This is a follow up episode in a two-part series where I reflect on our business turning three years old as of March 6 2022.
On Episode 72, I shared some of the core skill sets and mindsets that I felt strongly were key contributors to how I got to where I am today in life and in business.
Today, I will share what I envision as we continue moving forward in the 4th year of the business.
Specifically, I want to share my top three priorities in my coaching business this year, and specifics in terms of how I will work on these priorities, such as the signature programs I’ll be offering, my content strategy, and so on.
Before I wrote the script for this episode, I actually spent the past weekend mapping out my vision for the rest of 2022 and it’s now tacked on to my wall, right next to my desk.
It’s interesting because around December 2021 or January 2022 when I first thought about my goals for the year, there were a lot of things circumstantially in my life that were very, very different from what my life and surroundings look like.
Because a lot has changed around me, I decided to revisit some of the goals I wrote down at the beginning of the year and I revised them a bit.
In this episode, I’ll be breaking down my updated vision of the rest of the year and how I plan to scale my business to the next level.
When I was deciding on the priorities or goals for the rest of 2022, or just in general, since the timeline is pretty arbitrary, there were three criteria I kept in mind.
Now, when I’m planning or doing goal setting, I think of my plans or goals from the perspective of income, impact, and/or identity. Whatever I put on my to-do list has to at least serve one of those criteria.
It has to either:
1) directly or indirectly contribute to the overall revenue of the business, leave a deep or broad impact on people, whether it’s for free or its inside a paid program, or
2) it has to strengthen my own self concept and identity as an entrepreneur
There’s an intentional reason behind why I goal set or make plans from these criteria.
I’ve seen that when we only set an income goal for our business, which seems to be the natural first thing we write down when we’re setting goals, we often end up using that goal against ourselves.
I’ve seen how even if we are making progress, it’s still really easy for coaches and entrepreneurs to look back at that goal they wrote down and tell themselves, “You said you were gonna make this happen but you’re not doing it fast enough or you’re not even close to it.” We use that goal against ourselves and feel really crappy afterwards.
That’s why I find that having impact and identity goals can help to buffer that.
For example, the impact and identity goals can help keep us grounded. Compared to only looking at the income goal, which may cause us to freak out sometimes.
I also personally believe that impact and identity matters just as much as the income you’re making in your business. This is why I personally consider all three areas.
My biggest priority in my business this year is to coach better so that our clients are always held to the highest standard.
I’m creating a lot of space in my calendar this year for thinking time, which is space for me to think. More specifically, thinking time could be used for a number of things.
So far, I’ve spent time on reviewing recent coaching calls and annotating where I coached well and where I could coach differently.
For example, I’d write down questions I’d ask next time, or how I might rephrase a question next time. I might also use thinking time to create new workshops and resources for our private client portal. Or flush out a new concept or strategy to teach our clients.
Basically, thinking time is a space for me to think about how I can do even better as a coach, both from a coaching and strategy perspective.
Here’s what I mean by client results. Clients come to me with their own goals in mind.
My job as the coach is to coach them so they are able to create results on their own, with the support of our coaching and strategy or signature methods such as the Money Making Theory, or mastering certain skills like soft launching. Ultimately, the client chooses their own goals and I coach them on making those goals happen.
But, of course, I also have my own goals, right? One of my biggest goals this year is to coach someone to cross their first 100k in their business.
This happened to me honestly not too long ago, so the lessons and feelings and thought processes that got me past the first 100k mark are still pretty fresh in my mind.
Generally, the goal I’m working towards is being able to coach my clients so that they either:
1) create 5k+ months, even on part time hours, or
2) create their first 5k+ ever in their business, particularly for those who are just starting out and have not signed clients before.
At the same time, for all clients, I want them to walk away feeling genuinely happier with their lives and feeling more confident in who they are as a human being.
That’s why I focus so much on coaching clients on their thoughts and on areas outside their business, so that they can see holistic transformations in their life as a whole.
In addition to creating a lot of space in my calendar for thinking time, another decision I made for 2022 is to stay super, super focused on coaching.
Meaning, I’ll only offer coaching programs as part of my product suite.
In 2022, I won’t be offering any other products besides live coaching programs. Throughout the year, we’ll have 1:1 coaching spots available, unless we‘re really maxed out on capacity.
I’ve just closed the enrollment for the final round of the group program. We won’t be launching another group format program till October 2022, earliest.
We will be launching a mastermind around Q4 of this year, and the standards and expectations of the program will be more elevated than ever before.
In order to focus on the quality of my own coaching and the quality of our client results and client experience, I’m only doing two launches this year. Looking back at 2021, I launched four times for four rounds of the group program, even though they were spaced out months apart.
However, I want to stay focused on current clients and create a lot of thinking time. So I’ve decided to only do two launches for the year.
We just wrapped up the fourth and final round of the group program. We won’t be re-running another round of the group program anymore.
The next foreseeable launch will start earliest in August this year or maybe September. We’ll be enrolling for our very first round of the mastermind. But I’m giving myself at least six months to prepare for this mastermind and the launch itself. Until then, we’ll only be onboarding new clients for the 1:1 Program.
By the way, this means you can come join us right now inside the 1:1 Program. Whether your goal is to create your first 5k or 10k month, or create your first 5k ever in your business, I can coach you on your goal. We will also be doing this on part time hours so that you can ultimately create more options in your life and also make time for what really matters most to you in life.
Specifically, we will zone in on helping you develop your unique thought leadership to stand out within your niche or industry, and master the skill of soft launching to help you book sales calls. So that you can sign high ticket clients for your coaching or service-based business and still be able to make time for other parts of your life, such as family, travel, career, and so on.
Find out all the details of the 1:1 Program, check out our awesome client testimonials and wins, and then send in your application. After that, we’ll book a discovery call to chat more about your business goals, challenges you might be currently facing, answer any questions you might have, and also for me to share more about how I can help you make your goals happen. Sounds good? Awesome. With that, let’s transition back into the episode.
This decision regarding my offerings was highly intentional because I literally need time and thinking space to think about our existing clients, how to develop new curriculum for our clients, creating new strategies and concepts for clients, and so on.
Also, given how my own personal life is going through a lot of transitions, I don’t have the capacity to think about launching, at least not right now, even if I am doing it soft launch style.
Instead, I decided to minimize the number of things that I need to exert my cognitive capacity on, so I can zero in on what matters most to me this year, which are client results and client experience.
Overall, one of the thoughts I worked on as we were entering 2022, and also the fourth year of the business, was making the decision not to look so much at how much money I make this year, but rather, how much I’m helping people.
One thing I should say is, of course, if our business blows up and we make 250k ,of course I’m not going to say no to that.
Rather, this year, I really want to strengthen my coaching skills, the effectiveness of how I teach and coach on my signature frameworks and methods, and also my identity as a coach.
Simultaneously, I want to deeply impact our clients, both internally in terms of their self concept and externally in terms of business wins.
As I was making decisions for this area of my business, one thing that came up for me was my ego and how we’re so deeply conditioned to measure our worthiness based on numbers and other metrics of success.
For a lot of coaches and entrepreneurs, we are inclined to measure how good our business is, based on how much money we make.
This was a conditioned belief that I worked a lot on at the beginning of 2022 and now, I’m more committed than ever to the impact I’m making this year.
That’s also why my second area of focus is to create an even deeper and farther reaching impact via my free content moving forward.
One thing I noticed has shifted for me, around August or September of 2021, was stepping back from Instagram content.
I noticed that my energy levels and overall capacity to “show up consistently” for Instagram was dipping. Starting around that time period, I’ve been doing a lot less Instagram stories, especially video IG stories. Because I typically repurpose my Instagram stories into carousel posts, naturally, there’s been a decrease in the amount of feed posts I create as well.
For the time being, I can see myself continuing to do less Instagram content. Previously, I would try to post three times a week on my feed, and to do Instagram stories daily.
But now, I think posting once a week is what I need, and hence that’s also what my business needs.
Because I understand that if I’m posting for the sake of hitting the goal of three posts a week, but I’m not creating from my most energized or creative headspace, the content will be sloppy work and does not reflect the quality of my thoughts.
I rather preserve my energy and capacity for other day to day priorities, such as coaching our clients on our calls or doing things in my personal life. That’s my plan for Instagram.
My strategy moving forward, until my energy or capacity allows me to take on more things, will be 100% quality over quantity. I rather create lesser pieces of content on a weekly basis, but each piece of content can change someone’s life.
That’s how I think of the podcast. I believe that each episode is so impactful, and I know that one episode can really make people think. And who knows, maybe it can change someone’s life too.
Because I really do think that the value we provide on this podcast is unparalleled, I do have several goals I’d like to work towards for the podcast.
Here’s my action items list:
1) Get the podcast out in front of more people. Specifically, I can share more about our podcast on Instagram, and I’d also like to share it on LinkedIn. So, promoting the show more via other platforms.
2) Create video previews of the podcast episodes (example: IGTV, LinkedIn). This is where I can literally just whip out my phone and record a 5-minute video of me reading out my favorite snippet of our podcast episode scripts, since I have pretty detailed scripts for each episode.
3)I’d also like to do something similar via a blog or leveraging SEO (search engine optimization). For example, I could repurpose my podcast scripts into text content and optimize it for SEO.
I would like to look into finding someone to help me repurpose my content so that I can get the show out in front of more people.
Right now, I don’t have the capacity to create new content for a new platform, but I could definitely tap into other platforms to promote our existing best content such as the podcast.
One thing that came up for me as I was making this decision to double down on the podcast and to scale back on Instagram, at least given the current season of life and business I’m in, was not allowing my brain to spend excessive energy and time, deciding and second guessing my choice of platform.
As soon as I caught myself starting to think I should be on LinkedIn and create content specifically on LinkedIn, but then I’d get overwhelmed by how much more that would add to my plate, I simply made the decision to just pick and take responsibility to make it work.
Here, I decided I’m just gonna pick the podcast as my main platform for quality content that makes people think. Instagram will be my fun, experimental platform where I show more behind-the-scenes, personal life stuff, and experiment with fresh, new ideas in my mind.
Because I know it’s super tempting to think about LinkedIn, or a new webinar, or list building. Here, I simply made a decision and I trust myself to make this decision work for me and my business .
The reason I wanted to take a second to highlight this is because I’ve been there before. Where I would be hopping around from strategy to strategy. But one thing I’ve learned is we can’t just try something for a few weeks, give up and then wonder why it isn’t working.
Instead, let’s make a decision quickly, then take as much time as you need to make that decision work for you. Because the more we constantly question our choice of platform, or even second guess our content, how do you think you’re showing up?
How can that detract from the creativity of your content, or hold you back from thinking of new ways to explain something, or think of new examples to really demonstrate the impact of your ideas?
All in all, when it comes to the content strategy of my business, I’m currently in the season of life and business where quality is my strategy, while quantity or consistency is going to detract away from the quality of my content.
Simply because I can see that I don’t have the capacity to do more things. Instead of leveraging the strategy of being consistent or posting frequently, I trust that if I can produce fewer pieces of content but each piece of content can literally change the way someone thinks, I know that my content is helping someone. That’s all that matters. I just want my content to help someone.
Recently, a friend asked me, “Cheryl, how are you able to create so much good content even though there’s a lot of things happening in your life? As someone who follows you on Instagram, it honestly looks like you have it all together.”
For context, there’s a lot of things in my own life that I do not choose to share online. I don’t feel obligated to share every single detail with my clients or my audience, and that’s a decision that I stand by.
That said, I do think that sometimes, my Instagram and podcast “consistency” could give the impression that I post a lot. Because, let’s be honest, I’ve only missed a few weekly episodes on this show in the past 1.5 years.
And I generally post something on my Instagram stories everyday, even if it’s like a boomerang of my food or cats or anything that has zero relation to the business. So, I totally can see why some followers might see my two main platforms and think that I’m posting so consistently so they need to do that also.
Here are my thoughts on content. First, as a consumer of content, I can say that there are definitely pieces of content from other content creators, coaches for entrepreneurs that have changed my life or left a deep impression on me in some way.
That’s why, I can never unsee the value and impact of free content. That’s how I personally view my own content.
Meaning, no matter what’s going on in my own life, even if honestly life feels really hard right now, I know that I can still create amazing value for others.
It’s never a chore for me to create content, especially when my goal as a content creator is simply to help someone. I never see it as something I have to do, but rather, I just want to create a piece of content that can help someone in some way shape or form. That’s my overall relationship with content creation.
That said, I’m also very, very, very intentional about managing my own thoughts and energy. I’m super attuned to my physical or time capacity. I know where my limits are, and I don’t overexert myself mentally or physically just to post something.
If I need to skip a week for the podcast, fine. I will manage my thoughts around that and not feel bad about it.
Because I know that when I’m creating for the sake of being consistent, that’s sloppy content. It’s not my best work when I’m pushing and forcing myself to create. That’s why I rather post less frequently or less consistently, but I ensure that each piece of content is highly potent and can change the way someone thinks or maybe even change their life.
However, this goes back to the question of, “Cheryl, if that’s your strategy or approach, you still post pretty frequently!” That’s because I always, on a daily basis, work a lot on managing my thoughts and energy.
Even if I’m going through my own shit in my life, I don’t let that stop me from taking care of myself and managing my thoughts and energy. That’s why I’m able to produce “so much” without burning out or diluting the quality of my content.
I rarely feel like I’m forcing myself to create something or post something. And the way I view my relationship with content creation allows me to see content creation as something that’s helpful and healing for me too! Especially if I know that I’m coming at this from a place of just wanting to help someone. As you can see, there’s a lot of inner work that’s involved.
One thing I can see us doing in 2022 is elevating the entire brand – The Cheryl Theory brand. The Cheryl Lau brand. Just the overall brand experience.
Here’s what I have in mind. My list of action items include:
Those are a few of the filters I will make decisions from.
I know that in order to attract the best clients and also create the best brand experience for our community at large, I need to operate as my best self.
A question I will be looking more and more into is, who the heck is this “best self version” of me? Who am I inherently and how can I express that? What are all the different dimensions of me? Because our best self can look different depending on the situation at hand.
This is more of an identity related area of exploration that I’m going to intentionally take time to think about. I trust that when I have a firm sense of my own identity and self concept, that will be a reference point for me to always ground myself back into, whenever I start to doubt myself, feel comparisons, shame, self blame, or anything that takes me out of being able to be what my people need me to be.
This area of identity and becoming a leader in the business coaching industry is something that I can definitely share more of as I venture more into self exploration. For now, I’m also in my own early stages of this, so I don’t have too much to share yet.
But I know that in order to elevate the entire brand experience and to be perceived as a “leader” in this space, there are a lot of layers I need to peel back and really stand firm in my own identity both as an entrepreneur and as a human being.
Once I have a firm sense of self, can I fully start to know what exactly it is that I want to express more of. Otherwise, it might be super easy to fall into the trap of looking at other coaches online and thinking I should do what they’re doing too.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to mold yourself into the mold of what you think is going to make you successful, but that inadvertently results in you becoming just a commodity on the market.
I can confidently say that identity work and becoming a leader both inside and out, especially when it comes to the coaching space, is something that is a huge priority for me this year.
This wraps up the three key priorities in my own business moving forward. These are three areas I can work on mastering to help take the business to that next level.
I hope that this two-part series provided you with new perspectives or new ways of looking at your own business, and I’m so happy that you’re a part of my journey as we just celebrated the third birthday of the business.
I am confident that we will continue to create a lot of amazingness as we enter the fourth year and as we continue venturing into the rest of 2022. Even though it’s been three years in business, we are literally just getting started.
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