Happy 2018! Right now is an awesome time to reflect on the prior year and define goals that will push you towards becoming the best version of YOU yet.
What Happened in 2017?
I like to start off the new year with a word that defines how I want to approach it. Last year was all about SELF-CARE. After several years of learning how to build a business along with the stress of taking care of a partner with kidney failure, I thought it was high time that I take time to fix Halona. I had developed adrenal fatigue which led me into a kind of fatigue I had no idea existed until it happened to me.
I took care of myself with herbs, trips to the acupuncturist, light walks, went to sleep by 11pm and slept for a full 8 to 10 hours, and deep diving into the miracle of essential oils. Some of you may be wondering what this has to do with the focus of this business blog. The point is that as business owners, it is easy to fall into the trap of the daily grind. You become your own worst boss trying to hit goals and make money. I was doubly stressed worrying about my partner’s life and wondering if we could make ends meet (we always did more than that, but the thought of failure was always in the back of my mind…) as he was often in and out of the hospital and couldn’t work regularly. Simply put, I burned myself out. And while I was able to maintain with a few clients, I really didn’t have the energy to push for new clients or even define goals for what I wanted to accomplish. 2017 was literally a year of taking care of my physical, spiritual, and mental health needs.
What’s Going On In 2018?
This year, my word is EXPANSION. Spending an entire year focused on my needs put a lot of things into perspective. My partner and I decided that we are better off as friends. We are both different people after his successful kidney transplant and we now want different things out of life. So now we are both moving on with each other’s blessing.
Next, I’ve decided to connect with my dad whom I haven’t seen in person since 2013. We talk on the phone often but haven’t made the time to connect in real life. I turned 40 in May of 2017 and that brings up a lot of thoughts about my connection to my family. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39. She passed away at the age of 49. Somehow, entering my 40th year of life has lit a sense of urgency to live my life under my butt. I think I have always had a free spirit and pursued what I believed was good for me and my life at the time. But I think my 20’s and 30’s were more about experimentation to see what I liked and didn’t like. At 40, I’m a lot more confident in who I am and what I want out of life. But I also realize that life is not promised. I remember watching my mom sitting in her hospice bed, too weak to walk and begging God for just one more month. She wasn’t ready to die. So now I know my experimental years are about done and I can move forward with what I know to be right for my life. I don’t want to leave this earth with regrets.
My Business Goals for 2018
So now that I have laid the groundwork for what I did in 2017, I can now talk about my business goals for 2018.
One of the things I realized about myself is that I love partnering with brilliant people. People with big ideas that ultimately have some kind of social good attached to their life’s mission. These are people who get up everyday with passion for what they are doing and I want more of that energy in my life.
Ghostwriting Business Books
I have been working on books for entrepreneurs in different capacities for the last 3 years. And while the world is paying attention to everything that is digital, books are still a primary way for influencers to make their mark on the world.
This year I would like to partner with 2 high achieving entrepreneurs and global business leaders who want to write a book that will define them as leaders in their space. I’m looking for high-level thought leaders who want to leave a legacy for others to read and gain insight on how to move forward with their own careers in leadership. If you think this is you, please send me an email at Hello@DigitalWellPublisher.com so we can set up a time to meet via Skype or phone.
Powerful Positioning as an Accomplished Digital Marketing Strategist and Linkedin Expert
Most of my freelance writing work has been for other business owners. I’ve written and edited a ton of blog posts, white papers, health related e-books, and more — most of which don’t have my name on them. As a ghostwriter, I understand that my reward for doing the writing has been payment and not so much personal recognition. But now that I am looking for higher level book clients, it’s a challenge to prove my expertise without social proof of my work.
As a result, part of my goals for 2018 is to write regularly for larger publications like:
- Success Magazine (I’d love to do a regular column here!)
- Psychology Today
- Stanford Social Innovation Review
- Harvard Business Review
- Fast Company
…and a lot more! I believe that my writing chops are just as good as many of the pieces I have read in these publications. It really is just a matter of pitching story ideas until I find an editor who says YES.
Powerful positioning as a social media expert would also include speaking. I want to get in front of more people and talk about what I know about building a personal brand in the digital space that people naturally want to follow and learn from. At the present time, I am doing my research on various outlets I can share my knowledge and expertise with. This can include:
- Business, marketing, and freelance related podcasts
- International conferences
- Webinar events
If you have a connection to a company or organization that is in need of guest speakers who can talk about building a personal brand, social media, and how to use writing to gain new clients, then email me at Hello@DigitalWellPublisher.com.
While I continue to ghostwrite books, speak, and write for larger publications, I will continue to write content for businesses. This includes brand journalism pieces like white papers, ebooks, blog posts, web page content, company magazine articles, and more. I can be reached at Hello@DigitalWellPublisher.com if this is something you’d like to connect with me on.
Everyday is a new opportunity to learn and grow. I have noted 4 specific areas of focus that will help me achieve my business goals.
#1 Strategic Marketing on Linkedin
Linkedin is that social media platform that every business professional is on, but most people never learn how to use it effectively. This leaves a lot of room for focused experts like myself to come in and dominate the platform. I want to be a lot more strategic about who I connect with on Linkedin, how I communicate my value, as well as supporting other professionals who are serious about making power connections on the platform.
#2 Writing for Consumer and Trade Publications
I have always wanted to write for consumer and trade publications, however it always felt like such a mountain to climb. This area of writing has its own set of rules that I am not 100% privy to as of yet. I have access to tons of resources on how to do this. Now I need to do some reading, ask some focused questions, and start pitching.
#3 YouTube Marketing
I have a few videos on YouTube for this site — most of which get no attention. However there is one video on the subject of how to talk your book that has well over 1000 views. While that’s not extraordinary, it does tell me that if I find the right content to share, I can start to get clients via the information I share. I’ve got a video camera, a video editing system, and an internet connection. I just need to get busy.
#4 Affiliate Marketing
Every year I say I’m going to get my affiliate marketing life in order. And every year I fail to follow through. I’m tired of reading about folks making $10K and more on one income stream based on a few proven tactics they use to sell products they don’t even have to make, inventory, or mail to anyone. Even if I made $1000 a month in affiliate sales (totally do-able…) that is money I can just put into a retirement savings account and let it grow. So that’s the goal — $1000 per month in affiliate sales by December 2018.
Life just wouldn’t be worth living if I didn’t have a list of travel goals. This year, I am finally making it to the following destinations…
I’ve never been to Asia. And I need to get my tail to Thailand while it’s still a great travel bargain. I’m working on getting my 6-month visa as I type this. It’s a beautiful country to be in while also being a great place to live on the cheap. I can also eat my weight in noodles, fresh fish, and deep fried street food.
I have a friend in Nairobi from graduate school who has extended an invitation to visit her several times. While I’ve spent several years in West Africa, I have never been to East Africa. And Kenya just looks like a beautiful place to be for a month-long workcation. Nairobi and Mombasa are on the travel itinerary.
Apparently, this is another great place for the traveling entrepreneur. What’s even better is that I can go there without a visa for up to 3 months. Bonus for the fact that this is another food mecca.
Revive Garlic & Lemons Magazine and Podcast
I’ve been saying I wanted to revive this magazine for the longest and haven’t made time to do it. It’s important to me to have a digital magazine where black women and health are at the forefront. I did a telesummit last year that people were very excited about. What I should have done was turn those interviews into a podcast where people can listen to it at will. So — written magazine articles with invited guest writers as well as podcast interviews. I’m debating whether or not to do the Facebook group. This will help to have a community around the podcast as well as sell learning webinars.
Attend a Writing Retreat
I used to do mini solo writing retreats a few times a year. That needs to make another grand entrance into my life. I would also like to do a group retreat where I can just pay a fee and be taken care of for a change. I’m currently doing research on where and when this will take place in 2018.
Read Non-Work Related Books
I can’t tell you the last time I read a novel. Or anything that was purely for me and not related to business. While the business books will remain, I think I need more personal reading in my life. This will help to exercise a different muscle in my brain and give me some relief from the hardcore business mind that is easy to get caught up in. I am reaching for more opportunities to engage my whole person rather than just my entrepreneur self. I joined a Facebook group that is centered on books written by black women from the 1970’s to 1990’s — so fascinating! So now I have some accountability to get some good reading done this year.
And there you have it! My business and life goals for 2018!
Are you planning on finally writing your book this year? What’s been a major roadblock to you getting your book done? I look forward to reading your comments.