After my recnet mentoring session with Justin & Mary- I've been working on creating a list of goals. In Mary's words "BHAG's -big, hairy, audacious goals". Over the past few years I've made many lists of things I wanted to do and 99% of the time the list gets lost in the shuffle and when I come across it I realize I've barley scratched the surface of the things I wanted to accomplish. Well this year I'm going for it. I'm posting my top goals for 2011 out here for all of you to see. In hopes that this makes it more real and a little less likly to get lost and thus keeps me on track. We shall see. Here, in no particular order, are my BHAG's for 2011:
1. launch my new brand, website and business name. This one should be the first one I get to check off my list. The website is so close to launching I can taste it- yummm.
2. narrow my focus and create a consistent style and brand for my business. This is something I've been working on over the past few months and is a goal that is going to take some time. I'm trying to really focus on what is unique about me and what I offer in my photography. I think the new website and branding is going to be a huge step forward for this goal but I know its more then that and thats why it is it's own separate goal.
3. shoot 15 weddings. This might sound like a safe number seeing as its just about the same number I shot this year but really and truly I like the 15-20 wedding a year range. I like that it gives me time to focus on each wedding and couple and give them the kind of service I want my brand to be known for.
4. shoot 15 portrait sessions. This goal however, would mean a pretty huge step up in my portrait sessions. I love shooting portraits, be it babies, families even seniors. I'd love to grow this side of my business and really get the people in my local area to see the value in having professional portraits.
5. work with a non profit or charity and use my photography to give back. This is a goal I have been thinking a lot about and I've been brainstorming ways to give back to my local community and I'm sure I'll be blogging about all these ideas and plans soon!
6. offer to help and try to inspire other photographers. I'm not sure I'm really at the point in my business where I have loads of valuable information to share with other photographers but I do think that just starting conversations is a huge way to help and inspire others. I'm not sure I'll be speaking at a conference anytime soon but I'd like to find my own way to help and inspire others in this business.
7. travel more. I didn't get to travel much this year. Silas and I were given a fantastic gift from my parents for Christmas back in 2009 of a week timeshare swap. We still have not used it and I'm determined to find the time to take a week off and travel somewhere new this year.
8. spend more time with my family. It's going to be hard to include my brother in this goal seeing as he just moved to Sydney, Australia. I'd love to visit him this year but that just won't fit the budget so there is a good chance that will be a 2012 goal! This year i'm hoping to spend more time with my parents and make a trip or two to Virginia to see my grandfather, uncle and aunt.
9. create a business manual. This is a huge scary goal for me. I have a million ideas for my business, but I know that writing things down step by step and keeping things consistent is key. I really should have gotten started on this one already.
10. attend at least one workshop. Last year spending a week in Vegas at WPPI was fantastic and beyond inspiring! My goal this year is to find at least one other workshop, and hopefully more that will help me and my business grow.
11. take portraits of my parents. This is going to be a challenge. My parents are beyond supportive of me and my business but I'm not so sure that support will translate to being in front of the camera. I'd really love to have some nice portraits of my parents together. They have been married for 39 years and that alone is something amazing and worth celebrating!
12. create fine art for myself. I have loved photography and art for as long as I can remember but I so rarely take photos for myself. This year I plan to take some time to create art for the sake of art. I hope to fill the walls of my house with these images and create my very own fine art gallery.
13 learn to play my guitar. Almost two years ago I won a Fender electric guitar at a silent auction and to this day I can't play one cord. I tried following along with the "learn to play" dvd that came with it and even had my dad give me one lesson but I just never dedicated the time. This year I'm determined to learn at least one song- hopefully one by JD so that I can stand on stage at the JD Tribute concert in June and play along.
14. streamline my workflow- make turn around on prints, albums and editing as fast as possible. This goal kind of goes hand in hand with goal #9 and #15. I want to create a workflow that helps me keep things consistent. My goal is to have images from weddings blogged within 3-4 days and posted for online viewing within 1 week and to have preliminary book designs to clients within one month. I think a huge factor in this is going to be goal #15.
15. outsource. This is a very hard idea for me because as it tuns out I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to my business. Haha who knew?! But I am slowly learning to let go. The biggest problem for me has been deciding what to let go of. You hear people say "outsource the things you aren't good at and or the things you don't like to do- focus your time and energy on the things you love and growing your business" well this is where I hit a stumbling block. I've done a pretty good job getting my post wedding editing streamlined. This is something that I don't "love" to do but it is something I'm good at. Book design on the other hand is something I'm not the best at but that I really do enjoy. Well this year I'm making a change and I think I'm going to actually really enjoy delegating things. I hope to find that spending time working on other aspects of my business is going to be really beneficial to myself and my clients.
16. blog more consistently. This is a really big one for me. So many days I sit here and stare at the screen just trying to figure out what to write. Well who am I kidding I'm sure I'll still do that but my plan is to have a plan- hahhaa. Yeah, that sounds a little insane but the idea is to have some kind of general schedule and plan ahead. As a kind of side goal tied into this one I also want to get better at writing. It's never been my strong point but in most cases the more you do it the better you get so heres hoping these two goals work together to make this blog better!
17. make regular working hours and stick to them. I am sooooo bad at this now. I often wake up, stumble into my office in my pj's and sit at the computer with the plan to just check my emails before heading down stairs to make breakfast and take Coby out- and the next thign I know it's lunch time and Coby is about to pee on the floor. I am also terrible at walking away from work at the end of the day. Many nights Silas and I will finish dinner and I sit with my computer until 10:30pm uploading things, editing things and returning emails. I think setting regular work hours is going to help me be more productive and really help my lifestyle as well.
18. buy a real suit- maybe even a three piece suit (i have a thing for vests). My best friend just did some suit shopping for her med school interviews and mentioned how much she would like a three piece suit and how hard they can be to find for women. Well I am now inspired to find one and have decided that at 27 and going into my 3rd year in business a suit isn't a bad investment idea. Plus I love vests. The plan is to find one that will work as separates but that I can pull together as one outfit when I need to be super polished and professional.
19. get in shape. This one is going to be painful. Last year I was doing so well, working out on a somewhat regular basis then I messed up my foot pretty bad and that all but put an end to my work out routine. Silas recently ordered P90-X and thinks it would be a great thing for us to do together- we'll see how that goes but as long as I can start eating healthier and do some kind of regular work out I'll be happy that I'm headed in the right direction.
20. read more books and magazines. This past year I didn't spend nearly as much time reading as I wanted to. That darn tv always wins out. This year I have a few new magazine subscriptions that I'm looking forward to and I'm hoping to actually set aside time each week to do a little R&R (reading and relaxing).
21. take Coby to the dog park at least once a week. I am so lucky to have a fantastic dog park less then 3 miles from my house. Coby loves to go to the park- you just mention the word "park" and he gets all excited. It's hard to be motivated to take him to the park and stand in the 7 degree cold while he runs around but I know it is really important to give him the opportunity to exercise and socialize with other dogs. I'm going to make a huge effort to give him the opportunity to give up the couch potato lifestyle he's adopted over the past few months.
22. host a real dinner party. I love entertaining and now that I have a house and a good group of friends in the area I'm hoping to have them all over for a casual dinner and game night.
23. institute date nights. Silas and I are pretty good about finding ways to spend time together but I'd really like to institute a date night once in a while where we turn off the computers and video games and go do something together. For Christmas my parents gave us some tickets to see the Portland Pirates and I'm thinking this is the perfect way to kick off date nights.
So there they are my friends- my goals for 2011. I am really exciting to start checking things off this list. I'm feeling like just making this list is a great first step towards a great year!!