At the very beginning of June, my partner and I met for a full day for our annual meeting. We usually take a weekend offsite but couldn’t this year for a very good reason: my partner was expecting his first child during the same period! This is why we ended-up in a Starbucks at the opening like 2 coffee craving maniacs! The funny part is that my partner doesn’t even drink coffee! But trust me, I drunk enough coffee for the two of us during that day!
I remember last year when we met; we had ten thousand projects after the weekend!
– We outlined 4 eBooks for The Rat Race series
– We had ten niche site projects
– We had three major site projects
– We were ready to spend thousands on our sites
– We were working on our first eBook: Dividend Investing (now showing 21,488 downloads!)
We basically put too much on our plates for a single year. On the other hand, we grew our monthly gross revenues like we never had in the past. It paid to have such an aggressive plan but we couldn’t achieve everything that was on our drawing board.
So this is why we arrived at our annual meeting with several existing projects unfinished… and with a different approach.
Each year in business is like going through a storm. Those who are self-employed and run their own business will tell you the same. You don’t wake up to go to work, you go to war J. But this year, the storm is quite big. Besides Google’s modifications, we had a big challenge to face: baby invasion! I now have my third kid at the same time that my partner had his first one while one of our VAs is dealing with her 1 year old at home! This makes for a lot of “imponderables” to take into consideration ;-). On my side, I also have to cope with a new job and a new book of business to build. Definitely, it’s quite challenging.
The first point in our meeting was to go through all our sites and determine how much they generate vs how much they cost. We restructured our business in two hours so we can save roughly $500 and generate the same revenues. We simply cut down the number of articles that weren’t being read and tasks that became obsolete.
We then planned writing and income sustainability for all our websites. It has become important for us to make sure how we see our business grow without working more hours. This sounds nice, doesn’t it? In order to achieve this goal, we need to make sure to generate more passive income. We need to find ways that the work we are doing today will generate income not only tomorrow but for days after as well. This is being done with products and smart affiliate marketing promotions. Both strategies will also depend on the size of our newsletter J. This has been one of the most important additions we made last year!
We did work a lot on existing projects during our meeting. The point being that we wanted to report each project in a quarterly objective. Since we started working with “Q accountabilities”, things are getting done a lot faster. We now have a tight schedule for the upcoming years with realisable goals for each quarter. Instead of planning several tasks, we focus on a maximum of three points for each quarter. We are then forced to focus on what really matters and achieve it in 90 days.
Things should progress quite fast over the next six months with the launch of 2 sites + 1 eBook. We are also working on other small eBooks that should generate passive income. The goal is to package enough content to sell smaller eBooks into niche sites. So far, we are getting interesting results with very small niches. In the next quarter, we will be hitting a bigger niche with a 135 page eBook. If this project works, we should be generating $100 to $200 in passive income each month… forever J
During the past twelve months, I’ve realized the importance of realistic planning. Making plans and having goals is fun and inspiring. But you don’t get much done at the end of the day if you keep dreaming about it! Get smaller things on your to do list but do them.
It’s the first time since I started working 1 day/week on my blog that I’ll have time for smaller projects. Over the past two years, I’ve been concentrating most of my time on big projects like eBook writing. At the time, I can currently focus on building smaller sites and preparing the launch of major sites. It’s very encouraging to see all these little things I can do in a day instead of saying “I’ve written 5,000 words on my book!”.
I usually spend a part of my day on optimization (i.e. making more money with existing content) and another part to create (what I like the most). I’ll share more about this in a few days J
Since the big Google’s changes, we have moved towards a more passive approach in terms of monetization. The creation of a newsletter funnel combined with affiliate marketing approach is already generating money. By the end of the summer, we should be able to generate $10,000 per month in products and affiliate income and avoid private advertisers for the most part. I like this twist since our company is a lot more sustainable today than it was six months ago!
All right, gotta leave now… I have some work on my plate 😀
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