If you’ve been following me for a while you may notice this post is on my Jo Barnes Online blog, not my Online Marketing Addicts blog.
This is because my business is expanding at a rate of knots at the moment and I was in danger of moving in the wrong direction, so I had to pull up sharply and reassess my goals.
You see it’s all too easy to just keep moving and doing without stopping for a moment to check you’re on the right track. Especially for someone like me who’s mantra to life is ‘Stop Thinking, Start Doing’.
Well every now and then you do need to stop and have a think. Not for too long mind! We don’t want to get lost in procrastination.
But we do need to check that what we’re doing is moving us closer to our goals and is in keeping with our values.
So for me, I was making the mistake of thinking short term and in great danger of losing sight of my overall business which I’ll explain more as we go through each lesson.
But for you, when was the last time you reassessed your business / direction? Too long ago right?
Let’s do it together now.
Just ask yourself these key questions and see what pops out!
Question 1 – What Does Your Life / Business Look Like 5, 10, 20 Years From Now?
I’ve always struggled a bit with this one.
‘Start with the end in mind’ is the mantra of successful entrepreneurs, but not all of us are gifted with that clarity of vision.
Now if you have no problem with this and can clearly visualise your business in 20 years from now, move on to Question 2.
If you’re having issues moving beyond a few months let alone years, try to stop focusing on what your business looks like and focus on your life.
I wrote a blog post about creating a vision for your business which you can read here – Create a Crystal Clear Vision for You / Your Business.
This was based on an exercise I did at the beginning of this year, looking only a year ahead.
However, when faced with the recent decision of how to take my business forward, I revisited that exercise and did it again, but this time I asked myself what I wanted my business and life to look like 20 years time.
I imagined both myself and my business that far into the future.
It was hugely powerful and gave me a much bigger view of what I wanted to achieve.
I will say this though. If you’re where I was when I got started and really can’t envisage your brand 20 years from now, get going anyway. I’ve had great success over the past 5 years despite my brand changes.
So don’t let it hold you up or back. As a good friend of mine has always said, get it going, then get it right.
Question 2 – Do You Know Your Market?
This is an oldie but a goodie!
It’s so important to know and understand who you’re trying to attract into your business.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to understand your audience is to write out a list of questions they might ask about your niche / business.
Think of as many as you possibly can. These questions will lead to blog posts, content, courses etc and will make up the crux of your business, after all that’s what we’re here to do, answer questions and solve problems!
Don’t worry if your audience evolves over time, that’s exactly what has happened to me and which is why I’ve had to change direction a couple of times.
As I have learned more about my market and what they want I’ve learned more about my message and how to convey it to them.
The key here though is specificity. The more specific you are about who your market is, the more of them you will reach!
Not sure how to define your market? Check out this post – Know Your Target Market Intimately
Question 3 – What Is It That You Really Do and Why Do You Do It?
This is obviously two separate questions, but I’ve put them together because it was these two questions that have really had the most impact on me recently and have led to the new direction of my business.
You see over the last 5 years I have been teaching online marketing strategies. That’s what I’ve been doing.
And I’ve been doing that to help people build better businesses which lead to better lives.
So there’s my what and my why.
But I never truly defined either of these to any great extent.
It’s only been through the help of a brand specialist (who I shall reveal at a later stage and even see if she’ll write a blog post for you as she’s fab!) that I’ve really stepped back and answered these questions.
What I do isn’t just teach online marketing strategies. I teach people how to create online businesses which can support a lifestyle of ultimate freedom and flexibility. I do it because I’m living proof that it can be done and I know first hand the quality of life it brings!
How much more passionate am I about helping someone to believe in themselves so much that they get out there and do what it takes than I am about helping someone to just create an ad campaign?
Oh yes, sooooooo much more passionate.
By defining what it is you really do and why you do it, you’ll not only get more passionate about it, but you’ll engage with your audience more clearly, you’ll understand your brand and business direction with more clarity and you’ll suddenly find it so much easier to deliver content and grow your business.
What seemed a struggle will now be infinitely easier because you’ve aligned with what it is you really want to do.
Before I really defined what I was trying to achieve I was going off in all different directions, which is a bit of a waste of time, effort, energy and money!
So ask yourself;
What do I really do? (What’s the end goal of my customers when working with me?)
Why do I do it? (What makes me super passionate about it?)
Question 4 – What’s Holding You Back?
Oooh, we’re really getting down and deep now!
Let me be totally open and honest with you here.
I’m capable of more than I have given over the last few years. I know I am, but just like everyone else in the world, silly self doubts, fears and moments of lack of confidence have stopped me from doing some of the things I want to.
We all have similar fears.
But sometimes even when you think you can’t, you just have to get out of your own way and do stuff anyway.
You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. – Matt Damon – We Built a Zoo
Moving out of your comfort zone and doing something that deep inside the echelons of your mind a little voice is telling you that you can’t do is bloody hard!
It’s so hard that it is without doubt the single biggest thing that holds people back from being who they can be and achieving all their goals and dreams and life.
A few years ago I watched an interview between Marie Forleo and Kris Carr author of Crazy Sexy Cancer Diet and Kris Carr said that her world & business changed when she finally found her voice.
What she meant by that is having the confidence to truly be you which is truly momentous because finding your voice is scary.
All of a sudden we’re opening ourselves up to judgement and ridicule.
But it’s the difference between accepting the status quo or taking the bold steps to make change happen in our lives.
Here’s a blog post with a great video which is well worth the time to watch – Are you holding yourself back?
I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t be scared of your voice. Celebrate your differences, your unique abilities.
Let the world know who you are and be bold in your endeavours.
I’m sure going to be!
Question 5 – What daily ritual can you put in place to move you to closer to your goals
We all set goals, we all do exercises like the ones we’re doing now, but then we get caught up in daily life and it all gets forgotten or pushed to the back of our minds.
The only route to success is to do a little every day that moves us closer to our goals.
For some it’s meditation, for some it’s exercise, for some it’s mantras.
What systems can you put in place to ensure that each and every day you think about what it is you’re trying to achieve?
Brian Tracy advocates writing out your goals every single day to keep them fresh in your mind.
For me, I have written out my ‘Why’s’ in an evernote document and every single morning without fail, I spend a few minutes reading, thinking and getting excited about those why’s.
Make sure you create your own daily ritual and stay strong and focused on your path to success.
So in summary reader, I’m more excited about my business now than I have been since I launched 5 years ago.
The rapid expansion of my business had left me feeling confused, but by revisiting these lessons I now have more clarity than I’ve had for a while.
I hope these questions help you the way they have helped me!
I’m living proof that you can have the lifestyle and freedom of your choosing and I intend to guide you, encourage you, support you, inspire you and show you step by step how you can have it too.
Have faith reader in yourself and your vision and what you want will show itself to you in time as long as you’re taking action and making things happen.
You are the master of your own destiny and you can do it!
Thanks for reading. I’d love hear from you below.
Speak again soon,