How I Hit My Goals (aka My Monthly Process)

A few weeks ago I shared how I manage my Idea Overload Syndrome using my adapted Bullet Journal and if you’re curious you can read about it here.  Now I’m going to share how I work on my monthly goals and what I do on a regular basis to keep me on track and focused on the bigger picture.  A caveat though, I’m re-working some of my processes to find the right balance for me and some of what I’m doing I’m not keeping in a digital format as I’ve found my larger, more strategic planning seems to work a bit better in a digital format.

So here goes…

As I mentioned before I’m a big fan of Leonie Dawson and her Amazing Business & Amazing Life Academy, and absolutely love her Create Your Amazing Year Workbook.  Though I’ll admit I haven’t used the full potential of it yet, but 2015 it will become a pivotal point of planning process (I’ll share more on that later).

The beginning of each month I do a few things to wrap the previous month and the set the intention for the new month ahead.  Let’s start with the setting intention for the new month first.

Evernote10000feetReview my big goals – this is the 10,000 Foot level review.  

It’s what I want to accomplish for the year, what I want work towards.  I was using my Bullet Journal for this, but found that it got lost, as I moved to a new Moleskine.  So I’ve moved that to Evernote (my ever trusty digital idea catcher & everything else I want to get out of my busy head!).  This is a snapshot of what it currently looks like.  I have links to my 3 key spreadsheets that I update and review on a regular basis, followed by my big goals or metrics. As you can see these are very high level and don’t have much detail, but they don’t need it as I use my planner spreadsheet (or should I say will be using my 2014 – 2015 planner spreadsheet to dive deeper into the details)

Next I have my Regular Review details – this includes my weekly review for money coming in as well as my email list growth – the two metrics I’ve decided to focus on for the balance of 2014 and I will add a few additional metrics to this in 2015.

Then I follow this up with a reminder of want to meet for my monthly metrics, followed by a link to the Monthly Monkey Making Kit (you can see a template I have here in Evernote and if you like it you can copy and paste the content to your own Evernote Account).  I use this each and every month to help me focus on what I need to accomplish that month to hit my money goals.

Interesting thing for me, my husband and I are very much one when it comes to our finances and I discovered once I changed the terminology to be inclusive of both of us I found that the money flowed more easily to us.

Not on the screen though is my Monthly Goals, it’s a simple table that has my additional goals for the month, it’s a table that has the months set into the quarters for the year, I haven’t really used this much yet, but my 2015 planning this will become a key element for my overview.

This digital element is a new format for me, as I was keeping it all in my Bullet Journal but found it was getting lost, now what do I include in my bullet journal?

I have two key pages for each month

Client Inquiries & My Monthly Focus

The two pages are pretty simple.

10000feetmonthlyreview

Client Inquiries – here’s what I believe you need to open the energy and the space for new clients, so I create a page that has space open to bring in the number of new client inquiries for the month.

The next page is a simple checklist of what will be the focus for the month.  This comes from my Evernote Note, as I shared above.

Then each week as I shared in my previous post, my tasks and focus for that week trickles down from this focus. Oh and if you’re curious the purple is washi tape that I use to mark each month, makes it easy to find in my Bullet Journal.

What I do to wrap the month

While I have a pretty good handle on how things are going for each month since I implemented my spreadsheet that I use to track my incoming money as well as my email list growth on a weekly basis I am able to do a quick analysis of my month pretty quickly and here’s what I do…

I use GoDaddy Bookkeeping at the moment for handling any invoices I issue as well as track all of my expenses.  I have found it to be the best for being automatic with the importing of expenses from my PayPal account as well as tracking payments that clients might make using Stripe (a gateway to accept credit cards & an alternative to PayPal). One of my goals is to keep my monthly expenses under $200 per month, if I don’t have a VA on board and under $1500 per month if I do (yes, I’m willing to pay out that much for a VA!) using GoDaddy Bookkeeping makes this super easy and quick to do.

So I do a review of my expenses, then I check how I did for hitting my revenue goals and do a happy dance and say thank you to the universe when I hit them or exceed them and last month I made $350 more than I planned!  A good thing.

In 2015 one of my metrics I’m going to really start to measure is the growth of my product offerings income versus my service offerings as I know to grow my business and give me the flexibility I truly desire, I need to grow my product offerings more and only work with a few select (and awesome clients!)

Did you find this helpful?  If so, I’d love to hear what part you’d like to maybe incorporate into you business and how you see it help you….

How the Bullet Journal cured Idea Overload Syndrome

Last week I shared with members of my list that I suffer from Idea Overload Syndrome or as I like to call it IOS and I promised I’d share a few ideas on how I handle IOS.

Let’s dive in!

I’m an entrepreneur, and there’s never a shortage of ideas, projects or new software I’d love to try out in my business, but for all of those ideas I don’t have the time to get it all done.  sure I could outsource and manage many of the ideas, but it’s not how I want to spend my time either.

So how do I handle IOS?  I have a six step process to help me get in control of the IOS, I’ll share the first three today and then later this week I’ll save the rest.

If you are suffering from IOS, your first step is to recognize it for what it is, a lot of great ideas that need an opportunity to flourish.  Now some of these great ideas, will just sit and percolate but that’s as far as they go and that’s okay.

Others will sit there, drawing you in wanting you to do something fabulous with them and that’s okay too, but you need a way to harness them in and manage them.

Here’s what I do….

Create a catch-all: The way to a clear and focused mind that wants to spend it’s time on doing great things is to create a process that works for you to catch-all of your ideas, thoughts and even your tasks.

For some, having a digital catch-all makes sense, for others it’s pen and paper. I have discovered that for me, it’s pen and paper that works the best.  Since I launched my business in 2008 I have tried everything to capture my ideas, projects and tasks I have used WorkFlowy, EverNote, Producteev, ZenDone, Wunderlist, Any.do, Google Tasks. If there is a productivity app it’s likely I’ve tried it out and yet I always come back to my trusty pen and paper.

Sidenote:  If you prefer a digital format for this process by all means use it, this isn’t about a “MUST DO” way, it’s about finding a process that you will use consistently.

catchallblogpost1

My hybrid, digilog (digital + analog) process.

Here’s a few notes:

  • I have adapted my process from the Bullet Journal concept created by Ryder Carroll who is an Art Director & Interaction Designer in New York.
  • All of my appointments, recurring reminders & marketing calendar are kept in my calendar online.  I use Google Calendar with the Sunrise App. This is different from the bullet journal and what works best for me.

The bullet journal concept works on a daily process, but for me and my projects it works best for me on a weekly basis.  I prefer to keep things fluid and flexible, it’s how I’m building my business focusing on the week rather than a day-to-day works best.

At the beginning of each week (either Sunday evening or Monday morning) I review my calendar to see what appointments/calls I have for that week and I write them at the top of my week page, next comes the tasks or projects I’m going to focus on for the week.  I usually have 7 to 10 tasks that will be the focus for the week, I also keep a space for any new tasks that come along so I have a record of what extra work I did during the week.

catchallpost3

That’s it for my task management, after that I keep notes in my journal of what I’ve done, maybe follows up that need to be done (which are added to either my calendar or CRM process in EverNote).

(Okay, that’s not the complete truth, I do have a process that I use at the beginning of each month to set myself up for the month, but I’ll share that in a different post.)

Now what happens when I have a new idea, or a project that I want to work on, but either I don’t have time to work on it right now, or it’s going to take a bit more planning?

I add it to my catch-all (or master task list). When I have an idea for a new product or just about anything I simply flip to the back of my book and write a few line about it.   I then promptly forget about it, well not really but I know it’s been captured and I’m good to go.

Now what do I do with all those ideas?

catchallpost2

Here’s the thing for some of the ideas they still hang around in my head and tell me that I should be paying attention to them, if that’s the case I’ll usually pull out my catchall and create a page just for that idea or thought and write down what I’m thinking.

Like the bullet journal, I have an index and I write down any projects or collections on the index so it can be easy for me to find.

It’s also important to review the ideas to see if they are still relevant.  If not, cross them out and move on, if they are keep them there or create a project page in your catch-all process.

How this has benefited me and maybe it will for you too…

I discovered that using pen & paper over a digital process actually has me reviewing the ideas and taking action by either crossing them out as they are no longer valid or hashing it out and building a plan for implementation.  When I had this process set up in Workflowy (the closest I came to having it all digital), I found it was super easy to just forget the master list and not review it on a regular basis.

I’m more focused, productive and things are getting done.  I find when I do stray to try out a new shiny app, I’m less focused, I get off track and I lose what my purpose is for doing what I’m doing.

Maybe getting back to pen and paper will help you too?

Do you suffer from Entrepreneur Fatigue Syndrome?

Today it happened.  I hit a wall, I was doing so many things to keep moving in my business…

answering emails, following up with clients, writing a blog post, coaching clients in my Awesome Business Community, pulling together some training, planning for my upcoming signature program in the fall and on and on….

If you’re a solo business owner, I’m sure you can related to everything that needs to get done in your business and for many of us we want to be everything in our business.  You know, the assistant, the techie, the receptionist, the CEO, the Marketing Department etc…

then it happens – it just doesn’t seem possible that you could do any more. You know you’re suffering form Entrepreneur Fatigue Syndrome if you KNOW there’s lots you “COULD” be doing in your business, but you just simple don’t have the strength or energy to even think of one more thing in your business.

This was me today and then the universe provided a reminder right when I needed it, Christine Capone, one of the amazing members of the Awesome Business Community shared, ‘It’s OK to Live Your Life’ (watch the video here) and it I realized that everything I think is must get done today can wait, it can wait until tomorrow or the next day.

What suffering from Entrepreneur Fatigue Syndrome can really mean….

You’ve strayed from your ultimate purpose in your business.  Your big why, the true and big reason you’re in business in the first place.

And if this is the case it’s time to reassess what you’re doing and figuring out what you should to do to get back on track.

Here’s what I’m doing…

Taking a break, I’ve been working a whole bunch lately but I don’t necessarily need to be working as many hours as I have because if I keep focused on my big why, I’ll be more productive.

My Big Why

I’m in business to help as many micro business owners create a sustainable business that nourishes their soul + supports their family, while giving them the freedom while giving you the freedom to pursue your dreams!

While I know there’s LOTS I could be doing right now, tomorrow and beyond, my brain and body need a break.  As entrepreneurs we often get so consumed with our businesses that we forget about everything else.  So I’m taking a break, after all, the work will still be there when I get back.

Getting back to what works.  I started a process of keeping track of tasks, projects and ideas I have for my business and this month I’ve strayed from what was working.  So now it’s time to get back on track and refocused.

What about you, do recognize when you’re suffering from entrepreneur fatigue syndrome?  If so, share in the comments what are some of the things you see as a symptom and what you do to cure it.

 

What Inspires You in Your Business?

Everyday I wake up and I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to do what I do everyday and connect with so many amazingly awesome folks around the global.  Not only my clients by fellow micro business owners who are creating their own nirvana in business.  This week, I’m lucky enough to be sharing the stage with an amazing group of folks who are participating in this incredible Gift-a-thon hosted by the lovely (and fellow Redhead!) , Angie Mroczka of eBook Aviatrix.

This event has been incredible inspiring and so full of integrity and amazing folks who are participating that I reached out to a bunch of them and asked them what do they find inspiring in their business and of course, each one’s answers is as diverse as they are!

Enjoy….

 

Bethany Mullins | BethanyMullins.com

bethanymullinsDanielle Laporte. I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and she was a featured speaker in their free post-graduate program: Immersion. They give you a lot of inspirational exercises and speakers to help you put yourself out there. There was something magical about Danielle, like she made success sound so easy and personal to each person. After I discovered her, I thought to myself “what am I waiting for”.

And that’s when something clicked in me and I had to move forward, faster and raise my vibration. I probably listened to her lecture 3 or 4 times, I love her so much. She has a few books out right now: Firestarters and The Desire Map.

If you haven’t read or listened to her, she is magnificent. Danielle Laporte everyone!

Look for Bethany’s Gift: Who’s Your Healthy Fantasy??  | Bethany’s Website

 

sarahleonardSarah Leonard | A Cat-Like Curiosity

I am inspired by creativity each and every day. I literally love to create! In terms of inspirational mentors I would have to mention Leonie Dawson, Kelly Rae Roberts and Tamara Laporte.

Look for Sarah’s Gift: The Power of 3 Toolkit | Sarah’s Website

 

Joy Holland | Facets of Joy

joyhollandEverything in world inspires me – but, in business, one of my biggest inspirations are the genuine heart connections and sharing of life experiences and creative expressions together. When we take the time to truly listen to each other, barriers naturally dissolve and creative expressions overflow. All of that energy opens my heart to possibility (beyond my own internal fears and doubts about stepping into new space) and inspires me as I create new classes and services which provide tools for deeper connection and expression. It’s a beautiful cycle – one that is ‘easy’ when I celebrate these connections and this sharing!

Look for Joy’s Gift:  Illuminate Your Heart Whispers: 30 Day of Love Dares | Joy’s Website

 

elizaceciEliza Ceci | Peace on My Plate

One of the biggest inspirations in my business has been the women I work with! My clients are fierce women ready to go for their dreams and learning from them and creating the space they need to really shed what they no longer want, in order to birth what’s in their hearts – as their coach – is such a humbling and beautiful process to witness. I’m grateful that I get to wake up everyday and serve these women by doing what I absolutely love! The more I shine the more my clients shine, I’m always excited by what comes up because it’s different for each woman.

Look for Eliza’s Gift: Live a Life You Love mini eCourse | Eliza’s Website

Angie Mroczka | eBook Aviatrix

AngieI think the biggest inspiration for me since I have entered the business world is the generous spirit of community. I’ve been a member of many groups, both online and off. The ones that have encouraged generosity have been the ones that have had the most impact on my life and my biz. When we ask for help and help each other up, there is nothing that cannot be accomplished.

Look for Angie’s Gift: Calm the Storm eBook | Angie’s Website

 

stephanielinStephanie Lin | StephanieLin.com

One of my biggest inspirations in my business has been witnessing the courage and vulnerability of the people I connect with. It’s truly beautiful and moves my heart every single time.

Look for Stephanie’s Gift: Guided Forgiveness Meditation | Stephanie’s Website

TJ Burns | WriterTJBurns.com

tjburnsI’ve loved story for as long as I can remember, and I’m especially inspired by the stories people share about their own lives. It’s incredible what people can live through. In your neighborhood, your workplace or next to you in line at the coffee shop are people with amazing personal histories. Once we know each other’s stories, the walls come down. We judge less and empathize more — not only with that individual, but with the entire world. That’s what led me to the genre of memoir, and what inspired me to help others write their story.

Look for TJ’s Gift: 6-week memoir writing eCourse | TJ’s Website

 

Lyn Delmastro | Body in Balance

lyndelmastroWatching the growth of one of my BodyTalk mentors, Heather Strang and how her practice has skyrocketed and seeing the great results her clients get!

Look for Lyn’s Gift: 3 Reasons You Might Not Be Finding the Love You Want e-Book | Lyn’s Website

 

 

 

tanja-gardnerTanja Gardner | Conscious Introvert Success


Realising that it IS totally possible to be successful in business and honour your introversion at the same time, and wanting to share what I’ve learned with fellow introverts.

Look for Tanja’s Gift: How to Keep an Eye on your Energy Levels | Tanja’s Website

 

Sierra Koch | Reiki Playground

sierrakochHelping others. When I see that something clicks, that’s the greatest thing ever. It’s just so amazing to see people grow!

Look for Sierra’s Gift: Reiki & Chakra Tune-up workbook & meditations | Sierra’s Website

 

Raeeka Yassaie | LoveMindBodyHeart

raeekaI love being able to reach people + touch their hearts. The biggest inspiration is when I write, teach or share something that really touches another. I know that we all have the creative potential to change our lives. We all can be blissful, bountiful + beautiful. We can all be the best versions of ourselves. When I see others shining their light as a result of coming to one of my classes, reading one of my e-books or just interacting with me on social media – my heart sings. + I know I just need to keep on elevating others – helping them to be the best they can be, whatever that means to them.

Look for Raeeka’s Gift: Yogic Tips to Raise Your Energy | Raeeka’s Website

 

Stacey Frattinger | Whispers for Wellness, LLC

stacey_frattingerWatching my clients transform over time. It is wonderful to watch confidence build and momentum for change be maintained as the time passes. I love knowing that by simply listening to their concerns, without judgement, I have done my best to support them and keep them accountable!

Look for Stacey’s Gift: WeightLESS Whispers – A FREE 5 day e-course  | Stacey’s Website

 

LisaBrownSmileLisa Faulkner | Siren Institute

How pole dancing and sensual dancing on the beach continues to transform my life.

Look for Lisa’s Gift: I Heart Sexy | Lisa’s Website

 

 

Kaitlyn Mirison | Create Beyond Limits

KaitlynOne big inspiration for me is that through my own personal journey, I am now living where I guide people… to come home within and connect to their signature soul self so their art and life become their soul’s unique expression… As I guide, I am living my own soul’s unique expression. And, what an honor.

Look for Kaitlyn’s Gift: Healthy Personal Boundaries | Kaitlyn’s Website

 

 

 

Susan Fuller | Fuller By Design

fuller37CroppedMy kids are my biggest inspiration in my business! I’m a homeschooling mom to three kids – ages 17, 15 and 14. We’ve always homeschooled because it’s fun (seriously!) and it gives us a lot of flexibility. Over the years of spending so much time together and working on fun and creative (and yes, educational!) projects we’ve grown very close and I’m so excited to share that with others. Life is what you make of it!

Look for Susan’s Gift: Ten Creative Ways to Connect as a Family | Susan’s Website

Sharise Mershon | ShariseMershon.com

Other entrepreneurs! Seeing others achieve their dreams and learning from the wisdom of those who are further along in their journey than I am is always inspiring to me.

Look for Sharise’s Gift: The Business Clarity Power Pack | Sharise’s Website

Jamie White | JamieWhite.com

jamiewhiteOne of the biggest inspirations for me has just been an enjoyment of telling stories. I am also very into New Age stuff, so I enjoy weaving the different topics into my work.

Look for Jamie’s Gift: The Big 20/20 Event E-book | Jamie’s Website

 

 

Yossarian Fay | Becoming Healthy

While I love reading about education, creating a minimalist life and healing naturally, I actually get the most inspiration from my family and the experiences we share. There is so much to learn in life and it amazes me just how many lessons I have learnt, and I have yet to learn, during our day to day lives.

Look for Yossarian’s Gift: Mother’s Little Helper | Yossarian’s Website