Last year was the first year I made a written set of goals for my business...and I've been working for myself for almost five years. When I first went freelance, I pretty much threw all structure out the window in favor of what I thought was freedom. However, I've learned over the years that sometimes structure can be a pretty great thing.
In 2015/2016 I felt myself in a baby/toddler fog (which I was happy to be in) but left me feeling like I was just surviving day-to-day instead of thinking about what I really wanted my business and life to look like. Last year, I decided to try out making goals in an attempt to be more intentional. My overall theme for the year was to plan ahead and then act upon those plans. I meant to post these goals at the beginning of 2017, but as you can see below, I never checked blogging off my list last year.
I'm using this blog post for a personal way to first, hold myself accountable (when you write it publicly it seems so much more legitimate) and second, as a way to reflect upon and somewhat measure my progress. When you don't have a boss to give you a good review or a promotion, it's easy to feel like you're not moving forward.
And, third, maybe whoever comes across this might find some use in it. I love reading about goals and reflections of friends and fellow designers/small business owners, like my friend, Kelsey. It's easy to come across someone's business and think they have it all figured out. But in reality I—and most other people—are in the middle of it. It's nice to see the middle of progress, what it looks like behind the scenes, even if it's a little messy.
2017 MAJOR GOALS
1-Launch new website-yes
I did this. It's far less designed and detailed than I'd ideally want, but I told myself I just had to get something out there, even if it wasn't perfect. Which, is funny, because I have gotten compliments on my new site, even when I think it could be so much better. My biggest lesson is that sometimes I just have to get it done. Sometimes my good enough is more than enough.
2-Start a stationery company-no
I didn't do this. This has been a passion project that I've been hitting a wall on designing the past few years. I still want to pursue it, but I was more focused on getting my business on more stable ground financially, being a good-enough mom and pushing myself on some big client projects throughout the year. I still feel like this is going to happen. I'm currently feeling (mostly) okay waiting until I feel more aligned to pursue this and have a clearer creative vision.
3-Increase my income-yes
This year was my best year yet financially. I work fewer hours than I did at my previous full-time agency job, and I make more than what my salary was there. It's a great feeling to be able to say that. In 2017 I slowly increased my hourly rate with new and existing clients and my rate for branding projects and other bids. Money is an intimidating thing for me to talk about, so I'm proud that I actually had the confidence to have those conversations.
4-Take on much less ad agency work-yes
I took no ad agency projects on this past year. Preface: I am very grateful for any ad agency work that was sent my way when I first went freelance. That work helped me find a sense of security when I first started my business. However, the agency work you take on a freelancer often isn't the most creatively fulfilling. Usually, it involves taking someone else's campaign and helping them implement the design. I wanted to open my time up to more small business work in branding, packaging, apps, etc. and was able to do that.
5-Orchestrate (plan and act)-mostly yes and somewhat no
This was a much more general goal and that's why my answer is more nebulous. My intention was to plan ahead, act on my goals and don't let life just happen to me. I felt like I really did act upon many of the goals I had set out for the year that tie into client work. However, I wasn't so great at achieving more personal goals like stationery design and art for art's sake. I'm realizing I need to get much better at consistently carving time out for my own goals, even if they seem more minor.
Here are a few additional goals I had that I considered more minor:
2017 MINOR GOALS
1-get a podcast interview-no
I feel silly admitting this, but yes, it was a goal, and no, it didn't happen. I've wanted to push myself to get better at sharing more about life and business. I'm typically not wonderful at speaking aloud, so I think it'd be a good challenge.
2-Blog again consistently 2x per month-nope
But, obviously, that is happening this year, at least once, ha.
3-Consistent social sharing-not really
I am still working on my perfectionist tendencies tied to this area. I know I just need to get over myself. I'd like to share more of what I'm going through in my life and business as I'm going through it and not just after it's finished and tied up in a pretty package.
4-Art for art's sake-nope
I always have ideas for side passion projects that involve patterns, paintings, etc. just for fun, but I haven't done a great job at setting aside time for those things.
5-Stay focused and meet daily hourly goals-yes and no
I did not always meet my daily hourly work goals, but if I look at my work hours over the course of the year, I did meet my weekly hourly goals. I'm still working on trying to keep my work hours for work only.
That's it for my 2017 recap. Now, we'll see if I can post my goals for this year before next year. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯