I’ve talked a lot about brainstorming and research lately but of course that’s not the whole game is it. So, now I want to talk to you about accountability. About goal setting and creating action plans.
I deeply believe that combined well, these things are key to your success.
There’s a lot of buzz around right now about accountability, I think it’s easy to appreciate that a lot of people feel it’s something that coaches coined in order to give you another reason to work with them however, I’m not one of them.
For me, I believe that most people buy any kind of course etc. exactly because they believe that they need that accountability to push themselves forward and they’re not wrong.
Developing your strategies yourself and teaching yourself new skills is absolutely doable when you’re motivated or inspired but the reason coaches mention accountability a lot in their marketing is because using a coach or a trainer is about being directed when you don’t know how to decipher the direction yourself. It’s about having someone hold you accountable for the things you say you need to do, learn or start and accountability supports motivation.
That being said, and I know people say ‘start before you’re ready’, I don’t believe that you should risk your financial future on a coach until you know you’re in a good place, the place where you are self disciplined enough to do the work.
Whether you’re flying solo or you’re working with a coach of some description you should definitely start setting yourself some goals and creating actionable steps.
Setting goals at the beginning of your journey/regular work sessions even if you have a trainer/coach is really important. It helps you know what you plan to work on in that scheduled time.
As mentioned in previous posts and generally across my socials (follow me on Instagram here) you should know why you want to achieve those goals and how achieving them will look in your business.
It also means that you will have a new kind of awareness about your goals between sessions too, that additional awareness is the pocket rocket of momentum because you will continue to learn and grow and have an eye for opportunities surrounding that task/area that you want to focus on.
This is how you move forward and get to that magical place called ‘the outcome’.
One of the things I like about setting goals and creating action plans and then regularly revisiting them is that you not only have this focus but you can also assess anything that has been a barrier to that process which means that you can be more flexible.
Goal setting and action plans are quite literally the route you create to get from A (where you’re at now) to B (your desired destination). It’s really important to remember that there will be barriers, stumbling blocks and diversions along the way that you will never have been able to account for before setting out. These are not necessarily signs to give up but do require you allow your path a level of flexibility that isn’t always easy to come by naturally.
Review and be flexible
It’s much easier to be flexible if you work on a monthly or weekly review basis. If you don’t you can feel blindsided and burnt out. Review sessions are a great way to monitor and adjust and also celebrate any of the ‘mini goals’ or ‘milestones’ that you reach along the way. This is great for your motivation.
And of course, it doesn’t have to just be business goals either. I find that personal growth is essential to business growth, working on your personal life alongside your business will pay dividends back in the long run. Trust me, a decade ago I was a single mum, living in temporary accommodation and unable to eat on a regular basis. Now I own my own business, home and have a loving and respectful relationship with a wonderful man.
Working on yourself will help your business.
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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.
In 1993/4 I was 11/12. I was also just about to hit 6ft 2 with a mop of unruly curly hair and size 9 feet. I felt like Godzilla.
Buying clothes was tough, what I could get was extremely expensive and way too grown up for my tender age to feel comfortable in. I lived in mens clothes that were as baggy as possible and my Reebok classics. My school uniform consisted of a sweatshirt my nan knitted and black mens joggers.
During my teens and particularly as I started working and flirting 😉 I began to hate going to clothes shops. I wore cropped trousers (full length regular) and nearly always tied a jumper around my waist to hide the gap in my midriff. I had no idea how to dress that would make me look the way other girls did.
I either felt like a boy or like a frump. There was never an in-between.
Did I always feel that way?
Around 15 I remember being told that I should dress for the job I want and so, off we went to Long Tall Sally. We bought a pair of black figure hugging bootleg trousers, a minty green button up blouse and a black blazer. It was my first experience of feeling professional, smart and womanly (I thought my bum looked pretty ok in those trousers).
I got the job I wanted and I remember having my ID photo taken wearing that very same mint green blouse. I was the epitome of dressed to impress in my eyes.
Whenever I wore that outfit I felt smart, professional and capable of anything. It was like putting on a costume or a suit of armour – wearing it filled me with confidence in my ability to do my job, just like wonder womans bracelets or Batmans suit.
I got older, life changed, I stayed in the offices and worked my way up to senior management. On my best days I felt good in my clothes, smart and like I was taken seriously.
I wasn’t smarter because of my clothes, I was more confident because of the way I presented myself. My confidence meant that I was able to better manage whatever the day threw at me and better management made me more confident. It was a self-fulfilling circle.
Then and now
Since then I have traded boardrooms, call centres, building sites and corporate offices for a little home office that is just off of my bedroom. I am decidedly heavier and my tummy can be really sensitive what with being full of benign tumours and cysts.
Whilst brainstorming my content earlier this week (video will feature quite substantially) as well as planning in some in person 1-1 sessions, a full day event and some other real life connections I realised that I feel like that schoolgirl again, the one with the knitted school jumper and mens jogging bottoms.
My mind wanders relentlessly to the ‘how to dress myself saga’ that I have created in my mind. If I’m honest it’s not just been recently it’s been for a long long time.
It seems like such a small thing but expressing yourself with your appearance is exactly what we all do, whether it be our hairstyle, our sense of fashion or whether we wear make-up or not. For me, it’s about the outside reflecting my personality and professionalism in perfect synergy but since I work from home and rarely see other people in real life I’m not sure what that looks like anymore.
If I take that old advice and I dress for the job I want then I would live in my pj’s because my business is exactly what I want and I work from home, mostly unseen.
I don’t plan on worrying about it for too long, like with anything the way to move through it is to take action. So I have a make up lesson to book (Thanks to a Christmas gift voucher) and I can sort through my clothes but I do ask myself how much of this is because of the way I want to present myself and how much of this is because I want other people to like the way I present myself?
Struggling with figuring out who you want to be in your business? If you want to chat about anything feel free to email me email@example.com