Productivity, Strategies

Tackling Your Systems, Working Backwards, and Avoiding Overwhelm

Episode 106: Show Notes

Today we are talking all things systems. Our main concept is all about working backwards to achieve a goal. This may not be a new concept, but it is one of the topics we get the most questions about. So we are going to answer a bunch of the questions we have received about achieving your goals and tackling them head on! Often, identifying an end goal can be confusing, overwhelming and lead to a lot of self-doubt. Especially if your business is new. We are here to tell you why you need to have an end goal in mind, no matter where you are in your business.

Today we are talking all things systems. Our main concept is all about working backwards to achieve a goal. This may not be a new concept, but it is one of the topics we get the most questions about. So we are going to answer a bunch of the questions we have received about achieving your goals and tackling them head on! Often, identifying an end goal can be confusing, overwhelming and lead to a lot of self-doubt. Especially if your business is new. We are here to tell you why you need to have an end goal in mind, no matter where you are in your business.  |  The Strategy Hour  |  Think Creative Collective

If the thought of reaching that goal makes you want to freeze, we want to show you how you can break it down into mini-tasks and work your way backwards to achieve it – without getting too dizzy. What if you’re close to a deadline and not even close to reaching your mini-goals? What do you do and how do you tackle it? This is what we’re going to be talking about today. This entrepreneur life is all about baby steps and we want you to know that you can reach your end goal. So let us help you and take a listen!

Deciding What Your End Goal Should Be

At the very beginning, if someone says, “What do you want your end goal to be? What do you want to achieve this year in your business?” And you’re sitting there kind of frozen, saying “Well, uh, I don’t know?” We want to reassure you that, especially at the beginning, it’s totally okay. But you have to identify something. Some kind of end of year goal based on something like what you want to make that year. It doesn’t matter if at the beginning you are picking that number out of thin air. On the flip side, if you have a more established business and you have data (i.e sales history or subscriber numbers), then you need to be setting goals based on facts rather than guesses.

Thinking Of Your Goals In Sections

It helps to break your goals up into sections. The first section to think about is your ultimate revenue goal. What do you want to bring home this year? Use this number to help build what your business can do for you. Often this is the number that people make up because their business might be a hobby, their partner is the breadwinner or they have other streams of income that they are relying on. This means that there is often no pressure on a revenue goal. So what we want you to do is imagine, say, that your partner’s income was cut in half… How much would you need to make to ensure that you’re financially stable? Sometimes you have to create a fictional pressure to motivate yourself. Regardless of your motivation, having a revenue goal can be a cue for your “this-is-what-I-want” goal and is really going to help you build that sustainability at first. You may not even reach your revenue goal, or you may well surpass it. But you have to set some sort of baseline to measure your success on.

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If you don’t have a goal you are just going to feel like you are constantly spinning your wheels.
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How To Reach Your Revenue Goal

The easiest way to reach your revenue goal, regardless of industry, is to think about your email list. If you have a past history of sales, look at what your customers have been purchasing. So we’re working backwards. Quarter 4 was your revenue goal, Q3 was your email list and the actual number of people you are going to need to reach to achieve your goal. And yes, there are many mini-tasks inside of these, but at this point, it is about growth and visibility. It can be really difficult to get past the mentality of, “I just need to sell more things.” But right now, you are acting like an entrepreneur and saying, “Okay, if those are the numbers I need then what are some of the strategies I can try to get more people there, to get more visible and to make more sales?” It’s not just, “I need to sell more.” You need to be implementing strategies that grow your audience. Those strategies affect the growth of your email list, how many people are buying from you and, ultimately, you reaching your Q4 – your revenue goal.

Tweaks, Repeats and The Domino Effect

Reaching your revenue goal really depends on visibility, revenue and focus. Visibility wise, how are you going to get your subscribers? It might be a new content strategy, blogging, or putting out a podcast. This is where you might feel like you’re just guessing on strategies, but it’s where tweak and repeat comes into play. You pick strategies that are easy to implement and will show you growth over time. As long as you are measuring and checking them, you can be confident to know that, “Hey, this is actually working for me.” Or, “No. this is not working I need to cut it and try something else.” It’s helpful to make these strategies quantifiable. For example, if you start a podcast, how many downloads do you want to get to each month? Do you want to have a certain number of sponsors? If your goal is to get more people on your email list, then you could say, “I want to convert 2% of my podcast listeners to my email list.” So what is your strategy around that? Making ads around an opt in, measuring what those opt ins are, making sure the links are trackable, or having a promotion plan for every episode? You need to be doing whatever it is that is going to get more people listening, joining your email list and thus affecting your end goal, which is growing your revenue. It’s all a domino effect.

Ebbs, Flows, Outsourcing and Email Lists

For us, our Q1 goal for this year was outsourcing. We did a ton of hiring, which might confuse a lot of people because, well, hiring costs money. But it bought back our time. It might not work for everyone, but it worked for us. Q1 goals change from year to year in business. Last year, our Q1 goal was our email list. You cannot control who gets on your email list, but you can control how you are talking to them and how you make them feel. Look at your conversion rates from your emails, monitor how often you’re sending emails and when you’re sending them – those things are in your control. So leverage on them. It’s important to remember that there are ebbs and flows in business and you shouldn’t panic if you have a bad month. Some months suck. We remember one month when we made just $200 and another where we made over $20,000. In one month. If your months are not consistent, it’s okay, just as long as what you are doing is moving you toward your end goal: your revenue goal.

This Entrepreneur Life

For some of you, you might do anything to get to your goals. But sometimes you get to a point where you just freeze. Your dream was owning a business, and some of you might just want to keep it a dream. Because in your head it is so much better than you think it could be in real life. But it doesn’t have to be. Our business has never ceased to amaze us and we want you to feel that way about your business too. There comes a point where it is less about the numbers, the subscribers and your revenue goal and you just want that entrepreneur life. And you can have it. It is within your reach. You have to have the drive and the determination to go after it, but you would not be listening to this podcast if you didn’t have that. You have to have those hard conversations with yourself and / or your partner. It’s knowing these things so that you can’t run away from them. If you don’t have a goal, an actual number, to work towards you are just going to feel like you are constantly spinning your wheels. Decide to get to know these things about your business to empower yourself, to stop running away, to make a game plan and reach your goals. Once you have set up the things you want to tackle, you can break them down. Baby steps. It’s about not being overwhelmed by the end goal and instead just focusing on the small, daily tasks that will get you there.

Four days To Sexy Systems

Four Days to Sexy Systems is our brand new challenge starting 5 September 2017. The challenge is all about organizing, getting your shit together and getting your systems in check, It’s going to help you with all of the things we’re talking about in this episode. Sign up, it’s FREE and we would so love to have you there.                                                                                                      

Highlights

  • How to decide what your end goal should be to lay out a clear path for your business. [0:04:10.0]
  • Thinking of your goals in sections and breaking them down into mini-goals. [0:07:00.0]
  • Tweaks, repeats and the domino effect that comes with reassessing your systems. [0:15:02.0]
  • Our Q1 goal this year; outsourcing and how we approached the task. [0:21:00.0]
  • This entrepreneur life: why it’s all about the baby steps, Babe. [0:21:00.0]
  • Four Days To Sexy Systems: our next challenge! [0:34:40.0]

Today’sGuest

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ABAGAIL & EMYLEE

The Strategy Hour Podcast

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We help overwhelmed and creative entrepreneurs break down their Oprah-sized dreams to create a functioning command center to tame the chaos of their business. Basically, we think you’re totally bomb diggity, we’re about to uplevel the shiz out of your business.

KeyTopics

  • Identifying goals.

  • Deciding on an end goal.

  • Breaking down goals into tasks.

  • Tweaking your systems.

  • Outsourcing.

  • Working backwards.

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