One sign of a successful business, in my opinion, is one that is adaptable and can deal with change as a means of growth. In 2013 I spent quite a bit of my time – up to 50% – providing consulting services to clients. This advice was mainly focused on marketing and reaching the genealogy community.
In 2014, I’ve restructured my offerings to get away from hourly billings and more towards “products” that focus on content marketing. Examples include blog posts, articles, marketing copy, and webinar development.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I love to write and many of my clients agree that I write rather well. So that’s where the focus is in 2014. In addition, writing is a good partner to the goal of “more passive income” which means “write it once and wait for the royalties.” So where I can I am willing to forego an upfront payment and instead take an author or editor royalty on the sale of the finished product.
I’ve been fortunate enough to learn the ins and outs of self-publishing over the past year; to the point of having nine of my own e-books available for sale at Amazon. And I’ve translated my skills and experience in using the Amazon Kindle Publishing platform to edit and publish the entire Legacy Quick Guide series in Kindle format.
Look for more e-books from me and from other genealogy authors on the Kindle platform as well as other formats in 2014.
A big year for travel including trips to Australia, Burbank, Indianapolis, New York, Palm Springs, Richmond, St. Paul, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, Sandusky, Southern Illinois, and local Chicagoland cities. Much of the travel will be related to genealogy conferences and speaking engagements. Given that I traveled over 50,000 miles in 2013, I may come close to doubling that amount in 2014.
Having delivered over 80 individual lectures in 2013, mostly in-person, I’m looking forward to about the same number for 2014. I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to greatly increase the number of webinars offered, especially to genealogy societies across the United States. This is an indicator, at least in my eyes, that more and more societies are comfortable with the concept of webinars and are using them to bring more speakers to their members at a better price point.
I’m not done putting together my personal goals and some of them, frankly, are too personal to put in a blog. Taking better care of myself is an overarching goal which encompasses reducing my weight, getting more exercise and staying on top of chronic medical issues. Last year was a real eye-opener for me in terms of medical issues and I count my blessings each and every day that I can get up each morning on my own, dress myself, feed myself and earn a living.
One Word: Gratitude
Well maybe more than one word but I am so thankful that I’m pursuing my dream of running my own business and helping others learn more about genealogy and family history. Other words and phrases that I’ll be using as my mantras for 2014 include:
- Gravitate towards good
- Stay glad
- Go big and go home (you can do both)
- Get out there
- Go far
And I’ll focus on putting the “gee” back in genealogy. I hope that 2014 brings you all that you want and more not just in terms of genealogy but life in general!
© 2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee