It’s a new year. And as another year begins, there are things that we should re-evaluate. What are those things? In this training, I will share with you three things I recommend you re-evaluate at the end of year.
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The Value of Reevaluation
As the year closed, I was in the process of re-evaluation. It’s the time of the year when it’s easy to think “What went well over the last year?” Have you been in that mode too?
In a recent training, I took you through my Generous Gratitude training. We went through the last year of what went well, what we have to be thankful for, and so many other different steps. It was a great process to go through with you.
Today I want to share with you three things that I’ve recently been reevaluating, and I recommend you do the same as the year ends.
#1: What Worked and Didn’t Work
As I look back to 2016, this is the first thing to reevaluate. What worked and what didn’t work?
It’s good to be honest, look at those things, and see what’s working and what’s not working. That is one of the things that we did go through on the Generous Gratitude worksheet. However, we didn’t really dive into the “What’s not working” part of it.
This is the part that is really important. I believe in the 80/20 rule. This means 20% of your efforts will yield 80% of your results. However, there are many times that even though we’re doing all these things, it’s not yielding the results that really matter.
It’s good to occasionally, at least once a year, if not quarterly, to look back and see what’s working and what’s not. I say this a lot; we have to test, track, and tweak.
Personally, as I looked back the previous year, I did a content marketing blitz. I hired a part time content marketing manager, graphic designer, and transcriptionist. So I have a team that I’m paying.
They took my Facebook Live trainings, edited and posted them on YouTube, my blog, and on my podcast. It would also go onto Pinterest, LinkedIn and all these places. It’s just like I was everywhere.
This is a strategy that a lot of people recommend, and many times it works well.
But for me, as I look back over the year, I don’t really see this strategy as something that really brought me income.
I know I have more followers, and some of you love getting my new trainings. I also know that some of you are very loyal podcast listeners. Some of you also watch my new videos on YouTube or check into my blog.
However, I haven’t really been getting very many blog comments. My blog hasn’t taken off in Google and I don’t know why. There must be something there that is blocking it for some reason, but I don’t know exactly.
Likewise, I found out that my Youtube channel, and my podcast hasn’t taken off. Occasionally, new members of Author Audience Academy will tell me they found me through my podcast, YouTube channel, or my other media sites.
However, I put a lot of time into creating these free trainings. I also pay a lot of money to my staff to have the trainings out to you in different formats. So it seems that it did not yield the results that I hoped it would yield.
A lot of times you’ll try something and it ends up not working. Some of these things may truly not be your sweet spot. It may just not be the 20% that yield the 80% of results. However, you also have to ask yourself, “Have really given it time?”
For me, I believe that I have given it enough time. I’ve given it almost a full year. I’ve also done my podcast for a year and a half. I’ve really given it time, but it just wasn’t yielding my expected results.
I’m not going to stop giving trainings. I’m still going to do it but I am reevaluating my process. And that’s what is important.
I think that for this year, I’m going to shift some of my time and money more into Facebook ads. This is to target people for my email list so they can join my live webinars. That way, I can share with them what I have to offer them.
I’m still going to do trainings and Facebook Live Videos, but I don’t know how often now. I also probably will not have every one of my trainings transcribed or sent to my podcast anymore.
So if you’re not following me yet, make sure to come over to Facebook.com/AuthorAudience, and also subscribe to my live updates.
There will be trainings on Facebook that won’t end up on my podcast, blog, or YouTube channel anymore. So you should subscribe to my Facebook page, as majority of my trainings in 2017 will be posted there.
#2: Business Expenses
The second thing to evaluate are your business expenses. What are you spending money on? What are your recurring expenses? Look into those things.
My husband and I have an excel spreadsheet and we keep on there a list of our monthly expenses. It also includes our recurring expenses for our business. We also keep a list of things that maybe yearly, like domains or lead pages that I pay on a yearly basis.
If you haven’t done this yet, I would recommend that you start a list that you can go back into. It’s really good to have an overall view of what are you spending for your business and for your books.
I was looking back and I realized that we’ve been paying for a website backup service. And recently they just emailed me that they are doing an update. They’ve changed the way they do things, and they needed something updated.
I was afraid to do that update though because with my host, they said it might break other things if I do that update.
So I began talking with her and I said, “I don’t think I really need the entire service that you offer anymore because of the way that my membership system has changed. Is there a plugin or something else that I can use?” And she gave me a great recommendation.
So I probably will be switching over to having my website backed up through a plugin. It’s a one-time fee, or you can get started for free. Then I won’t have to pay that monthly fee of about $19.95.
That’s just one small example of something that I’m reevaluating.
The plugin that she recommended is called UpDraftPlus.com if you’re interested in having a WordPress plugin to update your site. That’s just a little thing to have as you go.
Another thing that I am reconsidering are my podcasts. I would love to do the podcast, but the podcast takes a lot more time. I’m still thinking of publishing content to the podcast occasionally, but I don’t know how often.
I may also stop the podcast but I don’t know. We’ll have to see how it goes. If you want me to keep the podcast going, I need you to tell me. You can post reviews on iTunes and let me know if you really enjoy my podcast. Or you can also email me.
I know there are a few of you that are faithful listeners, but my numbers show. It’s not really growing. So another thing you can do is to share it to your friends and followers. That way it can continue to grow and I can see that it’s a valuable use of my time.
The third thing to evaluate is the use of your time. Where have you been investing your time related to your books, your website, your online platform, your marketing?
Where is it that you have been investing your time? Is that working well for you? Where is your time going, and what gives you life?
For those of us that are Christ followers, it’s lining up with what God has and what He wants for us. When we do that we will definitely have His joy and His peace when we’re following Him.
I know for me I have really had an addiction to Facebook. I would just sit and scroll and scroll. I would be on it all day! Especially on my phone.
In the middle of my Broken Crayons Still Color book launch, 13th of November, I went on a 24-hour prayer and fasting retreat. And it was then that God convicted me of the time I spent on Facebook. It was too much.
I know I wasn’t getting the value from all the time that I spent on it. So I took the app off my phone and God really did some things in my heart. It was a heart issue. And I haven’t checked it on my phone since!
So you have to think of where you are spending your time. Is there places that you can tighten up the reins a little bit? Maybe it’s with social media, watching television, Netflix or whatever it is for you.
There are things that sometimes just can take up our time. And that could be why we’re not accomplishing the goals that we really want.
So those are the three things that you should evaluate at the end of the year.
For me, going into 2017, I want to spend a more time exploring this creative side of me that just emerged. And that’s art. I’m now into painting, lettering, water color, and so many different things that I’ve been getting into. I love it!
I recently opened an Etsy store. I also just launched three different trainings on SkillShare. SkillShare is a platform for learning, but it’s really a great place to learn a lot of art skills.
I shared in one of my trainings how to create hand drawn coloring pages, and how to digitize them to sell them online. I also shared the print-on-demand company that I use to sell my designs on physical products. That’s been so fun!
You can get those trainings at ShelleyHitz.com/SkillShare.
Going into 2017 and exploring my creative side brings me joy. It’s a stress relief for me.
I was at my mom’s recently for Thanksgiving and I was kind of stressed out one day. I sat down at her table, with some of my art supplies, and I did some art for a while. My stress was gone!
So personally, I think that I would be spending more time on my art. That means that I’m transforming a little bit of my branding to integrate my art and my creative side to my brand.
It really fits though with the writing because writers are creative and using that right side of the brain. When you integrate even more creativity into that it’s just like, boom! It’s so powerful.
So will you do it? Will you spend the time and give yourself some space to reevaluate? If so just say “Yes, I will create the space” in the comments. Let me know you’re going to do this.
Think about what you want to see in 2017. Pray and ask God, “God, what is it that You have for me? What is it that You want for me this year? What is my next 90 day goal?”
I always recommend that you set a 90 day goal. In my training PlanIt Day, inside AuthorAudienceAcademy.com, I take you through the process of choosing and selecting a 90 day goal.
My next 90-day goal is to help my husband launch products for his running coaching. We’re working on that now and that’s my next big goal. I’m going to help him and walk beside him. I want to see him take his coaching to the next level, and shine.
He has something that people need. He’s an amazing coach and he has amazing knowledge in the area of running. So, I’m really excited to help him take those steps.
He will launch new products for people who want to get into running, or runners who want to take their running to the next level. That will be really cool.
If you’re interested you can check out his website TrainWellRaceWell.com. That’s where his home is for his running stuff. He also have a free consultation, if you’re just interested in chatting with him. It’s at TrainWellRaceWell.com/Free.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate. There are some changes coming up in 2017 so please check it out. You can check for my trainings at Facebook.com/AuthorAudience.
You can also find all my free training at ShelleyHitz.com/Free. Then, I also have a ton of more training inside my Academy. I would love for you to join me! You can join me at AuthorAudienceAcademy.com.
The thing that really makes my Academy different is that it is faith based. It is based around Christ, and so many members are Christian Authors. But you don’t have to write Christian books. It’s for authors who want to keep Christ as their center.
It also differs in it’s the accountability. It’s not just a training that’s going to sit on your hard drive. You have the accountability inside the Academy.
We’re starting a new 90-day accountability group. I’ll be meeting with you every week starting January 1st inside Author Audience Academy. I will help keep you accountable and help you move forward on your goals.
I’m so excited to work with you, and I’ll see you next time!
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