A BOUTIQUE BRANDING STUDIO FOR CREATIVE BUSINESSES
2016 Refection and 2017 Goals
I just took a few minutes to look at my goal wall from last year. Wow. While not everything got checked off my list, my goals were definitely push goals, and to see so many of them come to life this past year was incredible to read just now. For those of you wondering, I have a blank wall in my basement where I chopped up little pieces of paper, and stuck them with washi tape to the wall and made a grid with all the bits and pieces that would make up my goals. In this, I put things into three different categories:
1: New goals for my business. New ventures that I was currently not doing. This included things like passive income streams (working on it), making templates (also working on it), and making typefaces (check!). One thing I didn’t have up here was the things that I ended up doing that would fall under this goal, but I didn’t see coming at the begining of the year. Two HUGE things would be hiring Sarah for 50h per month to help out with Pinegate Road work, as well as starting the Pinegate Road podcast. These are huge things that I know will help out some of these other ventures next year, and allow me the time to make that happen.
2: Current goals for my business. This was all about reaching goals and numbers based on the current offerings for Pinegate Road. While things definitely changed up when I took Pinegate full-time, I hit these goals and beyond because of that extra focus on my business after August. After looking back at my little squares with ‘leads’ and clients ‘in progress’ it’s really cool to look back and know the majority of them are final projects right now. I think another goal for this year should be actually putting this work up on the blog / in the brand page of the website. I seriously haven’t posted about new work Pinegate has done in OVER A YEAR. Crazy, right? One other goal that I didn’t write down, but certainly had on my mind this whole year was switching over my website to showit. I wanted to have the Pinegate Road website better reflect the services we provide, rather than showcase a general portfolio and kind of talk about how we run business. While the new website is live, we’re still working on getting the brands page up and running, and working on our new structure for services in 2017. I’ve learned a TON this past year, and I’m ready to turn this business into something that works better for my life, and also works better for our clients. Taking Pinegate full-time has taught me so many lessons these past couple months, and I know that I can run things in a way that helps in both of these areas way better than how things are going now. They aren’t bad by any means, but there’s always room for improvement, right?
3: Personal life goals. So….I had three written down here! And I’d say about 1.5 came true. The first one was paying off the mortgage. Again, I DID say push goals here ;). While we are well on our way, we definitely still have some mortgage to pay off (ahem, quite a bit), and that will be a big goal for this next year. The second one was to lose 45 pounds, and get in a better place with my health. I wanted to be able to live my days without having the crazy emotional attachment I have to food, and I wanted to feel GREAT on my wedding day and into the future. Here’s where I did about half of my goal. This year was a huge year for me health-wise. I had surgery for my endometriosis, and have been feeling good ever since! I also had a lot of vacations planned for the middle of the year. I definitely ate my way around the world, and ended up at the highest weight that I’ve ever been at when I left my job in August. Also, the stress of leaving my job caused me to grab unhealthy lunches every day, and order pizza too many times. I definitely have a stress-eat relationship with food, and that’s something I’d honestly LOVE to get over and really work on this year. Since then, I went on a health retreat and have lost 15 pounds. I’d love to lose another 15 by the wedding to feel better. I’d also love to stop dieting, and start living. Being intentional about the foods that I’m putting into my body, and stopping when I’m full. I’m reading SO much about intuitive eating, and I think after the wedding in February, I’d love to start doing that. I feel like I have this time-crunch until the wedding, and I’d rather keep going the way I have until then so I can power through and lose the weight I’d like to lose for this day. I know it’s not ideal, and not how I’d like to be for forever, but I think for now, it’s how I need to cope. Lastly, this was a CRAZY push goal at the beginning of last year, but I just felt like I had to write it down? It was quitting my job to run Pinegate full-time! That has always been my goal long-term, but I NEVER thought it would happen as quickly as it did. I don’t even know what made me write that down last January, but lo and behold…it happened! I really think that working on my core values and making those manifest in my life over the past couple years had EVERYTHING to do with making this happen more quickly than I thought. Pssst: If you want to find your own core values for your life and business, head over to the Education page and you can take the Cultivate Your Brand’s Core course for free!!
So…that was how my goals manifested over the past year. It’s pretty crazy to see how they all came to life, and what didn’t but is still on the radar. One of the biggest things that didn’t happen last year, was launching the Pinegate Road foundations course. I’m glad that it didn’t happen last year, because it has totally changed up, and I think for the best. Instead of working on your life and getting your foundation down, it’s switched to getting your business’ foundation down. I’ve been able to work with clients this past year to really solidify their brand foundations, and it’s been incredible to see them grow from that. A huge issue I was running into with this though, was people wanting to work through this with me, but not being able to afford the $2000+ fee to do that beginning work. I had also been talking to several other designer friends who really wanted to learn the brand strategy process I was working through with my clients. Doing this allowed me to double my prices and provide so much value to clients — so much more than just creating a logo could do. With that, I created Build a Booming Brand, which walks you through the brand strategy portion of Pinegate Road’s signature branding process. It’s an affordable way for businesses to grow their foundation — so that they are making all the right choices and decisions for their brand moving forward, and it’s also great for designers wanting to learn HOW to do brand strategy so that they can do this for their own clients and raise their prices. I’m so pumped to see how this goes and how it helps people build their brands based on solid strategy this next year (and beyond!). If you think this might be for you, please check it out here. If you have any friends or family who are designers or business owners that are trying to build a more solid brand and reach their big goals this next year, I would really appreciate you passing the info along as well! I feel like I’ve put a lot of my heart and soul into this project this past year, and I can’t wait for it to be accessible to you guys. Eeeek! 😃
This year, I’m going to do the same thing that I did last year. I haven’t written them on my goal wall yet, and I might be changing the placement now that I moved my desk upstairs, but I loved how everything worked out last year, and I want more of the same this year 😉
New Business Goals:
— Launch Build a Booming Brand 2x this year
— Launch a template shop for showit and squarespace for businesses not ready to invest in our custom web services
— Launch 2-3 small courses that focus on branding for your business. Photography for your brand, Instagram for your brand, etc. I feel like I’m teaching and working through the same kinds of lessons with my clients who work with us for the Pinegate Road deluxe brand experience, and I’d love to package up these lessons into short courses that can teach people how to take their core brand values (that you can learn through the free Cultivate Your Brand’s Core course) and translate them into these different aspects of your brand. While you can learn your brand’s core values, it’s how you execute them that makes ALL the difference!
Current Business Goals:
— Launch a premium Pinegate Road service. This past year, I’ve learned how wonderful it is to work one-on-one with clients who are ready and willing to go after their BIG goals. When they have that first consult call and they’re like ‘just do it all!’ I freak out and get so excited. I know that when they work with us and we help them ‘do it all’ the experience and their outcome is so much better for them and their business than if we just helped with a logo or a website. Branding is all-encompassing, so being able to build everything based on one solid strategy is key. This is what sets you up for big business growth, and I’d love to relaunch our process in March to include a service that is more in-line with this mindset. Right now, the clients who have done this have chosen to do so from the one-off services we provide. I’d rather have a whole program that works through this all than have clients pick and choose it from what we offer.
— Get down with systems and processes. I’d love to have a solid document, timeline, and processes written down for myself, Sarah, and our clients to visualize and work through. Starting off working full-time with Pinegate this past August, I took everything on! I didn’t realize the new timelines that I would be working under, and how long things would take now that I had 40+ more hours each week to devote to Pinegate Road. Now, after about 11 new clients, I’ve figured some timelines out. I want to get these things down and be able to confidently explain the process of working with Pinegate Road to new clients. I want to create an on-boarding system for them as well — so they know what to expect when, and where, and they know the ways in which it’s best to work so they feel nice and secure throughout the process. I’d also love to create a database of videos that they can look to for certain procedures that happen throughout the branding experience. This will give them the support they need to keep going on their own, even after our time is through.
— Continue to update the website, and re-launch with this new strategy in mind by February 1, 2017.
— Lose 15-25 more pounds by the wedding (February 11th). I’ll do this by daily walks with Eaton, 3x gym per week, and counting my calories every day (even when I go over my goal for the day).
— Get married and have an AWESOME time on our honeymoon! I don’t want to let my weight issues or the stress of the wedding planning get in the way of enjoying this time in my life. I want to be present, and fully take in all that is happening and ENJOY it 😃
— Make a baby! hah. But seriously. With having my uterus clear of the endometriosis lesions now, our doctors have told us to try to have kids (if that’s what we want for our future, and we do) before the one year anniversary of my surgery (April 4th, 2017). So yeah, weird, but we’ll be giving that a go this next year! I’d love to be pregnant, healthy, and be set to welcome a little person into this world in 2018. With this said, this also means making my business goals happen so that I can save up for a maternity leave, a new and safe car (I’m still driving my 11 year old college car because it’s paid off and I refuse to have a car payement! hah), and to have passive income streams set up so that I am able to work on the baby / business balance when it happens. ALSO, it means working on my eating and stress issues. I want to work on being an intuitive eater, and also to eat for my hormones (no gluten / dairy). I’ll be working with a health coach after the wedding, and I’m excited to work with her to make some of these healthy changes happen as we try to get pregnant this next year.Well, there’s that! I’d love to hear your goals for the year too. We’re posting about them in the Creative Cohorts group, if you want to join along. There, we’ll have support from one another over the next year to keep these all in mind, and make them happen! If you’re down, please join us! We also set weekly intentions where we go over what we’re working on, and ask for support from others if it’s needed. I know it’s been helpful for me to be a part of this group of go-getters, and I’d love to have you join along (and post your goals 😃 )
Until next time, friends!
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