By Nathalie Lussier, creator, The Website Checkup Tool.
You’re an ambitious entrepreneur. You have big dreams and goals for the new year. You may even have so many things planned for 2013 for growing your company that you’re not sure how you’re going to get it all done.
You’ve already been working hard, insane hours maybe, putting in lots of face time with people who can help you grow.
Want to know my secret to growing a company year over year, without burning out? My secret is prioritization. And below, I’m going to break down exactly how this process works to improve goal setting, and more importantly, goal achievement.
1. Getting clear is the first step.
First, take out a sheet of paper or a blank document on your computer, and write out every single thing that you want to achieve in 2013 (and beyond). Whether you want to write a book, start new projects, land a deal with a sponsor or speak at certain events, write it all down.
Once you have a list of everything that you can imagine for your company in a the next few years, it’s time to prioritize. It helps to have everything written down so that you can see what’s more important to you and what’s going to move your company forward the most within the next year. Which brings us to step 2:
2. Rate your goals by profitability and what excites you the most.
Sometimes I get business ideas from well-meaning friends and family that seem great, but don’t fit. This prioritizing exercise allows you to clearly see what ideas don’t fit with what you want to create and achieve.
You can actually figure out what you want to take on for 2013, and what you don’t want to take on (because it’s someone else’s dream). I’ve definitely been caught in this trap before: taking on other people’s feedback and not checking in with myself.
3. Meet your new best friend: your calendar.
Now it’s time to choose those things that are the highest priority for you and your company and slot them into your calendar. I like to do this with a large wall calendar, so I can see all the months at a glance.
Schedule each of the projects and items that you want to achieve, month by month. Be realistic about what you can achieve in a given month and what steps it involves. (This also help you figure out what needs to happen first and second, so that everything lines up properly.)
For example, I knew I wanted to redesign my website and create a new type of opt-in offer for my visitors that would require custom programming. I didn’t have a name for it at first, but I knew I should allocate about a month for the programming of what is now my Website Checkup Tool. In the end, it took closer to two months to develop, but the framework I put on my calendar gave me the space to complete it.
Similarly, if you want to take on a sponsor for an event that you’re putting on, you might need to put together some of the event details first — like the date of the event, the audience size, and location — so you have time to attract and approach sponsors.
BONUS: With a calendar, you can’t overbook yourself or your team. It’s easy to say that your company can accomplish 15 different things in the next month, but when you’re actually looking at the number of days in a month and the number of months in a year, you need to be more realistic — a key part of the process.
4. Don’t forget to plan for life events, too.
I got married in August last year, and this definitely had an impact on the amount of projects that I could finish during the months leading up to my wedding. So when you do step 3, don’t forget to take it one step further and write down any personal trips, holidays spent with family that you usually take off, or other personal events that you know about ahead of time. That way, you won’t be surprised when “real life” intervenes and you have less time to work.
I highly recommend you do this exercise ASAP so you know exactly what you’re heading into this year (and so you can push back those projects that might need to wait for 2014 or 2015). It’s a simple, straightforward but powerful method to start the new year with an action plan — and avoid burning out.
Courtesy of YEC
Nathalie Lussier got her Bachelors in Software Engineering then promptly turned down a “stable” job on Wall Street to start her own online business. She’s a sought after digital strategist who teaches people how to get techy with their business.
Get your Free Website Checkup at http://GetTechyNow.com.