For many, many years I have read personal development books. With each new one I learnt a whole new set of ideas, and many showed me new ways of thinking.
Back in the early 90s I started reading some of Jack Canfield's books. From memory, the first was Chicken Soup For The Soul, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Each story was inspiring and gave me hope that I too could achieve some of my dreams. After this I went on to listen to many of Jack's audio tapes (yes, the old cassette tapes were the thing then), again each leaving me feeling inspired and eager to make change in my own life.
In all of Jack's work there were many lessons and many ideas. The one that sticks out the most is this, a short statement Jack made - If you think it, ink it.
So, what did Jack mean by that?
What he meant was this. If you write your goals down, you will have much more of a chance of achieving them than if you do not.
Today, almost 30 years later, I remember this statement, and I use it in my business. At the beginning of each year I write down my goal for the turnover for my business for the year to come. This number sits at the top of my whiteboard in my office in BIG red letters and looks just like this - 2017-18 UPCYCLED & CO. TURNOVER GOAL - $ with the number to follow.
Now what's interesting here, is that when we set our goals they will often feel totally unachievable, and that's a good thing. Why is it a good thing? Because it makes you work to get there, it makes you think about how you can achieve that goal, it makes you continue to have to come up with new ways to market your business, with new products to sell and so on. Without this stretch, you will never get yourself into the frame of mind you need to be in. You need to be continually thinking about how you can improve, grow and develop your business - that is the life of a business owner.
In terms of business turnover goals, another thing I have started to do in the last six months is set a daily sales goal. This goal I have on my whiteboard, but I also have it as the name of a folder in my email inbox, so that I see it every day. There is nothing in that folder, it's just a place that I decided to write that goal to give myself visibility of it on a daily basis - it's just one of the crazy ideas I came up with!
If you're skeptical about writing goals down... why not try it? I dare you.
Take a whiteboard marker or a pen and paper and write down your annual financial goal for your business's turnover and put it where you can see it often.
Here's a few things you will want to think about when you set your goal:
1. Make it clear. Be sure to write down the year (2017-18 as above), what it is for (Upcycled & Co. Turnover Goal), and the amount in $.
2. Make it a stretch. Whilst you do need to be realistic, make sure it is a stretch too.
3. Make it a habit. Remind yourself regularly of what your goals is.
Now, work out how much you will need to sell to achieve your goal - how many products or how many services. This will help you to see that it is achievable, and sometimes it will help you to see that maybe you could even increase your goal.
Your next step is to start to work on believing you can do it, and I will talk to that one in a blog post soon.
For now, let me ask you a question: What is stopping you writing down your business turnover goal?
Let me know in the comments. In the meantime, come over to join the conversation on Facebook.
Until next time,
p.s. Oh and by the way - I'm on track to smash my 2017-18 turnover goal by 50%!
If you're going to run a business, you've got to be organised.
I've always love stationery; books, pens, envelopes, paper, diaries, notebooks, you name it, I love them all. And of course in particular, a good diary is a pleasure to use.
About a month ago I became aware of the Day Designer Planner, so I've just ordered one, and I'm very excited indeed. This brand of planner came recommended by the amazing Jennifer Allwood, from The Magic Brush whom I'm now an avid follower of. She's a creative entrepreneurial coach having had her own painting business for 17 years, so I'm guessing she knows her stuff.
Now this planner wasn't cheap, but experience tells me that you get what you pay for.
With around 10 different colours and designs there are plenty to choose from - too many in fact, I had a hard time deciding which one I would get. I put three in my Cart, then eliminated them from there, and then went around in circles again.
This is the one I chose in the end.
I'm hoping to have it pretty soon and I will definitely be reporting back to let you know how I like it.
Question: What diary or planner to you use?
Creatives gotta create!
There is no truer word than this. As a creative, engaging in creative activities is what keeps us alive.
There are many, many blogs, videos, Facebook LIVEs and posts about this topic, but it's one I wanted to cover nonetheless.
I think the biggest thing I have learnt about growing a Facebook following, is the importance of consistency. Without a doubt, being consistent is the most critical thing. If you're not working hard, and being consistent on Facebook to improve your reach, you may as well not be there.
Okay, so what do you need to do? Here's a list of things I've done to grow my following to almost 5,000 in 18 months:
Always be mindful of the fact that you are serving your audience. Your job is to offer great value, all of the time. Allow your audience to get to know you, engage with them and they will get to know, like and trust you. Once they do that, they will buy from you.
Question: What has worked for growing your Facebook audience?
As a business owner on Facebook one of the best things you can do is link your personal profile to your business page.
Last year I had been using Facebook ads to sell my Upcycled & Co. furniture painting workshops and paint, and they'd become very successful towards the end of the year. Now the success didn't come overnight, but it did come after investing in Facebook Ads Training, and then experimenting with and tweaking audiences until I hit the sweet spot.
In early December I noticed things changing a bit and I wasn't having as much success. After a bit of exploration talking to a number of experts, I discovered that typically early December until mid January is a period of time when Facebook Ads are more expensive. This is due to the fact that major brands spend enormous amounts of money on ads during this period and my little $10 per ad per day just doesn't get a look in. At that point I decided to turn my ads off for a month until I was back at work mid January.
Now me being me, after Christmas I started thinking about my ads again. It was nothing other than a gut feeling that went like this, "Maybe I should try an ad". Remember I'd been told by a number of people that mid January was the time to restart. I knew, and remembered that, but I don't always do what I'm told (and you'll notice this theme if you follow this blog). Really???
So, I set up an ad, and I got two workshop bookings within hours.
It’s now 12 days later and I have had 27 workshop bookings and several paint orders.
The BIG lesson here for me is, ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR GUT.
If I had held off until mid January to restart my ads, I would have had significantly less revenue to date for January.
Question: What success have you had after following your gut?