Winding Down 2016, Getting Ready for 2017 & Much Appreciation WPCP: 123
I’ll be doing a ‘year in review’ post after Christmas, but thought this was a perfect time to do an episode on winding the year down, getting ready for 2017 and simply saying Thank You to YOU… my audience.
You’ve made it all possible and have encouraged and inspired me to keep going.
To say this past year has been a wild ride would be an understatement.
I’ve gone through some massive changes in my business and personal life (and unfortunately for you I’ve bared my soul in the process). As challenging as some of it has been, it’s also all been so very worth it.
Winding Down 2016
It’s been a long time since I’ve looked this forward to a year being over.
As I write this I realize the reasons for this are hardly the end of the world, they’ve just been exhausting. Everyone I love is still healthy and happy, no one has had any major losses in their life and my business is doing well.
Making the decision to sell my house was a big one, but I knew it was coming. It just came a couple years sooner than I had expected (I don’t intend to stay where I am when my son graduates high school in 2 1/2 years. It’s been a great place to raise my kids but it’s not where I want to spend the rest of my life). I knew I needed to simplify my life (and my business). It’s only my son and I at home now and while my house wasn’t huge, it was more than I felt like taking care of (especially the yard, even though I loved my pool).
It’s still crazy to me when I think about the cost of living in Northern California… (specifically close to the Bay Area), but that’s for another conversation.
Part of winding down for me is getting all my client projects completely wrapped up as soon as possible. These could probably have been done sooner, but of course I’m the bottleneck (I have done a pretty thorough job of cutting expenses this year, which included my project manager). I’d love to have her work with me again but in a different capacity. As I start planning for 2017 I know that to do what I want to do I’m going to need some help in different areas. I guess it would still be project management but it won’t be client projects. They’ll be my projects.
In order to wind the year down and enjoy the last couple weeks of the year (not working, although I’ll probably be doing some work, but again, it will be on my projects. No calls, no new projects) I need to close the books on these projects (and I’m sure my clients want that too).
So that’s step #1.
The next step to really winding the year down is to start getting ready for 2017.
I’ve probably gotten at least a couple emails this week and last about planning for 2017 already. I still haven’t decided what that will look like for me, but I have an idea of where I’ll start.
Planning for 2017
When I look at planning anything I tend to work from the end backwards (which I’m sure most people do… you need to have an end goal, right?). The idea of backwards engineering makes more sense for me than any other method.
Before I can decide what I want my next year to look like I have to do a good, hard look at what didn’t work this year (and what worked well).
I can tell you without a doubt that my biggest take away from 2016, as it relates to my business, has been emailing daily. I’ve been a fan and customer of Ben Settle’s for well over a year (I subscribed to his list for about a year before I became a customer). It took me until August of this year to start stepping into his email methods. I jokingly say that it was my ‘almost-daily email’ because it took me some time to work up to daily (and I admit it, I still miss a day here and there). The benefits have astounded me to say the least.
I’m going to keep talking about the daily email process because it works that well and bears repeating!
Not only do I feel my writing has improved (now to work on my speaking… haha… omg. I have to stop saying “like” as if I were a 12 year old), but I am thoroughly enjoying the process.
Creating this discipline for myself has completely boosted something within me as well. Every time I get that email out I know I’m sticking with a commitment I made to myself.[clickToTweet tweet=”Every time I get that email out I know I’m sticking with a commitment I made to myself.” quote=”Every time I get that email out I know I’m sticking with a commitment I made to myself.” theme=”style6″]
I’ve also seen how I can apply consistent, small actions and accomplish more than any of the “BIG” actions I felt I needed to take (DO THE EFFING WORK!).
Now that I’m getting all these fundamental principles I want to see where I can apply that in my business in other areas as well. I know a huge part of what will take me where I want to go next year is systems.
I need to make sure I have a process for what needs to be done weekly (I have all of this, it’s just in my head, which isn’t super helpful) and schedule that time in (ex: dedicate Monday’s to podcasting- whether that’s writing posts, recording, scheduling guests, etc. Nothing else should happen on a Monday outside of emailing my list).
Because of the commitments I’ve made to other people (Jon for Hustle Free & Gordon Orlic for a plugin), I need to keep those projects on schedule as well. While I’m pretty good at keeping things going for The WPChick, I need to have a regular schedule for both of these projects as well. Right now Hustle Free is just about growing the audience but Jon and I need a better plan for this beyond podcasting and sharing.
I tend to a be a little bit of a “LOOK! A Squirrel!”
… not that I necessarily jump into multiple projects, but that I get distracted looking at other things which then keeps me from making the progress I want to make on the things I’m already committed to (by choice).
Here’s where I’m going to start with my planning process:[list icon=”icon: check-square” icon_color=”#e05455″]
- It needs to be simple
- Look at what didn’t work
- Look at what did work
- What did I enjoy doing most?
- What did I enjoy doing least?
- What is most profitable?
- Can I increase the profit margin in other areas?
- Can I leverage things better that I’ve already created?
No matter how I choose to go about my planning for next year, I also want to enjoy the process.
This really doesn’t require a whole lot of text (at least not right now… maybe I’ll do a huge Thank You post at the end of the year to personally give a public shout out to people who have made an impact in my life this past year).
I simply want to say Thank You to YOU… my audience, readers and listeners.
For going on this journey with me, supporting me, connecting and engaging.
You make it all worth while.