Hardening our Resolve in 2014

UPDATE 5/1/2014: How we’re doing so far?


So we survived 2013. One thing Seth and I share in common is a deeply-seated aversion to repeating mistakes. Not that we didn’t repeat any mistakes this year, but we have been successful in building thick walls of accountability around our more critical decision-making processes to prevent a wholly unneeded sequel to an epic fail.

Just about everybody has resolutions … but our supreme goal in 2014 is to harden our resolve, stick to our commitments without swaying, and grow.

One way to build these walls of accountability is to post resolutions publicly – to start, here’s our desired outcomes:

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More Successful Projects. Better Projects.
Less Consulting. More Training.
More Recurring Revenue.
Lots More Helping
Publish a Book
More Travel.


Small Biz Triage’s Resolutions for 2014

1) Blog Less. Publish More. Converse More.

We’ll still continue to blog, but with the sole purpose of creating work that is so good that it will be worthy of publishing in our upcoming book.

  • Grow the Film Biz Newsletter to 5,000 subscribers (Currently @ 350).
  • Grow Uncensored Advice for the Small Biz Owners to 5,000 subscribers (Currently @ 600).
  • Publish one awesome guest post per month … we are working hard to work up the ‘online writers ladder’ to get up to the level of Sebastian Marshall, Derek Sivers, Anthony Iannarino or our boy Tommy Walker guest post wunderkind.
  • Do one thing publicly that is news-worthy and good … well at least good enough for a WikiPedia entry.
  • Make one TV or Radio appearance.
  • Publish one article (print).
  • Finish writing a full-length book for business owners. Must be ready-to-publish one year from today.

2) Shift Focus to the Area of Greatest Impact

Focus on the areas of truly great value to our clients and their businesses: writing newsletters, crafting blogs, human-centered outreach and one-on-one training. And that list will only change if our clients tell us otherwise through words, results (or lack thereof). To accomplish this we’ll need to:

  • Avoid relationships that dilute our best into just good enough.
  • Remind ourselves that we aren’t awesome at everything - even though some of our clients don’t think so ;-)
  • Be relentlessly useful to our clients (and future clients).
  • Root out complexity from our business and make

     our services easier to explain, easier to refer, easier to buy

  • Shorten the sales process, and try to provide instant value / gratification for everyone that works with us.

  • Trim down our services to reflect this change … keep some, stop offering a few, start offering fewer:

KEEP

  • Writing MailChimp Newsletters
  • Conducting 1-on-1 Training
  • Creating Roadmaps / Business Plans
  • Copywriting / Blogging
  • Running Outreach Campaigns

START

  • Offering Small PR Campaigns
  • Running Small Biz Owner Workshops
  • Aggressively cultivating a community of experts/influencers

STOP 

  • Website Development (PHP / CSS)
  • Non-WordPress Website Maintenance
  • Branding / Graphics / Design
  • Commission-Based Sales Support

 

3) Become More Human, More Transparent

Keeping marketing human has been our mantra throughout 2013. We’ve mentioned it in 29 articles this year alone.

  • Remind ourselves that it’s okay to start small  … that’s how humans do it.
  • Less online platforms, forums, more support phone calls
  • Less emails, more hand-written notes (clients and vendors: your hand-written new years cards are in the mail).
  • Less social media, more in-person interaction
  • Create marketing that attracts fellow humans who want to inject humanity into their businesses.
  • Stop worrying about scalability … just hire more awesome humans!
  • Earn a deeper level of trust with our clients, by being more transparent and sincere. I’ll go ahead and start here, by showing you how I really balance Small Biz Triage and my life as a man, dad, brother, son, grandson, and friend - Nate’s Lifestylings.

4) Hit the Road … Grow our Ecosystem

I’ll admit this one is a bit selfish. We like to travel and leap out of our comfort zone. Here’s our list of people we want to visit in 2014:

VENDORS

  • WooThemes in South Africa
  • ManageFlitter in Australia
  • MailChimp in Atlanta
  • Noupe.com in Germany
  • John Dundon in Ireland
CLIENTS

  • Young Construction Professionals in Serbia
  • Carla Harris in New York City
  • WRW in Dubai
  • NFI in Nashville
  • Key Consulting in Tucson
*** And of course, we’ll be hitting the road by launching the Small Biz Bootcamp & Roadshow this year.***

5) Earn the Respect of Professionals That We Respect

I’m convinced that by accomplished some / all of the above that we can pull this off. Hell, even drinking a beer or sharing a cab with any of the following influencers would be pretty awesome indeed:

  • Derek Sivers – author of Anything You Want and founder of CD Baby
  • Gary Vaynerchuck – author of The Thank You Economy. Introduced us to the phrase, “work your face off”.
  • James Altucher – author of Choose Yourself, and one of the ballsiest writers out there.
  • Sebastian Marshall – productivity guru and a badass business consultant
  • Stephen Moffat – Doctor Who anyone?
  • Wong Kar Wai – director behind 2046, Chungking Express, and In the Mood for Love
  • TJ McCue – one of the top writers in the small business space
  • Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener – the guys behind Team Robo
  • Sunao Katabuchi (Black Lagoon), Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bepop) or Goro Tanaguchi (Gun X Sword)
  • George Lois – legendary ad man … though he might make me cry just for tapping out this emoticon  ;^)

What are your business’ resolutions for 2014? Personal goals? Here’s mine in its uncensored glory.

What are you (really) willing to do to harden your resolve to grow?