinking" which isn't necessarily related to spelling but more about the ability to connect up diverse ideas and see the patterns within. 

That is the essence of my work with Sparkle Frameworks® - capturing your unique essence and bottling it into a framework that is easy to share, to teach and brings in clients to your world. 

I will now take some time to lean and see which work will emerge for 2024, and how this may show up. 

Side note: As much as Artificial Intelligence (AI) has dominated conversations throughout 2023, I have only ever seen it as a tool. Sure it can speed up your processes, create content when a blank page is sat in front of you and a deadline is looming.  But in my opinion, and I know this is rocking the boat for many... AI is just creating digital trash. Content that will often never be consumed and be left sat on servers that are gobbling up resources. 

Written by Susanna Reay, 12/15/2023

Susanna Reay is a multi award-winning coach, writer, and speaker who’s been bringing clarity, focus and structure into small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups for over 20 years. Susanna brings a unique perspective informed by her training in design and business strategy, her life-long interest in psychology and strengths as an introverted online business builder. Her book, courses and mentoring have been the catalyst for growth for clients who’ve integrated Sparkle Frameworks® into their business. She helps the unseen be seen, heard and respected. Susanna is based in Europe, serving a global audience from her English home.

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