At the beginning of each year, I like to make goals for myself for accomplishments I’d like to achieve for the year. At the end of the year, I like to look back on what those goals were and see how far along I got in terms of reaching or nearing my goal.
In 2007, I had a set of goals I made that were similar to this year’s goals. I made grand statements about what I wanted to do, but forgot that sometimes, in order to reach a big goal, you have to first reach smaller goals. So, for 2008, I took those goals and decided to make them a bit smaller and more specific.
So, how’d I do? Here is a brief synopsis of each goal, and how I did on them…
GOAL #1: To find at least ONE wholesale source of goods I could use to further expand my eBay business.
HOW’D I DO?: Terribly. At the beginning of the year, I had more than enough money to buy a huge supply of what I thought were authentic iPods, only to find out they were fakes that didn’t have enough resell value to get all of my money back. I also found a supply source of DVDs that I thought were legit – turns out, I was wrong on that, too. I didn’t want to lose any more money on sources that would turn out not to be legit, so my eBay business was nowhere near as active as it was in the 2 years prior.
THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: I still think eBay can be a very profitable business for me like it was in the past, and I still want to find a legitimate source of products I can buy inexpensively and make a profit from. I also have some of my own creations that I’ve sold successfully on eBay – specifically, my eBook – and there’s stuff available on Craig’s List, which should be an even better source of supply once I move to California.
Speaking of California:
GOAL #2: To save up enough money to move to California.
HOW’D I DO?: At the beginning of the year, I actually had enough money to move. Then, I decided that I should try to double my money before I go by purchasing items from the wholesale sources I found and sell it on eBay – that way I’d have a car to drive around L.A. Seeing as I lost all my money on the eBay fiasco, my goals for California seemed quite dim.
But God had other plans. I think I needed to stay in Atlanta a little big longer – who knows if I would have come up with the great idea of doing one-song-a-week had I not been desperate for a way to be noticed by record companies in Cali? And, as it turns out, by the end of the year, God made a way for me to afford to move to Burbank, CA after all. So… YAY!
THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: I’m moving to California on January 9th. My next goal? The same goal I have every year, man – HAWAII!!
GOAL #3: To get at least ONE of my songs played on ONE radio station.
HOW’D I DO?: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
I’m laughing because, the question is not, “Did I get a song played on ONE radio station,” but rather, “What radio station HASN’T played my song??”
Last year’s goal was to try and get signed to a major record label. Again, this goal, while admirable, was a bit too big, especially considering I hadn’t really performed that much and people hardly knew me. Okay, that’s being modest – outside of my friends from college, NO one knew me.
So, I decided to scale down the goal, from “trying to get signed” to focusing on getting ONE song on the radio. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I started making songs for fun, in my apartment, in the hopes that one of my “original” tunes would have enough oomph to get on radio.
Ironically, it would be a song that was already released, combined with the popularity of a Democratic Presidential hopeful, that would help my goal get reached – and SUPASSED.
In short: I started this web site called “One-Song-a-Week, by A.P.T.” where I would post up a new song every Sunday for a full year, as well as a music video for that song. Song/video number five was a parody of a popular Lil’ Wayne song – “A Milli” – that I took and turned into “O-bama O-bama,” where I talked jokingly about all things related to Barack Obama’s campaign.
Once I post the video on YouTube… it was a wrap.
The song not only got millions of hits on YouTube, it also played on radio stations and at clubs around the world, was quoted and/or remade by major and minor celebrities, and – most importantly – helped Barack Obama win more votes in the election than his rival, John McCain.
SO… yeah, I’d say this was one goal that I FAR surpassed this year.
THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: Amazingly, the reason I started doing music in the first place was to display my beat-making abilities and writing skills to others so they’d hire me out to make beats or songs for their artists. I’m really more of a private person – it’s the reason I haven’t really done many performances (I don’t want the fame, I just want the money). For next year, the goal is to shop my music around to artists in California (both underground and major). I want to sell a beat to at least ONE major artist, and write for/perform on a song with at least ONE major artist and ONE underground artist with buzz. I’ve already done collabos with a few underground artist this year, so I know it’s possible!
Oh – and I’d also like to get at least TWO songs on radio, either as the performer or producer of the songs.
GOAL #4: To quit my job and live off my own creations (books, music, etc.)
HOW’D I DO?: Eh, it was a mixed bag. I purposefully spent this year focusing on my music. Once I had a popular song – “O-bama O-bama” – I released mixtapes and, eventually, an album – “The A.P.T. LP” – that I made people pay for. Lo and behold, I actually sold about 30 to 35 copies at 4.99-6.99 each. I also sold quite a few copies of the “O-bama” single (96 and counting – not bad, considering I also had it available as a FREE download!) All in all, I didn’t make enough to quit my job, but enough for me to know that, were I to have the right advertising, it would be possible.
I also have an e-Book I wrote a few years ago. Back in 2006, I was able to successfully sell 10 copies of the book in one month at a good price range (29.99 – 39.99). But again, my focus was on music this year, so I didn’t promote this book at all.
THE GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR: My main issue was figuring out how to advertise myself to a wide audience. Had I known that the “O-bama O-bama” video/song was going to get as big as it did, I would have mentioned my website & E-mail address at the end of the song so people who downloaded it would know where to find me. (I did for the video, but some people only heard the song, not knowing their was a video for it.)
My main goal for next year is to create advertising that will bring better focus to my musical endeavors. I’ve finally figured out one way of doing this – by sending a press release out to the major media – and I will be sending out two PRs within the next 3 weeks: one for my book, and one for my album, “The A.P.T. LP.” It has the “O-bama” song on it, and since he’s being Inaugurated on January 20th, I have a small window of time where my song will be popular enough for people to want to buy it again. Yay!
And that’s it! Overall, 2008 had many highs and lows for me (with the end being mostly low, seeing as my current living situation sucks ass and our electricity just got cut off – thanks a LOT, you landlord a-hole!), and I’m SO glad 2009 is only hours away!