It’s already mid-January so it’s just about time that those goals you wrote down December 31st are being shoved to the bottom of a paper pile, the realities of client work and responsibilities are showing up and that voice that sounds suspiciously like your mother says, who has time for all that nonsense, just stick to what you know!
Before we know it the year will be yielding to tax time, the long, hot summer, back-to-school, another hectic holiday season and 2019.
So today I want to share how I reach my business goals and inspire you to quit quitting and actually achieve those dreams for your entrepreneurial life.
A few weeks ago I shared how I worked on my personal goals and I have to say, 2018 is already off to a strong start.
But often I hear from friends, colleagues and clients that they can only be successful in ONE or maybe TWO areas of life and this limiting belief wrecks havoc on our goal reaching abilities.
If you’ve ever thought:
-I can only focus on my health or the business growth at once,
-Either I make current clients happy or get new clients, I can’t do both, or
-If my finances are in order my marketing suffers and vice versa
Then congrats! You believe, like many others, that success is zero sum and if you’re reaching goals in one area of life, the rest will suffer.
It’s simply not true that you can only improve in one area at a time – if you have the proper view of improvement.
Too many times we follow stories and ideals of heroes who worked day and night to make the Olympics, and gave up fun and friends along the way or the intrepid entrepreneur who coded all night for weeks to make it in the App Store, losing all sense of health and wellness.
The sad part is, those stories emphasize the sacrifice of balance in celebration of the accelerated success elsewhere and we assume that if we’re going to achieve one thing, everything else has to suffer.
It’s time to embrace success as measured progress towards a goal in a sustainable lifestyle that doesn’t sacrifice health, happiness, self-care, finances or relationships.
First, throw away every piece of advice that begins with “7-figures in 7 months!” or “Launch your 6-figure signature service in a weekend!”
To do so is to recognize that we’re all susceptible to clever marketing strategies and we know, or should, that building something brilliant and sustainable and worthwhile takes time.
Give yourself the gift of time and space to truly develop the pieces of your business in a way that will survive the test of time and scrutiny. Be willing to be in it for longer than you think is needed, acknowledging that we often underestimate the effort.
Remember that you’re a human being (not a human doing) and as with any great endeavor you need time and space to reflect, learn, build, create and adjust.
Pushing yourself to ridiculous deadlines and assuming it can all be done in no time at all, just because you’re passionate, intelligent or dedicated is a recipe for disaster.
Second, remember that 1% gains win awards.
This story has been my driving force for changes since I read it last year. Let’s imagine that you focused on improving your email inbox every day for a month. Just once a day you would filter an email, unsubscribe from a newsletter or ask to be taken off a mailing list. 1% change every day, less than 5 minutes a day.
In just a month’s time, you’d have a 30% more manageable inbox which would make a big difference in time, productivity and your mood when you open up email.
But day to day it might not feel like much and that’s okay.
Here are a few ways to make 1% gains in important aspects of your business:
- Reach out to one lead or contact every day for a month and in 30 days you’ll have 20-30 deeper relationships and possibly new clients.
- Track your income earned and expenses paid every day for a month and you’ll have a clearer picture of your profits and whether or not you’re going to hit that income goal.
- Reach out to a client or customer every day and ask for their feedback or a testimonial
- Take 5 minutes or organize files in your computer every day.
- Spend time reviewing the work created by your team members, going over changes with them and assigning new tasks.
- Review and improve one email, sales page or order page every day for your most successful funnel.
Changing your business 1% at a time isn’t about ignoring opportunities or big wins, it’s a focus on sustainable, measured progress.
Imagine that you’re new to the social media platform Instagram (or you’ve looked and your last post was… July) and you’ve read some articles, crafted a strategy and BOOM this week you post 24 images with perfect captions. It’s incredibly likely that next week you’ll be sick of Instagram and quit for a couple months.
1% gains would have you taking that energy and excitement, creating 24 images and then posting 3 a week for the next couple months.
Here are some of the real ways these philosophies helped me reach my 2017 goals:
-Train a new employee on one task at a time, review the progress before adding a new task,
-Instead of trying to make x amount of money, focus on relationship building and the next client proposal,
-Work consistently to improve our signature program elements and migrate it to a new platform,
-Continually review the files on my work computer, organizing what I need to keep and performing regular backups,
-Automate as much as possible of regular tasks for clients with detailed systems and recurring calendar tasks,
-Set and keep regular work dates for new projects and content,
-Regularly review the metrics to see the impact of the work I’m doing without obsessing over numbers.
Now it’s your turn. What area of your business can you apply the 1% gains theory and work on improving over the next week? Take a look at those 2018 goals and remember that if you’re going to reach them by the end of the year starting now and starting small is the way to go.