How to set long term goals in your small business

How to set long term goals in your small business

Achieving any goal requires some effort on your part and if you want to get methodical about it then I highly recommend a bit of a goal setting session (Ahhh, I remember when back in the day a session involved far too much snakebite and lots and lots of dancing) 

It all starts with figuring out:-

1) What you REALLY want and why?

2) What has to happen for you to get it/there?

After that it’s about working backwards.

Some coaches I know refer to this as the desire, drive and do method which I think is pretty cool, I have a little love for calling it the Spice Girl method (tell me what you want, what you really really want). 

Step One

First is my favourite step because you can go alllll out and it can also reignite your inner child a little – remember those days when you would play games with your friends and/or siblings and would be pretending to be grown ups and the time would fly by and you would sleep hard dreaming of what might be.

Anyway, this step requires that you get comfortable and start daydreaming. Keep your computer screen open or if you’re like me – a pen and paper to hand in case you need to note anything down and get to thinking about what you really, really want. 

I know this imagination part can be tough, you might feel silly or unworthy but honestly, this is setting the foundations for your success in goal setting and it’s so important. 

I remember the first time I chose to do this. I was alone and I felt embarrassed – can you believe that, embarrassed because I was giving voice to something I’d long ago buried.

My circumstances weren’t that great and I needed to change but I had no idea what to do to make that happen. This exercise was something I just learned to do for myself but over my years of study into self development it turned out that it was an actual method for building a life and business you love!

Let me be clear, it’s ok to be embarrassed or feel awkward but don’t let that put you off. If I hadn’t started that exercise 10 years ago, I would not be self employed with my own business, living in my own home in a town I love and feeling more content than I have ever felt. 

I digress, give yourself time to daydream – not ages – but a healthy amount of time for this. I like to spend some quality time alone in the house with a vat of tea and my favourite biscuits. When I set myself some big goals back in September I was on holiday so at 5am I was on the balcony, daydreaming with a hot coffee and the sun on my face – it was bliss. 

Whatever environment makes you feel relaxed and happy is the one you want to be in for this exercise.

I’m going to assume that you’re here because you want to set big goals for your business and find a way to make them achievable. So, I want you to use this daydreaming time to imagine where you see yourself and your business/career in 5-10 years. I’m an old hand at this so generally I start with imagining myself waking up in the morning. Where am I, how do I feel, what do I look like, what’s in my diary for the day etc. I imagine who I’m talking to and why, I imagine the day my family are having because of my level of business success and I imagine myself discussing or planning the week ahead too.

If you’re doing this now give yourself a good 30 minutes to imagine and then come back to me afterwards, you don’t need to jump ahead – this part of the process is invaluable.

Step Two

Now another of my favourite things to do – brainstorming!

That’s right, write down everything you can think of that made you feel successful in your business. It can be big or small. Here are a couple of examples if you’re feeling weird again:

  • Checked my email and have had a booking confirmed for speaking at Youpreneur Live for next year, I am fully booked with speaking gigs a year in advance
  • I went to the office and discussed our next big ‘launch’ with my team
  • I had a gallery wall of all the magazine features I had been in
  • I have been asked to be an expert on XYZ show
  • My husband/wife/son/daughter/mum work with me in the business full time
  • I got a text off of XYZ to confirm our lunch date
  • I had a meeting with XYZ and we confirmed that I have been hired to XYZ for their…

You get the picture right?

This will look different for you depending on what your business is. For me, my vision often sees me retiring my family from their jobs (if they want to) and with them then working freelance with me in my business as it’s financially capable of supporting them.

I want you to write literally everything you can remember that made you feel like a success in your daydreaming session. I’ve even written down what I was wearing and what I could see out of my window. This level of detail is useful because it creates more form for your dreams and more form makes you feel like you can set them as goals.

If you’re a stationery lover like me, grab yourself a highlighter and highlight anything that will most likely need a year to come to pass. For me I assess long term goals as exceeding 12 months so here is where we start drawing our focus to the long term goals. 

Step Three

Simplify.

It’s probably a pretty busy list right now. Focus on the highlighted ones and take a good look (these are technically all of your long term goals) and take a moment to group items that are similar. When there are several similar items it can be more sensible to have them as 1 significant long term goal.

For instance several of the goals I mentioned above as examples relate to being recognised as an authority figure in the chosen industry – speaking gigs/guest expert/hired by a well known brand or person etc. I would therefore group them together at this stage and create 1 larger goal.

Step Four

It’s time to choose and prioritise.

Now your list should be a fair bit smaller. I want you to number them consecutively – 1 being your highest priority and 2 the next highest and so on and so forth. 

Step Five 

Let’s crack open your top priority now. This is the long term goal to go on your board and to actively work towards. (Keep all the others somewhere safe and remind yourself to take a look in a month or so – I like to take a look at them regularly as it helps me stay on track)

We need to really take a look at this top priority in depth because this next step is to identify 2 things that need to happen this year in order to move us closer to that goal.

Lets see, becoming an authority in my industry.

Here is an example of two things I can do that will take the duration of this next year and will make the biggest impact on that goal

  1. Get featured in a popular and genre appropriate magazines/newspapers/podcasts – PR
  2. Build a highly engaged following on Social Media – Visibility

Here we have it. These are my two long term goals for this year for my business. Of course there are tonnes more that I *want* to achieve but these are the two linked to my highest priority goal.

Step Six

Breakdown the goals into lots of actions you can take – these then allow you to do something towards that goal every single day – these smaller actions are the real needle movers. 

Some will be one offs, some will be regular but the key is to making them manageable. (if they’re not manageable, they’re not actionable)

For example a bad action point would be ‘Earn 100k on one launch’ – that’s because it’s not actually an action but is in fact the consequence of other actions.

An example of a good action would be – reach out to the ‘podcasts/magazines/newspapers’ and ask what they require from me in order to be featured.

A recurring action would be – do a weekly live to share and showcase my experience etc.

Step Seven

Review regularly.

As you take these small actions you’re going to progress along the path to your long term goal. That means that you’ll learn more, understand more and you will need to add more or reevaluate old actions. So review regularly, I like to do this once a month – personally it just helps me get excited for the month ahead and appreciate the changes in the month just gone.

This method of breaking down your major goals will help to keep you inspired and it will also give you something that you refer back to when you’re struggling, confused or simply reviewing. 

Bonus tip

Okay I admit it, I’m definitely a ‘blossoms under positive reinforcement’ kind of a girl. This means that if I find it hard to see the needle move I can get easily discouraged (FYI this apparent slow progress is normal when you set long term goals because the needle moves behind the scenes way more than it does up front to start with) 

So I use these ‘actionable steps’ to set milestones and I celebrate when I hit them, they are my way of reminding myself that what I’m doing may be small but it is also mighty.

Examples 

  • Dinner out at fave quality restaurant when I reach 50(100/1000/10000) email subscribers
  • A spa day when you hit a certain number of words written in your book
  • A bottle of favourite wine when you hear back from the newspaper/podcast/magazine with the information you need
  • A midweek day off when you have 50 people in your Facebook group 

Etc. etc. Milestone celebrations are uniquely personal to you. Mine would mostly consist of eating out.

If you’re struggling with figuring this all out by yourself I have a great mentorship package. Register (with no obligation) for information on the next availability by clicking SIGN UP TODAY.

Catch you later, Amy x 

Creation and why it’s the start of your start up

Creation and why it’s the start of your start up

One of the things you have taught me is that this freelance/small business/start up journey is one of many pathways and options.

It’s a bit like building a house and in that respect it’s really important to start with really solid foundations. There is a whole process to starting, building or expanding an existing business or freelance career but the first step really is all about creation.

Anyone that dreams of building a business is a creator but sometimes the creative mind can be so full of fizz and energy with lots of ideas that it’s hard to focus and really get momentum.

Taking a look at these ideas and beginning the process of turning them into actual things really is what this first ‘foundation’ building step is all about. It’s a skill you can learn and a tool you can use no matter what stage you’re at it’s all about taking your idea out of your head and making it concrete – giving it an existence.

Giving it an existence means that it begins to have form. It’s out of your head and written down on paper. It is what will ultimately enable you to get incredible clarity on what you need to do in order to make it happen.

I think one of the goals of all this is to make sure you’re enjoying the process as much as its success – treat it like something fun and it makes the methodology, the work so much more vibrant, achievable and doable. 

It’s all about having fun, creating clarity and finding out what tools you’re going to need.

Creation – taking your idea and making it concrete.

Why is this so important?

Frankly, we all have a gazillion million pound ideas but having a great idea in your head is just a fantasy. If you don’t give it an existence and support that with actionable steps you don’t have the million pounds, you just have a great idea.

Personally I believe it’s one of the most significant steps and because it’s so basic you’ll notice that a lot of people skip it entirely.

The instinct is to say you have an idea then run with it and it’s messy and hard and like climbing up a hill backwards in tar or you don’t really do anything with it at all. 

It is a teachable skill (you’ve probably already been taught it). We all know you can’t be an Olympic gymnast without learning the basics and working them hard! It’s the same with your idea – you need to do the basics and work them hard too.

It will help to stop you feeling like you’re being reactive instead of proactive, it will make you feel like you are more together with it and understand and retain the intrinsic value of your idea.

Implementing a habit of fleshing out your ideas will give you a better understanding of the business side of what you’re planning to do which means that you are creating space to focus on your zone of genius. 

It helps you waste less time, helps you maintain your energy and really does reduce the tasks that really aren’t going to get you anywhere.

Even better, you will absolutely learn from your own process and it’s associated success.

There are 6 basic steps to this process and you’ll already know some of them

I call it the springboard method:

Step 1: HAVE THE IDEAS

Step 2: BRAINSTORM All OF THEM – SELECT 1

Step 3:-RESEARCH YOUR IDEA

Step 4: CREATE ACTIONABLE STEP(S)

——————————————————–

Step 6: MONITOR AND ANALYSE

Step 7: RINSE AND REPEAT

Basically put this set of steps is going to be how you know what you need to do.

Simple right? Basic even? So, why don’t more people do it? Because we like to over-complicate it. We think the key to our success is rooted in the algorithm but it’s rooted in nailing the basics.

It’s easier to nail them when you have someone to do them with. If you’re interested, I’m hold FREE masterclasses and webinars. If you want to register for more information click below on SIGN UP TODAY.

Catch you later, Amy x

What does it look like?

What does it look like?

A lot of why we end up feeling disconnected and discontented is because we are aspiring to mould ourselves into a shape we simply don’t fit. We are trying to be either, or.

Mostly though, my belief is that we are always a little of everything and that to get the most out of our time and energy we should embrace this, especially in business.

We are both chaotic and quiet. We all crave a little structure and we all crave a little freedom, they are not mutually exclusive and can work together well. Being a mixed up melting pot of desires and needs and thought is utterly normal and more than OK.

If you asked anyone who knew me professionally they would tell you how incredibly organised I am. I am a list maker, a process builder and a strategy implementer. What they don’t see is the creative process, the madness, the wildness, the art of it all. They wouldn’t have seen it because I was trying to hide it.

I spent much of my life pushing down the creative in me because I thought I couldn’t possibly want order and chaos at the same time. It wasn’t normal to be both these things. You were either a free spirit or a stick in the mud. Either/or, see?

I believed that I couldn’t possibly be this way, that I was wrong somehow and that by being both these things at different times or indeed all the time it would cause a rift in time and space that would see me swallowed whole if I didn’t reign myself in (I think I watch too many supernatural apocalyptic dramas that thinly veil the ‘be who you are meant to be or bad shit will happen’ morality).

Then I started my business and I started working with incredible people who, for whatever reason, were holding themselves back from excelling in their chosen field in exactly the same way as I was in my own life.

Making themselves small because they thought they could only be one thing at a time and to continue with being over dramatic, it broke my heart.

So often we can see with a clearer perspective when looking at someone elses problems and sometimes it’s super easy to see the solution too, oh how unbalanced is self-perception.

So what do we do about this conundrum? How do we even begin to approach the habits of our lifetimes?

We get honest about who we are and we get clear. We can and often are a little of all things. We must ask ourselves, if we took away the trappings of societal norms and other people expectations, what does productivity and success look like to you?

Ask yourself:

  1. What should flexibility in your life/business look like to you?
  2. What makes you feel inspired and driven, how often is that a part of your schedule?
  3. What about your current situation drains you and limits your energy?
  4. What tools do you use that actually work for you?
  5. Why have you been preparing your schedule in this way?

It’s not exhaustive of course and it brings up other questions. It begins to challenge the stereotypes that you’ve created about yourself, how you work, how you learn and importantly, how you grow.

I challenge you to pick one of those questions and dive a bit deeper, let me know what you come up with.

If your current situation isn’t working for you, maybe it’s because you’re going against the tide instead of with it so, if that’s true what could you achieve if you leaned into your personality and worked with it?

I’d love to work with you on finding your version of awesome, on building a success that mirrors your deepest desires and not the norm. If you would like to find out about the mentor package (just £65 a month) the click the button below.

Catch you later, Amy x