For me, 2013 was a great year in business—my best yet. What I find really amazing about that is that I was pregnant during most of 2013. Then I had Lucca in October and I proceeded to take a few months off and the rest of the year was just part time. So how was it possible to have my best year in business while being pregnant, having a baby, taking time off, and oh, yeah, taking a sixteen day cruise to the Mediterranean?
How was 2013 for you? Was it everything that you hoped for? If not, what would you have liked to be different?
Knowing what you don’t want is key to figuring out what you DO want. As I reviewed my own plan for 2014, there were a lot of things I removed and restructured from my 2013 plan because it was no longer a fit. And yet, I’m still certain that 2014 will be my BEST year yet, even with fewer programs. The old saying, “less is more” rings more true for me now than ever. If you are a parent, you understand how children can not only put things into perspective for you, but they can also help you get really clear on what you want to let go of—from programs in your business, to clients who don’t respect you, and relationships that no longer serve you. It’s like a forced instant makeover.
Now it’s time for your business makeover. It’s your opportunity to decide what you really want and let go of the rest. I would encourage you to take some time away from the business to go through this exercise so you can really listen in on what your true self is saying, not that part of you that wants to please everyone else.
The 5 Simple Steps to Super Sales Success in 2014:
- Figure Out What You Don’t Want: As I mentioned above, knowing what you don’t want is the first step because it helps you clarify what you DO want. There’s a reason that you don’t want something—and it ties to what you actually want. For example, you might keep thinking, “I don’t want to work so hard anymore.” Well, that’s what you don’t want. What you DO want is to work less and play more, but you wouldn’t have known that if you didn’t start with what you don’t want. See how that works?
- Figure Out What You DO Want; Create the Plan: Once you know what you don’t want, you can focus on what you DO want. If you were going to have the perfect year, what would that be like for you? How would you be spending your time? How much would you be selling? Who would your clients be (You probably need to fire some!)? Where would you go on vacation? How much family time would you have? What “play” activities would you institute? To finalize this activity, take your sales numbers and project them out for the entire year by month and break them down by product or service. By creating your projections, you can clearly see how much you need to sell every month and what you could sell. I also recommend that you project your costs out as well so you can see your bottom line profit.
- Understand the Law of Reversed Effort: Aldous Huxley is given credit for talking about the “Law of Reversed Effort,” but many others have been talking about it for a long time. Huxley said, “The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed. Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing, or combining relaxation with activity, of letting go as a person in order that the immanent and transcendent Unknown Quantity may take hold. We cannot make ourselves understand; the most we can do is to foster a state of mind, in which understanding may come to us.” In other words, “A watched pot doesn’t boil.” I find that this shows up especially when we need sales to come in. Have you ever had that feeling (I feel you nodding your head.)? We’ve all had that feeling. There are times when we try to force something to get done, but it just doesn’t seem to happen. Why? We are forcing it to happen. When you understand that letting go of something allows it to show up faster, you might be more inclined to follow inspired action and play more.
- Take Inspired and Intentional Action: Once you have clear projections, you will begin to get what I like to refer to as “inspired and intentional ideas.” These ideas feel light and exciting, something you want to happen, rather than steps that feel forced. Pay attention to those feelings because they will tell you what you should do next. I’ve learned to not take action until I feel excited about the next step. I might even feel nervous, but I don’t confuse being excited with being fearful. Excitement feels different. Once I have that feeling, then I know the next step will be the right step.
- Play!: Having a plan and taking inspired action is great. However, if you don’t take time out to play and enjoy yourself, you end up burning out early in the year and you don’t want that. I’ve found that when I plan my vacations and time off for the entire year, I am super motivated because I know play is coming. I also book regular spa visits and other activities that inspire me. I guarantee that when you put those items on your calendar, you will be a lot more motivated. And if the first thing that comes up for you is, “I can’t afford that,” then that’s exactly where you need to start. The truth is, when you put these items on your calendar, the money tends to show up for those activities and more. Try it. You just might be surprised.
The last thing I want to mention is to make sure you make a decision. Don’t “try” to make it a great year. I hear people say that all of the time. “This year is going to be better. I’m going to try so much harder!”
Really? No you won’t. The word “try” insinuates that you can give up at any moment. I don’t want that to be the case for you. You need to make a decision that no matter what, this is how your year is going to be for you. When you make a decision, you close the door on any other options. You close the door on reverting back to old patterns and behaviors. You close the door on saying no to yourself and you finally say YES to what it is you really want.
I hope that after taking yourself through this process you feel light and excited about what’s ahead for you in 2014.
Just say yes…