This last eight months have been a whirlwind for me in many ways. It pretty much started with my departure from Wausau Whitewater and a renewed focus on my own business, Design Resumes. I detailed much of the goals, results and setbacks here. I also talked about the importance of planning ahead very recently.
For those of you who like to stay on the blog post you are reading, I will give you a short synopsis and you can read backwards later if you want.
- My business model was originally built on building the career industry-focused business of Design Resumes and keeping a stable arm of non-profit management contracts to keep the monthly income flowing. As I talked about previously, Feast or famine is a common state when you run your own business. The contracts kept it more stable but they also used up all of my time and at best I could keep only my own daily business running but I had no marketing plan and I made little effort to market.
- I felt a lot like the humorous telephone book ad where the guy says he doesn’t need to advertise, he only has one rug. I could write more than one resume but I had and still have limits to how many clients I can handle at a time.
- When I left Wausau Whitewater, there was speculation that something was wrong with me and the organization. The prime reason was me and my need to build my own business and follow my own path. I was getting to the point where I couldn’t see how I could continue to try to do so much and get to my own goals.
- Dropping the non-profit management arm with the last contract of Wausau Whitewater meant an immediate loss of $1000 per month and some other income from special projects. I chose to do this in the worst economic times in 80 years.
- My business is the primary income for our family. The first month without Wausau Whitewater contract was March. Suddenly, my gross income plummeted to $783 for the whole month. There were many contributing factors. The office was being remodeled, I traveled to Career Thought Leaders Conference for 6 days, and I started a sinus cold on March 18 that lasted until mid June.
- Income did increase after that and I have been blessed by seeing my new marketing plan start to work. I have had numerous new clients and now find myself working with clients from many areas – locally, regionally, nationally, and recently, internationally.
If you like, you can go to the Goals post referenced above to see goals that will take more financial planning and cash flow but here is a short list of both personal and business goals.
- INCREASED INCOME / INVESTMENT INCOME Build a passive revenue stream like Jim Connolly talks about Here. I am already reaching the point where I find myself working very long hours 12-15 hours 6 -7 days per week and I know that I cannot keep up this pace forever.
- NETWORKING Connect with my client base, one part of my network. The last time I exported by client base from QuickBooks into Excel a few years ago, I had more than 1800 individual client names. Most of them don’t know that I have a website or how my business has evolved. I value my clients and want to keep the line of communication open.
- BALANCE Re-balance me. In 2007 – 2009, I had a very dedicated walking and exercise program. Teddy (our German Shepherd) and I walked down to the river and back up hill home 4-5 times a week and I had another exercise program with crunches, push-ups and more that I did almost daily. The result was that I lost weight, felt better, and had more energy. This past eight months, I pretty much ignored the walking and did much shorter and less intense exercise routines. For my health, I have to change that or leaving Wausau Whitewater made no impact on me being more balanced. That means not sitting in front of the screen quite so much.
- TIME MANAGEMENT Figure out ways to get everything done. Keeping up with the laundry, housework, clients, and more has been hard. I have more tools to do that than most people but I get distracted and truthfully being in a constantly creative and marketing mode is hard and draining.
- PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Find time to read. I have a massively extensive library of books on many topics and I just don’t give myself permission to just read. At night I am exhausted and can’t concentrate and in the morning other things scream priority. But I need to do that. I am a reader, I like reading both fiction and non fiction and I find that reading helps me be a better writer.
I have more but this post is long enough… This was a catch-up (ketch-up) Catsup post but I think there are takeaways for everyone. Everyone whether they own a business or are working for an employer needs most of the elements above to be healthy and successful. Tell me what I missed.