There’s something exciting about reevaluating, streamlining, refining, and all the things we do to prepare for the new year. I guess you can say I’m a planning junkie and sometimes, it’s easy for me to fall into the planning trap and spend way too much time planning instead of actually doing.
I’ll be sharing my own thought process when I was planning out my 2021 business goals and show you how you can make your own 2021 plan.
Let’s chat about setting business goals for 2021.
Specifically, what to do to make sure that you’ll actually achieve your business goals and move forward in your business instead of setting big sexy business goals that you forget about or give up on a few months into the year because you weren’t seeing signs of progress or success.
Step 1: What results do you want for the upcoming year?
One way to look at this is, how much money do you want to make?
Another way to look at this could be, let’s say it’s December 31, 2021 – What do you want to have accomplished this year? What would make this a year that you’re incredibly proud of?
The reason I offered two ways to look at this question is because having big goals is important, but I do believe that you should balance between having a big goal and one that’s grounded in what you’ve already accomplished.
It’s not about whether a goal is realistic or not.
For example, if you haven’t signed on any paying clients yet as of today, you might want to focus on getting your first 10 paying clients in 2021 instead of making 100K in your business in your first year.
Not to say you can’t actually achieve the 100K goal or you can’t sign on 20 paying clients, but we need you to have a certain level of understanding of what you’re doing and make sure you have a solid foundation to build upon to achieve those goals.
Your 2021 goals aren’t set in stone.
If you sign on 10 paying clients by June, then you are clearly on track to sign on more clients in the remainder of the year.
A goal you set in the New Year is arbitrary.
It’s just something you create for yourself to push you to take the action steps necessary and to think the thoughts necessary to make things happen.
It’s also there to help you remember what’s possible for you.
I remember in the first few weeks of my business, all I did was aim for my first client.
As soon as I signed my first client, I aimed for my second.
Then, I tried to get a few more and make sure I could repeat these results.
By doing this, it created proof and belief in my mind that I could do this. This belief also helped me set a foundation for me to achieve my next set of goals, which was hitting 5K months.
Of course, this required me to have things in place like an offer that sells, consistently showing up and sharing value-packed content, and having a system for selling my offer.
But the key thing for me when I was just starting out was focusing on setting goals that strategically allowed me build my self belief and confidence that business success is possible.
That’s what I did and ended up making 22K in sales in the first four months of my business, between March to July 2019.
If you’re new to business, I would encourage you to start with goals that you believe in.
If you’re doing something for the first time, chances are you are driven by ego right now instead of actual belief.
The chances of you setting a 10K month goal is likely because you’ve seen other successful coaches talking about that, instead of you actually believing in your own ability to hit 10K months.
This isn’t to say it’s a goal you won’t hit because you’re new to business, but rather, it’s a matter of whether you’ll believe it or not.
And when you don’t hit it in the time frame you want to achieve it, will you get discouraged and quit? That’s the part I’m concerned about.
I do not want any of you to set goals that will end up discouraging you and leading you to quit way too early.
That said, goals should also stretch you: If your goal is something you can see yourself achieving but it makes you a bit uncomfortable or uncertain as to whether you think you can do it, that’s probably a sign that you’re setting a big enough goal.
What goals would you set if you knew you are 100% committed and gonna be all in on?
If today is December 31, 2021, what would have made this the BEST year ever in your business?
How can you wake up at the end of 2021 and realize, “Wow, I cannot believe that I made all this happen this year!”.
Those are the yearly goals I would love to see you set for yourself.
Step 2: Reverse engineering your yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals
What offers do you need to put out to make your yearly goals happen? What content do you need to create and how often do you need to show up?
Do you need to set up any funnels, or do you want to master the basics of organic marketing and sales first? Are you planning to start a podcast or YouTube channel, or do live streams?
What are the things you actually need to implement on a quarterly and monthly basis in order to make your yearly goals a reality?
Let’s say you want to make 50K next year. To kickstart your action plan, some questions you might want to be asking yourself are:
If you’re doing coaching or services, what is the number of clients you want to sign on per quarter and/or per month, and at what price point?
Will you need to raise your prices at some point, especially if you’re starting to max out on your ability to serve clients at the one-on-one level?
Then, the next logical step is to think of how you’re going to sign on these clients. So, the next thing to consider is.
A lot of business coaches will tell you to track your sales calls conversion rates, but I’m someone who’s completely detached from this particular metric.
I know that my approach to sales is focused on helping the prospect make an empowered and informed decision, so generally speaking, my conversion rates have been about 4 yeses for every 5 calls or so.
However, if you’re more inclined to track these numbers, then some things to think about would be what conversion rate are you expecting on sales calls? How many calls do you need to have in the first place?
How many sales calls will you do per month? How many times do you need to show up per week to invite people to have a sales call with you? How can you improve your conversion rate on sales calls?
These are some things to consider.
How are you going to get in front of new eyeballs? Do you need to do more collaborations or partnerships this month?
If so, how many pitches do you need to send out? Do you want to start a podcast and use that as a lead generator? What can you do on your current platforms to encourage more people to see your stuff?
There are many things you can consider just for a single goal of making 50K in the next year.
Maybe you’re now thinking – what’s the point of goal setting when you can’t guarantee any results, especially when there are so many variables that can affect your results?
You can’t predict exactly what will happen, but you can be in control of the actions you take. So that at the end of the month or at the end of the quarter you don’t have any regrets about what you didn’t do.
Another way to look at it is:
You learn a lot about yourself when you show up for your business and do the work.
If you’re having some doubts about setting business goals, I want to challenge you to think about if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and do uncomfortable things irrespective of the outcomes.
Because nothing in life, not even your 9-5, is guaranteed. If that’s the case, are you willing to be someone who keeps showing up and is committed to doing uncomfortable things in order to achieve massive goals and do things that other people aren’t willing to do?
There’s no right or wrong, it’s ultimately a question for you to reflect on and decide for yourself.
Back to goal setting and breaking down your annual goals.
You may be wondering what my goals are for 2021.
My one overarching big goal is to bring in $100K in my business, between January 1 and December 31, 2021.
When I look at the number 100K, it feels big, scary, and audacious. But it’s not impossible and I know I have evidence that it’s possible for me.
I’m confident that I’ll be crossing the 100K mark in my business in 2021, but this goal is specifically to make 100K within a 12 month time span.
More importantly, I’m not attached to whether or not I achieve this goal by December 31, 2021 because I know that as long as I work with this goal in mind, this will positively impact the way I show up throughout the year.
And I know damn well that by December 31, 2021 – I’ll be a completely different person who’s more resilient and committed than I was on January 1, 2021.
I know that by setting goals like this, it pushes me to put in the time, energy, and mindset work to take the big, scary and uncomfortable action steps necessary.
It’s completely okay if I don’t hit that goal so long as I am a better version of myself by the end of it all. And who knows, maybe I’ll be making way more than 100K in 2021 🙂
This step is all about breaking down your 2021 annual goal into smaller quarterly or monthly goals.
This means breaking down your big goals into smaller mini goals and tangible action plans.
I generally plan one or two quarters in advance. So, actually, I only have my first quarter (Q1) and second quarter (Q2) goals planned, and the January, February, and March goals mapped out, in addition to my 2021 income goal. It’s just a personal preference.
Step 3: Analyzing what worked really well and what didn’t work in 2020
Now, I want you to write down what worked so far up until this point in your business journey.
What did you love to do and what did your audience love? What actually led to paying clients?
What led to more sales calls? What led to more leads?
What can you double down on and amplify for the upcoming year?
Perhaps 2021 is prime time for zoning in on these parts of your business to make them even better.
I also want you to think about what simply didn’t work.
What did you dread? What was really frustrating? What kept you stuck? What felt really difficult and tough?
This part is important because it will help you see what you should let go of and stop doing in your business, especially if they didn’t make you money.
Remember to take some time to analyze what worked and what didn’t work, and what could be tweaked throughout the months and quarters in the upcoming year.
Look at all the variables at play and all the things you’ve done, and understand what you can learn from it and how you can improve it.
No need to dwell or feel bad. Life happens.
These lessons learned about what didn’t work is like a fertilizer for growth in this upcoming year.
When it comes to what works and what doesn’t work, consider what your actual capacity is for doing certain things in your business.
If you don’t have the capacity for something, choose something else! Goals can’t just happen without you doing the work.
So make sure you’re creating to-do lists that you can actually make happen.
Discipline matters, but it’s also up to you not to complicate the entire process and hence being disciplined becomes more difficult than it needs to be.
These are important factors to consider because I don’t want you to impulsively commit to something in your business and realize halfway through that you simply don’t have the time capacity right now, and quit.
By quitting, that’s creating negative evidence in your brain that you’re not cut out for whatever it is you’re trying to do, which can create unnecessary limiting beliefs in your mind that are simply not true.
Make sure you like your reasons for doing something in your business.
Another way to look at this is to think about why did you start your business in the first place? How do your goals tie into this overarching why?
I ask this because I want you to be careful not to set goals that are stemming from comparisons or other people’s goals. Do you want to do something because you want people to think highly of you? Or are you setting goals that matter to you?
Let’s look at your annual goals again. This time, think about which of these goals will be important to you by the end of 2021.
Will this matter in the short and long term? Is it going to tie back to your income goal and/or impact goal? Why do you want to make this goal happen?
Are you willing to keep trying at this goal even if you aren’t seeing the results you’re hoping for?
And what are you going to NOT do this year? What are you doing right now that’s simply not serving your goals or your overarching why (what are you going to commit to letting go of even though it feels comfortable to keep doing it)?
This is important because you need to identify the things in your life that you’re doing over and over yet still getting the same results over and over again.
By changing this up for 2021, I can almost guarantee that you’ll see different results.
Because remember: what got you here, isn’t going to get you there.
These five key areas are actually going to be where I’m personally going to be doubling down on, in my own business in 2021.
I want you to keep these areas in mind and start thinking of what ARE the things that YOU can start to do in 2021 for each of these areas.
Area 1: Client experience
This is often neglected, but I want you to really think about how you will deliver the best experience to your paying clients.
One thing I’m doing in my business is creating a client portal of training and resources that my clients can access at any time to learn about key strategies for their own business.
I’m doing this because even though I’ve been able to individually teach clients one-on-one, I have accumulated enough insights and perspectives on many areas of starting a business that I’m ready to put together into these exclusive training sessions for my clients.
I’m also refreshing all of the past resources I’ve created for my clients and putting it into a beautiful, easy to navigate client portal, which I plan to give to my clients sometime in January 2021.
Another thing I’m doing to enhance the client experience is inviting guest experts to host exclusive trainings and workshops for my clients!
So far, I’ve confirmed three guest experts to do a workshop each in February of 2021, so I am so stoked for my clients!
By elevating your client experience, the value of your program naturally rises as well.
This is why I’m confidently going to be raising my own prices by February 2021 because I am so confident in the quality of my client transformations and results.
I’m equally confident that my clients will get the best experience in my program.
Area 2: Simplifying and Streamlining
This is something I’m very adamant about for new coaches.
If you are not yet signing on clients consistently, I would strongly encourage you to focus on doing the fundamentals in your business instead of trying to add more sexy webinar funnels, creating ten freebies or sending weekly email newsletters.
There’s a time and place for each strategy, but if you aren’t signing clients consistently, I want you to really focus on building a simple and streamlined business that doesn’t overwhelm you and actually gets you results.
ESPECIALLY if you’re a side hustler, your business should NOT feel like a second full time job.
This is exactly why I developed my 5-part framework to guide my clients when we build their businesses and help them sign on consistent clients in the easiest, simplest, and quickest way possible.
For now, I really want you to think hard about how you can simplify and streamline your business strategy for 2021.
Area 3: Content that people actually need to see and hear, not just what you think they want to see or hear
We already talked about this in the post where I broke down how I made 10K USD in sales in 21 days. I would highly recommend checking out that post if you haven’t already.
I want to remind you that if you’re talking about what everyone else is talking about, how do you expect to stand out as a thought leader in your niche?
If you’re posting content because you think that’s what you should be doing or if you think it works because you see successful coaches talking about it, do you truly expect your audience to see you as a thought leader?
Or, are they going to see you as a copy of the person you’re modeling after?
That’s why I really want you to use your own brain and create content that you genuinely believe in and that you know people need to hear, instead of creating things that are basic, generic, and don’t provide real value to your audience.
This is also why I focus so much on brand and content with my clients. Because it’s my priority to help ensure that my clients stand out in their respective niches and are able to position themselves as an emergent leader in their space.
Your brand and content matters, so for the upcoming year, please actually create content that people need to see and hear and help them become problem aware. Instead of creating the same generic motivational or basic educational content that we see way too much on Instagram.
Area 4: Your own mindset
Your thoughts will influence whether you take action or not, how you show up and the energy behind your actions.
What thoughts do you need to think in order to take the actions and continue taking the actions? What thoughts will you keep yourself accountable to your goals? What daily decisions do you need to make to achieve these goals?
These questions may seem vague or even fluffy because it’s more difficult to directly visualize the impact of your thoughts.
If you keep thinking the same thoughts, your results won’t change.
When you’re plagued with the same limiting beliefs but you don’t work through them, you will either do things the same way or not do anything at all.
If you keep showing up the same way and in the same energy, your outcomes will stay the same.
Doing the same thing over and over while expecting your results to change is just not realistic because you haven’t changed the way you see the situation.
Two people can have the exact same circumstances yet one person can achieve much better outcomes simply because his or her outlook on the situation is different, and hence he or she took action according to those thoughts.
That’s because growth and bigger results don’t happen from doing the same thing you’ve been doing or from thinking the same thoughts over and over.
Area 5: Brand Positioning and differentiating yourself from colleagues in your niche
If you’re able to master the above four things, which are
1) providing the best client experience
2) operating your business in the simplest and most streamlined way possible
3) creating content that people need instead of what you think they want
4) strengthening your own entrepreneurial mindset
Then this fifth area will become almost a natural extension of these four things.
That’s because people will see:
1) that you deliver amazing client results and your clients are raving about working with you
2) that you’re running your business on your own terms and that you’re actually having fun in your business
3) that your content is thought provoking and completely fresh and different in the industry
4) your confidence and self belief in the work that you do
All of this will compound into building your authority, credibility, and help you stand out from others in your space.
As you approach 2021 with your new goals and with your motivation at an all time high, please also remember to track ALL of your wins, no matter how big or how small. And celebrate them!
Don’t just look at your goals daily, but actually look at your list of wins. Keep track of them, whether it’s a screenshot of a direct message (DM) of someone who really found value from your content, a message from a client who had a massive breakthrough while working with you, or even hitting your first 5K or 10K months.
Do not let these wins slip your mind.
The more you track, the more data you have to clearly see that wow, you ARE making progress.
And remember: It doesn’t matter if you hit your upcoming goals or not, so long as you become a better, happier, more resilient entrepreneur by the end of 2021. I want you to look back on December 31, 2021 and be like “Damn, look at me now”.
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