Make Marketing Suck Less

Navigating The Sh!T Show: Business and Personal Highlights of 2023


We made it. This has been quite a year.

It's been unlike any year that I have seen in business before.

As we wrap up 2023, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate and also take you behind the scenes of my business for an honest look at what 2023 was really like, what I'm proud of, what didn't go well at all and my secret excitement and hope for 2024.

(Click play or read the transcript below.)

In this episode you'll learn:

  • My top three highlights of the year
  • The most challenging situations of the year, both financially and personally
  • My predictions for 2024

Learn more about Michelle Mazur:

Resources mentioned:


Listen on your favorite podcast player or read the Transcript below:

Michelle Mazur [00:00:00]: We made it. This has been quite a year. It's been unlike any year that I have seen in business before. So as we wrap up 2023, I wanted to take a moment to celebrate and also take you behind the scenes of my business for an honest look at what 2023 was really like, what I'm proud of, what didn't go well at all and my secret excitement and hope for 2024.

Michelle Mazur [00:00:50]: Welcome to Make Marketing Suck Less. The podcast that knows marketing is freaking hard, especially when you're a solo business owner trying to juggle it all. I'm your host, Dr. Michelle Mazur, author of the 3 Word Rebellion and founder of the Expert Up Club. Forget the latest marketing fads and tactics promising social media stardom. I'm here with research-backed strategies to help you clarify your message and get twice as effective with your marketing. And while I can't promise you'll ever love marketing, I'm here. to make you hate it a tiny bit less.

Michelle Mazur [00:01:31]: First, I want to congratulate you on making it through 2023. This year has been a rough year for so many business owners, and I can't tell you the number of people that I have talked to who are having so many challenges, both personal and business-wise.

So if this year has been challenging for you, if your revenue is down, if things just haven't been clicking and haven't been working like the way they were in the past; please know that you're not alone. And that reason of normalizing the conversation about what is really happening in business right now is the reason I wanted to do this episode because it has not been all shiny and happy behind the scenes at Communication Rebel Headquarters. However, there have been some great bright spots and highlights 2023 brought, and also kind of a shit show of epic proportion behind the scenes.

So let's talk about the year that was 2023.

In my business, I had 3 big highlights. The first highlight from 2023 was creating the ExpertUp Club. Creating a community from absolutely no members and building it to 40 people is incredible. And one of the reasons in my business, I never started a group program or a membership and always preferred to work 1x1 was because I never wanted to be seen as the person with all the answers.

I didn't want any program I created to be the ‘Michelle Show.’ That is not how I roll. I'm very clear on what my area of expertise is.

And what I have loved about creating the club is all the amazing experts who are in the club, and how much experience there is. There's, like, over 143 years of experience in that group and how generous people are in their support of each other, whether that's feedback or collaboration. And I'm really lucky to have created a community and to lead a community where I am with my peers and my colleagues who I know that I can tap into their expertise to answer a variety of questions that come up in the club. So highlight the best thing that I have created probably ever is the ExpertUp Club, and I'm excited to see where we go in 2024.

My second highlight was rebranding this podcast and the newsletter to Make Marketing Suck Less. It was because one of the members of the ExpertUp Club, her name is Rebecca West, she is a business coach for interior designers. After one of our retreats, she said to me, “Oh, after 15 years, marketing finally sucks less!” And I thought, that's a really good that marketing is sucking less for you, and that's a really interesting turn of phrase.

And then as I started doing my own positioning exercises, I realized there was a wide open space to talk about the realities of marketing, to talk about how freaking hard marketing is.

And I'm so glad that I made the decision to rebrand the podcast because the Rebel Uprising podcast, while I love the mission behind it, it was not serving you, the listener, well, because you didn't know what the hell the show was about. And this show just gives me so much clarity around creating content and creating newsletters as well because my job is to help you make marketing suck less. That is what I am here to do.

By the way, if you are not a part of the newsletter community, you should know that the weekly newsletter I send is completely new content. It is just it's not just repurposed from this show. So if you want a double dose of Michelle making marketing suck less for you, then go sign up for the newsletter. It's over at I'd love to have you.

Michelle Mazur [00:06:26]: And the 3rd highlight of this year was Duped and co-hosting Duped: The dark side of online business with my friend, Maggie Patterson. Like, it has been a wonderful experience to create that show with her, and I am so excited that we have decided to move Duped to a year-round show, and I'm also excited that we launched a Patreon, and that Patreon is supporting the production costs associated with that show.

It's seen amazing, and I love having that creative partnership and that mission of how can we help people be better consumers of programs and memberships and communities and 1-on-1 services.? How do we help them make the best decision for them? And so that they don't get duped and burned in the future.

So those are my 3 big highlights. I also had some personal highlights this year. I went to Denver, Colorado, saw Duran Duran twice at Red Rocks, and got to hang out with my Duranee girlfriends. It was our 20th anniversary of meeting.

My husband took me to see Lady Gaga in Vegas for my 50th birthday. And if you haven't seen Lady Gaga's jazz show, I highly recommend you do so.

I also got to go to Toronto and attend Andrea Jones's social savvy retreat and hang out with some of the ExpertUp Club members and some friends I haven't seen for ages.

So there was a lot of good this year, but overall, this year felt like a shit show to me behind the scenes. So I'm just gonna divide this up and talk about business first and then the personal stuff, because I think the personal also led to some of what was happening in the business this year.

So the shitty part.

My business is down. Revenue is down. Leads are down. My 1-on-1 work has been the slowest since been since 2016. While that's been hard because I'm used to working with between 30 to 35 people per year on their messaging. There's also been a bright side to that.

Like, I have realized for a long time that I needed to pare down my 1-on-1 work because it is very demanding to take someone's ideas and hold space for them, and then create and structure a message. I love doing that work, and I know it's very taxing. So having fewer clients has been a beautiful thing that happened.

It's not great for revenue. I would like to have more 1-on-1 clients. But even as I look forward to 2024, I'm actively thinking about taking on less clients or at least the same amount of clients. I had about ten 1-on-1 clients this year, and so maybe 8 to 10 for next year as I really turn the focus to the club.

So if you've been thinking about working with me 1-on-1 for a while now. I'd highly recommend that you download my services guide. You can do that at drmichelle and book a call with me because I'm really going to do my best to book up most of the 1-on-1 sessions that I have available in Q1, and just get my 1-on-1 work set for this next year.

Revenue was kinda shittastic this year. And I think it's important that we talk about it because, in business, it's too often. It's like hockey stick growth and, ‘oh my god, I made so much money and I had a $100,000 month.’ And that's said how business works. It has ebbs, It has flows.

And I really think that in online business, we have experienced a contraction that has happened. Because in 2020, people had money to spend and invest in coaching and in their business because they didn't have nothing else to spend their money on. They weren't going on trips, taking vacations. We were all stuck in our house. That year was probably one of my best years in business, and now the market has changed, and we all need to respond to that.

So part of my business revenue being down is also because, personally this year was a fucking shit show for me. It all started last October when my husband been had an accident and broke his right elbow, left shoulder, so didn't have use for his arms. And this year, he has been has been recovering. He's doing much better, but he still can't, like, lift over 20 pounds. So we're on the road to recovery, but it's still been very hard being in that role of caretaker, and that has meant that I need to spend less time on my business.

Michelle Mazur [00:12:00]: Then in October of this year, I got hit with Bell's Palsy, which took me out for 3 weeks before I was actually able to work again, and I'm still recovering from that.

My energy is better, but I only have 37% movement in my face, and it just takes a lot out of you. You have to rest a lot more. I also had an emergency root canal. My 16-and-a-half-year-old cat has diabetes and kidney disease, which means insulin twice a day, testing his glucose, giving cutaneous fluids. Like, I would make an excellent cat sitter for your older pet because I can do all the things now, but that's just been another level of caretaking.

In some ways, I feel like the universe did me a solid favor survived cutting back on my 1-on-1 work so that I can focus on my husband, my own health, and in my cat's health. It sounds really weird to say I'm focusing on my cat's health, but I really, really am.

Michelle Mazur [00:13:02]: So what am I looking forward to in 2024?

Number 1, my face healing, being able to blink again, being able to smile again. It's really the little things for me as far as my health, but I'm really looking forward to being back stuck to my somewhat normal, quirky, awkward self.

I'm also looking forward to the live in-person retreat we're doing for the ExpertUp Club members. We're gonna be meeting outside of Palm Springs for 2 days to connect and work on our business in person. I'm so excited I get to see and hug these people. It's gonna be great.

And then I'm super excited because I am hosting a virtual event in February (12th through 16th( called Make Marketing Suck Less. where I am bringing together 10 experts who are taking behind the scenes of their business and showing us what works beyond social media, beyond the likes and shares, and I decided to do this because I really want to help you figure out what is the right way to market your own business? How do you make those kinds of decisions, and one of the best ways to figure out how to do that is to listen to other people doing it.

So I'm excited for that as well.

As for predictions, I'm kinda out of the prediction business. However, I do think we're gonna see the online business space bounce back a little bit next year. I am also very concerned about the 2024 election in the United States because I predicted that will be a shit show and also that I will need antianxiety meds to get through it, and I predict that we're gonna see this trend of people becoming more savvy about who they buy from so that there are less people getting duped, more people slowing down in the sales process in making the best decision for their business.

Yes. That can be challenging for us individual business owners, but I think it can be such an amazing thing to have happened so that the industry changes for the better.

And that's it, my friends. I am excited to see what 2024 brings.

I know, for me, I am so committed to more experts being known for their work, and my work in that continues. So I want to wish you the best holiday season, and we will be back here January 16th for our next episode of the podcast. So may you relax. May you get some sleep. May you decompress and have a very happy holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year. I'll see you next year.

Michelle Mazur [00:16:19]: If the Make Marketing Suck Less pod is making your marketing more effective so that your clients can find and hire you, please share the show with a friend. The easiest way to do that is through pod link. You can find the show at, and that page will allow anyone you share the show with to subscribe and start listening in their favorite podcast player.


The Make Marketing Suck Less podcast is a production of Communication Rebel. Our production coordinator is Jessica Gulley-Ward. The podcast is edited by Steven Mills, our executive producer is me, Dr. Michelle Mazur.

The make marketing suck less podcast is recorded on the unseated traditional lands of the coast salish peoples, specifically the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish people, original stewards of the land, past, and present.

If the Make Marketing less pod is making your marketing more effective so that your clients can find and hire you. Please share the show with a friend.

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