2021 In Review - A Year of Firsts & Focus

entrepreneurship year in review

They say life is lived forward and understood backward. So as we prepare to wrap up this year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect. 

2021 has been an incredible year of firsts—my first full year of business. The first full year of Assemble the Tribe being available on the world stage. Our first large-scale DFI virtual event. My first series of keynotes and my first leadership program launched.

As I sit here and take in all those firsts, the thing that hits me is that even as a solopreneur, I accomplished nothing alone - I did it with my tribe. First, I have to say thank you for divine inspiration. 2021 was a challenging year, a pandemic year, and yet I’m still here, you’re still here. Without strong faith and spiritual grounding, it would have been impossible to make moves. Thank you to all my vendors, sponsors and partners - you make me better, you help me achieve things I never thought possible. Thank you to my tribe of accelerators (you know who you are) who every month pour into me and remind me of my why. Thank you to my family and personal tribes, who have supported me with unwavering consistency. 

Following this first full year of business I continue to explore opportunities to consolidate all of the arms of my work. For now, please stay connected with me on Instagram and Linkedin. Learn with me and grow with me - I look forward to sharing the best of what I have to give with you. So let’s get started, here’s my year in review:  

Good and Bad


  • Business Results: I am both humbled and thrilled. This year, Conduit International Ltd. exceeded its first-year targets by over 25%. Thank you to all my clients who trusted me to serve you. 
  • Leadership Program: The Tribe Advantage was launched in June of 2021. With participants from across the globe in Bermuda, the US, Canada, and Nigeria - I could not be more grateful. The Tribe Advantage has reminded me that even though we are diverse and different, on so many levels we are still the same. Having had a front-row seat to several incredible leadership transformations, I believe now more than ever that the challenges of women in leadership deserve focused attention. I can't wait to partner with companies and individuals as they look to accelerate their leadership journey in 2022.
  • Coaching and Consulting - Every quarter, I carve out some space in my schedule to take on coaching and consulting clients. This year, in addition to a few Executive and Leadership clients, I was also blessed to dig into my “area of expertise" with many coaching and consulting clients that have backgrounds in HR or needed support developing HR strategies. I am so grateful to help organizations and leaders build connected teams that deliver results. 
  • Speaking: In 2021, I had the privilege of presenting over 13 keynotes and workshops to local and international audiences on the subjects of Leadership, DEI, Wellness, Entrepreneurship, and building tribes in our personal and professional lives. I also developed my signature keynote presentation - It's Time for Shift - Rethinking the Way We Assemble Our Tribes. I can't wait to share it with new audiences in 2022.
  • Assemble The Tribe: Assemble the Tribe was sold in over 7 countries around the world including - Bermuda, US, UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands & as far as Australia. The book also won the Bermuda National Library's Golden Book Award as Bermuda's most popular book.  I am looking forward to releasing the audiobook in 2022 and focusing on partnerships to share the book in new countries and with the next generation of women. Thank you, KPMG and Big Brothers Big Sisters, for giving my next generation goal a tangible push as part of the Girl Power Book club launching in January 2022. 
  • Designed for Impact: With over 240 attendees, our most diverse generation and industry audience ever, we delivered over 6 hours of compelling virtual content. With 94% saying they will absolutely or likely recommend DFI to a colleague or friend, we end the Optimize Your Life chapter of DFI grateful for the moment of impact. 
  • Pay It Forward - Giving back and pouring unexpected moments of kindness into the lives of others are at the very foundation of my values. In 2021 Conduit International Ltd. gave over $25,000 in services, scholarships, bursaries, and donations to local and international charities. One of my favorite quotes about kindness is: Even the little things we do have impact. No matter who you are - organization or individual, no matter your budget, we can always find ways to give back. 


  • Book penetration - While I was happy with the year results, I want more for Assemble the Tribe. In 2022 I will be exploring opportunities to share the book with more audiences, especially the next generation of women. 
  • Writing - I write regularly and share my monthly blogs and newsletters. However, at this juncture, I don’t feel like I am in a consistent flow. I intend to figure out what that looks like as I am starting to ink my next book...more on this later :)
  • Fitness - Our impact and our businesses can only go as far as our health can take it. This year, I did not invest in my health the way I wanted to. I started so many things but did not stick to them. BUT my motto is; every day, every meal, every moment is an opportunity to try again. So 2022, here we go! 

Favorite Quotes

As much as possible I try to write original quotes. Here are a few of my favorites from 2021:

  1. When you give all that you have, make peace with the outcome until you grow and have more to give. You cannot give what you have not yet become. 
  2. Want to be successful? Plan to succeed.
  3. The world will always be an imperfect place. However, it's our little acts of kindness and love that create PERFECT IMPERFECTION.
  4. You are who you are—beautiful, Brilliant, capable of greatness + impact. You ARE and always have been. The only question is, will you choose to believe it is so?
  5. Batteries that can't be recharged eventually run out. 
  6. Don't let the words that you speak be disqualified by the patterns of your leadership. 
  7. You DESERVE to be YOURSELF.

Learnings to take into 2022

My word for the 2021 year was FOCUS. I have learned that it is impossible to stay focused all the time. With so many things to focus on - our spiritual lives, work, family, external pressures, world events, etc - it is normal to lose track of our dreams and goals. We should expect that life will get out of focus. However, just like a camera with a manual lens, when life gets blurry, all we need to do is adjust the lens, and gently bring ourselves back into focus.

Top 5 Goals for 2022

  • Launch The Tribe Advantage Class 2022 and The Tribe Advantage Membership Program
  • Release the Assemble the Tribe audiobook
  • Launch my first Strategic Planning Workshop
  • Take a MEcation (vacation/strategic planning/writing retreat)
  • Make an impact

Thank you for sharing 2021 with me and I look forward to continuing to connect and support you as you grow and transform your tribes in life and leadership.

Meet The Author

Leah JM Dean is a leadership strategist, tribe formation expert, certified strengths coach, best-selling author, facilitator, speaker, and founder of the women’s leadership program, the Tribe Advantage. She is on a mission to help women and organizations all across the globe transform their tribes in life and leadership. To learn more about Leah's work, her best-selling book Assemble the Tribe, or join The Tribe Advantage Leadership Program, visit www.leahjmdean.com. Leah lives in Bermuda with her husband and two children.