6 Crazy-Good New Years Resolutions for the Self Employed
There is a war about to happen across the internet: Resolutions vs. Screw Resolutions.
You'll see articles about how resolutions are bad and that you should be willing to change December 15th as much as January 1st.
Yeah, I get it. But I love me some resolutions. I think when we all yell HAPPY NEW YEAR, we get a new chance, a fresh start. We pop open the champagne or at least turn off the Netflix and head to bed.
And some of us need a new and fresh start around our businesses.
But what should our resolutions be?
Well, Fizzle reader, here are the six resolutions you might want to embrace and commit to in 2017. We think they won’t disappoint like those "absolutely no carbs 2016" resolutions you may have attempted in the past 🙂
1. Don't Compare Yourself to Other People
Oh, you just read a testimonial about a 19 year old that had 250 subscribers and made $45,000?
And then someone with nearly the exact same idea you had just hit Huffington Post’s front page and it got so busy the site crashed!? They can’t keep up with how many people are subscribing! Madness!
You want to pull out the jar of Nutella and just inhale it because you have more subscribers than either of those people and your business can only pay for a Wired magazine subscription each year? Or maybe you've just started and Uncle Ronnie is like, "Online businesses are done! The real money is in the options market! Here! Take a brochure!” You feel discouraged and defeated and you haven't even hit the publish button.
Listen—everyone and I mean everyone sucks when they start. You can't compare yourself to other people.
Some people just catch a break. They throw some magic beans in the ground and lo and frickin behold, there’s a beanstalk.
Some people have built a lot of expertise in university and internships and on the job training.
Some people are simply at the right place at the right time with the right idea that’s been percolating for awhile.
Friend, you have to remember this: You are the beta version of no one. We need your voice. And more importantly, YOU need your voice — otherwise it’s just dashed hopes, frustration and burnout.
Don't read the testimonials. Don't worry about other people's income or success. Say to that part of you that hopes:
hey, kiddo, I know how much you want that success. There’s a lot of reasons to want it! But how we’ll get it will be the real way — the way that won’t fade overnight, the way that develops us beyond what we thought we could do. I know you’re worried, but you don’t have to be because there are things we can focus on right now that will help us get there way more than letting envy take over.
Make a plan you trust and focus on making progress (instead of just movement), and let others bitch about not getting a break yet.
2. Commit to the Long Obedience
Your business is going to take some time. It's not going to be overnight, over-week or even an over-month success.
So you’ll need to do some reframing of what you expect this journey is going to be like. Just because it’s not happening as fast as you thought it would doesn’t mean you need to give up! You can commit to pursuing the long obedience in this direction towards your business and life goals.
In that spirit, you can commit to do small-medium things every day. Be like Andy Dufrane from the Shawshank Redemption, slowly chipping away at the prison wall, day after day, month after month. You need to get out of the prison.
Schedule the time and keep it sacrosanct. If you have to relocate to a coffeehouse or behind your favorite dumpster—do it. Find a place that has the least amount of distractions and set your base camp there.
You deserve to build this business and there are people out there who desperately need it! Get to it.
(Note, you know there are people who actually need your thing, right? If you aren't 100% positive, please start the business roadmap ASAP.)
3. Assess Your Progress With No B.S.
Here's how you take your business, light it on fire, throw it into a blender and have it turn into ash.
Don't know your numbers.
Here are the key frickin metrics I want you to track each month. You want it to be the 15th, 1st or 30th? I don’t care, pick one! But track these metrics so you know how your business is doing at a baseline.
- Money earned this month:
- Unique Visitors to the site this month:
- Hours spent on the business this month:
- Money spent on the business this month:
- (for more info check out this masterclass podcast episode: Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics.)
With this, you can see how much your hourly rate is and see what it is earning you. This will give you a picture of your progress and keep you accountable on how you are applying yourself to the business. Sure, the numbers aren't going to increase every month (and you want the hours you work and money you spend on the business to eventually decrease.) But this will give you a picture of how you are doing.
Make a super basic (and I mean pumpkin spice basic) spreadsheet and track this. It should take you 15 minutes per month to figure this stuff out.
If you wanted to lose weight—you’d have to eventually look at a scale.
If you wanted to get out of debt—you’d have to eventually look at your credit card statement.
This is how you measure how close you are to getting to your goals. Put that date in your calendar, give it the loudest alert you can.
And attempt with closed eyes and clenched fists not to wince when you see you haven’t made all the progress you want. Go back to the first two resolutions. Don’t compare and keep a long obedience in the same direction. Note: this is a good time to have some friends inside Fizzle you can run some ideas by.
4. Create Systems That Fulfill Goals
Oh man, if I hear “goal setting” ONE MORE TIME I’m going to throw my pumpkin spice latte along with my pumpkin spice cocoa butter shaving cream out the window.
Yeah, we get it. Goals. SMART GOALS. Specific, Measurable, yeah-yeah-yeah. We get it.
We make them and it’s like, What now?
You have to design a system that fulfills those goals.
For example—I wanted to write blog posts… like, professionally. One of the most useful things I did was create a checklist on how I write blog posts.
- Check idea file on Evernote.
- Outline article.
- Write article.
- Edit article. (always a different day than writing the article.)
- Create image on Pablo from Buffer
- Upload it to WordPress and make it your Featured Image because you forget that all the time.
- Open up Convertkit.
- Write email for my readers about the article.
- Set date to post.
- When article is posted: make sure it is on Twitter, Facebook, share that mother.
- Write 4 people you know about the article and ask what they think and if they’ll share it.
So my goal of increasing my reach and posting regularly is a system—I just go step by step on that. The second that I find that something is working, that something really gelled with my readers, I’ll figure out what I did and attempt to do it again.
And I’ll do that by creating a system.
Pay attention to your successes because Dr. Strange knows we spend way too much time focusing on how we failed.
Develop systems (you want to call them checklists, knock yourself out) and you’ll find goals much more easier to attain.
5. Buy Back Time
In 2017, I plan on buying back 10 hours of time a month. That’s 120 hours in a year. I will have 120 more than you and with those hours I’m building my business (and more).
Here’s how I’m doing it.
One of my streams of revenue is coaching. That money only has one function—buy back time. I buy back time by doing a couple of things.
I hire someone to clean my house a couple of times a month. (I’m not a slob, but the idea of spending hours on housework just puts me into a fit.)
I hire a freelancer to design downloadable PDFs for me if it’s beyond my skill set. (I could spend 5 hours making one that takes this guy 1/2 hour. I just got 5 hours back. TAKE MY MONEY.)
I hire someone to edit my books and make the corrections.
If I had a lawn, I’d spend the money to have someone mow that sucka.
You get the idea. Have a source of income that simply buys back time. And what’s great is that I can use that time to pour directly back into my business or use it in other joy-giving ways.
Your business is about getting more time to do the things you want to do. Make sure you start getting the stuff you hate out of your life with the work you do.
Now if my coaching revenue dries up, guess whose fault that is? This guy who will be cleaning his toilet and editing his books. So I will bust my butt to get more coaching clients.
6. Plan December 31, 2017
I’m not talking about what goals you have accomplished. I’m not talking how much money is in the bank or how many late-night talk shows you got to host. We literally just covered that.
I’m talking about how do you want to feel at the end of the year about your business. Do you want a sense of accomplishment? That you took a bunch of risks? That you gave it enough time? Did you pick up a new skill and you’re happy with it?
Eventually that day is going to roll around for you and you want to look back at this crazy adventure of building a business and find joy in the process of it. Not just the sales that you make, but that you are creating something from nothing that people find value in and that benefits their lives.
Sounds like a good year to me.
Ryan McRae is the creator of the blog, The ADHD NERD, a blog dedicated to helping people be more productive, successful and happy especially if they have ADHD. He is a voracious reader, swing dancer and loves him some pumpkin spice.
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