Why I Gave Up On S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Annual Planning

Why I Gave Up On S.M.A.R.T. Goals and Annual Planning

A little over a year ago, I really thought I was getting a lot done.  I have 4 kids, a full time job and I’m founder of a national non-profit. Everyday feels pretty full and accomplished.

And then something game changing happened.

In December 2015 I met someone who took it to a whole new level.   Someone who has taught Olympians, professional athletes and the world’s smartest CEO’s how to improve their game of setting goals and achieving even more……without killing themselves in the process.

I need all you busy moms and dads, business owners and anyone feeling overwhelmed with their to do list to make time to watch this.

And you know how much I value time.  Mine, yours and everyones.   This one can be a game changer for you.

This is the first video in my friend Todd Herman’s new 90 Day Year – Business Achievement Masterclass series, and all I can say is… this is what started the change in momentum to accomplish even more in my business….while doing less actually.

I always thought I had a pretty good handle on this goal setting thing.  Leaning on the trusted S.M.A.R.T. goal formula that’s been the “gold standard” of the self-development industry for the last few decades.

But even though I always felt that something was *missing* in that goal setting system, I could never quite figure out WHY (but I totally thought it must have been me doing something wrong.)

That was until I got to Todd’s video, and it completely OBLITERATED everything I thought I knew about goal setting and achievement.

Had I only approached my goals in this way, not only would I have achieved MORE in FAR less time…
… but I would have done so with more clarity, predictability and less leaked energy.

So if setting S.M.A.R.T goals has long drawn your suspicion…and you’re tired of hearing that acronym spelled out to you over and over again by “leaders” in the business world….then you’re ready to ditch them in favor of a proven goal ACHIEVEMENT system.

The first time I applied the 90 day year system, I wrote a 350 page book in about 6 weeks.  So far 3,000 copies have been sold.  Yeah.  Writing a book was sorta on my bucket list but seemed like a “yeah right when are you going to do that?” kind of goal.   90 day later, I looked up and I had my own book in my hands.

Since then, I’ve operated in the 90 Day Year mode for 18 months and I’ve…..

  • tripled my team size to keep up with my business
  • stopped accepting boring contracts just for the money and have become selective in the types of projects and clients I want to work with
  • added an entirely new program offering (How She Quits)
  • created another book product for our non-profit – the Fire Wife Coloring Journal
  • my home and family are more organized
  • taken more time off for family fun than ever when working my 9-to-5

And in general, I’m working with more peace and calm than ever before.

Join me in watching Todd’s first training video, and learn:

  • The 3 reasons why SMART goals are a surefire way to sabotage your success in 2017 (ever notice how millions of business owners set them, yet only a handful ever achieve something on a large scale?)
  • The hidden “leak” in your day-to-day routine that may be robbing you of up to 80% of your productive efficiency… and how to instantly patch it up for good.
  • The “Nike Paradox” and why the pervasive “just do it” business battlecry is short sighted and even disastrous in helping you sustain long term, continual achievement.
  • The subtle differences between the OW and WOW mindsets, and how with just a few simple tweaks you can move from a self-sabotaging, anxiety-driven entrepreneur caught in the constant comparison trap… to a confident, motivated, constantly-improving high performer.
  • Why setting goals beyond 90 days sucks all the air out of your motivation, leads to crippling procrastination, and goes against the way your brain is naturally wired.

 

Myself with Todd Herman and our “Base Camp” team in NYC for a private mastermind session.

P.S. In case you’re wondering…Who’s Todd Herman:

Simply put, he’s the best no-bs, Peak Performance Coach you’ve never heard of.   I tend to be a little cynical and suspicious of those big names that are showing their face all over the internet and wonder if they’ve really done what they claim they can teach us.    When I first met Todd, I knew he was different.  Why?

Because while all the “mindset gurus” and “self help starlets” were busy spamming your inbox with one pseudo-scientific claim after another…
… Todd was in the real world trenches, showing up day in and day out on the world’s most pressure-packed stages, coaching professional athletes, Olympians, Fortune 100 CEO’S, and high-level entrepreneurs on how to perform when the stakes are highest.

—–> Can you see why I decided to listen to him?

He’s dug into the science… and even brought on third-party Harvard researchers to independently validate the claims of his systems.

Have you bought other online programs only to let them collect dust in your digital library?   Not this one.  I’ve absorbed it all the way through.  Multiple times.  Because it keeps delivering for me over and over again.

Here’s your first step.

 

Watch the free video training now

Listen in the car.

Listen on the treadmill.

Listen while you are making dinner.

Even if you don’t go any further, I want everyone to watch this video so you can learn how to de-stress your life and achieve your dreams.

Watch The Video

This is a free video series.  Soak it in.   As I was building my business and trying out new programs, I soaked in all the free training that I could.    There will be an offer to participate in his program in a few days.  And these are affiliate links.  For those who chose to participate in his full program, via my affiliate link, I’ll have a personal bonus offer available to walk you through your first 90 Day Year.  Stay tuned for more details on that.   You know me.  I can only operate in the fully transparent mode and wanted to be sure you knew this.

The Top 7 Products & Services You Can Sell in Your Business Today to Quit Corporate ASAP

The Top 7 Products & Services You Can Sell in Your Business Today to Quit Corporate ASAP

Every day I am asked what is the quickest way to get out of a corporate career that I hate. It is a question that I love and hate to answer. I hate to know so many women are suffering at jobs that leave them unhappy and unfilled but I love sharing my true passion – how to leave the golden handcuffs and show the way to creating a life that works for YOU. There is nothing more freeing and exciting that becoming your own boss.  

Recently, I jumped in LIVE with my own Facebook Community (How She Quits) for women who are interested in doing just this. After I realized that I had to share what we chatted about.

I am sharing it (plus a complete breakdown) below!

Does this take a lot of work? Yes – and while you might not see it – typically the money is made on lower dollar items. What most people are not telling you is that only the few are rising to the top! What I mean is – you need a HUGE mailing list and a big following to make money here.

For example:

If you want to make $50,000 with a $100 product you will need to sell 500 of your item. Doesn’t seem bad right?

Let’s break it down a little more. With a 10% conversion (with is pretty high!) you will need to have to be in front of 10,000, consistently. This is without any advertising costs, team members, anything. Whew. It’s a big undertaking right out of the gate. 

A book

SO many women in corporate want to do. I have done this. Let’s think of it this way – a book for you is a great BUSINESS card.  Typically a book’s money isn’t made from sales, it is actually the tour, the speaking engagements and everything that comes with it. I hear from corporate women all day long that you are interested in doing this, that you want to write a book about your knowledge and experience – I get it! I was right there with you – but know that isn’t going to be your path to replacing income. It is a great path to getting your name out there so people connect quickly.

Speaking Engagements

Do you love getting out in public and wowing a crowd? There is great money in this if you are good at it! If you like PR, love getting out in the public eye and are REALLY good at it, you can pull in tens of thousands of dollars doing this. Just know you will have to hustle to build your platform and be known in this field.

Affiliate Marketing

Selling someone’s products. There is great money in this. You can sell, recommend, and make money through someone else products by various streams of media. Do I recommend it as your only source of income (or even the way you leave corporate)? No – I don’t.

Advertising Space

This used to be this big game a few years ago. Is it the same now? Not so much – things have shifted now. It is hard to get into but that does not mean you cannot jump in if you are ready to work and realize you are in for the long haul. Are you a connector? Are you good at sponsorships and know how to work those deals? This might be right for you. Is this the fastest route? Not likely.

Physical Products

Maybe the most fun! (I am bias – Love our Firefighter Wife Line!) Amazon and Shopify are amazing platforms that are easy to work with and just about anyone can set up, create, and start selling within 24 hours. How incredible is that? Does that mean you will make enough money to leave your job in 24 hours? No – but you can begin the process. You need more capital here – this is a longer process and one that should be fueled with passion. You will be surrounded by your product!

Service Business

My number one recommendation! This can be anything from a Virtual Assistant, Web Designer, Bookkeeper, etc. There are so many options and skills that are needed throughout the world. A client service based business is where you can take your skills from the corporate world and shift them into a marketable offer that allows you to work virtually!

Behind the Scenes of a Successful Work From Home Accountant and Mom of 4

Behind the Scenes of a Successful Work From Home Accountant and Mom of 4

Have you ever looked down at your kids and just knownI can’t keep living the life like this?

That you HAVE to make a change and do something different. Whatever it takes.

Senica is just like you. She is you. She had a thriving career, working full-time government job as an accountant and the hours were long, hard and draining. The season (you know, TAXES… we all shudder) is when her door is shut and she gets to work. It’s also when she stops seeing her family.

But what did that mean for her kids?

Today, I sat down and discussed how this brave mom took life into her own hands. How she made the tough decision to leave the secure world of government to go off on her own. With no client base to speak of. No backup plan. Just a passion and a belief that she had to make it work.  Because for her?

Motherhood was worth it. The yearning to create something of her own was there and she knew she could do it.

Meet Senica, mom of four and owner of Simplified Accounting. Today we discuss how she made her business work thrive without one warm lead and what makes this an easily replicable system for you too. She shares her favorite moments of being a working from home mom and how different life is for her now and answers that ever important question – What advice would you give someone who wants to get out of the corporate rat race?

Our Favorite Moments In this Video:

“That first day that you aren’t at your job – you almost need a detox – that feeling is amazing. The details. The date. You will never forget it.”

“Get your first client, get your second client, get your third client and THEN rework your systems because you are now juggling.”

“Being a business owner you have to get out there, let people know you exist, get comfortable, even if it is just closing leads.”  Fun fact….. Senica’s leads come almost entirely from online networking and referrals from her online network.  And she does not have a huge facebook list or email list.  She basically knew exactly the type of client she wanted to target and went specifically for that.

“My first client came from cost per click ads on Google. The coldest lead you can possibly get and it really confirmed for me – yes. I can do this. I am going to make this work!”

Find a mentor!!!  Having a mentor a few seasons ahead of her in this space was key to not feeling alone, avoiding key mistakes and having confidence in starting her own business.

Show Links:

Senica’s Website:   SimplifiedAccount.com

Senica’s Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoSimplifiedAccounting/

Mom of 4, 6-Figure Blog and What She’d Do if She was Starting Today

Mom of 4, 6-Figure Blog and What She’d Do if She was Starting Today

Have you ever sat and wondered, “Can I make money as a blogger?”  Maybe this is my exit path from my corporate job.

It looks so fun, right? To write about the things you love – sharing your passions and being creative and super helpful to your audience.

You CAN make money off of a blog but the game is very different than it was even just 3 years ago.   The internet has grown noisier.  There is content galore.  Getting the attention of the right audience is not as easy (nor necessarily free) like it was a few years ago.

Today, we share the story of an amazing mother who turned her passion into a full-time career, blogging about how food does NOT have to break the bank.

Meet Erin Chase, the owner and creator of 5dollardinners.com. She is the mother of four busy boys and her days are full. Running a thriving business and taking care of her family keeps her on her toes but she took the time today to share how she makes it work.

Like my path into online marketing, Erin started about 4 years ago when you could grow a Facebook page faster than a teenage boy outgrows his blue jeans.  And you could do it for free.   

She shares some of her insider secrets and most especially, what she would do if she were starting a blog right now today.

Our Favorite Moments in this Video:

How does a busy mom of 4 get so much done?   She runs 2 big brands ($5 Dinners and FreezEasy) and manages to network, host a great annual blogger conference and more.   This was one of my favorite secrets:   She eats the same food for breakfast and lunch every day. I didn’t see that coming.    Listen to hear more about eliminating some basic decision making to avoid decision fatigue.

4 Boys. That just sounds crazy right?   Erin humbly boasts that her house does look like Pottery Barn because she’s had to adapt a very minimalist view.   (I want that spirit!  Someone convince the rest of my family!)  Listen to a couple of her methods for her home life in this video.   Her suggested reading for this topic:   Josh Becker, Minimalist

So, it’s no secret Erin has made a very successful and profitable blog income.   She is one of those who can and does make multiple 5 figure incomes each month from a combination of advertising revenue, affiliates and her own products.   I’m certain I’ve never heard any other blogger come clean with where they think advertising and affiliate dollars is heading and what to do to protect your business from the decline that is happening there.

Serve well.  No matter what kind of business you are running, serving your audience well is key.  Running a Facebook page with hundreds of thousands of followers, and groups with tens of thousands, doesn’t happen by accident.  It happens by serving one person at a time with each post, video, and graphic you share.   

Here’s the good news.  It’s WAY faster to make a website, an online course or a membership site today than it was a few years ago.  Erin and I both suffered the woes of WordPress plugin incompatibilities and learning more about PHP and javascript than we’d care to.   The good news is that technology is not a barrier like it used to be.  But it’s also not as cheap as it used to be which is why you need a solid business model and not just a wish to dump your brilliant thoughts in a beautiful way onto Pinterest and hope they come.   Hope is not a strategy.

What’s the most valuable tool in her toolkit?  Ontraport.  By far.  It does everything from email to sales pages to membership site management.   There are many, many choices out there to run your website and online course / membership site but the power of doing that all from one dashboard is such a time and money saver.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Step-by-Step Workbook to Quit Your Corporate Job

Erin’s Website: http://www.5dollardinners.com/  and MyFreezEasy.com  (the best freezer cooking system there is!)

How This Mom Quit Her Soul Sucking Day Job

How This Mom Quit Her Soul Sucking Day Job

Have you ever gone to work sick because your job was on the line?

Or you used all your sick leave taking one kid after another to the pediatrician?

Have you ever pumped your slightly feverish baby with a little ibuprofen and dropped them at daycare because there was an 8 am meeting about budget planning and you needed to be there to represent your team?  (You left after that and picked them up when the daycare called at 11 but still…..mom guilt central.)

No matter how much you love your job, and even sometimes how flexible it is, these parenting moments are tough and will make you want to quit in a heartbeat.   But you can’t.  Because your family needs your income and quite frankly, you’d lose your mind staying home every single day.

You just want work that works for your family.

There’s never been a better time to seek work from home job opportunities.  There is acceptance in the market that high quality individuals with great skills can be found anywhere, anytime.

Today we share the zig-zaggy journey of one mom who went from 5 months pregnant and laid off to buying her new business domain literally from the hospital while she was in labor.

Meet Misha Hettie.  Wife.  Mom. Work-at-Home Business Owner.

Our Favorite Moments In this Video:

“You have to play a role to play the game in the corporate world.  It takes awhile to break out of that.  When your authentic you matches to your business work and your clients, it feels so natural.  If you don’t want to work with stuffy financial executives anymore, then design a business where you don’t need to attract those kind of people.”

“You don’t have to trade your corporate hectic job for even more hectic entrepreneurial life.   Take a talent you already have.  Accounting, Customer Service, Legal, Graphic Design, Technology.   Start broad and then narrow in on the specialty niche that matches your style and gifts.”

“There are lots of ways to make money.  They are in front of your face everyday.  But what is going to be the right way.  What is the way that’s going to be sustainable, that you can count on, that matches your talents and gifts.”

“Chasing money is never the answer.  Money follows excellence.  If you go do what you’re good at, the money will come.  But you must have the right business model.”

Links mentioned in this episode:

Step-by-Step Workbook to Quit Your Corporate Job
Misha’s Website:  UncommonlyGoodBiz.com

Help! My Monthly Email Costs Are Out Of Control!

Help! My Monthly Email Costs Are Out Of Control!

If you are crushing it in the online marketing space, it’s likely that you have a big list and have learned that big = more expensive for many of the tools you need to use.

Welcome to the big leagues!  You’ve made it!  Now act like it kiddo.

(This article is an ever developing analysis as tool features are added and the race to be the best in the online marketing tools space is fast and furious.  I’m seriously impressed with how many great tools are out there.  So expect this to be an active and updated article as we watch the race.)

Currently the email marketing tool niche has so many players you can probably name 3 right now I’ve never heard of.  Awesome.  Because that means there is a big need and competition refines each other with better results for YOU and ME, the business owners.

One of the first hurdles I’ve seen those who have grown their list to 10k+ come upon are the costs of these email tools.

Suddenly over Black Friday weekend, you’ve got a big explosion and you’re hit with multiple $99 charges for email sends.

Or you launch this amazing free challenge and add 14,000 subscribers in 5 days (no income yet, just subscribers) and it bounces you up a tier in pricing +$300 / a month.

The cost of these tools can easily reach $1000 / month when you are sending 100,000 or more emails.

Hopefully if you are at this level of business you are making five figures a month minimum and can absorb the costs like it’s nothing.   Still, the wealthiest people I know watch their dollars closely and know they can optimize this spend.

Here are 5 tips to optimize your contact size and email send volume to maximize the value of your email marketing tool costs

Tip 1:  Scrub your list and reduce the size

But I worked so hard for all those followers!   Yes.  Yes you did.  Let it go, Elsa.   The person who subscribed 2 years ago may have moved on in life and no longer needs your product.   Perhaps you even have duplicate contacts.  The same person with different email addresses or old emails that constantly bounce.

Tip 2:  Segment your list by most engaged

Create a group / tag / list of contacts within your tool that are the most engaged and send your campaigns primarily to them as opposed to the full list.

“Most engaged” could mean:

  • Have opened at least one email in the past 60 days
  • Have clicked any link in the past 3 months
  • Have opened / clicked key emails / links in your bread and butter automated email funnels
  • Have purchased a product from you in the past 6 months

Tip 3:  Segment by Asking Your List What They Want

You could ask by subject matter that pertains to your topic.

Example:  If your topic is cooking related, ask if they are a beginnger, intermediate or advanced chef.  Or if they prefer chicken or beef.  Or if they are cooking for 1, 2 or 6.

Or ask them what medium they prefer to receive content from you.

Would they prefer a facebook click through instead of another email?    Segment based on where they came from.   And….set some facebook retargeting to reach those who are all over facebook.   If you can reduce your email tool costs by $300 / month, take that dollar amount and apply it to Facebook ads, marketing the same content, to the segment of your list who primarily comes to you through facebook.

Ask them if they would mind if you moved to a twice a month instead of weekly send.

You could also segment automatically based on their actions.   Product purchaser.  Blog reader.  Facebook skimmer.

Tip 4:  Simplify.  Reduce funnels, products, opt-ins and programs

Eliminate your lowest performing funnel / opt-in or product.  Now if it’s the lowest performing it may not reduce your email send volume by a lot but I’ve had a peek into some of your all’s cluttered up email marketing closets and chances are you’ve got some skeletons hanging around out there that need to go away.

Is there an ugly opt-in and ebook you made 2 years ago before we had all these fancy nancy tools?  Ditch it (or temporarily shut it down and put it on the “to be updated” project list.)

Is there a product that brings you more stress and less dollars?  Eliminate it.

You know the 80/20 rule.  80% of the results comes from 20% of the __________.   Apply this in whatever way makes sense for your market.

(And listen to this tough love….if you are thinking “but I have 27 digital products and all of them sell something!”   Trust me on this simplification thing.  What you focus on thrives.  There’s no way you can market 27 digital products unless you have a big team and have segmented your team into specialization areas.   No ones brain works well on 27 different topics AND it’s probably harder for your ideal client to find what they need as well.)

Tip 5:  Analyze Email Send Frequency and Top Opens / Engagement times and topics to reduce the number of emails you are sending

What time of day / week / month are your emails getting the most opens?   Eliminate the low openers and focus in on the hot times.

Do you have a 10 part drip campaign but emails 5 and 7 barely get opens?  Re-evaluate that message and eliminate or consolidate.

There is no “right answer” here so if you feel constrained, by all the “send emails on Tuesdays at 6 am EST” messages you see online, do a fact check on your metrics.   The question is what works for YOUR audience.   If you are targeting moms of little kids, an 8 pm email send could be perfectly timed right at the top of their inbox when they sit down for the evening and a little “me time”.

So, there are a lot of possible actions there.   I know what that means.  You’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

Look at YOUR data.  And pick 2 low hanging fruits to get started.

If this is not in your bag of tricks, outsource it.

Fudge. I think I need a new email tool.

Did reading this make you realize you may be overspending?

Don’t want to dig through all the latest tools / options / feature comparisons?

Are you in the big leagues but haven’t yet stepped up to the big kid table with your tool?

Here’s a spreadsheet we keep updated with tools we feel are worthy of being on your radar and meet needs across the spectrum of online businesses.

It’s free.   (Send us your thoughts if you’d like us to add more criteria or tools for analysis!)

VIEW MY REAL TIME EMAIL TOOL ANALYSIS

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