Well, 2011 is rapidly coming to a close. Christmas is only 4 days away, and the year ends in 11 days. So its time to look back at 2011 and see how well I did reaching my goals. Here they are!
1. I would like to double my Etsy sales to 104 for the year. That's essentially 2 a week, or 8 a month. In those terms it seems much less daunting.
How did I do with this goal?? Well to be completely honest, horrible. Not only did I not reach my goal for 2011, I also didn't even meet last years sales total. Last year I made 57 etsy sales. This year I made 22 etsy sales. And 8 "off etsy" sales. So instead of doubling in sales, I declined by more than half. But the thing to focus on is the why? Answering this will help me grow, and learn. That is what every failure is about, its a learning experience.
So here's my best assessment of what happened. We were homeless for the first 3 weeks of the year. Then we were living with my parents until March. I have also been unemployed the majority of the year. And while this should have been a huge plus, it wasn't. Why? Because I was depressed. I didn't have any motivation or inspiration. I was too busy wallowing. I couldn't focus on the positives of the situation. Another problem? The majority of our belongings were in storage until July. So I didn't have most of my beading supplies. So what could have been a positive, I allowed to become a negative.
2. Participate in at least 4 craft shows. This will really help get my name out in my local community, not just the online community. There is one I wanted to do this year, but couldn't find how to apply. Well, I know what I need to do now to participate so that's one show down. And it will be back in North Carolina, at the beach I usually go to with my girlfriends. So It will be an awesome opportunity to get back together with my girlfriends who I will be moving away from shortly.
Craft shows. *Sigh* This too did not go as planned. I wasn't able to get back to NC for the show due to financial reasons. Three shows I applied to I wasn't able to do. Two because I wasn't accepted, and one because I couldn't get off work. I did one show in southern California, and it was a bust. I had one sale to a teammate who came to the show to meet me (thanks Patricia!!!) and one sale to a fellow vendor. I did however learn the importance of researching the location!! The show was in North Hollywood. I heard "Hollywood" and thought, oh people have money in Hollywood. They would recognize the quality of my work and appreciate it. Unfortunately NORTH Hollywood, is NOT like Hollywood. The demographics of North Hollywood is nothing like Hollywood! The other problem was that it was a "food truck" show. So most of the people who came spent all their money on the novel food items available.
The lesson? Research the location, the demographics, the show, everything. If you are going to put down your hard earned money you better make sure you know it's going to be worth it!
3. My goals for creating products is a tough one. I will say that I need to dedicate 5 hours a week to product creation only. This can always be changed as my life changes. Right now, I may not be working after Wednesday for the next few weeks, to months!!! Scary thought, but our life is in major flux and all I can do is roll with the punches. So I can use it as an opportunity to create like crazy.
This goal is a little harder to asses. Did I spend 5 hours a week creating every week? NO. But there were plenty of weeks I spend 20+ hours creating. I guess I have bipolar tendencies with creating. If I'm inspired or under a deadline I create like crazy. My mood is so much better when I'm creating, its a fantastic stress relief for me. So I really need to focus on making creating a priority. I need to find a way to track my time better, and a way to reward/punish myself for sticking with this goal. The weeks that I listed regularly, ie everyday, I had much better traffic and sales to my etsy shop. So its important to stick with this goal, as the foundation of growing my business and becoming successful.
Overall this was a rough year for me. Personally, financially, everything. It was a year to learn and grow as a jewelry designer, a physical therapist assistant, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and most excitingly, an Aunt!! Yup, I'm an Aunt now. A handsome baby boy was born in January to my brother and SIL. And only 3 1/2 weeks later an adorable baby girl was born to my sister and soon to be BIL. So while my business may not have prospered as I'd hoped, my personal life had some amazing blessings!
Look out for my goals for 2012 coming soon. Hopefully I will have more success with my business in 2012 thanks to the important lessons I have learned in 2011!
Wishing everyone a happy holiday season, and a fantastic new year!!