We are well into September and it’s precisely this time of year, as we near the end of quarter 3 and the start of 4, that I like to check in with my life and business to see if I’m on track to have the year I set out to have and more importantly to make sure that I am living the life, I want to live.
There are a few reasons I like to do this now. Firstly, the back-to-school vibe that’s in the air gives me renewed energy and excitement for the season ahead and also let’s be honest, trying to do our reviewing and planning in December (along with the holidays and all the stress that can bring) is sort of bonkers.
Instead, starting in September, I like to take my time and spend an hour here and there, looking at the big picture of my life and business with plenty of time before the holiday season hits. That way, when the year ends, writing up my goals and business plan for the year ahead is a pretty quick and simple task.
As I do this work, I thought it might be helpful to share with you what I’ve been up to.
Reviewing my offerings
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reviewing my business model and contemplating what, if any, new products and services I might want to birth in 2023. I also look at which products or services I may want to retire.
I’ve already closed down my Back to Basics monthly subscription, to make space for new things I want to do next year. It’s always hard to let go of offerings you have created, especially when they’re bringing in money and have paying customers, but I learned many years ago that if I want to call in my true heart’s desires, I have to be willing to make space by letting go of that which no longer serves me.
What has informed my thinking here is looking at my business model to figure out what makes most sense from a sustainability point of view. That means looking at my offerings from the point of view of how much time and effort they take versus the income they bring. If the former greatly exceeds the latter or I know that for the same amount of time, I could bring in more, I know that it’s time to make a change.
Tracking my finances
I track and review my finances on a monthly basis because I believe that, like anything, our finances thrive when we give them our loving attention and whither when we bury our head in the sand and pretend like they don’t exist.
Around this time of year, I can safely estimate what my end of year income and expenses will be. This helps me to set future financial goals that are rooted in reality rather than setting pie in the sky targets that I inevitably never reach.
Armed with this knowledge, I can do the maths to figure out what I want to make next year and how many of each of my products and services I would need to sell to make that happen.
Loosely thinking about my vision and goals for 2023
I’ve also been giving myself permission to tap into my goals and dreams for 2023. Not just business but generally. Asking myself questions like: where do I see myself and my family next year? What are my priorities? What didn’t work this year that I would like to change?
As I start to gently consider how I want my business to run next year, I can’t help but consider the life I want to live. That includes things like the number of hours I want to work each day and the number of days I want to work each week. How many holidays do I want to have a year and how much time do I need for my personal hobbies and fitness activities?
Given that I’ve been doing this kind of reflection for years, my business model is pretty well set up for having a healthy work life balance. However, it is very reliant on my 1:1 coaching practice, something that I’m giving more and more thought to is how to reduce my reliance on my 1:1 income and start bringing in more solid revenue from group offerings and digital products, thus allowing me to make more per hour of my time.
Resistant to planning?
I love doing this kind of thinking and nothing gets me more excited than a fresh page in a notebook and the intention to make new plans. I do know, however, that not everyone shares my same passion for planning.
With this in mind, if you are someone who typically avoids planning, I would encourage you at the very least to spend some time tapping into what isn’t working for you right now and what needs to change as well as what has worked well over the course of the year and how you can best make the most of that going forward.
Above all I would suggest that you give yourself permission to dream. I truly believe that we are all powerful creators and that when we put our minds to whatever it is that we want to create, magic happens.
Over the next few months I’ll be running several workshops on Creating a Sustainable Business model plus a 2-part Business Review and Planning Workshop. To receive dates and registration details, be sure to subscribe to my Soulful Strategies Weekly here.
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