It is the start of a new year and while I don’t do resolutions, I do set goals from time to time. The start of 2015 is one of those times. This year it is time to set some goals and take some risks to achieve them.
This time last year I was starting the year working as a part-time executive director in addition to my full-time day job. It was very fulfilling work and it was also tiring to work two jobs. All of my energy went into the two jobs and my family and as a result I didn’t have time or energy to set any particular goals for the year. This year is different.
For several years I have been rolling around ideas in my head for different business ventures that I could launch. When I was in high school I had a few different businesses that I started with a partner and ran and subsequently shut down.
One was a woodworking business making and selling wooden holders for plastic bags. As it turns out these were very durable products. I have one and my mum has a couple of them that have all been in use continuously for more than 20 years. My partner and I discovered it was a tough business because we couldn’t push down our production costs enough to be competitive with a plastic version that had come out in the year before we started our business. Our next project was a window cleaning business and we ran that for about a year and did fairly well at it. I don’t quite remember why we shut it down. It may have been that I got too busy with other jobs and volunteer work.
Then I had the opportunity to run and grow a social enterprise textbook store after university which sated my entrepreneurial needs for a while. My current job now also gives me space to be creative and entrepreneurial in how I achieve my goals. It is however time for me to pursue some other passions as well so this year I am setting a couple of Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs).
- Building Thomas Woodcrafts
In 2015 I will pursue my passion for woodworking and the creative and entrepreneurial opportunities that it presents. I will build my product line to include at least 15 products and am aiming for $5000 in sales in my first year. This business venture is not intended as a day job at this point so I am not spending all my time making and selling products. I will reach out to all the children’s stores in Ottawa as possible sales channels and I will apply to be a vendor in at least five craft shows in Ottawa. I will also expand my online sales channels as I build my product offerings.
- Expanding this blog
I started out writing this blog as a place to pursue my passion for writing and in the past year and a half writing I have discovered a community of writers and as it turns out, an audience for what I write. Thank you to all of you who read my ramblings. I appreciate your support. I have some posts which are read by fewer than ten people and others – ok well just one so far – read by more than 35,000 people.
In 2015 I am going to increase the frequency of my writing and post more regularly. I will also seek out opportunities to generate some revenue from my writing. I will reach out to companies that I like that produce products I use and support and offer them the opportunity to sponsor posts. Sponsored posts will not make up the majority or likely even 10 percent of my writing. I am still writing this blog as an outlet for my passion for writing and increasingly as an opportunity to engage with you and learn from others on topics of interest to me.
Achieving both BHAGs will require concentrated effort on my part and achieving both will enable me to learn new skills and put me back into business as it were. I am looking forward to working towards the achievement of these objectives!
What about the Kids?
In setting these BHAGs for myself I also asked the girls what they want to accomplish, learn or do this year.
My oldest daughter wants to learn to skate – fortunately we are signing them up for skating lessons. She also wants to learn how to knit and sew. She has already had her first sewing lesson from my mum who used to make all her own clothes. She gave my eldest a couple of clothing patterns and taught her how to cut out the pieces. My daughter also got a beginner sewing machine from Santa this Christmas so she is off to a good start.
My middle daughter also wants to learn to skate. Her other goal is to learn how to draw faces and bodies with and without clothes. She indicated particular interest in learning how to draw feet.
My youngest offered no comment when asked. She is not big into goal setting, although if she could speak she would probably have a goal of learning to talk in the next year. She definitely understands an increasing number of words and is starting to add to her vocabulary of daddy, mumma, cat, and doggy. Maybe next year she’ll have a goal of her own that she can specify…
What are your goals for 2015?