First Quarter 2015 Goals Update

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2015 GOALS

Man I am so behind with updating my 2015 goals. I wanted to post one each month but unfortunately I’m just getting around to doing it. I had my second baby in February and to say that I’ve been busy is an understatement. Now that I’m starting to get into a somewhat regular routine, I need to focus on my businesses.

Since daycare costs are about the amount of my full time job, I’ll be staying at home and taking care of my two kids. I still need to generate an income so that I can contribute to the household and pay off my student loan debt.

These are a few of my goal updates for the first part of the year.

Family:

I’ve been able to spend more time with my kids, especially since I’m still on maternity leave and home with the kids every day. I recently purchased Your Baby Can Read. My son and I have been watching the videos every day and I’m trying to get him to talk and recognize the words.

Although I still need more improvement in the cooking area, I’ve gotten better with finding and cooking new recipes.

All of my paperwork was filed and organized. But now it’s starting to pile up again and I need to make time to get it in order.

Although I haven’t been able to spend as much time with my husband as I would like. We do have a date night scheduled for this week and I’m definitely looking forward to that.

Finances:

This section has been moving very slow since I have limited time to work on my businesses. But in the coming weeks I plan to kick it up a notch because my income will be going away and I still have bills that need to be paid. I’m going to have to really commit to working when the kids are sleep or whenever I do get a small break.

Business:

I didn’t realize I had so many goals for this section lol. I have been able to get a few things done though. I’ve come up with a new kindle book idea and had it outsourced. However the quality was so bad, I had to cancel the job. I did have the book cover made and that is ready to go.

I registered my eBay business name with the state and now I need to open up a separate bank account. I’m hoping to get that done by the end of this month.

The rest of the goals are for the remainder of the year. I really need to print these out so that I can review them daily because I forgot about a few of them.

How are you doing with your yearly goals? Have any of them changed?


My 2015 Goals, Objectives and Plans for the Future

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2015 GOALS

Over the last few months I’ve been so busy with everyday life that I haven’t taken the time to really focus on my goals. Since the year has just begun, I decided to get refocused and recharged to make this year better than the last.

Previously I’ve written about my goals, but unfortunately I’ve always got sidetracked and never seemed to complete all of them. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some improvements in 2014, but I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I would have liked.

Some of the highlights from the year include:

  • Publishing 3 new kindle books
  • Publishing a Udemy course
  • Restarting my Ebay business
  • Had a baby boy
  • Lost 40 lbs
  • Added more inventory to FBA
  • Created a few niche sites

Even though I was able to complete some goals, I still need to keep striving and trying to accomplish more. I got the idea for the format of my goals from Stefan at Projectlifemastery.com. Every year he publishes his goals and which ones he was able to complete.

Over the course of the year, I’ll be coming back and updating my goals with how I’m doing and what still needs to be done.

Family:

  1. I will easily spend time reading/teaching/playing with my kids daily by March 31, 2015.
  2. I will easily cook a new recipe at least every other week by March 31, 2015.
  3. I will easily organize all my important paperwork by keeping up with filing and shredding by March 31, 2015.
  4. I will easily plan a monthly date night with my husband.

Finances

  1. I will easily be making $5,000 a month consistently by December 31, 2015.
  2. I will easily have saved at least $10,000 in an emergency fund by December 31, 2015.
  3. I will easily replace the income from my day job by December 31, 2015.

Business

  1. I will easily publish 12 new kindle books by December 31, 2015.
  2. I will easily publish 4 Udemy courses by December 31, 2015.
  3. I will easily create and publish an info product grossing $10,000 in sales by December 31, 2015.
  4. I will easily create a business and marketing plan for my eBay business by March 31, 2015.
  5. I will easily formalize my eBay business by registering an LLC with the state and opening a separate business bank acct by March 31, 2015.
  6. I will easily become a Bronze eBay Power Seller by June 30, 2014.
  7. I will easily be consistently making $3,000 a month in gross sales and maintaining a minimum of 150-175 items in my eBay store by September 30, 2014.
  8. I will easily create a minimum of 12 eBay guides to help generate traffic to my store by December 31, 2015.
  9. I will easily upgrade my Amazon FBA account to Pro Merchant by June 30, 2014.
  10. I will easily be consistently making $1,000 a month in gross sales in FBA by December 31, 2015.
  11. I will easily get approved in Amazon FBA’s Categories Requiring Approval for beauty, clothes & accessories, grocery, health & personal care by December 31, 2015.
  12. I will easily create a private label product for FBA by December 31, 2015.
  13. I will easily revamp 4 sites currently receiving traffic and generate an income of $500 a month by December 31, 2015.
  14. I will easily publish 26 YouTube videos by December 31, 2015.
  15. I will easily post at least weekly updates to my social media profiles – Instagram, twitter, Pinterest and have at least 500 followers by December 31, 2015.

Lifestyle

  1. I will easily finish renovating my house to include dry walling main floor, bedroom and converting third floor attic to official bedroom by December 31, 2015.
  2. I will easily purchase a new SUV by June 30, 2015.
  3. I will easily take a cruise for a week by December 31, 2015.
  4. I will easily take better care of myself by visiting the salon monthly, performing monthly deep conditioning for my hair and quarterly massages by December 31, 2015.
  5. I will easily get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 130 lbs. by December 31, 2015.

Habits & personal development

  1. I will easily read the bible daily and complete at least half of it by December 31, 2015.
  2. I will easily read 12 business related books by December 31, 2015.

I’ll be checking back in over the course of the year updating my goals progress. Have you set your goals for the year? If so, what are they?


Midyear Goals Review – Does Setting Goals Really Work?

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Since this year is about halfway over I wanted to take some time to review my goals that I had set out to complete by the end of 2014. View my goals here.

Although I have been somewhat productive, I’m still pretty far away from achieving my goals.

Does Setting Goals Really Work?

Even though I haven’t reached all of my goals, I still believe in the power of setting goals. If I hadn’t taken the time to create them, I would have no idea where I was or a clear direction as to what I’m working toward. So let’s review the first part of the year to see what I’ve been up to.

First up

Goal 1 – Replace the income from my day job.

Although I have made some money, I’m nowhere near my goal of making 3k a month.

Why not?

1. I recently had a baby and took several months off from doing any work on my side hustles.

2. I’m working on too many projects, as usually. Sometimes when you have too many irons in the fire not many things get completed.

3. I spent too much time trying to create passive income streams instead of working on proven businesses that I’ve worked on before, naming eBay and Amazon.

Goal 2 – Write regular/consistent content for this blog

This has been a total fail. Although I enjoy writing and blogging, I’ve been spending my “free time” working on other projects.

I also never scheduled a set day to publish posts. Going forward this is something I’m going to need to do in order to grow my blog into what I know it can be.

Goal 3 – Grow my social media profiles & blog community

Another fail.

While I have picked up the pace with posting to Twitter, I haven’t been interacting as much as I would like. I haven’t done much with Facebook at all.

Goal 4 – Expand my brand’s reach into video and podcasting

This has been put on the back burner until:

1. I can post regular blog posts here.

2. I come up with at least 10 video ideas and scripts. This way I can film in batches and will have videos scheduled to be uploaded over the course of ten weeks.

Update on my plr store

I haven’t decided if I will outsource the creation of the packs or write them myself. However I’m going to have to put this project on hold until I complete my other projects.

What are my revised short term goals for the remainder of the year?

Revised goal #1

Post at minimum once a month to this blog. That doesn’t seem like a lot bit it’s better than once every 3 or 4 months. It’s also a goal that should be attainable.

I’ve also decided to do a monthly income report. This report may just be the only post for the month.

The main reasons are :

1. See where I’m spending money. Unfortunately I have “shiny new object syndrome” and with that comes a lot of wasted money.

2. I need to see how much I’m actually making to see how close I am to reaching my main goal of replacing my income from my day job.

Revised goal #2
Direct my focus into creating an active income and not just passive.

How is this going to look?

  • Increase my eBay listings. I want to maintain at least 100 listings per month.

If I can make a profit of at least $5 per sale, that comes to $500 a month gross sales. Obviously I want to make more than that but I feel that’s a reasonable start.

Revised goal #3

Work on expanding my info course library and Kindle books. Right now I have one course published on 2 platforms, Udemy and Skillfeed. I’ll be writing more about these two later.

On Kindle I have 4 books published, 2 under a pen name.

By the end of the year I want to have two more courses published on various platforms. I also want to publish four more Kindle books before year end. I outsourced the last 3 books but I’m not sure if I will continue will that route. More updates to come.

So that’s about it for now. Let me know how your goals for the year are going and if you’ve had to make some adjustments.


Tiffany Dow’s PLR ATM Review – Part 1

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plratm

Recently I purchased Tiffany Lambert’s (previously Dow) PLR ATM course. This product is an information course designed to help you setup and run your own PLR store or private label rights store. PLR is content that can be purchased and used by various individuals. It can come in the form of articles, eBooks, videos, templates, etc.

I was drawn to this product because it didn’t make any grand promises that I would be a millionaire overnight or I could quit my day job in 2 weeks. Tiffany seemed like a real person who, had bills just like me, and had found a way to make a decent living online. I also liked that I could do the majority of the work myself or outsource it if I wanted to.

Another benefit of this course is that Tiffany takes you step by step of what you need to do and where to go to get started. There are also video tutorials that come with the program.

Step 1 – Pre-launch

My goal for this month is to outsource part of the content creation and create articles myself. I’ve research several keywords and wanted to select something that had decent search volume and but not too much competition. Hopefully I’ve done this correctly. Either way, as time goes on, I’ll continue to add different topics.

By the end of the year the site should be up and running with the following:

20 articles (5 packs of 5 articles each)

Automated payment and delivery service

Email autoresponder setup to capture new content ideas

Setup social media accts on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter

Next month I’ll be back to discuss my promotion plans for the store and what goals I’ve been able to complete.


The Benefits of Goal Setting | Start Planning Your 2014 Goals Now

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Goals help you to know where you’ve been, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Regardless of if you’re starting a business or going back to school, you need goals to help you progress and see results.

It’s also important to write down your goals and keep them where you can review them on a regular basis. When your goals are clearly written you can see what it is you wanted to do in the first place. Unfortunately our memory isn’t as good as we think it is. But when we make written/typed note of our goals, we know what we set out to do.

Where you’ve been

When you have set goals, you can take a look back into your past and see if you achieved what you set out to do.

Where you able to write that book or run that marathon? When you have set goals, you can look back and check things off your to-do list that you have completed.

Where you want to go

Goal setting is like a roadmap for your future. When you have a goal in mind, you know what direction you want to go. It becomes clearer to start taking steps to achieve that goal. Planning for your future helps you stay on track and motivated to keep going.

How you’re going to get there

When setting goals, there are certain characteristics of goals that you should keep in mind to make sure they are really goals and not just dreams.  One model I like is the SMART model.

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

If your goals don’t meet these requirements, you may just be doing a lot of wishful thinking. Without clearly defined goals, you will wonder from one task to the next without ever really knowing if you’ve accomplished what you set out to do initially.

So how did I do this year when it came to my goals?

To be honest, not great.

I’ve recently taken some time to reflect on the progress I’ve made toward reaching my goals, or the lack thereof. With a new year on the way, it’s time to reevaluate my current goals and come up with new ones. This past year, I set out to start new businesses which would eventually lead me to leaving my day job.

However that has not happened.

Why?

Looking back on why I didn’t reach my goals, the one thing that stuck out in my mind was FOCUS. The goal in my mind was clear but I didn’t really apply the SMART model and therefore I became very distracted in how I would go about reaching them. I just couldn’t seem to stay focused on one main task.

As I plan my 2014 goals, I want to work harder on completing a task before moving on to the next one. I know that’s going to be somewhat difficult, considering all of my current and previous obligations. Not to mention a baby on the way. But when starting a business, it’s important to remain patient in order to see results. Unfortunately I haven’t always done that.

My 2014 goals

These are my 2014 goals, in no particular order

#1 – Replace the income from my day job

I plan to use various online avenues to generate an income of at least 3k a month. I’m not taking into account taxes or insurance, just would I would like make from my online businesses. While 36k a year doesn’t quite replace the income from my day job, it will allow me to pay my bills and seems doable once you start to break down how much you need to make per week.

I’ll be able to measure whether I’m reaching this goal by checking my acct every month to see if I’ve made anything. I’m debating if I want to post a monthly income report to help keep myself accountable and on track.

I think this goal is attainable. Not necessarily easy but attainable.

Let’s break down the numbers.

$36k year = $692.31 a week = $98.90 a day

If I decided to do consulting work and had 7 clients a week at $100 an hour, I could make this goal

If I completed 20 fiverr gigs a day, I could make this goal

If I created an info product that sold for $47 and make 2 sales a day, I could make this goal

By brainstorming a little I was able to come up with some ideas on side hustles that could help me reach my goal of replacing my income. Now I just need to select one and make it happen.

#2 – Write regular/consistent content for this blog

Over the past few years I’ve started several blogs. Some have more content than others but I haven’t stuck to any consistent schedule. For 2014 my goal is to post at least once a week. I recently signed up for Blogher.com’s NaBloPoMo challenge to write a blog post a day. While I don’t think this is a realistic goal for me long term, I decided to give it a try for the month of November and really push myself to see how many posts I can complete this month.

#3 – Grow my social media profiles & blog community

Right now my twitter following is rather low, around 200 or so. My goal for 2014 is to grow my audience to at least 1,000 followers. Considering the vast number of people on twitter, this a rather modest goal. My plan is to begin sharing relevant content on a regular basis again, interact with more people and use a scheduling service to manage my posts.

#4 – Expand my brand’s reach into video and podcasting

To take advantage of the growing number of users on Youtube and ITunes, I want to expand my reach my creating videos and podcasting. Many people enjoy taking in content in video and audio form. I personally subscribe to several channels and podcasts. Even though there are a lot of key players in this niche, I do believe there is always room to give another perspective and bring fresh ideas and undiscovered people to the forefront.

These are my main goals for the upcoming year. I’ll be checking back in over the course of 2014 with updates, case studies and lessons learned.

Have you started planning your goals for 2014, if so what are they?

 


Why You Need an Escape Plan – How to Break Free From Corporate America

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Many people dream of living the good life, working part time or not at all. Being able to travel around the world while working for themselves. These dreams will never become a reality without definite goals, without a plan.

If you’re like me, you still work a full time job and dread each day you have to go into work. Maybe you like your day job but you feel like you could be doing more with your life. Either way, unless you take action, you will be stuck there until retirement or at least until they give you the boot.

Is it really possible to escape and start your own business? Yes it is possible and that’s exactly what I’m doing. Check out these tips to help you get started on your road to freedom.

1. Look at your finances

Take a long hard look at your financial situation and see if entrepreneurship is really in the near future. In order to run a successful business, you need to have a decent handle on your own finances. Even if your finances are in order, do you have the money to start a business right now?

There are a lot of businesses that don’t cost a lot of money to get started. However, you need to know how much you have in order to see what can be devoted to a new business.

Also when reviewing your financials, think about how much money you really need to live and how much you want to make with your business. What is your overall goal?

For me, my goal is to pay off my student loan and replace the income from my day job. For some, they just want a side business to help pay for vacations or family activities.

What can you do now to get started?

  • Gather all your pay stubs & bills
  • Determine how much money you have available to start a business
  • Decide on your long term goals for your business – side income/full time income

2. Decide on the type of business you want to start

In a perfect world, with your perfect business, what would it be? Do you dream of owning your own store or service business or do you want to work exclusively online and at home?

For me, I love the idea of being able to work at home or any location of my choosing. Right now, I don’t want to be tied down to a local or service business that requires my in-person presence.

What if you have no idea what you really want to do?

Access your current skills.

What do you do at your day job? Ex: bookkeeping, administrative assistant, nursing

What do you already know how to do? Ex: cooking, sewing, photography, teaching

If you are already knowledgeable about a particular field, why not start a business doing that? You may not need to go back to school or do any extensive training on how to perform that new skill. Your time can be spent on developing your business.

Action points:

  • Start brainstorming business ideas, if you don’t already have one
  • List the pros and cons of the different types of business you may want to start

3. Start drafting your business plan

No I’m not talking about the 15 page document that you can never seem to finish or get together. I’m talking about a basic, to the point business plan. Chris Guillebeau, in the $100 Startup has a great quick and easy business plan template. (Edit..this link is no longer available on his site).

Although you want to spend time drafting the basics about your business and how it’s going to be structured, there is no need in spending an extensive amount of time right now on creating that type of plan. Your objective is to get moving and get the business started.

Action point:

  • Create a basic business plan based on the template in the $100 Startup

4. Create a marketing plan

Just like the business plan, your marketing plan can be real simple. Basically you want to write out who are you target customers, where do they spend time, how you are going to reach them. There are so many different free avenues to get new customers, take the time to explore those before you start spending money.

There’s a basic marketing plan that can be downloaded for free at Smallbiztrends. If you prefer a more extensive plan, do a Google search for a marketing plan.

Action points:

  • Create a marketing plan
  • Create a list of 50-100 free ways to reach your target audience/customer

5. Start learning

If you need additional training, sign up now. I’ll be creating a post in the future on where you can find free training.

6. Find a mentor or motivator

Try to find someone who is doing what you’re trying to do. So many times we turn to our friends and family for support but when it comes to starting a small business, they’re usually not as supportive as we would like them to be. Don’t let naysayers or haters distract you from reaching your goals. Find like-minded people to help you get to where you want to be.

7. Get started

Stop wasting your life away dreaming, thinking, planning, wishing or whatever you want to call it. Just start taking some steps. If can be as simple as registering and placing bids on a site like Elance. Whatever you do, just do something that will help you toward your goal of financial independence.

What actions have you taken to escape corporate America?