One Entrepreneur’s 2008 Goals
Jan 1 2008

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I don’t really like making New Year’s resolutions.  However, I’m making an exception this year because I figure I’ll try something new.  Maybe I’ll even make quarterly resolutions!  This is the first year I’ve had a blog which means I can now write them down and let my readers hold me accountable.  So here it goes. 

Business Goals

Raise funds for Babble Soft.  I will finish the business plan, refine the pitch, and set up meetings with angel investors.

Establish additional nanny partnerships and other corporate partnerships that lead to increased revenue and revenue opportunities.  I have to make hundreds of calls, send hundreds of emails, set up meetings, and close deals.

Identify and become a member of at least 2 organizations that will help build my network to reach our customers.  If you have any suggestions on what organizations to join I would love to hear them!

Convince some great companies to advertise with us.  If I can demonstrate a significant increase in users (SEO please work!) of our applications, I believe those advertisers who want to reach new parents and caregivers that are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, changing diapers, taking medicine, pumping, and trying to get some priceless, precious sleep would be *extremely* interested.  Plus with our planned new applications that audience widens and deepens.

Find great people to help make it happen!  Must find great people.  Must find great people!  Key team additions needed are 1) Experienced Senior Product Manager with strong technical skills to manage products from design to implementation to market and 2) Experienced Internet Partnership, Social Media & Ad Sales Manager (does such a person even exist?).  Must find great people!

Personal Goals

Lose 5 pounds.  I will eat less and exercise more.

Take Yoga classes.  I will locate, sign up, and attend classes.  Anyone have any recommendations for instructors in the Austin, Texas area?

Laugh more.  I will find more funny and fun people to hang out with. :-)

Be less concerned with what other people think.  This will probably be the hardest one for me to accomplish and the hardest to measure.  Worrying about what people think of me, my decisions, my company, my appearance, my parenting, my words, etc. sometimes unduly stresses me out and takes up way too much energy that should be devoted elsewhere.  I’m not alone in this issue.  I’ve seen many bloggers write about it but more women than men which may be a result of our society or more likely Oprah.  I will work to drastically reduce the negative self talk in my head.  I think Yoga will help me with this goal.

My Personal Goals are mostly in my control.  I decide what to eat.  I decide when/how to exercise, etc.  I decide when to pick up the phone and sign up for a Yoga class.  

Achieving the Business Goals, on the other hand, are less in my control.  I can do everything right but if the angel investors don’t understand or care for the market or market need I’m addressing then funding sources might not be available.  If the stock market crashes and everyone quits investing then, c’est la vie.  If the funding doesn’t come through then I won’t be able to hire great people, etc., etc.  I believe I have the most control over establishing additional partnerships and joining organizations but that’s what I believe right now on January 1, 2008.  As the Internet has proven, things change at the speed of each new thought!

What are your goals?  Feel free to leave a comment here and/or leave a link back to your blog to where you posted your 2008 thoughts.

If you’d like to see if I meet my goals (or even heckle me – I don’t mind as long as its funny and helps me with my Laugh More goal :-) ) subscribe to this blog’s feed and share your wonderful thoughts with me.

Happy New Year Blogosphere!

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, baby sleep, blogging, breastfeeding, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, Just For Fun, random stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Social Media Mania – What’s A Gal To Do?
Dec 13 2007

Wendy at eMoms at Home did a post recently where she asked her readers “How do you Use Social Media to Promote Your Business?”  I didn’t have time to answer then and I’m sure I missed out on the free books, which is OK because I never seem to have time to read any books these days.  I’ve had a few days off from software testing, so I figured I’d do a post about it.

There are so many aspects to social media that it’s tough for an entrepreneur to keep up.  I mean we still have to sleep!  Fortunately, I’m fairly social.  I mentioned on a post that Liz Strauss did recently called Business and Life: Are You Making the Most of the Conversation? that “I am a Participant, rarely a Lurker, and often a Listener.”

It is fun making friends all over the world and it’s easy to be social from behind your computer when it fits with your schedule.  In the past I resisted joining sites like facebook because of the time commitment

To do a social network right, I figure it means committing significant time to it.  When you are launching a start-up, planning to raise funds, taking care of kids, maintaining a house, etc., it’s not easy to be as active as one should be in these networks over time.  But so far it’s been fascinating to see how other people interact with the networks.  I mean can you believe that facebook has over 55 million users all over the world?  That is amazing!  So here’s what I’ve done and what I’ve observed:

I started this blog (it had a different name before) with the help of Connie Reece. She gave me the kick start I needed! I think I did my first post back in May 2007. The blog has been fun and I know it has driven some additional traffic to my company site, Babble Soft, but to date I haven’t seen that it’s resulted in more than just a few additional sales. As a result of having a blog, I joined MyBlogLog, FeedBurner, Technorati, StumbleUpon, Digg, and BlogHer. Wendy was also kind enough to invite me to join the Home Business & Entrepreneur FeedBurner Ad Network. I haven’t made much money from these particular ad networks (maybe in total $100) but it has given me exposure to other bloggers and made me aware of other businesses.

I entered some competitions to hopefully win prizes and get additional exposure. I can’t remember all of them but I know I did one at Alpha Moms and I just entered Intuit’s Just Start challenge where I have the potential to win $50K for my business! The ‘vote for me’ widget will be on the right hand side of my blog until shortly after their voting deadline of December 16. After I sent an email to some friends asking if they would vote for me, I found out that people had to log in to do so. Knowing how much I hate to create unnecessary logins, my guess is that I won’t win on votes, but I might win in the unique idea category and because we have jokingly referred to our Baby Insights application as “Quicken for Baby.” :-)

I have participated in some blog memes: 8 Random Things About Me and Blogging Tip Meme. Neena just tagged me again for a My Favorite Words theme. Memes give you exposure but they are time consuming so I think after doing this last meme, I will have to put a notice somewhere to let people know not to tag me unless they let me know first because I would hate to leave a meme go unanswered. I’m answering the Favorite Word meme by bolding my favorite words in this post (in case you were wondering why some of the words are in bold text). Isabella at Change Therapy I hope that’s OK with you! What do these words say about me? I guess that I’m a driven, committed, somewhat zany, looking to learn, searching for connection/peace, sleep deprived, mom-ified, and sometimes creative.

I joined LinkedIn. I’ve found LinkedIn to be useful for business related networking…for answers to specific questions. I haven’t yet established a deal or attempted to look for employees there which I hear is what it’s meant for. I’ve been able to answer a few questions on LinkedIn but I don’t think I’ve contributed to the increase of anyone’s business yet.

I joined facebook. Mostly to learn from the king of social networking sites. I may do some targeted ads there some day when time and money permit.  I also set up a company page on facebook for Babble Soft.

I engaged a full service SEO/SEM firm.

I just joined twitter. I even added the little widget to my sidebar, and I integrated it with facebook. I really resisted joining twitter. I had no idea why anyone would be interested in my day to day activities. More importantly I didn’t think I would be interested in anyone else’s day to day activities! I already have about 20 followers. You may be wondering what pushed me over the edge and made me join twitter…well it was the Duran Duran concert I attended earlier this week. I was there and I suddenly thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could tell my friends and random strangers about the fact I’m at this cool concert?’ and then all of a sudden I “got” twitter! Will it result in additional business? I’m not sure. Time will tell.

I have not yet joined MySpace or YouTube (but I’ve been to the site many times).  If I had to guess, I will probably join YouTube before MySpace, but first I need to create some videos!

Overall, I think I’m still at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building a powerful online network and I’m a little bit afraid of getting in too deep and getting stuck in a networking hole somewhere.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to anyone, but it’s a fear I face nonetheless.  Maybe I’ll find peace there instead.

Author: | Filed under: babble soft, blogging, competition, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, feedburner, networking, seo, social networks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »