Job update: no change in employment status yet and no update from our new owner. I’m in a holding pattern per say but know that I need to start updating the resume and really sending out job applications as a just in case. Some of my current thoughts include:
- I really have enjoyed this new field and would like to continue growing in my role and understanding of the insurance world.
- I really like the people I work with but know that there is no guarantee that I would work with any of them once the plans are finalized for the acquisition.
- I’d really like the opportunity to learn from this much larger Health Plan. My current agency only serves the Medicaid population but the new organization is much larger and a more comprehensive plan (meaning it includes several lines of business like Medicare). I know there would be so much to learn quickly and that excites my nerdy brain.
- Change is hard and scary. I don’t want things to change but know that they will regardless of where I am so I need to get past the nerves.
I can’t predict what’s about to happen. I can only predict how I will respond and plan for calm transitions either way!
In the meantime (while I continue semi-ignoring the possible layoff), I’ll share some of my strategy for achieving my 2020 goals. My first goal is around my Etsy shop. It’s ironic that I listed this first on January 6th’s blog post not knowing what was coming later that day at my day job. I had fun designing and vending last year, and I feel like I’m finally starting to understand what people want and anticipating trends while simultaneously carving out a little niche for my style of design. The sticker making market is pretty saturated, but I’ve seen some of the gaps and am hopefully hitting the target when I try to tackle one of those gaps.
Because of this, I wanted to make my 2020 goal the year where I step out of my comfort zone marketing wise and adding financial goals to my shop. Having a day job, I wanted to be realistic about what I thought I could achieve, so I have initially set my mark at doubling my 2019 profits and taking a leap to participate in the largest planner conference in Chicago as a vendor.
Now, this number isn’t huge by any stretch of the imagination, but it does mean that I need specific sales goals for each month of the year. Something I have never had before. 20 days in to January, and I can happily state that I’m almost at that goal (which is blowing my mind). I don’t feel like I’ve done that much more than I did in 2019, but I guess I have been much more intentional about sharing my items in specific Facebook communities while also starting to be more inclusive of the various planner sizes out there.
Up until now, I had focused on planning for me and the types of planners I used. I told myself I needed to be able to use my stickers first (which is still true for the most part), but I had to realize that what I want and use may not be what’s in most demand. So I needed to listen. I’ve interacted more with customers in Etsy and via Instagram. I’ve started designing based on “wish lists” that people post in various groups – posts where people we say “I wish someone had a sticker for x y z.” These minor steps have proven to be successful. In fact, my most sold item currently is my Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge that I decided to post in a planner group geared to people who plan reading goals. Yes…entire planners filled with reading goals. I’m in awe of the number of books these individuals read in a year and the variety of reading challenges out there. Some are so much fun and I aspire to read as voraciously as some of the members in the group one day. Right now, I’m lucky if I ready a book every other month!
I’ve also posted a public calendar so that my customers can know when to come back and see what’s been listed in the shop. I have’t been totally on schedule but it is keeping me focused on intentional posting and designing. It’s really helped me interact more regularly which is good for staying on people’s radar.
While I didn’t expect to go all in on the shop this year to really push it, the universe may have other plans for me professionally. As terrifying as that is financially, I’m at least having fun using the creative side of my brain more. Adding some sales metrics and marketing goals will help my analytic brain stay fresh and focused, and I’m even considering setting higher targets based on my day-job scenario in case the worst comes true!
But first things first…let’s continue adding to the savings nest for now…until we know more.