March 2017 Goals

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So ladies (and gentlemen, I don’t discriminate) let me tell you something, I am tired! It’s March! If you make a 90 day or quarterly plan then you are two-thirds done with your plan. Hell, we are one-sixth done with the year!  That makes me want to take a nap and a vacation but no rest for the wicked. So because time moves so fast let’s not waste any.

February 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com and just list build and connect like crazy.

I am launching the course site on Monday 3/6 the first official day of pre-sale! So excited!

Personal Goals

  • Read one book

In my Forest Gump voice, “I was reading.” I’m actually reading 4 other books currently but have most of them on pause while I focus on my course launch but I did finish 2 books this month.

She Means Business by Carrie Green.

I loved this book, I felt so inspired and it was just what I needed to read before a launch.

Round The Way Girl by Taraji P. Henson

I love Taraji P. Henson, and I mean almost jump up and down on a couch Tom Cruise circa 2005. I had always been a fan as I grew up watching a lot of black cinema and of course, I adore her sassy character Cookie on Fox’s hit television show Empire. But after this book, I love her even more. She is educated, well-rounded, thoughtful and just really reminds me of my big sister, to be honest. It’s hilarious and I would suggest getting the Audible version so you can hear the voice she does for her late father.

  • Get back into meditating

When my anxiety reached its peak I knew I had to get back into it. It’s been great. I don’t do it every day but I have started doing it more regularly.

  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.

I think all things considered I have managed to do this. Some weeks it may have been hot yoga, therapy or just watching the entire first season of the Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix in a weekend.

  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.

I love this. I normally do it right after I get out of the shower. A time when my mind isn’t as clouded and I can just reflect on the day and myself for a few moments.

  • Party like it’s 1999 for my grandpa’s 85th! I love that guy. Here is a picture for the hell of it.

It was so nice to see the family. I think he had a great time.

Grandparent Birthday Part

Blog and Freelance Goals

Yes! Right now I am in the section of the course all about launching, so I’m pretty excited.

  • Have 555 Facebook page likes

545 Whomp whomp. I haven’t been as active on Facebook as I’d like. Hopefully next month.

  • Have 3200 Twitter Followers

3275! Yay!

  • Have 1125 Instagram Followers

1145! I think a part of this is the Imperfect Boss campaign I participated with on Instagram. 

  • Have 990 Pinterest Followers

1145! Thank you, BoardBooster.

  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library

I didn’t publish a new resource but I created a new email course. You can find it here.

  • Post at least 4 times this month

February 2017 Goals

The Distraction Keeping You From Your Dreams

An Open Letter to The Woman Who Prayed For Me

Yes, You Need a Business Plan

  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.

Yes and no. I have been in heavy focus mode and have been trying to stay away from unnecessary distractions and let’s be honest most of the time that is social media. I did manage to post consistently on all of them thanks to Buffer and BoardBooster

  • Do at least 2 webinars

I did not get to host any webinars this month. I still made connections and feel like I helped people and that really is my ultimate goal.

  • Reach out to affiliates

Yes! Not as many as I would like but the month is young!

  • Do auto versions on relevant posts. I did my first audio take on a blog post in January. I have been wanting to do this for a while and plan to do it for posts in certain categories.

I did audio for the 2 posts I felt needed it and to be honest, I really do like it. I recently had someone asked if I had a podcast and now I am seriously considering making the audio files available on podcasting sites. I know that I’d need to clean them up a bit and do intros and stuff, so it would be down the line.

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.

Yes! Although I have found a new favorite healthy fast food option for the days I didn’t make my lunch.

  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.

I did better this month. I didn’t get to 3 times but did manage to do twice a week.

  • Lose 5 pounds more. 

Done! I’ve officially lost 20 pounds and want to lose at least 10 more. I have worked hard. I’ve watched my friends eat cheese sticks, while I’ve eaten an apple and protein shake. I haven’t been suffering but I have been being more conscious. Not only is my weight down but so is my blood pressure.

March 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch The Balanced Side Hustle

Personal Goals

  • Read one book
  • Finish the She Means Business 28 Day Plan
  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.
  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.
  • Keep meditating and visualization

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Finish Launch Your Signature Course!
  • Have 555 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3325 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1160 Instagram Followers
  • Have 1020 Pinterest Followers
  • Post at least 4 times this month
  • Do at least 2 webinars
  • Do auto versions on relevant posts.
  • Stop and look at my dream board twice a day.

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 12 times this month.
  • Lose 6 pounds more pounds

Well, this is sort of short but I have a lot going on this month and better get to it. Let me know what you’ve got going on this month and how last month went. Tell me in the comments!

Ready to start making your monthly goals? It’s never too late. Get the free template to set up your goals each month.

Yes, You Need A Business Plan

When I started working on All The Things I Do, two years ago I did not even think about creating a business plan. My plan was simple; I’d start a blog, people would flock to it because of my witty humor and fascinating tales of a twenty-something and marketers would throw money at me for ad space. Yeah, I obviously had it all figured out. NOT! I quickly learned after I started working with ad companies that it would take about a million page views to even make enough money to fund my TGIT wine habit. Even at 30,000+ pageviews, a month ads make up about $70 of income a month.  As I learned more about the world of blogging and what I wanted to bring to it, I knew I needed a plan. If you’re still on the fence about whether your online business or blog needs a business plan here are a few reasons why you need a business plan.

Yes, Your Blog or Online Biz Needs a Business Plan

You Hope To Make A Regular Income From It 

Even if you only hope to make a little mad money on the side from your online presence a business plan is an excellent way to make it happen. I’m all about setting goals and making a plan for them. I’ll use one of my favorite examples, losing weight. If you want to lose weight and you say, “I’m going to lose weight by getting healthier,” you do not have a game plan. You have a nice thought and a vague statement.  If you want to sell customized quilts online and say, “I’m going to sell my quilts online and make money.” It’s the same.

A business plan is like saying, “I’m going to lose 15 pounds by eating 1200 calories a day and working out four days a week with a trainer.” It’s a clear plan with a clear goal.

I’m all about setting goals and making a plan for them. #OnlineBiz Click To Tweet

Have Realistic Expectations

You know you want to sell your custom quilts online and that you can usually finish one in two weeks. If you plan to sell them at $89.00 a quilt and it takes you two weeks to make one, having a revenue goal of $500 a month is very unlikely, even without adding in the cost of materials.

You can set realistic goals for the time and money you have to work on the business. If it takes $15 in fabric and other materials to make a quilt on average, then your profit per quilt is only $74. Does the $89 include shipping or will that be an additional fee? These are things your business plan will help you plan for.

Clarity

A lot of the frustration that comes with starting something new comes from a lack of clarity and that lack of clarity lead be overwhelming.

Have you ever sat down to do something seemingly simple and found that you got nowhere because you weren’t sure the steps of doing it? Building your online business can be like that. It’s easy to let that fear you might screw up stop you in your tracks. Personally, if I have a plan or guidelines, my fear of screwing up is greatly lowered.

It also helps you know what is in your reach.  Do you plan to hire help?

Now that you know the average cost of supplies are you going to require payment upfront? Are you going to charge a cancellation fee for canceled orders to cover time invested and materials?

Figure Out Marketing

When you purposely think of how you plan to market your business, you will find yourself coming up with more ideas to market it. Yes, a website is nice but are you going to write blog posts with D.I.Y tips? Do you plan to go to local events to advertise your business? Are their local trade shows you can go to?

You will be able to plan ahead for any special seasons where your service or product might be popular. Do you want to do ads in the late Fall for all the people who might want to purchase quilts as Christmas presents?

Mark Your Progress and Re-strategize 

Like with goals, having an idea of what you want out of our business is wonderful but being able to measure those goals and the activities you do to accomplish them is what makes them work. When you have custom and personalized business plan you can sit down regularly and evaluate which activities are working and which aren’t.

Are you limiting yourself using a certain carrier? Should you shop around for fabric suppliers? If you create your business plan for Awesome Quilts Online, and 2 months later review it you may notice that the money you spent on that trade show fee actually only returned 3% in revenue and 4 orders, while attending meetings of local sororities and offering your services was a free investment and earned you 10 orders. This allows you to refocus your energy instead of doing the same limiting or unsatisfactory methods of marketing or business operations.

Are you ready to start your business plan? I’ve created a free email challenge with templates to help you get through it. In less than half an hour a day, you can have a business plan ready in less than a week to help you grow your online business and figure out your mission.

Go ahead and sign up below and I can’t wait to see you in the challenge!

An Open Letter To The Lady Who Prayed For Me

I was one pound down since my check in two days ago. I told the nutritionist working that day goodbye through mumbled breath and she looked me in the eye and said, “I hope your day gets better.

Thank you,” I breathed and rushed as the waterworks I’d become accustomed to started. I ran to my car and at the same time noticed a car pulling up beside me. I was in full on sobs that would not be stopping anytime soon.

Tap, tap, tap,” I heard on the car window.

I looked up and opened the door to see an older woman I had never seen before.

Yes….I’m sorry,” I sobbed through tears.

Are you okay?

I felt my heart drop into my stomach, “I’m just having a bad day,” I continued to cry.

Can I pray with you?

Yes please.

This stranger grabbed my hands and proceeded to pray as tears flowed out of my eyes.

Thank you,” I said when she finished.

I don’t know what’s wrong and I don’t need to know, but I hope it gets better. Sometimes we need a good cry.

And like that she told me goodbye and walked inside.

I haven’t talked much (if at all) about religion on the blog. Not that I don’t have beliefs, but I just have my personal issues with organized religion and have made the decision to separate that part of my life from this one.

I’ve been having a rough time lately with my anxiety, and on that particular day, I was just counting down the hours till I could be in the safety of the office of my new therapist.  I knew if I could make it through the first 12 hours of the day to that 8 p.m. appointment I would be okay. Ultimately the universe had other plans and I became undone in that shopping center parking lot.

This chance encounter got me thinking about lots of things.

Why did I apologize?

I was having a private moment in my car (albeit in a public place) and she was technically interrupting it but I apologized.

I was apologizing for my humanity, for having a moment of weakness when I allowed the private me to be seen in the domain the public me usually rules. The world where I smile while I’m collapsing on the inside. The me that puts other people’s needs above my own. The me who doesn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my problems or emotions.

I realize I had no reason to apologize and that this kind stranger probably wasn’t expecting it.

The kindness of this stranger.

So often we are all in a rush and in our own heads. I know I am, if I’m in a public place, my head is probably turned down looking my phone or a book. I’m not proud to say that if the roles were reversed, I would have noticed someone sobbing in the car next to mine and even if I did if I would have felt comfortable asking if they were okay. I would have probably checked my phone to see how much time was left on my lunch break, in fear stopping to check on a stranger might make me late. Horrible to admit but true. I am positive I wouldn’t have thought to offer to pray for them. This interaction made me want to be more aware of the world around me and the pain of others.

The boldness of her belief.

We live in a country right now where we all value our freedom of speech but are just as quick to browbeat someone who has different beliefs or thoughts than us. That being said, even with the best intentions it can be scary to reach out.

For all, she knew I was an atheist or would get angry or even violent by her offer of prayer. This fear didn’t stop her from offering and trying to make me feel better. I respect her so much for that.

It made me want to be bolder in what I believe and not just in a religious or spiritual sense. They say the road to hell is pathed with good intentions but so is the road to hope and happiness. If you are genuinely trying to help someone I have to believe the universe has a way of putting this in the win column.

So to the woman who stopped and prayed with me, thank you for your kind words, your time, your prayer and your inspiration.

To anyone reading this, if you feel low or down there is help out there. Seriously, you don’t have to wait for a kind stranger to catch you having a dark moment. More and more insurance plans are covering mental health care and if you aren’t covered by insurance there are options including 7 Cups of Tea  and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. You are not alone!