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    Friday Fun – The New Year, 2019 Planning & Goals!

    January 17, 2019

    I’m Manali
    Business coach, editor & brand photographer based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. When I'm teaching about systems or editing, you'll find me at a vineyard or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
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    Doing a little something different for this week’s Friday Fun. After the first full two weeks of 2019 I figured I’d share a little bit of what reflecting on 2018 and mapping out slash setting goals for 2019 looks like over here. This makes me really nervous putting this all out here but I figured it might be slightly useful for someone out there to see how I reviewed the past year and what I looked at when setting my goals for 2019 so here I am. I had shared my 2018 goals on the blog of the beginning of last year and it’s funny to look back on them now since SO much was accomplished this past year. I also actually DIDN’T quite hit one really big goal I had set for myself and that’s ok because I saw a lot of momentum & growth in my business regardless! Naveen phrased this best and said that “success doesn’t always come in ONE form” and I really liked that! Here’s a behind the scenes look of what I did to reflect back on 2018 and start planning for 2019 both in my business and personal life.

    Analyzing 2018

    I’m not going to lie, I spent A LOT of time combing through a lot of numbers in terms of analyzing what I was able to accomplish. I really enjoy the numbers & logistics portion of running a business just as much as I love the creative & artistic part. So this was actually a lot of fun even though it took a significant amount of time! Here’s how I reflected back on 2018 for my business:

    • Looked over the monthly goals I had set and what I accomplished (what took how long to accomplish)
    • I wrote out everything that I did for work (work as in photography only) and I wrote out everything that I did for fun month by month
    • Analytics website metrics broken down for each month
    • Social media analytics broken down by each month & type of content
    • Overall gross revenue categorized by month and type
    • Expenses categorized by month & type
    • Reviewed personal budget, savings & expenses
    • Looked over my marketing strategy, the type of content I produced for the blog / how many times I blogged & with what consistency
    • Reviewing my referral sources
    • The equipment & education that I invested in
    • Website & pricing guide review
    • Reviewed my email templates to figure out what I could add/remove to be more useful
    • Reviewed my entire client experience
      • I literally WROTE it all out, figured out which parts were getting bottlenecked & how I could solve that for this upcoming year
    • The number of projects I took on categorized by type & price
      • Which ones I enjoyed the most & least
    • Megan Martin’s Business Year Planning was great for this!

    Business Planning for 2019

    • Defining concretely what I would consider as SUCCESS for the year broken down by each month
    • Established business goals
      • I always break these down to each month & then each week
    • Established business boundaries that I want to stick to this year
      • This looks like NOT keeping business email on my phone since I never reply from my phone (I hate autocorrect making typo’s) and setting time boundaries on responding to emails
      • This also means funneling all communication through email (I get messages from ALL sorts of places and I don’t want to miss any details because I got something in a text message)
      • Time boundaries on how much I’ll work each week
    • Financially took a look at my expected income for each month & how much I need to hit to make my minimum and stretch income goals for every month
      • I also set a DONE goal for each month as what I defined as success to avoid just forever reaching for the unreachable “more”
    • Started planning out blog content for the first quarter
    • Set up a monthly business spending plan
    • Took a look at my schedule for the entire year and blocked off non-negotiable weekends to REST & travel!
      • This sounds crazy  but when you work weekends, you find that you fill them up and the next thing you know you’ve worked the past 10 or 12 weekends in a row….and it is not fun no matter HOW much you love your job
    • Addressed some pain points and bottlenecks in my workflow
      • For me this meant setting up established client gifting, tweaking my wedding & portrait workflows & outlining a weekly marketing workflow to stick by
    • Still in the midst of this but I’m trying to figure out what education/conference I want to invest in this year! I loved Creative at Heart this past year as well as an online course that radically impacted my business and I’m looking to continue learning & growing this upcoming year! Also, a lot of these business goals come as a direct result of what I learned from so many great speakers & attendees at Creative at Heart!

    Personal Goal Setting

    I’m oddly nervous to share these but here are some of my personal goals for this year:

    • Stick to my Powersheet goals for a holistic overview of what I want my life to look like this year
      • This is what helped me develop my personal goals for the year, it asked really great questions to help me assess how 2018 was and set some concrete goals for 2019
      • I like how you are asked to revisit these goals on a monthly basis
      • This is my first time using these so I’ll let you know how this goes
    • Drink 6-8 cups of water each day (I’m terrible at this, I RUN on coffee but I’m trying to fix it!)
    • Journal and read for a total of an hour each day
    • Read at least 1 book each month, hopefully 2 (1 fun and 1 business related!)
    • Travel FOR FUN and not for work once a quarter
    • Develop a workout routine that I stick to and don’t hate
    • Document LIFE more and make time to hang out with friends & family
      • Again, I was terrible at this in 2018 just going to be very real here
    • Sticking to my personal budget & savings plan
      • I did a pretty good job at sticking to my savings plan but could definitely tighten my personal spending a little bit further! I’ve realized that I tend to spend a lot less when I’m happy with how I’m spending my time throughout each day
    • Build a business that enables a life I love
      • I have some hard numbers thrown in here (as well as some limits) that I’m not going to share publicly but I am definitely looking to better balance building my business with living my personal life for the upcoming year


    If you’re wondering what the inside of a successful & streamlined photography business that focuses heavily on creating an incredible client experience, then the Behind the Business Course & Toolkit is for you!

    It includes everything from email templates, client questionnaires, workflows for portraits & questionnaires, a breakdown of a profitable marketing strategy & how to streamline and organize each and every part of your business to grow it quickly through happy clients.

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    That’s it for this week, if you enjoyed this post, you should binge read these:

    2018 Goals

    2017 Goals

    Making The Switch – Part Three

    Making The Switch – Part Two

    Making The Switch – Part One


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    I help growing photographers feel  calm & confident behind their business with intentional systems & templates inside the Behind the Business Course for Photographers.


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    Helping ambitious and growing photographers tackle their schedule and systems to create a uniquely freeing and fulfilling business. My mission is to help you spend more time on what matters most to you - both in business and in life!


    Manifesting generator, cognitive & computer science major turned business coach + editor

    I went from charging $600 per wedding to $5-10K and went full-time within 1 year of starting my biz! Now I help creative small business owners show up confidently behind the scenes with 1:1 business coaching, editing and elevated brand imagery to build a life and business that's equally freeing as it is fulfilling.



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