My Best Year Ever

by | May 11, 2020 | good business

In my very first year of running my own business, I had a great year financially. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was a VERY atypical result for most independent graphic designers. At the end of that year, I made the hubristic goal to increase my profits by 150%. I made a sign. I pinned it on the wall of my office and waited for all my money to roll in.

Six months later I was still waiting. Twelve months later I tallied up my profit for the year and it was lower than the year before. Yikes. Apparently, new clients weren’t just going to fall from the sky, and my goals weren’t going to self-fulfill. 

Clearly, I needed a new plan. 

Try Try Again

Over the years, I haven’t gotten much better at goal setting. But in 2019, I stumbled across a book recommendation from the bishop in my diocese. He had named it as the No. 1 book all his priests should read to have a productive year. I was intrigued and picked up “Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals” by Michael Hyatt.

The book, YBYE for short, is a practical system for setting and achieving goals over the course of one earth year. It breaks down the process of goal setting to be both manageable and challenging. Best of all, it’s a short book with a simple system.

I developed seven goals for the year. I assigned each goal to a quarter and spread them out evenly across the year (as recommended).

Results So Far

But how about my actual goals? Am I hitting them? Well yes and no. I’m happy to say that my main success has been the goal of tracking my time and reviewing my progress on a weekly basis. As for the rest of my Q2 goals, they have been absolutely wrecked by the coronavirus.

What can you do? Adjust. Like a lot of business owners, I’ve pivoted my plans in 2020. For example, I hit pause on publishing and promoting my second Heyward the Horse children’s book. In its place, I created a new goal of developing an author/illustrator website by May 1st. And I made it!

Secret Sauce

OK, so what really changed in 2020? A few factors: 

  • The Magic Book? – Michael Hyatt’s book is not magical, but it connected with me. I like the way he communicates and his system.
  • The Flex – I adapted his system to work for me. There’s a recommended worksheet that I tried, but it just didn’t fit my workflow. I’m still following the key concept, but I tweaked the method a bit to fit me. 
  • The Weekly Review – I gave myself permission to spend time every week reviewing my goals. Game changer. 

Lastly, my mindset shifted. In mid-2019, I admitted to myself that I was dissatisfied with some things in my life and I was ready to do something about it. So I did.