With the starting of a new year, we like to shed all of the disappointments and excess baggage from the past, and start to focus on new, larger goals.
But I like to look at the new year not as “starting over” but “building higher.” I ask serious questions of myself: How has my business fared this year? Did my business grow? Did I accomplish my goals from the previous year? What have I missed?
Whether you are exactly where you want to be, or haven't quite hit the mark, the holidays are a great time to map out a plan for the new year. To think about where you would like to be this time in 2014.
However, when doing so, it's important to keep one thing in mind:
There is a difference between having broad, impossible-to-measure resolutions, and setting real, actionable goals for yourself. I think the biggest reason people do not achieve their goals is because they are way too vague. It's impossible to just “get in shape” or “become a better Expertpreneur™.”
You need to focus your thoughts on one specific goal to start, and build on that as the year goes on.
So, in my last blog post of 2013, I'm going to reflect on some of the business ideas we've discussed this year, share three common broad resolutions, and break them down into actionable goals so you can make 2014 your best year yet.
Top 3 Resolutions for the Expertpreneur™
Everyone wants to have control over their life, but where do you start?
If you recall, just this month we discussed how to be more efficient with productivity in several blog posts. And defining the most cluttered or unorganized part of your life is a good way to start.
My suggestion would be to set aside three days (they do not have to be consecutive days) between now and the middle of January. Then use these days to go through your office area, and organize it in a way that makes sense for you. If you are overloaded by email, this may include sifting through your email so you get your inbox to zero.
Do not be afraid to ask for help, whether it be from an app, a friend, a loved one, or an assistant.
You won't believe how free you feel once you've done this. It will allow you to think clearly when starting new projects and, of course, find things easier when you need them.
This should absolutely be your first goal. However, if you are already a very organized person, you can consider getting into the habit of making to-do lists instead.
As we discussed in my blog post, to-do lists are the corner stone of the GTD system. They allow you to act concisely through every step of a job, and juggle multiple projects at once without becoming stressed or overwhelmed.
And, yet again, you can use apps to streamline the process – perhaps Todo 7 if you use Apple products, Wunderlist if you like simple lists that sync across all platforms, or Todoist.
Organize your life in a clear, concise way, and you'll be well on your way to an abundant 2014.
2) Move Forward – This resolution comes in many names, but the basic idea is that we all want to be further along professionally in the new year than in the previous one.
But this is even more general than “get organized.”
What exactly is it that you would like to accomplish? Everyone would like to make more money, but how are you going to go about it? What will you focus on first?
I highly recommend choosing the direction you want to take your business in to start. Perhaps you want to start generating quality content to improve your “authority.” Maybe you want to do more speaking events to elevate your visibility. Or you may just want to start selling a higher-priced product or service.
Even though the possibilities are endless, you really should choose one at a time.
For example, you could start by designing a plan for speaking during the month of February. Take the month of January to plan the subject you will be speaking about, how you will sell in the various venues where you will be speaking , and when you will work on your presentation.
Then, in February, while you are traveling and speaking, you can start repurposing your presentation into a content series that gets distributed while you are away from the office (utilizing your efficient content team).
Finally, in March, while you are adding new contacts from your events into your marketing funnel, you could offer a higher-priced product based on the material you developed for your event, and create an offer for your list.
In just three months you could have achieved all of these goals, without ever having to juggle two things at once. Pretty effective, right?
3) Learn Something New – This is a popular resolution for those who want to learn something new to grow their business, or to fix something they know is not working like they want it to, but never seemed to have the time. Doing so can really boost your bottom line.
As long as you go about it the right way.
As I have talked about in previous articles, it is important that you focus on things you are good at when dealing with your business. If your expertise is in physical training, you shouldn't be spending time learning how to balance accounting ledgers.
However, you absolutely should take the time to expand yourself in ways that complement your abilities. If you're good at coaching bodybuilders, perhaps you could learn how to coach other athletes, such as hockey players or football players who need to build muscle mass before their seasons. Think of new skills and knowledge you can acquire to expand your business.
By expanding your knowledge and integrating it into your product or service, you can actually niche yourself even more. Remember the example of the life coach who is also a hypnotherapist?
Just think… What can you start studying that may fit well with your expertise? It could be a completely different focus (such as being a sales trainer), but still work with what you're doing now as you start to transition towards your new focus.
If you're not looking to learn a new skill, then consider taking some time to get better at marketing and sales.
These are the two most important areas for any business owner to understand. Regardless of what you are an expert at doing or teaching, you should always strive to know more about marketing yourself and your business effectively. Doing so will put you ahead of the competition with every new step you take.
I've shared many tips with you in my blog this year. Have you taken a look at my Platform Newsletter? How about my Expertpreneur™ Magazine?These resources will not only provide you with more marketing and sales tips from me, but from other top entrepreneurs from around the world too. You can also check out my weekly Expertpreneur™ Radio show. Just click the link for the day and time we air.
There are plenty of resources you can check out for valuable information. Find something you like, subscribe to it, and commit to listen to the show or reading the materials at least once a month; until you are better at something, or have developed a new skill which will serve your business well.
To A Bright New Year
There's always so much hope when starting a new year. I sincerely hope you take the time to write down your goals, focus on a few important resolutions that can really help your business, and take action.
Ask yourself questions about what happened this year. Make a list of the great things that happened, and things that could have been better.
Remind yourself to be grateful for all of the good that has come to you, and make a detailed plan to work on the “needs improvement” items.
Remember, the holidays are not just about presents and figuring out how to make more money in the new year. They are a time for appreciating family and friends, reflecting on the ups and downs of last year, and giving thanks for all that is good in your life, no matter how small.
So, I thank you for joining me this year. I wish you a very Happy Holiday season, a Happy New Year, and a wonderful and successful 2014.
See you in January!