Cheers to a new year! I’m settling in today for my first official day back at the desk to put pen to paper… err fingertips to keyboard… to “write down” my business goals for 2019! I spent the remainder of December purposely NOT writing down my goals. I’ve done that before in a flurry to get goals defined before the new year and honestly didn’t stick to hardly any of them.
And I think the reason why is instead of marinating over them and praying over them, I just wrote goals for the sake of writing goals because that is what you are supposed to do before January 1st, right?
I know I know. Lara has taught us that there is nothing magical about January 1st, but STILL. We all feel the pressure mounting to get perfectly laid plans and action steps together before the ball drops so we can live our best lives come the new year. She’s right by the way, January 1st is not that magical. My new year’s day was spent mostly in pajamas with board games! Just like the 10 days before during Christmas Break.
It isn’t even a problem of not accomplishing anything all year after I drop my goals. I accomplished A LOT last year. It just so happens that almost none of them were on my original 2018 goal list. It is that when I’m settled back into my January groove, I end up chucking those quickly-created-cool-sounding-lofty-dreams and then get back to my usual ways of living by the seat of my pants. #tisthetruth
Today is January 7th. And it feels like someone else’s January 1st. Instead of penning goals over the past couple weeks, I allowed myself to dream. To think. To pray. To rearrange what may have seemed like a good goal when it popped in my head. To let go of ideas and pick new ones up. To ask what if. And to say no. Even to myself.
So today, after a lot of reflection and space, I’m sitting here feeling those brand new year butterflies and ready to spell out where all that dreaming has led me for my business in 2019!
Before I list out what I’m going to focus on in business this year, I wanted to share my word for the year.
I want to simplify everything. In life and in business. This theme has been rooting deeper and deeper into my heart over the past couple months and really bloomed over Christmas Break.
If you haven’t heard me share about it, I’m extremely Type B. Stereotypical level. Myers Briggs ESFP over here. 7w8 Enneagram (whatever that means!). Read up on any of those personality inventory types and you’ll quickly realize systems, structure, routines, and organization are not naturally in my wheelhouse.
I go and I do. I don’t plan. I don’t sit in the details. I don’t optimize. When things get sticky, I go and do something else.
This is just who I am to the core, and that is okay. Being this way has gotten me to where I am. It gives me the freedom to be literally unphased by failure. I’m the queen of experimentation for fun. I have learned to champion my strengths instead of constantly chasing the tails of my weaknesses.
So instead of trying to improve myself in the area of my weaknesses and create complex systems with color coding to boot, I just want to simplify. Remove obstacles. Remove options. And give myself more space to let my strengths flourish.
I’m looking through this year through the lens of simplicity and it absolutely is the driving force behind every one of my business goals!
So here goes…
Last year brought so many exciting twists, but with all that hard work, I found myself working WAY more than I want to. And after evaluating what went well and what didn’t last year, one of the biggest revelations that stood out to me was how I let work overtake a bit too much of my life and brain. Work is fun to me. Seeing work projects completed feels good.
In taking Christmas Break, I realized that my brain is a little too tightly wired to my work. It is easy for that to happen, after all. Business for me is interwoven into my entire life. One minute I’ll be sharing a IG Story of Crew Bear waddling around and the next I’m at my desk designing a new website. The Part Mama Part Preneur thing is a reality for me.
When December 21st rolled around, I told myself that I was going to disconnect from work. Close the computer. Delete Gmail off my phone (again). And I did.
But it took days for me to stop “casually” slipping to my desk to just open Gmail real quick to make sure I wasn’t dropping the ball on something. You should have seen me anxiously picking up my phone and tapping like an addict needing a scroll fix.
During this self-imposed detox, I picked up the book, Chasing Slow. I had started reading it earlier in the year, but couldn’t finish it at the time. Probably because I needed to check Instagram. I digress.
So there I was reading this book and her words washed over me like a river. She said, “I suppose I thought life was the puzzle. That is was meant to be lived, to be understood, to be unriddled with the help of the ocean and a bottle of wine. But the puzzle isn’t life, is it? The ocean, the wine, the Sunday evening on the balcony- that’s life. It’s enough to be enjoyed with or without the missing pieces.”
You see, Jeremy and I had been talking practically all of 2018 about the kind of life we want to live day in and day out. We had talked over and over about prioritizing our spiritual, mental, and physical well being along with our relationships over all the career goals.
But it didn’t happen.
I spent so much time working last year that I forgot to actually live the life I said was important.
So starting today, I’m putting clear boundaries around this business and the amount of time I give my heart and attention to it. Here’s my public proclamation that I’m only going to work Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from here on out. Feel free to hold me accountable and call me out if I slip up. I’m going to need it!
Along with boundaries, I’m going to implement Monthly Learn Days into the mix! On the last Wednesday of every month, I’m going to tune out the world and learn! I l-o-v-e learning new things. It invigorates me! Some people like to go out in nature or into a museum for inspiration. I like to learn something fascinating. I AM PUMPED about this!
And while this is a life kinda goal, I already paid and signed up to start Crossfit tomorrow at 9am. Nothing like going from not working out for 6 years to joining Crossfit. 😉
As the Type B/ESFP/7w8 person that I am, it is no wonder that I like the freedom in my business to do whatever I want. And I’m really good at whipping up offers and sales pages to do just that. I’ve been crusading for the multi-faceted creatives of the world for years because I am one.
But it is hindering my diamond mine.
Spend all of 5 minutes navigating around this site and you’ll find too many products and offerings to count. I love all of them in their own unique way, but it is time to let go and niche down.
When I attended Creative at Heart in November, I sat in Shay Cochrane’s breakout session to hear her “Finding Your Niche” talk for the 3rd time. Truth be told, I thought I was going to get a mental break of sorts by attending her breakout. I’d heard it twice already, so I thought I was in the clear.
Apparently, I needed to hear it 3 times for it to finally sink in. I left her session in a cold sweat. Heart pounding. The truth of letting go in this area hit me like a ton of bricks.
And while I’m not quite ready to share what is going and is staying right this second, you can rest assured that the website templates aren’t going anywhere. Everything else is up for debate. Which we will be doing as a team together (and I’ll be seeking counsel here, too!).
All this peeling away will give more room for new products in my niche that I’ve been putting off because of a lack of time and focus. I can’t wait to share more here!
Speaking of the team, Jeremy is officially joining the team! We’re simplifying our work schedule (M,W,F) with consistent childcare so we can work side by side like we have been dreaming of!
Since you already know that me and systems are like oil and water, he is officially joining as the team Integrator. That’s a fancy business word for Project Manager/ Operations Manager/ Business Manager/ Babysit Megan So She Doesn’t Get Disco Ball Syndrom Manager.
For the month of January, he will be shadowing me to get a grip on what I do every day. This will probably drive him nuts when he realizes I make a lot of stuff up on the fly HA!
Then he will get to work on fixing a lot of our team pain points… in systems.
See how that works? Those who can’t do… hire their completely opposite husbands who thrive by the book and love logistical tinkering to do instead. To start he will be refining our operations with projects like refining our client experiences, reducing the number of tools we use that have overlapping functionality, and building our affiliate program in Q1. That’s a goal within a goal because I’m not quite ready to shout it from the rooftops. So if you are all the way to this point, it is coming! Shh!
When creating goals, I have a tendency to think about the entire year. And while I have a loose framework for what I think will happen in October 2019, I’ve decided this year to keep it like that.
I know what we need to make as a whole in 2019 to support our family, but I’ve decided to stop should-ing all over myself and put some blinders on.
Instead of trying to perfectly plan the entire year, we are going to really hone in on Q1 with solid focus, and let the rest of the year unfold as it will. To keep the momentum going, I’ve scheduled quarterly planning days when I will flesh out what objectives matter for that season as well as the marketing plan I’ll need to build out to hit our sales goals.
This has taken immense pressure off my plate this year in goal planning. I’m hopeful that it will reduce some of that lofty goal chucking I’m used to doing!
In the spirit of simplicity, I’m just going to share our specific business goals for January. I’ll try to keep up with it each month, but I’m going to hold that loosely, too!
He’s got a lot of catching up to do. Pray for us so that we don’t lose it on each other sitting side by side for a whole month! EEEEK! With him shadowing me all month, he’ll be able to audit the business through the lens of his operational brain to figure out a direction for simplifying our systems moving forward.
We’ve been using Trello as a project management system for quite a while, but it became a pain point in my business late last year. I prefer a chronological style project manager over the endless lists created with Trello. Visually, Trello started to overwhelm me. And as our team has grown, Trello just didn’t have the functionality I need in terms of delegation. We began using ClickUp late last year and after digging into it, it has proven to be a much better fit for the way I process information.
I’ve given Emily the green light to move all of our workflows over to ClickUp, so she will be spearheading this project in January!
Ahhh here we go!!!! Repeat: Niching is good. Niching is good. Niching is good!
A lot has changed in my business over the past two years since I wrote my email Welcome Sequence and communication strategy, heck there’s been a lot of change even in the last 6 months! My email marketing funnel needs some long overdue tending to account for how we’ve grown and all the simplifying we are going to do this year!
In January only, I’m offering 10 spots for Custom Website Audits where I’ll be digging into your website and give you tailored advice on how you can improve your website for conversion for your ideal customer via a recorded session. You’ll get lifetime access to the audit so you can revisit it anytime you need. There are only 9 spots left (as of writing this post!), so don’t miss your chance!
Kat Schmoyer, Hope Taylor, and I have joined up to begin a new mastermind for this year. I’ll share more about the what, why, and how we are planning to maximize our efforts together here soon. We have big plans to dig deep this year!
On January 30th, I’ll be spending the entire work day learning and I CAN’T WAIT. First up for learn day? Finish 10X Emails, a course I purchased from CopyHackers. Aka the mecca for conversion copywriting. If you want to learn how to write any kind of copy that converts, meet Joanna Weibe!
Yes, you read that right. We’ve been planning BTS to turn our home into an AirBnB. We will be sharing more of our journey and experience on the MMC IG, but you can read more about why in this specific post. We have a goal to list it on February 1st. And also yes, I’m equal parts terrified and excited. Good thing I’m an ESFP 😉
Alright! That’s it for now! I can’t wait to share more next month. Follow along on the daily over on Insta to see it all happen! Cheers to a new year and meaningful goals!
On to business. With 7 years experience in biz running a digital download shop, speaking at conferences, collaborating with dream brands, & booking 5 figure custom design clients, I share all that I've learned (and what I continue to learn!) about building a magnetic brand, effective marketing, and the science of conversion.
I promise to keep it real and relevant around here to help you make it happen... over a 4 count chicken mini meal. ;)
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