You might start off the year with really big ideas. And then by the time February or March rolls around… you're off the rails and flying by the seat of your pants for the rest of the year. Again.
Which means you are no closer to your big goals than you were the same time LAST year … and that's just not gonna fly anymore.
This year, let's do things a bit differently. Let's set ourselves up for success from the get-go with a plan that grows and bends WITH you… that's designed to get you where you want to go.
Look, planning may not be that sexy… but the results you can get when you've got your act together? That's something to be celebrated for sure.
Episode 27 – How to audit your past year to find out what worked (so you can do more of that)
The Key To Setting Goals That Actually Stick with Auguste Crenshaw (listen to the full episode for Auguste's GAMECHANGING stuff).
Alyson Lex 0:00
Happy New Year on today's special New Year's Eve episode, we're answering the question, how exactly can I set myself up for success next year? The big question is this as entrepreneurs, coaches and business owners, how do we consistently sell our products, programs and services without making our customers feel like we're only in it for the almighty dollar? How do we serve the way we know we're meant to serve and still run a profitable business? How do we put good into the world while we put dollars into our pockets? How do we change the lives of our community while also bettering the life we
Jennie Wright 0:37
lead? It's not a zero sum game. It's not an either or scenario, it is possible to thrive while serving your clients to the best of your ability. This podcast will show you how. I'm Jennie Wright. I'm Alyson Lex, and welcome to the System to THRIVE.
Alyson Lex 0:58
Happy New Year. Again, if you're listening in 2020, guys, it is almost over. We almost made it. And if you're listening in 2021, Happy New Year, is it better yet? So if you're like me, let me tell you how my year usually goes, Okay, I start off the year with really big ideas. And by March in February, if I'm really being honest, they're out the window. And by September, I'm wondering what the hell happened. And then I scramble and hope and freak out in October in November. But then in December, I'm taking off practically the whole month. And I do it all over again in January. Does that sound familiar to you guys, because it sounds awfully familiar to me. And I am really not interested in running my business that way anymore, we're going to cap off an incredibly bad year for everyone around the world by resolving and sticking with it to do things differently next year. That's what today's episode is about. We're going to talk about how to plan how to stick with that plan, and how to make that plan work for you, no matter where you are in your business. So thank you for being here. If you want to get more from us, please do feel free to subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen, we drop new episodes multiple times a week, and they're all designed to help you grow your business.
Jennie Wright 2:20
So the way that Allison was describing how she sort of plans that her year literally gave me hives, hives, you know, I also have a plan every year. And in 2020, it kind of went to it was just like this big, wide dumpster fire. But we did our best. I mean, if you really think about it, there are a lot of good things that happened in 2020 that we could celebrate, like launching our podcast together exactly, you know, launching System to THRIVE and all the great things that came from that. And the fact that we have discovered that to be better in our own businesses, because not only is his podcast to help you, it's quite honestly, to really help us as well, that we're gonna do things a little bit differently. So
Alyson Lex 3:02
we're going to talk about one of my favorite topics today, which is planning. Jenny is only all the time she's like, Alison, what is the plan? And unlike Jenny, the plan is to wing it.
Jennie Wright 3:15
And I'm like, I'm not okay with that. I'm absolutely not okay. No,
Alyson Lex 3:19
it hurts her heart. Yeah. So why should we plan? Oh, plan Master?
Jennie Wright 3:28
Well, young grasshopper, we should? Absolutely. Oh, gosh, it's been a year.
Alyson Lex 3:35
Jennie Wright 3:35
here's, here's why I think we have to plan to back this up a little bit. I used to do event planning, okay, I literally had a title with the word plan in it. So it's really hard for me not to plan, you know, from corporate events, to golf tournaments, to you know, parties and all sorts of stuff. I used to love doing that stuff. I used to get incredibly excited with like a three or four month plan. And I would get stupidly excited the week before when my days went from like a couple hour days to like 810 12 hour days. I'm like, yeah, we're doing this was just, I'm insane.
Unknown Speaker 4:10
But why do we plan
Jennie Wright 4:12
in our businesses, if you guys want to scale, if you need to figure out what you're going to do, if you have a plan of like, a monetary goal that you want to reach, then it's necessary to plan. If you have a list building goal, then it's absolutely necessary to plan if you want to maximize your success. It's so so hard to not plan. You know, um, let's just say that you want to sell and we're going to talk about this a little bit more a little bit later. But if you want to sell a group coaching course, shortly, you know, sometime in the new year, how are you going to sell it? You have to start thinking about it. Because if you when you're like, Oh yeah, I just want 50 people in my course. How are you going to get those numbers? How is it going to make that happen? So that's a really important thing to think about.
Alyson Lex 4:59
And Want to come to it from the opposite side of the I like to plan spectrum, talk about how not planning can really affect things negatively for you do tell if I want to build my list, for example. And I don't think ahead, I'm really just kind of throwing things at the wall. And nothing is really well thought out. And you have experienced this with me that I haven't taken the time to validate an idea. And maybe I'm going down the wrong path. I maybe haven't thought everything through and I missed something critical. Or it's just more work and more stress for myself, that I could have avoided. Had. I thought things through ahead of time, I could have hired someone to fill in gaps and not had to do it all myself. I could have been on time with with launches. I'm really good at that. With my clients, I'm on time and meet those deadlines like crazy with myself. I'm constantly pushing stuff back. I've gotten better, guys. Okay, I used to be way worse. Jenny knows this. It used to be way worse for her. When I would be just Oh, yeah, no, I'm going to launch this. But this time last year, actually last Black Friday. That week, I had decided I'm going to create a product and launch it. And full transparency here. My launch bombed and you know why it bombed? Because I decided to start promoting it the Wednesday before American Thanksgiving. So I didn't have a plan. I didn't have a black friday special. I didn't have any copy put together. I just threw it at the wall and hope that stuck. And it didn't. The product was good. Yeah, it's so good. The pricing wasn't great. Maybe the messaging was a little off because it didn't validate things as well as I should have. I launched it at a really bad time. And then what happened is, I said, that didn't work. And I moved on to the next thing instead of going back to fix it. I kind of ditched it now I've taken components of it, and I've used it elsewhere. So it's still valuable to me. But I didn't have a plan. Yeah, I just did it. And I think there really needs to be a good marriage between speed to execution and getting things done, right. Getting Things Done with a plan, figuring out how to make it happen appropriately, on time without driving yourself crazy. And in a way that's going to set yourself up for success. We talk a lot Jenny and I about past Allison and past Jenny. And I do this all the time. And my past self hooks up my future self, right, I've either set something up, or I've maybe done something ahead of time, or I've brainstormed something or I've got it written down or I've done something that makes it easier for future me to come back and make it work. That's what creating a plan is, your past self is going to hook up your future self with a plan. The first thing we're going to do is we're going to focus on what worked from this past year. That's why last week's episode was all about figuring out what worked and what didn't work. How can you do more of what worked? How can you improve it? How can you scale it? How can you do it again? He has hosted successful challenges. And I know that next year she's doing it again, same challenge. The copy worked, same copy. Oh, the copy was great. Well, yeah, I wrote it. But right, everything worked really well. And so she's gonna relaunch that same challenge to a new audience. I think next month, right?
Jennie Wright 8:54
Yeah, pretty much.
Alyson Lex 8:55
Yeah, things that didn't I
Jennie Wright 8:58
know, it's part of the plan. I mean, it's definitely part of the plan to make it happen. It's just the question now for me is the audience attraction source.
Alyson Lex 9:10
Jennie Wright 9:10
And I want to talk about that for 10 seconds if I can, because I think it really matters. Allison brought up a really great point that I did not get to, like validate for her and I want to validate it because it makes so much sense is when your keep like when you don't plan and you keep flitting around and going, Oh, that didn't work for me, I'll try something else. And I'll try something else. Your true direction is it can be very linear, to creating success. It really can. I mean, you have to be very, you know, plastic and be able to move around and stuff. But your plan to success can be incredibly linear. I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this and I'm going to do this. And when you don't plan and you have some form of lack of success with it, then you go Oh crap, I didn't work. I'm going to deviate from my plan, my linear you know, get to get from A to Z. And I'm going to try something different because obviously this thing did work, we start slowly going off plan and our trajectory, our trajectory changes. And if you keep doing that, you're going to end up at some point being completely off course. And where you are is nowhere where you wanted to be. And it's a waste of time and resources, it totally kills your confidence. Trust me asked me how I know it, right, it can really hurt you. So I just wanted to validate what Alison was saying, because although it's fun and frivolous to like, woohoo, I'm just gonna like watch this next week. That's awesome. Congrats. But you, you have to have the background behind it to make it work. Some people could, by the way, there are some people who are listening to this, who were like, Girl, I can just launch my launch my thing, and I have no problem and just people you know, fall into my inbox with their credit cards. Congratulations. For the rest of the world. And the rest of us, we have?
Alyson Lex 10:56
Well, and I think even if you have people who are like, yeah, I launched a thing, and people fall into my inbox with their credit cards. Awesome. What next?
Jennie Wright 11:05
How are you gonna repeat it?
Alyson Lex 11:07
What do you want? And I think that maybe what we do is we talk about what your goal is. And I know we took that amazing Episode A few weeks ago with August. What is your goal? What's your end goal here, looking beyond next week or next month, I think is really important. When it comes to where do I want to be, ultimately, what is my big why. And if you haven't listened to it, go listen to it, we'll link to it in the show notes, it's really important to understand where you want to end up. Because it's that whole, if you don't have a destination in mind, you don't know where you're gonna end up. And the plan, I read something once and I don't remember where so I can't give it appropriate credit. But it has stuck with me, your goal never changes. It can get bigger, of course, but it doesn't. It's not a changing thing. Your plan is how you're going to get there. And so we you know, Jenny, I wanted to validate this for you talked about being a little bit flexible and plastic and whatever. So you can deviate a little bit, but stay in that same line. Things happen. Look, I had ideas for 2020. And on my board here in q2, it just says COVID, okay, that my plants changed, the ones that I made, that they changed. And if that has to be okay, you have to be able to be okay with that. But if you don't have any to begin with any kind of change, or chaos is going to throw you into a tailspin
Jennie Wright 12:42
Alyson Lex 12:43
we're gonna focus on what worked. Like I mentioned with Jenny and her challenge, she's taking what works, she's going to do it again, she's going to improve on it. Of course, she learned some things. But it was really good. It was really impactful for her people, she's going to do it again, she's going to work on attracting some new audience, those sorts of things. That is one thing that you can do in your plan for next year, what worked, I'm going to do it again, then you can look at what didn't work, see if you can improve it. And try it again. Jenny and I tried a giveaway for System to THRIVE way back a few months ago. It didn't work the way we wanted. That doesn't mean we'll never do a giveaway. Again, it means that if we decide to put one in the plan, we will reconfigure it. Okay, so head to last week's episode, we'll put the link in the show notes, grab that download, work through your past year, and see what you can repeat or revised to do next year.
Jennie Wright 13:41
I love that. And then the next step is to start working backwards from the goal to create the plan. If you want to make a great plan, work backwards from the goal. So if your goal in 2021 is to like I was mentioning earlier, we're going to use this example throughout this this particular podcast episode is you want to launch a group coaching course and you want 50 people in that course. Okay, that's 50 students you want to get? How are you going to achieve 50 students? If your current email list is only 1000? How are you going to convert 50 of those? And would they convert? If not, do you need to grow your list? And if you do, where are you going to grow it from? Right, so you start working backwards. So if you're going to launch that course, you're going to launch it in April, then you're going to need you know anywhere between four to six weeks to promote it and be in your sales mode. Prior to that you should be list building. Prior to that you should be content, you know content storming. And if you haven't checked out or know what a content storm please go and check out our previous episodes. We talked about content, storm, way, way, way, way back and we'll actually put the resource in the show notes for this particular episode. But we talked about content storms and it was a really, really awesome episode for that. So go check that out. The other thing is making sure That it all works in your particular plan. What else is going on? Like I know, you know, people still have lives happening, people are having babies and getting married or, you know, they're they're doing all this other kind of stuff. How are you fitting in your life? To make sure that happens, a lot of people make this mistake. Allison, when they have a goal, and they're creating their plan, they do not think about the the amount of time it takes to get to their, to their goal, right. And so they'll shorten things up to like, Oh, I only need to wait, you know, four days to promote my, my webinar?
Alyson Lex 15:33
Jennie Wright 15:35
I'm looking at her she's got her hand up. Or I only need you know, two days to do this, or I only need a week to do that. And I'll tell you that it takes everything takes a little bit longer than you anticipate, especially if it's the first time where you're doing it all yourself. But making sure that everything kind of fits the where, where it should be in your life. And that you build in a Whoopsie. I always build in a woopsie. And if that goes on to a meme, or a social graphic, I'm going to laugh my butt off. But you got to build in a Whoopsie Whoopsie is crap. I woke up, I felt like you know, I had a headache. I didn't feel very good. And I need to take a day. Right. And if it's a day where you're supposed to be recording videos, or writing copy or doing something for your launch, that can set you back. So you always build in a bit of a woopsie day into your launches, to if you need to. So that you have time for Allison's like four or 510 1010 nails. Okay, she's putting up fingers. I don't know what she's saying. Yeah, you
Alyson Lex 16:30
should have some fifth month Whoopsie. Mom, can I do that too? No.
Jennie Wright 16:35
You cannot have a woopsie month. But you do have to you have to build in some extra time for the you know, for the poop to hit the fan? Because it does. It absolutely does. And make sure everything fits with you know, with your calendar, like Alison's launch day before Thanksgiving. I remember her telling me about it. And I remember going Yay, sounds great. How can I support you? You know, and then I felt really bad when it didn't happen. I didn't know it wouldn't work for her. I mean, sometimes these things do work. But I didn't know it wouldn't. And afterwards, I was like, you know, I need to like go and virtually pet my friend's hair. Because it
Alyson Lex 17:14
you know, and it's so but that's an example of something we learned. Right? So now, if I was going to launch something, yeah. Next year, I would eat? If Yeah, what? No, if I was going to launch something around that time, okay. I would either plan for it to be appropriate. Yeah. or plan to push it or pull it? Right. I can make it earlier, maybe we'll get a little later. But probably not launch the first concept of it that week, without a whole lot of to then build up and build up. So the next thing that we get to do when we plan is ditch the stuff that we don't like. Okay, so Marie Kondo big thing. If it doesn't spark joy, digit, if you did stuff this year that you just hated digit. It's okay. I'm giving you right now I'm giving you permission. If you hate writing blogs, don't write a blog post. figure out another way to put content consistently out. I I like writing, it's probably a good thing, but not enough to stay consistent with it. And so I don't do it to do podcast. That's my content creation. It's really, when you make your plan think, okay, instead of blog Don't get so granular into blog, think content? How do I want to create my content? Do I want to do live streams on Facebook? Cool, do it? Do I want to do a podcast? Cool, do it. It's a lot more work than you think. Just do I want to write blogs cool, do it. Whatever you want. List build, right? You don't necessarily have to do one particular type of list build. There are some that have benefits over others. Jenny obviously can tell you all about that in her upcoming challenge. Next month, we'll let you know. But Huh, what's up? I just wrote her to write into doing it too. Yeah, you did.
Jennie Wright 19:19
I'm okay with that, though. Because that's how you and I push each other? Yes.
Alyson Lex 19:24
But she's gonna tell you if a summit just feels too much. That's okay. Let's talk about what a challenge can do for you. Let's talk about what a webinar series can do for you, or let's talk about a list build that works for you. Because if you hate doing it, you're not going to do it consistently. And the consistency is key. Consistency is what's going to make that difference for you. I personally fully 100,000 million percent believe that just too Anything you do to market your business is going to work aside from, you know, throwing paper in the air and hoping it lands in the lap of your ideal client. If you if you want to market on Instagram, awesome, it's going to work. If you want to market on Facebook, awesome, it's going to work. If you want to do this great, it's gonna work if you do it enough and with the right strategy behind it, but this, I'm going to throw a post on Instagram and hope it goes viral. That's not consistent, and it's not going to work. So ditch the stuff you don't like, ditch the part that doesn't spark joy. If it's something you have to do to run your business, outsource it. Believe me, there's no one to do. And I pay other people to do it. Right? And actively always looking on how I can get rid of other stuff that I don't want to do.
Jennie Wright 20:46
Yes. And you've been told this year stuff that you should not be doing.
Alyson Lex 20:50
Okay, so that is the other side of the coin. Right? There's stuff you want to do and you shouldn't talk about it. I love, love, love playing in Canva. She does. I love it. I'm in there all the time. And Jenny yells at me get out of Canva. Because we have that, you know, team thing.
Jennie Wright 21:09
Yeah, we can tell when somebody else is playing around calculating.
Alyson Lex 21:13
I'm like, look at this image I just made. She's like, Why? Why do you do that we stop it. But I love it. And so I want to do it. But what happens is I end up doing it instead of the stuff that's actually going to move my business forward. And it takes away valuable time that I could be using on something else. Now, let's say I'm having a busy day. And I can't focus. This was me yesterday, I could not focus. And I needed to do something creative to get the Mojo flowing. And I went and I played in Canva for like 20 minutes. And it sparked me up again, it got me going and you created something cool, too. So and I created something cool. So that's okay. But I could very easily spend my entire day in there. And it's a distraction technique. Yeah, it's not where my zone of genius is. I can pay someone else to take care of it for me, and she does amazing. So ditch the stuff you hate. But also keep an eye on the stuff you love, but shouldn't be doing. I like the way that Jenny brought that right back around. Yes, Yes, she did. Yeah,
Jennie Wright 22:18
well, you know, I got you. Next step. And here is one that I think a lot of people struggle. And if you see yourself in this, that's okay. That is the checking on your plan to stay on track. Allison has a little board not too far from where she's sitting. It's basically right in front of her eyes. And it lays out basically her plan. And she you know, she looks at that and sees if she's staying on track, she kicked it out of the park or knocked her out of the park, I should say with how many podcast episodes she wanted to get on in 2020. And that's awesome. Like, she totally, totally did that. And that was super, super cool. But there's other things on that board that I know, have gone a little off plan. But then again
Alyson Lex 22:59
Jennie Wright 23:00
You know what, and I read something earlier on today that people were like, this is going to be the year that people are actually going to do their masters on and like a thesis on, you know how I did something something in 2020 or how I survived, you know, 2020 or something. Like there's gonna be a whole course in university in a couple years about this. There has to be popular culture, like it's just going to be crazy. It's a year. Yeah, yeah. It's a crazy crazy.
Alyson Lex 23:25
So I had some big goals. And there were a couple ones. I mean, okay, I had five big goals. I had product launch goal, interview goal. I wanted to write a book, I had a revenue goal, and I had a list vocal. I met three of them. Okay, I launched products. I have my podcast interviews, I made my revenue. I did not get my list to where I wanted it to be. And I didn't even start to write a book.
Jennie Wright 23:51
Oh, but cute note, a house and I recently discovered our first conversations we had our friend of ursery in November of 2020. We've been friends for six years. And Alison being awesome with things like Cora managed to pull out our first conversation through Facebook chat. November 20 20th.
Alyson Lex 24:14
Yeah, November 2020.
Jennie Wright 24:16
Yeah, number one, no nose. No. 20th 2006 No. 2008. Shoot. I
Alyson Lex 24:22
don't know what's the year? Really?
Jennie Wright 24:25
Alyson Lex 24:27
20 minus six is
Jennie Wright 24:31
the year that you're about to say? So 2014 is 2014. That's right. See their math? I'm not I'm focusing on you. Not the math. Sorry. I'm really not that I'm really not that bad. I really am not. However, I was having a moment.
Alyson Lex 24:49
So she pulled up this staff.
Jennie Wright 24:52
She pulled up this whole thing. And our whole conversation at the beginning was me, you know, like trying to sell her on being me being her OBM That's a conversation for another day. But she didn't
Alyson Lex 25:03
know you didn't push me off.
Jennie Wright 25:04
But we did mention that you were writing a book at the time.
Alyson Lex 25:08
You decide. Yep. Because I didn't plan it, though. Sam brought that back to the episode. Thank you are just trying to be funny. Okay. Now I love it. And I think it's really important. Not everything has to be super set in stone. 2020 has just, yeah, right. Things go off the rails, it's okay, you need to enjoy your life and things will come up opportunities will happen that you don't plan for Jenny. And I did not planned for this podcast until 30 days before it launched. And I will tell you, having done this for however many months because now it's my turn not to do math. Having done this for however many months, we know things now that we did not know in July, when we launched, we are doing things better, we're more organized. We're getting more viewers or listeners rather, you know, like that. More numbers, more numbers, we're getting more numbers. Had we taken a few more weeks to plan it, we may have launched with some different results. We didn't plan for this podcast. And now our plans moving forward included. So it's okay to add things in it's okay to take some things out that that aren't working. You gotta like, you know, work to live, don't live to work. That's okay. I'm giving you permission there too. But if you like Jennie said earlier, if you if you lose sight of that goal, you're going to go off course, if you stop checking in, you're going to go off course. Yeah. So set some good goals for yourself, make a plan to make it happen. Be a little flexible. Use what you've learned from this past year, take it into next year with you. I really like to work backwards thing. What do I want to accomplish? And when do I want to accomplish it by great. Now let's work backward to create that plan.
Jennie Wright 27:00
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's fantastic. And that's how we're looking at next year. You know, Allison has her own distinct business, I have my own distinct business, we share stuff together, which is great. And I adore it. And so we're you know, we're really working to create a plan that is successful. And to that end, please Absolutely. Come check out what we're doing. Because by the time you've listened to this, you know, things, things change in our plan. But you can absolutely, absolutely count on the fact that you're going to get a lot of training coming from Allison and I in 2021. We are at three episodes a week. Right, which is fantastic. We've got our Monday, quick tips. We've got episodes with our guests that come up on Tuesdays, and we've got our regular episode on Thursdays. And that's that's a lot. I mean, I never thought I'd be running a podcast with you with three episodes a week, but here we are. And I'm excited on one at all. No, no, not at all, but it's great. So come check it out. And you know, tell us about your plans come to our business page on Facebook System to THRIVE or on Instagram. And let us know what your plans are what's going on with you tell us where you're at. And if you need help, reach out to us. We'd love to hear from you. And that includes subscribing to the podcast, and leaving us an honest review. We'd love to know what you think. And so to that end, I hope everybody listening has a very safe and happy new year. Wishing you and your family all the very best that 2021 can give now and going forward. Thanks so much for being here and we'll be back soon answering another big question. Thanks again for watching or listening to this podcast. We hope we've answered some of your big questions today. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast anywhere you're listening and leave us a review.
Alyson Lex 28:51
We publish multiple episodes per week, all designed to help you grow your business. Look for us online on Facebook and Instagram at System to THRIVE or our home on the web at System to thrive.com