Work ON your business, not just IN it.
Imagine you own a flowershop.
You are a whiz at arranging flowers, ordering just the right amount of exotic vs. domestic plants for every occasion, and even growing a prize-winning selection of hybrid flowers that can’t be found anywhere else.
You’re so busy with your customers and your garden and managing the inventory that you forget all about keeping the storefront up to date. Pretty soon, the windows are looking cloudy. The display tells your customers that it’s still Valentine’s Day, in the middle of June. Two lights are out in your welcome sign; instead of FLOWERS, it looks like you sell LOWER.
Now, stay with me… You are the flowershop owner.
You’ve been working “in” your business – keeping customers happy, doing all the tasks that produce a return on investment.
But you haven’t been working “on” your business – stepping back to look at your storefront, planning for the next quarter, keeping the windows clean so your goal is always in plain sight, making sure your message is still as clear and strong and applicable as it was on Day 1.
Stepping into a CEO Mindset
One thing about entrepreneurs is that we typically start the year out strong. We have our goals ready to go and our planners filled in, but then we don’t take the necessary time to:
- review our progress
- celebrate the big and small wins
- chart the course for what’s next
The result is that:
- we lose focus
- we lose steam
- we don’t hit our goals because we’re too busy working in them
But that’s all going to change because I’m going to give you my best tip to help you step into your role as a CEO, whether you’re a one-woman-show or leader of a team.
Quarterly Business Retreats
Thinking like a CEO means leading your team with a vision for your brand and planning for what’s next.
Even if you don’t feel like you’ve reached that level just yet, step into that mindset.
As the CEO of your business, one thing to start doing now is carving out time to work on your business and not only in your business
A few years ago, I decided to implement quarterly business retreats. (I don’t have a team yet, but I’m planning for the one that I will have some time in the future.)
This is a time that I literally get away to:
- Plan Ahead
- and a big one…REST.
The last thing on the list is a hard one for me. My mind is always going. I’m the type of person who feels like they should always be doing something. But rest is essential and it recharges you.
Ideally, you want to review your business at the end of each month – seeing what’s working and what’s not working. See my productivity tips here.
But the quarterly retreat is different because it allows you to get away from your business to take an even broader perspective of where you’ve been and where you’re going.
Because so many entrepreneurs are working from home, it’s important to actually get out of your “work space” where you might be tempted to jump back into work or take care of things around the house. A neutral space like a bed and breakfast, if it’s a practical option, is a great way to leave the work behind and stick to your agenda.
Recap of My Most Recent Quarterly Retreat
There’s no perfect schedule for a quarterly retreat as long as you implement all of the elements I mentioned above. But just to give you an idea of what mine typically looks like, here’s a breakdown of my most recent:
Reviewed my goals that I wanted to accomplish in Q1. Powersheets Planner was extremely helpful in staying focused doing my review with thoughtful questions. Reviewed areas that were challenging, what to work on, and celebrated my progress.
Tools that I used: Powersheets Planner
Vision – spent some time envisioning the quarter ahead. I turned on a soothing instrumental playlist and created a vision board on Pinterest. This was my first time doing this with Pinterest, and it was so fun!
Next 90 Days – If you’ve read my goal-setting blog here, then you know I strongly believe in 90-day strategic plans of action.
Created a 90 Day Action List- All of the small actions that I need to take to help me reach the 90-day goals.
*By the end of day one, I was battling a headache, so a lot of rest happened on Day Two
Calendar – Setting up my calendar with important dates for upcoming webinars, workshops, and masterminds. This is also a time where I make adjustments based on birthdays, family plans, and prior commitments that I’ve said yes to. Great to visually see, so I feel aligned with my business and my life. Not overextending myself. I know how many one to one clients I can take on, and if I have the bandwidth to say yes to anything else.
Brainstormed ideas for content for the month ahead. I would typically do some blog writing.
Be the CEO of Your Flowershop
As entrepreneurs, we have to set aside time to work on our businesses. It’s so important! We are the leaders, the CEOs of our businesses. In order to create a profitable and sustainable business, we have to be intentional.
Don’t forget that the time you spend reviewing, celebrating, and planning ahead is just as important as the time you spend in the details of doing your business. It’s the equivalent of grabbing your lawn chair to take a full view of your storefront from the other side of the street.
If you want to develop yourself as the CEO and transform your business, comment below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy of Business Made Simple.