Looking Back at 2016 & Looking Forward to 2017

I always love this time of year, the chilly nights, looking at the blanket of snow here in my tiny community in Alberta, Canada and a brand new year open to brand new possibilities.  I have to admit, I love the dreaming and planning part this time of year, but often stumble when it comes to the consistent implementation of those plans.

As part of my theme (I’ll share in a moment) and direction for 2017, I’ve decided to start writing regular reviews.  Now I don’t know if this will be a monthly check-in (I’m leaning towards this) or a quarterly check-in (maybe both!).

If you’ve been working online for any length of time you’ve likely seen a variety of “Monthly Income Reports”, while my income will be part of this process it’s not the focus.  The focus of these reports is to share what’s happening here at my world wide headquarters and what’s been working and what could use some improvements.  It’s a further enhancement to my NOW page, where I write a bit about what I’m reading and what’s happen (note to self: update the NOW page for 2017 Q1) and hopefully will help you see how others are doing things and maybe provide a bit of support and inspiration along the way.

So are you ready for this?  Let’s dive in…

Looking back at 2016

Can I call 2016 a success, not really.  I made big plans at the beginning of the year and quickly derailed myself.  I suffered a lot from shiny object syndrome and following the money, rather than staying the course and focusing on the dreams, ideas and projects I wanted to develop.

About mid-year I discovered a program called WP Elevate and I got really excited about the possibility of working with big clients, on big website projects where I could charge a higher end price to bring amazing results for those clients.  The content in WP Elevate is AMAZING and I full recommend it if you’re a web developer, designer or WordPress Consultant looking to up your game.

I did complete the program and became a Certified Digital Business Consultant which is pretty cool, but I quickly discovered that the work behind building that kind of clientele as well as THAT type of clientele was so NOT me and not where I wanted to be.  You see I love my scrappy, fiesty, driven tiny business owners who know what they love to do and know they need to bring in a technical consultant to help them achieve all of their ideas and programs online.  THAT’S ME.  Not some corporate, mid-sized  business person.  I am me.

My biggest lesson from that program, implement the best parts of the program that will work for my clients and stay true to who I am.

At some point about halfway through the year, I decided to just go with the flow and see what would show up instead of focusing so hard on trying to achieve some goals that didn’t seem like me.  You see much of business is pretty good.

I’ve got some systems in place that work for me, but I do need to build some emergency plans and succession planning into my business – this is the not so fun, but super necessary stuff that I’m great at procrastinating on and something I’m going to work on this year.

Letting Go to Discover Something New

Once I decided to just go with the flow, I started to discover a few things that I had been resisting yet I knew I needed to bring out.

We’re told, be you.  Stick with what you love and your tribe will find you.  I’ve always had a hard time believing this until recently I always kept doing things that seemed like the right thing to do, rather than what felt good for me.  So for the last quarter of 2016, I started culling and unsubscribing from anything and everything that wasn’t serving me or I was following because I was curious how they did things.  No more, I’ve been working online since 2008, so I think I have a grasp of what I need to do to make me a success on my terms.

It’s been liberating and exciting too.

As soon as I started to make changes to bring more of me (still have a ways to go) into my business, things have started to fall into place.

Within weeks two absolutely amazing clients graced my virtual door, and another opportunity (which sparked an amazing idea) presented itself just before Christmas.  Yahoo! Is what I say and I’ll keep moving along to bring more of me out here and other places I show up online.

During this process, I ditched my hang-up and embraced my full love of pen and paper for planning and managing my tasks.  You see I had this crazy idea that would never be a legitimate business if I didn’t embrace an online task or project management system.  For most of the time I’ve been working online, I have tried pretty well EVERY major task management system, absolutely crazy.

Once I let go of that idea and embraced what really works well for me – my combination of a Bullet Journal, WorkFlowy, Google Keep and Google Calendar –  my productivity has improved and I feel I’m on track in control of what’s going on in my business and I’m super happy about.  **I know there’s a blog post in my process and I may share about it in another update.**

So while, 2016 wasn’t necessarily a super success on paper it’s been a success in discovery and embracing that this is truly my business and I should run it in a way that really works for me.

Looking forward to what I’m thinking about for 2017

2016 was really filled with a number of lessons and me getting comfortable with embracing my own personal working style.

I learned too that doing bunch of planning for the full year is crazy-talk for me. The last half of 2016 I started focusing on 90 days at a time and loved, loved, loved it! So while, as you’ll see, I do have some broad overall guiding intentions for 2017, I will be working in 90 days spirits and will re-assess and adjust as needed every quarter.  This feel amazing.

Something else I embraced late last year, was switching from Goals to Intentions.  I always felt that goals was too harsh a word, it never felt right.  Intentions let’s me set the groundwork and tell the universe that I’m ready for what comes my way while working towards my focus for the next 90 days.

A theme that works for me

In November, I received my copy of the Desire Map Planner which I had placed on pre-order and while the planner is really beautiful I decided it wasn’t going to work for how I work, so I gifted it to someone in the Desire Map Group.  I’m much to fluid & creativity within any formal structure, that’s why the Bullet Journal concept works for well for me.

While I was reviewing the idea of how I wanted to feel in 2017, I started to think about my word that would guide me in 2017 and decided that a theme for the year, or at least the first quarter of 2017 would work better.

This year, I want to embrace simplicity and see success on my own terms internally, rather than trying to match others externally.

My Theme for 2017 is Simply Success

  • This year I will simply be me
  • This year I will keep my business simple and not over complicate
  • I will measure success by what feels right for me and not others
  • I will simplify my services and focus on what I love
  • I will help my clients find the simple solutions that will work for their own success

I came across this quote from Einstein and it sums up my theme for this year

Now that I have my theme in place it’s been easy for me to decide on the intentions for the year and for the coming quarter.  Let’s talk about intentions for 2017.

Financial Intentions & Vanity Stats

I don’t hold much to the need for certain stats, but I do know for me to get the traction, exposure and revenue I need to dramatically increase my Page Views on my website.  Things have always been small in terms of traffic, but it was never a concern because my small traffic brought me the clients I desired.

Same goes with my financials goals, while a few years ago I was earning more than I have the last few years, I’ve kicked it back a bit and relaxed my drive I guess.  What’s absolutely fantastic for me is I don’t have a desire or need to earn 6 figures.  I’ve worked with clients that are multi 6 and multi 7 figure business and I’ve also seen the challenges that come with earning that kind of money. You might think that with all that cash comes an ease, but the reality is you need more team members, more process and you become less agile making it harder for you to change directions or offerings if you desire.

I lay all of this out because it seems all you see is that this online guru makes 100’s of thousands of dollars on a few hours a week, when in reality they have a team that is often working like crazy to make things happen.

In 2016 I decided that I part of my Simply Success plan comes ease.

Ease in my business and my life (this amazing country air could also be having an influence), so with that I let go of that arbitrary idea that I need to make 6 figures or even high 6 figures to be successful.  I came across this amazing article from Amber Dugger that totally changed how I view the kind of revenue I needed to be profitable.

Let’s get into the numbers then…

Okay, maybe not quite yet.  I have to admit I’m feeling pretty vulnerable about sharing all of this, as an introvert I process everything internally and really only see the need to me my standards and not live up to anyone else’s and then what if I don’t meet the intentions I laid out for myself I’m a public failure rather than just Little Ole Me failure.  Yep, that’s definitely the introvert in me and my EGO fighting all of this.

So Deep Breathe, here we go!

Generate total revenues of $21,000 or more in 2017

Keep expenses under $250/per month and show a profit of at least 16% (which will either be reinvested into the business or become a nice bonus for me)

I intend to have $1,500/month in recurring affiliate revenue by the end of 2017

I intend to sell at least 120 copies of The Essentials

I intend to increase the following vanity stats by 10% month over month:

  • Pageviews: 10,000 month page views per month by the end of 2017
  • Pinterest: 3000+ follows by the end of 2017
  • Youtube: 370+ Subscribers by the end of 2017
  • Twitter: 13,000+ followers by the end of 2017
  • Email List: 1,600 Subscribers by the end of 2017 (Note: I’ll write a post one day about how I culled 60% of my email list and what it’s done for me!)

Note: I don’t have anything for Facebook…that’s because as a growth strategy or marketing tool for me I’m not focusing on Facebook pages or groups that I host this year.  My intention in 2017 is to show up and be helpful in the key Facebook groups that matter to me.  I don’t have the capacity/focus/desire to spend too much time focusing on building my own group in Facebook this year, since I building traffic to my site is more important for me in 2017.

Other Intentions for 2017

Those are my statistical/vanity stats that I wish to improve in 2017, but I do have a few other things I want to work on in 2017

  • Write at least 2 blog posts per month and promote/share those posts with focused intention
  • Do a regular month and/or quarterly review to share my progress, adjustments and direction in 2017

Will I have other things that I do in 2017?  Of course!  But those things that I do will all circle back to what my intentions are for 2017.  Keeping my theme of Simplify Success in mind, every task, project and client work I do this year I want to find ways to make the process simpler and more successful for all involved.

That’s where I’m at today and I’d love to hear what you’re thinking.

I can’t wait to connect more with you in 2017 and here’s to my Simply Successful year!

 

Looking Back at 2016 & Looking Forward to 2017 was last modified: May 10th, 2017 by Renee, Chief Redhead & Blogger