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Monday, December 9, 2013

The End is Nigh

In order to make your day more hectic, I have something else for you to do. It's that time of year when every writer, freelancer, business owner must take a good hard look back and see what they've accomplished - what worked and what didn't, what you want to have a do-over on and what you want to ditch, and where you want to be at this time next year.
Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? But chances are that 95% of it is already in your head and just needs to be put together. It needs to find its way to paper, spreadsheet (which your accountant will be asking for in the next few months), goals and objectives, or whatever format works best for you. Very important: the numbers need to find their way to your calculator.

To help you along the way, I’ve developed a 3-week plan to have you ready to face 2014, at least from a business perspective. I'll be doing it along with you. You’re on your own with your diet, exercise, and search for a mate. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Week 1: December 9 – 15, 2014
1.  Total how much money you spent in 2013 for each of the following:

  1. Marketing (ads, flyers, brochures, direct mail, business cards, website and blog fees, logos, meals to schmooze clients)
  2. Professional development (workshops, conferences, webinars, Skype classes, class tuition and registration fees, books, magazines, newsletters {this includes online fees}.
  3. Income (contests, books, magazine articles, freelance work, teaching)
 2.  Subtract a and b from c in number 1. Do you have a profit or loss?

3.  What work resulted in a profit and what was the percentage of profit to loss?

Example: you made $3,000 from book sales. You spent $1,500 marketing your book (this        includes gas mileage.), so you spent 50% of your earnings selling your product. Was it worth it is the question you MUST answer.

Example: you made $3,000 freelancing. You spent $300 marketing yourself. You spent 10% of your earnings selling your product. Was it worth it is the question you MUST answer.

 Now, if you want to get all accounty, you would have to look at the tax consequences and any office supplies, and a host of other things, but for now, we writer types are trying to figure out what we want to keep and what to ditch in the big picture.

 Example: if you made a bunch of money {yes, I know it’s relative}, get your accountant on the phone, BUT only after you have figured out what brought you pleasure and what didn’t because they love crunching the numbers while crunching your dreams along with them. Just saying…….

4.   Seriously look number 2. If your financial situation is iffy, look at it very hard. You have some serious decisions to make. You don’t have to give up your dreams, but you may have to back off one thing or another to keep from joining a bread line in the next year.

 To avoid ending on a low note today, start your BIG dream list, so you can begin paring it down to doable items for 2014 that will keep you on track. 4:

Publish my 3-book series
Expand my creative writing classes
Maximize my potential.

 Next Sunday, we will begin breaking our BIG dreams into smaller bites. Can you tell I baked a chocolate cake today and Christmas cookies?

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