So you love your business, you're incredibly passionate about making it a success but you find yourself flitting from task to task like a chicken with it's head cut off?
I get it! For years I struggled to create a business plan, marketing plan- any sort of plan that I felt I could stick to in my business. I'd spend time creating something, not sure if it was quite right- or how I was actually going to make it happen.
It would inevitably sit in a folder on my desktop, unused, a quiet reminder every day of how I wasn't 'good enough' to create a workable plan for my business.
I was on a hamster wheel of negative self talk that held me back from reaching out for help when I really, really needed it.
If that sounds like you then read on.
Because today, I'm going to share how I finally got off the hamster wheel, and started making progress in my business.
Step 1. Give Yourself a Break
If you feel like you're hearing a bajillion voices online telling you things like:
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail"
"Businesses who plan ahead are x amount more likely to succeed"
"If you don't have a plan you can't succeed"
Today you officially have my permission to roll your eyes and walk on with confidence because it's not true!
I've had two businesses now. The first became a 7 figure company. The second, I had a 5 figure launch week. Made 6 figures in my first 13 months, working no more than 20 hours a week.
I've never had a written plan that didn't move, shift, flip upside down.
You could spend a YEAR planning, planning, planning for your business.
But for me, experimentation, action and showing up to reach one, powerful goal, has trumped having a plan every single time.
Here's the problem with detailed Annual, 90 Day, Monthly plans- and what might be holding you back.
If you're like me, your business is YOU.
Here's the thing. I have three young kids. My youngest are only 1 and 3. Shit happens. Sometimes, I'm exhausted. Sometimes, I feel like somewhere I've lost two years of my life to breastfeeding, bottles, nappies, tears and cuddles.
And of course when I say 'lost' I don't mean I haven't been grateful for every moment, even the hard ones.
I mean I literally can't remember stuff happening. There was a moment when I was breastfeeding Rosie in her bedroom- which used to be Timmy's bedroom- and I realised I couldn't actually remember or picture in my head breastfeeding Timmy in that room.
Life has been a messy, beautiful blur.
And when it comes to biz, how am I supposed to stick to a plan when my head's like that?
I know you're facing these things too.
It might not be young kids. It might be mental health challenges. It might be caring for elderly parents. It might be facing up to past trauma's. Illness.
There are a million 'life' things that are going to get in the way of a good plan.
So what we need to do, if we're going to stay in the game, is find a way around this planning roadblock, that works, that keeps us going and gets us results.
Here's what I do, and fingers crossed, it might work for you too!
Step 2: 90 Day Planning
Well I call it 90 Day Planning but to be honest, it could be called a 90 Day Anti plan 😂. This process is more about:
- getting your head in the right space so you can show up for your biz in the way it needs
- knowing what things to let go of to allow for laser focus on fewer, more impactful things
- empowering yourself to take massive action for your biz, growing your audience without a content plan 😮
And yes when I write that down it sounds a bit maverick but hey, this is small business and who says I have to do it the same way as everyone else?!
Below, I'm setting out the process I go through (and that I walk our Members through quarterly) to actually get stuff done and feel good about life as I do it! Here goes:
Step 1: Review and Identify the Roadblocks
It's easy to dig your head in the sand and just hope that things get better in your biz moving forward. I know because I've done it 😂🥴. But our goal moving forward is to grow faster, with less effort.
Here's the thing. It's ok to fall flat on your face in business. We all do it. But what you don't want to do is keep running around the same track, reaching the same hole and falling into it every single time- because you don't stop, find a better approach and change tact to move around it going forward.
To do that, we need to know what's actually working in our biz, and what's holding us back.
Don't be scared! This is actually a powerful, simple way to find clarity and take things OFF your to do list. Doesn't that sound GOOD?!
Here we go!
Kick off by reflecting on your goals for the period- what were they? Did you actually set any? If you did, how did you go towards reaching them? What worked? What products sold well? What marketing activities grew your audience? When did you feel excited, in flow, that good things were happening?
How did the year go financially? Did you have an income goal and if you did, how did you go reaching it?
Did you have a clear plan on how you were going to reach your goal? Did you execute it?
And then- What didn't go well? What are you doing or not doing that you feel might be holding you back? This is your chance to brainstorm the roadblocks and mental barriers you're putting up for yourself.
Let's be clear you might feel some feelings of overwhelm and/ or disappointment with yourself if you haven't set goals or haven't reached them. But don't worry!
The reason this process is so powerful is that it allows you to move beyond those emotions, to take control and change your future actions- and results.
The key to harnessing that power is this- once you're done pinpointing what's holding you back, write a list of solutions and ways you could better move past these things moving forward.
If you're anything like me, even though life, Covid, stuff happens, the roadblocks you face are mostly in. your head. So capture them, say hey, I see you, I hear you. But I don't need you anymore.
You don't serve me. What would serve me instead would be this.
And then, for every single thing that's holding you back, brainstorm the solution, write the rebuttal, show that roadblock who's the real boss!
Step 2: Reconnect
OK so you've done some reflection, you know where you are. You know what you need to do more of, and what to let go of. Now it's time to let go of all of that! Forget about it for a moment. It's time to DREAM!
To get started, remind yourself why you're spending your precious life time doing this in the first place. Fire up that engine and get excited! Ask yourself a few questions and reconnect with your passion:
- what is the mission of your business?
- what difference does your business make in peoples lives? Who are you doing this for (besides yourself)?
- what difference does your business make in your own life?
Write yourself a letter, pretending it's the end of next year, congratulating yourself for an amazing year that has already happened.
Get detailed! Include numbers, how much money you've made, personal progress, projects, events, number of clients or audience growth. Small or large, all your dreams count here.
Complete by dating and signing, 12 months from today!
Step 3: Set An Exciting, Measurable Goal That Lights A Fire In Your Belly
Let's be honest here. If we don't really want to make something happen, it ain't gonna happen. I don't really want to run a marathon. So there's no point in me saying I want to run a marathon, buying a new pair of shoes and going for a few half hearted runs.
I already know in my heart I'm not truly motivated to reach this goal.
Whatever goals you set for yourself, they've got to light a fire in your belly. And look, the reason it lights a fire in your belly is nobody's business but your own.
You need to have deep, compelling desire to do this thing. Not because someone else says you should, or it's trendy at the moment or you've been told it's what you should do. But because you know this is a goal you are extremely passionate about making a reality.
And when you do you, when you find that desire, you'll do things you weren't prepared to do before to make it happen.
Let's go back to the marathon example, and let's say I DID really, really want to run a marathon. I'm going to picture that day in my head, see myself running- finishing, and then think about the things that need to happen in order to make that reality come true.
I don't normally go for runs. But without a doubt, if this was the goal, I'd be pounding the pavements to make it happen.
It's exactly the same for business. Once you've got that fire lighting goal, you're going to know what you need to do to make it happen. Write those things down, commit, visualise, figure out how to make it fun along the way.
Without doubt, for me the most powerful goals for my business are my income goals. When I set a goal that I know is achievable with focus, and I have a fire lit under my bum to achieve it, all the other goals become stepping stones to enabling that goal and I create magic.
But Rach, I hear you say, I never reach my income goal. What's the point? 🥴
I get it. I went for a long time not reaching income goals. In hindsight, there were two reasons.
1. My income goal setting system was pants.
I used to set income goals that were so high and I kind of knew I wasn't likely to achieve but I felt I should push myself so I kept doing it. And kept disappointing myself.
2. My mindset was stopping me in my tracks.
I feared failure. Putting myself out there with something and then everybody knowing I didn't achieve it.
I guess I didn't really believe I had it in me, so I put up barriers to making the goals a reality.
Over time I learnt a hack that's made my income goals setting life so much easier. I no longer just set ONE income goal for myself.
Instead, I set THREE income goals for the year, like this:
1. THE MVP/ Minimum Viable Product Goal. This is the minimum possible amount I need to reach to keep this thing going in my biz. It could be that you're just starting out, investing in your biz, or know you're not going to have much time this year to put towards things. What's the minimum amount you need to keep this thing going?
2. The 'Happy Place' Goal: This is the goal that you know you could probably reach if you focus hard and do *most* of the things you need to do to grow your business this year. You'll be pretty content heading into Christmas if you reach this one or come close.
3. The Confetti Goal: This is the one that you actually can't believe came true. It's still actually something that you know you could achieve if the stars aligned and you had a bit of luck, but it's the top end, oh my gosh this is beyond my dreams exciting goal.
STEP 4: MAKING IT HAPPEN
Then, once you have those written down, you think about what you need to do this year to make it happen.
The trick with this is to focus on your Confetti Goal, and nothing else! Because you'll need to be doing different things to reach your Confetti Goal than you'll do to reach your MVP Goal.
So this is going to help you prioritise, strip things OFF that to do list so that you can focus on hard on making your Confetti Moment come true.
What I do is narrow down to 2-3 IMPACT GOALS that I commit to prioritising over the next three months- these are goals that I know will bring me closer to my Confetti Goal- usually content or audience building related and with a heavy focus on conversion and sales.
So, one income goal, and one audience building goal per quarter.
I realise that sounds a bit dry and boring but actually I see it as my chance to get creative!
What fun, engaging content or offers can I create that my audience is going to LOVE that is also going to drive sign ups to The Member's Club? How can I have a bit of fun and give back while I go about reaching for the stars?
I guess I see this as my chance to actually LIVE THE DREAM. Like, not just spend my life hoping that one day I'll earn a bit of cash from my biz, but actually step into my power, do stuff that I LOVE, that other people love too, and want to be a part of, that makes me money too.
Now THAT gets me excited! How about you?
To help you prioritise here's a 90 Day Impact Goals Printable for you (just click to open):
Finally, once I've got those goals, I know I need to channel all the mindset work and get myself out there and promote my business! I pick out key dates in my calendar that I can build momentum around.
Holidays, end of the business year, my birthday, my business birthday- whatever dates will resonate with me and with my audience. In the gaps, you could do a new product launch, a limited time only offer, all sorts of things!
Then, I loosely plan all of my content around that! Those are the times I make offers, celebrate and invite people in to become customers. I don't do a long term, detailed plan, but I do know when those times are coming up, and when I need to start building up momentum around them.
The rest of the time, I'm free to add value, do fun stuff and attract and engage a new audience.
And of course, inside the Members Club we've got a heap of resources to help you do just that too!
Once you've read this, I'd love to hear from you. Have you struggled with planning in the past and which strategies from above will you action now?
Please feel welcome to share because there is NO judgement here and I guarantee we're you're at right now is right where a LOT of others are too!
Your comments might just help another amazing women go further this quarter too so help a sister out and spread the love in our community.
And if you do- hey thank you SO much for giving back, it never goes unnoticed by our team.
With love and a reminder that your past does not determine your future- we all have incredible power to make progress and this is a great opportunity to develop your skills and grow your biz 💓 .
Hi! I'm Rach
I'm the Founder of She Owns it. I love helping Kiwi women grow their businesses through mentorship, coaching and community.