2021 Income (ish) + Takeaways

Dec 30, 2021

Every year I write a recap of sorts. I put it on the blog, write it in an email, and use it as a bookend to the year.

I linked up the older takeaway posts at the end of this email if you want to see them – many of the takeaways are still true today as they were when I wrote them. Some things of course are different too.

2021 was a blur of content creation and growth. Digital Insiders had its biggest events ever, with a sold out mastermind all year long. Funnel Gorgeous (painfully) doubled in size and with that came all sorts of growth, fun, chaos, stress, and gratitude.

I wrote an email teasing some of this financial growth out a bit and got MAJOR kickback about it. People apparently only like you talking about money on your rise up, and there’s a line you cross at which point character assassination and shaming are what you can expect.

It was hard. It made me not want to talk about money ever again.

But I got over it. I’ve been consistently transparent since I got online. I’m not going to stop now because a few people decided to throw stones.

So here’s how the year ended.

Digital Insiders

  • Total Revenue for 2021 = $1,961,724.81
  • Payroll + Contractor Costs for 2021 = $699,454.84
  • Expenses = $320,680.39
  • Net Profit = $941,589.97
  • Taxes on Profit (50% est when I pay federal, CT, and several other states ????) = $470,794.985
  • Net Income = $470,794.98

As you can see, this program has remained steady, as it’s not a scalable offer due to the constraints around the coaching services. I also do not want it any bigger because I want to continue to have 1:1 to access with everyone, so I’m content to keep this business “in the sweet spot”.

The largest expenses in DI are for labor and events.

Digital Insiders also takes an incredible amount of time and bandwidth. This is not a set it and forget it business. I am actively coaching and interacting with clients at least 25-30 hours a week. I spend two weeks a year with Insiders nearly 24 hours a day. So if you’re looking at the business model saying “Oh that’s a sweet deal” – it 100% is an amazing business model if you like people and enjoy investing in them. If you are okay answering voxers 50 weeks a year without stopping ????.

It’s hard to explain how much mental energy it takes to run a dynamic mastermind and keep it healthy and interactive and helpful and all of those things. And it’s also hard to explain how important it is to have a coaching team that is expert level, drama free, and full of integrity. I’m so grateful to my team and their commitment to the group, to each other, and to me. And of course it goes without saying that a mastermind is only as good as the people who are in it, and they are some of the most incredible entrepreneurs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

Funnel Gorgeous was the business that doubled in 2021 (went from $2m – $4m). This is largely due to the fact that we added a brand new revenue stream at the end of 2020 in the form of SaaS. Whereas formally we were just a course + coaching company, now we have SaaS as well.

  • So our course + coaching business did about the same as 2020 – $2M in sales.
  • We added an additional $2M in sales through FG Funnels.

It was crazy to see that both revenue streams were almost equal. I didn’t expect that.

Expense wise, our biggest cost was… you guessed it… labor! I don’t have the final P&L for 2021 to share the exact numbers but in November, we spent over $128k on payroll, contractors, etc., in one month.

Overall, our profit margin is coming in around 40% for the year but we’ve slowly seen profit margin decrease as we’ve grown (which is to be expected). December’s profit was quite low due to the upcoming Marketer’s Heart event (events are SO EXPENSIVE) but the average for the year was great.

So what do I feel now that 2021 is over? Any magical takeaways or insights?

  1. I built a lot of content. I counted it up on a post a few months ago, and it was insane. 2022 is not looking any less, so it’s clear this is one of my zones of genius. Whether it’s workshops, coaching, courses, or presentations, this is where I shine and where I should probably stay. The question is, will I ever slow down enough to write a damn book!?!?!?
  2. Growth isn’t anything like what people think. It’s literally all about people. Hiring people, managing people, coming up with company systems for performance reviews, meetings, insurance, relationship dynamics, etc. Growth is about hiring more lawyers. Growth is about financial strategy conversations. Growth is about not losing your shit when people misunderstand you.
  3. The Internet is changing. It’s changing so fast and we’re right in the thick of it. We’ve got blockchain, VR, web3, NFTs all swirling around the edges of our everyday life and it’s going to continue to come faster and faster into 2022. In change is risk + opportunity. Expect to win and to lose if you play.
  4. The era of dollar in two dollar out Facebook Ads is over, and it’s not coming back.
  5. It’s hard to grow a thick skin and be kind at the same time. I wrote about it here and here.
  6. Most people if they can figure out business, can’t seem to get a handle on the money part of business once it’s made. It’s a big gap in Internet Marketing circles and it’s something I want to help solve (this was the motivation behind Future Fund launch in August with Aryeh Sheinbein).
  7. I did the two biggest events I’ve ever done in May and November. Both were hella epic and I’ll remember them til the day I die (and it makes me want to do more!).
  8. My top podcast of 2021? The Coaching Formula 
  9. My top posts of the year on the blog?
    1. The Tightrope
    2. How to Build a Marketing Plan that Doesn’t Rely on Facebook Ads

Personally it was an interesting year!

  • January Alex and I put an offer in on Longwater Farm.
  • February Nala came to join our family (I also turned 40!).
  • March we moved to Guilford.
  • April + May were adjusting to farm life and inviting all of Digital Insiders to the farm in May.
  • In June, school got out and we went to Disney for the first time since the pandemic.
  • We came back and Ellie contracted covid and landed in the hospital. That pretty much deterred our July.
  • August was another workshop here at the farm, and then school started anew for all the kids. My inlaws also came to live with us for half a year.
  • One kid started college. William went to school for the first time ever. Our girls started a new high school.
  • November was Disney World with Digital Insiders.
  • And then it was the holidays. December 30th, 2021 – the year that’s gone the FASTEST so far in my life.

I’m in a bit of a funny headspace as we race into 2022. I’m hella aware of the state of our planet. The pandemic, climate change, an impending midterm election year, web3 and the metaverse coming in hot. It’s a lot.


Add family and business and it’s no wonder so many of us are tired.

But one thing I know to be true. Our place on this Earth is for such a time as this. I was not a mistake born when I was, and neither are you. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you were made for this hour.

Embrace it.

All my love,


P.S. Some of my older takeaways…2020201920182017.

Julie Chenell initials

Get in touch! I teach strategic business growth tacticss for everyday people.

1 Comment

  1. Melinda Luke

    I think you are incredible and a badass. I first saw you on stage at Alice J Prince’s conference in Utah. I wanted to go all in on a product I was putting together but I got distracted with other work, I’m very much an ADHD soul.
    I have been following you for quite a long time. It’s time I create a funnel for this product. But I just can’t do it alone. I have had some CF training, and I can do some front in, but truly don’t want to do it again. I’ll get on your site and see what I find that could help me.
    You are in my top five because you are so real. Keep being you!

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