Whenever I run into someone I haven’t seen in a while, they invariable ask me, “What are you working on next?” I hear this question at least twice per week from people that I run into in the community. I don’t always have a great answer to that question, because if I thought something was a big opportunity for me or my business, I would already be working on it. However, I do set annual goals for myself in different areas of my life. I typically set family goals, health goals, financial goals, business goals and social goals that I want to achieve each year. To inspire you in your personal and business goal setting for 2019, I want to share the goals that I have set for myself and my business in 2019.
Here are some of the big things that I want to get done this year (in no particular order):
- Unplug from Work Completely for One Week – One of the best ways to see if your business can run without you is to unplug for a little while to see what breaks in your absence. I am hoping to set my team up to run MarketBeat for seven days without any involvement from me what-so-ever. I am currently targeting May or June after school is out and hope to take my family on vacation that week. For MarketBeat to be a company that stands the test of time, it needs to be primarily run by a team and not require me to work 50 hours per week to keep moving it forward.
- Publish a Second Edition of Email Marketing Demystified – Email Marketing Demystified is my most popular book by far, because it’s written from experience and provides a solid overview of email marketing. This book will be four years old in 2019. For it to continue to be relevant in the future, a second edition needs to be published given how fast information marketing changes. I’ll talk more about this project as it gets closer, but I am already working on it.
- Publish 50 Videos to My YouTube Channel. – Video will be a big focus of my content creation in 2019. These won’t be polished and edit videos like Startup Q&A was, but they will be real, raw and personal and based on my experiences of running MarketBeat and my other ventures. I think there’s an opportunity to create a personal connection with an audience in video that you really can’t achieve through text alone.
- Deploy a Specific Dollar Amount to Charitable Initiatives – I am a big believer in charitable giving, regardless of one’s financial situation. To me, giving creates far more joy than any new car or gadget would. I am setting aside a specific dollar amount to give to causes relating to developing entrepreneurs, eliminating poverty and spreading the message of Jesus in Sioux Falls. Normally I am not afraid to share specific numbers, but I’ve decided not to in this case. Giving should always be done for the benefit of others, not to make the giver look good.
- Read 25 Non-Fiction Books – In 2016 and 2017 when our two children were smaller, I had gotten out of the habit of reading due to the chaos that parenting babies is. I was able to get back into it in 2018 and read 25 books. I hope to do the same again in 2018 and maintain a pace of reading two non-fiction books each month. Thomas Stanley, author of the Millionaire Next Door, famously reported that the average millionaire reads one nonfiction book per month. I want to do better than the average millionaire, so I’m trying to make a habit of reading two nonfiction books each month.
- Develop Stronger Relationships with Other Sioux Falls Business Leaders – MarketBeat is an oddity in the business community. We are a company that generates $6 million in revenue with 5 FTE’s. We have no office and just don’t do many of the things that businesses traditionally do. I’ve always felt on the outside of the Sioux Falls business community looking in, but recently I’ve found great joy and intellectual benefit building relationships with other business leaders in the community. I hope to do more of this by being actively engaged in my Rotary Club (attending at least 40 meetings next year), finding more ways to work with the Chamber and Zeal and potentially participating in the Leadership Sioux Falls program next year.
- Attend Four Business Conferences – Some of the best business ideas that I pick up come from attending digital marketing and financial media conferences. I’ll be attending The Capitalism Conference in January, the Traffic and Conversion Summit in February, the Financial Marketing Summit in March and Rhodium Weekend in October this year.
- Grow MarketBeat to 10,000 Premium Subscribers and $8 Million in Revenue – MarketBeat had significant growth in 2018 and I’m hoping we can continue that growth path in 2019. I’m targeting 33% growth next year and think we can achieve that based off the performance of the last few months. I’m also hoping to significantly grow our recurring revenue from our subscriptions from about 5,300 paid subscribers to 10,000 paid subscribers. Subscription revenue is much more predicable than advertising revenue, so my aim is to have subscription revenue cover all of our operating expenses.
- Take Two Family Vacations– Some of the most fun that our family has is when we travel. Last year, we went to Maui, Orlando, Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas as a family. We haven’t planned our family vacations for 2019, but I’m hoping that we can get away next year for a week in the spring and another week in the fall.
- Wrap Up Falls Angel Fund – Falls Angel Fund was created in April 2016 with the goal of deploying $1.35 million into early-stage high-growth companies into South Dakota and surrounding states. We have about $300,000 left in capital to deploy and I am hoping we can deploy that in 2019 and begin laying the groundwork for a second fund.
- Weigh 160 pounds – I had made great progress earlier in the year eliminating extra body fat that I don’t need. I currently weigh about 175 pounds and have a pretty healthy workout routine, walking 4-5 miles per day on a treadmill. I probably would weigh 160 today if I didn’t have such terrible eating habits. I am hoping to get back on track toward my desired weight in early 2019.
What goals have you set for yourself in 2019? Please comment below!