A couple of weeks ago I hosted a Virtual Planning Workshop for seven wholehearted women, sharing my favourite “tried and tested” tools that I use for creating focus and flow in my own business.
It was the first time I had created a workshop in that format – a mixture of live teaching and tangible examples from my own plan followed by a 30-minute pause where the participants went off and took action on what they had learned before returning for the next session.
It worked beautifully – a really hands-on create it as you go experience, though of course there is always more work to be done at the end to truly polish a plan!
But one thing became really clear as we worked through the materials. Exactly the same thing that had become clear to me when I was creating my own plan in the weeks prior to the workshop.
A key part of planning is letting go.
Letting go of the belief that you need to create and implement everything you’ve been thinking about.
The belief that you can actually do it all, and do it all well.
The belief that it is somehow better to at least try and do it all, because amongst all that busyness and activity something perfect just might emerge.
Honestly it’s not.
I truly believe that it is better to pause and look at your big picture plan and then gently cut it back.
It is much, much better to give yourself breathing space.
It’s better for your creativity, your energy and your productivity.
And it is also much better for your audience and clients.
Trust me on this one.
In 18 years of business I have not only learned this lesson myself (the hard way, the burn myself out drive me crazy and overwhelm others way) but I have also seen my husband, colleagues and clients learn this lesson in various ways, both excruciatingly painfully and inspiringly gracefully.
And so I am highly motivated to save you a good deal of time, energy and perhaps even a trip down the pathway of self-doubt (because you know how hard you can be on yourself when things just don’t turn out quite the way you intended them too!).
It’s time to cut back
Pause and take a look at what you have planned for the next quarter, the next year, with fresh eyes.
Take a good look and choose what you can let go of.
- What can you cut back?
- Where might you be scattering your energy or fragmenting your attention?
- Where are you, when you are honest about your commitments outside of your business, taking on too much?
- Where are the “I could’s or I should’s” that you know don’t belong?
- Look at each idea, event, product, program, and activity.
- Does it truly excite you?
- Does your heart beat a little faster when you imagine bringing this idea to life, developing this project, delivering this program?
- Is it in your zone of genius?
- Is it something that you really truly feel will be a wonderful and valuable experience for your clients?
- Is there breathing space in your schedule, time and space for you to craft, create and launch your ideas without them treading on the toes of something else on your calendar?
- Are you planning to podcast, blab, tweet, pin, webinar, Telesummit, blog, video and so the list goes on just because you LOVE to market in this way or it is because think that’s what you need to do?
Are you feeling more than a little bit pressured?
Then let it go.
Just let it go. Pop it on the shelf for later. There is always next year.
Narrow your focus. Focus your attention and energy. I guarantee focus will lead to flow when you’re immersed in what you really want to do, especially when you’ve allowed yourself the space and grace to do something wholeheartedly.
Here are the two biggest things to consider.
Your Offer Staircase – what are the logical steps, services, products or progress you will take your clients through as you deepen their experience with you. Do you have a clear path? Does your plan reflect this journey? Or is there something that just doesn’t fit and is best popped onto that shelf for now?
Then think about your Marketing Megaphone – what is the core strategy, the really central, impactful activity that both leverages your unique skill set and that you feel great about implementing as you utilise it to increase your visibility so you can connect with your Most Aligned Clients.
Consider these to be the kindling that gets your visibility and client service fires started – you can always add more fuel later to keep them burning. But if you begin with too many heavy logs all you end up with is a lot of smoke but no flames!
That’s what the women who worked with me in the workshop discovered – that a simple, streamlined approach is far more doable, far more inspirational than a million and one goals, strategies and tactics.
That’s what I discovered when I took a second look at my plan for the year. The plan I had before I moved two potential new programs into the new year, and chose to fully focus on my Business Masterminds and Business Retreats. The plan I had before I decided that Podcasting is my Marketing Megaphone.
A plan that makes me feel light, excited and truly in focus and flow.
Thanks to the art of letting go.
And so I encourage you to give this approach a try.
I bet you’ll find it every bit as delicious as I did.