Who’s ready to make *huge* things happen this year? I know I sure am, and so today I want to showcase five must-do exercises you can do for your business to create a better year.
Your Best Year 2017 has really struck a chord with online entrepreneurs all over the world. This year’s edition wasn’t just about how to meet all the demands of our profession, but moreover, what’s stopping us — right now — from claiming the success we crave? What are we struggling with most? And, how can we aim to solve that once and for all?
Because there’s no doubt in my mind: We are struggling! This thing we’re doing is hard! Even the uber-successful doubt their mission from time to time, and I’m tired of putting on a brave face and pretending that’s not the case.
What I’ve learned is that, if the vision isn’t front and center at all times, the wind gets knocked from your sails. And that’s why I love this year’s Your Best Year – it breathes LIFE back into your vision and keeps it omnipresent. And that’s empowerment, people!
Exercise #1: Why Aren’t You Rich Yet?
In one of my favorite books, The Instant Millionaire: A Tale of Wisdom and Wealth by Mark Fisher, a wise old millionaire asks a struggling young man, “How is it that you aren’t rich yet? Have you ever seriously asked yourself that question?”
What an interesting perspective it brings! I love to introduce that line of questioning to any goal. Think of all the achievements you’ve struggled with in the past, and then ask yourself …
- Why aren’t you at your ideal weight yet?
- Why haven’t you reached your sales goals yet?
- Why don’t you have the number of emails you want on your list yet?
- Why haven’t you finished the project yet?
- Why isn’t your relationship healthy yet?
- Why isn’t your income what you think it should be yet?
Every obstacle in your way, every problem left unsolved, and every weakness that still needs strengthened is revealed in the answers to these questions. Let’s face it, we act like spoiled children sometimes, refusing to take responsibility and rebelling against our own best intentions. It happens to us all!
Think of a particular struggle that’s been plaguing you for entirely too long (health, income, relationships, etc.). In this first exercise, I want you to think about why you haven’t achieved it, what you’re doing instead, and what it will take to move the needle out of struggle and into accomplishment once and for all.
Exercise #2: Identify Your Limitations
If you find yourself saying things like …
- That works for [you/him/her/them], but I’m different because …
- I don’t have …. [what someone else has been building for years, i.e. an email list, the traffic, the sales, the funds. etc.]
- Someone else has more [training/popularity/experience/recognition] in my space
These are justifications you’re using to stay exactly where you are, snuggled in your comfort zone. Because you know as well as I do, everyone had a start somewhere.
How are you getting in the way of your own success? What are your go-to limitations?
For example, I wanted to create modern email opt-in landing pages for my blog, and I wanted to use the program called LeadPages to do it. It was an overwhelming obstacle I chased in my mind for months.
My limitations were … that it cost money to sign up, and I didn’t know how to design a landing page or work the program. After I hurdled those issues, it would take time to build the pages; they’d need copywriting, graphics, email integration, etc.
When I catch myself him-hawing over humps like these in business, I stop to assess the issue using the worksheet included in the complimentary sampler (claim yours at the end of this post). I find that I’ve typically done nothing to conquer the obstacle besides fuss over it.
Then, I make a simple task list like so:
- Decide which offer to promote on the landing page
- Prepare that document
- Sign up for LeadPages
- Build the first opt-in offer
- Promote that page
Once I finally simplify the process, the goal (that has often been on my to-do list for months) is complete within a matter of hours. You don’t need to know exactly how to do something before you start, but you do need to start.
Exercise #3: Trust the Business to Provide
Two of the toughest questions I answered in 2016 were:
- Do you trust your business to provide?
- Do you trust yourself to follow through on what’s required?
I freely discuss that I broke the six-figure barrier this year, but here’s what you don’t know: A few months before the money came in, I made a firm decision to trust my business and better value my own services.
I started to operate as though I were already running a six-figure business. I stopped him-hawing on trivial decisions in both personal life and work, such as, Should I buy that book? Should I upgrade my phone? Should I invest in more business training?
Many of us are so afraid of expenses — we look at upgrades as a direct loss. It’s only during the decision-making process that it feels that way; as soon as you make the decision, you instantly feel richer and do better. This is true for both personal and professional aspects, in fact, they often intertwine.
When you begin to uncover where fear is blocking your growth, you open a floodgate of abundance that’s just awaiting release!
Exercise #4: Build an Annual Strategy
My method for annual strategy-building is based on your personal upcoming year and your business’ strongest seasons. My motto is: Your life then your business. It’s an effective approach that will not only help you eliminate the daily scramble for sales, but it also guarantees you’ll improve your results and enhance your career.
In Your Best Year 2017, I break down my six-figure earning strategy into simple step-by-step instructions with examples, but the gist is:
- Identify your personal seasons (such as summer vacation, winter holidays, back-to-school preparations, etc.) and list these special events on your calendar before any business-related projects or promotions.
- Identify your business’ strong seasons. If you have an existing business, you can check your annual statistics for the months where you get most traffic. If not, you can use my examples (included inside the comp workbook below) as a guide.
It is the nature of business to have hot and cold seasons, most do. This technique is in place to help you utilize those seasons to their fullest. For example, it seems like everyone is on the internet in January, whereas in February, nobody’s online. There will be plenty of average months in between, but it’s important to take note of the high tides, in particular, and make the absolute most of them.
Exercise #5: Identify Your Money Makers
With full awareness of your personal schedule, as well as busy and slow seasons, it’s time to plug in the money makers. There are many different ways your business can earn money, but I’m going to advise you to specifically name three to six money makers. These will be the larger promotions or projects that anchor your entire year.
When scheduling your money makers, you’re going to naturally avoid the slow seasons and steer clear of your personal occasions (as identified in your annual strategy). Your complimentary sample workbook includes my examples and more instruction.
So much is revealed when big projects are added to the annual calendar. Now you know when you need to be working on what. Rather than be stifled by the slow seasons, you can use them to your advantage. You can start prepping, promoting, and creating excitement around the next big event. You can make your best seasons even better. With this big picture in mind, you will know when your efforts will be rewarded.
This calendar will also help you to determine when to stock up on inventory, when to work ahead, when to take a break, and so on and so forth. Your Best Year 2017 is designed to help you pinpoint what to work on, your annual strategy helps you define when.
Here’s to your best year yet,
Exercises 1 and 2 really hit me. I’ve made a plan for 2017 that I have full faith in, but I’m honestly afraid to implement it. Fear is a huge limitation for me. I want to have a membership program on my website and my biggest fear is what if it doesn’t run right. I need to tell myself, it probably won’t for the first month or two and I need to reassure myself that my customers know me and know my heart and know if something isn’t quite right that I will fix it. I hate though that these feelings keep me almost frozen in fear. Sigh. I’m a bigger and stronger person than my fear. Just having trouble pushing through it.
I keep telling myself, I can do this!
Thanks for all your wonderful advice Lisa.
I appreciate you,