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Why I didn’t achieve any of my 2018 business goals

Why I didn’t achieve any of my 2018 business goals


At the beginning of last year, I wrote a blog post over on Black & White Studios about the 5 big business goals I wanted to smash in 2018. I was excited, confident, and eager to achieve my dreams, but unfortunately, at the end of the year I had achieved 0 of these goals, and I’m going to tell you five reasons why I think that happened.

Firstly, so that you understand the context, here are those five goals for 2018:

  • Design & release a typeface

  • Design & paint a large-scale mural

  • Design & sell the first Black & White Studios product collection

  • Teach monthly workshops

  • Write & release an ebook

These are pretty lofty but fun goals that would have been awesome to have done, right?! To be honest, they are all still things I want to do and will have as goals in the future, but here’s why they weren’t right for 2018:

  1. They weren’t informed

When I wrote these goals, I was only two months into full-time freelance. I was throwing some things out into the universe that I wanted to do, but I didn’t even know what a full year of freelance would look like, how it would feel and what might happen. After now having done a full year of freelance, my goals and the way that I set them have changed a lot, so while these were fun goals to have at the time, by the end of the year it was clear that they wouldn’t have worked. Only by going through this process have I learned that though, so I don’t regret them! I’m just more informed now!

2. They weren’t timely

Like I said, these goals are still things that I would love to do in my life! I can’t think of things much cooler than painting a mural or releasing a typeface and I’m sure that I will do them one day, I just know now that they weren’t right at the time. The first year of business is a crazy experience full of mistakes, lessons and growth, so that should have been my focus, not wild ideas like these!

3. They weren’t realistic

The goals not being timely brings me to my next point, that they weren’t realistic. In my first year I really needed to and ended up focusing on getting clients, making their experience the best that it can be, and getting paid so that I could pay my bills and look after myself! Sure there were other fun things that happened along the way too, but they weren’t the priority. These goals will be realistic at some point in my life, but not in the first year of business.

4. They weren’t relevant

As 2018 went along, I slowly began to clarify what it is that Black & White Studios does and what I want it to become, and unfortunately, these goals became less and less relevant. Black & White Studios has become about visualising visions for my clients through brand strategy and visual identity design, not selling them physical products or fonts. Some of these things will work for Black & White Studios in a different format in the future and others I will do under my personal brand, but as they year progressed, I realised that right now and in their current format, they aren’t relevant to Black & White Studios and where that’s going.

5. They weren’t accountable

To be honest with you, even though these goals didn’t really make sense, I could have made them happen if I had been accountable, but I wasn’t. I hardly ever checked in with them, made any progress on them, or spoke publicly about them. Over the last year, I’ve learned so much about structuring my goals, staying accountable and actually making them happen, all of which I’m implementing this year, but before I realised all this, I just didn’t do them!  

I may not have achieved any of my 2018 business goals for Black & White Studios, but I did learn a heck of a lot about why. I’m confident that my goals for 2019 are informed, timely, realistic, relevant and accountable, and I can’t wait to get to the end of the year and see them checked off!

To hold me accountable, my goals for Black & White Studios in 2019 are based off the Think Creative Collective method of setting quarterly goals working backward from a financial goal, then a subscriber goal, a content goal and a product goal, and are as follows.

  • Q4: Double 2018’s revenue

  • Q3: Grow the email list to 1000

  • Q2: Release a course

  • Q1: Launch new & improved services/packages

Overarching all of that, my yearly theme is CLARITY – I learnt so much in 2018, and towards the end started to clarify a lot about what I’m doing, and I want to continue that sense of clarity into everything that I do in 2019, so that I can make better decisions, focus more and have a clearer sense of direction.

I’d love to know how you went with your 2018 goals! Did you smash them, or were you a little more like me?! Either way, let’s make 2019’s goals happen together – you in?

– Hollie x

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