Before we dive into all the fun strategies, I urge you to get super clear on what you’re trying to achieve.
Saying ‘I want to make money’, or even ‘I want to make enough money to travel the world or look after my aging parents’ is not specific enough and certainly doesn’t fill you with the passion and grit needed to start and run any type of business.
If you are totally clear on exactly what you want, when you want it and how you’re going to get it, feel free to skip this part, but if your future is still a bit hazy and you know you want to make big changes and create something amazing but you haven’t really thought through precisely what you’re looking for or how it’s all going to play out logistically, then please read on.
I want you to imagine you’re going on an exploratory road trip. You have a rough idea of which direction you’re headed, but you have no idea how you’re going to get there and you have no real deadline for ending your trip. You’ll just see where the wind takes you!
Your bags are packed, you’ve said your goodbyes and the car engine is humming outside.
With your trusty roadmap and GPS, you set off on your adventure, not really knowing where you’re going or where you’ll end up. EXCITING!!!
(Pretty much sounds like my idea of heaven by the way).
Or not. Perhaps it’s not exciting at all. In fact it’s more likely to be terrifying and you may find yourself returning home within an hour because you just have absolutely no idea where you’re going or what you’re doing.
Now imagine you’re going on the same road trip, but this time you know the exact location of your final destination and you know what day you want to be there by.
You’ll still see plenty of sites on route, but now you have a very fixed direction and time scale.
Instead of just drifting and waxing and waning, taking your own sweet time and letting fate play a role in your destiny, you have an organised clear plan of where you need to go each day, how long you can spend there and when you need to be on the road again to meet your deadline.
(Meet my husband!)
Well, it’s the same way in your business.
If you don’t have a clear picture of what you want your life and your business to look like in say 1 / 3 / 5 years from now, how can you ever really know where you’re going?
You’ll drift. You’ll wax and wane. You’ll jump from one opportunity to another and you’ll feel like you’re on the road to nowhere.
‘How can you determine your direction, if you don’t know your destination?’
A recent customer survey told me that the main things holding people back from going for their dreams was a lack of focus, clarity & direction. Many just don’t know where to start!
I know this may sound kooky, but you have to start with the end in mind.
If you’re currently in the land of overwhelm, procrastination, lack of purpose & frustration, it’s probably because you don’t really know where you want to go or where you want to end up.
If on the other hand you’d like to wake up every morning knowing exactly what you need to do and with true PURPOSE. Feeling excited and motivated & determined to get the absolute best out of the day ahead because you KNOW it’s going to take you closer to your goals; then you must create a crystal clear vision of where you want to be in a determined time frame.
So how do you do it?
A caveat – What I am about to describe may possibly sound a little bit woo woo, a bit fluffy, and you might be chomping at the bit to get going, which is why I suggest spending no more than a day doing the following steps.
But I can’t tell you how effective this actually is if done properly, made visible and regularly reviewed! (That’s the secret).
Find an inspiring space to sit with a pen & paper or your computer with the wifi turned off and all browsers closed. Turn your phone off also.
Seriously, if you’re serious about building your ideal lifestyle business, then take the process seriously and don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Seriously. :)
Before we wind the clocks forward, if you really have no idea what business to start, start by asking yourself;
What do you love to do?
What do you love to talk about?
What captures your interest on a daily basis?
What do you day dream about?
What did you dream about when you were younger that you’ve perhaps closed a door on because you never thought it was possible?
What’s a skill you’ve always wanted to learn?
What frustrates you in your daily life that you wish there was a solution for?
What have you done in your career that you’d like to develop on your own terms?
What problems do you see friends, family, colleagues having that require a solution?
What hobbies do you have that could be turned into a business?
Try not to overthink it.
The goal here is to build a business doing something you enjoy!
So once you have some ideas, now give some thought to your personality traits;
Are you an outgoing face of the business type of person?
Are you more introverted and would rather stay behind the scenes?
Are you more of a creative and love to create content or graphics or design?
Do you love to write, speak, make videos?
Do you love numbers and logic and measuring results?
Do you enjoy being given clear directions and creating awesome work for others?
Do you enjoy total autonomy and working on your own?
Being aware of your strengths and the type of person you are will help you to determine which business type you’d like to pursue.
For example, numbers, logic and measuring results lends itself to an ecommerce business or running an Ads agency perhaps.
An extroverted outgoing personality lends itself to an influencer style business model. A creative lends itself to a service based model, etc.
If you still have absolutely no clue what you want to do, that’s ok, but you need to do something.
It’s taken me years to get super clear on my ultimate outcome, but I’d never have achieved that clarity if I hadn’t take the action I’ve taken over the last 10 years.
Check out my Make It Happen Monday Episode – What to do when you don’t know what to do
Also have a listen to a podcast I recorded in response to a lady called Sarah who emailed me to ask this exact question ‘What business should I start?’ – What Business Should I Start?
So armed with a semblance of what lifestyle business you’d like to start & grow (we’ll attempt to refine further tomorrow), imagine you have fast forwarded by precisely 12 months. It’s whatever date it is today 1 year from now.
In your ideal scenario having just spent 12 months building your lifestyle business;
Where are you?
Who are you with?
What are you doing?
What are you reflecting on?
How did your year go?
What are you proud of?
What did you learn?
What did you achieve?
What breakthroughs did you have?
How has your life changed?
How has building your lifestyle business over the last year impacted your life?
What are you looking forward to in the next year?
Be specific! Really place yourself there and imagine everything as if it’s already happened through the year.
Don’t just say “I grew my blog”, say, “I now have 50,000 visits a month to my blog“.
Don’t just say “I finally started to make money” say “I’m generating $3000 a month in my business“.
The more granular you can get and really see it in your mind, the more excited your vision will make you and the more emotion you can attach to the outcome, the more likely you’ll do what it takes to get there!
Here’s how I started mine for year ending 2020;
It’s 5am on 31st December 2020. I’m 48 years old and I’m sitting at the desk of my plush room at the Bellagio in Vegas.
Rhett & Cerys are asleep.
Shortly Rhett & I will go out for a big walk up and down the strip and stop for tea at Starbucks up near Trump Towers.
Tonight we will celebrate NYE along the strip with all the other revelers. Apparently it’s car free, there are fireworks everywhere and it’s going to be amazing!
I then go on to talk about how the year went, what I was proud of, what happened in our life, what happened in my business, where my business is now, how many are in my FB community, on my email list, visits to my blog etc etc.
It’s very detailed.
So get down and deep my friend, no-one else has to see it, this is just for you, so dream as big as you want to, but really feel, as you’re dreaming and writing, how you might feel if you had truly achieved what you’re writing down.
Now write out why.
Why is this vision important to you?
What will it mean to you if you achieve your goals or are at least on route to achieving them?
What happens in your life if you have actually started this journey, created momentum and are loving it!!!?
When I read my why statement it brings tears to my eyes. As with your vision, the more emotive you can make this, the stronger your motivation will be!
By having a clear vision and a clear reason why, on the days you struggle, and there will be days like that, many of them, you won’t spend hours wondering why you started down this darn path in the first place.
You won’t start second guessing yourself, or asking yourself if you took the right direction.
You’ll just read your vision and your why and you’ll know you’re doing the right thing, it’s just self doubt and fear seeping in, which you can whack over the head with your why statement and tell them to bugger off! 😁
Turn your vision and your why into pictures, posters, inspirational messages, however you feel is the best way to make it visual so that you look at it every day!
You may want to keep it just to yourself, I get that, so write it out into your Evernote or notes app and have it handy to open every morning and read when you wake.
Or you may be doing this as a couple or a family and want to make it big and bold so create a picture wall as myself and my daughter did one year.
Print out pictures that represent your dreams and stick them on the wall.
Keep it simple, do it fast, don’t let it drag out for days never getting round to it. Just get your dream and goals visual so you can remind yourself every single day where you’re going and feel that excitement!
Read them every day! This is so important. Remind yourself every single day where you’re going and why you’re going there.
The brain is a super powerful machine and I have no idea how it works, all I know is that if you fuel it with the right messages every single day it has an uncanny ability to support you in your mission!
Ok let’s get specific about your business. Tomorrow we’re going to be looking at what business you’re in, but for now I’d like you to take some time to think about the purpose of your business.
What is the purpose of your business?
What is the absolute biggest thing you want to achieve with your business and I urge you to look outside of yourself for this answer.
Richard Branson once said “I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off not doing it.”
Walt Disney’s purpose was to “Make People Happy”.
Steve Jobs purpose was to “Make innovative, robust and beautiful products that delighted customers”
My purpose is to “Help lifestyle entrepreneurs achieve total physical & financial freedom.”
What’s Your Purpose?
Simon Sineks ‘Start with Why’ ted talk will help with this exercise.
Take time out to think about your core values, (in other words what do you stand for), that will stand the test of time, no matter what happens to the market!
These are the underlying principles of your business that will remain forever unchanging and will speak to your market over and above any product campaigns or promotions you do.
Here’s a screenshot of Gary Vee’s I took a while back;
My core values include;
Grab life by the balls (energy & passion)
Make your own rules
Live for now
Pretty much everything I talk about includes one or more of those values and I try to live my life by those same values every single day.
What are your core personal and business values?
Write down your BHAG! (Big Hairy Audacious Goal!)
What is your ‘absolutely out there, HUMONGOUS goal or goals’ for your business and life!
What makes you really excited but also scares the beejeebies out of you at the same time!!!
Personal confession, as I write this post, just yesterday I had a tearful moment with my partner over my morning cuppa, because I’m so scared by my goals I had a moment of huge self doubt!
But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day so what may scare you today, a year from now with progress, momentum, some new skills, new connections etc., may not seem so scary.
So by all means frighten the life out of yourself but then remember to focus on the process not the end goal or you’ll never do anything!
But you know what to do with your BHAG right?
Yep, put it somewhere you can see it or catch sight of it every day so you can remind yourself where you’re going.
Lastly at the end of a productive, emotional and exciting day, allow yourself to push aside the fear, the knowledge of how hard you will have to work to make this a reality and the fact that you are probably about to push yourself so far outside of your comfort zone you will never return, let your mind wonder into dream mode and Get Excited!!!
You’re about to embark on a journey which can give you ultimate freedom in life.
The freedom to work from anywhere in the world, whether that be your kitchen table or a beach in Fiji.
The freedom to do what you love to do every single day.
The freedom to have an impact and make a difference to your friends, your family & to the greater good.
The freedom of choice! You choose when you work; who you work with; how hard you work; whether you work in PJ’s, a bikini or a suit is entirely up to you and you alone. You will have more passion and energy than ever before because this is your dream, your goal and you are the master of your own destiny.
Have fun my friend and let’s make it happen!