It seems strange making my first post for this new venture one about goals. But the biggest mistake I made with Chic Vintage Brides (my wedding blog – and first foray into blogging) was not treating it like a business from the start!
That’s not to say that either it or this is all about the money, it’s not – as you will see from some of my goals – but you are in a much stronger position to succeed if you organise and treat your business (whether you’re a blogger, service provider, creative or retailer) like a business from day one!
And the first thing with any business, is to have some clear goals. To know from the beginning why you’re doing what you’re doing, what it is you want to achieve, where it is you want to be; in other words, what success looks like to you!
So here we are, the last week of January and over the past few weeks I have thought long and hard about what will qualify as success to me in my first year of the Busy Bird & Co. And I decided on 3 key things:
1. Help Half a Million People
Wow, writing it does doesn’t make that number any smaller does it! OK, so yep, I’ve set myself a pretty big goal to start. Because having decided to start the Busy Bird & Co with the aim of giving back, I decided I either need to go big or go home!
How did I come to this number in particular? Well, I was thinking about all the different ways I plan on reaching out: through courses, email, webinars, social media, and of course right here on this blog. And I realised that adding them all together I could make a huge difference, even in my first year! So that’s exactly what I am setting out to do.
2. Set Up and Maintain Busy Bird & Co Solo
OK, so when I say I’m a Solopreneur, I am a Solopreneur who is lucky enough to have her own personal, on call 247, IT Support for a husband. From day one, Mr E has managed every part of the back end of Chic Vintage Brides for me – domains, hosting, web design and even branding for CVB version 1 and 2!
Without my hubby, bless him, there is no doubt I would not be where I am today. It is important for me though, that with the Busy Bird & Co I gain some independence – and learn some new skills in the process.
So far I have secured the domains, set up the hosting, chose a theme (I’m not good enough to design my own just yet), resolved my first technical glitch and got this website launched all by myself. So I am hopeful that this is one goal I am going to knock outta the park!
And last but not least – because we do have a mortgage to pay…..
3. Double My Income
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start my own business to work 12 hour days 7 days a week! I have been a solopreneur now for over 5 years, and I am so proud of everything I have achieved, single handedly, in that time. There is little doubt in my ind now though, that being a solopreneur is holding my business back.
In order to grow my business and to see it achieve its full potential, I need help. But it’s one of those chicken and egg situations: I cannot afford to take on any help on my current revenue of just under $50k a year, but I know that revenue will not increase without me exploring new projects and opportunities. Projects and opportunities that at the moment I simply do not have the time for, because all of the hours of my day are spent on the day to day running of my business.
Realistically, I could afford to take on some Admin Support if I grow my income by 50%, but as I said earlier, in 2017 I am either going big or going home! 🙂
So how am I going to achieve this lofty goal? Well, first of all I plan to create some opportunities around CVBs 4 million followers on Pinterest. I know this is an income potential I haven’t fully explored (due to wanting to keep CVBs profile pure) but I think there’s ways to do it without losing CVBs aesthetic and credibility – through selective brand ambassador roles and affiliate links (now Pinterest allow them again). I am also going to put an emphasis on growing Chic Vintage Brides affiliate income through its Boutique and Little Book of Chic. And last but not least of course, there is this exciting new venture of mine 🙂
Further to the above though: 2016 was a bit of a revelatory year for me (and Mr E actually), because it was the year I realised that I had to start taking care of myself; physically, mentally and emotionally. There is a direct correlation between my personal well-being and the success of my business. When I am in a good space: working hard but not overworked, buzzing not burned out, productive not pooped; my business reaps the benefits. So because I can’t be at my mental best and achieve the above goals if my body and mind are suffering. I decided to make half of my goals this year, personal ones.
1. Take More Holidays
No, not sipping champagne on a yacht like the rich kids of Instagram! But making more time to get away from it all, even if its just camping at one of our beautiful local beaches, or heading to one of our favourite spots on Lake Taupo. Time away (ideally unplugged), to rest and recharge, to see more of this country I am so lucky to call home – or maybe even going a little further afield (if only I can conquer my fear of flying….that might be a goal for next year :))
2. Be More Sociable
Even if its just a coffee date once a fortnight! It’s so easy when you work from home (and especially when you run your own business) for a whole week to go by and the only conversations I have had have been with my husband, our menagerie of pets and occasionally even the odd house plant – yep really! And whilst, as an introvert, being alone comes naturally to me, I am not sure it is always healthy.
I find it all too easy to use a growing list of to dos, or my out of control inbox, as a reasonable excuse to say no to that coffee invite. Or to feel like I should be working rather than catching up over cocktails. And whilst I may always have more things I need to do than hours in the day to do them in, I know it is important to take the time to maintain a life outside of work – before those invites stop all together!
3. Become Healthier
This is kind of a broad goal, but only because it’s something that probably started a few years ago now. And so really, I see 2017 as the year to achieve it – to look at myself and feel I am happily healthy. For me this encompasses 3 things – exercise, diet and wellbeing.
I am lucky that my fur baby keeps me pretty active! We go for a walk every day – only the most extreme circumstances prevent this daily ritual of ours, I truly love this time we spend together. And not often an hour goes by where I don’t seek him out for cuddles, belly rubs or a quick play in the garden!
But towards the end of last year my husband bought me a Fitbit, and I came to realise how sedentary my life still is! I have already increased our daily walks from 30 minute jaunts to 60 minute hikes (that often feel more like Marathons!) But in 2017 I want to add another form of exercise, although I am not sure what yet. I would love to find something Mr E and I could do together…… I am thinking as we live by the sea something water related – but not swimming! Maybe Kayaking? Or Paddleboarding? And I am also seriously considering investing in a stand up desk.
Over the last year or so, I have also become more conscious of what I consume. It has nothing to do with counting calories, or worrying about fat content, but rather looking at the ingredients and processes used for creating our food. It all started when I learned of Palm Oil -and the devastating effects of its production on wildlife and the environment. Then last year Mr E was told to cut his sugar intake for health reasons. And recently we’ve been reducing our dairy intake for lots of reasons. So, bit by bit, we have become more aware of just what we are eating…. and I’ve got to say, it has been kind of scary.
What it has lead to though is us buying less frozen food, more fresh produce and spending more time in the kitchen creating our meals from scratch – I have learned to make sauces, marinades, pastry, quiche, and all manner of wholesome sweet treats! And I can honestly say that whilst I was worried (I am useless in the kitchen and have always had a serious sweet tooth) healthy can be pretty yummy. Best of all though we have both noticed an improvement in our waist lines, energy levels – and I swear my skin is better too!
Last but not least, I want to maintain my focus on prevention rather than cure. After being convinced a year or so ago to visit a Chiropractor I have seen some truly unbelievable benefits. It has been, without exaggeration, life changing – headaches that I had been suffering from for years have all but disappeared, along with my anxiety and panic attacks (things I have lived with since I was 6 or 7). It’s fair to say I am a complete convert, and now sing the praises and extoll the benefits of a Chiropractor to anyone that will listen. So I plan to continue visiting Miracle Max as I like to call my Chiropractor (I ♥ The Princess Bride), and looking for other ways that I can improve my overall wellbeing.
Whilst there may be no-one reading this, other than my parents (Hi Mum and Dad!), evidence suggests that writing goals down ensures a greater chance of success. So there you have it! My goals, both big and small, for 2017. I love New Years and that feeling of a clean slate for the coming year. And with the launch of the Busy Bird & Co I am SO excited to see what 2017 brings!!
How about you, what are your goals for the year? Remember, we’re far more likely to achieve our goals when we share them – so don’t be shy 🙂 Big or small I would love to hear what success looks like for you in 2017. Let me know in the comments below…..