So let’s be real. It doesn’t really matter that it is going to be 2017 any day now. Really it could skip ahead to 2035 and though we would be mourning for our lost youth, we would still want to crush our goals for the year. The year we want to take by the nostrils just so happens to be 2017 at this point. So this is me sharing what my 2016 and 2017 are going to be. To make this as easy as possible, I’m breaking it up into quarters.
What 2016 Has Looked Like
Quarter 1: What Do I Want?
I found myself wanting more. Wanting my independence. Wanting to not have to rely on someone to give me a paycheck every two weeks. Wanting to set my hours and live my life by my rules. But I had no idea how I was going to make that happen. And in addition to all of that, I was still in the funk that ate my life. So what’s a girl to do? Sit down and decide. What I wanted, when I wanted it, and how I was going to get there. February was the month that I started working on building my business. I did everything I knew to do. Start following influencers. Start researching my target market. I knew then how to do this. I was very lucky.
I spent all of Q1 working on the research. Weighing options. Building an idea that I could make tangible.
Quarter 2. Do The Damn Work
As I said, the funk was lingering and finding the motivation to do anything was difficult but it was starting to let up. I started working toward my goals, which were launch by July 1. I’d like to say that there is more to this business wise, but there really wasn’t. I was me and my laptop, doing the work, building something I could be proud of.
Quarter 3. Launch
Honestly, July 1 had me shaking in my boots. I was terrified to launch something. I had all the fraudy feelings, talked myself out of launching at least twice, and wound up launching from my aunt’s lake house in Massachusetts. Talk about a handful. But it went fine. I had a little traffic, I had a big rush emotionally, and then crickets. And more crickets. And I heard crickets for two months. And then I stepped back. I took a look at things. I asked myself why no one liked me. I blamed myself because I have these traits and those. Then I got my head out of my tush and decided to stop taking it so damn personally. It served no one.
So I started taking some real stock. I looked at my approach to my content. Not so hot. I looked at my approach to my marketing as a whole. I’m a marketer and designer by day and I realized I wasn’t doing anything. And then I had this nasty realization that my subconscious fears had buggered me up really good. There was not a place on my website to hire me. Dude. Mic drop moment. Swift kick in the ass moment. All the moments.
I panicked. I was preaching about marketing and building a business and no one could even hire me because I had let some limiting actions hold me back. And true to form, I panicked pretty good for about three weeks, wasting away the rest of Q3.
Quarter 4: Figuring It Out
So I got to work. Hard work. I built something I could be really proud of. I built a whole membership program. Crickets. At this point I could feel the panic rat creeping back in. I could feel myself gearing up for what was becoming a trademark move. Wallow. And I don’t know if you’ve ever done that kind of thing, developed a coping mechanism that really blows, but it really isn’t pretty when you wake up and don’t want to cope like that anymore. You get left standing there going, “Well if I don’t react this way, how do I react?” And that’s when I started asking myself, “WWRBD?” What would Richard Branson do?
And guess what? It worked. I started to pivot. I started to get back to some basics, like creating content that was valuable. Restructuring my freebies into a one shot place. Putting a doable and exciting plan to kick ass in 2017 in place. I got to freaking work. And that has panned out some satisfying results. My traffic grows slowly but surely every week. My following on Instagram is engaged. I am networking with other small business owners.
Now I’m not even going to utter the phrase I’ve got it figured out, because I don’t. In fact sometimes I look at my Trello boards and ask myself what the damn hell I was thinking doing this. But I’m starting to get bits and chunks figured out. And I’m starting to get a feel for what works for me and my audience.
What I Want 2017 To Look Like
Again, breaking it down by quarter. But I also feel like I should explain something. I’m a word person. You give me a word, I can run miles with it. Whether it be ideas, a direction, or a story, I can go with it. So that’s what I’m doing this year. I am picking a word per quarter and working my way there.
Quarter 1: Traction
My goal for Q1 is pretty simple. Start gaining some traction in the online world. I have a plan in place to do this and I’m going to go for it, succeed or fail.
Quarter 2: Baseline
I would like to spend Q2 starting to gain a client base. You’ll notice that in my explanation of 2016, there was no mention of clients. Not one. Guess why? I didn’t have a following when I started. I didn’t even have an active freelance client base. I just jumped in. So the second quarter of 2017 is about that baseline. It’s about getting those clients that I love to bits because they do amazing things. It’s about building relationships.
Quarter 3: Growth
Let’s be really real here. I’m not talking about six figures. I’m not even talking about quitting my day job. But I want to be booked. I want to grow in not just my client base (see Q2) but also in my interactions and relationships. Especially in my relationships with clients, fellow bosses, and my audience in general. I want to talk. I want to engage. And I want to do that with amazing people.
Quarter 4: Reflection
In Q4 of 2017, I don’t want to be looking back at my year thinking that I was a hot mess for most of it. I want to look back and think that I did the best I could at any given time. I want to look at 2017 as a year of expansion and hard work. But most of all, I want to look back on 2017 and say, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” because that’s the kind of person I am. (I’m also the person that says, “Think, Pooh Bear, think.” out loud, so do with that what you will.)
How I’m Going To Get There
Well I’ve thought about 2017 long and hard and have made some decisions. I want to be more active with my audience, do more for you, and give it all away. And I’m starting right out of the gate in 2017. I want to share with you how I’m going to take 2017 by the nostrils and make it do as it’s told. I’m going to share with you how I’m scared and nervous and really kind of want to not and hide in bed. And I’m going to do that on January 6, 2017. That’s a Tuesday and the first of hopefully many to come webinars I’m hosting in 2017.
So join me as we cross into 2017 and start kicking goal ass.