2018 – Learn, Apply, Interact…my positive words to guide me through

2017 for me was guided by Focus, Aspire, Inspire and if you read by last blog post; which you may not have as it came bang slap in the middle of Christmas and New Year and we were all largely too stuffed and too busy partying to keep up with many of our social media activities; but fear not you can find it here; you can find out how I got on in 2017.

2017 was super duper kind to me.  It was a truly magnificent year.  I created and helped make a legacy that will long outlast me and for that I will be forever proud.

The Welsh Legends themed window installed at Myddfai Hall in Carmarthenshire; I designed it; members of the community helped make it; Prince Charles revealed it and we are all unbelievably proud of it – 2.5 meters by 1.5 meters with a lovely plaque listing every single person involved

My son finished his first year at of his Mechanical Engineering Degree at Cardiff Uni with the equivalent of a first and is thriving and enjoying his second year.  He loves me and Hubby and is not afraid to show it.  We have a great relationship and see him and his friends loads..

I turned 50 and was overwhelmed by the number of cards, gifts and, most importantly, people, who came and celebrated it with me , it was the most joyous and long, celebration

I became a (step) grandma.  I say “step” purely to accentuate what a young grandmother I am (tee hee) ; I love him as my own as I do my two absolutely gorgeous stepsons.

And….. I am about to have the preview of my first ever solo art exhibition ….eek…on the 12th January.  I am setting it up with the curator at the Radnorshire Mueum  in Llandrindod Wells this Friday.  Wish me luck.

On reviewing my 2017 goals it became apparent to me that to progress and achieve what I want not only do I need to get myself more organised (have ordered white board and wall planners/calendar) but I need to learn some new skills.  I’ve been using twitter for a good 18 months now but I really feel like I’m missing the trick but I don’t know what the trick is so don’t know what questions to ask.  I also don’t use Instagram or Pinterest even though I have accounts as I really can’t see how to use them properly .  I need some social media courses.

This is what I want to do;

I want to LEARN, I want to APPLY that learning by INTERACTING more appropriately

  1. I need to find a local guru who will run a small group or one to one workshop relatively locally, even in my house – I’m happy to provide the venue.  LEARN advanced skills for Twitter.  LEARN how to get the best out of Pinterest and Instagram and decide whether it it is advantageous to use all these platforms in relation to the time I would need to commit to maintaining all these platforms
  2. Sort out my blog/website.  At the moment I have an old website that I can’t update http://www.cerdynvilla.co.uk.  I also have a new blog/website cerdynvilla.wales which is supposed to be my ‘lifestyle’ hub and link all my facets together B&B , stained glass and art, teaching, blogging etc…needs completely restructuring…. its on wordpress so in theory I should be able to do it myself but am happy to pay someone (you know who you are 😉 ) for a half day or full day of their time to get it right and remove the old site
  3. Decide what I want each platform to achieve and either get them working together or seperate them.  For example twitter is pretty much the place I rant on about politics, religion, women’s issues, mental health etc   but I also want it to enjoy all the linkys and maybe I also want it to generate business for art and glass.  So does this mean I should have 2 accounts?
  4. FB – should I be using FB pages instead of websites for Cerdyn Villa B&B and Berni Benton Art and Glass or do the pages suffice?  Should they link to blogs instead?

Once I’ve embraced the learning I should be able to work towards some measurable goals, so, following on from 2017 and my review of how that went here are my 2018 measurable goals

  1. STAINED GLASS DESIGNING, COMMISSIONS, TEACHING : create a pricing sheet so people can access my services and know what they are likely to be charged and how.  I think sometimes people don’t ask for a window or a design because they are embarrassed about asking the cost and then having to decline the service.  Likewise, because I don’t have a structure for costing, I always find I’m underselling myself.  Sometimes I think I lose business because I am too cheap, it gives a false message that I’m either not very confident in my abilities or my work isn’t good enough to charge the going rate.  SO in JANUARY I need to create a charging/costing structure and then advertise it somewhere (using the social media learning that I will have implemented by then or not long after)
  2. TEACHING: organise and advertise the first private workshop at my home studio for late January / early February and RUN IT !!! Get my head around a stained glass retreat combining teaching with staying at my B&B , possibly engage with other crafters/artists.  Decide a format and advertise it in JANUARY. Run a trial retreat early MARCH.  I’d also like to continue to co teach at Myddfai, offer more workshops and hopefully have the opportunity to deliver a window project similar to the one Jan-Jun 2017, from SEPTEMBER 2018.  This means keeping up the momentum within the team at Myddai to source a funding stream and create the opportunity.   I need to be proactive in that.
  3. COMMISSIONS: target is to obtain commitment and complete 6 glass or art commissions in 2018.  I have one painting commission deadline November 2018, a small glass commission for this month.  I hope that two window commission I did the drawings for and quoted for last year will come to fruition this year, if not I need new ones to replace them and two more.
  4.  PUBLIC SPEAKING – I have offered to do two, Womens Institute talks already during 2018.  I want to run them with a view to obtaining commissions or teaching opportunities.  My goal is to write the talk and decide the demo, prepare a ‘talk pack’ so I know exactly what I need and how long it will take.  I want to have this ready by EASTER.
  5. TWITTER: I wonder if 750 followers is too much to ask of myself by the end of 2018?  Most importantly I want to be more INTERACTIVE; LEARN how to set up useful lists;  use my lists; what the point of moments are; and engage in more linkys.  I think setting a follower target is probably the only way to measure progress on Twitter.  However. I get the vague feeling that there are better ways to analyse twitter success / failure.  That will come with the learning… you can find me on twitter @Berni_Benton
  6. I’ve joined @64M_Artists and their #TheJanuaryChallenge.  My goal is to complete all the daily tasks and share (some) of them.  its a great idea.  5-10 minutes a day to do something creative and be a bit mindful about how you felt doing it.  Then share via their FB ( @64millionartists )and/or Twitter ( @64M_Artists )
  7. BLOGGING – another area where I really want to be able to measure my success in terms of interaction, what I want to do is know who is reading, responding to and sharing my blog.  However, at the moment my prime reason for blogging is my need to ‘mind dump’.  But I do like it when other people find my ramblings interesting in some way.  I also love to read other peoples blogs.  For want of a better measuring tool I will pick these two arbitary numbers by which to measure my blogging success in 2018.  Please bloggers out there, advise me of a better way to measure.  Followers  – increase from 143 to 200; views from 18.000 to 25,000.  There must be better stats to keep watch of.
  8. FACEBOOK:  I went back in 2017 and redivided my Cerdyn Villa B&B page from my Berni Benton Glass and Art page.   For a while it made total sense to combine them but now I’m a ‘real’ Artist  (what with having both commission and an exhibition under my belt – ooo eer get me!), I think they need to stand independently whilst supporting each other.  Again its the interaction that really matters and I guess I could measure that by targeting reviews.  so here we go.  For @BerniBentonGlassArt, I’d love to have 35 reviews by year end.   I’d also like to have 1000 followers (thats a step up from 11 and 753 respectively).   @CerdynVillaBandB I’ll aim for 35 reviews and 500 followers (from 11 and 375).
  9. OK here’s the target that I least want to do but most need to achieve.  I need to make stock items for outlets in the area.  I have a catalogue of my own designs made into light catchers which sell well – garden birds, Easter themes, Christmas themes, potted flowers etc but I never have any made.  I advertise some of them for sale ‘made to order’ over at my Etsy shop but I really must get some stock made…. so (even as I’m typing this my head is shouting ‘won’t happen’.) I’m setting myself a target of 2 stock items a week on top of any that are specific orders…  that’s 100 speculative items to make before Christmas.  Keep asking me how I’m doing folks otherwise this one may drop by the wayside again this year and I will be so ashamed of myself.
  10. The Vlog… I’m not setting this as a target as I failed to embrace it last year.  What I am hoping is that it will organically become part of my social media development once I engage in the learning process.

So there we go, 10 (well 9) measurable targets for the business me for 2018. I’ll keep you posted (whether you like it or not!)

In life my goal remains my mantra Love, Laugh, Live; and, as I shimmy my way into 2018, I feel full of hope for a glorious 12 months.

Happy New Year xxx

Rhyming with Wine
Mission Mindfulness

#ablogginggoodtime

 

Focus Aspire Inspire – an update…

So way back in February (because by resolve somehow missed January ), I wrote a blog Focus, Aspire, Inspire.  I meant to assess my progress quarterly by Blog and ‘regularly’ (?!) in my thought process.  and to be fair I did review my progress in May, and was actually pretty chuffed with myself.  Somehow I was largely on track with my aspirations and inspirations.  I’d tried to keep them realistic and it seemed to be working.  Now its blooming well October and  it seems I have lost a little focus, as I do, so I thought a little readdress would be a good thing

Goal 1: Twitter following:  @Berni_Benton I have 556 followers but to be honest I’m more interested in engagement and interaction.  I love it when the little counter shows a notification for a comment or retweet .  I have become needy for these affirmations of my wit and relevance.  I don’t know if I’m getting it right.  I spend most of my time on twitter slagging off Donald Trump. AND I’M NOT EVEN AMERICAN!!! – See, loss of focus.  But he is such an easy target….

Goal 2: Sort out my twitter lists: yep, pretty much done that, but now I have ’em what shall I do with ’em.  Still.  Tick.

Goal 3: Blog following: I just looked.  I always forget to look.  I have 140.  which, considering I only aspire to 150 by year-end is not bad.  In Feb there was 114 of you, so weyhey and ‘welcome’ my new friends.  Perhaps you might share me and help me find that final 10 souls who might like to read my random rantings, musings and insights on no particular subject and no particular time.  I can but ask eh?

Goal 4: Blog viewings: well they are heading in the right direction, but I guess they would, you can’t ‘unview’ something so the only way is up, baby (sorry, just Yazoo popped into my head right then…Focus damn it!)_

Goal 5: Teaching:  Yes. Am doing more this year and am planning to run private sessions for small groups from my home studio in 2018 so again, tick. tick

Goal 6 & 7: OOPS – this was the big old one that required FOCUS .  Start making Christmas stock of stained glass goodies by August including two new bespoke designs.  Are we there yet?  Oh shit its mid October.

colleen commissionGoal 8: Commissions – well I have done the preliminary drawings for 3, that was my target, but none of them, to date have resulted in any glass being cut….however, i remain optimistic for this one

Goal 9: Run retreats: Nope.  This one involves the coordination and cooperation of Hubby and we’re just not that organised together.  Maybe 2018.

Goal 10: YEAH – if you read the interim report in May you know I’ve got an exhibition pending!!! My first EVER solo exhibition.  I actually visited the exhibition space yesterday and spoke to the curator.  So now I’ve paced it out and I know exactly how many pieces of work i need (15) and how many I have ready (13).  Well, 12.  Actually 11.5… the point is, I’m (almost) on track and most importantly I have some friends who want to sort out the private viewing and promotion for me , so that means there’ll be prosecco and CAKE.

Goal 11. Facebook:  I’ve been pretty proactive here.  I split myself in two.  There is now a page @CerdynvillaBandB for all things relating to life at the guesthouse and tourism related snippets; and there’s @BerniGlassArt for all things arty and crafty, including news on my own imminent exhibition and any classes I might be teaching…. I’ve even included a shop…..  Between the 2 there are 1000 followers  but again its interaction that’s needed and i have no idea how to improve that (don’t worry, I’m going to book a course!)

Goal 12: Vlogging…well. Errr. Um… I’m going to blame technology.  No?  Ok I’ll blame my relationship with my technology.  I guess that won’t wash either.  I will get on with it.  Promise. Sorry Dinah. #hangsheadinshameandgoestositonthenaughtystep

So that’s how I’m doing against my overall targets.  I’m going to pat myself on the back, because I’m pretty happy with what I have done and I promised myself I would focus on what I had done rather than what I hadn’t.  I also have to remember all the other things I have done that weren’t on the list like;

  • Joined and started using Instagram and Pintrest (again, I’m booking a course as I have no idea whats going on really!)
  • Busy season in the B&B – more new and loads of repeat visitors
  • Massive stained glass community project (Jan – June)
  • Several regular gardening jobs
  • Extra work for my friends who run a caffi
  • fitted in a little mini break to Rome
  • Family wedding
  • New grandson

little D

and there are still two and a half months to go…..

how are you getting on with your annual targets, if you have them?

 

 

It’s all about the Blog/Vlog etc…

omega centuri

I love the blogger Rhyming with Wine, her poetic interpretations and observations have me in stitches.  Her most recent blog “The Stats Race”, sits perfectly with my views of social media and the knots I tie myself up with in an attempt to achieve my goals.  Basically, this blog is where I dump all the shit that pops into my head!.  However, I do it in the hope of entertaining, inspiring or provoking a reaction in you lovely lot (my readers…I say in the hope that there really is someone or sometwo out there).

Three months ago I set myself some challenges for 2017

Focus, Aspire, Inspire

18404167_10154396062188204_35978332313909345_o

I thought it would be helpful to me and hopefully not too boring for you, if I were to check out my own progress and possibly re-evaluate

  1. Twitter: my following has just overtopped the 500 mark and I’m delighted, For me its quality rather than quantity so I shall start focusing on interactors more (when I work out exactly how to do that)… but if you are following me on @berni_Benton, then “thanks” and if you are also interacting with me then I think I’m a little bit in love with you because I love a good bit of banter
  2. I’m still trying to tidy up my twitter lists – I’ve started some, “fave bloggers”, ” fave artists”, ” fave…” etc… then i need to talk to these groups more – so I can get more out of them – I’d prefer dialog to monologue, and that’s down to me, timing and organisation (neither of which are in my current ‘strengths’ corner)
  3. Blog: my following is now 133, from 114, I’m aiming for 150 and my views are up from 13.5K to 15K and there’s still 6 months to go to make my 20K goal
  4. Teaching: I have massively enjoyed and proved myself to be pretty darned good at teaching, check out Community Project – progress report to see whats been going on.  I wanted another teaching commission out of it and the group I’m teaching are keen to have more sessions so we-hey!!! more teaching is on the cards
  5. Vlogging: I’ve started in a very very very small way, to vlog, I’ve not included my face or my voice so far but I have started to include video content into my blogs….I don’t know if you guys like it, perhaps you can let me know.
  6. I’ve joined Instagram – that’s an extra, wasn’t on my list at all but I think I can get to grips with that – lovely visual app and quick and easy to use… still working out how to use it properly but early days
  7. Facebook: not sure whats happening here , page likes down from 778 to 768… anyone fancy taking a look? It’s where I share stuff going on in and around our home and village, it’s a B&B in Mid Wales, very rural, extremely tranquil, and slightly crazy.. Pink Butterfly Art & Glass at Cerdyn Villa…
  8. Art: I’ve already done 3 more pieces of art this year, speculative spacescapes, have booked my FIRST EVER solo exhibition slot for March/April 2018 and have the rest of the pieces sketching out nicely in my head… it’s going to play on light and dark.  With black canvasses painting with colours and patterns emulation images from outer space and then representations of space made from stained glass and back-lit by natural light.  I have one commission glass panel confirmed and one pending approval (god i hope to get to make it, I always get excited once I’ve done the drawings).

perseus galaxy cluster witches broom nebula

Glass panel - based on Whirlpool Galaxy

All in all I’m pretty pleased with my progress.  I think my report card might read ” Is trying hard, achieving many of her goals, still some way to go, but with sustained commitment and the right support and determination there is no reason why Berni can’t make it”

Do you have a bucket list for your year? Hows it going?

Lucy At Home
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Diary of An Imperfect Mum