Ep. 267: 2019 Year In Review + 2020 Goals

This is a special episode where I am going to review goals I set for myself in 2019.

Click here if you want to take a listen.

I'll let you know if I achieved those goals or not (and what happened this year to lead to that) and also share with you my goals for 2020.

The reason that I do these podcast episodes is that I like to hold myself accountable to my goals. What is the point of setting goals and even declaring them on a podcast if I am not going to go back and review those goals and see what kind of progress I made?

So in preparation for this episode, I went back and I listened to my 2018 Year in Review + 2019 Goals episode and just hearing myself talk about those goals was really, really interesting cause my, how much has changed in a year!

So I encourage you, even if you're not doing a podcast or blogging about your business journey, to do your own monthly income reports and annual reviews + goal setting. It's so helpful to see how far you've come and what's changed, what got in the way of you achieving your goals and what changes you can make for this year.

It really shines a spotlight on not only what you need to work on but all the things that you actually really, truly did accomplish.

Because I know as busy side hustlers, busy entrepreneurs, sometimes it just feels like we never can get enough done.

There's not enough time in the day, always so much more to do, but I would love to invite you to look back on like what have you accomplished and really just acknowledge yourself for all of the things that you have accomplished in the past year to get you to where you are right now so that you feel accomplished and confident and motivated to move forward. I think that's one of the most important things that we can do is highlight like what we have done instead of all the things that we haven't done.

2019 Goals

#1 – “Seriously Lose The Weight”

Accomplished? Yes.

I heard myself say it exactly that way in episode 202. “Seriously lose the weight.” I said I wanted to “take advantage of the situation that I created for myself so that I can finally lose the weight like I wanted to when I first started this business.

So just if you're brand new to me and my podcast, here's the backstory.

Way back in the day when I decided to start my own business, it was because I was like so miserable at my day job. But I also had this thought that like, “Oh, if I just didn't have to come into this office every single day, then I'd have plenty of time to work out and prepare healthy foods and it's this job that is preventing me from living the healthy lifestyle that I want to live.

Because I've been overweight my whole entire life. Anywhere from 30-60 pounds above a healthy weight for my height. I asked my mom if she could help me go on a diet when I was in 7th grade, and I just always wished I could lose weight and be normal. And then there was Atkins and Weight Watchers and Paleo and gym memberships and Body Pump and Crossfit and a thousand other things in between, and I was either on a diet and miserable or not on a diet and happy.

I'm sure many of you can relate.

So I laugh at myself when I look back on this, but I'm like, “Okay, well I'm going to start a business so I can be in control of my time. I need to quit CrossFit to have the time for this cause that's like a two hour commitment every day…”

Which really, I was going like three times a week. And to blame it on my job. I didn't have a job when I was 13 and overweight!

But you know, in your mind, you tell yourself these stories, and then you just believe it if you never think to pay attention to what you're thinking and question it…

So I quit the gym so I could build the business. Totally took my eye off the ball when it came to losing the 30 pounds overweight that I was at the time and did not pay attention to my health at all.

I put all of my efforts into growing the business, quit my day job, and still did not focus on losing the weight.

In fact, I had slowly gained another 20 pounds, so I was like 50 pounds overweight by the time that I set this goal last year to “seriously lose the weight.

It's just funny the things that we tell ourselves. One of my big why's of starting my business is so I would have time to be in control of my health…

But I was in control of my health the whole entire time! I see that now.

But at the time I did not see it, and I used building the business as another way to delay doing something I thought was going to be hard and miserable.

So when I decided to “seriously lose the weight,” the tactics that I had shared back in episode 202 were just to reduce my overall consumption, food consumption and alcohol consumption on the weekends. Go to hot yoga three times a week, walk my dog daily, cut out flour and sugar completely and do meal planning and shopping.

At the time that I recorded that podcast, I'd been listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo and that's her method of stopping overeating: to get rid of sugar and flour and plan ahead, make decisions ahead of time.

And I thought, “Okay, I gotta do this. I gotta do SOMETHING. I can't keep going like this.

After I recorded my 2019 goals episode, I heard an episode on Amy Porterfield's podcast where she shared that she has lost 60 pounds by working with this woman named Corrine Crabtree who has a podcast called Losing 100 Pounds.

And Amy was saying how she'd always been overweight her whole life. She used work as an excuse to avoid focusing on her weight. She didn't like to put herself out there in business because she was ashamed of her weight and all the things.

And I'm like, “Oh my God, that's me. That's me. That's me. That's me.

And Amy Porterfield has never steered me wrong. (I act like we know each other LOL but she has no idea who I am.) Every piece of advice I've taken from her has paid off for me. If she's willing to give airtime to this experience on her podcast, I'd be crazy not to look into it!

And it's something that I've always, always, always wanted to “take care of” but I just didn't. I knew what I needed to be doing (so I thought) but I just wasn't doing it.

Now I understand that I did not have the mental tools to do it.

So after I started listening to Corrine's podcast in January of 2019, I was like, “Okay, this sounds good. This sounds good. This sounds great. This makes tons of sense.”

But I still wasn't really taking action. I had a whole lot of thoughts about her method of planning my food and making decisions ahead of time.

That it would take away my freedom.

The same exact reason I resisted planning in my business. But what I discovered is that planning ahead = freedom.

That and I kept thinking I'd have to plan salads to lose weight, and I hate lettuce.

So I just listened until about March of 2019 something that she said on the podcast just clicked with me and I was like, “Okay, like I need to actually all the things that she's telling me to do for free on this podcast and in her free course.

So I just started actually doing it.

I started making a plan for my food every day. I started being really deliberate about how much water I was drinking versus coffee.

I decided not to cut out flour and sugar because I didn't need to cut out flour and sugar. Why make it harder on myself? Clearly making it hard and restrictive never worked in the past. Flour and sugar was not my problem.

My problem was that I was winging it with what I was eating every day and that I was eating more than I needed to eat, period.

Like that's it. I did not need to start going to CrossFit again. I didn't need to do all these crazy things that I thought I had to do that really sounded terrible that I didn't want to do.

I literally just had to plan ahead, follow my plan, wait til I got hungry to eat, stop eating when I was satisfied and not stuffed, and not eat because I wanted to take a break from work or because I was stressed or because everyone else was eating.

By the way, that's what makes me successful in business too. Planning ahead, following my plan and not distracting myself with busywork that doesn't really need done when I feel uncomfortable about something that I have to do.

So that's literally all I have done.

I didn't cut out the flour and sugar.

I eat all the same foods I'd eat when I wasn't dieting, just mostly not when I'm not actually hungry and most of the time not beyond satisfied.

Notice I said “most of the time“. I'm not perfect and I've discovered that I don't need to be to get results.

Neither do you.

I didn't make it to hot yoga three times a week consistently.

But I have lost 27 pounds in 2019.

Which is the most weight I've ever lost in my life.  A huge accomplishment for me. I'm so proud of it.

I officially joined the PNP Tribe in September of 2019, and it's changing so many more aspects of my life than just my weight.

I average losing a half a pound a week.

And I've struggled with thoughts of like, “Oh, I should be doing this faster. I should have lost 50 pounds by now. I should be losing one pound a week, not half a pound a week…

But then I'm like, “No, no, no, no, no. I am doing this in a sustainable, consistent way. I still get to ‘have a life.'”

I used to think I'd have to do a major life overhaul stop having any kind of fun or going out to eat or anything. I was always miserable every time I tried to do any other kind of diet. And so I obviously didn't stick to it that long because I was making myself miserable.

So now I'm just like, “I lost 27 pounds. I know how to do that. I know I can lose the other 23 and I'm giving myself half a pound a week to do it. If I do it faster, awesome. But I don't need to.

I've been overweight for as long as I can remember. If it takes me two years to do it and I'm not doing anything crazy that I can't do for the rest of my life and I know I'm never going to gain the weight back, who cares how long it takes?

I'm being deliberate and I'm continuing with doing what I'm doing every single day. Just eating a little bit less at dinner, waiting a little bit longer to eat. As I lose more weight, I have to tweak things a little bit, but I'm no longer obsessed with the timeline.

And that mindset relates to back when I was side hustling.

I was obsessed with “How soon can I quit my job? When can I quit my job?” I thought, “Oh for sure I'll be quitting my job at the end of this year.

And then the end of the year came and went. “Oh for sure it will be the end of this year.” Came and went.

Eventually I stopped worrying about the when and put my efforts on the what, the things that actually need to happen in order for me to be able to quit this day job, to replace my income, be able to afford my business expenses and have money for taxes.

So I had a certain monthly revenue goal that I was like, “If I can hit this a couple times, I know that with an extra 50 hours a week that I all get back from working at my day job that I'll be able to do that consistently.“And I was able to do that consistently.

So what I invite you to take away from my story is:

  1. If you are anything like me and you have some weight that you have been desperately wanting to lose, you know what to do and you're just not doing the things that you know you need to do for whatever reasons that you have, I invite you to just go listen to Losing 100 Pounds with Phit-n-Phat by Corrine Crabtree. It's so good. And it makes a whole lot of sense. And go get on her email list for her free course too. Just be open to that.
  2. Stop worrying about how long the good things take. It's worth putting the time in to spend three years building up a business before you quit your day job FOREVER, or take 2 years to lose 50 pounds FOREVER. I had to change my mindset about my day job and stop hating it in order to want to stay there for the time that it took to build the business the right way. I also had to change my mindset about what it really takes to lose weight in order to enjoy the process and not beat myself up along the way.

Just like in business, with the weight loss too, I'm just like, I'm doing all the things that I need to be doing.

I am make taking small, consistent actions daily. I am making slow progress that's building and building and building.

I don't need it to go any faster.

I know I'm going to get there and what I'm doing right now is sustainable. So I invite you to think that way about your business too. You don't need to like explode your traffic overnight. You know what's sustainable is doing things that you know, work consistently over time and you'll eventually get to that point where it kind of takes on its own momentum.

I consider that goal accomplished for 2019, and I'll share more about continuing that goal in 2020 later.

#2 – Work 25-30 Hours a Week

Accomplished? No.

My second goal was to work 25 to 30 hours a week. And the way I was going to accomplish this was to:

  • Transition my inbox management
  • Outsource, all one-on-one client work
  • Focus on doing only the things I could do, which is recording this podcast, recording any videos, writing any recording and writing words, only the things I could do. Everything else I was gonna outsource, like my website updates.
  • I was going to stop doing any kind of like 7:00 PM calls or broadcasts or meetings
  • Transition more things to my virtual assistant.

I can tell you that I did NOT accomplish many of those things.

Especially not for the first 9-10 months of 2019. In fact, it turned out that I couldn't afford to outsource the 1:1 work I was bringing in. I wasn't charging enough for the one-on-one work to be able to compensate people appropriately.

So I was actually paying basically everything that was coming in for the one-on-one work was going right back out to my subcontractors. So I was making like pretty much nothing on one-on-one projects. And at that point I had not made the decision to stop taking the one-on-one projects, but I did make the very difficult decision to let my subcontractors go. And then I took on all the work myself and it's cause I needed the money so that I could pay my paycheck so that I could pay my mortgage and pay the bills.

That was a such a difficult decision for me. I agonized over it for a long time and I had to do it. Like I had to put my household first.

But that resulted in 70 hour work weeks because I was doing client work all day, every day and also marketing my business and showing up for my students and creating content and updating my courses.

I was doing things in the evenings like I said I wanted to stop doing. Not every night, but like one night at week, which my husband get annoyed by because he thinks that because I'm the boss, I shouldn't have to work at night.

So I was working 70 hour work weeks again, which resulted in me focusing not as much as I could have on income producing activities and pitching.

And client work isn't an income producing activity. The work to get the client, the marketing, is an income-producing activity, but spending the time doing the work? That does not produce more income.

So when I did an analysis of where my money was coming from versus what I was spending my time on, I was spending 80% of time on one-on-one client work, which accounted for 25% of my revenue.

Income producing activities for me are building relationships, getting people onto my email list and promoting and selling my courses.

So I ultimately decided to stop doing one on one client work. And it felt a little scary, but I felt way more free and relieved than scared, because I know that when I spend more time on marketing, I'll make more money.

I stopped working with clients in September, and September, October, November were my biggest revenue months and my highest profit months.

And I'm back down now to 40 hours a week now (when I don't have a project like launching my own new website).

So I started tracking my hours again in, in October and recording or reporting those in my income reports.

The goal I set for myself in 2018 to work 25 to 30 hours a week on average is not realistic at this time. It's not enough for me to get done what I need to do each week right now.

But 50 to 70 hours a week? Nope. That's burnout city. So I'm hovering right now around 40 to 45 hours a week. I'm getting all the things done that I want to get done. I don't feel like I'm overworking. I feel like I don't know what I do with myself if I was working just 25 to 30 hours a week. But that's not a goal. That's not on my radar. I think that was an unrealistic goal for myself.

I did NOT accomplish that goal in 2019, and I'm not gonna try to accomplish it in 2020.

#3 – Double my profit by November 2019

Accomplished? Kind of.

At the time I set that goal, after paying taxes and expenses I was taking home $5,000 a month on average. So I wanted to take home $10,000 after taxes and expenses by November 2019.

The tactics that I outlined for that were to:

  • Book two web design clients a month
  • Increase my prices
  • Get more traffic
  • Increase my affiliate conversions. Meaning get more people to sign up for my Free 5 Day Website Challenge and ultimately end up buying a product I recommend.

There were 2 months that I did double my profit, but it did not come from increasing revenue. It was just from massively reducing expenses. I let some subcontractors go. I cut out tons of like software subscriptions of things that I wasn't really using. I transitioned away from Infusionsoft to ConvertKit. I ended up spreading out some tools I was paying for in lump sums annually to monthly to help with my cashflow because when a big $500 payment for something would come out it would hurt my cashflow – which at the start of the year was SUPER tight.

I also made a commitment to not buy any other courses. I had a couple of courses (that were totally worth it, by the way) that I had opted payment plans that when those were over I saw that cash back in my bottom line.

So I was just like, “No more new courses. You have all of the knowledge that you need, you need to be taking action and not being in learning mode.

So that's how I was able to increase my profits.

I did not book two new web design clients a month. I probably booked like one a month. And I stopped taking one-on-one clients altogether in September because my time was focused on income producing activities.

And funny thing, one of the tactics that I did not put on there that was instrumental in doubling my profits was just making more offers for the things that I sell. I did three launches of Website Marketing Lab, two launches of my Web Designer Academy and a couple of promotions where I was like “Oh hey, by the way, this thing actually is for sale. Do you want to buy it?

Crazy how when you invite people to make a purchase, they may not buy the first time. But they might the second time I ask them. Or the third. But I have to keep showing up, and keep asking because they're not sitting there thinking about me all the time. And I needed to warm them up to it and then help them decide if it was right for them.

So making more offers (of the same products) and reducing my expenses were how I was able to double my profits.

Not necessarily even getting more traffic or increasing affiliate conversions. I mean, they increase a little bit, but it was mostly like making offers of my current products to my existing list.

It always doesn't have to be new, new, new. It can just be like, “Oh wait, I can nurture and leverage the customers that I already have.” Fascinating, right?

So that was my goal. I hit it a few times to double my profits. It's not consistently doubled or anything, but I did make that happen, and I'm doing all the things I need to do to get it consistent.

It just didn't happen the way I thought. So be open to accomplishing your goals in different ways than the tactics that you set out for yourself.

Remind yourself of your goals often, you'll find a way.

#4 – Write a book.

Accomplished? Nope.

I was going take two weeks off in July to take all the content that I've created for this podcast and on my blog to write a book about how to go from side hustle to self employed, and then take two weeks a quarter in it. In fact, I already have this book outlined, I've had it outlined for a while. I know how I want to tell this story and how I want to like weave all the learnings into it and all the things.

But I did not even attempt to write the book in, uh, 2019. It totally fell off my radar.

I did not make time for it. And the reason is because I did not have a clear why, or clear reason for writing the book other than I really want to help other people do it in a very clear, systematic way.

I also did think that having it would help me have a reason to pitch myself to be on podcasts, but it turns out you just need to have a valuable message to share with their audience to get on podcasts. So I didn't need a book for that. In fact my mastermind girls were like, “Wait, why do you, why do you need to write a book to get on podcasts? I'm not seeing this connection.

And so I was like, “You know what, you're right and I'm not writing a book to make money.” It was not in service of any of my other goals.

So I didn't do it and it's not on my list of goals for 2020. I have had people ask me about it, and it's just not going to happen in 2020.

I would still love to write a book, but I think I still have more to learn before I can really tell the whole story.

I've gotten through the side hustle piece. I've gotten through like the year one scared entrepreneur part. Year two was like, okay, I've found my footing and I'm starting to get some traction. I think I need to go through year three of being on my own after quitting my day job. (It's actually going to be year six of the business). I think I have a lot to learn in 2020 and beyond that will add to the story.

And I'm gonna need a lot more time than two weeks to pull that together and if I'm going to do it, I'm going to promote it and all the things, it's just not the right time for a book. I want to just finish up this year and see where this story goes before I do that.

So that goal did not happen. I'm cool with it not happening. Probably shouldn't even have been a goal on the list and it's not going to be on on my list for the foreseeable future.

Unless a publisher comes knocking on my door and makes an offer that compels me to do it, then I could see putting it back on my list.

#5 – Be a guest on 20 podcasts.

Accomplished? Kind of. 

To get on 20 podcasts, I was going to pitch myself to a hundred podcasts and put myself out there in a really big way.

While the result was I was a guest on 15 podcasts in 2019 – I pitched myself for zero of them. I did not put myself out there in a really big way. In a big scary way.

Those opportunities came organically from relationships that I had built from having people on my podcast.

Which is great, but imagine what could have happened if I actually did put myself out there in a big way and I had pitched a hundred podcasts.

I did not take the big actions to get the goal, but I got kind of close to the goal. So that's kind of like a cop out in my opinion… and I know I have some big mindset + belief changes to work on if I'm going put myself out there.

#5 – Double my email list from 1400 to 2800

Accomplished? Yes.

To do this, I was planning to:

  • Be a guest on 20 podcasts.
  • Pitch 50 guest posts (crazy)
  • Run Facebook ads to my podcast
  • Run Facebook ads to my 5 Day Website Challenge
  • SEO optimize everything
  • Interview 25 guests on my podcast
  • Post my 5 Day Website Challenge every week and entrepreneur Facebook groups
  • Amplify my Pinterest
  • Create a whole crap ton of new opt-ins.

I mean really? Come on. Who can do all those things?!

I am like, “Shannon of 2018, you're a crazy person.

The result is that I did double literally from 1400 to 2,800.

It was not from all of those things. It really was not.

I didn't pitch any guest posts. I did run ads I think for a little bit, but I don't know how, like it was barely $20 on ads. I was just like testing those out. I still think that's a valid strategy by the way, but that's not what I did. I did have stuff on Pinterest and I think it's starting to get traction now, but it was not getting traction really much in 2019. I did not create those new opt-ins. I did optimize some existing opt-ins that I had, but those opt-ins, you guys, they are not the kind of opt-ins that bring me my ideal client.

They are not the kind of opt-ins that are bringing me buyers. So I have a high standard for freebies for opt-ins.

And a few that I had don't meet the standard and they're not translating into sales. Imagine that.

There's two places my growth is coming from.

Podcast listeners. People that say, “Oh, I heard of the five day challenge from your podcast.” And that's because I'm interviewing other people on my podcast. They are sharing it with their audiences. And the people that listen, connect with me come find out all the things and they become part of my community, right.

But most of my traffic to my Free 5 Day Website Challenge and ultimately to my email list comes from Facebook.

And that's not me. I am not out there sharing it.

You guys are sharing it. My community is sharing it.

So I teach the concept of a Shareworthy Freebie inside my Website Marketing Lab, which is to create something so amazing that people are out there spreading the word for you.

That is still how I get the bulk of my subscribers is these relationships that I've built with other people, relationships that I have built with you guys. With my Free 5 Day Website Challengers that trust that I've built that they know when they share this thing with someone else there it's going to make them look really good and that people are going to actually get results.

So that's the power of the Shareworthy Freebie and it's a huge piece of where my traffic comes from.

And that's the kind of momentum I'm talking about when when I'm like, “Eventually things will start to just happen on their own.” That's the kind of momentum I'm talking about. And that's the power of the Shareworthy Freebie.

#6 – Build a Team

Accomplished? No.

Back in 2018, I thought that building a team is key to accomplishing my goals in 2019. And I did the opposite of that. I actually reduced the number of subcontractors I was using because I could not afford it. I was behind in paying myself at least half a month if not a full month. Because I keep track of my numbers, I could see how it was just going to get tighter and tighter.

I have a budget spreadsheet that like kind of flows like a waterfall month to month to month. And it's like if I bring in this much base minimum, but I'm spending this much, here's the month in which I'll run out of money.

That's how I did my budget personally. That's how I do the budget and my business. And so I could see that I had to make some changes. I made cuts everywhere. I have one amazing person that I contract with right now. She was project managing all my web design projects when I quit doing one-on-one web design. She makes sure this podcast gets out every week. She took on a lot of the administrative stuff that that I was doing. And she really just kind of is like my right hand woman making sure that, that things are happening behind the scenes and I need that.

Like I cannot do it all.

I mean I suppose I could if I absolutely had to, but I prioritize so that I can spend my time on income producing activities and I see when she's spending her time on what she does and I'm spending my time on things that I spend my time on that the, in that the revenue increases. So we're just gonna keep doing what we're doing.

#7 – No New Content in 2019

Accomplished? No.

I also made a commitment to not create new content in 2019. I did not keep that commitment. I'm creative. I have ideas and I wrote the Website Copy Guide as a companion to the Free 5 Day Website Challenge. I teach people how to build a website, but I don't teach them like what to put on their pages that's going to like resonate with their audience and have an impact and build the know, like, and trust factor and all the things.

So I created that. It didn't take too long, but it was like immediately after I made that declaration to not create new content, I created this thing.

So it's just like, “Well nevermind, I'm creating new content.” I don't keep those small commitments to myself and I'm working on that.

And then I also created the Free 5 Day Website Challenge companion workbook, which is a 300 page document of all the steps of the Free 5 Day Website Challenge in a written form with screenshots and worksheets to keep track of certain things and links to all the videos.

So it's basically like a guide that you can scroll through and read and see the screenshot of the settings that I clicked in the video and then click and go watch the video. And I made that because people had been asking me for that for years. They're like, “Listen, we love the videos. We love that you're showing us what to do. But I have to like keep pausing and rewinding and searching the video for that setting in this. And it's just like, it's taking forever because I don't know what video your Wordfence security settings were in and you scroll down the screen too fast before I could do it on mine.

So I created that and I'm so glad I did. I'm not glad that I didn't keep my commitment to myself to not create new content.

Keeping your commitments to yourself is like the most important thing. Don't say that you're going to do things that you're not going to do.

And that's really me talking to me.

It comes up in all areas of my life. People pleasing, what I'm going to eat, what I'm going to do in my business.  Don't say you're going to do things that you're not going to do.

5 lessons I learned from setting these goals and analyzing the results

#1 – Know your why so that you can make sure that any goals that you set serve your overall why.

The book does not serve my overall why. Some of the tactics didn't serve the why. So just know your overall why. Mine is to help as many people as possible have the lifestyle that they want, right? Not necessarily the one that I have, but have the lifestyle that they want.

When you set a goal, ask yourself, “Why?” and make sure that goal is something that actually serves your why.

#2 – Be willing to let go of goals that don't serve you.

If I am always like beating myself up because I worked 40 hours a week instead of 25, how does that serve me? Working less isn't always possible when you are your own business owner. But you know, I don't want to overwork. So I'm like, listen, I'm going to let go of goals that don't serve me beating myself up. I don't have to ever beat myself up.

I'd always be thinking, “Oh, I should be writing a book. I should be working less. I should be this. I should be that.”

I can think however I want to think about it. But like I don't have to set myself up to think that way about it by setting goals that don't serve me.

#3 – Be willing to change tactics to get to the goal.

I talked about how many goals that I met but not the way I thought I would, right? So be open to changing the tactics to get the goal.

#4 – Make sure that you're at an eight or better on your level of willingness to do the tactics you outlined to get to your goal

I learned this from Corrine Crabtree when it comes to my food plan. So on a scale of 1 to 10, are you an 8 or better at your willingness to actually do that thing?

For example, I put “Pitch writing 50 guest posts” as a tactic to grow my list.

Was I at an 8 or better?

Uh, no. I thought I should do that, but I was like at a 4 if I was actually gonna make time to do it.

So if you write down something you think you should do to get to your goal, but you're not super committed to taking action, just don't write it down.

Like if you are not ready to push yourself out of my comfort zone, find ways that you can make it happen that you're 100% going to do because the more success you have at things that are like the low hanging fruit, the more willing you're going to be to do the things that make you uncomfortable because your confidence builds.

#5 – Start small and level up instead of starting big and never measuring up.

So I said “Double my email list.” in 2019. Fine. Whatever. But why not say, “Increase my email list by 100 subscribers a month?” And then if I ended up doubling it, “Oh my gosh, that's amazing.” Instead of instead of saying, “Oh, I need to make $10,000 next month” and never measuring up to that, why not start small and continually increase as you meet those goals so that you're always winning? Why not always win instead of always like never hitting the target?

So I just think it's a mindset to keep in mind when you're talking about goal setting.

2020 Goals

#1 – Double my email list 🙂

From 2,800 to 5,600, or adding 230 subscribers a month. I'm currently adding 300 a month. So I don't see that being a problem and I feel like that's one of those goals where it's like I'm starting small and leveling up instead of going big and never measuring up.

I could be like, “Oh, I'm going to have 10,000 subscribers by September, 2020.” It's like, “How about we slow our roll a little bit and set a realistic goal that we know we can achieve and then try to blow that out of the water.

Right? So my goal is to double my email list again. And I'm going to do that with relationships, building new ones, nurturing, leverage, nurturing and leveraging existing ones. Pitching podcasts and collaborations is a huge part of that.

My Shareworthy Freebie, I believe, is going to continue to work behind the scenes to help me out with that goal.

So I'm going to continue to make the 5 Day Website Challenge even more awesome, and even ask and remind people to share it.

And then I am going to do some experiments, testing, some Facebook ads and Pinterest ads. I'm not going to rely on those at all to double my list. But I just want to see how I can figure them out and maybe leverage them to scale, get some baseline numbers and then make a decision on whether I want to spend money on them or not.

#2 – $15,000 per month in revenue by March 2020

If you've listened to any of my income reports since March of 2019, that's been a goal since then. And I wanna take home at least $6,000 a month as a paycheck.

And this is kind of where that strong why comes in.

It's like, “Well, why, why do I want to make that much money?”

It's more than I need to live on. So what's the reason?

I have a consulting retainer contract with my former employer and I expect it to end in January, 2020. So I need to replace that income and I don't want that to like be a financial hit.

I want to maintain my VA and give more work to her if she wants it or add someone to do work that she does not want to do and kind of offload some, some more of the systematic things that happen every single month like clockwork that I could give to somebody else. Like scheduling my Instagram and like things like that.

I want to continue the investment in the coaching that I'm doing. So I am part of Growth University.

When I joined last year it was $5,000. So I want to be able to continue that investment. I have more than made that back since investing in that and following my custom marketing or growth roadmap. So that's amazing. I want to keep doing that.

I want to fully fund my retirement and make up for not putting anything in there in 2017 and 2018. I know you can't like technically make up for, but I would like to fully fund my retirement and get that going again.

And I want to cover my husband's salary just in case life happens. His company is in retail and we keep hearing that there's a recession coming, right? So who knows what's going to happen. I just wanna make sure that we can make ends. We're building house this year. So it's like if something were to happen to his job in the midst of, you know, building a house, I want to make sure that we're covered there.

I want to have two months paychecks and business expenses saved in the business.

I want six months emergency fund and our personal account.

I want to remain debt free in the business and in my personal life.

So that's why I want to bring in that amount of revenue.

Of course you have to pay taxes on that. There's business expenses that comes out of that.

I have been slowly working my way up to $15,000 in 2019, so we'll see if I make that happen in 2020.

I feel like I have all the knowledge and everything that I need to, to make it happen. It's just a matter of taking, taking the action to do it.

#2.5 – Keep expenses low.

We can't talk about revenue + profit without talking about expenses. I want to maintain my average monthly expenses of around $2,000 a month or less. So I don't want my business expenses to increase. So that means no new courses, software or coaching. I have everything I need right now.

#3 – Work 40 hours a week.

Totally normal. Stop working weekends unless I have preplanned it because I do have some reasons sometimes that I choose to work weekends. Maybe I took a day off during the week to do something, maybe I have a launch happening or whatever. So I want to give myself the option to work weekends, but only if planned. And I also want to take four weeks off a year from working whether we go somewhere or not, I want to give myself a mental break four weeks a year to reenergize, which I've done a couple times this year already.

I've taken chunks of time off and I see the benefits and I love it. So I'm already doing this right now. I think I can continue that on in 2020. No problem. So we'll see.

#4 – No new freebies or programs

I said this last year, I did not do it. I'm saying it again this year and I'm committed to it. I'm committed to amplifying and optimizing what I already have. I'm committed to serving my existing customers and so that could require updates and changes to existing programs, but I'm not creating and marketing anything new. In 2020 I keep thinking like, “Oh my gosh, I'd love to do like a virtual summit or a live in person workshop or this or that or whatever.” And it's just like, no, no, no, no, no. Like this is the year to optimize and grow what I currently have and really see like what I'm capable of with the things that I currently have.

So I know I'm going to have to update the 5 Day Website Challenge. I have some changes to make to existing courses to make them even better based on feedback from students (evidence-based, not perfectionist based).

So I have those types of things, but when it comes down to creating anything new, it is not happening. I'm amplifying and optimizing what I already have.

#5 – Lose the rest of the weight.

I want to lose another 23 pounds as of December 20, 2019. So I expect to have that done by the end of 2020. No big deal, going at the same rate of about a half a pound a week. I'm living my life, enjoying it all along the way.

So I don't see any reason why doesn't happen It's, it's kind of like a, for sure thing. I just keep doing what I'm doing to make that happen.

Words of the Year

And so I wanted to wrap up with sharing my words of the year for you guys.

My words of the year for 2019, were focus and constraint. I wanted to focus in on what I was working on and constrain my efforts. The first half of the year I didn't instantly start focusing and constraining, but I did always keep that in the back of my mind. And as I was like making decisions throughout the year that always came up and they came up in a big way when I decided to decline working with a one-on-one web design client that would have been a super lucrative project but would have required my a hundred percent attention for probably three months.

And I was like, “This is not in service of all the other things that I want to do. This is not like focus, this is not constraint. This is just accepting something just for the money and not in greater service of my overall business goals.

So that's just one example of how those words of the year really helped guide me throughout 2019.

My words for 2020 are focus + amplify.

I want to just be really like clear on what actions I need to take to move me forward. Don't add new things. Stick to the plan. And when I say amplify, that means grow what I currently have. Get more people knowing about it, communicate with more people. Do the things required to market myself and grow.

So that's it for my 2019 year in review and my 2020 goals.

I will be so interested to come back to this in Ep. 319 that comes out on December 30th of 2020 to let you know what goals did I meet, what goals did I drop, what goals did I add and how everything shook out.

Tell me about your goals!

I'm super curious – leave me a comment and let me know about your goals. What did you set in 2019? What did you accomplish or not, and why? And what are your goals for 2020?

A review of the goals I set for myself in 2019 (I'll let you know if I achieved those goals or not) and also share with you my goals for 2020. @shannonmattern www.shannonmattern.com | #goals #peptalksforsidehustlers #onlinemarketer

One Response

  1. Shannon- I enjoyed reading your goal breakdown. Ok- I know when you write goals down they become real so here it goes:
    Create my own writer’s website (I’ve created 2 sites already and love it- so I know I can do this)
    Train for and become a copywriter (not just content writing) so I can increase my rates
    Make enough to pay all bills and expenses
    Payoff wheelchair van- those things are so costly!
    Make exercise and healthier eating a priority

    So now I’ve put it out there and others will see it- so I have to do it! I need that accountability-thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

more posts

Hi, I'm Shannon!

If you want to learn how to build a website (or a web design business), market yourself online and get traffic + customers so that you can go from side hustle to self-employed, you’re in the right place!

get the podcast

on the blog...

Join the Free 5 Day Website Challenge!

Subscribe to Pep Talks for Side Hustlers

Every week on Pep Talks for Side Hustlers I bring you side hustle success stories, strategies + actionable advice to help you grow your side hustle so that you can quit your day job (without taking a pay cut).