Today I’m skittish. I keep switching my attention from one thing to the next, unable to hang on to any thought for very long. There’s a lot going on. I’ve been wanting to update on this blog for a little while now, so maybe this is a great opportunity for me to bring order into the chaos that’s going on in my mind.
Often this works. Writing about what’s going on helps me make sense of it, as I go through the process of making sense of it for other people.
So first of all, let’s just face the fact that you won’t get a full update on my wedding. It’s too long ago! It’s already been 3 months on Sunday since the German celebration. I want to acknowledge that it happened though, and perhaps give you a very quick summary.
It was super hot, there were lots more planning voices to consider, it ended up being beautiful, but also it was more emotionally exhausting. That’s a good summary of a wedding at home, I suppose? How do you think it would go if your mum played a big part in the event? I am very happy that we were able to make my parents the proud hosts of such a day. But England was ours, we played the hosts. Does make a difference.
Moving on from that, our honeymoon was exactly what the doctor ordered. I can’t tell you how much joy it brought me to spend a few weeks travelling around Europe with this guy. We spent a week exploring hammocks and beaches on an Italian island.
Retrospective of My Business
In terms of business, the year is coming to a good conclusion at this stage. I’ve been able to put out several products, most recently two German language courses. And it feels like for now I’m done with that part, and I’m looking to move on. The progression of how I work is clearly visible in retrospect, even if it sometimes feels I’ve no clue where the next corner is going forward.
I started as a 1-to-1 tutor offering lessons in English and French. Didn’t have a clear idea of who I’m tutoring, just pretty much anyone who was up for it. The first 18 months were full of experimentation. Group classes, local promotions, and my first learning videos.
I quickly found a clearer idea of my audience, and learnt that Fluent’s blog (and my enjoyment of blogging) attract a nice big bunch of people. So this is how my business started shifting to more online activities, I realised that making more products is a way to satisfy my creativity and joy of writing just as much as starting to take the pressure of lessons as the only thing that helps me earn money.
And this year felt like the shift to more online products was a significant aspect. I’m not yet able to do anything super special as a result of my blogging, but the philosophy of Fluent has become clearer. As I write my books and create my courses, I get closer to how I want them to be. The answer to “why do I make what I make?” is the idea of a business philosophy or motto or whatever you want to call it. This really helps me put new projects on the map and work out where I want them to fit into the big puzzle.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t take on things, ideas, projects, deals, that don’t align with the goals. Not quite, not yet. But it does mean that I’m better at setting priorities.
Prospective to 2016
Is a pro-spective the opposite of a retro-spective?
Anyway..here’s where I am at.
I feel more closely aligned with why I’m doing this “solo business” thing than I have felt in a good while. Financially, there are many more corners to turn but at the same time my confidence in why I make specific choices is high. Just hope I can keep this up.
It’s challenging to put my goals for the next period in writing. It’s even more challenging to publish those goals and tell everyone on the internet about them, so this section won’t be the largest one yet. But my idea right now is that I want to make diary entries to see how far I’ve progressed in each sector once a month.
The core business goals, as in “things that would make me happy in 2016” are:
- To run German Language Retreats – events where I can dedicate the right amount of time to German learners who want an intense, unique and fun week in Germany. I’ve already made some big steps towards this. Next step: Set the dates.
- To double Fluent’s revenue and traffic, so that I can spread my core philosophy of slow, enjoyable language learning.
- To run more offline and online events like I did in the first half of this year, before wedding madness.
- To become a uni guest lecturer.
And that’s the four, for now. What are your goals for 2016, internet?