My business has improved over the last year in leaps and bounds compared to 2013. I made some significant changes during 2014 and they have paid off.
I still have challenges to overcome though and my income is not at a level where it can sustain me consistently on a monthly basis. Some months are really great. I use the surplus from those months to reduce the mountain of debt that I carry. In the slower months I just make my monthly expenditure. As with all growing businesses there are peaks and troughs.
This morning I discovered that there was no toilet paper. And I had no money to buy some because I am waiting for payments from customers. How is it possible that I work fourteen to eighteen hours a day and can’t afford a blasted roll of toilet paper?
I am really smart, a hard worker and I have remarkable skills in a lot of areas. So what the hell am I doing wrong?
The frustration and confusion morphed into white hot rage. Not at life. Not at other people. But at myself. I am the only one who can change my life. If what I am doing is not working, then I have to identify why, and then fix it.
I subjected myself to a brutal self-examination and identified all my strengths and weaknesses (otherwise known as a S.W.O.T analysis). I wrote everything down on a piece of paper and then evaluated the results.
- Strong work ethic
- Technologically capable
- Good writer
- Diverse skill level
- Prone to procrastination
- Lack of focus in some areas
- No structured plan for my business
- Goals are not formalised
- Make decisions in ‘survival mode’ instead of focusing on long term profitability
- Insufficient physical activity to keep my body and mind optimal
- Too much of my time is spent on trading time for money
- My thinking is fear based
This exercise highlighted some immediate areas which I could fix. I then wrote out twelve pages of notes about my business and the areas I wanted to focus on.
The first step is to identify my goals for 2015. Then I need to document them and set up a system for tracking and measuring them on a consistent basis. This will be achieved by following Dr. Mani’s Goal Setting Course which I am now a part of.
My primary focus for 2015 has to be setting up streams of revenue that are consistent and reliable. The ways that I can do this is through the following business models:
- Affiliate Income
- Writing books
- Evergreen Product Creation
- Training Courses
- Setting up digital stores that sell other people’s products
Any new business project or venture will be based on the following criteria:
- Does it solve a problem?
- Is the target market big enough?
- Who is the competition?
- How much capital investment is required?
- How many hours will it take to set it up?
- How much maintenance work is involved?
- What marketing strategy can I apply?
- How soon will it generate a profit?
Then I identified what threats I could potentially face that I had no control over.
- Customers not paying me for work done
- South African foreign exchange policies changing
- My health failing and making it difficult to work
To counteract these challenges I will do the following:
- Ensure that I get paid up front for all contract work
- Investigate offshore alternatives
- Change my lifestyle to include a healthier diet and more regular exercise.
Next I need to evaluate my current business structure and identify what needs to be either discarded, revamped or reformed.
So my action plan for this week is the following:
- Identify what I want to be known for i.e. personal branding
- Identify which websites do not fit into the new criteria and get rid of them
- Update all the sites that will be staying
- Investigate suitable affiliate programs
- Change the business models on the sites that need reform
- Delete all mailing lists that no longer apply
- Install a central WordPress site that will update all my remaining sites at once
- Create a content calendar for the different sites
Each week I will update this blog with the changes and progress I have made. I have made the decision to go public with this radical change process because it may help you.
What changes are you contemplating making in your life?
P.S. In case you were wondering, I did get sorted out with a roll of toilet paper. 😉
Diana Heuser specialises in e-Business and Publishing Resources for Authors. Connect with Diana Heuser on her business website, via Twitter @DianaHeuser or on Google+. Join our fabulous free Group “Secrets To Publishing A Book on Facebook”. You will find it interesting. Request to join here