Mike Friedman

2018 - What Will You Do Differently?

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This thread was a pretty big success last year, so we are going to do it again for 2018.

This thread is designed to be a little different than your traditional goal-setting type of activities. Setting goals for things like sales volume, how much money you want to make, how much weight you want to lose etc. is not hard. I think most people do that.

The idea of this discussion is to get you thinking about the actual activities that will help you achieve those goals.

There are two questions. The answers can be about your business and your personal life.

1) What will you start doing in 2018 that you are not doing in 2017? 

2) What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017? 

Take some time to think about what you really want to commit to doing in 2018. Also, think about the things that you are doing now that are not having the results you wanted, are eating up too much time, or are just flat-out bad habits that you want to stop doing.

Putting them down in an open forum holds you more accountable. Like last year, I would hope that participants revisit this thread and update their progress.

Would love to see even more people take advantage of this in 2018.

 

 

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I'm taking the rest of this year to really think about what my plans will be for 2018. I want a well-defined plan so that I can measure my progress, and I like the idea of goals based on the actions I take instead of only a monetary goal. 

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This was a great thread last year. I definitely want to participate this year.

1) What will you start doing in 2018 that you are not doing in 2017? 

I know I'm echoing a few people from last year with this one, but I need to get on top of my business finances more. I don't think I'm terrible with money. I balance the checking accounts at the end of the month and pay all my bills. I'm good there, but I only have a vague estimate of what I have spent on different business items until the end of the year when it is time to take care of taxes. I've already been looking into options like Quicken and Quickbooks. I might just go with the basic option of using some sort of PnL spreadsheet. I need to do something though.

I'm also looking at doing more outsourcing for tasks that take up a lot of my time, so that I can focus on my strengths relating to my business. I want to be more involved on the creative side of things and less on the technical side. I have already started interviewing a few potential workers on UpWork to have them ready to start in January.

I want to start looking at doing more on YouTube to drive traffic to a few of my affiliate niches. It's such a vast platform, and I have not messed with creating a channel or videos much at all. It's time I start.

Lastly, I'm planning on reading one book that relates to business each quarter. I'd like to say one a month, but that might be too ambitious. I'm starting with How to Win Friends and Influence People. I've heard numerous great things about it and have meant to read it for years. Just never got around to it. It's already on its way from Amazon.

2) What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017?

I'm cutting out some distractions from my work time. I'm blocking Facebook and Twitter on my work computer. I have uninstalled Skype. I am also going to block a few forums that I used to visit a lot, including BHW and WaFo. You always had to kind of weed through some junk on those forums to find the good stuff, but it's getting to a point where the junk is just overwhelming. The new admin team at WaFo just really has no idea what they are doing. BHW, and a few other forums, have just lost too many of their good posters that participated regularly at one time. I don't know where they went, but the value is just not there for the time involved anymore.

I'm thinking about blocking most news sites too. The political climate has made me visit them too often during the workday this past year. 

On the personal side, I'm going to stop working on weekends almost entirely. I feel like I work 6 or 7 days a week right now. That has to stop or I foresee myself ending up burnt out in the next few years.

 

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This year was a surprise for me as I started achieving goals and then my health crashed real hard.  Put a stopper on everything but trying to survive.  At my sister's now trying to recuperate. 

So - in 2018 I will continue to bring myself back into the realms of vital enough health that I can rock hunt and care for a puppy and train him.  I'm considering that doable no matter what.  

As far as differently - I'll be delighted just to get back to the plans I had last year before I fell out. I will be doing it from a different atmosphere, though as I refuse to go back to the situation and location that tanked my health. 

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I'm going to think carefully about this over the next week or so as I've got some tough decisions to make. I don't see the economic situation here in Greece improving dramatically, and so need to plan accordingly. 

One thing I will be doing is flipping the last of my local businesses, which will allow me to cleanly exit the local markets, at least until such time as the economic outlook improves. We will, of course, retain our EFL school as that's a cash cow and my wife's passion.

At present, I'm hammering out the details of a five-year plan to focus more online - I've got a number of hurdles to overcome, but I can make that happen. 

 

 

 

 

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For me, 2017 was largely about taking back my personal life and not letting everything be dominated by my business. I'm making some moves in 2018 that will take me even further in that direction.

I like the way @100DegreesC copied and pasted the questions with answers above, so I'm going to do the same.

1) What will you start doing in 2018 that you are not doing in 2017? 

I'm turning over most of the daily running of my business to an employee. I have not settled on a title yet for him, but basically, I'm stepping back and acting more like CEO going forward. I found a great guy that has worked with me the past 2 years. He's moving to my location and will be taking over a lot of the daily tasks. More or less I will be setting the vision and overall scope of what needs to be done, he'll be responsible for making it happen.

I know the worry with this kind of thing is "What if they just want to go off and start their own business?" I understand that, and this is a bit hard to explain. Some people have all the knowledge and understanding of how to run a successful business, but they just are better suited to be working for someone. They need that structure and for someone to handle the top-level things that go with running a company. 

Another thing I'm going to start doing is networking. I really have never put a big emphasis on this, and any networking I have done was mostly by accident. I'm looking at joining a few local organization like Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce (I already belong, but never attend anything they put on). I have looked into a few boards of local charities and organizations that may have openings coming up this year. I will probably hop on something like that. The local United Way was suggested by someone. 

And speaking of charities, not only am I going to be more involved myself, but I'm going to require my employees to be as well. I would like to do an event or two this year that we can all participate in as an office. (Oh yeah, I'm going to have an office, but that is in the second part of this post.) For example, I've seen days where a lot of businesses throw in and help Habitat for Humanity. Something like that is an option. I'm also looking at possibly giving them each 2-3 paid hours per month (with no carryover) that they can use volunteering for a local charity in our community, that way they can pick something they are excited about. I still need to talk to my accountant about how that will work.

At home, we are looking to get the kids started with some volunteer work. Might be something like volunteering at a soup kitchen. We have not decided yet.

2) What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017?

By the middle of January, working from home is going to be a thing of the past for me. Well, mostly. That's right, I'm getting an office. Yep, I will be "going to work" again.

I have some other employees that are scattered around the country. I'm keeping 2 of them (they are close enough to commute), and the other 2 are going to be replaced with local people. One of them is going to be an in-house web designer, and I mean web designer, not just someone that can play with Wordpress. 

I will still be able to work from home when I want. It is an option, but I'll be "going into work" most days.

I did a pretty good job re-working how I manage my business expenses last year. This year, I'm going to stop letting money fly out the window on the personal side. 

Last year I said, and I quote

Quote

I'm going to stop making excuses to not get to the gym 3-4 times per week. I go in spurts, but there is no reason I cannot make it a consistent part of my life.

Well, I did pretty good for about two-thirds of the year. The last 3-4 months though... not so great. So I am recommitting to this.

 

Those are my plans so far for 2018.

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I agree with John, I like the way 100 degrees did the copy and paste.

1) What will you start doing in 2018 that you are not doing in 2017? 

Whew, this is a long list!  I spent much of 2017 fine tuning my businesses.  Testing, throwing out what wasn't working, and most importantly, finding a different way to do the things I HATED to do.  Those hates were huge roadblocks for me.  I set myself up to actually enjoy what I am doing and no longer dread my day.  

I have also worked out a few really cool plans to use direct mail, something I've never done.  I wanted a specific target market(s) and no paid mailing list was going to give me the results I wanted.  I also didn't want to send anything out that was generic as far as 'any ol' audience'.  

I'll save you all the pain of reading the rest, but my biggest thing for 2018, is FOCUSING!  I let way too many things get me distracted in 17'.  The old "make a list and stick to it" mantra.. LOL.. it works!  Who knew?  

2) What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017?

Again, a long list.  My biggest 'stop' is letting people waste my time!  I found myself working way too hard for people that can't/wont pay me.  Or, wasting my time because these clients refuse to get me the information I need FOR THEM, and then blame me because they aren't making any money!  I know now that I can be putting all of my hard work and efforts into my finances and THEN I can help others.  

Basically, putting other's needs first.  T'was a hard lesson figuring out that until I helped myself, I really wasn't capable of helping others, at all!  

**On a personal note**  I'm going to stop ignoring the things that make me happy!  I have to stop feeling guilty when I'm not working.  :)  

 

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I'm still thinking, but here is what I have so far:

1) What will you start doing in 2018 that you are not doing in 2017? 

  • I have a day job that I dearly love, and I don't see myself leaving it anytime soon; however, I love being my own boss, so I know that I am eventually going to be working for myself again. I still have my biz on the side, but I am going to devote more time to it. I want to build that biz to the point where this time next year I will have the option to work for myself or keep my biz as a side job.
  • In order to make this work, I know I am going to have to hire someone to help me. I need someone who can field calls and emails while I'm at my day job. It'll be part time, but it would be a huge help to me and let me have the best of both worlds. Ideally, I'd like to hire someone local who can become full time down the road.
  • Fine tune my sales process.
  • I want to network again. I haven't done much of it this year, and I truly miss it. I want to find a networking group where I can start building relationships.
  • On a personal note, I want to live better, eat better, & exercise more. I haven't been doing well with that, and my energy level is suffering.
  • I will write for at least 20 minutes, 5 days a week. (Right now I write for hours at a stretch at haphazard intervals.)
  • Write/Call my mom and dad once a week.

2) What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017? 

  • Stop eating out so much. It's expensive and unhealthy
  • Stop checking Facebook except to briefly post pics for family. 
  • Stop negative self-talk.

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What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017?

OK, I think the very first thing I will stop doing is blowing off Theresa when we arrange time to talk. I've been really bad about this during the past month or so and I'm publicly coming out to promise that I will stop doing it. :blush:

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14 hours ago, BIG Mike said:

What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017?

OK, I think the very first thing I will stop doing is blowing off Theresa when we arrange time to talk. I've been really bad about this during the past month or so and I'm publicly coming out to promise that I will stop doing it. :blush:

*sniff*  

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One thing that I most certainly will stop doing in 2018 that I've done in 2017 is being impatient. I can honestly say that I did learn patience in 2017 as I found being impatient does not accomplish a thing. It doesn't speed things along or change anything at all. 2017 was a rather strange year for me in having the unexpected surgery and all of the restrictions afterward lasting so long. Therefore I didn't get to do everything I wished to do and I'm hoping when I go for my 6 month follow up in February that I will be able to have some of them lifted. If they're not, I'll just have to go with the flow. 2017 was also a year of learning, having faith in myself and my abilities and discovering that I am stronger than I thought.

What I do plan on doing in 2018 is contingent upon my restrictions being lifted, however, I am determined either way to have my second and third manuscript turned into my acquisition agent in 2018. Having my 2 hours of sitting at a time lifted will be helpful, but if it isn't, I still plan on my above stated goal. I also plan on stretching myself further in the upcoming year in reaching out, hitting the pavement so to speak, in contacting libraries, bookstores, schools, etc. for book readings and/or signings other than the one book club and 2 elementary schools I already have engagements with. Again, it depends on my restrictions, but worst case scenario, one year from my surgery date which was August 21st. 

On a personal level, I practically missed all of summer in 2017 not only because of my bad back but because of the one medication I was given that Hubby labeled as my "stupid pill". Hahaha! Seriously, I don't remember a whole lot of the first 2 months after surgery LOL! I do plan on taking a road trip with one of my childhood friends that I hooked back up with and we are planning on going rockhounding. It should be a blast!! I intend on experiencing the summer of 2018 to the fullest. I'm talking about walks in the gentle summer rain, splashing in mud puddles, smelling all of the flowers, barbeques with family and friends and well, you get the picture. 

 

Terra

 

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OK, I've made up my mind - I wrote a five-page list of project ideas, including existing projects I need to finish up. But...

My major goal for 2018 is to finish up my Drunken Greek blog and start writing. I worked on it over the Christmas holidays and the basic blogging system (not WordPress) is complete (although I'll continue to tweak it). 

Since this was the only goal I did absolutely nothing about in 2017, I'm making it a priority for the new year :D

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1) What will you start doing in 2018 that you are not doing in 2017? 

  • I'm committing to the Google ecosystem. I transitioned all my email accounts last year. This year I am moving almost completely away from Microsoft Office and putting everything into Google Docs / Sheets / Drive and so on. I have already started this with a few clients where we are sharing a spreadsheet doc for work that needs completed. It's so much easier than sending a file back and forth. Sheets is not as advanced as Excel, but it works for pretty much everything I need it to. Same goes with Google calendar. It is just easier having everything in the cloud and the Office cloud kind of sucks in comparison. The changeover is going to be a massive pain in the ass because I use a lot spreadsheets and Word docs, but I'll get there eventually.
  • I'm going to be publishing more content on here and at The SEO Pub relating to SEO, affiliate marketing, AdWords, etc. I keep saying that and getting away from it. It's one of the things I think I'm good at and need to commit to. I have not decided on a schedule yet, but I am likely going to hold myself to publishing one item every 2 weeks. I already have about 20 different documents started. I just need to force myself to sit down and finish them up.
  • Then there is that working out thing. I got into a groove twice last year, and both times got sick and kind of fell out of it. I'm going to start and finish a two fitness programs this year. I've done P90X before. It's great, but I need to do something else. Whenever I start it, I usually end up with wrist problems around Day 45-50. It's all the pushups I think. I've tried push up bars, but they did not help. Crystal has done a lot of Les Mills Body Pump. I've done a few of the workouts in the past. Not usually my kind of workout, but I started it, and I'm going to finish the damn thing. Not sure what I'll choose for the other program later this year.

2) What will you stop doing in 2018 that you are currently doing in 2017? 

  • I'm going to stop letting myself get pulled in too many directions. It's something I have largely done to myself. In 2017, I was too much of an "idea guy". I hate idea guys. They start a lot of projects and rarely, if ever, finish anything. I started designing an area for beginner to intermediate marketers to help them begin in the right direction or get over the hump if they have been struggling. That fizzled out. I started writing an AdWords training program. I never completed it. Though, in my defense, part of that was because Google decided to redesign the AdWords interface, which made the videos and screenshots I had all obsolete. I'm still fumbling through some of the new design. Things where I knew exactly how to find, are... well, they are not where they are supposed to be damnit. There were several other ideas too that barely got out of the garage. That stuff is going to stop in 2018. I don't know how it ever started. I was never that way before.

 

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42 minutes ago, Mike Friedman said:

1) What will you start doing in 2018 that you are not doing in 2017? 

  • I'm committing to the Google ecosystem. I transitioned all my email accounts last year. This year I am moving almost completely away from Microsoft Office and putting everything into Google Docs / Sheets / Drive and so on. I have already started this with a few clients where we are sharing a spreadsheet doc for work that needs completed. It's so much easier than sending a file back and forth. Sheets is not as advanced as Excel, but it works for pretty much everything I need it to. Same goes with Google calendar. It is just easier having everything in the cloud and the Office cloud kind of sucks in comparison. The changeover is going to be a massive pain in the ass because I use a lot spreadsheets and Word docs, but I'll get there eventually.

Excellent decision Mike - I did this many years ago and never looked back :D

Like you, I also use a lot of spreadsheets and docs, but the changeover was a breeze! I just uploaded my entire folder and file structure - Google had no problem converting my docs or spreadsheets at all. 

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34 minutes ago, BIG Mike said:

Excellent decision Mike - I did this many years ago and never looked back :D

Like you, I also use a lot of spreadsheets and docs, but the changeover was a breeze! I just uploaded my entire folder and file structure - Google had no problem converting my docs or spreadsheets at all. 

I have some with some weird functions and stuff going on that I was a bit worried about. Probably be okay. 

The big thing is the file structure. I don't just have a folder of spreadsheets. 

I have folders like Clients ==> Client A ==> Updates

Those folders may contain images, docs, spreadsheets, etc. The docs and spreadsheets I'm fine with uploading. I don't need all the images uploaded (plus they will eat up a ton of space). 

So I kind of have to do it little by little. It's getting done though. 

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