Traditionally, when it reaches this time of year, I write myself a list of goals to pin up on the wall by my desk and strive for by the time the 31st December rolls back round again. This year, I've decided to separate my personal and professional goals in the hopes of upping the ante and smashing my business goals out of the park.
Goal #1: Take Annual Leave
A common theme of becoming your own boss is that any notion of a traditional work calendar goes out of the window. Bank holidays are just another working day (or not), annual leave can be taken whenever you do or don’t want it and sick leave is completely unheard of. For all of the perks of working for myself – I usually enjoy a 4-day working week – I never take annual leave. Sure I take a few days off here and there for a city break but when it comes down to it, I took 8 days annual leave in 2017 compared to the UK national average of 28 days. Part of it is because I never feel like I ‘deserve it’ having enjoyed such a fun, shorter working week but the truth of it is: I work the same number of hours if not more than somebody in a similar role that happens to work full time.
In 2018, I will take at least 25 days off work.
Goal #2: Stay On Top Of Expenses
I’m notoriously bad at keeping on top of my expenses tracker. I have no issues with invoice tracking now thanks to a handy spreadsheet I nailed back in September but my expenses are often a black hole of creased receipts left to await their fate in a drawer of my office. And it’s something that just niggles at me throughout the months.
In 2018, I will file my expenses at the end of each week.
Goal #3: Set Realistic Deadlines
As a self-confessed people-pleaser, I’m partial to saying ‘yes’ to deadlines that don’t quite mesh with my working schedule. Sometimes, as you’ll know, I work for up to three clients a day and it just isn’t feasible – nor fair – to promise a 5pm turnaround for all three. What I’ve learned in the latter half of 2017 from pushing back on less urgent deadlines is that it isn’t completely terrible to do so. At the end of the day, Tartle Copywriting is a one-woman band and I am completely able to complete all of my contracted work, just maybe not simultaneously.
In 2018, I will plan deadlines in good time.
Goal #4: Up My Game
Back when I worked in a traditional 9-5 office setting, I’d be constantly encouraged to attend training workshops as part of my role. I found them rewarding if not a little tedious at times but nonetheless, improving your skillset is something that we can all benefit from. I started my business way back in 2012 and it’s safe to say that industries are constantly changing at a pace that you simply must keep up with. With tons of online courses and physical short courses at local colleges and Universities, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be adding to my skillset as a freelance copywriter and content specialist.
In 2018, I will attend at least one training workshop or course.
Goal #5: Increase My Profits
Something I am notoriously bad at is keeping the Actual Business part of my business. Tartle Copywriting is not only my love but it is, essentially, my livelihood. Money is an often touchy subject but I’m learning that to be successful, you have to believe in your self-worth and take risks in order to grow. I’m hoping that 2018 is the year that I can grow my profits whilst focusing on a smaller band of clients.
In 2018, I will increase profits by 20% minimum.
What are some of your professional goals for 2018?