Happy new year everyone!
Creativity is about more than using your imagination – it’s about taking action and making things happen too.
When I announced the closure of my previous business (Oi! Graphic Design) at the end of last year, I had plenty of ideas about where I wanted to take my new business in 2015, but nothing was set in stone at that time.
Now that we have the end-of-year craziness out of the way, I’ve had more time to think, plan and dream, and I’ve set out my list of my 2015 New Year resolutions – there are ten important things I plan to achieve and manifest in 2015, and as chance (or action) would have it, plans for some of them are already well under way.
In case you’re interested, I’ll share them below:
1. Move to the beach
This one I’m planning to cross off my list early: the location has been decided, packing and house-hunting underway, and the target timing is to move before the end of January. So much to do, so little time – but after 9 years in the one place, it feels like an awesome adventure!
2. Improve the balance between my work and lifestyle
Of course I expect a move to the beach will help this along, but it will also require some big changes to my business, breaking of a few bad (workaholic) habits, and some strong boundary-setting!
3. Become more strategic in the way I work, and develop a more financially sustainable business model
I have discovered working really really hard without a plan does not always equate to financial success! Despite what it may seem, graphic design is not a particularly lucrative job. It also requires lots and lots of hours at the computer, which has a terrible side-effect of killing creativity, which is a bit of a ‘catch 22’ when you’re working in a creative industry. In order to build my business in a sustainable way, while remaining mindful of my #2 goal, I’m thinking I will need to look at new strategies and try out some new ways of working in order to find that balance.
My goal is to triple my income from last year’s figure. This may sound rather indulgent, but in reality it’s just beyond my ‘sustainable income’ amount – as long as I have enough to comfortably feed, clothe, shelter and occasionally treat my family, pay the bills and my mortgage (and possibly buy a new car), then I will call 2015 a prosperous year!
4. Take on less projects and share more of my knowledge and expertise through more consulting/mentoring/coaching
This one is going to be tricky, as it involves a big change of strategy, and setting of new boundaries. There is a lot of demand for graphic design projects, and easy to say yes to projects when they meet short-term money goals, but it is really the most time-sucking and least sustainable part of my business.
So I plan to leverage my knowledge and years of experience, to provide support to my clients through other practical, but more bite-sized services: consulting, mentoring, coaching (and teaching)!
Sometimes spending an hour with a consultant or mentor can save you hours of searching or running around in circles trying to learn something quite simple – sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s OK! In 2015 I plan to offer a consultation service to help clients cut through the confusion so they can get their branding/design/ebooks happening faster and more strategically.
I love a good chat, and my favourite part of the design process is the researching and ideas part. I love collaborating with clients on projects, and I’ve discovered that I love connecting with my clients over Skype (or in person even, when it’s convenient), and I have a thing for sharing knowledge – it’s nice to know I can use my expertise in a way that makes the best use of my time, and truly helps others.
Having worked in this industry for over 15 years, it seems I’ve learned a thing or two in that time that others would love to know about too. For some it is helping to find a starting point in the branding or design process, to understand how the process works, or directing them toward the right resources. For others it’s providing some assistance so that they can go DIY under the guidance of someone more experienced.
And as a bonus for me, less project work and more consulting means computer time in shorter bursts – my square eyes, stiff neck, and my family are sure to love me more for that
5. Make my website prettier + much more functional
My poor poor website fell into a state of neglect last year. No sooner had I begun updating it, than I became super-busy with client projects. It was a good dilemma of course, which meant that updating my website was kind of redundant at the time. Now that I am adding new services to my business, and developing new offerings, my website will need to support this and do a much better job at communicating what I do!
6. Create an awesome e-Course (or two or three…)
‘Teach a man to fish, and he can eat for a lifetime…’
For me, 2015 is going to be about content-creation and more about helping others to develop awesome content for their business. I have heaps of ideas for e-Courses so the only problem for me right now is narrowing it down to what you actually need and then it’s a matter of creating awesome and relevant content to match it.
Of course all good courses take time and energy to manifest, so I plan to release them at staggered dates throughout the year
At this stage I’m in the process of developing (in this order):
- A short course on brand manifesting (an introduction to creativity and the design process) – an introductory course to help you navigate the design process, show you how to find and work with branding service providers, to find cost-saving resources, to help you think more creatively and to communicate your ideas to your designer so that they develop your ideas most effectively (and save you money!)
- A course on branding basics for the DIY creative – more comprehensive, beginner level, step-by-step instruction on how to develop and create a basic brand all by yourself
- A course on e-Book creation for the DIY creative – more comprehensive, beginner level, step-by-step instruction on how to create and style a PDF e-Book or e-Documents – all by yourself
Just like my 1-1 consulting plan, I intend to make these courses interactive – I do love the energy that’s created through connecting with my clients, and I also want to make sure you’re accountable throughout the process, so you stay on track and get the most out of your studies!
Watch this space for more info – or if you can hardly wait, please get in touch and let me know what course you would like to try first, or any other ideas you might have!
7. Create some awesome e-Book templates to get your e-Book styled faster and more cost-effectively.
So OK, I’m cheating a little bit… this one was actually a goal from last year, but as I was busy working on other clients’ projects and learning all I could about running an online business, the goal to create e-Book templates got pushed a little further back than I had planned. But in the spirit of sharing my expertise, and offering more time-saving resources for you, it’s a goal that’s still as relevant as ever!
8. Develop more confidence and creativity in the way I do business
I found myself surrounded by some amazing business role models and mentors in 2014, and I was inspired by the way many of them have turned old business models on their head and presented themselves as part of their brand to create a more authentic and conscious ways of doing business. People creating tangible businesses out of their passions? That concept both thrills me and completely blows me away!
I love creating and I love the idea of teaching others, and I want to evolve my own business into a model that is more focused on sharing my knowledge and my passions with others, less concerned about ‘playing by the rules’. This year will be one where I offer myself and my experience more proactively in my business, compared to the reactive model that I have worked to in the past. It takes a whole lot of courage and confidence to make changes to the way you do business, so I am affirming this as my challenge for 2015!
9. Inspire others to be more confident and creative in their business
Ditto everything I said in #6 goal, but this is my wish for YOU too – if you want it, that is!
Through everything I’ve listed above: my 1-1 consulting/coaching/mentoring, my courses and my resources, I hope to inspire you to develop your own authentic, passion-driven business, to help you find the courage and confidence to say ‘to hell with the old ways of doing business’, to create a business that serves you while intuitively serving others who are drawn to your own personal style!
10. Create and lead a community of like-minded entrepreneurs
I’ve created a Facebook Group especially for like-minded individuals – solopreneurs and small business owners who want to develop an authentic, passion-driven business! My intention is to make this a space where people can interact, share ideas and inspiration and support each other as they navigate the ins and outs, and ups and downs of creating an online presence, branding and design, and exploring creative ways to develop and grow their business!
If you want to build your brand and your confidence and expand your creative mindset, then this may be the perfect place for you to hang out!
You can find the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/freakingawesomecreativecommunity/ – It’s a closed group, with a few guidelines to keep the space safe and supportive for all members, and all members need to be approved by me first!
If you need to contact me for approval to the group, you can also get in touch via our contact form here: http://emmakempnich.com/contact/
Of course I plan to be in that space quite a bit, and I’d love it if you’ll join me. I’m looking forward to sharing ideas, inspiration and resources with the group, and I’m excited to discover what other goodness develops from others’ input as the community grows.
Here’s to an exciting and adventurous year for you, me, and all of us!
What will your New Year Resolution 2015 be? What are your big plans for 2015? Are you on-course to cruise through 2015 without much adjustment, or will you be shaking things up in the new year just like me? Maybe you have a list of 10 things you want to do, or maybe you just have one big goal? I’d love to hear about your new years resolutions in the comments below, or feel free to drop me an email.