Making a plan

I’ve told the story before, but it never ceases to amaze me when I think about it.

I started Checkmate Consulting on the floor of 900-square-foot apartment watching Grey’s Anatomy (and drinking wine) with my best friend on Oct. 1, 2013. I didn’t have a plan; I had an uncle who was interested in me managing his logistics’ firm three social media accounts.I never took a business class in college; I never wrote out a business plan. I just went with it.

And then I got another client. And another client. And another client. And projects. And then, the contract work for major organizations in my community. And this week? I’m doing for the first time graphic design work for a paid project. I’ve never taken a graphic design class!

Almost three years later, I’m still just making it up as I go along.

This September, I’ll button up and finalize the last little details of a massive, 20,000-word, 200-hour project for Ozarks Technical Community College’s Technical Education Division. It’s been an incredible undertaking, and I’m really proud of the work I’ve done. But it’s also made me really zoom in on what I want to do with the accidental success of my business.

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So this fall, wearing a sweater like the basic white girl I am, I’m trying to find my why and what for Checkmate Consulting: Why am I doing this, and what goals do I have for my business?

I’ve been walking around without direction, and I’ve thankfully stumbled on a positive, fruitful path. But I’m thinking about what I want my business map to look like, what I actually want out of all my side hustles and gigs.

Do I want more clients? Is it a goal to become my own boss? Do I want to grow certain parts of my business? Is freelance writing something that’s still important to me? Do I eventually want to get a physical space? Is my business a way to gain experience to get a mid-management job in communications or marketing? Do I want to leave a job I love to pursue this path? Is there an amount of money per month that I want to work toward?

There are a lot of questions, but I’m giving myself space to explore their answers. I’m praying, thinking and searching, hand in hand with my husband, for what my professional life looks like. There’s no rush; that’s one of the blessings of a lovely life.

But I need direction, and I’m making a plan.

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