Time to Set Goals
Alright, let's start planning. Let's start planning, 'cause I know everyone loves a plan. So we are on page 43 of your workbook. We are almost at the end. And I want to start with a really big question. Don't worry, we're gonna go small soon, but I wanna start with a big question, which is, where do you want to be a year from now? Where do you want to be a year from now? This is your opportunity to think big. This is also your opportunity to say, "I don't want to be that far away "from where I want to be. "I just wanna be, maybe working a little bit less. "I wanna be less stressed out." It's up to you. There's no right answer here. It's just like you don't have to tell me that you want a six figure business. But you tell me where you want to be a year from now. Shana, where do you want to be a year from now?
I want to be working less, 25 to 30 hours a week, and most of that scheduled. Which birth work is not.
Which is why I'm moving into more prenatal coaching. And so real...
ly cutting back on birth, and just traveling more. And really working with my ideal clients, that they're all my ideal clients. (laughs) I'm out of this newbie stuff of taking what I can get, and it's really focused.
Fantastic, great. Robin, where do you want to be a year from now?
It's something you said that stayed with me, working less, impacting more. And so would like to have a weekend here and there. (laughs)
I imagine that looks like you seeing your programs continue to grow, but your need to be constantly nurturing them, doing them, that you're able to step back from that.
Beautiful. Love it. Bridget, where do you want to be a year from now?
I would like to not be doing personal chef work anymore.
Living with my partner, and having at least replace the income from my personal chef business with this online coaching.
Fantastic. Susan, where do you want to be a year from now?
I would like to be in a lot of stores. And have a lot of press.
Do you have any stores in mind?
Um, gosh, well really boutiques.
Gift type shops, even like museum shops.
Okay, I want you to pick, you don't have to tell us, but I want you to pick three stores for this goal.
What three stores would you like to be in that would constitute success a year from now? And then you also mentioned press, is there press that you know you want?
Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything.
Okay. That's one part of your homework.
I want you to pick five press outlets.
I don't know why I picked more press outlets than stores, whatever. It doesn't matter, it's an experiment, pick five press outlets,
This is a really important thing. If you have these kind of goals that involve, "Well I want to be in more stores," or, "I want to work with these kind of clients," or, "I want to get this press," name names. Stick it up on a post-it note, or make a pretty poster, and put it in your office. And check those puppies off as you achieve them. Alright? But if you don't name those names, you don't know what you're going for.
Alright, so if you've got a similar goal to Susan, same homework to you. Three stores you wanna be in, five press outlets. If you're a coach, if you work with individual people, or maybe you're a consultant that works with individual businesses, I want you to name those things. And seriously, who are your ideal clients? I did this exercise, four years ago, where someone asked me, a coach asked me, "Who do you know who would really be "an absolutely perfect client for you?" And I got really nervous, and I said a person's name, and that person E-mailed me the next week. Alright. Not because that coach told her that she should have. But because by naming that name, I started having the conversations that I needed to have. I started moving in that direction. That person got put onto a Twitter list that allowed me to, not sell directly to these people, but have conversations that made sense to them. That showed them that I could help them, that I knew what I was talking about. So of course an E-mail popped into my inbox, and whether it would have been here, or whether it would have been somebody just like her, it didn't matter. But that's how powerful that can be. If we don't know specifically what you're working toward, you can't work toward it. So three stores, five press outlets, or three ideals clients, or 20 ideal businesses you wanna work with, whatever it is. And I highly recommend choosing press outlets for all businesses, that's really, really good. Alright. So that's cool, where do you want to be a year from now?
You've got some comments coming in. Yeah. Great.
Blue was saying, "I want to be illustrating books "and magazines, and actually making a living, "instead of being in the fear mode."
And Chelsea's saying, "I want to be making enough income "that I am not living paycheck to paycheck, "working less, making more, "and having a steady day to day routine "while I'm not working into all wee hours of the night."
Great, and you said that was Chelsea.
Alright, Chelsea, where are you? Chelsea? I want to make sure you've got a dollar amount for that number. Okay? What would it take for you to not be living paycheck to paycheck. Because especially with this paycheck to paycheck nonsense, we have an eerie habit of spending everything we make. Been there, done that. Right? So, you need to set a number that would be not paycheck to paycheck for you anymore. And when you hit that number, you need to come back and tell me I'm not actually living paycheck to paycheck anymore, 'cause I don't want you to hit a number, hit that magical number, and still feel like you're in that mode. So make sure you're making the life adjustments that get you there as well. Great. Alright, so, next question, what parts of your business model do you need to execute to get there? What parts of your business model do you need to execute to get there? Make a list. You know these business models that we've been talking about for the last two days, really, are works in progress. Just because you create a plan today, doesn't mean that you're gonna execute the whole thing, even over a year's time. You might have put on something in your business model that really is maybe two to three years of development out. Okay? Or, you may just know that there are certain things on your business model that need to come first, and certain things that need to come later. Certain things might look more specific right now, and you need to spend more time thinking about the other things, and getting them more specific, like store lists, or press outlet lists. But for now I want you to think about that business model that you've started planning out. And think about which parts of that you need to execute. Which parts of that business model do you need to execute? Don't worry about prioritizing right now, just make a list. Make a list, straight down, there's plenty of room in your workbook. Make a list. Tiffany, tell me what parts of your business model you need to execute to make this happen.
Well, so, first, I think what I need to do is hire a graphic designer, photographer, videographer to get my website and everything up to par. So I feel really confident and comfortable contacting and going after what I want to go after.
Great. Do you have service providers in mind?
One, but not so much yet.
Okay, great. So there's gonna be some research there.
Good, so this is gonna take some time, in addition to taking money. Right?
So important things to think about. Anything else on that list?
Um, yeah, I'm gonna go walk the San Francisco Gift Fair. I've already planned on that. That happens tomorrow, so I'm gonna go walk that show, so see if that might be a good fit, because it's a close wholesale show.
Very good. Very, very good. What about just raising your prices?
That's definitely on the list. So would you consider, or do you think I can go ahead and just full on raise my prices now?
Or should I wait until I get everything all set up?
Um, I think that you could at least make a really good jump right now.
$27 for those earrings, that's a steal. I mean, like, literally, they're stealing from you. (laughs)
I saw that.
So, I would say maybe make a good jump now, and look to actually get to that place of being doubled, maybe six months from now.
Depending on how all you execute the rest of the work, which we're going to break things down, exactly like that in just a minute, okay?
Cool. Um... Sasha, what's on your list?
Well, for me, I'm gonna sell my book to a publisher in a few months, so in a year, the manuscript will be done.
And then in that year, I want to have an awesome plan for how to basically create a business based on the content of that book. So I think, in the process I need to up level my brand, similar like take my website to a new level. And create more of a high end coaching offer, where I combine travel and coaching that will go along with the content of the book.
Fantastic. Excellent. Another thing that I want to point out, and I'm not saying that this is what you did, but a lot of times when people are setting goals, or even more so, when they're making to do lists, they list things like, up level my brand, or start working on- start raising my prices, or start working on a new blog, and those kind of things aren't actually- that's not actually stuff you can check off a list. When can you check off I've up leveled my brand?
When can you check off- well I mean, I suppose you can check off, starting something, but it doesn't actually mean anything. So that's one really good list making suggestion that I have for everyone, which is be as specific as possible, and break down every single part of your list into as small of parts as possible. Because if you can't check it off when it's finished, then it doesn't mean anything to you. So up leveling your brand is getting your website redesigned, getting a new logo, getting better headshots,
making sure your copy matches all of that stuff. Well making sure your copy matches, don't write that down, write down about page copy, sales page copy, right?
So there's five things right off the bat, from that one, and you need to be able to plan out those five things, as opposed to just up level my brand.
Like I said, I didn't mean that you did that.
Now I have to give you an example, 'cause you know my second book is about to-do lists,
So I've spent many year studying to-do lists, and my favorite, ever example of that is this woman who's like, buy mangoes, and the next one is become whole. (laughs) it's like the ultimate uncheckable.
And that's probably something that just keeps getting added to the next to-do list, and the next... It's on Monday's to-do list, it's on Tuesday's to-do list. Okay. So you've got your list, you've got your list. Now, which of those tasks could you complete in the next month? Which of those tasks could you complete in the next month? Now I'm asking you to put some time frames on these things, and we're starting small. Now we're on page 44. And I want you to put due dates on this stuff. Put due dates on this stuff. What could you execute, what could you complete in the next month? You may not be able to hire a web designer in the next four weeks. But you could do the research, you could come up with a list of three prospects, three candidates. Alright? Or you may not be able to develop a new program, the program that you want to develop in the next month, but you could do the outline. You could write the sales page, you could start an interest list. Okay? So which of those tasks, and this is why it's so important that they're so specific, which of those tasks could you complete in the next month, and assign each of those due dates. Alright? And I hope you guys keep in touch with me, and you guys out there too, keep in touch with me, and let me know how you're doing on these plans. Alright, we're gonna pull back a little bit further. Which of these tasks is a good six month goal? Maybe there's a few. You don't have to just pick one. Maybe there's a few tasks. Maybe it is build out that program. Maybe it is launch the new website. Maybe it is get those headshots done. Oh, I bet you could get those headshots done in the next month though. (laughs) So which of those tasks is a good six month goal? Now a second part of this question is working backwards. When you're setting a goal, you can't just set the goal, you need to know what it takes to get there. Alright. So if you want to sell 50 seats in your new program, you might need to build your E-mail list to 15 hundred people. Okay? So if you don't have an E-mail list yet, or if your E-mail list is hovering around the 100 person mark. You need to built some E-mail list building activities into the next six months. Don't just set the sales goal. Don't just set that big fun goal, of I'm gonna make some money. Make sure you're doin' the stuff that's gonna get you there. This is where I most often see people get in trouble with goal setting. They set the goal, they've got the program, they've created it, because that part is fun, but they haven't don't the activities that support them actually reaching the goal, so then they feel worse when it flops. So do the stuff you need to do to get to the goal. And it doesn't have to be sales. Maybe for Tiffany it's do the San Francisco Gift Show, August show, I'm assuming there's an August show. Summer show, yeah, that's normally the Christmas show. So at least it is in New York. So, you know, maybe her goal is to do that show, what does she need to do to get there? She needs to build her media list, she needs to build her retailer list, she needs to make sure her prices are the way they are, she need to do her line sheet, she needs to do her catalog, she needs post cards, she needs model shots. It's a lot of stuff. But if you don't work backwards, you're gonna spend 10 thousand dollars to do that show, and you're gonna get there, and you're not gonna get your 10 thousand dollars back. And that would stink, right? So the same thing, flop. I don't want your goals to flop. I want you to set goals, and then work backwards for what you need to achieve them. So Susan, what's your six months goal?
Be in 50 stores, selling 10 thousand dollars a month, wholesale.
Okay. Be in, did you say 50 stores?
I don't know if that adds up correctly in any way, but I just off the top of my head made up numbers.
I don't know either, you're starting off.
This is cool, this an an experiment, you're allowed a stretch goal. So that's your stretch goal. So how many stores do you think you might need to contact to get in 50 stores?
A lot more than that (laughs).
A lot more than that (laughs).
So you might set a goal of cold calling, or cold E-mailing five stores a day.
For the next six months (laughs). That's gotta add up, right? Somebody do the math, that has to come out at least decently. My assistant, Megan Eckman, who only moonlights as my assistance, her day job is as a fine artist, did something very similar, where she set that every week, I think it was 20 stores she was gonna contact, and she's grown her wholesale list from next to nothing, to the point where it literally is her day job now, to be an artist. And her side job is working for me. Hi, Megan. And a big thank you to her too, because she's really been holding down the fort while I'm here answering all the E-mails and stuff that comes in. So, I think that's a great goal, and then that way you can break it down, so that you've got the tasks that, you know- Contacting five stores, that's a lot of research, but the time that it takes to contact them isn't that hard. That's something you can check off every single day. Maybe it takes you 10 minutes, because you probably develop a process, you've got, you know a little bit of a canned E-mail, that all you have to do is tweak a little bit. So that sounds great.
Very good. Robin, what's your six month goal?
I definitely want more advertising. I think we're at a point now, to get more press, I should say, not advertising, but press
Editorials and things. So that is my six month goal. And as far as working backwards, that looks like blog posts, and some reaching out and possibly doing some panel work, or things like that.
Okay. When you say you want more press, do you have some press outlets in mind?
I do, I'm thinking the trade shows.
You know, they have newsletters.
I also was thinking, like Daily Candy.
Also, specifically jewelry magazines,
Rio Grande, which caters to a lot of artisans, and even some magazines like, Success Magazine, things like that.
Okay. Fantastic. So maybe your six month goal could be being in at least three of those, just like we did for Susan. Okay, great. And yeah, and you worked backwards from that already, so that's perfect. Now, the next question in your workbook, page 44, is what could go wrong? What could go wrong on the way to reaching that six month goal? (laughs) this is what Guy Kawasaki calls a pre-mortem. It's a pre-mortem. You take your goal, you take what you're working on, and you think, "What could possibly go wrong?" and literally, you brainstorm every horrible thing that you could imagine happening. I know, this sounds really depressing. But what's great, is that you're empowered by knowing what all can go wrong, so that you can create solutions for those things, before they ever happen. So that you're not reacting as your goal is crumbling before you. Instead you're being really proactive. Something does go the way you want it to go. You missed that due date. You don't get the subscribers you want. You fix it. You change it. You change course. But if you don't do the pre-mortem, if you don't figure out what could go wrong first, you're gonna be all sorts of stressed out as things start to go wrong. And things will start to go wrong. Alright. So what could go wrong, and how could you prevent that? Sasha.
Um, well that's one of the big practices that I teach people, is how to name all their fears, because they're so clogging of all energy. So I just wanted to echo that. It's huge. Yeah, my book sucks. I mean I do this all the time. (laughter) It's like every day, I'm like, "Oh it sucks." "Everyone is gonna hate me."
Okay, so you do it everyday, in that you're beating yourself up. But do you do it everyday, in that you're creating a plan for those things to not happen?
'Cause there's a big difference.
That's great. That part is great.
The practical solution.
So, okay. So, the book sucks. Like, is it actually sucking? Or is it that other people think that it sucks?
I mean, it's completely subjective, but...
Alright, so let's say it's a total- you put it out there, you love this thing, and it's a flop. Then what? What would you do? How would you beat that back?
You mean if it was published, and nobody cared?
Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Your publisher loved it too.
Right. Um, I mean, literally my fear is more of like a scarlet letter, or being really ostracized socially
So I think, probably if I was thinking about how to prevent that, I would make sure that you've got a plan for getting the positive press that you need to get. It's not like you can ever guarantee that press is going to be positive, but I think you could list, say, five different outlets where you know people are gonna be pretty sympathetic. Where they know they're gonna love this idea. And make sure you're hitting those. So that even if you get a bad review, or when you get a bad review, or when it doesn't go well with one particular audience, you've got these five other interviews, or even this one other interview that says this is awesome, we love what Sasha's done, here's a whole community that's excited about this. So I think, that's one way to combat that plan.
And I've started to reach out to allies, because what I'm doing is kind of edgy. So I've been reaching out to other edgy people who I think can be my allies.
Awesome. Awesome. Bridget, what's your six month goal?
My six month goal? My six month goal, well.. I first need to do a ton of research, and then I would like to create some kind of program around that. And then do sale cycle.
Okay. So, you're six month goal is to have a product launch essentially.
Okay, great. What could go wrong in that process?
It could totally fail, and could get zero responses to something that took me six months to create.
Okay, and why do you think it might fail? Totally fail?
Well, I don't think it's gonna fail.
But in the pre-mortem, we're imagining that it does. So what could go wrong? What could be the cause of its failure. 'Cause cause is really what we're looking for here.
Maybe, the cause maybe not enough people on my mailing lists.
Absolutely. So make sure that on the process of building that six month goal, that you're also working incremental goals of gaining more subscribers. What else?
It could just be not what people are interested in, or looking for. I could fail to deliver the value that...
Yeah I think that probably it's less that you'd failed to deliver the value and perhaps more that the message would be off.
That people wouldn't connect the way you're messaging and positioning the product, with the problem that they are already have. So other incremental goals that you might set would be to experiment with the message, a new message every month.
So that you've got data on which ones work best. Okay? Cool.