Monthly Archives: January 2009

Vacationing and Owning A Business

For Christmas I went on vacation to Cancun with my family and friends. There were lots of relaxing and fun activities like this:

….and this:


(Notice the House Of Rave shirt)!

…but there are some definite upsides and downsides to owning a business and taking a vacation. For the most part I prepared for my absence and there was little work to be done, so it wasn’t that bad.

While I was the only one who generated any income during the trip (good), I was also the only one who had to take time out of the day to work (bad). Fortunately I don’t see this as a bad thing because I start going crazy if I don’t stay at least slightly productive several days in a row.

On two different occasions I whipped out my laptop in the lobby of the resort (working in the room isn’t as fun) and started handling business. Each session was maybe 1-2 hours, and pretty much looked like this the whole time:

Getting the work done during vacation actually makes the vacation more enjoyable in my case because I get a feeling of accomplishment out of it. However if you want a week completely void from thoughts about work, owning a business may not always be the best thing.

2009 Goals

Flashback to January 2007 I decided to try not having any yearly goals. Well that didn’t go well as planned (or…unplanned)?

I like how Earl Nightingale put it:

Think of a ship with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take – it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there.

Now let’s take another ship – just like the first – only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach – a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it has no destination and no guidance.

While 2007 was a good year, it was also a relatively stagnant year. At the end of 2007 I wasn’t much further along as I should or could have been with clear cut goals. It’s a pretty gross feeling.


Bad idea.

Somewhere in the February to April part of 2008 I once again started focusing and making very clear cut goals on yearly/monthly revenue and other things. It worked great. Making month to month comparisons was especially helpful because you can literally SEE yourself slipping or getting lazy in numbers:

Before I made my 2009 list of goals, I made sure to really think about each goal first. I used this criteria:

  • Is this goal something I REALLY want?
  • Am I willing to put in the time and effort to accomplish this, or is it just something I’d “like” to accomplish?
  • Will this actually benefit me?
  • Be specific.

Here are some of my top level biz goals for 2009:

  1. Have first $83,333 revenue month at House Of Rave ($1,000,000/year equiv) by 4th quarter 2009.
  2. Spend around one full month with the House Of Rave drop shipper to re-vamp and improve processes.
  3. Make and upload two HoR product picture/video reviews per week.
  4. Keep a more aggressive track on month to month income, taking a few minutes on the 1st, 10th, 15th and 25th of the month to make sure monthly goals are being met…and if not, ways to meet them by months end.
  5. Start preparing for holiday seasons & mini-seasons 3 months in advance. One month for product additions, two months for tweaking.
  6. Any changes made should be measured. Don’t simply make changes and see they improve things, actually measure what was improved. How did each specific change effect traffic, conversion rate, or revenue (and other metrics)?
  7. …tying in from #6: Keep a close watch on month-to-month trends and numbers. Print out charts and keep in a folder like I keep my daily to-do lists.
  8. Maintain and increase current year-to-year growth rate of House Of Rave: If I compare House Of Rave revenue from X-month 2007 to X-month 2008 there was a minimum of 177% increase and a maximum of 504% increase. I’ll post the numbers at some point. Profit was increased by 307% from 2007 to 2008.


SOME PERSONAL GOALS:

  1. Start buying proper furnishings.
    For some reason I hate owning a lot of big stuff, especially furniture. It has nothing to do with money, but everything to do with portability and freedom. Previously I’ve lived in furnished apartments which provide all the furniture (and it’s nice furniture too). When I started living in a house I absolutely detested the idea of having to BUY a bed. It took the combined force of my mom and my roommate (who owns the house) to make me buy a bed. My mom literally stuffed hundreds of dollars in cash into my palm saying I had to buy a real bed with it…and my roommate said he wouldn’t let me live there if I slept on anything but a proper bed.

    I can sleep on the floor with a thin sheet for all I care, so a bed seemed like a ridiculous notion to me (I know I know….I sound like a homeless person).

    Anyhow, a few months ago I think I officially became an adult when I…….bought new pillows. Under my own will power I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought a king sized pillow and a body pillow. It was a big step. It was the first (non-forced) purchase I’ve ever made that benefited my own physical comfort. This is the first cautious step into slowly becoming somewhat of a grown up.

  2. Spend a few short minutes every morning for some thinking time.
    I used to take yoga classes and after an hour of intense positions you’d just lay there. Those few moments made all that work worth it. Like clockwork this sudden feeling of mental clarity would hit me. My mind would slow down to a halt and this euphoric sensation would take over. It’s hard to describe, but very cool.

    I would try to duplicate this some mornings without the hour of yoga preceeding it, and I found that simply sitting in a comfortable meditation-like position (but not comfortable enough to fall asleep), would yield a similar clarity, but without the brain-shutting-down part. This means I can think about my plans, goals and objectives for the day in a clear state. I also tend to get some great ideas during this time (although about 50% of my ideas still come to me whilst showering).

    Doing this morning exercise every day would feel great and be very beneficial.

So far these are the only goals I have that I know I can stick to. They can always be modified or added to during the year.

Anyhow, have a great 2009!