A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.

2010 Goals; 2010 #themeword; Big Announcement!

2010 GoalsIt’s time to recap my 2009 goals and set some really big ones for 2010. Read on to find out how I did on my 2009 goals, and then for a big announcement that you will see me unveil in 2010!

2009 Goal #1: 350 paying customers for Inspiring Innovators.
As an explanation, I incorporated my company as Inspiring Innovators, so any product I release will have that as the company name behind it. But the actual inspiringinnovators.com site is what I am referring to here.

I did launch the site, and got some paying customers. But, frankly, the back end sucked. It was confusing.

So, I didn’t meet this goal. I want to redo the backend and launch again in 2010. I plan to scrap Amember and move to Wishlist Member, which is far more intuitive. Lesson learned: Test your back end before you launch.

Also, I never had a sales letter set up for Inspiring Innovators. Another lesson: Do a sales letter! I tested it as a blog site where people could preview the audios and then sign up after listening to the preview, but people were confused by that, too. When I re-launch, I’ll probably just do a straight long-form sales letter on the front page, and you can preview the interviews here on erica.biz.

I also plan to hire a VA to schedule interviews for me, as I found I slacked on getting interviews set up.

2009 Goal #2: Grow erica.biz to 4000 subscribers. Done, and done! I had about 800 subscribers or so when I set this goal. Truly, it has been an awesome year for erica.biz.

2009 Goal #3: Complete our move to San Diego. Done, and loving it here! We moved July 1.

As they say, two out of three ain’t bad!

On to my goals for 2010. I have an exciting announcement to make!

Goal #1: “10 Products in ’10”

My primary goal is to release 10 products in 2010. Most of them will be information products, like Guest Post Secrets.

To release 10 products in ’10, I have to have a laser focus. I can’t start all 10 projects at once; I’d never accomplish anything. Part of my goal is to finish one product and release it before starting on the next one.

This is really a “can’t lose” goal. If it’s the end of 2010 and I’ve released, say, 6 products and achieved goal #2, I’m going to be really proud of myself, even though I didn’t technically meet this goal.

Goal #2: Launch a Startup (You Heard It Here First!)

One of my 10 products is going to be a new website with potential for strong growth and revenues.

That’s right–the really exciting news is that I’m actually going to launch my own startup!

I don’t plan to take on any venture capital; I don’t need it. I still haven’t decided whether I want to code the site myself myself or hire someone. My little company is going to take on some big players, including at least one that is VC-funded.

I am really amused about this. 10 years in the Valley and I never once created a “Web 2.0” website. I stuck with blogging and running a web hosting company. Now that I’ve moved to San Diego, I’m going to launch a startup with a Web 2.0 business plan that competes with other Web 2.0 companies (and, frankly, a lot of Web 1.0 companies.)

Although I can’t say more details about the startup now, I can say this:

The idea came to me in 2009 and just would not leave me alone. There is a venture-backed company doing this exact thing, but they are doing a piss-poor job of it. Since, at its core, it’s a relatively simple idea, I looked around for other companies that were doing this, and shockingly, I didn’t find any.

I ran Google keyword searches, and there are over 250,000 people a month searching for this. Most of the sites in the search results aren’t productive to the person searching for these terms.

I expect the development cost for this site to be minimal–about $1500 if I code it myself, and only a few thousand dollars if someone else codes it. I have a monetization plan.

This is a simple idea. There are other companies in this space. It’s just that I think I can do it better than they can, and I have a specific plan to achieve that. Plus, since I didn’t take $32 million in venture capital, I can achieve profitability quickly and (hopefully) make money month after month.

Goal #3: 20,000 Subscribers for erica.biz

erica.biz had massive growth in 2009, thanks to you! I easily hit my goal of 4000 subscribers. Here’s my stretch goal for 2010: 20,000 subscribers. That’s going to require more blogging than I did in 2009, but I’m ready for that.

To summarize, here are my big goals for 2010:

  • Create and release 10 products in 2010. This includes Guest Post Secrets, my startup, and whatever other information products or pieces of software I choose to release.
  • Launch my startup. Of course, I’ll be detailing the startup costs and more about it right here. Stay tuned!
  • Grow erica.biz to 20,000 subscribers. A big “stretch goal” that requires me to write a lot more…but it will be fun!

My #themeword for 2010

My #themeword for 2010 is CREATE. 2010 will see me release several products, including Guest Post Secrets, and my new startup.

I created the #themeword meme in 2007, and I’m so excited to see how it’s taken off! To participate, just think about one word that you would like to describe your new year. I encourage you to make it positive. Your #themeword can unfold in unexpected ways!

Other people who have posted their #themeword (click on their links to see what their #themewords are):
Erica O’Grady
Tara Hunt
Kathy Sierra
Donna Maria Coles Johnson
Kendall Ruth
Cati Brown
Ruth Kalinka
Andy Dolph

If you’ve posted your #themeword on your blog (and used #themeword in your blog post), please let me know, and I will update this post!

Search #themeword on Twitter to see everyone who has been Tweeting their #themeword.

Happy New Year! Please feel free to post or link to your own goals in the comments.

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I'm Erica Douglass.
After selling my online business at age 26 for over $1 million, I created this blog to help you grow your own business quickly.

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