When I sat down at my keyboard this morning, I was all set to write a post about setting your business goals for 2013. But as I stared at the blank Word doc, I realized two things. First, I had absolutely no desire to write a generic goal-setting post. And second, you can’t really make future plans without taking a moment to reflect on the soon-to-be-past year.
So instead of telling you how to set your goals for 2013, I’m going to show you how I looked back on my 2012, and how I’m making plans for the future. Hopefully you find this “behind-the-scenes” look at my business at least as valuable as a post on goal-setting. 😛
What Went Right in 2012
First things first: 2012 was an awesome year for me. Though I didn’t set any 2012 goals, my overall goal was to do better than 2011. I landed more clients, made more money, and in general felt more in control of my business. At times, I even felt like I knew what I was doing!
Here are the highlights:
- Marketing That Rocks, my first online training course, launched in November and has several Charter Members already enrolled. This was THE single biggest challenge, and success, of 2012. It took about 200 hours to complete, and untold hours of thinking and planning.
- While attending my first World Domination Summit, I finally realized that my dream is to build a business around my online training program, so that I can run it from anywhere in the world. And by “anywhere in the world,” I really mean Wales, a place I’ve wanted to live since 2004. If all goes well, I’ll be taking a trip there in 2013, and moving in 2014.
- I’m developing awesome personal relationships with people outside my local network. As I’m naturally an introvert, it took a while for me to realize that I still need people! These friendships have been a lifesaver this year, functioning as sounding boards and accountability buddies as needed.
- I redid my website – twice – and finally found a vibe that reflects who I am. After several re-writes, I also created an awesome about page and packaged my services in a way that’s easy to understand. Plus, there are now testimonials on my website. Yahoo!
- On the financial side, I opened my first business checking, savings, and credit card accounts. More amazing still is that there’s money in my business checking, and I haven’t touched my personal savings at all in 2012. Best of all, I raised my rates twice, and I finally feel confident about the price I’m charging for my services.
- On the stats side, I’ve written around 30 blog posts, hosted my first 4 webinar/workshops, and worked with over a dozen clients doing everything from website design to Facebook training to Google Adwords.
Things That Didn’t Go Well in 2012
Despite the awesomeness of this year, there are always things that don’t go according to plan. Most, if not all, of these experiences can be chalked up to the “lessons learned” column of business experience.
- The first launch of Marketing That Rocks, my online marketing program, was not as successful as I had hoped it would be. I spent most of the time before opening registration creating the program instead of marketing it and networking with other business folks who could share it with their students. Even so, I learned a ton about the launch process, and what I need to do differently next time.
- I lost two clients. One was simply a difference of artistic vision, and I was happy to let them pursue a different website designer. The other client was a small non-profit whose board of directors was not willing to experiment with these “new-fangled” online marketing avenues. While I don’t regret moving on from this client, I could have done a better job of teaching and presenting the marketing concepts.
- I’ll never begin work for anyone without a signed contract. In two cases this year, I didn’t bother with a contract for a client because I either knew them well, or the contract was a small amount. Both of them caused numerous headaches, and one never did pay me for the work I’d done. It’s one of those things that you’ve heard a million times, but until I experienced it for myself, the message just didn’t sink in.
- On a related note, I have a third client with whom I first made contact in May, for a project that should have taken a couple of weeks to finish, and it is still not done. Definitely time to put something in the contract about what happens when the client drops the ball.
What’s in Store for 2013
Whew! After that long list of looking back at the past year, it’s time to turn my sights towards the future. 2013 will be “The Year of the Great List-Building,” and I’ve chosen “Onward!” as my motto.
Here’s what you can expect from me in 2013:
- Build my email list to 4,000 subscribers by December 31st
- Re-launch Marketing That Rocks in March and leave registration permanently open (called an evergreen launch)
- Launch my hybrid DIY, Done for You WordPress website training program
Methods to Reach Goals
- Free monthly online workshops
- 1 blog post per week about useful online marketing tips
- 1 email per week, which links to the blog post and upcoming workshops
- 2 guest posts per week
- Network with 10-20 specific people on social media
- Update Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ regularly
Every one of these methods boils down to one thing: having a plan and sticking to it. I’m awesome at planning, but the “sticking to it” part has always been my weakness. But with an accountability buddy in place, I’m hoping that the dream of moving to Wales will do a lot of motivational butt-kicking in 2013.
What About You?
What were your most awesome accomplishments in 2012? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you’d like to share a challenge or two, that would be awesome too. 😛
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