This is a transcript of episode 49 of the OMGrowth podcast.
Before we get started with today’s episode, I want to let you know that if you’re listening to this in real time and it is sometime between March 7 and 11th, I am a proud participant of the Back to Business Bundle where you can get your life with all that is being made available to you. These are resources you would usually have to pay for but for this limited amount of time, you can get them for everyone’s favorite price: free-ninety-nine, boss! That’s until March 11th and I’ll include a link in the shownotes and yes, I can hear your thanks and you are very welcome – let’s get back to business with this bundle and back to the podcast with this episode.
I’m Lanie Lamarre and I hate wearing shoes and have been known to take shoes off at very inappropriate times, like when I’m walking through city streets. (I know, I know. It’ll either be the death of me or turn me into a superhero – who can tell?)
I also hate when I don’t meet the goals I set out for myself and in my experience, it’s especially frustrating to not meet the goals you set for the first quarter of the year. It’s like “we’re just getting started” energy combined with a little “you’re already failing” vibes.
There are reasons why Q1 can feel hard because it’s not “just you” that feels this way and we’re going to wax about those on today’s episode.
EXPECTATIONS vs REALITY
I’m convinced that the secret ingredient in egg nog is “hope” because I have yet to come up with a reason as to why most of us spend December being so eager for the business results we’re going to build in the upcoming year.
And we get lofty! Every strategy we’ve been interested in implementing somehow gets thrown in the mix as to how “this year’s going to be different”… but is it, though?
The truth is that if you’re counting on seeing results you aren’t already getting, you’re going to need to account for the lead-time it’s going to take to implement whatever new way you’re intending to see those results.
Anything feels possible when you’re planning your Q1 – and it is! – but that doesn’t mean “everything” is possible and you still need resources for any single thing to happen.
Wanna start making sales with an evergreen funnel that will promote your paid offers on auto-pilot to new subscribers? Cool beans! But before a single sale is made, you need to realize that there’s a learning curve to this and there are a lot of moving parts that need to be implemented and tested first.
Furthermore, your work isn’t done once you have your evergreen funnel in place. No matter what someone’s sales page promises you, there’s no “set it and forget it” strategy to be had here.
Successful marketing is a never-ending cycle of tweaking, tracking, improving and repeating.
We tend to start the new year with a heavy focus on the “new” parts instead of looking at what we’re already working with and finding ways to get better results from those areas we’re already experiencing some level of results from.
And I totally get that! Maintaining is never as sexy and exciting as “the new thing” is, but it does tend to be a more reliable way of establishing your expectations and building on your results.
You know how they say the blues tend to kick in after the holidays when the credit card bills start rolling in? The same sort of thing happens with all the shiny new things you hang your hopes on, thinking they’re what’s going to make “this year different” because there’s a reality that has to be dealt with and accounted for.
Does this mean you can’t or shouldn’t implement new sales and marketing strategies? Of course not!
NEW YEAR, OLD YOU
But it is a good idea to not start with the results you’re looking to achieve but getting your finger on the pulse of all the things you already have in place and working for you WHILE you bring these new strategies into account.
So how do you do that? This is what Your CEO Day is for: once a quarter, you want to create space with the boss – that’s YOU! – and check in with your operations and performance as a whole before you start setting the results and expectations you’re hoping for.
I have the Your CEO Day workbook available to help you do this but here are some of the areas you’re going to want to account for as you’re planning out your next quarter:
- Look at your SELF as the leader of your brand, and take into consideration your identity, your values, your boundaries and what you are looking to have, do and be, both personally and professionally – after all, if your business begins and ends with you, all of these elements are THE most important to consider when you’re setting your business goals and yet, they’re also the easiest to forget or overlook;
- You’ll also want to consider your unique PRIORITIES that are driving where you want to go, what you want to target but also what you’re currently committed to, as well to make sure there actually is more room available at your table before you bring more seats to it;
- It’s also a good idea to spend some time reflecting on the STRATEGIES you’re currently rolling out with, including your systems, your resources, your sales processes, your marketing processes and the overall way you operate to assess what is serving you, what you would like to see better serve you and what you can ditch entirely;
- Of course, you knew it was coming but you want to know your NUMBERS – and no, this doesn’t have to be a whole thing, you can and I encourage you to start small and build a habit of building on “knowing your numbers” with every quarterly review – but establish some baseline numbers as to what you’re working with and what you’re looking to improve on as it relates to your free offers, your paid offers, your content marketing and your investments; and of course,
- You want to see how your PLANS map out, and assess what your plans are saying about your expectations, your focus and your upcoming schedule.
Another key element to your quarterly planning cycle that often gets overlooked is – hello! – deep-diving into your RESULTS and establishing some “lessons learned” around those.
Maybe your launch didn’t bring in the revenue you had hoped but as you really look at what happened, you realize the conversion rate for your sales page to sales was very good. What does this mean? It means the problem isn’t your offer or messaging, but rather, you weren’t able to get it in front of as many people as you had hoped.
You only gain these types of actionable insights as to what your next best move is by REFLECTING on what you actually DID accomplish.
If your Q1 didn’t pan out the way you hoped, figure out why that is before you start planning out your next quarter.
Whether or not you use the Your CEO Day workbook, you can use my link that will auto-magically schedule those quarterly reviews for you in your Google Calendar so you have no excuses not to prioritize setting some time aside to be honest about who you are, what kind of business you are and want to be running, and how you’re going to show up for the results you’re looking to achieve.
And look, for most online business owners, the first quarter is usually the one where they went “the most extra” about their planning – I mean, there’s a reason why egg nog is only sold once a year because this isn’t sustainable for the whole year – but note that Q1 also typically has the lowest sales of the whole year so there’s plenty of time for you to align yourself and there’s no time like the present to prioritize that.
So your action item is simply this: schedule a CEO Day for yourself.
Need help putting it in your calendar? Here’s a link that will set your Google Calendar up to make it abundantly clear when the first Friday and the last Friday of the quarter are so you have one less thing to think about scheduling, one less hurdle to prioritizing your quarterly review.
Need help with how to do your quarterly review? If you’re at a loss and need some hand-holding through this process, I designed the Your CEO Day workbook for you to more easily account for your self, your priorities, your strategy, your numbers, your plans and of course, your results as you plan your next quarter.
Regardless of how you do this moving forward, I do want to encourage you to MOVE FORWARD: just because your Q1 – or any period, for that matter – didn’t pan out the way you had hoped doesn’t mean it can’t pan out in the long term. And you ARE here for the long term so no one quarter will make or break you but rather, it’s the culmination of all those quarters put together that will be what determines your overall accomplishments.
As always, love notes in the form of 5-star reviews are also encouraged around here and your biz besties whose Q1s aren’t quite panning out as THEY had hoped may benefit from you sharing this episode so I encourage that as well. I’m all about the encouragement so get that quarterly review in your calendar and I encourage you to set your Q2 up to kick some butt – I believe in you and I’m proud of you!
Talk soon, baiiiieee!