As an entrepreneur who loves what they do (as I do), it can be easy to get caught up helping your clients achieve their goals, that working on your own goals can hit the backburner.
I think we all fall prey to this at some point in our start-up journey, but with a clear framework in place you can ensure your business continues to grow and scale.
If you've been around for even a minute, you know I love a list (and a spreadsheet) so it should be no surprise that how I managed to work on client goals AND my own goals simultaneously requires a structured approach with multiple lists that all talk to one another.
Here are the three list practices I’ve employed (and you can too!) for staying on top of my goals.
You have to clearly see where you want to go in order to get there. That takes planning.
I launched my first event management company in Australia in 2008. Even as I scaled organically year over year, I knew I wanted a bigger challenge so I set my sights on the U.S.A., a country I had been obsessed with ever since I was little.
It took until 2014 when a window opened for me to make the leap, but I packed up life as I knew it and headed to the San Francisco Bay Area to see if I could “make it” in Silicon Valley. Why Silicon Valley? Tech budgets. #IYKYK
And guess what? I made it! Then I moved to NYC and continued growing my client base.
Now I sit down each year between Christmas and New Years and review the year that passed. This annual inventory allows me to identify what worked and what didn’t, learn from that and then define the three to five BIG goals to focus on in the year ahead.
If your goals are big enough, they could be massively (or just a little) intimidating. GOOD! That’s what you want. But you also need to make them happen.
I find it best to operate in 90-day sprints with a singular focus each time.
This provides a realistic timeframe to map out the exact steps I need to take (and implement them) to achieve that ONE goal you’ll go all-in on.
Next, set aside time every Sunday night to create a plan for the week ahead that outlines what you and your team need to achieve to keep the needle moving.
I choose to do this on Sundays rather than Monday morning because quite honestly, I’m a control freak and I like to do whatever it takes to give myself a competitive advantage (even if that competition is myself) and ensure I’m always a step ahead.
Use your weekly plan to create daily to-do lists that help ensure you and your team stay on track.
These lists provide the added bonus of being able to highlight (or cross off) completed tasks. (I mean, is there anything more satisfying?) And yes, you better believe that if an unexpected meeting pops up, I encourage you to write it down so it can be crossed off too.
ALL progress should be recognized and celebrated!
Every night, review your list for the next day to see where things stand and make any necessary modifications. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get a much better night's sleep knowing that you can hit the ground running the next morning.
In addition to the ever-satisfying hardcopy highlighting, when anyone on the team completes a task, we add it to our WIN channel in Slack. Then at the end of each week, our “to-do” list becomes a “ta-da” list and provides the perfect excuse to celebrate everything we’ve achieved.
I've found this really keeps everyone motivated, myself included.