In this episode, James and Phoebe are joined by entrepreneurial business coach and small business consultant, Amber McCue. With another new year almost here, she shares the things that we can do now in order to have an extraordinary tomorrow! Amber says that waiting until it’s January is too late to start planning, and you need to take the time to plan well in advance. Having plans in place will set you up for better results throughout the upcoming year. James notes that doing this is the difference between being proactive, and being reactive.
6 strategies for an extraordinary new year:
1. Set effective goals
Amber recommends having a goal that you’re working towards right now, as well as setting when you intend to meet it. What effort will you give to receive or attain this, and what financial target (or metric) will you use to gauge your success?
Reflecting on prior years is a powerful tool, as well as assessing what is working, and what isn’t working, throughout the current year. She adds that you can have one over-overarching goal, which then can be broken down into smaller ones.
Almost anything can be turned into a tangible goal, but Amber notes that these goals have to align with your values, your beliefs and how you show up in the world. She feels that it’s important to believe that the goal will happen, and if you don’t believe, you’ll end hustling and that’s when the overwhelm occurs.
2. Manage your time
If you let yourself work 60 to 80 hours a week, the work you have to do will expand to fill the available time. Amber recommends creating a “time budget” and make adjustments; she says that this will lead to the realization that you really don’t need to work a lot of hours each week.
3. Focus on what matters
Consider if what you’re doing is a revenue-generating activity, or just something that is draining energy. Bigger projects that lead to more revenue often take longer to complete than smaller items on your to-do list, but are necessary to grow your business. To determine if you should be doing a certain task, review your goals and see if completing it will get you closer to where you want to be.
If something is able to be repeated, Amber recommends setting up a system so someone else will be able to do that activity. If you have your brand voice documented, another person can still write copy for you, even without a script.
4. Constantly check your energy
You should be checking on how you’re feeling moment-to-moment and daily. Creating a time log that you can review can help determine why you’re feeling a certain way. If something on your to-do list keeps getting pushed back, ask yourself why this is happening and clear some mental space by making a decision to delete, delegate or just do it.
5. Create a revenue plan
Small business owners that have a revenue plan in place grow 60% faster than those that don’t. Amber says it doesn’t have to be complicated, and can just be a simple calculation of how many products/services you intend to sell, to how many people. When we do this, we start to get intentional about where we spend our time and the revenue plan is a tangible way to see how our goals are going to be achieved.
Look at your product suite holistically to see what worked last year and ask yourself what is happening in the marketplace. Consider who you want to serve, and if there are there gaps that you’re noticing where you can introduce new offerings.
Amber believes in a “margin for magic” when building plans, and when she determines her own goals, she always looks at both the best-case and worst-case scenario.
6. Do the road map for the year
Amber writes out her road map for the year on an 8.5 by 11 inch piece of paper, showing which activities to focus on and when. She adds that this road map is very high level, and she doesn’t go into a lot of details; those will come when she does her 90-day, monthly, weekly and project plans.
Finally, be flexible and don’t take planning too seriously. Whatever planning you get done now is a perfect start and Amber says that you can always evolve as you go!