Productivity

8 Small Shifts to Reach Your Goals Faster

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I wouldn’t *exactly* call myself a patient person. I know few millennials who do. This impatience arises in my business ALL.THE.TIME.

I find myself wishing I were already there. Despite usually being able to focus on my work, I’m almost distracted in my drive to get the work done.

Basically, I suck the life and fun out of my own work. And I know I’m not alone in this. The times I’ve mentioned this aloud, there’s a chorus of “me-toos” and “I’m the sames” that echo.

Nonetheless, building a profitable and sustainable business is a long-game. Not an overnight scheme.

And…

When I really think about it. I have exhibited great patience in achieving many of my goals. As I’m sure you have to.

So while patience is a virtue. Today I want to give a few small shifts you can make to achieve your goals faster.


1 // Begin with the end in mind

This is basic, but somehow still often overlooked. If you want to truly perform at your best and see the greatest results in your business you have to start with the end in mind.

There’s a story recounted about Will Smith. Someone came into his home and saw that he had post its laid out all over one of the walls. When his visitor asked what he was doing he explained that he was working on a new movie project. He put all of the different elements of his project on different post its. All the characters, scenes, plots twists, etc.

His visitor responded, “that seems overwhelming. How do you even know where to start?”

Will replied, “oh no, that’s the easy part. Of course, I start with the end.”

Everything else is leading up to the end point, so you have to know where you want to go. Same as if you were taking a road trip. Before you can figure out anything else you’ve got to be clear on where you’re trying to end up.

Yet so many skip over this part. They just start working. Doing different tasks willy nilly and hoping that at one point they’ll all come together.

While this has undoubtedly worked for some. It’s not the best approach.

Start with the end in mind. Get a very clear picture of it in your mind.

In fact, the more clearly you can see where you’re going — what that outcome will look like. The better.

If you can hold a mental picture of what you want to create, you’ll open your mind up for imagination and creativity. For different and better solutions. For forces outside of you to support you in reaching your goals.


2 // Focus on the One Thing

If you want to reach your goals faster than focus on one thing at a time.

One of the most pervasive and lease empowering myths of our time is multitasking.

Multitasking is not a thing. It just isn’t.

In one my favorite books, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Pasan, the authors take it further by saying that multitasking is not only NOT a thing, but it’s a lie:

It’s a lie because nearly everyone accepts it as an effective thing to do. It’s become so mainstream that people actually think it’s something they should do, and do as often as possible. We not only hear talk about it, we even hear talk about getting better at it. More than six million webpages offer answers on how to do it, and career websites list “multitasking” as a skill for employers to target and for prospective hires to list as a strength. Some have gone so far as to be proud of their supposed skill and have adopted it as a way of life. But it’s actually a “way of life,” for the truth is multitasking is neither efficient nor effective. In the world of results, it will fail you every time.

We think that we can do it. But in truth, no person is a competent multitasker. If you’ve been priding yourself on multitasking...first of all, stop it right now. All it means is that you’re doing multiple things less effectively.

“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” — Steve Uzzell

Quitting multitasking cold turkey is the first step. But if you really want to super-charge your business results, than taking it a few steps further.

Narrow your focus. Ideally, to the one thing that will really get you what you want.

In The One Thing it’s defined through the question: what’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

We have become so entrenched in a world of doing multiple things that we’ve lost hold of the fact that to see the greatest results in the least amount of time, we must focus on the one thing that makes everything else easier.

This doesn’t mean you have to do one thing all day long and it’s the only thing that you do. But you do need to prioritize.

Prioritizing means putting the important things first. Assigning value to our tasks. Accepting that not all tasks have been created equally — which is most people’s default.

It doesn’t serve us, though.

We spend just as much time on the activities that are not high value. And that won’t move our business forward as we do on the things that are really and truly important.

If you’re not sure what you should be focusing on in your business then take the Focus Formula quiz. In just 11 questions it will let you know what’s really keeping you from seeing the results you want in your business.

With undivided focus we can accomplish our goals and move on to the next thing. It creates a domino effect so that we can continuously accomplish bigger and bigger goals.

For example, let’s say your vision is to have an online course for photographers

  • It opens up 2x per year

  • You enroll 75 students during each enrollment period

  • The course is fully created based off a mentoring curriculum you’ve already established

You have the material, you just need people to sell to. In this case, your one thing might be growing an engaged email list.

Related: How to Turn New Subscribers Into Raving Fans + Nurture Sequence Workbook

Once you know the one thing for you to focus on you’ll determine how to best approach it.

If we stick with the list building example, you might start by brainstorming all the possible ways for you to grow your email list by leading to a content upgrade.

  • Blogging

  • Guest blogging

  • Podcast interviews

  • Paid advertising

  • YouTube videos

  • Social media

  • Livestreaming

But keeping the principle of a narrow focus in mind, instead of doing all of these activities, focus on just one (maybe two). And then pursue that with focused commitment for a period of time and then evaluate your results.

Our sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) is so pervasive and strong that many of us are just scared to narrow our focus. We think if we focus in on one thing we’ll miss out on too much. That we won’t get the results we want. But in reality, the opposite is often true.


3 // Focus on the important and not urgent activities

To figure out if something might fall within an activity to focus on or not is to consider the Eisenhower matrix. Also known as priority matrix.

A priority matrix is just a way of considering whether something should be prioritized.

How do we determine this? Based on the level of importance and urgency of the activity.

Our natural inclination is to focus on activities that are urgent. Regardless of whether they are important. This is a big part of why our days run away with us.

If you’ve ever felt like your business is running you, instead of the other way around, there’s a good chance that you’re approaching the urgent activities of your day as top priorities.

The problem with prioritizing urgent activities in your week is that they’ll always be new and different urgent activities to focus on. The activities that are most critical to your businesses actual growth are going to fall into the category of important and not urgent.

Of course, urgent activities still should get done. But not at the expense of the non-urgent activities.

Easiest way to approach this? Plan your week with the activities in Quadrant 1 as the top priority. That was these activities get designated time on your calendar. If it’s scheduled it gets done.

Approach your day with the activities in Quadrant 2. That way, each day you do still deal with the activities that are important and urgent, without displacing those important and non urgent activities.

The things in quadrant 3 are those that are most easily outsourced. Outsource them if you can.

Things that are not important and not urgent. Just avoid doing them during the work day. They may have their time and place, it’s just not when you’re working.


4 // Be ok being out of balance

Balance, like multitasking, is one of those pervasive myths of our time. It’s not a state that one can achieve and its makes us miserable in the pursuit of it.

Rather than attempting balance, we should strive for counterbalance.

If you’re focusing on one thing than it’ll just be impossible for you to have your focus elsewhere simultaneously.

And that’s ok.

Instead, we can focus on the one thing. Accomplish the one thing. And then focus on the one thing that is now important.


5 // Re-visit your vision and goals daily

It's easy to lose sight of what we’re working towards. And as soon as the vision is out of sight, energy, motivation, and inspiration wane. Everything just starts to feel harder.

If you can keep your vision and goals front and center, your energy and motivation will naturally stay up. You can more easily note the progress that you’ve made. The vision will become more and more real until it actually is your reality.


6// Expect that you’ll achieve your goal

Positive expectation is one of the best states to be in to actually accomplish what you want.

We all know how powerful gratitude is. Studies and celebrities from Oprah to Mark Zuckerburg wax on about the power of gratitude. But we always want more. It’s part of the human experience that even as we achieve and receive, our desires expand.

I bet if I asked you to write down 25 things you want you could come up with a list pretty quickly.

In fact, why don’t you do that right now.

I’ll wait ;-)

Now, my question is: of those things that you wrote down, how many of them are things you already have?

My guess, is not that many. (But please do let me know if I’m wrong!)

And now you’re saying, “but Crystal, I was just following directions. That’s not what you said to do.”

I know, I know.

It’s a little tricky.  But there are many things that you now have that you may be deeply grateful for. But you may not have always had them. At some point it was something you wanted. And now you have it.

And here’s the thing. If I had given that exercise in a slightly different way by asking you to list 25 things you’re grateful for, there’s a good chance that none of the items you listed would be things you don’t yet have.

But we can make the things we want more real, and we can super-charge our gratitude, but conflating the two. Feeling gratitude for the things we desire but don’t yet have. And desiring the things present in our lives.


7 // Be a professional

When we set goals for ourselves it’s almost inevitable that we’ll experience resistance. Resistance is completely natural and experienced by all creators. We don’t need to eradicate resistance. But to create in spite of it.

In Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art he describes moving past resistance by turning pro. Being a professional. The ideas is that amateurs given into resistance and professionals don’t. Our creative work need to be treated professionally — not something to be done when we feel like it and not done when we don’t feel like it.

The characteristics of a professional as described by Pressfield are:

  1. We show up every day.

  2. We show up no matter what.

  3. We stay on the job all day.

  4. We are committed over the long haul.

  5. The stakes are high and real.

  6. We accept remuneration for our labor.

  7. We do not over identify with our jobs.

  8. We master the technique of our jobs.

  9. We have a sense of humor about our jobs.

  10. We receive praise or blame in the real world.

Find a way to apply these concepts in a way that serves you.

For example, I’ve adopted a number of habits that help me turn pro. Things like:

  • Looking at my calendar and planning out my day in advance. Not in a rigid way but just in terms of looking at priorities. Figuring out my one thing for the day. And establishing the other 2 activities I will do IF I accomplish my one thing.

  • Not checking my emails until after I’ve done my first 2 hours of prioritized activities. I know my weaknesses and it’s just easier if I don’t even go through my phone first thing in the morning.

  • I get dressed and brush my hair and get myself at least a little presentable. Even though my office is in my home, I feel more ready to work when I’m dressed as if I at least had to go to a co-working space instead of staying in my PJs.


8 // Turn off your phone

If you want reach your goals faster, than turn off your phone. Or at the very least put it on do not disturb and out of sight.

Most millennials are addicted to their phones. In How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price addiction is described as,

Continuing to seek out something (for example, drugs or gambling), despite negative consequences. In his book The Brain that Changes Itself, Canadian psychiatrist Norman Doidge explains the general characteristics of addition like this: ‘Addicts show a loss of control of the activity, compulsively seek it out despite negative consequences, develop tolerance so that they need higher and higher levels of stimulation for satisfaction, and experience withdrawal if they can’t consummate the act.” That certainly would seem to describe the way many of us feel about our smartphones. And indeed, many technology companies themselves seem comfortable with that term….many of the same feel-good brain chemicals and reward loops that drive addictions are also released and activated when we check our phones.

And for good reason. Smartphones and the apps on them are designed to hook us in.

Price continues to explain:

Not only are phone and app companies aware of their products; neurological effects, but they pack their products with features that will trigger them — with the explicit goal of getting us to spend as much time and attention as possible on our devices. In industry terms, this is caller “user engagement.” ...In order to maximize the amount of time we spend on our devices, designers manipulate our brain chemistry in ways that are known to trigger addictive behaviors….phones and most apps are deliberately designed without ‘stopping cues’ to alert us when we’ve had enough — which is why it's so easy to accidentally binge. On a certain level, we know what we’re doing makes us feel gross. But instead of stopping, our brains decide the solution is to seek more dopamine. We check our phones again, And again, And again.

Social media, especially become a near impossible tough spiral to hop out of.

Make things easier for yourself. You can’t get much done when you’re looking at your phone all day. Even just quick glances significantly impact our productivity because of context switching.

Context switching just means that our brains take time to switch between tasks. Each time you start to do something else, your brain takes time to adjust to that new task. The more we do it, the longer it takes for our brain to settle back into a productive state. The impact increases the more frequently we switch. You can see this through the chart below. Even when it’s referred to as a project, this can even just be checking your phone.

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Each time we take on an additional project we lose another 20% of our time to context switching, This is just loss of time as our brain tries to switch through the various tasks.

This quickly translates to loss of time. If we allow for even just 3 projects (or distractions) in a given hour, our productive minutes are already down to 36. That’s why hours go by and we can’t wrap our minds around how we could have possibly gotten so little done. Although you may have been at or around your desk for 3 hours attempting to work. Between checking your phone for email, a quick scroll through Insta, a few likes on Facebook and your 3 hours of work may have been more like 35 minutes.

This is really just circling back to the point that he more we can focus on the one thing — rather than trying to go back and forth between different activities, the closer we get to accomplishing our goals.

The idea with applying any of these ideas is to start small. You don’t need to implement everything at once but start applying these things little by little. You’ll quickly see how your small shifts turn into massive results.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

5 Tips to Plan for Productivity Instead of Procrastination

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Have you ever used planning as a weapon?

Not a real weapon.
Obviously.
But as an excuse.
Which can harm...
...it stunts your growth, keeps you from moving forward and creating what you want.

Also known as procrastination.

But we don’t call it procrastination when it looks like planning.

Planning is productive. And powerful. And can be incredible.

But not when it’s actually procrastination.

And here’s why it’s dangerous.

It’s insidious. It’s difficult to tell when you’ve made the transition from planning,  which empowers. Planning helps you get the most out of your days, weeks, months, years, and life. And planning as an excuse so that you don’t have to take action.

‘Cause, if you’re anything like me, planning can be more fun (and less daunting) than taking massive action.

Yep, procrastinating is easier than implementing.

But…

The reward is short lived. When you put off tasks, guilt, worry, and self-doubt replace the inital pleasure. The goals you gently laid out drift further away.

One of the easiest ways to overcome this is learning to recognize…


WHEN PLANNING TURNS INTO PROCRASTINATION

For many small biz owners, planning is legitimate.

A great idea, in fact. When you take the time to plan out your days, weeks, months in advance you can ensure that:

  1. You know where you’re headed

  2. You know what steps to take

  3. You can avoid decision fatigue on a daily basis

The third is perhaps the most important of those reasons. We get tired. Sometimes when we have to make a decision we lean back on what feels easier which may be doing nothing. If you already know what you’re meant to do in a certain time period and you can just sit down and get to work on it.

Welp. That takes out some of the hardest stuff.

But you’ve got to learn the difference between planning and procrastinating.

Here are 5 tips to go from pointless procrastination to productive planning:

TIP #1 “IT’S NOT PRETTY ENOUGH” IS PROCRASTINATION

If you have a plan in place that could easily be followed and is ready to be implemented, then you have a plan. But you decide that it’s not “pretty enough.”

I mean this literally. That you have a plan but you want it to physically look more aesthetically pleasing.

If you’ve ever dealt with this, then you’re my people.

I totally get this and in our Pinterest-drunk-Instagram-obsessed millennial world, it’s almost inevitable that the fascination and urge for everything to be gorgeous would seep into our more practical tools.

It’s ok to like things to be pretty, but if you’ve got your plan in place and then…

...you decide that you need to recreate it in a fresh google sheets so the colors are on brand

...you realize it’s not as perfectly organized as it could possible be so you start from scratch

...you think it would be better in Trello, but you’ve never used Trello so you purchase a Trello course and binge watch it so you can move your plan over

Then you’ve gotta problem. A procrastination problem that you need to nip in the bud.

Your plan, strategy, roadmap, etc is meant to help you get to your goals. It doesn’t need to be a work of art. It needs to help you get your stuff done.


TIP #2 DON’T PLAN TOO FAR OUT

Having a vision for the next 3, 5, 10 years is perfectly lovely. And in some ways can be valuable. But if you’re turning a vision into a step-by-step action plan for the next 17 years, you’re overplanning.

All you need is a plan for the next year, with specific action steps and goals for the quarter ahead of you.

If you’re going further out than that you’re setting yourself up for frustration, burn-out, impatience, and lessened motivation. Your plan is going to change and evolve over time. It SHOULD change and evolve. You’ll never be able to anticipate every possible thing that could happen so don’t waste your time.

Have a vision for the year. And beyond if it tickles your fancy.

And then get specific just for the next 90 days. After the 90 day period, see where you are, re-evaluate, and plan again.


TIP #3 DON’T SPEND MORE TIME ON THE PLAN THAN EXECUTING ON THE PLAN…

I mean, part of the point of creating a plan is to make it so that taking action is easier, faster, and more clear, but if it took you 3.5 weeks to create your plan, which covered approximately 4.2 hours of implementation in your biz…

Well... you already know.

Yet, I know that some of you are doing this! You get so caught up in the planning that you’re losing sight of what is actually going to move the need in your business.

Implementing.

If you’re not sure what you should be focusing on an implementing, then take the Focus Formula quiz to get your unique blueprint to grow your biz.

If you’re ready to just get started creating a plan you can actually implement, then download your free planning roadmap.

Now you should be able to determine if you’re using planning as a valuable tool to support your biz. Or...a tool to help you procrastinate.

Now, don’t be hard on yourself if that’s the case. That’s what happens with heart-centered creatives. The goal is to just raise your awareness and focus on what matters.

Here are two other things to keep in mind as you go from a Power Procrastinator to Productive Planner:


TIP #4: ALLOW THE PLAN TO EVOLVE

So this was already mentioned above, but as they say, repetition is the mother of all learning so it’s worth saying again: allow the plan to evolve.

This is part of the benefit of creating a plan that’s 90 days or less — you can easily try something out and see if there’s any progress in 90 days. Now, that’s not to say if you try something that will long term impact your biz and you’re not seeing massive results from it in the first 90 days you should abandon it.

Au contraire.

You’re much better off recognizing that your biz and the marketing and mindset work you do within it IS all about the long game. But even for something that’s a relatively new endeavor, 90 days should give you enough time to evaluate what’s progressing as it should and what is a time waste.


TIP #5: DEVELOP THE SKILL OF CONSISTENCY

Lastly, develop the skill of consistency. I don’t know if consistency is technically a skill, but as I’ve experienced it, its serve to think of it like a skill rather than a natural talent. ‘Cause consistency can surely be developed, but it may take practice.

What does that look like?

Decide what is most important for you in YOUR business.

For a large number of female entrepreneurs running creative, coaching, or online small businesses, creating content is going to be something they need to do consistency in their business to see great results -- meaning a loyal audience of people interested in their work, a full 1-on-1 client roster, etc.

Content can be for social media, a blog, a video, livestream, whatever they like for their business where their ideal dreamboat clients are going to find them.

People EXPECT that they’ll learn from someone for awhile before they buy from them.

In that case, consistency would be creating some amount of content every day.

As I’ve mentioned “create first” is one of my 2018 mantras so I write every morning. The goal is to write at least 2000 words for an hour. But I don’t force myself through it when it’s not happening. The point isn’t to push yourself through resistance, it’s to take the first few steps.

Most of the time, the resistance melts away once I start and then the ideas, inspiration, and energy just flows.

But not always. And then the point was that I did what I could. If I don’t get to 2000 words, I’m not unkind to myself. I’m not mad about. I just do it again the next day.

If you’re an introvert, but you get the majority of your business from networking and referrals (well, you may want to put some other marketing strategies in place) but you may also want to develop consistency in connecting with people every day.

Consistency is a skill that can be developed. So start practicing.

Make a plan. And then put it into action.

I’ll be over here cheering for you!

How to Come Up with Lots of Great Content Ideas Fast

Do you already know that you want to use more content marketing to market your creative coaching or online business, but not exactly sure what you should be writing about?

This is for you.

My name is Crystal Marsh Irom of CrystalMarshCoaching.com. In today's video I want to give you three ways you can come up with a lot of great content ideas that your ideal clients and customers really want to know fast. I want to make sure that you're really setting yourself up for success.

Also be sure to grab your content planning template.


Step 1: Get Really Clear on Your Goal

The first thing you're going to want to do is get really clear on your goal. You're creating this content to market your business. So you want to be clear on the exact purpose that it's going to serve. So I'm going to give you an example here so that we're really clear on what you're doing.

Example: let's say, for example, that you're a wedding planner, and that in three months you're going to be launching a brand new course that's going to be teaching other wedding planners how they can start their businesses.

So if you know that that's your goal, that you want to serve your audience, that you want to get them primed for this course that you're creating, you're going to want to make sure you're picking themes within that goal.


Step 2: Choose 3 Themes within Your Goal

So this is your overarching goal, you're going to be serving your audience and building your list with the specific content that's going to be a lead in to your course. So that you have the goal you're going to come up with three themes, two to four themes really, but I usually go with three. So based on what you're covering in your course and what you really think is going to best serve your ideal client so that you're not just writing about everything that you know, because if you're running a business you probably know a ton about your industry and you could write about a bunch of different things, but you don't want to get too spread out.

For example: maybe your three themes are:

  1. How to get new bridal clients.

  2. How to create a really outstanding experience for new brides.

  3. And then, how to build relationships with other vendors so that you have a really strong referral network.

So you've got your goal and then you've got your three themes that fit in underneath the goal.


Step 3: Do a Braindump

Once you have all that information you're going to do what I like to call a brain dump, you are just going to list out everything you can think of that would fit within those themes.

So now you should have at least 10-20 ideas already down. What you're going to do after that is figure out what people are most looking for. So this is going to either verify the ideas that you've already come up with, or it's going to give you subtopics, which you can expand that content even further.


Step 4: Expand Your Content Ideas Further

So the three ways that you're going to do this, ways that you're already familiar with, one is Facebook, mainly Facebook groups, the second way is on YouTube, and then the third way is on Pinterest. So I'm just going to go over to my screen now so you can see exactly what I'm doing, if I'm going into a Facebook group and trying to data mine for this information to come up with these content ideas fast.

HOW TO FIND CONTENT IDEAS IN FACEBOOK GROUPS TUTORIAL

Find topics within a Facebook group. So I went to Savvy Business Owners. This is a group that I know has a lot of female entrepreneurs, but also very creative female entrepreneurs, a lot of people in the wedding industry. So since we're going with the wedding planning example, this is a good place to start. So I want to just see what kind of questions people are asking, what are people wondering about? So I might just go to this search box right here where it says, "Search this group". And I'm just going to type in 'wedding planner', and see what comes up.

Okay, so this person asked about liability insurance, so that's not necessarily something I would want to cover, it's not related to the themes that I already picked. Okay, so, "Looking for a pricing consultant/coach if that's a thing, need some quick five minute advice on strategy and preferably someone with wedding planner familiarity." Okay, so this one is helpful. This is someone looking for information about pricing. So that is something that I might use. So I'll just write down in my notes, "Pricing, how to price your services as a new wedding planner."

Here's another one that might be useful, "As a wedding planner, what would you say your best tip is for a bride? An insider tip, one of those things you wish every bride could understand." So this is another one that I might write down, that could potentially work. Okay, here's another one, "Wedding planner/event planner friends, do you have a newsletter or email list? How do you use it effectively? Not big repeat client field, so I'm not sure what I'd send out." So this is another one that would be really good. Wedding planners are interested in how to use a newsletter and email list.

Here's another one that could be really good, "Wedding planner friends, for those of you who have an assistant or associate planner, what are the things you delegate to this team member?" I have a great girl who works for me ... Blah, blah, blah, blah." Okay, so this is just someone asking, as a wedding planner how do you delegate? So that would be a really good topic for content as well. Here's another really good one. So this person says, "I just wanted to ask if it's just me or are you seeing a massive influx in brides who are almost rude?" I'm not going to read the rest of the post, but maybe that would be a good topic, how to deal with brides that are rude. Here's another one, "Has anyone had success with Google AdWords? I'm a wedding planner and I'm wondering if it's worth a try." So this could be a post about the best advertising methods for wedding planners.

So this is just way to get some examples. Obviously, you're going to use search terms that are specific to what you're looking for, that are specific to your field, and you just do a bit of research. Facebook groups are a really great place to mine for information because you just get to listen in on the conversation that your ideal clients and customers are already having.

HOW TO COME UP WITH CONTENT IDEAS IN YOUTUBE TUTORIAL

So the second way that you can look for really great topics is on YouTube. There's a couple of ways even within YouTube that you can do it. One of the ways is by going to people who are in a similar niche as you, and seeing what are their most popular topics? Don't use this to steal their ideas, obviously. But allow it to get your wheel spinning a bit. So I'm going to, again, just go right on over to my screen and show you exactly how to do that.

So now I'm looking at YouTube. I don't know exactly what someone would be looking for for a wedding planner on YouTube, but since I know that I am promoting this course, which is for people who want to be wedding planners, I'm just going to start there. So I'm just going to put in, 'How to become a wedding planner', and see what comes up. So, How To Become a Wedding Planner, from Bianca Renee. So I might click on her and see if she has other videos about wedding planning, that was the top result.

But it looks like her channel is actually about makeup, skincare, and fashion, so it looks like it's probably something she does but it's not something she actually teaches about. So I'm going to just keep on moving. How To Become A Wedding Planner: What Is Your Why? So that's from Alison, so I might go back to that. It's five years old, so it would be better if I could find something a little bit newer. How To Be A Successful Wedding Planner. This is from Wedding Planning Academy, so okay, I'm going to use this one because it's a little bit more recent and because just from reading the name I can tell that they're going to be talking more about wedding planning.

So I'm going to click over here. What you want to do is figure out people who are your competitors, which of their videos are most popular. So I clicked over so I could see all of her videos, and then instead of having them sorted by date added, which is the default, I'm going to go to most popular and see what's coming up. So, How To Be A Successful Wedding Planner, that was a popular one, but that's a little bit vague. I may use that as a big blog post or a video, but I'm looking for more specific content ideas as well. So, International Wedding Trend Report, so that's from a year ago and that has 25,000 views, so that's a kind of a lot. So that's telling me that people are interested in trends. So that might be something that I would want to write on. I would include that in my list, trends for 2018, perhaps.

Then the next one she has also has a lot of views, 19,000. Mistakes To Avoid As A New Planner. So that's a really good one, I might use something along those lines as well. So I would just go through here and see which of them might be really good topics that would fit in well with what you're doing. So I would do that with several of my competitors to come up with some really great content ideas. So that's how you would use YouTube to come up with content ideas.

HOW TO USE PINTEREST TO COME UP WITH CONTENT IDEAS TUTORIAL

The third resource that you can use is Pinterest. Pinterest is a fantastic place, and frankly, any content you're creating, you should just go ahead and Pin as well, because Pinterest is a search engine, it's not a social media platform. But if you go onto Pinterest, again, I'll just pull up on my screen so you can see exactly how to do this, you can type in some of the search terms that you might be looking for. So just to keep it consistent we'll go over the same examples.

Now I am on Pinterest. So I want to see what kind of things are coming up. Pinterest has this really cool feature, when you put in a search. So I'm going to just, again, go with wedding planner here. What it does is it right away will put in the top search terms. So for wedding planner, the most popular terms is printables, so they it right there for you, they make it really, really clear. So I see that another really popular one is checklist, so that might be really a good one, because I could think of a lot of content that might be related to that. Oh, and then when I click on checklist I see that there's even more things coming up. So that one's obviously searched for a lot. Worksheets, that might narrow it down even further. Wow, these are really, really popular terms, because they're giving you a couple of different things. So, worksheets on budget. So each of those would be really good topics.

So I would spend some time in here exploring and looking at some of the search terms. So I would just go through here and do a little bit of research and see what comes up. So here's one, 'Becoming a wedding planner', so this is perfect, this is right on target. So this one doesn't narrow down any further, but you can still see which of some of the pins are very popular. So you could scroll through some of these and get some inspiration and ideas.

Now let's go back a little bit. Wedding planner. So checklist, it looks like that's probably very popular, so you might be able to come up with a bunch of different checklists and that would be really, really good valuable content that people would be searching for. So I would definitely do some checklists for the day of, for timelines, for budgets, all of those things are obviously very, very popular. So that's a really good way of coming up with content that might be super relevant.

Let's see what happens when just put in, 'how to become a wedding planner', and see if that's a popular topic. It looks like it is. It looks like people have guides on here and all sorts of things. So tips, I would definitely give some tips on how to become a wedding planner, that's up here close to the beginning of the searches, so that looks like something people are definitely looking for.

So the idea is that you're looking for these keywords, these search terms that people are using and just getting inspiration for different things that you might want to write about. But they're telling you already what the most popular things that people are looking for are. So that's another way that you can find great topics for your blogs, YouTube videos, live-streams, etc.

So now you know how to come up with a lot of content ideas really fast. So now that you have all these great ideas you're probably wondering, "How do you put it all together into a content marketing plan?" Don't worry, I've got you covered. I have a free download that you can grab right here in this link. Go ahead and grab that, put together your content plan. I cannot wait to see what you create. If you enjoyed this video, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and be sure to subscribe. I will look forward to seeing you next week with more tips.

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9 Small Shifts to Create the Business and Life You Want (My personal reminders and commitments for 2018 and beyond)

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1 | BE PRODUCTIVE

Schedule out your days, weeks, and months. You don’t have to, of course, but people who are doing this are getting further ahead.

Many new entrepreneurs are thrilled to be working on their business full-time, and they immediately adopt the entrepreneurial lifestyle featured on Insta and Pinterest.

But if you want your business to work (and work well), then as you’re building, treat it like a job. Show up. Know what you need to do. Do what you need to do.

Of course, some entrepreneurs, do make multi-6 and 7-figure amounts of money while “doing nothing,” but notice what their “nothing” actually is.  They’re still creating, sharing, connecting, and serving an audience. You haven’t seen what it took for them to reach the point where all they have to do is post a blog once a week, do a live stream every few days, or make a FB post and then lean back and wait to rake in the dough.

Download my Goal Setting Roadmap now, to nix overwhelm, get crystal clarity and be more productive. 


2 | PLAN FOR THE PRESENT

Have a vision for what you’re creating, but keep your planning focused more immediately. If you’re planning for five years down the line, you’re not going to be able to maintain the motivation and enthusiasm.

Research shows that 90 days is about the length of our mental horizon. So keep your focus there. Do you more in-depth planning for the 30 days ahead of you.

Set markers that are achievable ‘cause it helps maintain your momentum when you…


3 | LEVERAGE BASIC MOTIVATION

Humans are motivated by avoiding pain or gaining pleasure.

We are more motivated by the avoidance of pain. But if you celebrate yourself, the burst of pleasure that comes from reward in enough to motivate you as you gain momentum.

If you only get pleasure from the big goals, you reach you’ll lose momentum before you hit those markers. You’ll move back into the place where you’re only motivated when the pain is severe enough.


4 | PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Gratitude not only feels good, but it also gets you to focus on what’s going the way you want instead of what you want that you don’t yet have.

More importantly, gratitude is a potent reminder of how powerful you are. Gratitude allows you to recognize that there was something you didn’t have in your life experience, that you wanted, that you were then able to create and receive into your experience. That’s a mighty thing you’ve done. And you can do it again for whatever else you want.


5 | ENJOY THE BUILDING

Part of being a human is that our desires are going to expand continually. Once we reach the goal we’ve been working on, we want something else. We THINK we want to just “get there,” but that would quickly grow dull.

...And since there’s no “there” to get to, it will serve you to enjoy the process of what you’re building.

Enjoy the creation.

Enjoy the building.

Enjoy the work.

If you can’t ever enjoy the process, you’ll invariably find yourself pushing up against frustration and disappointment.


6 | KNOW THAT WHAT YOU WANT EXISTS

Know that what you want exists. You just can’t see it yet.

In the summer of 2016 I attended a business seminar focused on mindset. I stood up in a room of over 300 entrepreneurs and talked about what I most desired and how devastating it felt that I didn’t have it yet. How unfair it seemed that I couldn’t find love.

The leader looked me in my watery eyes and told me, “it’s here. You just can’t see it.” I looked around the room thinking maybe he had met someone who he thought would be good for me…

It was confusing, but it snapped me out of the story that I didn’t have it. I started thinking, “it’s here, I just don’t see it.”

It was less than a month later that I met my husband.

It existed I just kept telling the story that I didn’t have love, which kept it out.

Whatever you want is already available to you, but you’re too busy focusing on the way things are. What’s right in front of you.

What you focus on expands so as you’re focusing on how things are, how they’re not what you want, that becomes all you can see and you push away what you most desire.

Start recognizing that what you want exists. You just can’t see it yet.


7 | APPLY THE 80/20 RULE TO CREATION V. CONSUMPTION

When you’re ready to scale your business to 6-figures+ be sure to spend 80% of your time creating and 20% of your time-consuming. That means you’ll be producing 4-5x what you consume. Fewer courses. Fewer masterminds. Fewer books. Fewer trainings.

When we start our businesses, it’s natural to want to consume. At least it was for me. I mean I had spent four years in college, three years in law school, and 1,000+ hours preparing for the CA bar, so I wanted to acquire at least that much education for my business…

It makes sense but not how entrepreneurship works. Master your craft. Study and learn, but also implement. You’re never going to stop learning in your business so let go of the idea that you need to know everything even before you start.

Which is a perfect segue into the next point…


8 | YOU’RE NOT A VICTIM OF THE FACEBOOK FEED

Or Insta feed

Or Pinterest

Or any other network that allows for endless scrolling. We feel bombarded.

...So create white space for yourself.

You can curate the feed and be intentional about the content you consume.

If there’s a group you find valuable and want to see posts for, then follow it. Unfollow the rest. You can still stay in the group, and if you think about it and decide to mozy over to the actual group, all the posts will still be there.

Choose 5-10 people whose content serves you. The rest you can unfollow and remain friends.


8| RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF YOUR WORK

See your work as of high service. You need to recognize your value, even before others widely recognize it.  That doesn’t mean you have to be anyone’s guru or that you have to lie or position yourself falsely. Just see that what you do is of value. If you have a desire to help or serve people, that’s good enough to start.

Grow and get better at it, but realize there is someone 1 or 2 steps behind you who will benefit immensely from your teaching and service.


9 | BE A GREAT STUDENT

Be a great student to become a better leader. And being a great student isn’t the same as consuming massive amounts of information all the time. (See 7)

Being an excellent student means you study, implement, and embody what you learn. That makes you a better student than the person reading two books every week who can’t explain any of the concepts in a clear and succinct way. And who certainly haven’t applied anything learned.

Spend at least 1 hour per day learning.

You can be, do, or have whatever you desire. These are a few small shifts you can make to get you moving in that direction.

My life and business have become more than I ever thought possible for me. If I can do this, than you DEFINITELY can.

I believe magic is possible for you.

I’ll be over here cheering you on!

Want help with any of this? Click here to work with me!

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How to Create More In Your Business: Tips for Female Entrepreneurs

One of my mantras for 2018 is create first.

For some of you creatives that might seem redundant. Or silly. ‘Cause you always create first. It's your natural state.

But not I.

I'm a consumer. Particularly of information. As we were all taught to be. I have always been an incredibly devoted learned — primarily through books. (I was one of those kids that would upset her parents because I wouldn't stop reading and come out of my room. And then when i did come out of my room I was still reading.)

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My love of education is a beautiful characteristic in many ways. Over the years my head has been filled with useful information and a love for learning.

But my head has also been filled with a ton of useless information. And a sort of perfectionism of feeling like I need to know everything before I can get started on something.

As an entrepreneur, this is often a detriment that slows me down.

Is there some value to this?

Of course.

But the truth is that for creatives and entrepreneurs (and creative entrepreneurs) there's so much of value. So much content. So much creativity already inside of us that often it's not necessary that we learn how to do everything right before we start.

If you're anything like me, you'll always be a student. Your thirst for knowledge will never dry up. However, there are ways to counterbalance your consuming with creating. Here are three tips:

Tip 1: Consume information that will help you understand and overcome the resistance to creating.  

Make a point of reading books and consuming information that will help you overcome the resistance, motivate you, and inspire you. Consume information that makes you want to hop out of that cozy worn spot on the couch and over to your desk to work.

The Art of War: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield gave me an understanding of what was happening to me — why I didn't want to take action on the things that I know I really do want to take action on.

Resistance.

Resistance is an invisible force that, "cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled. But it can be felt. We experience it as an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It's a repelling force. It's negative. It aims to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work."

Resistance is also internal, insidious, implacable, and impersonal, infallible, universal, and fueled by fear:  "Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance."

Ah, fear. Of course.

Elizabeth Gilbert describes fear in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear:

My fear was a song with only one note — only one word, actually — and that word was “STOP!” My fear never had anything more interesting or subtle to offer than that one emphatic word, repeated at full volume on an endless loop: “STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP!...I also realized that my fear was boring because it was identical to everyone else’s fear. I figured out that everyone’s song of fear has exactly the same tedious lyric: “STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP!’ True, the volume may vary from person to person, but the song itself never changes, because all of us humans were equipped with the same basic fear package when we were being knitted in our mothers’ wombs.

That describes me. And may describe you. And probably describes a lot of us. That's why it's poignant, relevant, and interesting.

On some level, it's easy enough to recognize that it's fear holding you back from what you want to create in your life. But seeing it on a page. In such an eloquent way. It allows for a shift. A little bit of magic, if you will.

It is natural to feel fear. About the things we create. And about putting them out into the world for other people to see. And potentially criticism. The things that we make ourselves are so precious and personal. It's like a small piece of you that you're making available to others. And for others to harshly judge — well, of course, that feels terrifying.

Yes, that fear is part of what makes us prefer to consume rather than create.

If I'm just taking in more information…
...I don't have to put myself at risk because I'm not sharing anything I've created
....I can learn from other people what they did what worked, and I'll do it exactly like them so that I too can be successful.
...I can appear "busy" and "productive" but don't have to dig into my creative mind and heart.

But calling a spade a spade. Recognizing that you're more than your fear and your basest instincts, (Big Magic reminds us that tadpoles also have this fear response) can be enough to inspire creation. And begin developing courage.

And courage is one of the antidotes to this fear and resistance.

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The other?

Turning Pro.

The Art of War prescribes treating creative endeavors with ten principles one would take from any other professional job:

  1. Show up every day
  2. Show up no matter what
  3. Stay on the job all day
  4. Committed over the long haul
  5. The stakes are high and real
  6. Accept remuneration for labor
  7.  Don't over-identify with job
  8. Master the technique of the job
  9. Have a sense of humor about job
  10. Receive praise our blame in the real world

It all sounds rather drab and rote, but there's a reason for that.

Showing up daily to create allows for a transformation to happen. Eventually, you don't have have to rely on forcing yourself to do the work, but forces outside of you begin to support you:

...when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen...A process is set in motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unseen forces enlist in our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose...this is the other secret that real artists known and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attract iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.
This is the point we’re trying to reach. Where work and creation feel fun. When we’re in the flow. The flow doesn’t have to be this amorphous, vague concept. Instead, it can be something that you manufacture by showing up and doing the work.

Which takes me to the next point…

Tip 2: Decide on your creating and create first. Consistently.

You don't necessarily have to go from 0 to 60. But you do need to start.

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Decide to create.

Meaning how much are you going to commit to every day. Make sure it's something that you can stick to.

Because here's the thing: even if you're not doing a ton every day, you'll feel the compound effect of your efforts so long as you're consistent.

It's about training your body and mind so that you don't give in to your resistance all the time.

Because here's what happens to most people initially. They start something, and they're not getting any attention for it.

They're doing their work for a period and no one cares. No one pays attention. Because people don't yet have a reason to pay attention.

But when you keep going, people eventually start to take notice.

There are countless stories of people who reached their level of success from showing up consistently.

We look at people and think that they're an overnight success story, but upon a closer look, we see that they've been showing up consistently for months or years.

And here's a practical exercise to get things going…

Tip 3: Write morning pages

Morning pages are an exercise I first learned from The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, a book for artists that has value and advice for anyone stuck or unfulfilled in their work. Anyone experiencing Resistance.

Here it is: in a journal, first thing in the morning just free form write for three pages in your notebook. Just write whatever comes up for you. No need to edit or censor, or make it beautiful, you're just writing and getting it all out. No one else will see it. It's just stream of consciousness.

The first few days I did this, all I could think about was the dreams I had or my plans for the day. But after a few days, it shifted. I would get ideas. I would have clarity. It was a little bit of magic I could experience first thing in the morning.

Creative thinking comes during that early morning time. The light bulb moments happen more readily.

For me, it's also helped me feel more organized and lessen anxiety. Plus it puts me in motion. After spending time doing this simple exercise that takes around 25 minutes, I'm prepared to work. I want to work.

Here are some of the other benefits:

  • Writing morning pages center and clear your mind. We all have tens of thousands of thoughts going through our brain each day. Many of them are repetitive. Doing a sort of brain dump first thing in the morning can help you sift through some of the muck so you can think more constructively and creatively.
  • They can help silence your inner critic
  • They lessen resistance
  • It's grounding
  • Helps generate ideas
  • Boosts productivity

It's unnecessary creation. Writing just for the sake of writing.

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Part of my struggle is there's a level of perfectionism. Needing to do things right. And always wanting to get "there." Morning pages are about the process. You're never sharing them with anyone. (And Cameron suggests you not even re-read them yourself).

You're a powerful creator, you simply need to create. Create first.

How to Prioritize Your First Steps In A New Coaching Business

If you’re dreaming of starting your own coaching business, you’ve likely come across lots of wit and wisdom on the subject. In fact, you may be drowning in ideas, strategies, methods, and possibilities.

Starting a business is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also extremely daunting - especially at the outset. Two things make the difference between sinking and swimming when you’re starting a new coaching business: whether or not you over-complicate things, and your ability to prioritize.