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The one thing even smart business owners continue to get wrong

A few weeks ago, I was in one of the small groups of clients I’m working with right now, and something happened that stopped me in my tracks. When it happened, I knew I had to share it, because it’s something that we all get wrong. And if nobody points it out, we do it over and over. It keeps us stuck

Hear it on the Podcast

First, here’s what happened:

And as part of the support for our Reliable Revenue program, I work on strategy with a small group of Reliable Revenue students. We work together for 6 weeks, and at the end, the students in this small group have created a Strategic Plan for their store. 

When we’re creating our plans, we use the same process and a Strategic Planning document that I’ve been using for years. It’s how I create my own strategic plan.
I’ve been creating my Strategic Plans this way for many years. It’s transformed the way I operate as a business owner, and as a result, my business has grown by leaps and bounds.

 I’ve developed good focus, and referring back to my Strategic Planning document is the reason for my focus and consistency. It keeps me on track, and I accomplish more.

The Strategic Planning process is effective because it requires you to focus on outcomes, and the document is the tool I use to stay on track.

This work is important for all store owners, but it’s even more critical for 6 and 7 figure store owners. I use this Strategic Planning process with the members of my Mastermind Accelerator group to make sure that they stay on track to reach their goals every year. If you’ve been looking for a place to learn and collaborate with others that are in a similar stage of business, you might want to join us. We accept new members twice a year. Get more information here:

When I was working with this small group of motivated, and smart business owners, one at a time, I asked them to tell me about the “current status” of their business. 

One after another, they gave me a laundry list of all the things they’re doing. Things like; they have a brick and mortar shop, but they also sell on Etsy, and they also have an online store, and they sell on Amazon, and they do some in-person events.

And that led them to “who” is doing “what” and, who’s doing the social media and all the things they have to give the social media person, and it went on and on. Everyone was doing so many things.

One by one, these smart and motivated store owners used a laundry list of all the things they were doing to tell me the “current status” of their business. 

And then I asked this simple question:
What is your vision for the next 12 months? 

Guess what? It was more the same, a laundry list of all the things they wanted to do. 

Someone was adding a new product line. Somebody else wanted to rebrand, another wanted to start a second subscription, somebody wanted to start a festival in their town.

I forgot how that used to be. Sitting there listening to these people spill out all the things that they were doing and all the things that they wanted to do, a lightbulb went off, and I thought, oh my gosh, I remember doing this. 

Everything in their “future vision” was a list of more things to do. 

And that right there is exactly why we’re all exhausted and overwhelmed.

We set goals that are “more things to do” as our goals, thinking it’s going to get us somewhere.

We all do this, and it’s what keeps us stuck.

Because we’re not actually even clear on where we want to go. 

You can’t be strategic if you don’t have clarity. You have to have clarity first.

Start here to get clarity on the current status of your business
Answer these questions: 

  1. What was your revenue for the past 12 months?
  2. What did you pay yourself in the last 12 months? 
  3. How many days and hours are you working each week?
  4. Are your books up to date?
  5. Is your business profitable?
  6. What’s working well in your business? (make a list)
  7. What’s not working well in your business? (make a list)

Write out your answers to each question. This is how you get clear on where you are right now.

When you have the answers to these questions, that’s the current status of your business. 

Start here to get clarity on your future vision

Evaluate  each of your answers to the current status questions, and ask yourself this question:
If I woke up a year from today,  how would my answer to this question have changed? 

Write out your answers. This is your “future vision”.

Notice that your answers are not more things to do, they’re the outcomes you want most.

Create your Strategic Plan

Once you’re clear on your current status and your future vision, your next steps are:

  • Prioritize your “future visions” in order of most important to least important.
  • Assess the “gap” that exists between each “current status” and “future vision”.
  • Make a list of projects that will “close the gap” between your current status and your future vision.

Your clarity on what you really want will make you go back, and look at that to-do list. 

You’ll assess it from a different perspective.

Look at your to-do list and ask yourself if the work you’re planning is going to get you to your “future vision”?  Is that work even aligned with your future vision?

If it is, that’s great, but if it’s not, then it’s a no. 

Give yourself permission to take it off your list and feel confident that you have a good reason.

If the work you’re doing is not aligned with your goals, why on earth are you doing it? 

When you have clarity, decision making becomes easier. You’ll experience less overwhelm and feel more confident that you are doing the work that will actually lead you to your goals.

Get my new course,  Conversion School for Free!

Learn our step by step process to grow your sales, without spending a

fortune on risky ad strategies, or discounting your products

The strategy you’ll learn in Conversion School works for Ecommerce stores at all stages. 

You'll use your store’s data, so if you’re starting out, you’ll learn how to get consistent sales. 

Established Store Owners will learn how to achieve significant sales growth every month.

What To Do When You’re Short Of Cash, Episode 222

What To Do When You’re Short Of Cash, Episode 222

No time to listen now? We'll send it to your inbox. No time to listen now? We'll send it to your inbox. or scroll down to get the highlightsMastering Cash Flow for Six and Seven-Figure Ecommerce Stores Before we dive in,...