Episode 206: Show Notes
Today’s Goal Crusher Club episode is all about aligning your projects with your goals. The entire purpose of this episode is to get you achieving the things on your dreamy to-do list faster. We know that so many of you sit there twiddling your thumbs, hoping to get more stuff done, but are not getting more stuff done! We know it’s not because you’re not willing to get stuff done; the issue is that coming up with an end goal just feels very definite and restricting, right? Often, if we don’t have a clue what our end goal should be, then we don’t know where to start, we don’t know what goals and tasks to prioritize and we don’t know which opportunities to follow. We feel you, and we’re here to help you really hone in, define and focus on what it is you’re working towards.
In this episode, we are going to be giving you great tips to help you set your goals and break them down into small projects and even tinier daily tasks. We are also going to help you prioritize your tasks throughout the day and give you some helpful tips on how to say no to the often distracting opportunities that arise. We know you are a creative, but we also want to see your creativity turn into a sustainable and profitable business – so if we’re mean, it’s only because we care. It’s time to knuckle down and get your booty in check, so start crushing your goals today and take a listen.
Don’t Know What Goals To Set? Here’s A Good Place To Start
What we like to do is break down our quarterly goals into actionable projects that can lead to that end goal actually happening. But the concept of actually deciding what those projects are that will help you reach your end financial goal is a wonderful recipe of guessing, trial and error, looking at data, checking in with your audience, understanding exactly what you want to be spending your energy on and what makes sense for your industry and people. It is never a do this, then do that. Ever.
However, if you are stuck on what your goals should be, we are, of course, going to help you get a little more clarity. We advise working backwards on your quarterly goals, starting here: Q4: Set a financial goal. Q3: Set a subscriber goal. Q2: Set a content focused goal. Q1: Set up systems and/or people that will help you make all those other things happen. That’s a rough framework that we’ve done in the past and has worked for us, but you can do them in an order that suits you best. But the important thing to pull out here is that for these specific decisions, you’ve got to put that business hat on. It’s non-negotiable. You cannot constantly be speaking to other people about what these projects should be. If you hate Instagram, for example, then setting a goal to grow your Instagram may not make the most sense. (Even if this goal is in someone else’s content plan.) For some of you, starting a podcast might be the logical next step, but for others it might be the worst idea ever. So, bottom line, set goals that align with your business.
How To Break Your Goals Down Into Micro-Tasks And Use Them As A Screen
“Q1: Set up systems and/or people that will help you make all those other things happen.” If that’s the goal, what can be some projects that can help you reach that goal? It might be finding a project management tool that you need to implement in your business, or creating blueprints, processes and workflows for things that happen in your business. Like onboarding clients, ordering products, anything. We want you to be super specific. Maybe you want to move to a new email service provider. A project then could be moving all existing subscriber addresses to that new platform. It might seem small, but it is going to help you reach that goal. That small project can then be broken down into tinier tasks. And this is where the dates, assigning tasks, and self-micromanaging really comes in. But these are the things that snowball into each other to make the bigger things happen.
It’s when you are filling your calendar with those types of things that you are so much more empowered to say “Heck to the no,” to squirrels. Opportunities pop up out of nowhere all the time, and that’s why we call them squirrels. Often times these can be a flash in the pan and in the same instant they are there, they are gone. We’ve seen this happen so many times. You have to use your goals as a screen. Every time a new opportunity arises, ask yourself, “Does it fit through the screen? Or is it just bombarding me?” So many of us fear that if we’re not jumping on the thing right now, then we’re missing out on an opportunity. Rather than being trendy, you need to be sustainable. It’s when you don’t chase the sexy sparkly squirrels that you are able to stand back and look at the bigger picture. But remember, you are not chiseling these goals into your tombstone. You can still pivot, be flexible, change course and re-assess. You are the boss!
Rocks, Pebbles or Sand? How To Order And Prioritize Your Daily Tasks
Most of us live our day-to-day doing things that “feel” important, but are actually not important. For example, you open your email and someone is complaining. Likely, it feels important because someone is yelling at you. It is going to feel like a fire you need to put out right away. But here’s the thing, those people don’t deserve all your time or attention. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t address your clients’ needs, but a lot of the time we linger on these things. We let them take up too much of our time, energy and emotion, and those money generating activities get shoved down to the bottom of the list.
We’re going to give you a helpful analogy here. It’s something we discussed with Steph Crowder on episode 199. So, you’ve all seen a jar filled with rocks, pebbles and sand. Everything fits when things are added in that order. But if you add the sand first, then the pebbles, then the rocks. Then they don’t fit. If you think about this in terms of the way you’re working, it’s likely that you are making things come to the top of your priority list that do not need to be there and that’s likely because the things you are focusing on are urgent but not important. There’s a difference. We want you to make a list, it’ll take you 15 minutes, and define which activities in your day are actually moving your business forward? Which ones are urgent? Which ones are important? We need you to focus on the ones that are important. And know that you give the most attention to the things you start with.
Define Your Income Producing Activities And Make Your Business Regular
We want you to write down and tell your team what your number one priority is. What are the things that should always outweigh anything you or your team are working on? For us, and for everyone, it should be income producing activities (IPA’s) – the things that generate profit and revenue in your business. You are not a business unless you are making money. Period. Hands down. No excuses. We judge everything based on this, and sometimes this means that stuff that sounds really cool, gets cut because it doesn’t lead to sales the way it needs to as quickly as something else in order to become a priority in our business. If you don’t have a team and you are a solo-entrepreneur, then you need to decide which days you are going to focus on your income producing activities. Having thematic days in your week will help you to see that progress.
Even if you can’t be the CEO everyday in your business, you can still do an IPA everyday in your business. Other industries talk about IPA’s a lot, but in the creative industry it is not spoken about as commonly because creatives get all soft and mushy and they make it all about being creative. We love that you are creative but we want to see you still in business six months from now! And if you are not getting rewarded financially, it’s going to be so much easier to quit. We don’t want you to quit. We want you to be feeding your family, growing your business, and serving your people three, five, ten years from now – rather than having a better watercolour invitation. It’s because we care. It’s not because we’re mean. So we advise laying all this out on a regular basis, monthly basis at least, where you realign, reflect, review, reassess, re-examine your data, goals and progress. What has helped us to propel our business forward, is checking in. So get regular with this, babe!
- Don’t Know What Goals To Set? Here’s A Good Place To Start. [0:03:40.1]
- How To Break Your Goals Down Into Micro-Tasks And Use Them As A Screen. [0:07:35.1]
- Rocks, Pebbles or Sand? How To Order And Prioritize Your Daily Tasks. [0:19:45.1]
- Define Your Income Producing Activities And Make Your Business Regular. [0:26:15.1]