Well, here we are in month 12 and I’m pleased to say that I did fall off the wagon… but not completely! I’ve decided to take this opportunity to look back on the year and my work with the planner, and to explain why (despite the fact that I’ve not completed it) I’ve gone ahead and ordered next year’s book.
There are a couple of reasons I went a little off track… Unlike previous years where my business really was product based, this year I scaled that right back (for why, take a look at this post from last November) and at the same time I made the decision to take the pressure off when it came to launching 2 collections per year. Both of these topics feature heavily in Dream Plan Do and I will admit that I started to loose my way once I got to these chapters. In addition to the changes to my business I also, somewhat unexpectedly, took on a temporary teaching job which, while the hours are far from long, has had quite an impact – both upon the time I have to work on my business and on the ideas I’m having for my work.
So back in the summer I set about thinking of an alternative way to use the planner. One thing I’ve found particularly useful in this second edition is the Wheel of Life – so it’s no longer only about my business – there’s a more holistic approach. Considering this has also been the year in which I’ve finally become completely hooked on exercise again (after a VERY long break) I’ve used the planner to think about where I’m going with that too and thinking about how I use my time as a whole (oh and not feeling bad about taking time out to go to the gym – I need it both for my physical heath and my sanity!).
The planner has also helped me to generate new ideas and think more about what my priorities should be. This time last year, the idea of not launching collection or having masses of products scared me; but now it’s actually quite a relief not to have a massive inventory I need to somehow shift before Christmas! It has also helped me to focus on selling more commissions, improving my teaching, and thinking about new workshop ideas. I’ve learnt that I can’t always take each chapter literally but there’s something to be learnt from each of them.
Other things that could have thrown a spanner in the works included my spur of the moment decision to launch my Kickstarter (which was successful, thank goodness!) and also that to do fewer markets and events. The lack of events did, predictably, result in fewer sales but I’ve actually streamlined what I do and significantly reduced my costs so it’s not worked out as badly as it could have done.