Thanks for tuning into my goals series! Though I try to keep this website filled with tips on personal branding and side hustling, I take a couple posts a year to selfishly talk about myself and my goals. I do this for three reasons:
Nothing puts the pressure on you to do something than when you’ve made it publically known you are and might not come through.
I hope that in sharing my goals, we can communicate about our goals together and help and support each other.
I’m a young professional trying to figure out how to make money outside of my 9-5 job. Hopefully my wins and failures can help others, too.
I’m a fan of setting and keeping track of my goals (personal, professional, and financial) on a quarterly basis (you can see my entire goal system here). I find New Year’s resolutions to be too big + long to keep momentum, and a month isn’t usually enough time to make a big change.
This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Whew! I can’t believe we are halfway through 2017. I’ve loved writing these quarterly goals but man, oh man, do they make the year seem like it zooming by.
I didn’t do quite as well this quarter as I did with my goals for Quarter 1. April and May were big travel months for me, going to Baltimore for a conference, Chicago for Easter, Colorado for my sister’s graduation, Mississippi for a friend’s wedding, and I moved apartments (new view), so I definitely feel like I had less time to focus on my goals in NYC.
That said, it’s been an amazing couple months and a lot of this traveling + moving has helped my goals, which I’ll get into more below. This was also a good lesson for me to plan my goals more carefully around big travel plans or career events so that I’m not setting myself up for failure.
(Pst.. if not already obvious , here is my shameless plug to please follow me on Instagram if you don’t already. 🙂 If you want, leave a comment or DM me and introduce yourself so I can give you a virtual hug.)
Ok, let’s get going on what Quarter 2 looked like!
Attend two external programs relating to my profession
Check! I met Diane Von Furstenberg at a cocktail and conversation event for millennial women (dream come true!) and went to Baltimore for a conference related to my field. I want to continue actively going to networking events come fall when work is more consistent again.
Actively empower others more
Check. There is still room to improve with this, but I did do some notable work helping others. I built a personal website for Meghan Jones, a recent college graduate trying to get a job. I felt supportive of my friends and family. Overall, I made progress but am still just that, in progress.
Double my side income
Total fail. I did not double my side income this quarter. However, it has consistently gone up and I am confident it’s on a good path. And spoiler alert to what I reveal below, but I am going to now start posting my side income reports each month so you can see first hand how much I’m making and from what!
Eat out once a week
I was pretty good about this. Some weeks got tricky with lots of travel, and I wasn’t sure whether I counted dollar pizza or not as a meal out (still not sure, thoughts??). But, overall, I feel I achieved the purpose of this goal. I did spend more time with my boyfriend and friends out socializing while still restricting the cost (and unhealthiness!) that comes with eating out too often. This particular quarter for this goal, too, because it allowed me to hit up my favorite restaurants of my old neighborhood before moving apartments.
Do something for my scoliosis once a month
Check! I am very diligent about going to acupuncture once a month and I will go more than once a month if I can afford it. I also got a standing desk at work, which is helpful at times, very painful at others, but is something I’m getting used to and I think is a net positive.
Practice gratitude every single day
I failed at this. I go to Church weekly and meditate a couple of times a week, but certainly failed at making this a daily habit.
Move apartments and lower my rent
I did this and it was the most exciting part of my quarter! For my fellow New Yorkers, I moved to the Upper East Side, which is not where I saw myself moving at all. I have been so amazed by the history and charm of this neighborhood and can’t imagine ever wanting to leave, especially with Central Park in my backyard. And yes, I did lower my rent! Scores all around.
1- Grow my e-mail list by 300%
Nope. I grew it by 200%, not 300%. There’s probably more I could’ve done to grow it more than I did, but it just didn’t end up being the focus at this point. Instead, I focused much more on my relationships for those already on my email list. I did this by emailing and Skyping with some of you directly, putting on a young professional career workshop, and launching the side hustler business planner with a large discount given to subscribers. It felt like the more natural and genuine place to focus at this time.
2- Launch my e-course
Also no. But! I did put on a workshop for young professionals which is basically a teeny tiny preview of what the entire course looks like, and that was a great idea to do first. It showed me how much interest there is in the topic, so I am okay with the delay.
3- Focus on SEO
Sort of. I did focus a lot on my blog’s exposure this quarter, whether on podcasts, guest posts, interviews, etc. This definitely helps the SEO ratings of my blog. However, I didn’t spend nearly enough time learning the ins and outs of it, and it’s still a longer term, month long project I need to do soon.
So, it wasn’t a great quarter for my blog goals, but still managed to be a great month for my blog! Here were some of my bigger achievements:
1- All time high in page views
2- Conducting my young professional workshop (my favorite thing I’ve done!)
3- Sending out a survey to readers for what they find most helpful. I LOVED this. Hearing from you guys is the best.
4- launching my Life Business Planner! I am obsessed with this and getting to share it with you all has been so fun.
1- E-courses are great investments. They are expensive and sometimes hard to buy, but they’re amazing evergreen resources to come back to again and again. I took Melyssa Griffin’s Pinifite Growth a year ago and I still revisit it often for help on branding, social media, etc.
2- Focus on Facebook. Up until this month I have totally ignored my Facebook page. But, with just a little attention, it’s brought in quite a bit of traffic.
3- Invest in yourself!
Quarter 3, 2017
This quarter I am going to do something a bit different and have two types of goals for each category: internal and external. This is in celebration of my friend and one of the most inspirational bloggers out there, Melyssa Griffin, and her new podcast, Pursuit with Purpose. In her first episode, she challenges you to begin thinking about internal and external goals at the same time. I love this concept and think it’s an excellent model for staying true to yourself while still reaching big goals.
Join a nonprofit board
I work at a nonprofit and now want to be involved with one in a different capacity.
Spend an hour a day on my body and mind
This will probably mean 45 minutes in the morning exercising and meditating and 15 minutes before bed journaling. This is sort of an experiment. After I royally failed at gratitude over the last quarter, I am going to try different ways of doing this until I find the best one that works for me. I am typically quite good about gratitude practice normally and go to Church weekly, which helps, but the last couple weeks have been honestly somewhat anxious for me, so I know this is more important than ever.
Overall, I think it’s better to spend time on mindfulness in the morning to set the tone for your day. I am a morning person and love waking up early, too. However, that time is when I get the most side hustling done, and I don’t want to cut into that precious time so much. So, I am going to try writing in my gratitude journal before bed instead.
Read our newsletter every day
One of the amazing things my nonprofit does every day is send out a newsletter on all news nonprofit, foundation, and government. I need to make sure I’m taking advantage of this resource by reading it daily. I also know this will make me better at my job.
Be more present.
This is something I’m working on overall in my life, so it’s only natural that I apply it to my job as well.
I am quite a lucky twenty-something to have a job that I love so, so much. I work with some of the most passionate, intelligent people in this city every day on strategies and collaborations that fight for human rights every day. It’s a dream come true.
But, as a twenty-something, another thing we are in uncertain and scatterbrained. Our twenties are a time of big changes, both good and bad, and it’s too easy to get distracted or ungrateful with the great changes you’re already experiencing. As such, I want to focus on being more present at the job I am lucky enough to have and love. I will do this by:
- Turning off my cell phone at work
- Limiting headphones
- Going out to work happy hours or coffee dates at least once a month
Pay off my highest interest student loan.
This is a huge goal for me and is actually my New Year’s Resolution for 2017. It’s a really long shot considering I only have ⅓ of the actual amount saved right now; I need to come up with the other ⅔ which is above my typical monthly savings. I have hopes and some plans to do this, but it’s going to take a lot of work, so stay tuned.
Be more forgiving with myself
If I mess up on spending one week, I want to be more gentle with myself. I know how important it is to be disciplined, but our relationship with money is still a relationship, and I am not hard on my friends or family when they slip up. So, why should I treat my relationship with money any differently? I have faith in my overall spending habits so I don’t need to be angry because of an occasional bump (that everyone has!).
As I said above, this last quarter was great for my blog, but in different ways than I thought it was going to be. In April, I thought I was going to launch my ecourse that month and work hard on growing my email list. Instead, I’ve spent the last couple of months really connecting with readers and it’s been the perfect thing. I feel like listening to my gut gave me clarity for where I need to go next.
Complete The 90 Day Year.
In what has been by far the biggest investment in my journey of side hustling, blogging and entrepreneurship, I joined Todd Herman’s the 90 Day Year. My biggest goal right now is to devour that program.
Because I learned from this quarter that I need to be flexible with where I shift my focus, I’m not going to make too rigid of goals right now. I want to do the 90 Day Year and see where it leads me. Overall, my blogging goal is and has always been to help other young professionals that feel lost. So, I’ll follow the path that best leads me there.
In an effort to be more transparent and helpful with how we can earn side income, starting this month I am going to try something new for the rest of 2017 and post my side income each month. It’s definitely nerve wracking to put something so personal on the internet! But, I hope that in doing this, readers can see what works for me, what isn’t worth the money, and stir some ideas for how you all can make extra money of your own.
Right now, I make side income from the following:
I only started selling products on my blog this month. I sell this planner to side hustlers taking their hustle seriously. I’m obsessed with it and use it myself to organize everything. Right now, if you subscribe to my e-mail list, you receive a huge discount on the product.
Freelance work income
I still do some freelance web design and writing work here and there for ongoing clients which helps bring a little money every month. Click here to read more about how to begin freelance writing.
In my view, this is one of the most underused side hustles. Read why it’s so great and how to start in this post.
Affiliate sales are such an easy way to make money suggesting things I do + love already. In the next couple weeks, I’ll write a post on how to make money from affiliate marketing with or without a blog.
Let me know what you think or if you have any questions/tips on side income! You can email me here.
Readers, what are your goals for this quarter?