In this final episode of our 10-Part Strategic Planning Intro Series, all three owners, Katina Peters, Jami Johnson and Jaime Staley, are on speaking about ongoing monitoring and motivation. The goal of today’s episode is to give you tips you need to keep the right mindset and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to continually monitor and update as needed to stay on track with your strategic plan.
What we cover in this episode:
- 2:28 – Daily Mindset
- 5:27 – Tools to stay consistent with daily routine
- 9:18 – Goal Sheet
- 14:31 – Monitoring with weekly KPIs
- 18:50 – Avoid overwhelm – you want this to serve you
- 20:46 – Monthly performance and goal checks
- 25:33 – Recognizing wins
- 29:40 – Failure is inevitable
Investing the time into a strategic plan for your business is a fantastic step, but if you’re not implementing the plan, it’s simply words on paper. It boils down to the daily, weekly and monthly work you’re putting into your business and making sure you’re ACTING on the strategic plan you’ve established.
Accountability – Whether you choose to enroll the help of an advisor, friend, colleague, life coach, etc., accountability is a huge factor in success. Be intentional and specific about your goals so you have a good read about whether you’re reaching your goals or not.
Routine – Take a look at your daily routine. A proactive morning routine can do wonders for your attitude. Set aside time to think clearly and be proactive about your list of to-dos. Remind yourself every morning about your vision. It can help you stay motivated and accomplish your challenging to-dos. Once you get into the routine and commit to it, it will help you change your attitude and mindset. No one is perfect, but strive to make it a priority. You will find the time if you make it a priority.
Grateful Attitude – Focusing on gratitude regularly can help you not only in business but in life. There is something known as an “abundance mindset”, which allows you to see opportunity and live life without borders. This is opposed to a scarcity mindset, which happens when you are always looking at what is lacking and fear there will never be enough. If you force your mind to look at the things you have to be grateful for on a daily basis, you will be searching for those things, big and small.
Consistency – As with anything in life, consistency is key. If you put 110% of your effort in on week 1, and then fall off the wagon, you won’t find that you’ve made much progress. But if you start small and implement more good habits little by little, you will find that those consistent, daily actions will get you much further than one week of crazy hustle.
Tools to stay consistent with daily routine
Calendar – Schedule time on your calendar to complete a morning routine. It is easier to incorporate when you have a dedicated time scheduled in and honor it as you would a meeting with a client. Otherwise, booking meetings and other events can interfere if you don’t physically schedule it. Be intentional about it. Most of us use some form of calendar, whether it’s Google, iCloud Calendar, or a physical planner. Use it to ensure you make the time.
Morning routine list – Create a list to build the habit. Once you get used to doing it, you may not need the list, but this is helpful until you get established. Reading your vision is a good place to start, but incorporate whatever else you think would be helpful, like working out, 30 minutes of reading, etc. Create your list and stick to it.
Journaling – Journaling can be another helpful tool. There are many ways to do this, but it can help you reflect and helps your mind stay focused. Write down your why, your goals, listing the items you’re grateful for, etc.
A daily routine is very personal. You will want to find the one that works for you. Whatever makes you feel most productive, proactive and joyful is the one you want to incorporate and remain consistent. Eventually, you’ll miss it if you don’t do it. One of our favorite tools is a goal sheet.
You can implement this into your morning routine. It could be a part of your journaling routine or a separate practice. Again, feel free to incorporate all of these things but make sure it is manageable and the exercise is serving you.
Be specific – When you are setting a goal for yourself, you don’t want to be vague. You have to call your shot. Rather than, “I want to lose weight”, you want to set a very specific goal, like “I want to lose 10 lbs.” It should be short and succinct. If you leave it open and vague, you will lack a sense of direction.
Timeline – Setting a timeline for yourself gives you a deadline, meaning a sense of urgency. If we stick with the goal from above about losing weight, we could set a goal to lose 10 lbs but if we never set a date to lose it by, we can keep eating burritos and ice cream with the idea of “some day” keeping our goals in the future. By saying, “I want to lose 10 lbs in the next 3 months”, now we have to break that out weekly and realistically look at how we are going to achieve that, starting today.
Write it down – This gives you time to refocus. As a business owner, it is easy to get wrapped up in the minutiae of the day-to-day. You have an end goal in sight and writing it down is such a great way to keep your goals top of mind. This is why we incorporated journaling above as a fantastic tool.
Say it out loud – Speaking your goals solidifies them in your mind. There have been multiple studies performed on the importance of self-talk, but here is a NY Times article discussing a few of those studies and the benefits of talking to yourself.
Weekly KPIs – Establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that are specific to your business and your goals. If you would like more information about KPIs, we discuss those in episode #8 Strategic Planning – Digging Deeper – KPIs. Those need to be something that is measurable and that you can get feedback on a weekly basis. You want your business to be growing as fast as possible and tracking these weekly allows us to pivot quickly to make the changes necessary to make that happen.
For example, if you are running ads, you want to be looking at conversion rates, reach, etc. on a weekly basis. You wouldn’t want to be spending hundreds on ads without keeping a close eye on the success and progress you’re making. In another example, looking at cash flow could be another important weekly KPI if you have issues. This isn’t something you want to put off and just hope you have money in the bank. This should be looked at weekly, if not daily so you can plan ahead if needed.
One thing to address is that implementing these systems for your business can be overwhelming. While KPIs are important, your effort should not be spent pulling reports and finding KPIs. You should be taking action based on what those KPIs are telling you about your business. This is a key element to make sure you’re on track, but should not be sucking up your time.
This is something that you can delegate to your management team, CFO or business advisor. If you do not currently have someone in a similar role, there are options you could be taking advantage of to help push your business forward.
Monthly performance and goal checks
In addition to weekly KPIs, you should also have monthly and quarterly milestones and goal checks. KPIs are very detailed in nature. They are incremental things that get us to our goals, but you have to make sure that you’re looking at the big picture. Something on one end may be creating an issue on another end that we aren’t aware of if we aren’t taking the time to step back and take a look.
Some of these monthly and quarterly items might include questions like, “How are we comparing to industry?” and “Are we improving our metrics as a company?” BizStats is a great resource if you do not have statistics for your industry. A CPA or business advisor should have access to more detailed stats with higher accuracy, but this is a great place to start.
You may have multiple areas you’d like to improve as well, but it is wise to choose 2-3 and consider your human capital as well to ensure it is manageable.
Part of this regular monitoring exercise is learning what is important. Ask questions along the way. You should be looking for and recognizing trends. This will give you more insight into your company and help you improve decision-making capabilities.
Why recognizing wins is crucial
Sometimes acknowledging our success is difficult. We don’t want to gloat or act pompous, however, recognizing wins is a crucial step in owning a business. The daily grind is HARD!!! Recognizing when we have done something right can keep your motivation up. The work you must put in is daily. It takes a healthy dose of commitment and consistency to reach your goals, which is why this step is so important.
Start with yourself. Celebrate your wins. It’s really important to recognize your team as well and acknowledge the work they are putting in. People appreciate monetary rewards, but they want that recognition to let them know that their efforts are making an impact.
Failure is inevitable
On the flip side of recognizing wins, we have to acknowledge that failure happens. It is bound to happen. It can be deflating and demotivating, so we need to recognize that you will face failure and rejection, which is a hard truth.
If you aren’t failing, you’re probably living in the confines of your comfort zone and have stopped learning. Failure is how we learn, grow and become a success. It’s ok to take a minute to grieve the failures, but then it’s time to move on, pivot, and put what you’ve learned to use.
As a business owner, you care deeply about the impact you’re making in the world with your work. Incorporating this step is so important for your business, but also for your own health and well-being as you push yourself to perform every day.
We talk about daily mindset, morning routines and some tools that can be helpful to incorporate a morning routine and stay consistent.
Weekly KPIs and monthly goal checks give you the numbers you need to effectively monitor your progress. It is important you are putting systems in place that allow these numbers to serve you and aren’t taking large effort on your part to get this information.
Recognizing wins is a big component of maintaining motivation and momentum. Take time to acknowledge your own wins and wins from your team. It’s important to note that failures will happen as well, but they should be leveraged to make better choices in the future.
We hope you have enjoyed our introductory Strategic Planning series and look forward to continuing to serve you with our discussions!
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Discover the 7 Key Traits of an ‘Abundance Mindset’
- The Benefits of Talking to Yourself
- Episode #1: Strategic Planning – Vision & Long-Term Goals