As 2016 came to a close and 2017 was on the horizon, I was so excited about what the year would bring. (Want a full recap?) I had big plans, personally and for Jodi Brandon Editorial. And then my mom got sick (I am talking a brain tumor, then a neurological disease, and then stage-four cancer) and my plans fell by the wayside as our family turned its collective attention inward to be there for her and my dad. Truly, I have never been more grateful to be a business owner with a flexible schedule and an amazing team. (That worked out nicely for me, by the way, as one of my goals was to keep up with my daily gratitude practice. CHECK!)
So the year looked different than I had planned for or expected it to, and in the trenches I often lamented to biz besties, “I feel like I am not making any progress or forward momentum.” Looking back now, though, I see that lots of good things DID happen. Progress WAS made. And here I am in December 2017, getting ready to spend Christmas with my mom (and thankful to those friends who assured me that I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing). I’ll take it.
What Went Well?
In 2016 my VA-turned-OBM, AllieDanae, and I worked hard on systems and workflows, and — I kid you not — they saved my business this past year. Get your systems in place, friends; you never know when you will need them! Allie took care of so much so that I could focus on client work, and I was able to grow the book coaching side of the business, which has been beyond fun. I am proud that client projects all stayed on track and that I have remained fully booked with both editing and coaching clients.
I also launched my YouTube channel this year as well as a Facebook Live series. (Full disclosure: I did about four episodes and then skipped about eight months but got back into my routine this fall and have loved the new coffee break–style format.)
Prioritization became critical, and there were things that simply had to move to the bottom of the to-do list. Refreshing existing products was one of those. I had planned to revamp and re-release my course, Book Prep Bootcamp, as an evergreen course. I made it about a third of the way through the course audit to this point. Oops.
Connection calls (AKA coffee chats) are one of my favorite things, but they also fell by the wayside a bit as the year progressed. I’ve met so many amazing women that way, though, that these are moving higher up the priority list for 2018. (If we haven’t connected one-on-one yet, please reach out. I’d love to share a cup of joe (or tea) with you!)
Changing Things Up
So what will I do differently for 2018? While I’m planning for the entire year in a general way, I’m focusing more on quarterly plans. Yearly planning doesn’t have much wiggle room, I found, and I really needed flexibility/room to pivot in 2017. Lesson learned!
I will continue to give myself grace about those things that DON’T get done as quickly as I want. When I look back on 2017, I know my thought will be “I was right where I was supposed to be” and not “Oh man, I really wish I had spent more time in the office.” I will remember that goals evolve and priorities change, and that’s okay.
My word of the year for 2018 is PRESENCE. I know it will serve me well.
Cheers to 2018, friends! What do YOU have planned? Let me know so I can cheer you on.