15 Ways to Set Business Goals this Month that Inspire and Delight YouDec 11, 2020
Setting goals and planning your year can't be done with blinders on!
If you want to make sure you set goals that make sense and will get you to your dream life you absolutely need to spend time reflecting on what worked and what didn't in the past year and build on all your newfound wisdom.
Do you want to know my secret to how to set business goals at the start of every new year?
I take three whole days to myself and do nothing but think, journal, and reflect on the previous 12 months with very specific questions in mind (which I'm about to share with you!).
But first, let me reiterate what I just said; I take THREE WHOLE DAYS to do nothing but think, journal, and reflect. No working. No planning. No strategizing. No networking. No meetings. No problem-solving. No creating.
I give myself lots of space to let my mind wander and all the feels from the past year bubble up.
Building a business isn't just about the hours spent working, creating, problem-solving, and schmoozing.
Friends, entrepreneurship is a powerful vehicle for personal growth, self-acceptance, and healing because, whew baby, do our buttons get pushed as we travel this journey.
The best way to use this list is to:
- Schedule a few days in your calendar just for thinking
- Grab this worksheet and dive into these 15 questions to help you connect deeply to yourself, your business, and the business goals that inspire and delight the heck out of you!
- Remember, no problem-solving or creating ... you're just reflecting!
Ready? Let's dive in ...
1. What Worked to Move My Business Forward?
Think about the RGAs (Revenue Generating Activities) that resulted in new customers, opened the doors to new opportunities to expand your audience, clientele, and reputation, or leveled up your mindset and confidence.
- Who did you hire to support you in moving forward?
- What mindset shifts had the biggest impact in clearing internal blocks to growth?
- Did you trip across a product or service that was a customer favourite and helped your business soar?
- Did you niche down even more on your market, messaging, or offerings that helped you reach more people faster and make more money?
- Maybe you joined a Mastermind (or created your own) and with the right people in your corner you were able to stay focused and level up in new ways this year.
Make a list of all the things that helped you move your business forward this year. (And do a happy dance while holding these things with gratitude and joy).
Hint: you're gonna wanna do more of that next year!
2. What Turned Out to Be Busy-Work that Had Me Spinning My Wheels But Not Actually Producing Results?
This is where we need to get really real with ourselves and take a look at all the busy-work we did that didn't actually move our business forward and instead soaked up all our time and creativity only to leave us in more or less the same spot we were in at the beginning of the year.
For example, did you spend a lot of time posting on social media and growing your audience, but no actual business revenue was generated from all that work?
Or maybe, you did a lot of public speaking on your own social media feeds or to other people's audiences but your email list didn't grow very much and it didn't result in money in your bank account?
Remember, being busy is not the same as growing your business.
Reflect on all the work that you did that ended up being busy-work because it didn't produce results
Hint: if you think there's room for improvement around reducing busy-work, take my 15 Minute Busy Work Challenge here.
3. What Directly Brought In New Customers and Revenue?
This is the most important aspect of building your business that you need to be paying attention to if you want to learn how to set business goals that inspire and delight you.
You NEED to know what activities you did that directly brought in new customers and put money into your bank account.
It may surprise you to know that in the first few years in business, oftentimes it can feel like we're getting lucky or fluking-out when we get new customers (thank you impostor syndrome) but that's sooo NOT the case.
The truth is, you did something that works! Do you know what you did that worked?
Reflect on your new customers and revenue streams over the past year. How did they find you? What made them give you their money? What did you do right that brought them into your world?
PSST! If Impostor Syndrome has you doubting your brilliance, come read my blog, 5 Daily Secrets You Can Use to Stop Impostor Syndrome in its Tracks
4. What Didn’t Bring In New Customers Like I Thought It Would?
Hey! Repeat after me, "Failure isn't real."
If you tried something new this year and it didn't work out the way you thought it would ... congratulations!! You took a leap, hopped out of your comfort zone, and tested an idea. You learned a ton and can now tweak, pivot, or ditch whatever didn't work.
Finding out that something didn't work is not failure. Really.
So stop beating yourself up, put on your scientist hat, and look back on your past 12 months as an experiment.
You NEED to know what didn't work ... and more importantly ... why it didn't work. Then take those lessons into the next 12 months.
Tip: release judgment and don't internalize failure as a reflection on your capabilities. Making mistakes or discovering that things sometimes don't work out is part of the process, baby.
5. What Did I Love Doing That Was Effective and Want To Continue?
This one is simple. What lit you up, brought you joy, made you do a happy dance every dang day ... and worked?
Yeah, do more of that!
6. What Did I Hate Doing That I Will Either Stop or Tweak So I Enjoy It?
What brought you down, burned you out, sucked your will to live that you never, ever want to think about again?
Is it necessary for your business to grow?
If yes, can you outsource or automate it? Can you do it in a different way so you actually enjoy it?
If no, can you stop doing it all together?
For example, I often hear entrepreneurs telling me they don't like having to show up consistently and frequently on social media.
Ok, can you outsource it? Can you automate it? Can you find a way to do it that is fun, authentic, and feels good? Can you stop doing it all together?
Spend some time reflecting on what brought you down and how you can do things differently (or not at all) next year.
7. What Do I Need To Start Doing In Order To Move My Business Forward?
Based on all of your answers so far you're probably getting a clear picture of what's working, what's not, and where you need to ditch the busy-work to make room for more RGAs.
What does your gut tell you is something you need to start next year to move your business forward?
Is there anything you've been wanting to start but have been putting off for any reason (like maybe you think you're not ready) that you need to implement next year?
Be bold, brave, and strategic ... what do you want to start next year?
8. What One Thing Do I Want to Focus On For the Next 12 Months and Put All My Time, Attention, and Money On?
Wait, only one thing?
It takes an average of two years to take something from idea to functioning and producing results. You will grow faster by putting your all behind one big idea or goal than by splitting up your precious time, energy, and moola on multiple big ideas at once.
We have a saying in the world of The Radical Connector, "It's not that you can't do everything. It's that you can't do everything all at once."
I know you have a bunch of super cool ideas but you need to pick ONE to focus on for the next 12 months and give it all you've got.
What's your one thing for next year?
9. Where Did I Directly Connect With My PPC That I Can Lean into Next Year?
Hint: your PPC is your Perfect Potential Customer.
If you're reading this during the pandemic that shall not be named, it was most likely online. But this also applies to where you are connecting with your PPC live and IRL as well.
Where have you had the most rewarding and engaging connections with your PPC?
- Facebook groups?
- Instagram DMs?
- LinkedIn groups?
- Networking organizations?
- Online (or live) events and communities?
You def want to know where to spend more time (and where to stop spending time) next year in order to connect with your PPC and generate more sales!
PSST! If you're spending a lot of time on social media but not getting new customers, come download my guide, How (Not) to Sell to Strangers: 5 steps to turning social media strangers into customers ... without selling!
10. Where Did I Not Connect With My PPC and Need to Stop Hanging Out Next Year?
Speaking of where to stop spending time ... where do you need to stop networking, posting, engaging, etc. in the hopes that you'll pick up new clients or generate revenue?
More so, is there anywhere you're spending time that you're not enjoying?
Whether live or online, your time and energy are a precious resource and you don't have to spend them where it's neither productive nor enjoyable for you!
Where will you stop spending time next year?
11. What Did I Invest In That Got Results? Should I Do It Again Next Year?
Where did you spend your money on support, services, software and style (😆 I wanted another S word) that paid off?
- Social media management
- Video editing
- Podcast producing
- Software like Calendly, Canva, Zapier, QuickBooks
- Website hosting
- Memberships and dues
Hey! It costs money to build a business ... probably more than you realized, am I right?
What were the investments you made in your business and YOURSELF that paid off for you this year? Will you reinvest next year?
What will you invest again for next year?
12. What Did I Invest In That Didn’t Get Results? How Will I Avoid That Mistake Again In the Future?
Remember my point about failure and why we need to stop beating ourselves up when we make mistakes and instead view it as an important lesson along our entrepreneurial journeys?
That applies here too!
Sometimes we invest in things that don't work out for us the way we think they will.
- We hire someone without properly vetting and they ghost on us or under-deliver
- We rush to sign up for a course because of an expiring offer and realized we're not ready for it, it's not a good fit, or it just wasn't what we needed
- We buy software that's not adequate, way more than we need, or just doesn't work the way we thought it would
Real talk: Every Single Entrepreneur Does All Of These A Few Times Over!
Cut yourself some slack. You're juggling a lot up in that brilliant brain of yours and sometimes you don't make the best decisions under pressure or because you're new to the game and haven't learned the right questions to ask before shelling out your hard-earned money yet.
Now, I'm not saying these lessons don't hurt (and don't cost us!) but they are not the end of the world. They are part of the process.
The important thing is to reflect on your "bad investments" from this year and think about what went sideways and how you'll avoid similar situations in the future.
13. Have I Clarified My Niche and Revenue Streams?
I touched on this early in our list of 15 questions. Now it's time to go a little deeper.
- How have you clarified your niche, marketing, offerings, and revenue streams this year?
- Were there any runaway hits in your products, services, or content?
- Is there anything that was a snooze fest for your audience or customers that you can stop offering, saying, or doing next year?
- Have you discovered a clearer and more relatable way to talk about what you do, the problem you solve, and the solution you offer?
- Have you nailed your sales process and uncovered a way to get new customers quickly and easily?
Recognizing the clarity you got this year will help you with your ONE thing next year as well. This clarity goes a long way in how to set business goals for next year.
Shine some light on where you got super clear this year!
14. Do I Need To Change My Messaging, Offerings, or Activities?
Now that you've gotten some clarity what do you need to change or create?
- Copy on your website
- Content strategy
- Lead magnets or email marketing
- Automations or service providers
- RGAs (Revenue Generating Activities)
- Social media accounts
- Marketing strategy
- Sales process
- Branding (brand evolution and changes are common in the first few years!)
Take some time to reflect on what currently exists and where you might need to make some changes to better serve your market or communicate your message.
Hint: Now's not the time to take action ... don't get distracted! Right now you're just thinking and journaling. Planning comes later. 😉
15. How Do I Want to Feel In My Buisness and My Life Next Year?
Oh, did you think this list was only about the technical aspects of your business??
The most IMPORTANT aspect of building a profitable business is to make sure it's sustainable for YOU!
I want you to looooove what you do. If you're not getting up every morning thrilled to dive into your biz ... there might be something wrong.
- Are you burning out?
- Is something not aligned with who you are and what you want or need?
- Are you doing work that drains you?
- Are you working with people who drain you??
- Are you struggling to do it all alone without support or biz bffs?
- Is impostor syndrome keeping you stuck, small, and holding back?
- Are you pushing yourself too hard and setting unrealistic expectations?
- Are money, stress, and worry getting you down?
Listen, if you don't think about giving up at least twice a year ... are you even an entrepreneur? We've all been there.
Everyone has bad days, disappointments, and unpleasant surprises.
Ideally, those days are few and far between. What we're going for here are way more joyful days than rainy ones.
Reflect on how YOU want to feel in your business next year? What do you need to stop, start, or continue to make that happen?
- You can not set goals and make plans for your business next year without first taking some time to reflect on what worked, what didn't, and what needs to change for next year.
- Carve out some time in your calendar to just reflect, think, and journal using these 15 questions as a guide.
- Don't take action or start fixing things yet. This time is just for reflecting and thinking!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do my own thinking, reflecting, and journaling ... and I can't wait to share it with you next year!
Hey there! I'm Lindsay ...
I'm a business development strategist (I help you make money) and a business coach (I help you get out of your own way on your journey to success) with a focus on feel-good marketing and sales strategies. I'm here to simplify the way you build your business, because friends, getting customers doesn't have to be complicated or cost a small fortune!
I've spent 18 years learning the ins and outs of what works and what doesn't. I've stripped away the confusion and noise and promise to teach you super simple strategies that work.