Member Case Study- Meet Nicole Coyne and find out how she went from zero to hero business planner for her biz
Let's face it. Planning can be hard in small business. Sometimes there are just SO many things to do that it's too hard to find the time and energy to confront your business fears, assess your progress and plan for the future.
I get it. I do. This exact problem is why planning fascinates me so much! I have spoken to some of our members who have gone from being corporate plan ninjas to complete messes in their own business within months. Why does that happen to women in business? And how can we learn a better path around it?
This week we're hearing from two of our wonderful members who have made that wonderful transition from planning mess to planning superstar, and they're sharing their top learnings and tips for you.
Member Case Study- Nicole Coyne from Tikumu Consulting
Nicole, can you describe what your life was like before you were good at planning. What goals were you trying to achieve? What challenges did your lack of planning present? How did it make you feel?
When people say they are bad planners, it is generally assumed that they don’t plan at all and muddle through life continuously chasing their tails, procrastinating and generally leaving everything to the last minute.
My issue with planning however was completely the opposite. I tended to over-plan (just a tad). So, what was life like? Overwhelming, busy and exhausting! There were times during my hectic days that I literally could not find the time to go to the loo. I somehow believed that the more you did the better you would be and the quicker you would achieve your goals. Also looking busy and being busy made me feel worthy of my position within the business. I believed I added value by being busy.
The results of over-planning and over-extending myself; I became less focused, less patient and miserable. When I was I unable to achieve what I had set out to do for the day or week I viewed that result as a failure and instead of reflecting on why I had not achieved something and put in the necessary changes I would just push harder the next week, feeding the unending unforgiving cycle of over-planning and busy!
An area that I also failed to nurture was myself. My busy life was always about other people and never about myself.
So what prompted you to make a change in your approach to planning?
Deep down inside I knew I was a serial over-planning and I knew I needed to change it. I also became bitter about having no “me-time”. I think I was waiting for someone to give me permission so I could have my own guilt-free time. In hindsight it seems ridiculous, but that was my reality at that time in my life. As you know change is not easy, you need to find the right purpose to motivate the change as well as new and better habits to replace the old unhealthy habits. Finding the purpose and the alternative habits takes time and not everything you try is going to work first time round.
There were two major prompts in my life firstly, when I started studying towards becoming a professional coach. Ironically your first guinea pig is yourself. Through self-coaching and opening myself up to various coaching techniques I started looking deeper at myself, warts and all, and began altering my habits. That process was a huge wake-up call for me. I still self-coach today, just to keep myself in line. The second major prompt was when I was presented with an opportunity to attend an eight-week mindfulness workshop and I do believe that that was a huge trigger in entrenching more permanent change in my life.
Mindfulness was completely foreign to me and in the beginning I hated it. Sitting still and focusing on one thing for 45min! Really? Me? Imagine what I could plan in that time?
Now, I welcome the time of reflection and quiet. The beauty and benefits of mindfulness is not limited to just your mindset in a 45min meditation space, but mindfulness skills can be implemented in all areas of your life. Focusing on the here and now makes you fully present. This is a major win for me when I’m facilitating a coaching session.
What did you do to empower yourself to become a better planner?
1. Learn to prioritize – Always ask yourself “Will this action benefit me and get me closer to achieving my goal?” (see below prioritizing exercise)
2. Own your uniqueness! You are unique and therefore you don’t need to run your life like everyone else. What works best for you is going to be different from other people. If your colleague starts work at 7am in the morning, it doesn’t mean you need to. Your time is your own, mold it around you, not the other way around.
Copy-pasting other people’s schedules is not a good idea.
3. More questions to ask yourself:
a) What are the 3 things I want to achieve today? One of them must be non-work related.
b) If I am going to start a new project, what will I need to give up in my life in order to make space for the new project?
4. Mindfulness training
5. Get a coach! A resource I should have invested in in the very beginning. I would have been able to move forward far quicker if I had worked with a coach.
Tools to help with planning:
This tool will help you to prioritize your tasks. Not everything on your to do list is that important and should be done immediately.
The following articles could be complimentary:
- Are you a slave to distraction?
- Begin with the end in mind
- Less is more
- The secret to successful project implementation
Finally, share what life is like for you now that you are better at planning. How does it feel?
Less pressure and negative stress.
We can be our own worst enemies a lot of the time. Worst critic and biggest bully. Giving myself permission to take time to focus on the quality not quantity, allowing myself to celebrate the wins. Being okay with the losses and knowing that I don’t have to be perfect and that’s okay. Knowing that I add value.
When you are kind to yourself, when you practice SMART goal achievement and when you are mindful of your actions in the here and now, things flows better.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still busy, but it’s a good busy. I still have to juggle home, kids, business and life but taking myself off the hamster wheel was a good start.
What’s coming up for you in biz?
1) Business Challenge – starting 1st February, 21-day FREE Bricks and Mortar business challenge programme for all business owners and managers. Over those 21 days I will take you through necessary and basic businesses fundamentals, but also look at the “glue” or mortar that holds your business together. Keen to join in? Easy as, click here to let me know that you are on board and be prepared to be challenged by yours truly.
Special for the WE Community!:
For the next 7 days I will be offering an introductory one-hour coaching session at a discounted rate of $97. Contact me for more details.