Another year is coming to a close..if you don't know, it's time to start asking some questions and find out.
How did it go? Did your business grow? Did it stay the same? Did you launch? Were you happy?
Perfect time to take stock of all the things in your business and life that happened. The good and the bad.
Because I always look for the lesson in whatever challenges me and my wins too, I sat down and thought of the biggest ones from 2015. They are likely not the first or last time I have talked or will talk about these lessons…
Running a business requires constant, ongoing improvement. So, here’s what I was reminded to improve every year. Again.
If you’ve ever wondered why you aren’t making a bigger splash, more money, growing at the pace you think you should, you might need to learn some of these lessons too.
Before we get into this week's episode, let me say that your biggest business lessons may not be the same as mine…and they don't need to be. All they have to be are big realizations that have lead or are leading you to change.
So let's get into it.
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My Biggest Business Lessons of 2015 (and probably 2016 too!)
Time Management is a skill I need to keep practicing
The way you spend your time is critical as a business owner and I’m guilty of wasting tons of it. Maybe you resonate with that… Too many times did I give myself tasks that weren’t suited for me, took too long, or I didn’t start until it was too late to do everything I’ve wanted to do.
Learning to structure my time is the hardest ongoing “thing” I do. Making sure I know when I’m most effective, not wasting time, and working even when I don’t feel like it are ongoing struggles for me. It’s so easy to get sidetracked with a new strategy, tool, or maybe a newly released planner!
I can’t do it completely alone
Go back in time and watch Anne as she grew up and you’d see me struggling to hike up a mountain in Vermont and refuse to take a helping hand from anyone. I swear my first words in life must have been “I can do it myself”. No joke.
Now that I’m working to build my own business, I push myself every single day to ask for help or guidance on even small things…even if it’s a blog post I finished late, feel bad about handing off to my team. I do it. The post can go up late, but I can’t do it!
Now – even as I’m prepping for the next Fearless Launching launch – this is even more critical. I had to have a production meeting with myself (lol) and remind myself why launches didn’t go as well or in the way I wanted them to in the past… Was it because of my expectations or my reluctance to add someone into the process while there was still time to delegate!
You are the only one who really cares about your business
Another hard lesson, but once you learn it, you get to let go a little bit in the micromanaging department.
There is almost NOTHING in your business if you’re working online especially that can’t be changed. Nothing is permanent. A website can be taken down. A tweet can be deleted. An email apology can be sent.
Now, you might have deal breakers in your business that you can’t overlook, but when it comes to things like content or anything on the web…most of the time you can fix those.
But – just like you should be able to let go a little on those things. You can also set the standard for how you want your team to communicate with people. You do get to dictate what should never be said…
But remember that in the heat of a launch, you might think everyone should be on call for your emails and #crazylaunchtexts but they might be busy with their families, other clients, and/or simply off doing something else.
Even if you set up the expectation that people need to be available during a certain time, it never fails that someone didn’t get the memo.
Remembering that it’s your business and even the most devoted employee does not care as much about the company as you do is important. It’ll help you work on your launches and promotions earlier, give yourself plenty of time to rebound from any hiccups that happen along the way.
Stop trying to do so much
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received and call upon is that you don’t have to do so much in your business. You should think about the top 3 things every day that will push your business forward, deepen your relationship with your current audience, and help you reach new people!
Stop trying to create all the content, be on all the social media platforms, and hit every format.
Focus on the few things that will really make a difference.
Stop trying to sell so much
I’ve got friends who sell multiple products in one category. They do well. I’ve got friends who focus on one product and do REALLY well.
Now, depending on what industry you’re in…why not try to focus on the one type of product or the one product that you can become known for?
The reason I’m so focused on Fearless Launching is because I want to be known as the #launchboss. I’m the person to go to if you are launching something online.
That’s why I’m making some big changes come 2016 — when I’ll only be offering one launching product. That means any other smaller or launch courses & coaching will be removed from my shop.
Focus: Follow One Course Until Successful
If you need help figuring out what to focus on for 2016 – I highly you check out the limited time replay of my Launch mapping class. It'll get you thinking about 2016 and also the one thing you’re going to focus on before the new year hits.
Make the CBB list
CBB means Could Be Better.
If you’re anything like me, you’re an idea machine. One idea leads to more ideas. One piece of content, leads to 10 more. But there are only so many hours in your day. We know this.
One of the pieces that keep me sane during my launches is my ability to prioritize what gets done now and what gets put on the CBB list. If we have time, we’ll revisit this, or it doesn’t happen until NEXT TIME.
While you’re creating content, executing all the ideas you’ve got…you’ll want to keep tweaking them until you’re happy (i.e. they are perfect). But just like there’s only so much time in the day for idea to get added to your launch task list, there’s also only so much time to make all the things in your launch PERFECT.
That’s why I create a CBB list every single week working up to launches, I push the list to CBB and then reserve the last few weeks before we go live to address the CBBs or schedule them for the next launch.
If you want an easy way to keep track of those ideas, revisit them on a regular basis…then off load your big launch to do list and create your CBB list with my first planner printable (free for a limited time)!
Track your numbers, your money…
If you aren’t the type of person who likes to stick to a monthly budget, things need to change with a business. Tracking your numbers–everything from your list growth to your incoming and outgoing money.
Why do you have to do this? Well, the money tracking helps you do something you HAVE to do as a business owner…PAY TAXES! But it also tells you where you might be able to cut expense and also tells you how much launching and running your business actually costs you!
All important information to track. If you don’t measure where you are, set goals to where you want to grow…you won’t grow. Simple as that!
My trick is to look at the growth – the change in the numbers instead of the exact numbers themselves. This keeps me moving the needle in the right direction. It keeps me focused on movement as opposed to an end result!
Vent & trust
I’m someone who tends to work alone, not take advice, hole up in my cave to create new things, come up with plans on my own.
2015 marked the first year that I let my guard really down and surrounded myself with some amazing women who now have a full, complete picture of me.
I don’t pretend I have it all together. I don’t need to. We share the good days and the bad ones. Yes the bad ones. Not the trying or challenge ones only – but the really just sucky, kick you in the gut days.
Surround yourself with people you trust, who love & support you, AND who get what you do. Being an entrepreneur is something my hubby does not get. He loves having a job. He wants me to be happy and so does not get that I would willingly keep working on something where there is NO guaranteed paycheck.
Listen to this week’s podcast as I keep my list of lessons going…and make sure to leave a comment below if you’ve been working on the same thing this year!
1) Free Launch Planner: Grab this completely free launch planning workbook. Download, print, and start planning your launch today — don’t forget to add in the test and secure your website tasks!
2) Free Systems Cheatsheet: A Free Checklist & Cheatsheet to make sure your systems are in order before you launch — plus the one I mentioned on the podcast today!
3) Join the Fearless Launching Lounge: This free group will give you the accountability, inspiration, and resources you need to launch your first or NEXT big project.
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