Doing what I love most
During my two days off every week I usually spend a large chunk of it writing because that’s one of the things I love doing most.
I love doing a lot of other things, too, like photography, gardening, painting, hiking, growing ginseng, making herbal remedies and leading herb walks. Of these things a few have generated a little income from time to time, but I haven’t put a lot of effort to making it happen. I didn’t have a plan.
Writing and photography go well together and I plan to combine them. I also like to write non-fiction about homesteading and herbs, so those all go well together too, but still under the heading of ‘writing’. So for the sake of my business plan, it will include the elements of writing and photography.
Making it Pay: Defining ‘Business’
A business produces goods or services and then sells those goods and services to customers. We need products to sell, a market to sell to, and a means to keep track of what’s been done and what’s being planned. There must be accountability for paying taxes. Until income begins to be generated, accountability proves it’s not just a hobby.
The products need to be sold, so that involves a marketing plan. Money needs to be made so that money can be spent, but sometimes money must be spent first on things like computers and software, internet access and websites. Sometimes it costs money to buy the time to produce the goods/services to be sold.
But before all that a business needs an overriding goal statement. The reason is to bring the focus back to alignment when everything threatens to overwhelm. So the focus of today’s blog post is the overriding goal statement.
Overriding Goal Statement
Some people aren’t comfortable stating that they want to make money. I will write whether I make money at it or not, but I want to be able to quit my day job eventually so there will have to be some other way to produce income. By doing what I love to do as my business, it’ll generate all sorts of side-benefits that can’t be measured at the bank, but for the purpose of this plan it’s all about the money. I’ve heard writers don’t make much money so the best way to ensure I make enough is to plan for it. I intend to use whatever means fall within the bounds of ethical and moral to get it done.
My overriding goal is to make money selling what I produce.
That’s good but it’s not very specific. Do I want to make enough money to cover the cost of the internet service I used to submit the stories? Or do I want to make enough to pay a car note each month? Maybe what I want is to make enough at it to do more than pay a car note. Maybe I want to make sure I never have to have pesky things like car notes again. That means I want to make enough to buy the car outright. So that’s a little more specific.
My overriding goal is to make enough money from selling what I produce to buy a car outright.
So that’s close. Do I want to make that much only once?
My overriding goal is to earn enough to buy a car outright each year by selling what I produce.
I know you’re probably tired of revising that statement, but I’m not done yet. Just a tweak or two more.
My overriding goal is to make at least enough money through my endeavors to buy a car outright every year.
There. I think I like that one. This doesn’t limit me to only writing short stories, or novels, or even fiction. It doesn’t limit me to only writing. (I want to combine my photography with my writing eventually.)
With the conversion of ‘I’ and ‘me’ to ‘We’ and ‘our’, it’s not limited to only what I produce. When Rob is done in Afghanistan he wants in on it too (he’s a woodworker and solar energy guru, plus we have plans for some joint ventures involving non-fiction homesteading articles, and he also likes to write fiction).
Of course the goal won’t be attained overnight. It might take several years or more. But that’s my goal and it’s specific enough to leave it alone now until the ‘We’ part kicks in.
Best of all is that it doesn’t specify exactly which car. It could even be a used car at first. And I don’t have to really buy a car; its just a yardstick for measurement. Next week I’ll talk about the different products/services my business will offer.
My overriding business goal is to make at least enough money through my endeavors to buy a car outright every year.