Uncork that bottle of red and bust out the glasses because you did it! You’ve successfully made it past the harrowing survival-mode of being a startup (BIG, long, well deserved exhale).
You’ve got your team, your brand is solid, and people are paying attention. Clients are lining up, your finances are falling into place, and you are ticking items off your vision board each month. Now what? Time to take another deep breath and get ready to level up!
Avoid the Post-Startup-Slump
To avoid getting stuck in a post-startup, sophomore slump, it’s important not to lose momentum and to keep consistently growing, growing, growing. You’ve got big dreams! A legacy to create! Lives to change! But, let’s face it, the breakneck pace at which you were running initially is not sustainable nor effective long-term.
Now is the moment to start THRIVING instead of just surviving. And the key to thriving is self-evaluation. Not just once a year, (and not just in your pretty journal), but strategically- every season. That’s right, we’re talking quarterly audits ya’ll, to use less sexy terms.
Time for the good news: self-evaluating doesn’t have to be torture!
As hard as it may seem to stop even for a moment, it’s so crucial to sit yourself down, take a critical, sober look deep within the heart of your business practice, look backward at where you’ve been and forward to where you’re going, and ask the tough questions.
Where am I headed? How big do I want to be? Are the choices I’ve made up until now really working and will they continue to work as I increase in scale? Where are the growth edges I want to lean in to? Where am I not pressing play? This process might seem painful, but what better way to renew your mission and sense of passion? How better to acknowledge your milestones and show some self-love and gratitude?
Self-Evaluation is Part of Self-Care
Self-evaluation is part of self-care, the biggest buzz word on the internet. At this point most of us are starting to realize that self-care isn’t about mani-pedis and massages. Those things are nice, sure, but when we talk about real self-care, we’re talking holistic, healthy choices (including the challenging ones), meditation, mindfulness, SHOWING UP, not just for our clients and staff, but for ourselves. When you take the time to sit with and map out your own progress and practices, radically accept and SEE what’s really going on (the good and the bad), the beauty and complexity of your journey presents itself. As does the abundance of potential and the clarity of direction.
And there’s even more good news: you don’t have to go it alone.
As business leaders, we know how lonely it can feel at the top. The pressure of making tough decisions, day after day, is intense, to say the least. And at the end of the day, we all need some support, especially from those that can truly understand our experiences. And that’s what community is all about.
Just like working out is easier with a trainer, or taking a yoga class is more motivating than practicing at home, quarterly evaluations are waaaaaayyy less taxing when we have others around us going through the same process. Plus there’s the added benefit of accountability. Which, let’s be real, we all need.
So, we formed the Dream Life Actualization Tool ????????
Block out the time RIGHT NOW to get the reminders sent to you a week, a day, and an hour ahead. The time will be pre-scheduled, your hours will be shown in your calendar as “busy” you will be unobtrusively sent the workbook of carefully curated questions to run through during the hour. We update the booklet periodically for you. Working on your own business does not get any more “no-brainer” than this.
Get Reminded Every Quarter
- Lay out your goals (both annual and quarterly).
- Check in with your performance over the last several months and re-prioritize.
- Take a hard look at your timeline expectations vs. reality, and adjust accordingly.
- Website or funnel analytics, measure the highest converting channels, figure the average spend per client (per channel), and cost per lead (per channel).
- Profit / Loss, evaluate the most costly aspects of your business to ensure you are maximizing your resources and take a general look at all the places you leak money: subscriptions, software, ads that haven’t been optimized or refreshed, etc.
- All marketing and sales Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Learn how to compare expectations with reality. KPI’s are arguably the most important metric you should check. Everything else is supplemental. Find out how to know if you are winning!
- Re-evaluate your value ladder, connect your big-idea funnel to your current audience. Anticipate how your funnel will change as your audience expands.
- Where is traffic getting held up? Where are you losing people when you should be keeping them due to clunkiness or inefficiency?
- Let’s take a deep dive into tech. It’s not so scary when you have an expert holding your hand 😉
- Calendar / Scheduling tool
- Color-Coded Time-Blocking. Preset future-blocks of time, and slot realistic appointments for yourself to fill with priorities for your business. If it is pre-set you will be more likely to make the time.
- Delegation: how to properly delegate to employees and when to utilize automation.
It’s about accountability and action…
You know what you’re capable of, better than anyone else. You’ve made it this far. And now it’s time to push yourself in a different way, which includes making time for yourself to reflect on the BEST way to reach your biggest goals.
Why keep stressing when you don’t have to? As the old adage goes, work smarter not harder. By allowing yourself to take a moment to pay greater attention to details once a quarter, as well as being part of a community that is taking the same action steps, you’ll give yourself the gift of a brighter, smarter business practice and the strength to hustle in ways that count, without all the needless extra stress.
So don’t procrastinate until the end of the year. Make the choice today to thrive, and the survival part will be a snap.