So the next step of the A Wholehearted 2017 toolkit is to carve out some time to do a business audit. This is here to help you get super focused on what’s working, and what’s not working, in your business right now, and to help you just get super clear on what’s going on in your business as you enter a brand new year.

1. Your finances

We’re going to dive into the nitty gritty of your business finances, because even though it can be overwhelming and tedious at times, it’s just part of being a self-employed creative.

  • How much did you make in your business in 2016? How does this number feel?
  • How much of that was profit? How does this number feel?
  • How have you made that money? Break it down via each of your income streams.
  • Do you have business savings? If so, how does that number feel? If not, how does that feel?
  • How much have you paid yourself this year? Are you happy with that?
  • What financial investments have you made in your business this year? How do you feel about them now?
  • Overall, how have you felt financially in your business this year?
  • Is there anything you’d like to be different next year?

Hopefully what comes to the surface here is a clear picture of your business finances in 2016 and, ultimately, this can be a jumping off point for intentional financial planning in the new year ahead to come.

2. Your offerings, services, & monetisation

Now to dive into your income streams. Ask yourself:

  • What are the different ways you’ve been monetising this year?
  • What income streams have you enjoyed? Are there any you haven’t enjoyed?
  • If you offer client services, how many clients have you worked with this year? How has that felt?
  • If you sell products, how many customers have you had this year? How has that felt?
  • Is there anything you’d like to do differently next year?

Your answers to these questions can hopefully help you to feel focused and clarified when it comes to the different ways you’re making a living as a creative - and get some perspective on how you’d like to move forward next year.

3. Your online presence

Now to dive deep into your digital home. Ask yourself:

  • How have I been showing up online this year? Through my content? Through my social media? Through collaborations? How has that felt?
  • How has my online presence grown and evolved this year? How has that felt?
  • What are your goals with your online presence? Have you been effectively working towards those? If not, why?
  • Is there anything you’d like to do differently this year?

What I hope can come to the surface for you here is hopefully a clear picture of how you’re feeling in your digital presence right now, and what you’d like to prioritise in 2017.

4. Your routine

We’re now going to explore your routine and daily grind in your business.

  • What type of work days have you enjoyed this year? What type of work days have you not enjoyed? Why?
  • How have you felt at different stages throughout 2016 - have you had seasons of hustle? Seasons of rest? Seasons of struggle?
  • What does a typical workweek look like for you right now? Are you happy with it?
  • How would you like to feel in your routine and daily grind in 2017?

Hopefully what can come to the surface here is some clarity around your routine, daily grind, and what type of day-to-day routine you’d like to cultivate in the brand new year ahead.

5. Your bigger picture

Now to dive a little deeper into the bigger picture of your business. Ask yourself:

  • What does my business plan look like right now? Is it focused and up to date?
  • How much clarity do I have around my business model and how my business works behind the scenes?
  • How much focus do I have around what I’m working towards in the next 3-5 years in my business?
  • Reflecting on all of this; what do I need to prioritise getting focused on for 2017 in my business?

What I hope you can explore in this step is what clarity you have around your bigger picture, and what you need to carve out space for to explore and discover as you prepare for the new year in your business.

6. Your professional development

  • The last step is to explore your professional development. Ask yourself:
  • How have I evolved and developed in my business and creative craft this year?
  • What are the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my business this year?
  • What ways would I like to evolve and develop in my business and creative craft in 2017?

Hopefully what comes to the surface for you here is just some focus around how you’ve grown as a professional creative this year, and how you’d like to in 2017 too.

Next up we’re going to dive deep into a life audit...