Feb Recap: A Month of Decisions

I know there’s lots to do. I really do know this, and I also know I should just get started on something. But it’s Saturday and I feel like I’ve not written for days and also the new series of House of Cards has just come out. And the other thing? Oh, the wedding! Yes, I’m also still preparing for a wedding. This blog tends to be mostly focused on my business goals and struggles and successes, and I don’t want to drive it away from that too much. But on the other hand, it’s so evident that your personal life can totally affect the results and successes in your business. So here is a quick February recap:

  1. I made a new friend through this blog, even though I don’t publicise it very much at all. Tammy runs a language school in Shenandoah Valley and interviewed me for her podcast. I love Tammy’s transparent, open, positive approach to business and I’m so glad we connected.
  2. I fell out with my seamstress, learnt something about how I want people to communicate with me (and what can go wrong when they don’t) and finally decided that I have to take some drastic wedding dress action. Within the course of the last week I put my original dress up for sale, visited four bridal shops, tried on every sample going and bought another dress. It’s been stressful, but again it taught me something really valuable, which is this:

    When it comes down to brass tacks (an expression I only have just learnt) I can totally make a decision. Decision making is what I got completely stuck on when purchasing dress 1, and it generally is something I do not do well. I hate excluding options, I hate trusting my gut, I don’t know how to say no. But when you have a week to buy a wedding dress because you simply do not want to go on looking, you get on with it.

    I used to have this technique of scoring my options on made-up categories, which I dug out again yesterday. Totally works for me. LISTS. Also, this might be the world’s greatest worksheet. And come May, I am going to look like I’m wearing a cloud.

  3. My Savvy Brand Academy launch isn’t succeeding in the way that I would like it to succeed, so I’m having to adjust here and go with plan B: A cool self-paced option, adjusted messaging to return to my original target group, and again basically making a decision. The amount of times I say that appealing to everyone means connecting with no one! Time for me to make a stand.
  4. Taking action is cool! I’m challenging myself to speak in public 10 times before the start of June – so far 2 webinars are done, and the third one is running on Monday. I’ve also held a workshop on Blogging and have interest for a second one that I’m bringing out later in March. I’ve learnt how to run Facebook ads, and I love how this is growing my community and saving time. The problem that I do run into right now is that a lot of my activity on visibility becomes disjointed as I haven’t got a clear product or programme to promote. Savvy Brand Academy is closing its doors next week and going self-paced, which requires a good bunch of work behind the scenes. If you happen to be someone wanting to build your online teaching brand, contact me and let me use you as a guinea pig.
  5. Another decision made: I’m going to face up to VAT MOSS. I’m going to get a VAT number. I’m going to take those damn hurdles that were thrown at digital entrepreneurs and try to make it work. Bastards. I’m also going to keep campaigning, writing to parliamentary representatives and raising my voice because just because the law hasn’t changed yet I still think it could be improved. In fact it must be improved. Please keep an eye on this awesome blog.

For the coming month, I am not really ready to set goals as such. I have no new initiatives, instead I need to take this time to ride out the ones I set in motion earlier in the year. Adapting Savvy Brand Academy, running the planned workshops and figuring out my 1-to-1 offerings will be enough to handle in one month. And that’s just the business side before things really do get wedding-serious and exciting.

What have you got planned, and how was your Feb?

Hiring and Firing Myself Very Slowly

Okay, something happened, I’ve got to share it. I ran this online course last week, called Fresh Content. It was a blogging seminar for new bloggers, giving them lots of ideas to take away the “I’m scared of the blank page” feeling. And it went well. And I really, really liked doing it. There is something there that language learning doesn’t give me, which I think I’ve managed to put my finger on: I love helping other people realise their damn potential! People are so brilliant, or at least a lot of them are. YOU are clearly brilliant for reading this. Man, could this sound any more hippy?

I’ve had all these ideas for blogging workshops and courses already, and I cannot even explain to you how exciting they all are. Not sure if this will be my topic forever, but the heart of blogging is about self-expression, being a little brand and making money doing it. And I love that! That’s where people are most brilliant, and it allows me to develop products for this outstanding group of Pioneer Nation people* that I have fallen in love with. Again – hippy sounding, but tell you what, it makes me happy! It’s probably been evident from the majority of my posts that I have not enjoyed language teaching enough to consider it my life’s calling really. And the thing is, when you run your own business this means you become a bad business person. I would consciously avoid earning opportunities because I just didn’t look forward to doing the work. With this, I hope it’s different. I’m aware of the deceptive warm glow of new ideas, but here I’m fuelled by having already run the thing and wanting to do that lots and lots more. Isn’t that different? Here’s a perspective: I am great with people, I love them, they’re fantastic. I love how this is putting me in touch with what people are thinking, which I’m always curious about. And I loooooooove to talk!

*I don’t mean just those 400 people. I mean everyone who is like that, who has something to say and wants to become really great and confident at getting their message out.

Now, for practicals. What does this mean? I’ve got so many language products on the go, and of course current students too. I think this means I have to power something down before I completely overexpand myself. In a way, I need to quit job 1 where I am the boss and then employ myself for job 2 where I am still the boss? Believe me, if you’re now shaking your head and thinking “what the heck has she done?” you are not alone. Me too. WTF.

My feeling is that I can make progress like this:

  • Probe the bios of new idols Laura Roeder and Shenee Howard and Tara Gentile on how they did their thing
  • Run 3 or 4 workshops without too much faff or hesitation
  • Invest in a proper awesome website that hosts my videos
  • Write the course curricula for 3-4 blogging courses (trust me, I can get this done)
  • Announce away
  • Set a Start Date

Listing stuff out like this is very nice, but isn’t it scary to think I could actually abandon a few of the language projects that haven’t made me money yet (“but I told people I would”), change course (“but I told people…what will they say?”) and start the new awesome thing. I’m genuinely scared but at the same time I want to do this. I’ll let it sit and see how I feel in a week, just to be sure. In the meantime, do you fancy a place on Fresh Content?