Taking the time to do review the past year and plan for the new one will help you to remind yourself of what you’re working towards and re-align your actions with your goals; learn from your mistakes and failures; and stop for a moment and celebrate your wins.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The One Step Outside Facebook group– Join us over in the Facebook group to meet like-minded people who are working on reimagining success in their life and business and to get access to direct support and free training sessions from Anna. www.facebook.com/groups/onestepoutside
What do you want your business to achieve?
Hello, hello there, and welcome. Welcome to a new year. Welcome to 2021. I hope you’ve had a wonderful few weeks. Hopefully had some time off, from me, from work, from whatever else 2020 of course had in store for us, and that you’re beginning to feel refreshed and excited to come back to this new year. Pretty much new blank slate. Let’s say, let’s hope that we can start a fresh at least on some areas, and look ahead to a fantastic year and decade. And that’s what we’re talking about this week. We’re talking about planning specifically for our business for this new year. 2021. As ever, I think it’s helpful to ask, okay, why do we need to plan? Why should we want to plan? And apart from the fact that I’m a bit of a planning geek, I do love setting a vision, creating goals and plans and templates and all sorts. And I think a lot of you probably share that desire, share that joy, when it comes to drawing pretty goals and charts and vision boards and so on.
So that’s a fun part of the process. However, more importantly, I really believe that it’s very difficult to get to our goals if we don’t know what they are. So that’s my whole philosophy. That’s what this whole podcast is about. Re-imagining success. What does success look like for you? How on earth are you going to get there if you don’t know what that bar looks like? What’s it going to look like, feel like, smell like, when you get there? So that’s really important. Secondly, of course we can learn from hopefully what we’ve done, that I won’t say wrong, but we learned from things that didn’t go as well as we’d hoped perhaps, we can learn from mistakes we make, we can learn from what happened around us, which perhaps wasn’t in our control. And then we can see how we would act differently, how we could set up our business differently, how we could behave or take different actions in order to get different results.
And third, perhaps most important, and the one that I always struggle with the most, and I see it again and again with clients, is to celebrate. Because yes, some things have gone well. And even if the ultimate result wasn’t what you wanted it to be, it’s really important to be able to celebrate, to recognise, acknowledge what you have achieved. What you have done and achieved, can mean not just that end result, the outcome, but also the process, the input. So if you’ve been showing up creating amazing things, being consistent, being courageous and all those things, that’s an achievement, that’s something to celebrate at the end of the year. It’s not just about the outcomes that, let’s face it, we don’t have 100% control over.
So hopefully you’re convinced, hopefully you’re listening to this episode wanting to set your plan for the new year. So how are we going to go about doing this? Well, grab a pen and paper if you don’t already have one.
Now I’ll already say now that if you’d like more help with this process, this is something we do every year and then also every quarter, in The Outsiders Business Accelerator. So I’ll be sharing more about that at the end of the episode, but in case you’re keen to already get started, get that support and join this fantastic group of like-minded people working on their businesses, you can apply at onestepoutside.com/accelerate and you can get started with us right away as we go about our annual review and planning session for 2021. I’d love to start working with you.
Otherwise grab a pen and paper, and let’s at least try to get a rough plan together. And of course, the first thing to do, is to look back on the previous year. I know it’s a tough one, but it is important, let’s not just draw a line through it. I’m sure there are things that have gone well and little glimmers of hope, however difficult things were. And again, even if it’s not what you wanted it to be, that’s just as important to learn from things that are outside of your control, things you could have done differently, and so on. So really looking back and thinking of course …
And by the way, before I guess I get into this, I should say, this is not going to be today a financial record, we’re not going through the PNL, the company accounts and so on. I’m not an accountant, but I’m certainly not going to today be focusing on this. But of course, maybe I’ll put that out there first. Of course you want to be looking at your numbers regularly. And certainly the end of the year, you need to be looking at your overall sales, your profits, whatever other numbers are important to you. And also potentially some important metrics that hopefully you’ve set yourself, in terms of perhaps number of followers, or emails on your list, or something like that. Now I don’t want to trivialise this because this is really cool, but the reason I’m not focusing on it, is I think that’s where we tend to get most obsessed. We tend to obsess about, my goodness, my group hasn’t grown more than this. And I only have this many downloads of subscribers on my podcast. Only that many people bought my book. I’ve only got that many website visitors, et cetera, et cetera.
Fine, and it’s important to have those numerical targets as well. But for me, if you know me at all, you know I feel like there’s a much more meaningful definition of success. And that’s something to really look at. And so apologies if you’re expecting more of that kind of financial review. That’s not something we’re doing today in this particular session. So some important questions to ask yourself, and again, grab a pen and paper. However, you probably either want to listen to this once through and then come back later, perhaps you’re on the move now anyway, so you can’t grab a pen and paper, or you’ll want to come back anyway, or you’ll pause and you can do it with me right now. So whichever works for you.
I’m not going to leave 10 minutes of silence in between each question for you to answer. So you will need to pause or come back later as well. So a few key questions to ask ourself about last year, one of them which I really like is, what did you create? So we’re not even looking at the outcome, the clients, or whatever. What did you create? And that could be anything from blog posts, email, newsletters, graphics, maybe a freebie, maybe many freebies. Maybe you launched your website for the first time, videos, podcasts, books, eBooks, what did you create? Graphics, text, audio, video, whatever format, but whatever you actually designed, created, put out there into the world that didn’t exist before. And that’s something again already to celebrate because that takes courage, it takes a lot of thinking about what’s going to be best for your clients and so on.
And certainly if you’re starting out in the business, that’s a massive achievement. So what did you create? What worked really well? So of course you want to look at, okay, what did work well? Well, I sent out my email once a month. I did my Instagram stories every week. I set up my email sequence for my freebie, and I got lots of people on there. What worked really well? But let’s take that even further. What was your biggest achievement? What are you most proud of, of this entire year that you achieved in the business? And again, it could be something you’ve created. It could be a result. It could be a client you’ve worked with. It could be the mindset that you’ve brought to investing in yourself, investing in the business and really taking this seriously committing. So what’s your biggest achievement?
And then, let’s take a little bit step back, let’s take a sad, sad, look at what perhaps didn’t work so well.
So again, it might’ve been in your control. That’s the most productive focus area really, or it might not have been. But what didn’t work so well, maybe you set some really ambitious targets about showing up on social every day and that didn’t quite happen. Or maybe you did a launch that didn’t quite have as many people as you’d hoped. Maybe you didn’t execute all the things that were on your list, for example. So what didn’t work well? And of course we had the biggest achievements. So what was your biggest disappointment? And that’s important, because maybe your priorities have shifted, in which case something that you didn’t work on isn’t so important anymore. Maybe, I can’t believe I didn’t do this. This is such an important thing for me. It’s so meaningful, and why on earth didn’t I do it? So let’s keep that on the table for next year.
So that’s really reviewing where we’ve come from. And again, of course, the financials, any other metrics that you set yourself and so on, but I wanted to ask you these questions about reviewing the past year, that are questions perhaps that you wouldn’t usually ask yourself. So what did you create? What’s gone really well? What was your biggest achievement that you’re most proud of? What didn’t go so well? And what’s your biggest disappointment? And that’s looking back on the previous year. Now again, of course, I did four launches for my business incubator, I had my accelerator going on. I did my escape plan workshops. I did all sorts of things last year. So I’ll be digging into the details of each of my particular launches and business processes, and so on. There’s lots to look at there, but again, these are just some questions to throw at you in terms of really shifting perhaps your perspective, and looking at things in a different way, especially when you’re just starting out in business.
But let’s look ahead, and again, this is going to be a little bit different perhaps to what you’re used to, but some questions to ask yourself here and big picture, let’s look at 2021, this new year coming up. And you may have heard my episode a few weeks ago, and I was talking about coming up with a theme. In fact, I think it was last week. I was talking about coming up with one word or theme for the new year. If you did that exercise, I’d love for you to put that as part of your plan for the new year. If you haven’t done it yet, then have a lesson, because that can be a really powerful concept guide to your new year in terms of this is going to be my focus. So that’s your theme. And then what does success look like for you?
So at the end of this year, what needs to have happened, what have you achieved? What does the world look like? What does your business look like at the end of this new year, for you to go, “Yep. I’ve been successful this year.”?
And I’m not talking about, although by all means, if that’s your goal, I’m not talking about the revenue goals, and so on again, necessarily. Perhaps, if you just ask the business, then yes, actually, you know what I want to prove to myself that I can get an income of this amount per month, a total income of this, this number of clients to prove that this is a viable business. If you’re further along, maybe you’ve already started changing your scaling and you want to reach a higher level, that’s absolutely fine. Or it could be something else in terms of, again, what you’re creating, how many launches you’ve done, how many consultation calls, it could be very numerical and specific, or it could be, I want to feel proud of myself for having really gone all in, in my business.
So really thinking about, okay, what do you want to have? What do you want to be? What do you want to feel at the end of this year? Now another area which I won’t dig into, but if you go back to previous years of podcast episodes, I talk a lot about these five Ls. And so the five hours of the different areas of your life that I think are really important to consider. Now we’re talking business today, but nonetheless, as my clients, I always encourage you to really reflect holistically on these different areas. So quick recap, but I’d love for you to think about in each of these five areas, what will be success for you? What will be your goals for this year, big picture for the year? So live wellness and wellbeing, love, relationships and romance, learn development and growth, lead career, and impact.
And that’s of course, where the business fits and then laugh [inaudible 00:10:58] spontaneity. More than ever, I think this year it’s really important that we’re able to plan fun things in between everything else, within the limitation, perhaps that are still going on at the moment. But we’re really thinking about these different areas of your life and not just the business. So that’s sort of the big picture of what you want to achieve. Now, in order to achieve these goals, a few more questions, and I should have warned you, I’m going quickly, as I said, you probably want to listen again and pause and go back. But thinking about what’s going to help to set you up for success. What’s going to help you to achieve these goals, right? So in order to achieve my goals, I will need to, and it could be show up consistently, ask for help, overcome my limiting beliefs perhaps, really make sure that I’m setting boundaries and saying no to these things.
Whatever it might be, it could be mindset. It could be taking specific, consistent actions. It could investing in a course or a programme working with someone. So what do you need to do in order to achieve your goals? What might you get in the way? Because let’s face it, something could get in the away. And that could again be your mindset, your doubts. It could be your day job if you’re running this business as a side hustle, and other priorities, and so on, the shiny object syndrome. So it could be your own insecurities, or it could be distractions. It could be the world economy and other things happening. So what could get in the way? And that’s a really important question to ask in order to be able to address those things and anticipate and prevent and hopefully mitigate the risk?
Then, what’s the one thing, and I love this question, it’s so hard. Every time we go through it on the Business Accelerator, clients will say, “I’ve got three things. I’ve got five things.” But what is the one thing that will make the biggest difference? And we look at this quarterly as well. One thing that if you just do it consistently, if you do this one thing, everything else, yes can happen, will happen maybe, but this is the thing that’s going to move the needle. This is what’s going to really create a movement in your business. So what’s the one thing? And then finally, of course, what will help me keep moving forward? So really when things get in the way, if I am getting stuck or caught up in my mind, or getting distracted by shiny object syndrome, what’s going to help me move forwards? So that’s what important too.
And then finally, as we wrap up, this of course is as you can tell, really big picture annual goals, but let’s then look into the seasons of the quarters. And in the Business Accelerator, we do a quarterly review, which is really powerful in terms of looking back on the past three months, looking ahead to the next three months, checking in. Three months, 90 days, 12 weeks, whatever you call it, is long enough to really make a difference, but also short enough to stay really focused and disciplined on your goals. So mapping out the seasons, the first three months are going to be laying the foundations. I’m going to be doing the behind the scenes systems and creating some new freebies, and streamlining my programmes and launches. Q2, as we used to call it AMJ, this is what we used to call it back in my corporate days, JFM, AMJ, JAS, OND, so it’s the initials of the months.
Second quarter, let’s call it, okay spring time. I’ve done the foundations, so now I’m going to be ready to go out into the world and push this launch, announce, advertise, pitch, whatever it is. Summer perhaps could be a slow period. Maybe you want to spend that more with family and travel and so on. Hopefully, and maybe that’s downtime, in which case you sort of reduce your expectations a little bit. And then the final quarter, or some would say sort of the first back to school quarter could be the perspective as well for OND, October, November, December. So really break down this big picture into these seasons. At this stage, just keep it quite top level, but then we can really break it into specific goals, specific actions for each of those four seasons. So look, that’s a whirlwind of an annual plan, but if you have nothing in place yet, and if you’re keen to get started, hopefully that’s going to give you a bit of a taste and some structure. Again, do go back and listen, pause it, grab a pen and paper, work through this in your own time.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, but get something down. And then of course, keep it front and centre as you’re working on your business now, going forward this first quarter and beyond. Now again, as promised, if you would like to join us and do this planning together, not to mention, get access to coaching and training from me and this wonderful group as well, then do check out the Business Accelerator. So you can go to onestepoutside.com/accelerate. Onestepoutside.com/accelerate to apply there. And if you’re a good fit, we could be able to get you in by next week. And you’ll be able to join our first annual quarterly session for this year. And then stay with us for the rest of the year and really get that support and accountability and guidance, to help you achieve your goals in 2021. Thanks so much for listening. Best of luck with your planning, whether you do it alone or with me. And I look forward to seeing you next week. Bye for now.
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
Up-level with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate