Looking Ahead

We’re past Thanksgiving and heading into the holidays, which means one thing: We’re closing in on that time of looking back on last year and filing it into the archives – and looking ahead to next year’s planning. 
 
I know, you’re up to your earlobes in leftover mashed potatoes and turkey tetrazini recipes, and the coma hasn’t quite worn off yet. Planning is so…. hard. 
 
Well what’s say we just take stock then? Let’s take a little inventory of where we are. Where we’re going. We won’t even USE the word planning. Hardly. You don’t even have to get off the couch. 
 
Let’s answer seven little questions, seven pokes and prods into your complacency that will get you thinking about where you are and where you’re going. (click here to get a worksheet on these questions)
 

1

WHAT’S YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS?
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
Colin Powell
 
Tricky word, that: SUCCESS. It means so many different to everyone. You may be aiming to build a multinational company to challenge supremacy in your niche. You may be wanting to make a little side income over ten or so hours a week to supplements a vacation fund. You might want something in the middle. 
 
Only you can figure out where you want go – and what’s important to you. Here’s a few thought:
 
  • Money – it’s a big and obvious one
  • Flexible scheduling
  • The ability to work at home
  • Recognition and notoriety
  • Creative satisfaction
  • The ability to create jobs
  • Building a business you can hand down
 
… and there are no doubt countless other items not listed here that you might think of that are your motivators. What makes you do what you do? What’s your “WHY”?
 
 

2

WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS?

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

 
Hopefully you kick butt at the thing you create or you wouldn’t be here. But what other strengths do you have that you might be forgetting about? 
 
Are you organized? Maybe even a little anal?
 
Are you great with numbers?
 
Have a lot of patience? Are you a quick learner?
 
Do you get a long well with people? Are you a great writer?
 
Tech whiz? Natural salesman?
 
Great researcher? Gift for leadership? Delegating come naturally?
 
Gifted with graphics? Are you a born schmoozer?
 
What do you always hear, “you’re so good at________” “I wish I could _______ like you”
 
Sometimes we lose sight of the stuff we really ARE good at and focus on what we struggle with. Be honest with yourself on your strengths too.
 
 

3

WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Thomas A. Edison
 
We all got something. Some of us have several somethings. Go ahead and write down your demons and face them, figure out how you’ll work on them or work around them. 
 
 

4

WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MY SKILLS?
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
Benjamin Franklin
 
Here’s where you figure the balance – It always makes sense to become even better at what you’re already good at, but truly, where does it make more sense to hire out a task that you just plain suck at? 
 
Here’s the thing – you DON’T have to be perfect (or even good!) at everything. No one is. The trick is recognizing what tasks just aren’t worth your time, and to offload. Build on your strengths and hire for your weaknesses. Strategy.
 
 

5

WHERE SHOULD MY FOCUS BE NOW?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
Mark Twain
 
 
We all get the same 24 hours in a day. (at least until my Amazon Home Time Bubble Kit arrives. It seems to be delayed along with my Home Cloning Kit) So out of those 24 hours, where are your best spent? Refine and narrow that focus so you’re spending your time where you’re most effective.
 
 

6

WHAT IS THE FASTEST WAY TO INCREASE REVENUE?
“The only point in making money is, you can tell some big shot where to go.”
Humphrey Bogart
 
To answer this question you first need to know where you money is currently coming from, and how that’s trending.
 
But that’s so much work…….
 
I know sweetpea, but you can do it. What’s selling? What’s just hanging around taking up space? 
 
Where are you selling? How’s Etsy doing? How about in-person vs online?
 
Gotta ask here if all your online ducks are in a row – solid platform, SEO, all that good brain-eating stuff. Do you know who your market is and where to find it? If not, you have one item for you list!
 
 

7

HOW CAN I TAKE ALL OF THESE ANSWERS TOGETHER TO PLAN FOR 2017?

(oops… there’s that word “plan”… sorry about that…)

 
“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”
Winston Churchill
 
Now you know what you need to work on. Before you begin, answer one last question:
 
What’s the first step I need to take to get closer to my goals?
(Did you see how I snuck that “goal” word in there? That didn’t hurt a bit, now did it?)
 
 
Don’t forget to get the worksheet – Click here to grab yours!
 

Work with me – next year. 

“All coaching is, is taking a player where he can’t take himself.”
Bill McCartney
 
I’m not taking any additional private coaching students right now, but I’ll have a new program opening up next year. I only work with very few designers at a time on a private basis on things like:
 
  • Defining your goals and getting clear on where you’re going
  • Setting up a roadmap to get you to your next step
  • Keep you as efficient as possible in both time and resources
 
  • Getting your tech ducks lined up with a website/platform review
  • Brand review, with an eye to your messaging and market targeting
  • Copy, content and image review
 
  • Collection and line review and strategy
  • Transitioning into wholesale
  • Comprehensive review of pricing structure and sourcing
 
If you think this sounds like the kind of one-on-one guidance you need, get on the waiting list and I’ll contact you when the new program opens up.           
 

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