As we look back on all that has happened in 2018 and prepare for the coming new year, it is so important to walk through our goals and how will we reach them in 2019.

For creatives like me, goals keep us on track. Here are 10 goals every creative should set in 2019. 

1. Commit to finding an accountant who specializes in small business. This is a good goal for any year, but this year especially! There are a lot of changes coming to the tax code this year that specifically affect small businesses, and you’ll need someone to help you navigate the new waters and make sure you are making the most of your decisions. (Also, check out this post for 8 Things Creatives Should Look for in An Accountant)

2. Calculate the total costs of one of your goods or services and find a way to reduce them by at least 10%. A business rarely becomes unprofitable from one bad decision, but rather from a bunch of small bad decisions made over and over. So many businesses struggle over time simply because they were “$100 dollars-ed to death.” They spend $100 here and a $100 there without thinking about it and suddenly all of their margin is gone. Narrow in on just one product to start and brainstorm ways you can reduce your costs.

3. Do a Facebook LIVE once a month. I get it…video is scary. And LIVE video is even scarier than that. But nothing is getting more traction with audiences right now than video…especially when you’re using that time to pour into people with helpful content and ideas. Think about your customers and what they need help with…now hop on and film a quick 5-10 min FB LIVE with some ideas for them! Let them see your face, let them SEE you helping…and you’ll be amazed at how that comes back to you!

4. In the same way, make sure you are using Instagram Stories. This is such a powerful way to check in with your audience daily and share your life behind the scenes, beyond just trying to sell them something. Remember this: when a person sees your product, they become a customer….when they see your HEART, they become loyal for life. If you’ve never done an IG Story before, it can be a little awkward talking into the camera on your phone…but I promise, it DOES get easier & pretty soon it will be second nature!

5. Give up your bookkeeping. In the same way that I think you should have an accountant who specializes in small business, I think that bookkeeping should be one of the first things on your “what to outsource this year” list…preferably to an accountant who does BOTH. Our accountant does monthly bookkeeping for us and sends us monthly profit & loss statements so we know we’re on track. Because she does both, it also means our year-end tax meeting takes about 30 minutes and is a total breeze. Before you say you, “I can just learn Quickbooks,” I want you to remember that is not a CEO move. Your time is so much more valuable spent somewhere else – like being the visionary and steering the ship in your creative business.

6. Unfollow. If there is someone who pretty regularly makes you feel worse after seeing a post from them – whether that’s from your own comparison or they are just one of these people who uses social media to impress not empower – do yourself the best favor in the world and just. stop. watching. Unfollow! You will be AMAZED at how much creative energy and freed up head space you’ll get back when you remove that toxic influence from your feed. Make the choice in 2019 to only follow people who make you feel inspired, uplifted and energized to go do GOOD things in your own life/business too.

7. Quit Something. In the wise words of Bob Goff, “It’s Thursday…quit something.” Every single one of us creative business owners has something in our business we’ve been holding on to just because we think we “should” do it, even if it’s not profitable, rewarding or joyful. It’s 2019…quit that.

8. Get a Faithful Five. We’ve all, at this point, probably heard the old adage, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This year, make it a top goal to find your five. The five people who will listen, remind you who you are and who you are becoming, that you can bounce ideas off of, get honest feedback, turn to when you’re facing criticism, and who will be the FIRST to jump up and down celebrating your wins. This year, surround yourself with quality, not quantity. We all need a Faithful Five.

9. Take the time to understand Facebook Ads. The results are in, Facebook is here to stay. And Facebook ads, while not as affordable as they once were, are STILL one of the most powerful ways to advertise your business. Take the time to educate yourself on the basics of FB ads, and when you’re ready to jump in consider hiring someone who specializes in them to make sure you are getting the most return out of your investment.

10. Show up consistently. Whether that is on Instagram, your blog, your newsletter, Facebook, YouTube, or whatever it might be….pick a platform or two that you most enjoy and COMMIT to showing up there consistently this year. Very few things will build your business as quickly in someone’s mind than showing up weekly to show yourself doing what you love and to pour into your audience on a regular basis.

Here’s to good goal setting in 2019!