2014 Report and 2015 Goals – Raising Performance
2014 was a great year for brand awareness. This time last year, Excel.TV did not exist. Although I expected to build out Excel TV eventually, I didn’t see it as a near term thing. I thought that I was going to spend most of 2014 building out Excel training programs and possibly start to build out a massive Excel site/blog/community. Then later I would get to Excel TV.
Looks like I am still heading in the direction of building out products and a massive online presence, but the tactics that are getting me there have changed. The path to my destination has changed. The journey is an interesting one, and it reminds me that I must be MOST concerned with my #1 goal… which is to work for myself, full time. Deviations in the path are only taken when the deviation moves me closer to my goal. I’m a “path of least resistance” type guy. I don’t believe in “magical thinking”… putting it out there to the universe, etc. But I do think that as your brain is more focused on a goal, that you become more AWARE of things that are aligned with that goal. Those things were likely always there… but now you see them in a way that you didn’t before. You are poised to take advantage of them.
What holds most of us back from achieving everything that we want out of life is our belief system. What we BELIEVE we are capable of. And here is the thing… beliefs are REALLY HARD to change. Some people go to a Tony Robbins retreat, just so they can be immersed in a new belief system for many days… plus walk on coals… just to change their belief system of what’s possible. A longer option is what I do… which is to end every day, noting the things that day that brought me closer to my goal… what happened positively? Remind myself daily that things are unfolding for me… Until I believe it. Believe that I am worthy and I am on the track to what I want. So, let’s discuss that track…
2015 Performance Goals
Process and Structure Goals
Corporate Structure: in 2014 I set up a sole proprietorship (dba). This will not be sufficient for 2015, as I will need to enter into contracts with people. So all of my properties will be part of a corporation (likely a LLC) in 2015 — possibly as early as next week. This will include the Excel.TV and ExcelSUMO related properties belonging to the corporation instead of me personally owning them. Excel.TV may be rolled out as a separate corporation at some time in the future. GOAL: incorporate in 2015.
Employees: in 2014, I personally edited over 170 videos for Excel TV. I cannot and should not do this in 2015. Video editing is not a wise use of my time. I have a process in place, I now need to hand it over to someone else. This likely won’t be an “employee” but rather a virtual assistant, likely in the Philippines. I will need to research this over the coming months and bring someone onboard that will allow me to scale. GOAL: Do no video editing personally by the end of 2015.
Partner with Industry Leaders: Partnering with Jordan Goldmeier and Oz du Soleil on Excel TV has been a good thing for all three of us. It has helped raise our profile in the Excel community and has given us all a platform that would have been more difficult if done alone. I/we also worked with the ModelOFF organizers in the 4th quarter and was in NYC as part of their Financial Modeling World Championship. In 2015, I will look to further partner with leaders in the Excel community to build products and services. GOAL: at least one additional partnership in 2015 for an Excel related product or service.
Web Assets and Collaboration
Web Assets: Coming into 2014, the only asset that I owned that was built out was this website, RickGrantham.com and SmallBusinessChampion.com. During the year, I purchased a premium domain, Excel.TV for a premium price. I picked up ExcelSUMO.com for a minimal price. I also purchased other top level domains as they became available, but haven’t done anything with them to date, these include Excel.Social, Excel.Careers, Excel.Wiki, Excel.Agency and Excel.Zone. These aren’t built out nearly as much as they could be, as we used the Excel.TV Youtube Channel for most of the 2014 build (and I don’t own Youtube) Using http://worthofweb.com as a guide, RickGrantham.com is worth $1,850. Excel.TV is worth $1,039, ExcelSUMO.com is worth $124 and SmallBusinessChampionBundle.com is $103. I get that these values are arbitrary… but at least its something to start with. Goal: 2015 Total Value = $10,000 as the goal is to go exponential this year. 2014 was $3,116
Social Accounts: Made a lot of traction here in 2014. I am not going to quote the RickGrantham.com social sites… as FB followers were through advertising and the results I got were shady at best. Perhaps I will start to track “engagement” instead of followers in a future year. But for now, lets focus on the social channels that are organic and are being cultivated:
Will also continue to experiment with newer accounts at About.Me, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Lead a Tribe: Grow groups and communities.
Traffic: Not a great year for traffic. I am doing really good with Google Rankings related to Excel Books, like “Best Excel Books”, “Advanced Excel Books”, Excel Books”, etc. and starting to move up the rankings for things like “Excel Training”. These terms set me up nicely for the development of future products (and affiliate sales), but I do not want to rely on Google for traffic. As a total for all my sites:
- Sessions (visits)
- best month – Nov 2014 = 4,667
- 2015 best month goal = 12,000
- Users (visitors)
- best month – Nov 2014 = 3,865
- 2015 best month goal = 10,000
- best month – Nov 2014 = 9,324
- 2015 best month goals = 30,000
The pageviews per visit were lifted dramatically by Excel.TV. When people come to the site, the click on several pages and check out several videos before leaving. Excel.TV can (and should) be a driving force for growth next year. We must build out the site to be MORE than a Google Hangout. More than just a place where we occasionally blog and categorize our videos. The google hangout videos will be a smaller and smaller piece of the site as we continue to grow.
Email List: Currently about 250 people signed up for various email lists. This must expand to over 1,000 people in 2015.
Products and Sales Goals
I will come back to this product and sales goals area a few times over the coming weeks and provide better goals. The truth is that I have built ZERO products last year. My entire year was getting Excel.TV off the ground. Well, its off the ground, now I need to circle back and build out products. I need money from products to feed the business growth.
Excel Templates: I own http://SmallBusinessChampionBundle.com where I sell a series of Excel templates for small business owners. I built them in 2013. The site was down for 2-3 month in 2014 due to a server crash. 36 sales in 2014. Goal = 100 sales in 2015.
- My best month for Amazon sales was moving 68 books/products, mostly from my Excel Books page. 2015 Goal is to have my best month selling over 200 books/products from Amazon.
- Rarely make more than $100/month from all other affiliate sales combined. I should be making at least $0.50 a month from everyone on my email list. So this number should be $500 a month by the end of next year. Goal – Have at least one month where I make $500 in affiliate sales through my email list.
My affiliate program: I have not built out my affiliate program yet. ZERO dollars from sales. Need a successful product first. No immediate need to build out affiliate program.
Video Training: I have yet to release video training. However, this is part of my central strategy in 2015. The goal is to release 2 video excel courses in 2015.
Books: I have not written any books and have no immediate plans to write one in 2015. However, I was mentioned in 2 books in the last 12 months. In Jordan Goldmeier’s Advanced Excel Essentials book I was mentioned in the “Acknowledgements” section . In Oz du Soleil’s book Guerrilla Data Analysis v2, I wrote a testimonial for the back cover of the book.
Speaking at Conferences: I typically speak at 2 conferences a year. This year should be no different. Goal: Speak at 2 conferences
Improve Fitness: I spent the last half of 2014 starting down this journey with 3 months of P90X3 and 3 months of the Body Beast program. I want to continue down this path and will use my own “made up” metric to track my progress publicly… abdomen size divided by arm size (bicep). I started July 2014 at 43″ waist and 14″ arm for 3.07. I will end 2014 at 43″ and 14.75″ for 2.92. If I could end 2015 at 40″ and 15″ that would put me at 2.67. So that will be the metric… 2.67. Which will require getting stronger and losing some of the belly. Goal: 2.67
Decrease Consumption: In 2014 I stopped using cable TV. I bought an Apple TV, a Netflix and HULU Plus subscription, and a digital antennae. Also turn off the central heat and air when I am out of town traveling. Electric bill is cut in half, and with my monthly cable savings, I buy new TVs, antennaes and Apple TVs. In 2015 I will take this to an entirely different level and get COMPLETELY out of debt. No mortgage, no car loan, no credit cards. Nothing. I will need to sell my house to do this. More details on this goal are found here. Goal = Zero debt.
Zen Out: I meditate. I use the Holosync program and try to meditate whenever I can. In 2015 I will complete Purification Level 3. Goal: Complete Purification Level 3.