2017 Business Goals (and a Recap of 2016)

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The first thing I did to prepare for writing this post was to review my 2016 business goals/2015 recap post from last year.

What’s sad is I probably haven’t revisited it since I wrote it. #EpicFail

I’ll do better this year, promise!

One thing that didn’t change? I still tend to take on a lot (too much?) at once. But I still tend to find a way to get ‘er done and not by half-assing it.

Read on to see how I fared on my 2016 ‘A’ and ‘B’ goals, what they are for 2017 and my master plan to kick butt and take names next year.

2017-business-goals-and-a-recap-of-20162016 Goals

My ‘A’ Goal: $250k+ gross income

PASSED! The year isn’t quite done yet, but I’m currently sitting at $251,608. I’m pretty proud of this one!

My 3 ‘B’ Goals:

  1. Pay-off land loan – FAIL! Current balance = $17,162.
  2. $20,000 in savings – FAIL! Current balance = $10,000.
  3. 20,000+ newsletter subscribers – FAIL! Current balance = 12, 425

Even though I failed in accomplishing ALL THREE of my ‘B’ goals, I’m okay with it.

You know why? Because I HIT MY ‘A’ GOAL and that’s kinda the ultimate goal anyway, right?

I did make significant progress in each area (well, except savings, but at least we’re better off than a year ago) and shared a revised plan earlier this year. Suffice it to say I’m happy with the end result.

12 Highlights from 2016

  1. We cashed in on our flexible lifestyle and spent SIX WEEKS in paradise in January/February of 2016.
  2. During our time there I picked up my third VA client doing email management. He’s a real gem of a person, super successful and someone I admire quite a bit.
  3. I revised/relaunched 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success in April.
  4. And wrote/launched Jumpstart Your Virtual Assistant Biz, a free 5-day email course that same month.
  5. I also moved my entire site to Rainmaker in April… and spent the end of the summer moving it back. Whomp, whomp.
  6. We spent even more time on the road during the summer months visiting places like Custer, South Dakota, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Utah and more… And I worked the whole while. 🙂
  7. In September, I spoke at my very first conference.
  8. I also relaunched 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success that same month.
  9. In October I got to meet both my online BFF, Carlos and a few of my online business idols (Ruth Soukup and Pat Flynn to name two) in person at the Leadpages conference, Converted.
  10. That same month I parted ways with my first VA client.
  11. Ironically, I also built/launched a new course, Become a Pinterest VA TODAY! with my girl Kristin.
  12. And this month I finally convinced my friend Daryn to start working with me on taking Horkey HandBook to the next level.

All in all, it’s been a great year. There have been triumphs, disappointments, challenges, failures, hurts, wins… the list goes on.

It’s been a great year.

What’s the Plan for 2017?

Just like was the case with last year, I feel like a lot of the work that I did this year is laying the foundation for what’s to come in 2017. But maybe that’s always the case?

Here are my top 2017 business goals:

My ‘A’ Goal: $400k+ gross income

More importantly, my sub goal is to NET $200k.

My 3 ‘B’ Goals:

  1. Pay-off land loan (12/28/16 $17,162)
  2. 25,000+ newsletter subscribers (12/28/16 12,425)
  3. Compete in a fitness competition

As you can see, my ‘A’ goal is in the same category as last year’s – it’s just at a higher level.

And two out of three of my ‘B’ goals are repeats… We’ve setup an auto-pay for the amount we need to pay towards our land loan every month to pay it off by year-end (roughly $1,500/m) and I’d like to double my email list size. Since I basically quintupled it this year, I don’t think doubling it in 2017 should be a problem.

A fitness competition you say? Yes, I do realize that it’s technically not a business goal, but it is something I’ve been thinking about for the last year or three. And if I actually go after this goal, it’ll affect my business in a few ways:

  1. I’ll need to take time away from work to fit in almost daily workouts of at least an hour (and probably two hours six months from now).
  2. It’ll actually help me as I’ll need to treat my body as a temple, which should result in higher energy, increased brainpower and all that jazz.

So there’s that.

Implementing the 12 Week Year Strategy

In addition to spending the last week watching the first two seasons of Suits (thanks a lot JoAnn!), I’ve also been reading and drafting a plan for the first quarter of 2017 via The 12 Week Year <– affiliate link.

If you follow me on social media at all, you already know that I <3 this book!

While a lot of the philosophy isn’t new to me (especially around execution), the strategy is and I’m always up for trying a new system! I would highly recommend it and am currently using my new Self Journal <– affiliate link as well to draft my goals/plan out on paper and as a tracking system to hit them.

The basic premise of The 12 Week Year is to focus on 12 weeks at a time vs. 12 months. If we only have 12 weeks to accomplish our goals, it doesn’t leave much room for slacking off. It’s also more urgent that we do what we say we’re going to do in order to hit our goals.

Even though it seems like quarterly planning, it’s still a bit different. I’ll let you read the book to find out why. 😉

My 12 Week Year Goals


I bet you’re jealous of that sweet handwriting, right? 😉

You’ll notice that my 12 week year goals are a bit different than the annual ones you see above. The book has you explore seven different areas that your goals might fall under:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Spouse/key relationships
  3. Family
  4. Community
  5. Physical
  6. Personal
  7. Business

My personal top 5 (in order) are:

  1. Spiritual
  2. Family (including spouse)
  3. Physical
  4. Business
  5. Community

I.e. Even though “Strengthen faith” falls at number three in the photo above, it’s not really third.

Big Goals = One Small Action at a Time

That’s my real plan. Figure out what I want (A/B goals) and then break down those bigger goals into smaller milestones (i.e. lose 15 lbs, strengthen sales funnel, etc.).

But that’s how anything big gets done, right? One action step at a time.

Share Your Goals?

Last year I asked you to share your goals in the comments section. I <3’d re-reading them as I was drafting this post.

And saying your goals out loud (or declaring them publicly to the internet at large) is proven to increase your odds of hitting them.

So what do you say? Share with us your 2017 goals in the comments?

Why not US, why not NOW?

39 thoughts on “2017 Business Goals (and a Recap of 2016)”

  1. Thanks for another great post Gina. I’ve always had goals but I never write them down or break them down. That’s probably why I never accomplish them!

    My first goal for 2017 is to get my writing business off the ground! I’ve been procrastinating on this for 2 years now. This year I will do it! I need to make 4000.00 a month to quit my soul sucking job. I have both of your courses. Now is the time to implement them.

    My B goals are to sell my house and travel in an RV. I want the freedom that bricks and stones can’t give me.
    And of course I want to lose weight and improve my health. I will break these down into smaller more actionable steps and keep moving forward.

    Here’s to a new year and all the possibilities it brings. Why not me, why not now? I got this!

  2. Gina,

    Hooray!!! You made it through your income goal!!! Amazing!!

    I shot for $21,000 and will come in at 20,300, but that’s not bad with moving twice this year (and still working full time)

    My goals for this coming year:

    1. Make $25,000 (I hope so!!)
    2. Keep up on creating courses for healthcare freelance writers and webinars
    3. Finish and publish my book.
    4. Lose 10 lbs (yeah that’s my year goal lol)

  3. Thanks, Gina, for the reminder to set some goals right now. 2017 has arrived quickly. I have been sliding along this past year and although I have made progress, I feel like I have yet to make good traction to where I want to be.
    My A goal is to implement the lessons from your 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success (I’m about about halfway through the material the first time) to start cold pitching and find my niche. I have done harder things in the past and I know I can do this. My 12 week goal is to complete one paid writing gig.
    My B goals are to support my daughter through her final year of high school (next fall) while she is searching for her path and to find a strong network (in addition to hubby) to support me through my journey.

  4. Nice work hitting your A goal, Gina! I’m sure you will rock 2017!

    This time last year, I set a goal to bring in $4,000 a month with my writing. I’ve done that (and then some) every month since July. In December I collected over $10K! I’m still stunned that I was able to reinvent my career and am now on the path to earning more working from home in my slippers and yoga pants than I did as a CPA. All thanks to finding your course.

    In 2017 I plan to make $75K from my writing, stop neglecting my own blog, pay off debt, and max out my HSA and IRA contributions. Oh, and lose that 20 pounds I gained after we moved to Arizona 3 years ago!

    • That’s SO awesome Janet – I’m super proud of you and excited for what this next year will bring. You’re a true rockstar girlfriend!! (I bet you’ll bring in 6 figures… in your yoga pants!) 😉

  5. This is amazing Gina.

    I hit my traffic goals to my blog this year but not my financial goals although I did make between $500-$1500 each month this year working on the side.

    My 2017 goals.

    1. To hit $10,000/month with freelance writing, course sales + affiliate income by December
    2. Lose 50lbs – (this little train can !)
    3. 10,000 e-mail subscribers
    4. 5,000 Youtube Subscribers
    5. 100,000 monthly page views on the blog

  6. Awesome year, Gina!! Congrats!!! I can’t wait to see how 2017 plays out for you 🙂

    My two blog-related goals are to bring in $30K per year and average 75K pageviews/month. The goals should be very, very doable but I’m not aiming *too* high since I do still have my FT job 🙂 I still need to plan my marriage/parenting/travel/spiritual/etc goals!

  7. I am so jealous of all of this accomplishment!!!! I know that “I can have it too, if I’m willing to work”……..but there are so many things I could do, I’m not sure what to ACTUALLY do 🙁 I’m just not really passionate about anything right now to say “yep, run down that path”……so very frustrating!!! I hoping that 2017 gets more clear in terms of direction for me (and within the first 12 weeks would be amazing….I feel that I’ve been spinning my wheels for too long!!!)

    • What if you just pick something to pursue for the first 12 weeks of the year – even if it’s not the thing you’re most passionate about? You never know what will come from it… online business has a way of webbing out into multiple cool avenues, but it starts with committing to something first and seeing it through. You can totally do this Nicole!!

    • Hi!

      Nicole, you’re not the only one ready for change. Gina is the ONE person I read ritually (hmm, perhaps, passionately, is a better meme) and a large part of my successes have come from taking part in learning from her courses (aren’t y’all happy I didn’t use ‘content’?).

      Just leaving a comment here, for me, is a ginormous step forward and way out of my comfy zone, but that’s the point, isn’t it????

      Keep pushing for the Top, Nicole, and know that there’s at least another person who gets what’s it’s like, like so many others likely, ready to Go Big (and bigger?)

      To G: not “Suits” –” Supergirl”, “Flash”, and “Arrow! 🙂

      – Dylan

  8. Hi Gina! Congrats on reaching your A goal! I’m sure the B goals are not far behind! I’m new to freelancing so my goals are to land 1-2 clients in the next month. I’m staring small lol.

  9. My goal is to make between $12,000 and $20,000 this year. I made $8500 this year.
    I hope to do this by finding regular clients that I can expect a set payment each month – monthly blog or story. I also want to do less of my small fee assignments and replace the volume I have been depending on (and spending all my time) with higher paying clients. I need to pitch more to the higher paying clients to do this.
    I dabbled in WordPress this past month and think I could also help a small company with website copy.
    I am also getting a logo designed, and upping my game on social media.

    Will you send this back to us in some format in 12 weeks, then 6 months and then same time next year, please?

  10. Thank you, Gina, for sharing, and super congrats on your 2016. I am very close to starting my VA business in early January. I have both your courses and they’ve helped tremendously. I decided to go the VA direction. It makes so much sense for my skills and experience. So, my main goal is launch the business and get one or two clients up and going within the first 12 weeks of 2017. That’s as far as I have today. I have set aside this weekend to focus on goals and planning and can’t wait to get started. I’ll be using the materials you shared as well. Now I have to read the book! Thank you, Gina!!!!

  11. My 2017 goals right now are very simple: finish the courses that I purchased. That should be possible now since I have a computer that doesn’t crash every time I try and do more than one thing. My goal is to finish in the first quarter of the year.

    I would like to launch at some point in 2017. I already have some of the tools for that so it is just a matter of doing.

    I decided that I’m going to check in with myself every 3 months before reading Gina’s post and have already put the book on hold at the library that Gina talked about.

  12. Congrats, Gina! Always love reading your posts.

    My main 2017 goals are:
    1. Make $25,000 (exceeded last year’s goal so decided to double it)
    2. Narrow my niche to manuscripts only
    3. Revamp my business website
    4. Take on two new ghostwriting clients
    5. Improve my editing hourly rate
    6. 200 blog followers
    7. Make something from affiliate marketing (If I remember right, you mentioned a course on this a little while back. I’ll be looking for that post.)
    8. Finish final edits on my novel and move toward publication
    9. Publish 3 short stories
    10. Join or start a local writers’ group (Chattanooga, TN)

    I actually did an in-depth blog post on revisiting last year’s goals and how I plan to meet this year’s goals, which can be viewed here if anyone is interested: https://ijustwanttowrite.com/2016/12/25/tis-the-season-for-setting-freelancing-goals/

    Congrats again, Gina. You help reassure me that success in this type of business is possible whenever I’m feeling nervous or questioning my sanity. Thanks for that!

  13. Wow! Congrats on making your “A” goal!
    I like that idea of a 12 week year. Will have to try that since my weight loss goals are always missed…but I know I can lose 20 pounds in three months if I really focus on it. Same with writing goals.

  14. Great job hitting you “A” goals and I know you will make them next year also.

    My goals is to get my business up and going from you VA course and the Pinterest VA. I would like to have at least 1 client by the end of the first 12 weeks and hopefully make at least $3000 a month by the end of the year. I’m going to continue to learn and grow my knowledge in websites and Seo. Oh and loose the 50 pounds that I put on the last year going thru my divorce.

    Thanks feels good to share my goals.

    • Sorry to hear that you’ve had a rough time of it Jennifer! Getting your body back and building a new business sounds like the perfect way to get back on your feet though – excited to watch you reach your goals!

  15. Congratulations! I like this 12 week year idea. I will definately get the book and see what I can gleen from it. I started goal setting in college ( a few decades ago) and I usually do it every year around December. I have recenty started keeping the Goal sheet on my desktop so I can refer to it quickly everyday. So Writing-wise, my next goal is to get a website up & running and to do my first PAID job by March 30-strech goal- Jan 30. GINA I like that your 3 hand-written goals trend up towards the end – that shows OPTIMISM! You go Girl.

    My goal setting process is taken from The Franklin Planner Method of Prioritized Daily Task List. You do set goals for the entire year and then break them down into monthly goals, weekly and then Daily – because today is all we have to work with. I spend an hour in the morning doing the logistics – Like you, each day has A B C goals- then I sequence them for execution B1 C2 A3 B4 A5 If my day implodes I can resequence based on the importance of the goal. Always do this in Pencil
    Every time I drift away from this system I am less effective. When I impliment it I tend to get much more done and can usually save money and can schedule a free day once or twice a

    Here’s to your 400K+
    2017 Bring It On!

  16. Happy New Year Gina!

    Congrats on accomplishing your A Goal! That’s fantastic.

    I’ve been a bit MIA the past few months trying to figure things out. I’m hoping 2017 will be a more prosperous year and less stressful.

    I love the idea of the 12 week year. I’ve been setting quarterly goals for a while now and it’s great because it breaks things down into bite size pieces. But this sounds like taking it a step further and focusing on a different goal every 12 weeks. I’m going to have to put the book on my ‘to read in 2017 shelf’.

    Here’s just a few of the things I hope to accomplish in 2017:
    1) Write and publish 3 books
    2) Create and follow a marketing strategy for my books
    3) Earn $20,000 from books, blogging, freelancing, etc.
    4) Train for and complete a 70.3 Ironman at the end of the year
    5) Finish what I start

    I even managed to apply for a writing job after a quick run today, so that’s a positive start to the year!

    Wishing you all the best with your goals Gina, and looking forward to hearing about your progress.


  17. Hey Gina,
    Awesome post here!! I have been thinking a lot about some of the steps you have suggested. I totally like the 12-week Year Strategy. It has helped me break down my goals in a way that is workable and realistic.
    One of my main 2017 goals is to have Gina Horkey as one of my clients…How cool is that?
    Happy New Year to all!!

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