Welcome to our last newsletter of 2023! We had an exceptional year at Ghost, and we hope yours was just as special. During this time of reflection, you're probably asking yourself, "How is 2023 already over? Wasn't Halloween just a week ago? Why do my bones make so much noise now?" You're not alone, friend. This week's newsletter is about preparing for 2024, finding the motivation to keep going, and celebrating this year's wins. Let's go!
In this week's issue 📨
- Outlast 99.9% of entrepreneurs
- Find progress with patience
- Create an end-of-year newsletter
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How to outlast
When setting your sights on success in 2024, you can outperform 99% of people just by having a long-term mindset. Using structured, strategic planning is the easiest way to follow your path for whatever thing you choose to focus on. You may not know how to get there, so it's best to set yourself up with a helpful goal-setting framework before the new year.
Writer Justin Welsh from The Saturday Solopreneur shows us how to transform big missions into small, successful action steps.
Goals | Decades
- Realistically, your biggest goal or mission may take decades to achieve. Ask yourself, who do you want to help, what do you want to help them do, and why do you want to help them do that?
- Your big goal should be more "customer" focused than "me" focused. When you hone in on solving problems and providing services, your needs and wants tend to be met naturally.
Strategy | Yearly
- When building a strategy on how you'll accomplish your mission, using the SMART goal framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) can give you the best chance for success.
- If you're unsure how to start creating your SMART goals, try this: My goal is to [objective] by [timeframe]. [Key players] will accomplish this goal by [what steps you’ll take]. Achieving this goal will [result or benefit].
Tactics | Quarterly
- Every quarter allows you to review, refine, and execute tactics that align with your yearly strategy. Start with identifying three tactics that lead to most of your growth, like the example above.
- Take each of those tactical actions and create quarterly milestones to see how you're tracking. Mapping these plans out in a document or your calendar increases the likelihood that you'll achieve these micro-goals.
Effort | Daily
- Your daily commitments to creating and sharing valuable content, engaging with your community, and learning from the feedback are all stepping stones to achieving your ultimate mission.
- Keeping a detailed yet flexible schedule in your calendar can ensure that your micro-goals receive the time and attention they deserve. Try setting daily tasks for yourself that support your quarterly and yearly goals.
Outlasting most people isn’t about blind hustle. It happens by following a disciplined, structured approach to your work. In the world of working for yourself, reaching big success is a mix of dreaming big and making step-by-step plans. Or, in other words - putting your time and effort where your mouth is. – Justin Welsh
Interesting stories & ideas 📚
- Seven ways the internet will get weirder – Digital Native
- Saving local news with newsletters – One Man & His Blog
- What to know about X vs Threads – HubSpot
- AI won't replace you – Indie Hackers
- Stop leaving sh*tty comments – Power Your Platform
How to keep going
Sometimes, progress can feel like swimming through mud. You put so much energy into your goals only to have a few good wins, and it can be hard to notice the small successes if you're not yet seeing significant results. When you don't feel successful, the voices get louder: "Why are you doing this? You're just wasting time. What does it all mean?!" Just breathe.
Jay Clouse, founder of Creator Science, talks us down and walks us through how to keep going when it feels like you're not going anywhere.
‣ Expand your time horizon by adopting a long-term mindset. Zoom out and look at your macro trends outside of your micro trends. Treating time like a friend instead of an enemy will help you realize that progress comes with time. Start working with the clock instead of against it.
‣ Befriend your data by looking at overall positive trends instead of your most recent negative trends. It can take several years to see consistent, upward results, so don't fret if your most recent quarter took a bit of a dive. Data is one of your most powerful tools, so use it to look at the bigger picture.
‣ Look for signals of progress by noticing your not-always-obvious tiny wins. Pay attention to your enjoyment, things getting easier, someone sharing your work, and the belief that you're improving. All of these small signals of progress add up to large-scale success.
‣ Design for bingeability by acknowledging the power of bingeable content. Even if you're not getting the views or subscribers you know you're capable of, audience feedback using "binge" can be the ultimate signal of progress.
When it feels like you're not making any progress or getting any feedback, don't let yourself give up. Most creators don't fail. They simply give up. Instead, adopt a mindset of radical persistence. You may not see the progress from that last thing you tweeted or the email you published...but it's there. And it all adds up. – Jay Clouse
How to celebrate
If you're quickly skimming this newsletter because you're in holiday rush mode, we get it! You have people to wrap and presents to see; who has the time? And if you're struggling with last-minute newsletter ideas, may we interest you in an end-of-year newsletter to celebrate your 2023 wins and keep your audience engaged over the holidays?
Journalist Georgia Madden at Houzz guides us on quickly crafting an email newsletter that captures your readers' attention during the distracting holiday season.
#1 Make it personal - Add warmth by starting with a festive and inclusive greeting that respects everyone's holiday traditions.
#2 Hit the right tone - Make your newsletter approachable, use language that aligns with your brand, and keep your content easy to digest.
#3 Go behind the scenes - Give your readers a peek behind the curtain by sharing some lessons you've learned or your struggles in 2023.
#4 Celebrate your wins - Share your achievements and awards with quality visuals to showcase your expertise and experience in each project.
#5 Share your plans - Give customers a sneak peek into your upcoming 2024 projects to create a sense of anticipation and keep your followers engaged.
#6 End-of-year value - Tailor your newsletter to the specific time of year or showcase your best work of 2023. It's time to brag!
#7 Say thank you - Use your end-of-year newsletter to express gratitude to all (especially your audience) who have been a part of your journey in 2023.
#8 Include holiday hours - Will you be hibernating during the holidays? Let your readers know when they can expect to see new content.
#9 Call to action - Encourage your audience to engage with your content during their leisure time, or have them take advantage of any limited-time offers.
#10 Relax - Close your laptop, silence your phone, make hot chocolate, and pop in a holiday classic.
Curator's pick ✍️
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