The Year in Review, Part 3: Hello, 2013
2012 is behind us. We survived the Rapture, the Mayan Apocalypse, Hurricane Sandy and probably 1,001 other calamities, real or imagined. It’s nearly the end of February, and the start of the new year has been an interesting one.
So, here’s what I’m working on in 2013:
1) Growing my Creative Business
Last year was tremendous for me as an actor, an improviser and a dancer. I booked more (mainly VO) gigs than I ever have, and I finally fulfilled a long time goal, which was to learn Argentine Tango. This year’s challenge is to grow: realistically, I’m aiming for a 10-20% growth in bookings over last year.
The long term goal is to double or even triple my growth; that is the difference between being a ‘starving artist’ and a ‘sustaining, thriving artist’ - one whose income is completely based on creating her art.
To do this will be a balancing act: taking classes to stay focused and relevant, networking appropriately and auditioning as much as I can.
2) Improve Cash Flow & Management Of Cash Flow
Digging into my savings was tough. Paying unnecessary fees was tougher (and made me angry at myself in the process). The goal this year is to pay no unnecessary fees. Which means, managing cash flow better. To that end, I’ve been doing my homework:
- digging into my finances to figure out how much I need at which times of the month
- plugging those figures into various cash flow calculators to figure out what my minimum “daily balance” needs to be
- and looking into freelance or other work to sustain me as I continue to pursue my dreams
3) Staying Connected / Reconnecting
Losing a parent is one of the toughest thing a child faces. Even when the child is grown and long gone from home. For me, it was a reminder: tell the people you care about how much they mean to you. Purge yourself of relationships that cause you pain or harm. Forgive yourself and others. And reconnect with those you wish you hadn’t lost touch with.
I started this “project” off with a purge: I used to have two Rolodexes (remember those?) full of business cards. I had collected them over many years, starting as an undergrad in college. I went through them all over the holiday break and sorted through them. I scanned the ones I wanted to keep or stay in touch with. I purged those that were no longer relevant, or those for whom I knew the data was old and outdated. The next step is to rebuild those contacts - with an e-mail, a phone call… who knows?
Some of these folks may not remember me. They may not want to be found. That’s okay. But I might just get to reconnect with folks who, at some point, touched my life, and say thanks.
4) In Case of Emergency
My Dad’s life taught me a lesson: Be Prepared. He had a stroke and fell into a coma. No emergency directives, no DNR paperwork, nothing to be found that told us, his family, how he wanted to live out his last days.
Last year, this project was on my list of things to do, and I kept postponing it. I just didn’t want to confront such a large, lonely project. But this year, especially as the anniversary of his and my grandmother’s passing approaches, it’s a must do: Be Prepared. Which means, making sure my own will, end of life directives, home inventory and “emergency binder” of important contacts and info are put together. It also means that my family knows where all this information is located. To get me started, I visited a website called getyourshittogether.com, which provides templates and how-to’s for such things. And it’s exactly what I need to get started.
5) Managing Energy & Time
It’s a bit ironic, because I’m getting over a cold as I write about managing my energy. But it’s true. In order to do everything I’ve set out for myself, the resources that require the most optimization are Energy and Time. When they are gone - that’s it, they’re gone.
For Energy, I plan to continue running, supplemented by yoga and dance. I just finished my second half marathon and am seeking out a third to run later this year. By doing so, it ensures that I keep a running schedule. Yoga has always been restorative for me physically and psychically, and I practice it for the balance it brings to my life. And Dance is my passion, with a side benefit of getting exercise and staying social.
For Time, meditation and keeping my schedule focused. A meditation practice (for me) is a way to center myself, get present and focus on what really matters to me. Keeping my schedule focused means balancing work, social life and other activities. It means limiting meetings to certain days of the week, so that I can focus on creating and growing my business on other days.
We’ve already begun, and the year is flying by. More stories to follow. But first a question: What are you working on for this year, and how is it going?