I’ve always been hesitant of writing my goals out where other people can see them.
Maybe that’s because having an online platform is something I take very seriously. In a certain sense, this isn’t about me.
This website has my name on it, my picture is on this post and this is how I earn an income–so in that sense, it is about me.
I also enjoy sharing personal bits about myself and my life. I like communicating in a warm, personable style.
But I’m really not the type of person you’d categorize as the life of the party personality-wise. I just like share interesting creative things and inspiring people.
Attracting extra attention or ‘building a platform’ would be pointless if I didn’t feel there was a greater purpose in helping others.
When you teach people things or share your work, though, you do also set yourself for a little extra scrutiny.
Feeling conspicuous isn’t always a bad thing. On one hand, it does challenge you to present the best version of yourself and make sure your work is the best it can be.
But on the other hand, it can cause you to hide in your shell, sort of like a turtle—afraid to take risks, be a little bold or try something that may not work.
But if I’m not doing those things, I’m not cultivating the thing that helped me get here in the first place: stepping out of my comfort zone.
There’s a lot of safety in my life. My family, my home, my friends and church etc. And I’m generally pretty balanced about money (as long as I stay away from JCrew or Amazon) so that I always have a bit of a security net there too. What often feels like risk isn’t really truly risk, it’s just the possibility that something might not pan out the way I had hoped and I might feel a little silly or like I wasted my time.
Recognizing and putting this in perspective has been really helpful for me. I like to make safe choices, but that’s not always what small business owners need to do. Sometimes a leap of faith, however small, is necessary.
December will ask me to step out of of my comfort zone in several ways. I’m learning some new skills. I’m aggressively trying to grow the less glamorous parts of my business. There’s some things going on I’ve never done before.
The more time goes by, the less I mind being transparent about what’s going on in my business. After all if you protect your ideas too much, it never has a chance to grow or get better.
So, I hope this gives you a fun behind-the-scenes view of what’s going on my business this month. And hopefully when January rolls around I’ll come back and give you an update and be able to say how much happened.
During December, I’ve taken two normal obligations off the table:
1) I’m doing very little client work and 2) I’m not sending out a weekly newsletter. I didn’t want to focus on creating + sending weekly content during the month of the year that people are most busy. Instead, I’m spending that time working on large scale projects.
I also wanted to give myself some room for spontaneous fun with my family. :)
Here are some of the actual things I’m planning to accomplish:
- Help my sister with her first local vendor show.
- Make sure our family Christmas cards get sent. (We already photographed + ordered these. Ahead of schedule for sure!)
- Celebrate my birthday
- Go to Chicago with friends and family
- Finish a pattern design course
- Source and send gifts to my 2016 clients
- Send Christmas cards to friends.
- Have a few virtual coffee dates I’ve scheduled with some other creatives.
- Create some new freebies for my Resource Library + use those to grow my list.
- Grow my email list to 500 in preparation for an upcoming launch. This is a really big goal for me and will probably include a lot more work than I’m stating here.
- Prep all tax info from 2016 so it’s ready to go
- Switch to Quickbooks from Wave for bookkeeping
- Create a profit strategy to 2x my 2016 income + run it by a mentor
- Create new services catalog for 2017
- Take 200 photos for social media/marketing during Q1. I do this in batches.
Where most of my focus is going to be this month.
- Create my brand guide for 2017
- Start big project X
- Spend lots of time working on big project X
- Create all worksheets & record videos for project Y
- Outline goals for Q1 of 2017 and break into monthly, then weekly chunks
- Train my sister Lydia to handle proofreading my content & scheduling Pinterest & Twitter posts.
- Buy myself the one of the best Christmas gifts a designer could get. The money has been sitting in my account and oh–I can’t WAIT.
I’ll check back in with you on January 2nd and let you know how it’s all coming, including news on the big projects I’m working on!