How I Start And Finish My Working Day

How I Start And Finish My Working Day

Any ritual is an opportunity for transformation. To do a ritual, you must be willing to be transformed in some way. The inner willingness is what makes the ritual come alive and have power. If you aren’t willing to be changed by the ritual, don’t do it.” 

~ Starhawk

In this article, I want to share with you two daily rituals I use to have a more productive and sane working day and to switch off completely after my working day is over. These are my Start of Day Ritual and my Shutdown Ritual. Read on for all the details.

I’ve tried all of the things when it comes to feeling organised and on top of my ever expanding to do list. You name the tool and I’ve tried it, Things, Todoist, Trello, Asana and the list goes on! More recently I reverted back to good old pen and paper in collaboration, of course, with my online calendar. I’ve been using this system for some time now and it’s working well for me.

Start of Day Ritual

Every morning after my morning ritual (which consists of journaling, exercise, breakfast and shower), I sit down at my desk and begin my Start of Day Ritual.

Step 1:

I review my agenda for the day. I use Google Calendar and use colour to differentiate between different entries. For example, red refers to paid offerings like client sessions or group program live calls, purple refers to content creation, orange is lead generation and yellow is breaks. To see an example day in my schedule, see the image below.

As I review, I allow myself to feel positive feelings towards each activity. This might look like expressing gratitude or taking time to consider what I enjoy about each activity.

This is especially important for those things that I don’t feel particularly excited by, like admin or sometimes even my content creation (gasp!). But taking the time to lean into appreciation as well as review what’s on the agenda for the day helps me to feel more connected with the day ahead and avoids any last minute surprises.

Step 2:

Once I’ve completed step 1, I head to my paper planner, which is simply a day per page diary and I write out (or review) my three most important tasks for the day (if I haven’t done it the night before).

The key here is to choose no more than 3 tasks. The reason for this is to avoid overwhelm and to set up my day to have easy wins. I can usually manage 3 tasks each day, as long as they are tasks that have been broken down into manageable chunks, which means a real sense of achievement as I tick each task off.

When we constantly work from a long and overwhelming to do list, we miss out on the sense of achievement or the feeling of pride we feel when we can mark a task complete and know that we did everything we set out to do for the day.

Some clients of mine worry that 3 things is not enough to keep up with everything they have to do. That’s fine. Once you’ve completed your 3 things for the day, if there is still more time and more things to do simply add them to your list for the day. But remember no more than 3 things at any given time!

See below to see what this looks like in practice.

Step 3:

I schedule anything on my to do list for the day (from the THREE things!) into any free spaces on my google calendar. If there is no space, then I have to adjust my expectations of what I can get done that day. Or move things around, if there is something I absolutely must get done. The key is that what’s on my list and what time and space I have available are aligned.

Once all 3 of those steps are complete, I feel ready and prepared for the day ahead.

Shutdown ritual

At the end of the day I have another ritual to close my working day. I first heard of this concept from a book I love called Deep Work by Cal Newport. Using his suggestion, I’ve created my own shutdown ritual.

Step 1:

Take a final look at my email inbox to ensure that there is nothing requiring an urgent response before the day ends and to file in the relevant folder (or archive) any emails I’ve already dealt with.

Step 2:

Transfer any new tasks that are on my mind into my master to do list in my paper planner. I keep my master to do list on several pages I have allocated at the front of my paper planner. If there is anything that has a specific deadline which isn’t the following day I will create a task in my google calendar with a date and time so that it doesn’t get missed.

Step 3:

Review my task lists and calendar to ensure nothing urgent is coming up that I’ve forgotten about.

Step 4:

If there is anything I absolutely must do the next day I write it in my day planner, in my list of 3 tasks for the next day.

Step 5:

Tidy my desk, shut down my laptop, leave my keyboard/mouse charging and last but not least I lock my office (my three year old likes to sneak in there when nobody is looking to mess with my pens and papers!).

Step 6:

Finish the ritual by saying “shutdown complete” and go to hang out with my family, free from any niggly work concerns.

And there you have it two simple and fairly quick (neither takes more than 20 minutes) rituals I perform on a daily basis to keep myself organised and on top of my workload. Do you have a ritual or routine you use to start or end your working day? If so I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below.



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Five Possible Reasons For Your Failed Launch

Five Possible Reasons For Your Failed Launch

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
~ Henry Ford

In this blog, I want to talk about launching. Not how to launch, I have a workshop coming up on that. I’d like to shed some light on the possible reasons why launching may not have worked for you in the past. Either in that not enough people signed up for your offering or nobody at all did.

I believe there are 5 possible reasons a launch wouldn’t get the results you were hoping for or expecting.

1. What you offered wasn’t something your people wanted or needed

This happens when we create something we think our people need but we do so without consulting them about it first. I see this time and time again, business owners creating what their would-be clients need without taking the time to figure out what they actually want. Doing some simple audience research can solve this problem.

This could be in-depth audience research calls to find out what people need from you. I wrote a whole post on my approach to these calls here. If you are worried that asking what your people want won’t get the results you were hoping for I have something you can do instead. Instead of asking open-ended questions about what your people need support with, instead create a rough outline of thing you want to launch and then run it by some of the people in your audience who you think might be a fit. If they are willing, jump on a call and ask what you could do to make it a no-brainer for them to join. This is exactly how my yearlong mastermind got started.

If what you are offering doesn’t warrant a load of in-depth calls (because it’s a low-cost offering). it could be a simple post to say I’m thinking of launching this thing, what do you think?

My usual rule of thumb is to not launch anything unless I can think of 10 actual people in my audience who I believe would be a fit for what I’m launching.

2. You didn’t communicate the offering in a way that landed

Sometimes we spend so much of our care and attention on creating the thing we’re trying to sell that we have little left to give when it comes to the marketing. How we communicate our offering is crucial to the success of our launch.

Often people leave one of two things out of their communication. The problem itself — i.e. the problem your offering solves for people (pro tip: if it doesn’t solve a problem, you’ll have a hard time selling it) OR what life will be like after the problem is solved. Tad Hargrave refers to this as Island A and Island B. Island A being where you’re would-be customers or clients currently are and Island B being where they want to get to. Your product or service is what will get them from A to B.

It’s important that you include details of both of these in your launch communications.

It’s also here that we want to make sure that we are not pitching an offering that focuses on what people need versus what they want.

I often use the example here of a relationship coach. If someone is single and in search of their soulmate, even though you might know that what they need is to focus on loving themselves, marketing your offering in this way is unlikely to get you clients. A great example of this is the book “Calling In The One” which is marketed as a book to help you attract your soulmate, but the content of the book is very much focused on self-love and creating your best life.

3. Not enough people saw your launch announcements

This is very common with my clients. because most people have small audiences and at the same time a fear of bothering people, meaning they put 1 or 2 announcements out and hope for the best. It is possible to have a successful launch without bombarding people but that also gets the message out there.

In order to maximise your chances of having a successful launch it is crucial that you are marketing your offer effectively. I offer a 3-part strategy to maximise visibility of content which is to create (make valuable content), repurpose (re-share that content in as places as possible) and promote (use paid promotion on social media) to make sure your people see it. If you are just creating and publishing once, you are really missing a trick.

It’s also important to note that most people buy at the beginning and the end of a launch. Often if we get few or no sales at the start of the launch, then nothing in the middle, so we give up and don’t bother to let people know that our launch is ending. I’ve consistently found that at least 50% of my sales come from my “final call” emails and posts on social media, which typically go out 24 hours before the deadline to buy. It’s important that your marketing efforts don’t peter out because you’re feeling low about the numbers.

Another way to solve this issue is to make personal 1:1 invitations to people in your audience who you believe would be a fit. That way you can be sure they know that you having something on offer and you’re not solely relying on your marketing copy.

4. You’re heart isn’t in it

This can happen when we’re launching something because we feel we should be launching something. Perhaps we are launching something we think can make us money rather than the thing we really want to be doing or we don’t want to be in launch mode right now but money is tight and so we do it anyway. Whatever the reason, our energy is off and we’re showing up to our launch in a way that doesn’t serve the goal.

It may sound a bit woo, but so much of success in business, as I see it, comes down to energy and intention. I wrote a whole piece on this which you can read here.

Or perhaps we love our product or service and feel very excited about it but our heart isn’t in the marketing. We have a lot of bad feelings about “launching” or selling and because of that we just don’t do it in a way that supports our launch goals. This is common if you’ve been trying to sell or launch the “conventional” way but if you can reframe how you think about marketing and selling, you might be surprised how much you can come to enjoy it.

5. Your audience is too small

I’ve had many clients complain to me that they only got 3 or 4 people from their launch but when we analyse the numbers that’s actually a great number for their size of audience.

Allow me to share with you some math.

Let’s say you have an email list of 100 people and an open rate of 50% (which is high). That means that 50 people have read your launch email.

Of those 50 subscribers, it’s said that on average 2.91% will actually click through to the sales page for more information. This equates to 1.4 people who have actually bothered to head over to your sales page. Of those the average sales page conversion rate (according to my research on google) is 2.4%.

2.4% of 1.4 people is: 0.0336.

Which means if you got 1–3 sales from a list of 100 people you should be celebrating big time!! And if you got zero sales, that’s exactly to be expected.

Does that mean we shouldn’t bother if our audience is small? No of course not, it just means we have to adjust our definition of success and build in strategies that get our offer in front of people outside of our own audience.

My hope is that if you’ve had a failed launch in the past, that reading these 5 possible reasons gives you some hope that your next launch could be different.

Introducing Loving Launches

On Friday 21st July at 5pm CEST, I’ll be kicking off a workshop series on how to execute loving launches. The idea being that launching needn’t be painful for you or your audience and can actually be something you and your audience look forward to.

I’m running this in July so that you can feel ready and prepared to launch in September/October time should you be planning to do so.

In this class I’ll teach:

  • How to reframe your launches from painful to joyful.
  • How to be strategic in your launch rather than throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping for the best.
  • 9 big launch ideas
  • A 6-step strategy for launching
  • Different types of launch content you can use in your loving launches
  • And I’ll also share a ton of templates and planning tools (as usual :))

If you know you want in, click here to register.

3 Ways To Conduct More Loving Launches

3 Ways To Conduct More Loving Launches

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”
~ Nicholas Sparks

You’ve likely been on the receiving end of an annoying and spammy launch or two. You know the type, where we’re bombarded by emails laden with manipulation, using all the tricks in the book to get us to BUY NOW. Countdown timers, time related bonuses, language that plays on our fear of missing out, to name just a few of the tactics many online businesses employ to leave us feeling anxious and reaching for our credit card.

If you’ve ever felt stressed by someone else’s launch or anxious because you feel torn about whether or not you really need what’s being sold, then for sure you’ve been on the receiving end of some sort of launch manipulation.

Early on in my business, I noticed not only how stressed I felt by other people’s launches but also how uncomfortable I felt about running my own. I followed the mainstream advice about launching and it felt unnatural and icky to me. Did I make sales? Sure but I didn’t feel good doing it. Since then I’ve learned that it’s not only possible to feel good about launching but for it to feel good for your audience too.

A few years ago after experimenting in my own business and watching how some of my more ethical business mentors were launching, I came up with the concept of Loving Launches, which I’ve since taught to countless clients and mastermind participants. The main idea behind this approach is that your launches can feel loving to those on the receiving end of your launch materials and can therefore also feel good for you to execute.

I’d like to share with you 3 easy and practical ways to make your launches more loving.

1. Separate out your content and your sales copy

This is a big one and warrants some explanation.

Often what we see online is a manipulative blend of content (designed to appear useful) and the sales pitch (woven into the content). See below for an example of a launch email you could quite easily receive:

Subject: How to execute more loving launches

Email body: A load of description of the problem, much like the 3 paragraphs preceding point 1 of this email. But instead of actually giving you any information on how to conduct loving launches, it would instead segue into a sales pitch about a workshop or program where you could get this information.

See how the subject line draws you in because it looks like you are going to get some useful and practical information?

And then to really get you hooked, it digs into your pain points? But instead of giving you any practical advice to alleviate that pain, it simply points you to a sales page where you can buy or enrol in something that will alleviate that pain. The solution, it turns out, sits behind a paywall. 

To put it simply, this sucks. I really dislike this practice. Primarily because it’s manipulative and dishonest but also because it wastes our time. As someone who is busy, when I open an email expecting to get something of value and instead get sold to, I feel totally duped. It damages my relationship with the business and over time makes me less likely to open future emails.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I invite you to pay attention to the emails you are receiving from mailing lists you are subscribed to. Notice if you see a subject line and think “oh that sounds like it will be useful to read”, only to feel disappointed when you do read it because it made it sound like you were going to get an answer to a problem you have, but the contents of the email only hint at the solution and then invite you into some pricey program or course in which you’ll learn the answer for real. That’s what I’m talking about here.

What to do instead:

What I like to do instead is to make my content and my sales copy distinct so that someone can read my content and get value from it whether or not they choose to buy whatever it is that I may be selling at the time. Why do I do this? Because it lights me up to be of service and it develops meaningful trust over the long term between me and my audience, which is essential to future sales. If you want to read more about how I make my content more effective click here.

How does this work in practice?

Instead of combining your content and sales pitch, separate them out. So for example, when announcing your new product or service, announce it with a sales email solely dedicated to the sale of your offering, making it super clear in the subject line that, that is what you are doing. See below for an example from my own business:

When I was launching a workshop, I sent the following email announcement:

Subject line: Book Your Spot on My Upcoming Client Creation Workshop — Notice how clear it is that I am selling something? There’s no hook to draw people in, I make it clear I’m selling something before you even open the email — yet when I do this my open rate is usually a touch higher than when I’m not specifically selling something. (I’ll let you in on a secret — people want to know what you have to offer!)

If you want to see exactly what that sales email contained — click here — essentially it reads like a mini sales page because that’s what it is — a sales letter.

No manipulation here. Just a simple and transparent invitation to book a spot on my upcoming workshop. If you already know you don’t want, or can’t afford, to attend a workshop, you don’t even have to open the email.

Following this email, I did put reminders at the bottom of future e-letters, but I still kept it separate from the (hopefully) valuable content I was providing. I do this so that the email has value for the reader whether or not they are interested in what I am launching.

Another example is this blog post, I have a CTA at the bottom for my Loving Launches Workshop but I’ve hopefully given you enough value in this piece to make it worth a read, regardless of if you sign up. 

2. Allow people to opt out

This isn’t necessary for a small, say 2-week launch where you’re only going to send maybe one or two more emails than usual but if you are doing a big launch where you might be sending a larger number of sales emails over a 6–12 week period then, I would also recommend giving people the option to opt out up front

This is where you provide a link for people to click to opt out of sales emails while staying on your main mailing list.

It always surprises me that more people don’t do this because it’s a such win-win. First of all you empower your subscribers to opt-out of your sales emails if they already know that they don’t want to buy your new offering and it also minimises the amount of unsubscribes you might otherwise get from your mailing list from people who don’t want to hear about something they are not interested in.

I first saw this approach from from fellow ethical business coach, Mark Silver of Heart of Business. He always includes a link at the top of launch emails to give people the option to stay on his email list but not receive sales emails. See the image below for an example.

It’s super easy to do in the back end of your mailing service provider and really frees you up to share about your new offering with the people who want to know about it, without worrying about annoying those that aren’t interested.

3. Sell the concept not the product

This is one I learned from ethical marketer, Tad Hargrave, as I observed and analysed a number of his launches.

In traditional launches, what we usually see is a bombardment of information about what makes *this* offering so great. We’ll likely see a ton of information about the benefits and features of doing *this* program or course and countless details about how you won’t necessarily find the same information elsewhere.

In typical launches, the business owner is doing a hard sell on the product. Why you should buy it and what makes it so special and irresistible.

When you sell the concept, you share a lot of information about the subject of your offering rather than the offering itself. So if, for example, you are selling a program about embodied movement, rather than constantly talking about why your embodiment program is so great, you would instead talk about why embodiment, in general, is so great for people.

You would use your launch content to educate people about embodiment and why it’s important and share useful and practical information on how to be more embodied in your life. And you needn’t worry about it harming sales either. Many people think if they give away too much of the good stuff in their free content, that people won’t then go on to buy the course or program on offer. This has not been my experience.

Because here’s the thing. People don’t take your program or course because they want more information. They sign up to work with you because they want the personal hand-holding or accountability that comes from getting the information packaged in a certain way. If it’s a high-touch program, then they’re signing up because they want greater access to you.

This is great news because it means you can feel free to generously share useful information about your subject-area without worrying that it will harm sales of your product or service.

So there you have it, 3 ways to make your launch more loving for you and your audience. Please let me know in the comments if you found this information useful.

Introducing Loving Launches

On Friday 21st July at 5pm CEST, I’ll be kicking off a workshop series on how to execute loving launches. The idea being that launching needn’t be painful for you or your audience and can actually be something you and your audience look forward to.

I’m running this in July so that you can feel ready and prepared to launch in September/October time should you be planning to do so.

In this class I’ll teach:

  • How to reframe your launches from painful to joyful.
  • How to be strategic in your launch rather than throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping for the best.
  • 9 big launch ideas
  • A 6-step strategy for launching
  • Different types of launch content you can use in your loving launches
  • And I’ll also share a ton of templates and planning tools (as usual :))

If you know you want in, click here to register.