A good goal setting practice for the year ahead should start with your desires—I know it can be all too tempting to skip this step, especially when you are hoping to achieve and accomplish things as quickly as possible, but it’s really important that you don’t. You see, as business owners, we can find ourselves so focused on the road ahead, we completely miss our turn, and oblivious to that, end up driving at full speed in the complete and utter wrong direction.
Meaning: you shouldn’t just check in with your purpose when you start your company, but at regular intervals (like when you’re doing yearly and monthly goal setting) too, to make sure you not only get on the right road, you stay there. Trust me, I really do understand the importance of this, because not too long ago, I careered off course as well…
The biggest realization I had this year was that I Heart My Life, the business I started years ago and scaled to 7 figures in 18 months, wasn’t in alignment anymore, and so I needed to make some changes. I’d been so focused on the smaller details, that I’d lost sight of the bigger picture—of the company’s vision and mission.
When I first started it up, I’d intended for I Heart My Life to help women create lives better than their dreams. As time had gone on, I found myself supporting coaches almost exclusively, with building their businesses almost exclusively… and people were starting to pigeon hole me as a mentor to coaches too (as we often do with actors, for example, like Jennifer Aniston, who always seems to play lovelorn leads in cookie-cutter romantic comedies (love her, but you know what I mean).
When I first started the company, I envisioned helping women who longed and yearned for MORE to come to have it ALL—the satisfying business, the fulfilling career, the happy home and family life, the deep and meaningful romantic relationship, the optimized health and wellness, the strong and resilient ‘I can do anything’ mindset, the kind of wealth that affords them freedom of finance, and can buy them freedom of time and location, too…
I wanted to touch people’s hearts, nourish people’s souls, to inspire them and motivate them to do bigger and better things. After I checked in with my desires, all of this came back to me. I realized that I was here to make a much deeper and wider impact on my incredible community, and that my business model, in its current state, wasn’t facilitating this… and so I needed to switch things up.
Since I’ve shared how out of alignment I felt, and the importance of asking yourself regularly whether the operations of your company are still supporting your intents and purpose, I’ve received too many responses to count from women worldwide who also felt like something was ‘off’, or ‘not quite right’ for them, professionally or otherwise. Even one of my team members (who supports me with copy) had ‘an awakening’ (her words, lol) this year…
Whilst she was editing the series of emails I wrote to roll out the rebrands (of I Heart My Life and Emily Williams) she’d started to cry, because the message I’d shared hit home. Hard. She too had been too busy to hear the Universe gently whispering that she was building the wrong business… she too hadn’t stopped to ask whether it was the right model for her clients or for herself. TLDR; she decided to scale her DFY copywriting business from 6 figures to 7, but to do so, had opted for an agency model. The agency brought with it a ton of operating expenses, which meant more revenue, but not much more profit, and she found herself working longer, harder and doing less of what she was good at and loved. Before long, she couldn’t even really remember the reason why she started, and was setting goals based on what she thought she SHOULD be doing, not what felt true to her heart.
My pivot granted her the permission to pivot too, and fast forward to now she’s still scaling, but with consulting and courses, has a better bottom line and is taking more money home, too.
The moral of these stories I hope you take, is that your DESIRES should drive the direction of any goals you set or plans you make. THAT’S the only way to ensure you get, and stay, on track…
So with that being said, let’s break down my goal setting process, shall we?! Then you can start mapping out your soul goals for 2022.
Once you’ve checked in with your desires, and decided whether you’re out of alignment and need to reconsider by pivoting your model, your offer, whatever… or aren’t and don’t need to make any major changes… It’s time to conduct a SWOT analysis to get clear on your priorities. A SWOT analysis will help you see what is working out for you (strengths) and what isn’t (weaknesses), as well as opportunities for and threats to your business’s growth.
N.B. You don’t HAVE to do it in this way (I don’t always), but if you’re new to goal setting, following this process can be really beneficial.
A SWOT analysis could look a little something like this…
Following an analysis like this, I decided to rethink my membership (there’s one coming, but NOT the one I envisioned). I also decided to split I Heart My Life and Emily Williams down the middle, reposition each of them and revamp the branding and websites to reflect the new energy—btw, if you want to learn more about this journey, you can read the full story here.
I also launched The Luxe Mastermind, which I would argue is my best offering to-date, and in general, adjust how much I budget for running each company—e.g. put more spend into Emily Williams than I Heart My Life, as that company generates more revenue.
Now, it’s your turn. Look back at the year that’s passed. For your strengths and weaknesses, consider what you did and didn’t achieve, what went well and went averagely or badly. Did you hit or miss your targets. Did anything in particular exceed your expectations, or perform a lot worse than you anticipated?
Obviously, the more data you have the better, as it makes it easier to make decisions. If you don’t have data, don’t worry. Just make qualitative analyses for now and make a conscious effort to record and track quantitatively next year!
What would you like to do more of and less of next year? Might you want to go all in on one of your strengths, or make efforts to strengthen a weakness that’s important for your business model? Is there anything you should let go of entirely (as it’s a weakness that can’t be strengthened, or is too big a threat to the business to risk)? Maybe you’ve identified an opportunity for a new offer or collaboration?
2. Goal setting
With those things in mind, highlight some immediate thoughts.
The best goals are S.M.A.R.T., meaning they’re:
- Specific: What exactly are you going to do?
- Measurable: How will you know if you are succeeding?
- Achievable: How will you implement the goal?
- Relevant: Does the goal connect to your overall objectives?
- Timely: When will you achieve the goal by?
The sections that follow (on revenue, offers, marketing and sales) will help you answer those questions in more detail. I don’t like to map everything out end to end at this stage, because it’s important to ensure what you’ve identified here works with the amount of money your company needs to make, the offers (and launches of them) you have in your business plan already, etc..
So, without further ado, let’s move on.
The next thing I like to do is look at the revenue goals for the company. How much money do I want to make? And also, how much money do I NEED to make to cover my costs, leave enough money in the business for new and exciting investments AND pay myself enough to achieve my personal goals, whether that be building a house, buying a car, taking vacations, investing in things that will make my money work for ME… right through to eating good quality food, getting my hair and nails done.
It’s not bad or wrong to want more money, Lovely, so dream as big as you like. Btw, if you have a mindset block on that, what I’ve written in this blog post here may help you bust through it.
I then like to ideate on the fastest, easiest and (importantly) most JOYFUL ways to achieve those revenue goals. Can I do it by optimising my existing offers, or do I need to create something new? Of course, if you’re a little newer to business, or if you’re coming up with a new product/service for an already established one, these goals can be harder to set. My advice is to do your research to see how other people are performing in your industry with similar promises and deliverables. From there you can set targets with top and bottom lines.
5. Marketing and Sales
My next step is to consider how I’ll hit those targets. Are my offerings evergreen, meaning they’re launched once and are available to purchase year round after that? Or do doors open and close for enrollment? I have a combination of both types of offer (with funnels running to my evergreen ones), but the ones that require my time and energy are of course, the non-evergreen ones, and so I carve out space for their launches and the time required to put together the marketing materials that sell the offers during them.
For my Emily Williams business, I’d start with The Luxe Mastermind, seeing as that’s my highest ticket product, and carve out the retreat space in my calendar, as I obviously can’t be in launch mode then, I have to be fully present for my in-person clients. I’ll then block out the time for the launch of Luxe, before moving onto my other offerings, in order of ROI, and putting them in the calendar.
The approach I take is called The Rocks Model. If you haven’t heard of it, rocks are a specific type of goal—three to seven initiatives you identify as priorities for your company’s growth. As an entrepreneur, there are ALWAYS things that need to be done, but putting your launches in the calendar like this, from highest-payoff to lowest-payoff, ensures you’re spending your time on the things that are actually going to make you money. Everything else (pebbles, if you will) can fit in around them.
Those pebbles usually include the day to day runnings of the business that are necessary to support these bigger goals. Your social media strategy, for example, will need to be input here, taking into account what you’re trying to achieve from a rev-gen perspective. Likewise, you’ll need to plug in your email strategy, your podcast/blog (if you have either of those) strategies, your direct outreach, and so on and so forth.
Remember, you only want to be doing the things you’ve identified earlier as being worth it. Don’t fill ANY white space up with paper pushing exercises that keep you busy but aren’t productive. Your time is your most valuable resource.
I hope this goal setting guidance helps, Lovely, and that you’re excited to dive into looking at what happened in 2021, and what WILL happen in 2022.
Remember: desires are the foundations upon which businesses should be built. Don’t underestimate the importance of checking back in with yours.