Camille: Welcome to episode I believe it's gonna be 18?
Camille: Doesn't feel like we've recorded that many episodes! But today I am joined by podcast producer Katie.
Camille: Hi Katie.
Camille: So glad you're here today cuz I did not wanna talk to myself, but my brother is a very busy man still traveling a lot this month.
Camille: We're recording this just before the holidays. We're mid-December, so everybody's in that holiday crunch mode. You know, when you get in the, I think we're feeling it too.
Camille: There's a lot of stuff we still wanna wrap up and do in our businesses, and yet we also really wanna take some time off. Yes.
Camille: So today I thought what might be really helpful is to talk about this is that time of year when it's time to plan.
Camille: It's actually my favorite time of year because of planning. Not so much cuz of holidays. I know that's really weird, but I'm super excited about the planning part. So, and this is when everybody gets excited to do it. I know you're equally a lover of planning, aren't you?
Katie: I think that's probably one of the reasons we get along so well.
Camille: It just might be. Yes.
Camille: Welcome to The Belief Shift. The show that explores. What you really need to know about building a successful small business.
Camille: I'm your host, Camille Rapacz: small business coach and consultant who spent too much of her career working in corporate business performance.
George: And I'm George Drapeau: your co-host and her brother. I'm a leader in the tech world bringing my corporate perspective, but mostly my curiosity.
Camille: Together, we're exploring beliefs about success and how to achieve it. But mostly we're bringing practical solutions so you and your business can thrive.
Camille: So planning is a big deal, but there's actually some prep work you should do before you get into the real deal of planning and you're, especially when you're doing a big annual plan for your business, or you're moving into strategic planning, there's a little bit of pre-work that you might do.
Camille: I include it in the planning process when I do that with clients. But I don't know that people, if you're out there on your own, getting ready to do some planning, maybe these are some steps that you hadn't thought about doing before. Or even if you're not, whatever it is you're about to do or not doing, planning in your business, these are some steps that you can take right now that will help you get ready for 2023, it's really a reflection process that you just walk through, answer some questions for yourself that'll really help you both. There's a sort of a personal perspective on this, so especially as a business owner, this is really important.
Camille: But even if you're listening and you're like, I'm not a business owner, but you're a leader in business, this process applies no matter what. You still would wanna go through these steps.
Camille: So we're gonna walk through them. I will put these questions in the show notes, so we'll make sure we drop them. Don't let me forget about that, Katie. We'll drop them into the show notes so that you can go through them. But we're gonna talk through them. And we actually did this in my membership group just this morning.
Camille: Katie and I were both in that conversation. So what we do there is we go through these steps with that everybody shares as much as we can. It's a small little group, but we love to just share out what are we coming up with and hear what people's answers is.
Camille: Very inspiring to hear each other. So I thought maybe we'd share some of their answers here as well. And maybe that'll be a little inspiring for people as they think, oh yeah, I hadn't thought about this or that as you go through your process. Yeah, that's great. That's great. That's what we're gonna do.
Camille: All good. Let's do it. All right.
Camille: So part one of these questions, these are the personal impacts, questions that you would think about and answer. And I will say when you think about doing this, one way to think about approaching it is, we sat down and had an hour conversation with our members and talked through these.
Camille: You don't have to spend an hour on this. You could just answer a couple questions every morning between now and the new year or now, whenever now is that you're listening to this and the next week or so. So you don't have to do this off at one step. You can just break this up.
Camille: If you like to journal, you can think of these as journaling prompts. So there's lots of different ways to approach this, but these are the questions that you would start to think about.
Camille: So the first ones then these kind of work in little, like pairs. So there's two questions to start this off, how did your business support your life this past year? And how did your business get in the way of your life in this past year?
Camille: So when you think about those, some of the things that came up in the group one of the ones that I loved the most was just having a, they felt that they had this sense of purpose and confidence, and so their business was giving them more of that in their life.
Camille: Which, if you can build a business that does that, I mean, I think that's what we all kind of hope for is that it can give us, we can feel some more purpose and confidence coming from doing this thing we call make a business. Mm-hmm. . But that was a big one. But then also just flexibility. I think that was maybe one of yours, Katie, was flexibility.
Camille: It was, right. Say more about that.
Katie: It's a plus and minus tool. So flexibility was really helpful in my life in terms of being able to take time off to deal with issues as they came up unexpectedly. However, also because I'm the only one I'm reporting to, if I didn't have deadlines that necessarily had to report to someone else, I also was fairly flexible on my due dates.
Katie: Yeah. Yeah.
Camille: The reason I put these two questions together is there's always this push and pull , of our business, of we as business owners can get some extra flexibility in how we, manage the work around our lives. But sometimes we end up trying to manage our lives around the work.
Camille: We put the work first and sometimes we have to do that. I find a lot of business owners are doing it when they don't have to. We feel this obligation to do it. We feel like if we aren't showing up in that way, that we're not doing a good job. We talk about in the belief shifts, making those trade-offs, gotta make the right trade-offs, but we don't wanna sacrifice what's really important in our lives.
Camille: Because the whole point of the business is to be able to have the life we actually want that we couldn't have otherwise. That's all we know for the most part. . If you have had a day job and you're new at running a business, then you don't really know anything else.
Camille: Or even if all you are doing is running a business, you still have. Societal expectations of what it means to, you know, the typical, nine to five schedule Monday through Friday. We even talked about this in the flexibility of, you know, can I take Fridays off and work on Sunday?
Camille: Well, yes I can, but how does that work? Does that actually fit my life? Does it not? How do you manage all that?
Katie: That was a huge eye-opener for me too when I realized the weekend didn't have to be on the weekend.
Camille: And I don't know about you, but I love when I just choose to take a day of the week that's just for me. I just block it and do my own thing. I almost feel like I'm cheating or something. Like I'm doing something that other people don't get to do. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I get to be out here doing something other people don't have the freedom to do, and I love that. I love that feeling in my business.
Katie: Yeah, it's a treat for sure.
Camille: So those are the first two, your, how did your business support your life, and then how did your business get in the way of your life? And again, if you're not running a business, it's how did your work support your life and how did your work get in the way of your life?
Camille: So then the next set of questions are around learning. What was your most significant learning about business in general, or your business or your company? The second learning is about yourself. What did you learn this past year about yourself?
Camille: So, what'd you learn about business? What'd you learn about yourself?
Camille: And some of the great things that came up in our conversation was I loved this one where she talked about how she learned it was sort of a combo answer about her and her business. Right. She learned that she could do sort of hard things. She could do things that she was felt scared or intimidated about doing them.
Camille: But she realized that she could do them and that she was good at them, and then how that helped her grow her business. Like both of those things happened at the same time. Like you can see the connection of them now it's so obvious. Well, of course that's what would happen. But when you're in that moment of, I don't know if this is the right next step to take in my business.
Camille: I don't know if I should do this thing. I'm feeling, you know, intimidated. I have this hesitation around it. It doesn't feel like that at the time. You don't feel the, of course. I just go do that thing cuz it will grow my business. All you feel is the tension of is this gonna work?
Camille: Am I gonna be able to do it?
Camille: Yes. Mm. So I loved that one in particular. Just as a, what did she learn because it was just so powerful.
Camille: Some of the other things that came up around this learning question were about It was kind of a combination of these two ideas fitting together, which was the building your business one layer at a time, and the value of micro moves.
Camille: We emphasize this lot in the membership. How do we focus on just these very small moves as a way to really make big gains overall in our business? And so the conversation was how if I make a small move, then if I fail, it's not as big and it's much easier to overcome. And it also can set me up, set up some momentum to make some bigger moves.
Camille: I don't want to have people think that micro moves are the only thing you ever do. What you're doing is you're using them to build the momentum and the confidence and get that foundation built to make a bigger move.
Camille: There are some leaps that you wanna be able to take in your business. But I think we emphasize in general, the conversation always seems to emphasize, you've gotta just take massive action and make these big moves. We're undervaluing the importance of all the small stuff that has to happen that we should be focusing on. And it's so intimidating to just be like, I have to always be taking massive action on everything.
Camille: Exhausting who can survive. Yeah. It's exhausting. And who can survive that and talk about messing up work-life balance. Right. So just focusing on those small moves and setting you up for the big ones, that was one of his big learnings that he was sharing. And it was such a great one because to me it's everything.
Camille: We just need to focus on those small moves and the big stuff will show so clearly to you, like, oh, here's where I now take big steps and where I feel good about it. Mm-hmm. Maybe still a little scared and intimidated, but not like I otherwise would've been if I hadn't done all this foundational micro moves before that.
Katie: Sometimes you gotta dip your toe in the water a few times before you just jump on in.
Camille: No kidding. Yeah. It's so important to set yourself self up for it. And I see business owners do it a lot cuz we see what other people are doing or people might ask you like, oh, so when is your business gonna be a million dollars?
Camille: You should be able to do that next year. Right. And you're like , no, what? You know what? And I'm making up a million dollars. Could be any number. It could just be six figures if you're just a little micro-business owner or you know, whatever you're trying to get to. Other people's perceptions of what you should be aiming for are what you should be doing, whether it's people you know, or just the internet in general, and the messaging of, you know, you see somebody say, Hey, I started my business six months ago and now I have a million followers and this much revenue.
Camille: We just have to stop listening to those people cuz we have no idea what their scenario is. We have no idea where they started from, how much money they got funded in, like we don't know anything about them.
Camille: Mm-hmm. all you know, is what you are starting with. And I think that's one of the biggest things when I think about just the value of these micro moves is just drown out all of the noise and go at your pace. Go a as fast, a pace as you can manage in a healthy way. You do wanna push yourself a little bit, but not so bad that you're just gonna crumble.
Katie: We're trying to avoid the burnout that we, many of us are escaping from.
Camille: Yes. That's such a good point. Most of the reasons a lot of us are doing this is cuz we don't want to just have this go, go, go and burn ourselves out process. We want something else.
Camille: And then there's another one in here that I thought was brilliant and it's so simple, but it's so good. Which is just the simplicity of learning about how to schedule tasks into your calendar. Mm-hmm. not just meetings, but tasks. And I know people who have calendars that are packed full of meetings, so I'm like, when the heck are you doing the actual work?
Camille: And they're like, yeah, I don't know. I don't know when I'm doing the work. Oh gosh, I have not booked that in.
Camille: And then on the flip side, I know people who their schedules aren't necessarily packed so it kills you either way. Either your schedule is too full to do the work or your schedule's not full enough.
Camille: So maybe you're just starting out and your calendar's fairly open still cuz you're doing all the building blocks work in your business. So it's not that you're tied to a schedule or maybe your business doesn't run on this schedule of things on your calendar, but because you still haven't scheduled the task, you feel like I have all the time in the world to do those tasks.
Camille: But you didn't schedule them. So you don't have any personal accountability. Yes. And you don't have a reminder and you don't like, you don't have any of the structure you need to do that work.
Katie: Yep. Say you're gonna do it on Monday and then suddenly it's Friday again.
Camille: Exactly. And I think, you know, even though when I, whenever I talk to people about planning, it's not enough to just write down what I want to do.
Camille: A plan isn't complete until you've said, and it's getting done at this date and time. This is my time to go do those tasks. So I have lots of blocks on my calendar that are, here's when I do podcast stuff and here's when I'm doing my weekly planning, and that changes on a weekly basis. The weekly planning doesn't move.
Camille: That's every morning, 8:00 AM. Nothing happens without the weekly plan. But throughout the week, then I'm like, oh, this is a good block when I should work on some marketing content. This is when I should do even some of my offline client work. Whatever it is, right?
Camille: It seems like such a small thing and it makes such a difference. Yes.
Katie: Where is your time going?
Camille: And where should it go?
Camille: All right, so the next set of questions are around emotions.
Camille: What words really describe emotions of 2022?
Camille: Just go through the year and think like, how did I feel about last year? Mm-hmm. And just writing all those, just one word, emotions down. And then once you do that, you can sort of look at it from a, wow, what, what of these emotions do I wanna take forward into next year?
Camille: And then, which ones do I wanna just let go? Not necessarily a void or I don't believe in just taking negative emotions and pretending they don't exist, cuz that's not real. But there's definitely an aspect of I can let go of that negative feeling. I don't need to take that with me. It's not really serving me.
Camille: Or maybe you are gonna flip it around into a positive. So that process, people brought up all sorts of great stuff in the conversation. And it's always the yin and yang, right? So it was progress and stagnation. Was that yours?
Katie: That was me.
Camille: That was you. Progress versus stagnation. And then proud, but also impatient. Yes.
Katie: That also I think might have been me. I'm not good at planting the seed and then waiting for it to grow patiently. I trust that the process is working. I just would like to be more involved in seeing that it's working.
Camille: I'm with you. I think as business owners, if we didn't have a little impatience in us, we probably wouldn't be very good at this. Good point. Because that's what keeps us driving forward. Having to be patient is definitely important, but the fact that you have a little bit of that tension and that's mostly what we talked about in these emotions, was the tension between them and how important that is.
Camille: Just being all or one or the other, I don't think is serving us as well as leaving space for the tension between these emotions, like between the progress and the stagnation. That feeling of, I think I'm making progress, but it also doesn't feel like enough.
Katie: And maybe what I need to think about it, speaking of kind of reframing how you're thinking about things is instead of it being stagnation, it's rest or like it's, it's just brewing or something like that. Marination time. So the work is, wait. Yeah. Which is very counterproductive to my mind. I want to work constantly.
Camille: Yes. Because that's progress feels like I must always be doing something. There's something about reframing the idea of maybe it's not stagnation as much as it's marination or something. There also needs to be some breathing room for you and for the work.
Camille: Right. Because how many times do you step away from the work and then boop - there's that problem. Yep. Solution or there's that new idea.
Katie: All the time.
Camille: All the time. And we don't do, I think a very good job in, it's just as humans like allowing for that space to happen.
Katie: My old boss, his boss used to recommend taking three weeks off of work twice a year so that you could really get or your mind out of work mode. And I was always like, One day. That's a goal.
Camille: When I worked a day job, we would go to Mexico for vacation every year and we quickly learned, I quickly learned that it had to at least be 10 days because it took me three days at minimum to really unwind from the work and start to actually enjoy that I was on vacation. I was very focused on, I've gotta let go of work if I'm actually gonna make this vacation mean something.
Camille: Yeah. But it meant we needed 10 days cuz it took me minimum three, sometimes five, to just get into fully relaxing and enjoying. And if you're only there for a week, by the time you get there, you're like, oh, I, then I get panicked cause I'm like, I only have a day left. Right?
Katie: That was her thinking. Exactly.
Camille: Yeah. I think that's spot on. I think taking a moment here in a moment there is really important, but you also just need to really step away and get out of that space. It will give you a new perspective on what you're doing and on your business.
Camille: , I'm sure there's business owners listening right now that are like, there is no way I could step away from my business for three weeks. Hmm. Well, I would say that would be a really great goal to set for yourself is how do I get my business to a point where I could step away for three weeks?
Camille: Yes. I'm about to have to do this next year, so this spring we're taking a really big trip and it's, I'm gonna have to step away from the work for like three weeks, like really step away. I'm not gonna be able to, I'm gonna be in different time zones and I'm not gonna be able to remotely do it. So I challenge everybody to figure out what would it take to do that.
Camille: Because if you can't, why do you have this business? Yes, exactly. You can't have that freedom. Why do you have a business? And I don't mean freedom to work from anywhere, so you can keep the business going while you're away for three weeks. No. Right. I mean, you're gonna not actually be working on the business at all for three weeks.
Camille: Yes. There has to be a way.
Katie: Italians do it every year. August, nobody's there.
Camille: That's so true. I wanna live in these countries where that's just part of their culture.
Camille: And you just don't do a good job of that. Nope. But it's possible people.
Camille: So, let's see. Some of the other words that came up were excitement and breakthrough. Oh, this was really funny. So surprising. Two people came up with surprising. That was one of yours. Mm-hmm. . And then it was also somebody else's, surprising!
Camille: Yeah. In a good and bad way.
Katie: In a good way is really how it came up. Even bad surprises can lead for, you know, opportunities that you just didn't plan for. Sure. But mainly it was like good . Surprises. Like, oh, I didn't anticipate this going so well, or, oh, I reflected on this and it actually did do better than I thought.
Katie: So I guess I'll do more of that in the future.
Camille: Most of this, we were really talking about how do we take some of these negative and we focused on the, the word scared came up a lot and how you can make that a good thing, right?
Camille: So it was scared and it, but empowered. Somebody said, they wanted to carry forward scared in a positive way. Like I don't ever wanna not feel a little bit of that fear or hesitation. Mm-hmm. , because I think that's what's fueling us, right? Yeah. But not letting that go too negative for us, not having it hold us back.
Camille: But it was, you know, how do we find the positive in what we think of as a negative term, which is being scared. Cuz being scared can actually be a good thing.
Katie: People love getting scared. That's why haunted houses are a thing and all like horror movies. It's not my cup of tea, but lots of people love that kind of stuff.
Katie: It's exciting. And I think that's sort of like the other side of fear, right? It's excitement.
Camille: Yes. I remember I saw something about what's going on with people who actually like to get scared? Hmm. I'm one of those people I love watching the scary movies. I love the, yeah.
Camille: I love that stuff. I have a certain genre of that stuff that I like. I don't really like the gross, you know? Mm-hmm. Yeah. I like the jaws scary. They're letting you come up with all the horrible things that could be happening in your own head. Cuz my head's gonna come up with way crazier stuff than what you show me on the screen.
Camille: Mm-hmm. But I love that stuff and I think there is something positive in that feeling of being scared and how it can like excite and motivate you and all those kinds of things. So. Maybe not horror, scary in your business, but some kind of scary could be a good thing.
Camille: So that was all of our stuff around the emotions. And again, it's really just a way to look at like, what's showing up for me and how do I make sure all these emotions as best I can. I want these to all be working in my favor. So how do I acknowledge them and pull them forward, even the bad scary ones.
Camille: The next question, and we didn't talk about this one in the membership cause we only had so much time, but I want people listening to this podcast to also address what are your top five values? And if you don't know them, I do have an exercise around this. People can just ping me if they don't know what that is, by the way, we do have an Instagram account, but you can also leave a voice message.
Camille: If you go to the belief shift.com, there's a little widget. You could just click and leave a voice message and say, how do I get to my values?
Camille: There's lots of exercises. I have a great one that I can give people, but. What are your top five values? The reason we wanna focus on this is I wanna people to ask themselves, how did they show up in my business? Or where were they lacking in my business?
Camille: Because one of the biggest ways I see people get very disenchanted with their jobs or their businesses. So, so in the workplace it shows up like this. I have a set of values, whether I've explicitly stated what they are or not, I still have them. There are things I value, right?
Camille: So your first job is , what are they figuring out? What are things that I value most? And if you really think about, you can start naming them off. Your company also has a set of values and what I find people get most disenchanted with is, A, there's a misalignment in those values. Like the things that I value aren't really the top values of my company.
Camille: An easy example would be the environment, right? I very much believe in being very , conscientious around the environment and what we do from a climate crisis perspective or whatever, however you think about that.
Camille: But my company doesn't value that. It's not important. If that's a really top value for you, then that's a struggle. Cause you're like, I'm doing this work every day that's not lined up to my values. And even though you might not overtly realize that that's happening, there's this undercurrent that's constantly just kind of nagging at you.
Camille: The other way that the misalignment of values shows up is just working for a company who maybe you're like, I'm totally down with all five of their values. I can get on board with it. But I don't really see them actually living them. I just see them talking them. Yeah. You ever been there?
Katie: Oh yeah. All talk and no game.
Camille: Right. It's so crazy to me when I see companies do this because it just seems like such an obvious thing to fix. Mm-hmm. And yet it must not be because lots of companies have this problem where I go in there and I realize, oh, you're not even living up to your own.
Camille: And you might be doing this in your own business, by the way, because it's actually kind of hard to do, to really think about what are the values that I want embedded in my business?
Camille: And so that's why we ask this question. How are they showing up? However they're showing up in your business now, keep doing that.
Camille: But then how are they lacking? So maybe one of your values doesn't really show up in your business. How could you make that happen? Or maybe there's areas of your business where you're like, we're really good at living up to the values in this place, but not so much over here. Mm-hmm. And I wanna improve that.
Camille: And so it's a really great way to think about if you are starting to feel just a little meh about your business and lost that loving feeling about your business, this might be one of the places to look. Yeah. That's a great idea.
Camille: We often really under, we undervalue the value of values.
Camille: And you know, it's tricky. I get it as a business owner, business is business and it has certain demands, and those might be different from yours. But as a business owner, your job is to create that alignment as best you can to what the business needs you to do versus the values that you want to espouse, that you wanna live by.
Camille: And then you just have to be honest with your people as well. , here's what we actually need to do in order for the business to go well. These are the things that are important.
Camille: But how can we still do that and stay true to our values? There's a way to solve that problem and we just don't really talk about it enough.
Camille: That was question number seven, was the values. So that one stands alone as just one question.
Camille: And then the last one in this space is what are you most proud of accomplishing in your business in this past year? And the reason I think it's important is you just need to be loud and proud about this.
Camille: This is also where I wanna see all the little micro move accomplishments. All the small stuff that you maybe didn't think about as being a very big deal, but is a big deal.
Camille: But people who had all sorts of great thoughts on this. Speaking at conferences, hitting their big money goal just purely persevering. We joke about this sometimes, but it's real, which is I didn't give up and go back and get a day. Yeah. Big accomplishment for many people. Mm-hmm. Having self-compassion for themselves. Launching new services, hitting subscriber goals.
Camille: For you, Katie, it was doing a podcast consistently for an entire year?
Camille: Yes. Like, congrats to you cuz now that I'm doing this, I'm like, holy moly, girl, that is some work.
Katie: It is a little bit of work. True, yes.
Camille: A little bit. I wish the listeners could see your face, as you said that, where you're like, it's just a little bit, with your eyes wide open, like, oh my gosh, it's so much work.
Camille: Let's see, what else did people say? Oh, somebody had like tripled the, I didn't realize that she had tripled the growth of her business. Holy moly. That girl is on fire. I know. She's still a little baby micro business, but she's just one human making it all happen. And she's a full-time mom, so Yeah. . Yeah, she's killing it.
Camille: Presenting for the first time in front of 15 people. Mm. Such a big deal, right? Yes. I mean, any number of people when you're first presenting is so nerve-wracking. Yes.
Camille: Starting a newsletter, selling out an event like super fast. I mean, I was trying to go to that event and then I was like, what? You sold out already? Shoot. Whoop, I gotta pay attention.
Camille: Another business owner was, she's just getting started this year, so I just got her launching her business. Her big one was just meeting with clients, which by the way, if you're just getting started, number one thing is just start helping people.
Camille: Nothing will motivate you more than just starting to help people. And especially if you're in like the coaching consulting kind of business and you're like, should I do it for free? My advice is yeah. If you're just trying to stand up the whole, how do I make money out of it part? And you can either do it for free or on the cheap just to get some wins under your belt.
Camille: It's not just about I need to show that I can do it. It's about what it does for you, how it fuels you and how it informed. Nothing is more informing than actually doing the work. You can outline all the like frameworks and processes and plans and steps and coaching packages and whatever you want, but when it comes to just that service nothing tells you more about how to build your business than you starting to do the job of serving clients.
Camille: So that's my little tidbit. Anybody who's in the like very early baby steps of doing this. Yeah.
Camille: And then that last one was just like, Nobody gave up. I know that sounds silly, but I, that's kind of where most of us are usually at, is every once in a while there's this like, oh, am I done?
Camille: Am I making progress fast enough? Mm-hmm, should I keep going? And I know people on the other side with bigger businesses who, they are successful, they are making enough money and they're still like, do I keep going? Do I still like it? Do I still want this business? And I say the answer is always yes, but in what way?
Camille: Yeah. Like, what do I want it to be next? That's hard to do. It's hard to take that off ramp into what you want it to be next. But I think it's an important thing to keep asking. And maybe for some of you it's, no, I do wanna sell this thing. Great. I know lots of people who, they build businesses specifically just to sell them.
Camille: Yeah, that's a great strategy. Build a business that you can sell. That's what you know you're doing. This is where long-term planning is really important. What is the long-term vision of this? Is it to build something that I sell to somebody? Is it to build something that I can work into retirement?
Camille: Am I gonna hand this down to employees? Is mm-hmm , is that what I want to be doing with it? Like, what do you want this long-term business to be like?
Camille: So that's the last of the, what's that sort of personal impact reflection piece.
Camille: This next set of questions is really more what do I reflect on in terms of business performance?
Camille: I include both of these things in the first step to doing a Strategic Plan with the business is we gotta look at both of these things. Especially as a business owner, like it's affecting your life. So you have to look at both pieces.
Camille: We did not have time to do this in the membership today, so we're just gonna be running through these with some of our own answers, Katie.
Camille: I'm fine. Yeah. Great. So there's five topics to cover here just from a general sense and there's a lot of nuance and detail underneath all of. We're not gonna have time to get into. So I'm just gonna kind of, I just tried to simplify this as best I could into kind of these five buckets.
Camille: The first one is just looking at your overall performance on your top objectives or goals in your business.
Camille: When you set out for the year last year, there's stuff you wanted to get done. Number of clients, maybe a revenue goal, maybe launching a new service. There's stuff you wanted to do. And so we really wanna reflect on what were the results that you got? That's sort of the simple one, like, how did I do?
Camille: But what I really want you to look at is not just the what, but more of the how and what's underneath it. Because if all we do is look at outcomes, we're gonna miss so much in this reflection process. So it's, what did I wanna achieve and how did I do? But here's the three things I really want you to think about.
Camille: So the first one is, how many of these results that I got in my business, did I get in the right way? This kind of aligns back to were my values present in how I achieved those goals. I mean, the most baseline question is, did I do it ethically? Right, right.
Camille: But that's a real question. Like it's really easy to have made progress in business but not feel good about it. Not have, yes. To be ethical or aligned to your values is the next level or just, just again, in a way you felt good about. So did you achieve those results in the right way.
Camille: The second part of this reflection is, could you repeat that? Like the way you got those results, could you do it again? Is it a repeatable thing? If it's not, that's a potential problem in your business. You should be building things that can repeat making money for you. This is how you end up growing your business is that I can sell more of, do more of this thing, but I do it better and I make more money. So it's gotta be something repeatable.
Camille: And then the last part of this reflection on the performance to your goals and objectives is how much luck was involved? There is always luck involved in business and we do not talk about it enough.
Camille: So when you see another business and you're like, how are they doing that? Oh, there's probably some luck going on over there. And then some of us are like not so lucky. Right. Some people are like, what? How? Where's my luck? When am I gonna be lucky?
Camille: Now what I think about luck, my philosophy on this is luck is all over the place. And you're either ready to take advantage of it or you're not.
Camille: And that's really what your job is. As a business owner, I'm making a plan and I'm preparing my business so that when opportunity strikes, when luck shows up at my door, I can actually take advantage of it. Yes. Because some people are not ready or even looking or ready to handle it, and it just passes them by and they miss it.
Katie: Oh, so often the case.
Camille: Right. I think that we really underestimate the role that luck plays in our businesses. Because we wanna feel like, well, I'm in control of all of it. You're not.
Camille: When people are like, oh, I'm never lucky in my business, I think it's because you, you're not looking for it. Right? Like you have to be looking for the opportunities and you have to be willing to make the proper assessment about them. And whether that's your kind of luck or not too.
Camille: Like you shouldn't say yes to all the luck, but if it's really lucky for you, then it is right. It is the right thing for you to take advantage of. So I think really looking at all of your success and asking yourself, what role does luck play in this? And am I really set up to continue taking advantage of it when it shows up.
Camille: I think it should be a very freeing thought in your head of, okay, I'm not in control of everything. I know what I can control, and I know what was sort of just up to luck. And that's a good thing for you to understand as you go forward because it also helps you understand like, well, maybe next year I'm just less lucky and that's part of why I am not doing as well.
Camille: It doesn't mean you don't keep trying and doing all the work, but it does have a role to play. If we were in control of everything, all of our business would be performing exactly the way that we want them to.
Katie: And maybe kind of boring.
Camille: That's a good point.
Camille: Yeah. Without luck, things would be a little bit boring.
Katie: Without surprises every once in a while that's usually when you're like, do I need to start another business? Do I need to quit?
Camille: Yes. That's when we start. You're like, me anyway, that's totally true.
Camille: I know we talk about, we don't wanna a lot of surprises. But when I think about not having surprises, I think about it as I don't want to have surprises for the other people I work with in my business.
Camille: Whether they're contracted or employed or whoever I'm depending on like those people, I don't wanna be the one surprising them. But in business in general, you do wanna recognize that there's gonna be surprises all over the place. And you just have to be able to adapt and be ready for them. Yeah. Some will be good, some will be bad.
Katie: I actually have a great example for this set of questions. Back in the beginning of the year I did a knit along for a pattern that I designed for fingerlessmitts and it went over really, really well. The sales for the yarn was really great. It's definitely a repeatable process, which I'm realizing.
Katie: And how much luck was involved? Well, it was pretty lucky that I happened to see a sweater at the mall one day that had an interesting cuff design and it triggered something in my brain that I thought, you know, this would be a cool knitting pattern. And so that lucky idea wouldn't have been anything had I not gone after it.
Katie: So there is that too, which I think is what you're saying.
Camille: Yes, totally. I mean, I think that there's the luck of just the spark of the idea. But I think also just then, I know you had outcomes from that, that you weren't expecting as well. You were like, oh, and it actually had some financial return that I didn't plan on.
Katie: Yeah, it went over way better. Also, I chose to incorporate more people into it so it wasn't just my following, it was also the following of the yarn owner. So we were collaborating, which is another value of mine in the business. I love collaborating with other small business owners and that's something I wanna do is really promote and help us all out so that we don't have to get day jobs.
Camille: That's so great. Yeah. So it's repeatable, not just because you could technically do it again, but also cuz you enjoy it. Yeah, exactly. Like that's a big part of making something repeatable, right?
Katie: And I'm gonna repeat it better next time because I know what people want and I have different ideas about how to go about that now or ways to offer it to them.
Camille: Oh, I love that story.
Camille: All right, so number two is reassessing your strategies. So what's working and what's not. And when I say strategies, because your business, you have one sort of big strategy for your business, but it's really made up of then smaller strategies within the business.
Camille: So there's a strategy for how you get customers, your marketing strategy, customer acquisition or business development. Are those strategies working or what part of 'em is working and what's not? That's level one reflection.
Camille: There's also, there can think about strategies for how you actually are serving your customers, your product or service delivery, your customer service overall. Are those strategies effective?
Camille: These are places where you're gonna want some data. And so you might look and be like, I don't think I know. Well, that's a great reflection on, oh, how would I know? What could I actually look at in order to start knowing whether my strategies are effective or not? Don't walk away from this one if you're like, well, I don't have any way of knowing. The next question is then how could I? Because there are always ways to find out, and so this is a great place to lean into, I need to get better at having an understanding about how these things are going. And there's always a way, there's always a way to measure these things. So reassessing the strategies at all these different levels in your business is a great other reflection to do.
Camille: Number three is, probably least exciting for most people, which is the analyzing your finances.
Camille: I think of this in the big picture way of just get a clear picture of where did the money come from and where did it go to. Financial people are like, use the proper language, cash flow and blah, blah, blah. But I just like to think of it simply as just reflecting on, cuz there's another level of financial analysis that you should be doing with your accountant or whatever, depending on how big your business is.
Camille: But just from a very basic picture, , do you know where you made money from? Especially if you have multiple lines of,, revenue. Most people are making money in a few different ways. Do you know where the money was coming from? And also then what was the biggest bang, what's the biggest ROI or return on investment?
Camille: And then where's all that money going? Hmm. And that reflection on just what does that picture look like will help inform decisions for next year.
Camille: Even, as you do this reflection, you don't have to make any decisions. You just have to put information down, like this is what happened. Just very non-judgmental. This is just a situation, right?
Camille: Just facts.
Camille: Number four is an operations review. So how well are things running on a daily basis? Where are your processes and systems working for you, and where do they need some improvement? And this is just both day to day of how you as a business owner are operating in your business, but also just generally how it's running for others.
Camille: So if you have employees or for your customers, is it a nice, smooth, easy, seamless process? There is certainly something in there that's not. So this is just a reflection on how's it going operations wise?
Camille: Efficiencies. Yes.
Camille: I know. You'll notice that the operations review and looking at how the business is running, this is sort of your operational effectiveness or efficiency.
Camille: And notice that that's not a strategy. Like, that's just foundational to how your business should run. And some businesses big and small, make the mistake of thinking that if I just get more efficient, that's my strategy for the year. It's like, nope, you should just be doing that. Your strategy should be about growth, not about this, or about stability.
Camille: Like something that's not just about I should just run my business better.
Katie: You could efficiently work on something that goes nowhere.
Camille: That's true too. Yes. So yeah, you need to have strategies, but then also be working on this operational performance part of your business.
Camille: And then number five is how you implement your strategy.
Camille: So this is, how good are you at pursuing your goals? Well, setting, pursuing, and achieving goals. So there's these layers, and this comes down to your systems and processes for planning.
Camille: So do you have good cycles of planning around daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly? There's different types of planning that should happen at those different times.
Camille: But having good systems and processes for that is important because again, you don't wanna just plan once for the year and then walk away. we gotta keep it going. Planning is a forever thing.
Camille: And also, what kind of tools or apps are you using that are helping you with that planning? Katie and I just talked about, we're gonna do a whole podcast that's just on our favorite tools and apps that we use in business. Oh yeah. So that'll be fun.
Camille: And then are you setting aside enough time for the planning work? And remember we've talked about this before, about planning is the work. Planning isn't separate from the work. You as a business owner or if you're a business leader, same deal. Your job is to do some planning.
Camille: That's part of your job description. So that means you should schedule time. Back to the earlier thing about did I schedule time in my calendar for the tasks? This is a thing that should be on your calendar. This is my time for planning, whatever that looks like.
Camille: So those were the five areas for business performance reflection.
Camille: So good.
Camille: We will put all those in the show notes so you guys can just quickly go reference them if you're like, I couldn't write all that down.
Camille: So just really to wrap things up, I just wanted link this back to all the belief shifts. Because I heard 'em like, oh, which belief shifts does this relate to? All of them.
Camille: Oh, big surprise.
Camille: I could just say that all of them and goodbye. No. They connect to all of them. So I'm just gonna walk through 'em really quick.
Camille: You're strengthening your foundations by doing this reflection because this is keeping you from doing a quick fix.
Camille: This is having you go, wait, let me actually assess what is happening. So this reflection is strengthening the foundations. It's also about being curious. This process should be about curiosity. Not judging. You're not judging yourself or your business. Just being curious about what's happening in here?
Camille: That's the best mindset to have as you go through this reflection process. Great advice.
Camille: It's very much also a plan it. Don't wing it. This is the first step to planning and not winging it, right? Yes. And reflection. It's also about setting up. We talked a lot about there's different aspects of here, looking at the systems.
Camille: Do I have enough systems to keep things from getting chaotic? And also just this reflection process should be part, it should be built into your systems of planning.
Camille: It's a little meta, I know, but it's also, this is setting you up for having you look at strategy, setting it up for that next level of strategic planning so you're not just doing this random spaghetti at the wall approach.
Camille: And it will inform future trade-offs for you to make so you don't get into the sacrifices like we talked about did my business serve me or not? Kind of question. Was I sacrificing too much or did I make smart trade-offs in my business? And this in itself is, like I said, it is a process.
Camille: So process, you know, over outcomes. We even talked about that and how you assess the goals and objectives of your business. Don't just look at whether I made them or not, but what was the process for getting there and do I feel good about that?
Camille: And then finally, you can micro move your way through this reflection process. One or two questions at a time. Like I said in the beginning, one or two questions at a time. Either part of a little mini morning journaling process or just, or end of day or whenever it suits you to just answer a couple of these questions. You don't need to do them all at once because that can feel really overwhelming and we don't want that either.
Camille: So just take a couple at a time.
Katie: Treat yourself afterwards too. That's always fun.
Camille: Oh, I like that too. Yeah. Treat yourself or do it in a fun place, like take yourself out for coffee or for lunch or for something and just do it there. Yeah. That's a good idea. Really great idea to step out of your typical work environment to do this kind of reflection.
Camille: Alright, so any last thoughts, Katie, before I wrap us up here?
Katie: This is just such a great way to take us out of the year. I know I for one am really excited to do the reflection process and to work with you in the upcoming year on just planning to have an awesome 2023.
Camille: Me too. I've done a little bit of pre-work on my plan, but I haven't done my full plan yet. And my husband has his own business as well, so he and I actually decided we're gonna do a co mini planning workshop just the two of us on Friday. It'll be perfect cuz we'll share like, well here's what we're planning in our businesses and did we line that up with what we actually want to do in our lives? Right, right. Yeah. We got stuff we wanna do. So that's gonna be really fun.
Camille: But then also I'm gonna be doing a four-part planning series with people online the week of January 9th. So there's a link in the show notes if you wanna sign up for that. You did it last year, right, Katie?
Katie: Oh yes.
Camille: And it's so great. Even if you've done it before, it's always really valuable.
Camille: Mostly, the time is just carved out for you to actually do the work. So we're gonna do the work together. And so it's gonna be a combination of doing work together where I'm gonna walk you through the steps, I'll give you the template, I'll walk you through the steps on Zoom, but then there's also gonna be office hours where you can come and ask questions.
Camille: That's why there's four parts. Two of them are workshop time, two of them are office hours time. And you can come in and ask questions in the office hours about, I didn't understand this step, or did I do this one right? Or, I need some guidance on this. It's basically me coaching you on your plan. Or you can also get other members, other business owners feedback in that space.
Camille: So that'll be the week of January 9th. Highly encourage you to sign up for that because it's just that dedicated time that most of the struggle we have with doing a business plan is when am I gonna do it? Yes. And I've spread it out, so it's just a little bit of time each day, and so it won't be too overwhelming to actually do.
Camille: Check that out. And I hope to see lots of people in there because again, this is my favorite thing to do. This is my favorite time of year: Christmas and planning. What could be better?
Camille: All right. Thanks for joining me today, Katie. This would've been way more boring if I had to do it by myself, so I really appreciate you being here.
Katie: Oh, such a pleasure. Thank you.
Camille: There will not be an episode coming out the last week of December because I am taken that week off, so no episodes then. But we will be back in your ears January, the first week of January. Gosh, what is that? Tuesday, January 3rd. That's when the next episode will come out.
Camille: So everybody have a lovely break over the holidays and we will be back with more fabulous stuff about small business growth and just business stuff in general. And hopefully by then George will be back. But we'll see. We're gonna try and record an episode over the holidays when we're in per in together, cuz he's gonna be here.
Camille: Good luck, . I know that probably won't happen cuz you know nephew, Avi will take all of our time as he should.
Camille: Well maybe he's a guest too. Get him on there. Put him on the mic. Ooh. Oh my gosh. What small business would he wanna start? He's probably got some my ideas.
Camille: Probably something about dragons and hot wheels.
Camille: Interesting. Yeah. Who nobody he'd come up with.
Camille: Thanks Katie.
Camille: Thanks everybody.
Camille: Happy holidays and we'll talk to you next year.