New Year’s resolutions and goals?

I’m not going there. Not today anyway.

You’re not going to hear about pulling out a really good 2018 either. Too late for that. It’s already happened or it’s not going to. Not much you can do to change it now.

But…you can finish 2018 on a high note. And you should, because hardly anyone does.

Most people coast through the holidays. It’s the natural tendency, right? Coast through the holidays, then ramp up again on January 1.

Coast mode sure makes for a carefree December. Instead of focusing on your business, you enjoy the spirit of the season. Spend time with loved ones, do some holiday shopping, drink hot cocoa by the fireplace, and watch Hallmark movies. What’s December for anyway?

Don’t do that! I implore you – putting your business on “pause” through the holidays will cause you more stress come January.

Do both.

Enjoy the season and finish the year strong business-wise and financially.

You may not be on track for a record-breaking year in 2018. (If you are, you can probably stop reading right now.)

But you can plan for your best ever December. Aim for a PR (Personal Record, lingo from my running days) for this particular month. If you’ve never kept track before, this will automatically be your new PR.

Here are 7 ways to finish strong and make that happen:

1. Take stock now (not in January).

Do a half-day self-assessment. Figure out exactly where you are (revenue and profit-wise) for the year, month-by-month or quarterly. You should already know your numbers, which should make this quick, and it could either be fun or painful, depending on the amounts.

You need to see where you are and what you’ve done before moving forward.

2. Buck the status quo.

Make up your mind to WORK this month. Very few people really do.

Yes, it’s a mindset thing first and foremost. And it helps to be surrounded by people who are on the same page and finishing strong along with you. More on that in a minute.

3. Get your house in order.

“House” meaning your business, of course. You know how people clean their houses for the holidays? Well, let’s do some business cleaning, too.

Purge old files, get rid of the clutter in your office, clean up your desk. It’s hard to think straight when you’re surrounded by mess.

Go further. Delete emails. Remove any interaction that didn’t add to your business in 2018 and isn’t likely to in 2019. Clean, purge, and burn, baby! It feels good to pare down, and it leads to the next step…

4. Salvage one thing from the ashes…

The victories and highlights! No matter how your year’s been up until now, there had to be some. Look for what you did right in 2018 – the projects that went well, the clients who were happy, the glowing testimonials.

5. Replicate the victories for a few quick wins.

Whatever you did right this year? Do it again, now!

Seriously, this is no time to reinvent the wheel. Something worked? Put it on repeat.

We should be doing this anyway, but so often we get caught up in the latest hot new marketing method-of-the-month, we forget the tried and true, the methods that worked for us. That’s all that counts.

6. Shake the bushes.

Using your victory list, rustle up some business. It’s out there. Again, most people aren’t doing this in December. They’re coasting, not aiming for a PR.

Not you.

Send out some simple emails to anyone you did business with in 2018, or anyone who expressed interest:

“Hope you’re doing well. It’s been a while. I have some ideas to help you get off to a good start in 2019. Let’s talk in December – soon – to make it happen.”

That’s all you need to say. Keep it short and casual. Some will respond. Connect with them and get something going before the end of the year.

7. Enlist help.

This could be the most important action item of all. We can’t do this alone. We weren’t meant to operate by ourselves.

Yes, we’re small business people. Entrepreneurs. One-person LLCs or Sole Proprietors.

But we simply can’t operate in a vacuum.

We need someone to tell us if we’re on track or not. Someone to give us feedback, ideas, and direction. Someone to hold our feet to the fire, and make sure we’re doing what we say we’re going to do.

In the corporate world, a manager or boss does that. There’s a reason for the standard management structure – it works.

In the sales world, the sales manager plays those roles.

In our world, the independent copywriter world? Hard to find someone to help you like that, unless you hire an expensive coach. Or, you can…

  • Surround yourself with other like-minded people. Sharp, motivated copywriters who give each other feedback and keep each other accountable.
  • Find a place where people share ideas about what’s working now. In the trenches.
  • Get involved in a community where talented copywriters are helping each other navigate this New Economy, this “Wild West” landscape where the old models of doing business are quickly becoming outdated and obsolete.

I know a place like that.

It’s called Cafe Writer, and it’s a community for people like you, people who have big plans and know it’s a lot easier when you do it together.

“The strategies I’ve learned in the Cafe have earned me an extra $7,500 this month – all paid in advance (and in addition to what I normally make). Naturally, I’m recommending the Cafe Writer Premier Membership to anyone wanting to grow.”

– Premier Member Matt Hall

The doors are open at Cafe Writer, and we’d love to have you.

I’ve done it both ways. I’ve tried to slog it out by myself, and I’ve done it with help, surrounding myself with the right kind of people.

And at this time of year, in the past, I’ve coasted through the holidays, and I’ve finished strong.

I can tell you – when you coast through the holidays, you pay for it later.

Finishing the year strong, on the other hand, gives you momentum to set up a good year. You’ll be a step ahead of the masses, and they’ll be the ones playing catch-up all year long.

Take stock. Evaluate your year. Buck the status quo. Purge! Salvage the victories. Replicate them. Shake the bushes to drum up business.

And enlist help.

That’s what Cafe Writer is all about. Don’t wait until January. Join us now!

Steve Roller

Author Steve Roller

I'm a business coach, author, copywriter, world traveler (33 countries on five continents so far), and professional speaker. In addition to helping companies get more customers and make more money, I help other writers create profitable businesses. I offer one-on-one coaching, professional copy critiques, and live, in-person business-building workshops. When I'm not writing, coaching, or speaking, I enjoy nothing more than hanging out with my wife and four kids and planning my next adventure.

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