Be For Change

entrepreneurship

Be For Change goals for 2018

OneAware Magazine, Bag For ChangeAna CarneiroComment

I've always found it helpful, fun even, to use certain calendar milestones to look at my life, ask myself questions and renew my intentions before committing to a number of things that make my day-to-day life. You may call it goal-setting. I do it around three time a year: around my birthday in April; mid-September when a new school year used to start; and, you've guessed it, around New Year's Eve. Most years, my New Year's goal-setting is only completed in January - and this year is no exception. I find it hard to take the necessary time in between Christmas and the 31st of December, and to be completely honest and raw with myself as I look at my progress and question my direction I do need a large window of time spent by myself and without interruptions.

There's been a lot of talk this year around the usefulness of New Year's resolutions. To be honest, I find that resolutions are helpful any time of the year, but I always enjoy doing it around 'the start of the year' simply because there's something nice about reading, reflecting and writing while it's cold outside and I'm wrapped up in a knit with a hot cup of tea nearby. Plus, imagining how life will change once my goals have been implemented helps me fight the winter blues and gives me the soaring motivation I need to get out of bed early in the morning, when it's dark outside and the house is freezing cold.

This year, in addition to my personal goals, I've decided to set some Be For Change goals as well - or rather, I decided to separate the two. Now that this company is properly set-up and running, it feels like the right move. As to why I'm sharing them with you, I'm hoping to get your opinions on these goals: which are most relevant to you? is there anything else you'd like to see on this list? do you have tips on how to make any of these become a reality? Let me know in the comments :)

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So, here are the my 2018 goals for Be For Change (in no particular order)

  • To really get One Aware magazine off the ground - last year I set myself the goal of creating this magazine, and now that it has been started it's time to fulfill my vision of how One Aware is meant to be. I want to make it as great as I know it can be, as well as make it more widely known and available.
  • To become closer to the community that has started gathering around this small company - even at such an early stage, there are some of you who consistently like BFC's posts, take the time to reply to my Stories, and introduce my work to others!!! This has been an incredible thing to witness and I know that I've been really fortunate to have your attention (I never had a social media strategy and I wasn't consistently adding value through any platform). Now I'm determined to get to know you better and add value more consistently - which I'm sure will be a work in progress! So if you have suggestions of topics you'd like to see me approach or themes you'd like One Aware to focus on next, don't be shy and let me know! Let's all grow together!
  • To sell all of the Bags For Change currently in stock - there are a few new bags coming out, and once those are out I'm not producing any more unless they sell out. To be honest, despite the amazing reviews everyone gives the bags, they've been a tough sell. So I'm going to give the bags one last push in the next 5 months - and if sales don't pick up and everything gets sold, I'll have to cut my losses and stop stalling money on these bags. This was a tough call for me, and one that I should probably have made last year.
  • To launch two new products - this is where I'm getting a bit ambitious... but it's basically the challenge that keeps me going when the going gets tough. I've got a few options in the pipeline, products I've started working on and didn't see through (partially because I determined One Aware to be the priority). I would love it if I could work some magic with the numbers and launch two of these products this year!
  • My last, and perhaps most ambitious goal, is to have a small team working with me by the end of the year - The last couple of months I was stretched thin, working on the magazine, marketing the magazine, collaborating with a client on their project and doing some freelance work here and there for some cash in my pocket. I'll be completely honest: I'm not very good with numbers, but hiring two people doesn't look very achievable right now. On the other hand, I know that if I had a couple of other committed people working with me we'd be able to get more done and move faster - which would allow BFC to grow, to work on more client projects each year and with a quicker turnaround, and to deliver more to its growing audience.

That's it! My list of goals, some of them set high up, waiting for the taking... I reckon I can get there with your help :P

Now I'll enjoy the rest of my Sunday, and get back to work tomorrow to make this happen :D Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this!

Ana xx

One Aware mag - a journey update

OneAware MagazineAna Carneiro

Hi there!

It's been eight months since I wrote about starting a magazine - an incredible eight months of fun, struggle, and, above all, connection - and so I thought it was time to write again. As I sit to blog today, Be For Change has launched an introductory issue in Summer (grab a free copy here) (oops! We've run out of print copies!!! email me at hello@be-for-change.com to request a PDF) and our Issue 001 is going out in a couple of days (you can pre-order your copy now)!

As many a good journey, this one did not go as expected. I had plenty of ideas to start with, and I thought I had a clear vision of where I was going. But it didn't take long before I was scrambling for answers to questions I had forgotten to consider. Right at that time, my idea of what would become One Aware magazine started being shaped by the input of others - and I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I struggled with that. I hadn't expected to make it all happen by myself, but I am usually a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to my work. More than that, if eight months ago you had told me how comfortable I would be today relying on others for help, I would have raised an eyebrow (maybe even two). But here I am.

Nowadays I am incredibly happy about the small family that has gathered around One Aware. These are the people who act as a sounding board for ideas in their lunch breaks, call me when I send a sad text about something that went wrong, spell check the articles when they get home after work. Not a single person who helped bring this magazine to life works in publication, or for Be For Change; nope, everyone is elsewhere employed and worked on One Aware in their spare time. They deserve a big round of applause! (oh wait, this ain't a speech... Can you give them some love in the comments?).

These are not the only relationships which have resulted in the amazing feeling of connection I mentioned earlier. It might seem weird, but I feel like I am now connected with everyone who has put work forward to this publication. I get to read each story and see all artwork submissions as they come through our inbox. Most of the time, I open the company's email only to find there is nothing new, but in some awesome days there is an email or two titled 'Submission' - and I practically jump, and get wide grin in my face. It is honestly a privilege to see what our audience submits, even if not all work makes it to print. You are such a diverse bunch, pursuing so many different things in life! I do hope that the magazine does you justice, and I hope that you feel as inspired reading it as I feel when I first open those emails. By the way, I love replying to your emails, asking further questions about what you do and getting more details to edit into your texts. It is my absolute favourite thing when our contributors react to finding out that their work is going into One Aware! (Maybe for the next issue I'll ask to share a few of those emails, because you guys/girls have had some pretty awesome things to say!) (This is yet another reason why we'll keep working with artists and writers who are still establishing their names :)

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As I wrote before, there have been plenty of struggles too. And the worst part is that it's usually me who inadvertently created whatever difficult situations. From failing to communicate what I needed and getting frustrated when people delivered the 'wrong' things, to failing in time management and getting stressed as deadlines fail again and again.

There's truly less than a handful of people bringing One Aware to life, and most of the time it's really just two people: Sam (the graphic designer who does more than fits his job description) and me. We ideate, execute and push each other through all the big tasks and menial ones too. With an increasing amount of work for each issue, it feels increasingly hard not being able to pay my One Aware fam for all that they contribute. It is our hope that we've proved the value of this independent publication with this issue, that sales will follow and we'll be able to secure a few sponsors for the Spring issue. I would be living in a dream if by then the magazine was financially viable, with enough money to pay contributors and for a small space where we can all work together without being in the way of our flatmates.

Other challenges anyone in our generation might face, namely the struggle to print sustainably and at a decent price. It is honestly ridiculous that sustainable printing and paper aren't the norm yet - but once again, we have the power to cast a vote with our money. And so we did, even though it means spending more money and the magazine being more expensive (fact: we'll need to sell a lot just to break even, so if you can contribute and purchase with purpose, that would be hugely appreciated!) A couple of years back I would have turned in a different direction; but not now. I am learning with my mistakes and doing my best to get One Aware off the ground, because I really believe in the importance of putting in print the thoughts and experiences of our generation.

It is true that for the most part Millennials are a digital generation, but we also value print. We treat our books and magazines with respect, and proudly scatter them around the house. In a world gone largely digital, we still choose to pay more for words and images on paper. We trust in pages we can hold and smell to keep the messages that matter to us, close to us. With print we can borrow and lend and pass onto other people - with a nice handwritten message on the inside cover.