goals

4 ways to create consistency in your business

With so many ideas in our minds, goals that we want to set and actual work that we need to do, it can be overwhelming to keep showing up everyday, growing our businesses in the ways that they need to. Today, I’m covering 4 ways to create consistency— so that you can hold yourself accountable and be the professional that you need to be (and that your business deserves!)

These tips will help you to stay on track with “all of the things” that you need to do — so that your potential dream clients can find and follow you (and know that you mean business!)

1. Decide what you need to accomplish.

Sounds simple enough, but sometimes, you really just need to sit down and figure out what you not only want (but need) to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Talk to friends, family, business besties, masterminds, whoever you can. Write down all of the different tasks that you have in your business. These can be business development and client-related ones. Go back and decide on a set number of realistic projects (and reach ones) that you will start taking action towards completing. What do you need to do in your own business and what clients do you need to serve (or products that you need to create) daily, weekly, monthly? Make sure that these are all items that will truly make an impact and help you grow your business.  

2. Decide on timeframes.

Once you’ve decided on the tasks at hand, put deadlines on them. I keep a running list of daily “to-dos” on a digital sticky note on my laptop’s desktop. I also keep a day or time that I need to have them done by and sent off to a client — or be prepared for scheduling. Sometimes, the most important and effective thing that you can do is giving yourself an actual timeline/deadline — and then stick to it. Again, these can be daily, weekly or monthly. Some tasks are going to be recurring or short term and others are going to be in the queue for later down the road. Either way, they ALL need to get done at some point. This is where you specifically decide on those times.

 3. Setup your systems.  

Now that you know literally what you need to do and when those things need to be done, setup the systems that will make it all happen! For me, my tasks are split between two categories: business development (my own marketing) and client work. Business development includes weekly blogging, emailing my list, posting to social media and engaging in Facebook groups. My client work is my monthly load of money-making projects — my bread and butter and what I consider my priorities. I use a couple of different platforms like Asana and Dubsado to setup my jobs, keep track of client/project notes, deadlines and more. I also keep an “old-fashioned” pretty planner that I write in and use to keep track of my calendar (along with my Google calendar/iPhone, of course.) These systems enable me to know what I need to get done now and what I have coming up and need to prepare for. I also use Dubsado for sending client contracts and FreshBooks for generating and delivering invoices. When it comes to my own business work, I write my blog posts ahead of time and then schedule them within Squarespace. I also create and upload my weekly graphics that go out in Buffer, a social media-scheduling app. Of course, I dabble in a mix of other areas to keep things running, but these platforms are the main ones that I use. I’ve described them here so that you can see how important it is to use different tools and programs to track, create, schedule and more. I’m in these platforms daily because they keep me accountable — and I can see everything that I have going on in my business at any given moment. I have things that need done daily, weekly and monthly — and my systems help me to get them done, which allows me to keep showing up and being visible in front of my audiences (clients and prospects.)

4. Commit and…DO IT!  

For real, just do it. You know what you need to do, when you need to do it and how you’re going to get it all done with the systems that you put in place. Do whatever works for you — not everyone else. Whatever you need to do each day in your own business and for your client base, DO IT. Whatever you need to do each week, each month, each quarter and each year — DO IT. We can write things down, think about them, track them and stay organized/conscious of our time, but if we are not physically “doing the things” no one else is, either. (Unless you’ve hired a team, of course!) Regardless of what you’re responsible for (or any helpful assistants) — just take each task seriously and work until it’s crossed off of your list! The more that you show up consistently, the more professional that you will look in general — and the more seriously that you will be taken! 


Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
I got a question for ya. How is your branding looking? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!

4 ways to set quarterly goals

I was on a video call with my mastermind group earlier this week and someone mentioned that Q1 (the first quarter of the business year) is already over! I couldn’t believe it. I guess I knew it, as I track my income each month and am in the middle of booking April and May projects right now, but it took someone else literally saying it to make it very real. This year, I decided to take a slightly different approach to my goal setting and focus on 30-day goals. If I can figure out what I need to do each month to keep me moving along at a good pace within my business plan, I feel more productive and like I’m actually crossing things off of my list. And, if I set good and solid monthly goals, it will only help me to set and hit my quarterly goals.

With Q1 over, it’s time to set yourself up for success, so that you can hit Q2 even more out of the park. It’s cliché, but true — TIME FLIES. And, time is money (am I right?) There simply isn’t enough of it in the day. Because time flies, it’s super important to maximize each day with setting goals and being productive with achieving those goals, to help you get where you ultimately want to be, regardless of where/what that is. We all run different businesses, some big, some small, some in their early baby stages just getting feet wet — and some have been around the block and are really killing it. No matter what kind of business you run or where you’re at in your business model/plan, breaking up client projects, business development and money goals by quarters will help you to really see where you want to be and what you need to do to get there. I’ve outlined *4* quick tips below that will help you set quarterly goals, a necessary thing to do as an entrepreneur:

1. Decide how much money that you need to make each month, in order to reach that quarter’s financial goals.

First, in case you don’t already know, here is how a standard business year is financially setup:

Q1: January – March

Q2: April – June

Q3: July – September

Q4: October – December

Decide what you need to make each quarter, in order to meet your end of the year income goal. So, figure out what you need to make each month. It sounds simple, but it truly makes it easier to plan your calendar, figure out how many clients/projects that you need to book and how often that you need to work and when, in order to make what you need to. Everyone’s goals are different. Obviously, you need to take care of your cost of daily living, whether it’s just you or you’re supporting a family. Then, figure out what you need to keep in your business bank account to take care of monthly expenses. Think about what you want to save away for taxes and other important things. And, think about what you want to invest. Start with the money goal, no matter what it is — and work backwards.

2. Set small and actionable goals to help you reach the above money goals.

Now that you’ve figured out that you want to make “$x” this month (April) to get you on the right track for your overall Q2 goals, think about what you need to do to make that money. Do you provide 1:1 or group services to your clients? Do you sell digital/physical products? Or, do you do a mix of both? Regardless, figure out how many clients that you need to book, what offers or products that you need to sell, etc. in order to bring in that cash flow. If you only need to book 1 or 2 clients or sell 10 of your products, that’s enough to go off of for now — great! Figure out what client-getting activities you need to do (sending an email to your list, running Facebook ads, engaging in Facebook groups, posting on Instagram, running a special or incentive, etc.) and go do them!   

3. Setup systems to help you reach the above small and actionable goals.

Once you’ve figured out the client-getting activities that you need to do, in order to book or sell enough, then decide the best ways to execute those activities. Maybe you email your list with a special offering just to them. Perhaps you host a session of free calls or a webinar, to help solve your potential client’s/following’s issues. Maybe you take advantage of the weekly promo threads in Facebook groups and let others know what you’re offering. Or, maybe you can generate some traffic to your site because of that podcast or blog that you were just featured on. The ways that you can reach your audience are endless. Just figure out where they’re hanging out, what they need and how you can best serve them.

4. Think about the big picture, too — and long-term goals. Decide what short-term goals will help you reach those long-term goals.

I’m all about setting the smaller, monthly, actionable goals because they’re attainable and realistic. And, I truly believe that they’re the little bursts of productivity that you need everyday, to get you one step closer to your goals. However, I’m also a BIG goal-setter, planner and dreamer. I think it’s equally important to look at the big picture, so that you’re seeing where you ultimately want to be. Do you know what that is for yourself — 1 year, 5 years or even 10 years from now? Do you want to do what you’re doing now, forever? Do you see yourself evolving, growing and changing course down the road? Most likely! I know that I do. So, what are the important things that you and I need to do today, tomorrow, next week, next year, in order to get us there? This will help us to figure out what small goals that we need to achieve, in order to get us closer to our big dreams. Just remember that each day, no matter how lousy or unproductive that you feel, you ARE one day closer to where you really want to be. Comment below and let me know if you achieved your Q1 goals? What are your Q2 goals?


Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
Here we are, 2017! How is your branding looking for the new year? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!

4 big changes I made in 2016, to help shape my 2017

Happiest of new years to you! If you’re an entrepreneur like me, you’re constantly planning, setting goals, dreaming up your next offering or service, the next best way to generate some cash flow and hoping to double your income from the previous year. You’re thinking of the best ways to do all of the above, while still doing what you love, being authentic and providing your clients with the best value possible, with everything that you deliver to them.

I started 2015 still working for an agency full-time, but freelancing on the side. I started 2016 having just left that beloved agency, my fabulous boss and co-workers (who I still miss dearly) – and preparing for the transition to working for myself full-time. Now, here we are in 2017 – and I’ve been working solely for myself for exactly 12 months. With every twist and turn, pro and con and up and down that I faced in 2016, I learned many invaluable lessons in not only business, but also in life. In order to grow, we can’t just dream, think or plan. We have to physically take action and DO. For this to happen for me, some changes had to be made, so that I could work quicker, more efficiently and serve my clients better, without feeling complete burnout. If you’re in the same boat that I was a year ago, try out one (or all) of the big changes that I made, which not only impacted my 2016, but will also continue to benefit me in 2017. You will definitely see results. Happy change making!

1) I hired a business coach.

In March of 2016, I came across Jenny Shih, an uncompromising business coach who believes in “success on your terms.” Jenny emphasizes that you can do what you love, while also living a life that you love. I came across her name somewhere along the line of following Kendrick Shope’s emails. (I heard about Kendrick through the Being Boss podcast.) She came highly recommended, so I made contact with her assistant, originally interested in one-on-one private coaching. Instead, I came to learn that she was actually getting ready to open a group-coaching program called “Make $10K [Every Dang Month.]” It was exclusive to just a small group of female entrepreneurs who had been making a consistent amount of money each month, but were ready to double it — and learn the ways to work towards that. I applied and was accepted! I was involved with this coaching from May-October, learned how to look at my business differently and put better systems in place to run it. Hiring a coach and joining this program was the biggest financial investment that I made in my business to date, but you have to spend money to make money. When you are ready to take that next step and make more, you need counsel outside of family and friends. You need to learn from someone who has been there and knows how to grow an audience. Even with very simple ideas and strategies, Jenny helped me to see things more clearly and instilled a new confidence that I could do what I wanted, charge what I wanted and still be of good service to my clients. Every business owner will reach a point sooner or later when they are ready to hire a professional to help them grow their business and I’m so glad that I found Jenny. I also became good friends with the five other fabulous women in the group, which segues into the next big (and best) change that I made in my business. 

2) I joined a mastermind.
Thanks to “Make $10K” and Jenny, I was able to form a mastermind group with the rest of the ladies in the group. I feel very fortunate because a lot of entrepreneurs pay to be in high-level groups like this, which meet weekly. While I made a big investment initially with “Make $10K” and got to join this group as part of it, the ladies and I still meet weekly, even though the group coaching ended last year. We all wanted to stay connected and still meet for two hours every Monday, so, we do! It’s inspiring, emotional, educational and full of friendship and fellowship. We all do different things for a living and are spread out throughout the U.S., but we all have bonded, bounced around great ideas, built each other up when needed and learned how to grow our businesses. We’ve gone through not only professional changes, but also personal ones — and been there 100% for each other along the way. I’m so grateful for this group — they are my go-to when I need help brainstorming the next big thing that I want to do.   

3) I put new systems in place for more efficient workflows.
Thanks to Jenny’s (and the group’s) help, I learned about (new to me) platforms to use in my business, so that I could work smarter and not harder. I work hard enough in my business and enjoy it, but now, I can automate a few things a little easier, so that I get some time back in my day to focus on more important things – like client work. I started working more in Google Docs, so that I could keep my client and income tracking, website copy, goals, service/offer outlines and other necessary items all in one place for better organization and easier editing. I started using Asana as a way to manage and keep track of my client projects. I also setup an account with Buffer, so that I could upload and schedule my social media posts for each week. These are all simple tools to use, but they really help me to stay a little more organized and on schedule. 

4) I packaged my services + updated my pricing.
I always read that in order to serve clients better and to make more money, you need to package your services. I used to give custom quotes to potential clients and I started experimenting with branding packages in 2015, but it wasn’t until the “Make $10K” group coaching that I learned to really dive in, figure out what I wanted to do (and didn’t want to do) and add more value to my services. While you can always revisit your offerings and change things up, I learned how to increase my prices so that I could focus on 2-3 branding clients a month, make a little more money — but most importantly, give more to my clients. Not only can I carve out more of my time for them, but I can deliver more tangible results, give them continued support even after the logo is designed, the website is live and the business cards are printed. I can provide more strategy and deliver to them much quicker. I also transitioned a lot of the one-off services that I was doing consistently for some regular clients to monthly retainer models. These work out great, because I can invoice one time, the client pays one time, they know exactly how many projects I will complete each month for them and I can plan my month better. Again, it’s simply better organization and clearer expectations that are met all the way around. I will again be making some new changes to my services for 2017, so check back here to my site in the next couple of weeks. A lot will stay the same, as I liked the way things worked overall in 2016, but I’m adding a few more bells and whistles that I know will benefit my clients and what they need for their businesses even more.    

---

Branding 101 - Free Downloadable Guide
It's a new year! Are you ready for 2017? Do you have a logo, website and more that you absolutely love…or…not so much? If you’re not a design professional, branding might be something that you don’t love to do for your business or you simply don’t have time for, so let someone else take over! Sign-up below to receive the link to download my new and free PDF tool “Branding 101: What it is, what it isn’t and why you need it” — right now! This quick and simple guide will walk you through why it’s important to establish consistent and memorable branding within your biz — and if you can DIY some of it or if you should hire that professional. If you have any questions after going through it, let’s connect and chat some more!