2016 Reflection

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My 2016 goals were to:

  • to get published, dang it! Or rather, to make the time to submit places - YES! I can now say I am not just a published photographer, but a published author, too! 
  • book six family photojournalism sessions - YES! I ended up booking 8 family documentary sessions this year, plus 6 family fine art mini sessions. 
  • book two local weddings - Nope. I did second shoot three weddings (Phoenix, New York, and California), and those experiences showed me that my heart is in family work, not weddings. Sometimes you have to do something to realize it isn't what you want to do!
  • blog 1-2 time a week, including guest blogging opportunities - Ha! For the second year in a row, this goal went unmet. And for better or worse, it's one of my 2017 goals again. Third times the charm? 
  • start the planning process for hosting an in person workshop here at the Grand Canyon - I am still working on this one, although I have started teaching in person workshops in other locations. There are some infrastructure and red tape issues that make it harder for ME to teach a workshop here, because of my connection to the park service, then it is for others'. :/ 
  • teach V&VI twice, and sell out 8+ small group mentorships - I ended up teaching V&VI 3 times this year, and meet my small group mentorship goal. Although I am making changes in 2017, and doing away with the small group mentoring in it's current format. What's replacing it will be sure to serve us all that much better!
  • continue filling up my long term mentoring slots - YES! These have proven to be very popular , and I'm already booked for the first quarter of 2017. 
  • get a better handle on my time sucks – Facebook in particular - Yes and no... I have a better time management plan in place, and I have broken up with a lot of my Facebook time, but since I host groups there, it's been hard to break up with it as much as I'd like to. I imagine this will always be something I need to keep in mind. 
  • pay off my student loans two years early - I am on track to do this! Still plugging away.
  • take December 2016 completely off - YES. Well, mostly. I was able to step away from clients this month, which gave me a much needed mental break, although I have a long list of projects I have been plugging away at. It's the goal I needed the most, and it's one I think I will continue to try and work into my schedule from here on out.

My goals for 2017 include:

  • Focusing on sustainability over growth. I'm at a point where I am about as busy as I can be, and it's important to me to tend the foundations of my business before I build it anymore. I think this year will be one that seems static on the outside, but that will allow me the time to shore up those foundations and implement things that are much needed but won't directly impact my business in an outward way.
  • Shoot eight family documentary sessions - I already have two booked, so I'd like to book six more this year.
  • hire a business manager - or rather, become an official client of the business management firm I already have a relationship with. I think this will help me focus on the parts of my business that I am better at, and let the professionals take over that parts I am not so good at. Plus I'm looking forward to having a knowledgeable source to bounce ideas off, get feedback from, and help me work on my business in such a way that insures I will still be doing this ten years from now.
  • Start exploring speaking engagements.
  • Blog regularly - ideally twice a week - and send out a content-based, useful newsletter once a month.
  • Shoot a personal family film and a personal Day In The Life once a month.
  • Attend a workshop  - which I have already committed to, and I am SO excited about!
  • Take December 2017 completely off

Ironically the biggest goal - writing a Craft & Vision ebook - I've had for the past few years is one that I didn't even mention on my 2016 list, because I thought it was so unlikely to happen - and barely a month after writing last year's blog post, I signed my contract to write the book that would become "Stories of Home." So you just never know - that big crazy goal that seems more like a dream than a goal, might just be around the corner.

It's also a bit of an odd moment when you meet that giant goal, and realize that you aren't sure what comes next. That's where I'm at right now. I don't really know what my next big dream goal will be. It takes time to find the right one, the one that excites you. I think that is another reason why 2017 will be about SUSTAINABILITY for me. I need time to dream, so I can find my next thing. And that is half the fun!

 

What are your goals for 2017?