2015 Goals, Edition 1

This has been a year of discovering and planning, exploring and producing, and working and failing and sometimes even succeeding. I know we’re not quite at the end of 2014 yet, but to be honest I actually feel like it’s time to turn over a new leaf now and I don’t see why we need to wait for a calendar to tell us to do this.

One of my favourite podcasts, the completely out-of-my-industry Evolve Your Wedding Business podcast actually agrees with me. If you are also in a position of wanting to plan your 2015 right now, then I recommend you start with these helpful questions. I’ve worked my way through them to my best abilities in the notebook, and kind of want to spare you most of my thoughts and rambles.

But in the spirit of clearing my own mind through writing this blog, here goes:

Top Accomplishments of 2014

  • Writing (editing) and Publishing two books: Fluency Made Achievable and The Vocab Cookbook
  • Shifting my personal brand from “language teacher” to “online business mentor”, very slowly and gradually, but visibly.
  • Adjusting the first instance of my Compass course. I had first envisioned this online teacher training course to be a big, all-encompassing 3 month programme with lots of attention and a premium price tag. After it launched to polite declines from lovely people, I refused to give up and instead broke it down into four modules. The first one is recruiting well right now, and each still makes plenty sense.
  • My language blogging identity really grew this year, I got featured in the UK Guardian, wrote guest posts for bigger blogs (Fluent in 3 Months being the standout one, but not the only one) and put more of my own angle on things.

Things I Didn’t Accomplish in 2014

  • I spent so much time agonising over “rebrand” that I forgot, once again, to actually make money. Financial freedom it ain’t.
  • I also got caught up in “my videos have to be awesome” thoughts, and basically made hardly any videos at all this year. That could have been another Udemy course.
  • Some other business avenues weren’t explored properly and might have worked if I’d committed more, but ah well.

Things I Recommend You Try for Your Own Business

  • Do a 100 People Project or 50 Calls Project. It’s great fun, it helps people out and it grows your network. And it’s market research, which we all overlook way too much.
  • Listen to your customers when they complain about what’s difficult.
  • Go along with what you enjoy doing, even if Mrs Guilt Voice tells you not to. For example: I love public speaking, but was not brought up to put myself into the centre of attention. This next year will be the first year I will actually suggest myself for lots of speaking gigs AND ask to get paid, eventually.
  • Allow 48 Hours of Cooldown after any lightning strike genius idea. I wasted some good money on impulse ideas this year.
  • If you don’t want to use WordPress, don’t use WordPress.

And finally, here are my goals for the next year. I’m trying to be bold here, I will break them down later.

  • I have an earnings goal, which I’ve broken down in lots of different ways. I don’t want to share it online. It’s more than twice of what I made last year. Even if I just qualify for paying tax, it will be great.
  • Write all four modules of Compass, deliver four courses
  • Then create this amazing online library as a membership website, where online teachers can simply access the resources and study in their own time for a smaller monthly fee
  • Be a kick ass public speaker – give 20 talks or workshops next year!
  • Launch another Udemy course
  • Attend Pioneer Nation again. This is obviously connected to my earnings goal. Pioneer Nation is taking part in November next year, allowing me a little more time to grow both my airmiles account and my bank balance.

Oh, here’s another one


I would love to hear from others about what they have planned and how they fared in 2014. How’s the year been for you? I tell you, it’s difficult to be so public about my goals in this way but I hope it will encourage you to share your own ideas, hopes and achievements.


4 thoughts on “2015 Goals, Edition 1

  1. Hi Kerstin! I found your blogs recently, and I love how you share your perspective as a teacher, learner and business owner. Last year I made the crazy decision to open a language school in the small city where I live (only 1.5 hours from Washington, DC, and yet a different world!) and it’s been nonstop ever since. I’ve only started reading you recently, but can really relate to a lot of your observations from all those perspectives. I appreciate how honest you are in what you’ve accomplished and also the obstacles you’ve encountered. Your “my videos have to be awesome” hangup is definitely one I can relate to, and I’ve been totally postponing what I think could be some great additions to my in-person language courses as well as online ones, and also teacher training for my school’s instructors! Anyway, this is turning out to be a longwinded reply, but I wanted to reach out and say thanks for being so open about the behind-the-scenes view of being a language teacher. What you’ve achieved this year is really remarkable, and it looks like 2015 will be just as fantastic!

    • Hi Tammy, thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I admire your move to open a language school, that’s AMAZING! Let’s definitely stay in touch and please do keep an eye on this blog. It’s probably my most vulnerable/least promoted corner of the internet, but it does help me clear my head. Blogging and writing in particular help me when I’m working on processing my thoughts. I’d love to hear what you have planned for 2015?

      • Oh, my list of goals just keeps growing! Like you, I find it hard to keep in my big ideas in check according to the limited time I have. One of my goals for 2015 *has* to be outsourcing more – tech stuff, design stuff, marketing, bookkeeping – all the things that suck up so much time but must be done. Other goals are:
        – Adding Arabic, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese to the courses we offer. I’ve offered some of the above before but have not had enough people sign up. I’d love to be able to sustain continual courses in these languages for most of the year.
        – In addition to the languages above, I want to develop a free English program for local LEP residents. I’m not sure how I can swing this financially and legally (since I’m not a non-profit, I have to discuss this with my lawyer and accountant and possibly other consultants) but I really do want to make this happen. There are already free or low-cost English programs in the area, but I want my company to also contribute to addressing this great need in the Northern Shenandoah Valley (Virginia, USA).
        – Develop teacher training (in person and online) for my instructors
        – Develop online Spanish courses
        – Launch and grow my current online courses, which are almost completed but since I am a perfectionist at heart I have been putting off releasing them
        – Start a mastermind group for owners of language businesses. I feel like there must be plenty of other people who have started or want to start language schools or translation/interpreting businesses, and I want to share experiences and brainstorm solutions to common and individual problems. I’ve sort of started this, in that I have one other person interested, but I haven’t set a schedule or done any other organizational tasks to get this started.

        I’m sure I’ll come up with more before 2014 is over… While sometimes this kind of goal-setting overwhelms me, being able to come up with so many ideas about the direction of my business reinforces that I made the right decision in starting it. I’m sure you feel similarly!

  2. WOW Tammy!! These are really really huge goals, I’m so impressed with your vision. You are really looking far ahead, and it would be fabulous to talk to you more. You’ve got a rough idea of what my business is already, and maybe I can help you with coaching or taking the teacher training off your hands. Who knows!

    With a lot of what you are planning, I can see that there’s that hesitation thing…if you’ve completed 80% of your online course, what’s stopping you from talking about it to people? For me personally, I’ve “launched” and “folded” loads of stuff this year, lots of ideas, and my extrovert nature always ends up with me talking about it before it’s even fully formed. There must be a compromise between that, and being the person who holds back until things are PERFECT. If it’s perfect, people won’t feel like their feedback has any impact, that’s what I tell myself anyway. But if you launch something 90% done and then people ask for a little more, you’ve got space to give it.

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