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It’s not too late (or too crazy) to plan for 2021

I mentioned recently in my weekly pep talks (over on IGTV) that I get reallllllly opinionated in January, in particular about the semi-aggressive planning culture we live in.

I feel like a mama bear protecting all my bear cubs (aka clients, colleagues, and friends) who are just recovering from a busy Christmas in retail, just starting to get back on their feet, and only just able to start reflecting on the last six or so weeks.

If you’re a maker or a female founder of a product-based business, you do not need to have a comprehensive plan for the year on 1st January.

In fact, I think the best business plans aren’t thrown together in a fit of panic or needing something to cling to. Instead, they’re made with integrity, with consideration, and with full awareness of who, where and what you are.

As I write this, we’re not even halfway through January (and a dramatic January at that), and already it can feel like it’s not worth planning at all – the window of opportunity has gone.

And any plans you did make might have gone out the window – so why bother.

It is never too late to make a plan, find your focus, and commit to the future you really want.

But is it too crazy?

Okay. So the plans you made this time last year might be laughing in your face. 2020 was no year for plans going exactly as anticipated.

But you know what? Plans rarely get pulled off without a hitch.

Even if you don’t stick to a plan, or life takes you away from it because of a pandemic or a family illness or really anything else, it is so valuable to have a focus.

It’s 2021, and I think we all know that the world is unpredictable. We’re not expecting much “normal life” – as much as we’re longing for it and hoping for it.

Why bother? Why bother making a plan? Why not take one day at a time, go with the flow, and try to do anything too specific or too big?

Because having a focus and a direction helps. It helps your mental health, your inner business strength, and your bottom line.

You can still take one day at a time, flexing with lockdown rules, homeschooling, sales, and your own needs.

But have a direction that you’ve chosen with intent, whether that’s a product range you’re focusing on, or a marketing strategy you want to give yourself to 100%, or staying really committed to a specific turnover number.

I don’t know what focus is right for you, but I do know that you’ll reap rewards when you choose one thing.

Having a plan means taking your limitations into account.

Having a plan means it’s easier to adapt when needed.

Having a plan means you’ll know what to do in those 20 minutes you have to catch up on things (hello, parent/business juggle).

Ultimately, your plan works best when it integrates with your creativity, your intuition, and your impulses. They’re valuable assets, and they need structure in order to thrive.

I need a plan! What should it be?

Ah, you’re in the right place.

Come and join me for a 5 day challenge to create a business plan that’s designed to give you a more resilient business in 2021.

It’s totally free, and we’ll spend time reflecting on where you are, how lockdown life has affected you, and where you (really) want to go from here. Then we’ll sift through your dreams, your possibilities, and your practical limitations, to discover your focus for right now. We’ll map out a unique-to-you plan that builds in strength, courage, and creativity.

The Better Business Plan takes place in the last week of January, Monday 25th to Friday 29th, with live coaching every day, as well as a private space on Instagram for support and questions. Not to mention a workbook for you to work through and keep as your 2021 map.

Don’t miss this transformative event!

>>> Read more and register here. <<<

I can’t wait to see you there!

Jenny x

It’s not easy to plan right now…

Am I right? Things are up in the air a lot, there’s not much certainty, and who knows what to do about childcare.

And yet it’s incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed and unfocused in your business.

My opinion? Getting even a mini plan together is a good idea. Which is why I’ve spent the last few weeks working on my new Create Your Mini Business Plan course.

It started with me.

Having had a couple of good months of nursery and getting back into the swing of things, most of my careful business plans went out of the window. I didn’t know what I should be doing.

One of the saddest consequences for me in this #lockdownlife is that I had to postpone my retreat, which was due at the end of March. It was heartbreaking!

But it did remind me of one of the activities we do on the first day of my retreats.

We make a list.

Okay, it’s really simple. And it’s not.

We make a list of things we want more of and things we want less of. It’s deceptively simple, and a great starting point for figuring out what’s most important to our businesses right now.

So I made my own list. It included things like “more profit” and “less stress about money”; “more focus” and “less overwhelm”; “more ways to help my audience” and “less distraction”.

This list also became the starting point for this new course. Because lists have a fabulous way of bringing clarity and focus.

I created a couple of other lists, added some gorgeous goal-setting templates, and then creating a few ways to commit to goals over the coming months. I wrote the workbook and went through it myself, adding details and amending as I went.

Focusing on writing this course meant I had to stop blogging, which I’d somehow managed to do weekly. It meant I could only write down the other ideas coming to me. And I had to accept that I’d only post occasionally on my Instagram feed while I was finishing it up.

Because deciding what we don’t do is just as important as committing to the things we want to achieve.

And now, my friends, it’s ready.

The Create Your Mini Business Plan course is here, and has an optional coaching session you can add at a very special price. It’s an inspiring and actionable guide to prioritising your to-do list and taking your business to the next level.

Check it out here.

There are some exciting bonuses, and tons of email support. Because I know it’s easy to sign up for something and then kind of let it slide.

A freebie

One of the bonuses is a COVID-19 Special Edition Workbook. I shared this over on my Instagram stories while I was writing it, and a quick poll suggested that it would be handy even if you didn’t sign up for the course. So if you’d like the free workbook without signing up for the course, it’s right here:

Whether you sign up for the course or not, you can always make your More / Less list and take it from there. You’d be surprised by how this simple list can show you what you really need.

And of course, I’d love to hear from you if you do!

15 things for 15 minutes: shift your energy, boost your business!

We all have moments, days (weeks?) when we struggle to show up for our goals and vision.

Sometimes we have to trick our imposter syndrome or our inner critic so they don’t notice us side-stepping them and playing bigger.

Sometimes we have to gently encourage ourselves to form new habits or do the things we need to do, but don’t particularly want to do.

Sometimes we need some practical inspiration and suggestions for things that will actually move us forward in the direction we want to go.

That’s what I’m sharing today: my list of things you can spend 15 minutes on that really benefit your mood, and therefore your business (and sometimes the other way around!).

You can read on for my tips, but I also really encourage you to write your own list.

Use the timer on your phone and stop when the alarm goes off.

  1. Tidy up. Whether it’s your desk, your workspace, your entranceway, your bag, just set a timer and go. (I hate tidying up but it ALWAYS makes me feel better.)
  2. Write down your strengths. Go for the whole 15 minutes, and keep your hand moving. You’ll feel better for it at the end. (And it might even spark some big business ideas.)
  3. Write down all your worries. As above, but maybe burn it or do something about it at the end. Either way, get it out of your head and remove your blocks.
  4. Go for a walk. Even if it’s just up and down your own garden or around the block a couple of times. 15 minutes. In nature. Go.
  5. Find out your bestsellers. Not what you think are your bestsellers. Check the numbers: highest units sold, but also which item made you the most money? Knowledge is power.
  6. Look at your website traffic. Where are people finding you? If you don’t know how to track your traffic, spend 15 minutes finding out.
  7. Put your prices up. Or at least start to run the numbers. Around 70% of my clients have needed to put their prices up by 20% to actually make a profit or take a salary for themselves. Chances are you need to do the same.
  8. Write a newsletter. If you have an email list and haven’t sent an email for a month or more, JUST EMAIL THE PEOPLE. You don’t need a 10-part email strategy, just send some nice photos and words.
  9. Brainstorm or research a new project or product.
  10. Do your bookkeeping. Little and often is the way forward! If you don’t have bookkeeping software, research it. It’ll make your life easier next time.
  11. Look at your website’s homepage. Tweak, update, edit, or write a bigger plan to do so.
  12. Look at your long-term business goals. Or write down three things you’d like to achieve in the next 12 months. Get inspired by them!
  13. Meditate. Find a guided meditation on an app (I like Insight Timer), or put on some relaxing music and breathe for 15 minutes. You won’t regret it.
  14. Write a pitch. Maybe you want to appear on a podcast or you’d like to write a guest blog or appear in a magazine. Start writing to the relevant people. (Tip: I love Tiffany Han’s 100 Rejection Letters project for this.)
  15. Analyse your to-do list. What’s bringing in money? What’s fun? What’s future-focused? What’s a quick win? Now cross out anything that doesn’t move your business forward, that’s a nice idea but getting in the way of your focus. (We do this every month in Progress not Perfection. It’s a learned skill.)

If you need a more personal or a deeper to-do list, if you want to shift those worries and blocks, you might like to consider business mentoring and coaching with me. I have two spots open right now, and you can get in touch to set up a free consultation to find out if we’re a good fit.

Or for more free resources, check out my 20 favourite business coaching questions and go deeper!

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