Ever have a time where you felt like your life was a roller coaster? You just hold on and go through the ride… This week has been like that. Someone close to me is in the hospital, which means I have been working remotely and at odd hours.
If you are a small business owner, you may wonder how you manage to work in that situation. And my secret is planning, my calendar, and a team.
Today I’ll give you a glance at all three.
If you want to make things happen in life you have to write them down and create a plan. Otherwise, life will happen to you. In fact, life will happen to you even when you have a plan. I know because cancer and now a person in the hospital …
But if you have a plan and a vision for where you want to go in life, you can adjust your sails more easily. People who “very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully accomplish their goals” (Mark Murphy “The Gender Gap and Goal-Setting,).
Some people enjoy the feel of a brand new planner. I am exploring options though in the past I have given it up as quickly as I started. I am not much for bringing dust gatherers into my life right now so I’m still on the fence about this purchase. Have a favorite planner? Let me know. You might convince me.
I use Asana for planning. It’s free, robust and allows my team who is scattered across North America to communicate.
Now the how…
I belong to a mastermind group. Once every three months, we have a planning session where we write down our goals for the next quarter and then map out on a paper calendar how we will accomplish them. I like to see everything laid out. We use color coded post-it notes so it’s easily moved if life happens. And life happens.
For this quarter, my goals are to increase sales in my new optimal office service packages, build the virtual end of my business by upping my game on LinkedIn and write a rough draft of my book. My goals have numbers to them but that gives you a rough idea.
Each of those goals has action steps. For example, to increase sales of new packages, I know I need to get the word out there. From past experience, I know a personalized mailing will be successful. I had custom post cards made, ordered envelopes, special pens, and vellum. I will be hand writing notes to at least 100 people.
I am a fanatic about my calendar. I schedule everything, meetings, travel time to/from meetings, exercise, homework time, downtime with my family. Everything goes into Google Calendar, as I am more digital than analog. I need to know exactly where I need to be when. My phone is always with me and the last thing I need is to remember one more thing. If you take the minor
I take the goals I set out in my planner on those post-it notes and book dates in my calendar for the action steps. I work backward from my deadline.
From the last example, I gave myself deadlines for each item on the list –
- purchase envelopes
- design card and purchase (multiple dates here as my team did the design!)
- purchase vellum
- update the database and choose contacts
- hand write cards – goal is 15 per week
My team is run by Sacha Brant of Sassy Lasses.
She is my online business manager. We have weekly strategy sessions, where we determine the next best step for my business. Then she sprinkles her magical fairy dust and the little elves get to work. Well not really but somehow her team makes all kinds of awesome happen, like this newsletter.
I type the content, file it in a folder in Dropbox (ideally with photos but not always – Deposit photos to the rescue). Her team uploads the info into a template they created on MailChimp, adds photos, makes it pretty and then sends me a draft. Of course, my handy calendar gives me a reminder on Monday and Wednesday to get the newsletter ready. Sassy Lasses handles every aspect of the back office admin of my business, except book-keeping. The magnificent Anissa comes into the office once a month to tackle that demon known as Quickbooks. She makes sure that everything in my business is kosher with the IRS. Thank goodness, because I am not a fan of forms or going to jail.
My team is worth their weight in gold. If you don’t feel that way about your team, it’s time to make some changes. And if you don’t have a team, contact Sacha!
I would be lying if I said this was easy. Ask my husband and he’ll tell you that I’ve been up at my computer working at crazy early hours this week. In fact, the sun is just rising outside of my home office window now.
And it takes time and expertise to build a system that’s right for you. That’s where I come in. I can help you get the optimal office space and systems you deserve so that you can focus on smooth sailing with your goals, your business, and your life.
Click here to set up an Optimal Office Evaluation. Let’s get started now to make 2019 your best year ever.