Okay, so while WordPress is backing up (which is taking forever) before the latest core update, I thought I’d put together some of the money goals I’ve set for myself for 2021.
The webshop has now been up and running for a year and I’ve had a sale here and there, but mostly people are just downloading the free stuff (which they’re doing in droves). Pinterest is driving most of the traffic that’s going to the free downloads.
And that’s all well and fine, as it should be, because I’ve managed to grow a nonexistent emailing list from zero to 19 subscribers! Woo!
And this doesn’t mean zero + mom because I didn’t ask anyone I know to sign up. So, the wonderful people on this list are people who’ve discovered me somewhere on the interwebs or on social media.
Now, 19 people may not seem like a lot, but that’s more or less what I’d normally see on the bus, so let’s just call it a busload! Wow!
I did get an unsubscribe earlier, but he was nice enough to send me an email telling me why he unsubscribed, and it was very heartwarming. He assured me that it wasn’t goodbye because he was going to keep following up with my art and writing, he just felt out of place being on my mailing list. Considering my target audience I’m not surprised because he was more male boomer than female millennial.
However, if you feel like there’s a powerful force living within you, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing, but you’re just out of touch with it, you might enjoy being on my mailing list. You can sign up here.
My money goals for 2021
Since I’ve now spent an intensive two years setting up the blog and the shop, it’s time that I start focusing on putting them to work. So, what better time to set some money goals?
Last year I read Get Rich, Lucky Bitch* by Denise Duffield-Thomas and found that yes, I’ve got some deeply rooted money blocks that I need to work on if I’m ever going to make this business a success. And it was as per Denise’s suggestion that I’m going to set myself three different money goals for 2021.
I’m going to set myself a savings goal, an income goal (including a passive income goal) and a goal to be debt free. Now, we managed to clear our big debt of 60k a few years ago, but since I quit my job that came with a salary, we’re living on one paychek until my business starts making an income (or it’s a complete failure and I go find a job).
We don’t have big debts anymore but my credit card gets maxed out every month in the absence of my income. We technically also don’t save anything because all the money I manage to put aside is money needed to pay for things that get billed only once or twice a year (mostly legally required insurances and some utilities).
I also have a few courses and training programmes that we’re still paying off, mostly that goes from my credit card. So, to kick this off I decided to start with setting myself a savings goal.
My savings goal for 2021
What I really need to learn is how to have money. Being the daughter of a single mother, I learned a pattern of feast-and-famine when it comes to money.
That means that you live hand-to-mouth most of the time and when you do end up with some extra money, you spend it all because you just don’t know what to do with it.
Spending money is the easiest way to prevent yourself from having to deal with the extra money. For me, it always mean just spending it on something frivolous and, in hindsight, I’d have been better off saving that and training myself to have more money.
So, I’ve been using the mobile game Flo’s diner (I’ve been playing Flo since the early ’00s) as a way to practice setting a new zero for myself.
What that means is that instead of my zero being a true zero, I’m raising the bar and setting it higher to ensure I’ll never be completely without money. In the game, my new zero has been 10,000 gold and 10 gems and the idea is that no matter what, I can never spend that baseline.
And even though it’s just friggin’ pixels, lemme tell you, keeping that new zero has been a challenge!
I’ve also started carrying around a 20 in my wallet that I’m not allowed to spend, just so that I get used to having money that I don’t spend.
So, my savings goal for 2021 is to save 1000 (real smackeroos, not pixel money) that just sits in my bank account with nowhere to go. I want to make sure that I secure it away and just let it sit there. Yes, I know that the best thing to do with your savings isn’t to just let it sit there, but this is a small amount and I desperately need the practice.
I think I’ll save this money in cash, put a jar where I can see it to motivate me, and move the money to a savings account at the end of the year.
My income goals for 2021
Reaching my income goals goes hand in hand with the getting out of debt goal, since I’m going into debt every month because I don’t have an income that covers those expenses.
And I’m going to divide my income goals into passive and active income goals. And I need to be specific about where I want them to come from because I want to use goal setting as a tool to make this stuff happen, not just as an exercise in wishful thinking.
Active income goals
For my active income goal, I’m going to set 10k revenue from my webshop.
Even thinking about being about having FIVE THOUSAND (!!!) in revenue from my shop is making me feel like, eh, maybe I’m reaching to high.
But no, girl, you need to set ambitious goals or just quit right now.
What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t make that goal.
And then what? Maybe I made less than five but still more than what I’m making now. Or if it’s a whole year of crickets in the shop, I’ll just shut it down and think of something else instead.
If I quantify my goal of 10k, it becomes:
286 customers buying one t-shirt from my shop every month.
Or sell 556 copies of the Happiness Is Searching For You lettering print.
It can’t be impossible to get 286 paying customers to my shop can it?
I mean, I’ve already managed to get in touch with 19 people who want to hear more from me. With another 12 months of work and effort, who knows how far I can take this!
Another option for an income stream would be to get some kind of sponsors or advertisers on my blog. But I don’t want to.
At the moment, I’m getting around 900 visitors per month from search (with 27k impressions in SERP). Though I’ve gotten more focused with my content and the updated website theme, I’m still not a good target for any kind of sponsoring or advertising partners, so I’m dismissing that out of hand.
Not to mention, that choosing to build my own webshop, rather than go on a platform or marketplace, was a conscious choice I made. When I sell through a platform, that platform gives me a percentage of what I sell because I supply the designs and they do the rest (marketing, manufacturing etc). And a marketplace usually charges a percentage of sales + various fees.
They can also decide to discount the products without my consent, which is one of those quirks of online marketplaces that feels about as good as getting punched in the stomach.
I knew from the beginning that starting my own webshop was going to be more work because in the online space I’m an unknown factor. I have to build my rankings in Google and work on getting reach through social platforms.
Which btw, I’m on Instagram. Come follow me! But the problem remains with any platform that you don’t own: they can decide to change their rules and policies at any time and you may be cut off from the people who actually want to hear from you. So, in the end, the best thing fro an independent creator and small-tiny-teensy business like me is to have channels that I own.
Which means my blog and my mailing list. And I’m hopeful that the time I’m investing in them now, is going to pay off later.
Passive income goals
This wasn’t something that I’d really seriously considered until I got that tip from Denise Duffield-Thomas. Sure, I’m aware of that you can have passive income, but for some reason it just never occurred to me that it could also apply to me!
Which is silly, because I already have a passive income! Some years ago, I built a niche website because I needed a project with which to learn how to build a WordPress site (and I’m a firm believer in learning on the job). Building that website was the pre-prelude for this blog.
Since that website is still mildly active in a very obscure corner of the internet (in a language spoken by just five million people, like 99% of which live in this country), it’s still churning in a small passive income.
So, passive income goal #1 is to let that site do its thing and bring in about 15€ per month.
And for my passive income goal #2 I’m going to set 100€ per month from selling a journaling book I’m going to create.
I’ve already started and the working title is Fall In Love With Yourself. It’s a journaling guide that will help you see all the wonderful things about yourself that are worth loving and appreciating.
Millennials, for which I just and just qualify (call me elder millennial), and Gen Zers experience record highs of anxiety and depression. The reasons are many and include things like smartphone adoption (the negative effects of which I’ve written before) and ever-shifting job market structures (you can read my advice on navigating that).
I think we’re also that generation that is at the turning point in how we want to treat people as a whole. Though Gen Z is the most diverse generation there ever has been, they’re still gonna take a while to come into their own. Right now millennials, my people, are the ones that have grown up enough to start stepping into decision-making positions – and this is slowly but surely changing the world.
Trying to break away from bad habits and changing the way things have been done for decades isn’t easy. And at the same time, we’re struggling with things like loneliness, financial insecurity and finding happiness.
So, inspired by all this, and by just plain being a millennial and dealing with all this, I felt like we could all use more self-love. In all the changes, it seems we’ve just lost the art of loving and appreciating ourselves. Not to mention that the mainstream media is obsessed with telling us that to be happy we must be mannequin-thin and be in a relationship.
Both of which I fervently disagree with.
As the daughter of a single mom, I can say first hand that a relationship doesn’t guarantee happiness. For a long time (like any kid who’s parents divorce) I kept hoping my parents would get back together. But as I got older I realised what a blessing it was that they didn’t because it would have made three people miserable instead.
Deciding to at it alone was one of the best choices my mom ever made. Because my dad would have made us as miserable as he is.
What I’m working on is putting together a journaling guide that will give you really good journaling prompts to work with (haven’t decided how may yet). And rather than focusing on finding that one perfect person among 7 billion, I want you to fall in love with yourself. Come what may in your life, the love you have for yourself will never leave you – and it’s something that you can always find again even if you do manage to misplace it.
So, those are my money goals for 2021. What goals are you gonna chase down and tackle like you’re a professional rugby player?