So. Let’s talk about traditional business planning. Whether it’s the beginning of the New Year, the start of your business, or simply a point where you need clarity on what’s coming up next, having a way to set goals and work “on” instead of “in” your business is imperative. In my experience, I’ve found that while we all want to take our dreams to the next level, we’re often stumped on how to do it. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how I do business planning and goal setting as an entrepreneur:
If you’re familiar with my approach to coaching, you’ll know I’m all about building your business around you: your passions, your values, your personality, etc.
One of the ways I make sure my business serves me is in the planning stages. The very first step is to get really clear on who you are and what you want. While it may seem like it has nothing to do with business, it’s actually incredibly important.
I start by nailing down the following things:
Who am I?
What are my top values?
What matters most to me?
Why did I choose to be an entrepreneur?
Why does my business exist?
What are the top values of my business?
What gets me excited?
Answering these questions (and more!) gives me the basis to start out from. It grounds me in my decision-making process and provides me with the knowledge I need to make sure that every goal I set, every area I expand on, and every plan I make is aligned with who I am and what my business is here for. Next I get my head in the right place by talking about my fears and the areas I want to improve on in my business. I also ask myself about what worked in the past and what hasn’t, so I don’t waste my time repeating past mistakes.
What have I done in the past that I really enjoyed?
What have I done in the past that didn’t work for me?
What do I have a tendency to avoid accomplishing?
What scares me the most about moving forward?
What areas in my business am I most afraid to tackle?
Asking myself these questions allows me the space to be real and honest about the past in order to more successfully move forward in the future. I know where my strengths are and what I need to work on. I know the areas to get help in, the ones to delegate, and the ones to go big on. Then I move forward and start imagining where I’m going in the future.
What do I want my life and business to look like in a year?
What would my most purposeful year look like?
Where do I see myself in 20 years? What will help get me there? What will and won’t be important to me then?
What are some possibilities of directions I can go next?
After I’ve brainstormed 5-10 (or more!) of these possibilities, I try to narrow them down to provide focus for what deserves my time and energy. The first round includes everything and anything that pops into my mind. These questions help me to put things in perspective to see what makes the most sense for both me and my business.
Which of these ideas excite me the most?
Which of these ideas seem the most feasible?
Are there any that I would dread working on?
Are there any that would require resources, training, skills, or extra tools to accomplish?
How long will it take for each of these ideas to accomplish?
How much will it cost to accomplish each of these goals?
How much do I expect to make off each of these ideas moving forward?
How much do these ideas align with my brand and my personality?
Then I assign the remainder of my projects into quarters (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) and create a rough schedule of when I will accomplish each (you can see 2019 posted here). Note: I don’t expect to stick to this schedule 100%. That’s the beauty of owning your own business — you get to go with the flow and adjust as ideas and excitement comes up. This just gives me a big picture idea of where I want to go moving forward.
It’s also important to note that I like to repeat the process after six months. This is why I love the flexibility so much! If it doesn’t make sense to continue on a goal, you get a chance to sit down and completely reevaluate, adjust, and move forward. I also like to sit down monthly, take stock of what’s on the calendar for the next 30 days, and plan accordingly. Maybe the schedule I created doesn’t account for the trip I planned in April, or the community I was banking on joining disbanded and I need to switch gears. Doing monthly goal planning lets me see the macro and micro level of goal setting for my business. If I am working on a digital course one month, I can then sit down on the 1st and plan out each step, set deadlines, and plan accordingly.
BONUS: PERSONAL LIFE PLANNING
When I sit down to schedule my year for my business, take stock after six months, or reevaluate each month, I do the same things for my personal life at every step of the way.
I do two really important exercises: I do an evaluation of each top area of my life (friends, family, health, work, finances, mindset, fun), and then I do an evaluation of each of my top five values. I’ll take one sheet of paper, write them all down in one long list, and evaluate them on a scale of one to ten. If it’s anything less than a seven, I know it’s something I need to devote time and energy to. I’ll usually try to nail down 1-3 ways I can bring that number back up. It’s the quickest way for me to see when I’m out of balance, and it gives me the opportunity to regularly adjust my personal life as needed as well.
How do you do business planning? Share in the comments below, or join the party on my Instagram and share there: https://www.instagram.com/katrina.widener/
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