1. Make more money than last year– and make money every month. I had 2 months last year with no income at all, which was a little scary. Granted, I kind of asked for this (!) by taking 4 months to travel, but this year I’m aiming for a better balance of income and exploration.
2. Work for at least 5 existing clients. I have been able to avoid the “clients from hell” that a lot of my fellow freelancers encounter; I have great, smart clients, including research geeks, non-profit evaluators, and PR and marketing folks. I’d be delighted to work for anyone on my existing client roster (23 and counting!) again.
3. Get at least 5 new clients: at least one non-profit and one local New Orleans client. I was amazed to get 10 new clients last year; I can’t imagine that that will be an annual thing! Still, I’m aiming for 5 new clients this year– at least one who’s eligible for my “do-gooder discount,” and one for the “Big Easy discount.” Tell your friends!
4. Do at least one international project. I did a few international quant projects last year and also had an absolute ball in October doing in-home focus groups and shop-alongs in Morocco and India. I’m on the lookout for at least one project that will put me on an international flight!
5. Do at least five qualitative projects. I’ve always aimed for a mix of qual and quant work, but I usually find myself doing way more quantitative surveys than focus groups. Last year was the closest I came to a balance– and I want to come even closer this year.
6. Do 3 pro bono projects. I was a Peace Corps volunteer and consider myself an altruist at heart. I love helping organizations I believe in get better data to improve their programs; last year I helped design a survey for an amazing NGO I encountered while traveling in Haiti, and this year I’ve already been tapped to help a community barter network with their member survey. I’m actively seeking pro bono work– especially in New Orleans!
7. Work in one sector I’ve never worked in. Since I spent so much time in PR agencies, my sector experience is broad: education, tech, finance, pharma, food, consumer packaged goods, government, hospitality… I’m hoping to touch on a new one this year; maybe transportation, arts/ entertainment, or fashion.