It seems like only yesterday that I was running through the madness and crowds at the Houses of Parliament to make the stroke of midnight at a party in North London. We arrived just as the clock ticked over into the millennium.
Fast forward to 2017 and I honestly don’t think I could have imagined how my life is now. Living in the paradise of Wanaka is a dream and while I am not a fan of the word lucky -no one is lucky, you just grasp the opportunities sent your way- I do feel lucky to live here.
2016 was a year of change for me. I took the decision to embark on a nine week entrepreneur course (Co.starters) with The Cell, Wanaka. I haven’t looked back.
This decision followed a mother-daughter phone conversation back in April, where my darling mother agreed to pay my course fees providing that by the end of 2016 I had left my current day job or I’d have to return the $1k back to her. She’s a smart cookie my mum and she knew that this was the motivation I needed to stop talking and actual DO something for myself.
The people I met through the course opened so many doors for me and I started on a year-long journey of self-discovery and new challenges.
2017 promises to be just as exciting – if not more so – as I work my way through my lifelong dream of marrying my love of people, marketing, tourism, food and where I live.. watch this space.
So my personal career goals for 2017 are:
1/ Social media
Social media, digital marketing, SEO and SEM is to someone like me – who graduated with a degree in marketing 20 years ago – a bit of a minefield. I have embraced social media and technology in every role I have had, yet it changes so fast. This year I want to take my basic-intermediate knowledge to the next level to ensure I can offer my clients the best advice I can and implement great strategies into my own businesses. I am keen to study a little more in this area with someone awesome who can teach me a lot of valuable skills and tools.
2/ Social Influencer PR
Social influencer engagement and blogging for a living is an area of massive growth. Legislation around ensuring influencers and bloggers make clear to their followers when they are being paid for posts or blogs will continue to change the industry. This is an area I am yet to fully embrace. For my own business I understand the benefits and I am already starting to seek out potential like-minded people to work with. However I am still stuck in the dark ages trying to be comfortable with people making a living from “just taking photos and writing about their opinions”. After all isn’t this what myself and many other PR and marketing people have been doing for ages, using words to persuade people to take action.
The digital age has provided great opportunities for everyday folk to jump online and write about how they think and feel, what they like and dislike. I struggle when I read a blog and the writer clearly has been paid. Are they really going to say anything negative about the product or experience? Unlikely! So why should I believe you? So as you can see I have some work to do on embracing this side of marketing and PR. But hey I do believe you can teach an old dog new tricks!
3/ Expanding reach
Nearly all the companies and clients I have worked with ask how they can reach their target market in the offshore markets of Australia, China, Europe and the US (in the main). Many clients I work with are tourism or activity and accommodation businesses and of course they all want to target those who visit New Zealand on holiday. The benefit of being a locally-based business is the insight, knowledge and one-on-one relationship you have. The harder part is then building relationships overseas with media and influencers.
This year I want to work on building these relationships and sourcing key contacts in the markets that clients want to target. This will be of benefit to all my clients and also my own businesses.
4/ Launch my passion
I can’t say too much but I have spent some time in the last six months slowly working away on a project close to my heart. I would love to see this launch in early 2017 and to start earning a living from it by the end of 2017.
5/ Travel for work
I love what I do and I love to travel. So my goal this year it so spend more time on the road meeting new people and seeing new places. Sounds easy right? In the past I have had grand plans at the start of the year but life (ie work) gets in the way. I am hoping to find more flexibility in my career/life balance this year to explore more of what I love including new food experiences and events and I am looking at some key marketing and PR events and training I can attend. Hey why not combine them both. First trip booked…. I am heading away solo to the Wellington Food Show in May and this is something that’s been on my to-do list for a very long time.
I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions but I am a fan of setting personal and career goals to help keep me focused. I believe life can pass you by if you are not open to change and new ideas. Being aware of your surroundings and making conscious rather than passive decisions about how you live your life is key to a happy and healthy life. I hope to achieve some of the goals I have set for 2017 yet what I do know is I will achieve much more than just these goals and that’s an achievement in itself.
Here’s to a fabulous 2017!