Episode 145: Getting Ready for 2019 as a Service Business Owner

Getting ready for 2019

Happy 2019! And let me guess — you’re ready for everything to magically transform once the ball drops! Yeah, I hear you. So in this episode, as we ring in the New Year, I’m sharing how to get ready for 2019 as a service business owner — the good, the awesome and how to turn all your hope into action.

Alright, here we go. 2019 is happening, and I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for a fresh new year. I love a new year. I love back to school. Hell, I love Mondays. It’s so enticing and appealing. But let’s talk about what really happens when the calendar flips over.

Well, for some of us…nothing. For others of us, we have so much hope and expectation, and it becomes fuel for something more. And still for others of us (I know I’ve done this one in the past), we’re so hopeful and then our impatience sets in as things don’t happen quite as we planned.

No matter how you feel right about now, I wanted to dedicate this episode to some specific strategies for getting ready for a new year.

Strategy 1. Tie your plan to your bigger vision

For years and years, I struggled with my plan and goals because I didn’t really get the bigger picture. I didn’t see a connection between accomplishing those goals and where I ultimately wanted to be.

Why? Well, to be honest, in a lot of ways, I’d done everything I set out to do, and I couldn’t see how I needed anything more. I didn’t have a vision for anything more beyond “someday 10+ years in the future,” and the problem with a vision that far out is that for a lot of us, the gap between where we are now and where we want to be is so wide that we just shut down.

If you have a bigger vision, great. If you don’t, I’d encourage you to start with two things. Think about the vision you have for SIX months from now. On June 30, 2019, where do you want to be? Six months is just far enough into the future that we can make a visible change but not so far away that we’re overwhelmed by the possibilities.

Once you nail that, think about three years from now. Three years is a less scary amount of time, and it’s something where you can see the steps you’ll need to take to close that gap. For me, three years is workable, as I’m not looking at a completely different phase of my life (because hello, I’ll have a kid that’s in his 20s in only 10 years from now).

As you think about your vision, think about where you want to be, how you want to spend your days, how you want to feel, and who you want to be working with. The more tangible you can make it, the better.

Strategy 2. Don’t get so attached to the how

Where are my perfectionists and overachievers at? My Type A planners, I’m talking to you. When you’re thinking about 2019, or your vision or your big plans, it’s easy to get trapped into overthinking HOW you’re going to do everything.

Trust me when I tell you this: The how is figureoutable, and if you get so focused on the how, you’re likely to box yourself in.

Let me give you an example. In early 2018, we decided to press pause on the Small Business Boss Society. At the time, I knew I wanted to update how we ran and delivered that experience, but I really didn’t know how. I wanted to change things, but the how, well, that was elusive. To be honest, this was uncomfortable.

But I decided to just worry about it later and know that it would happen. The impulse to want to know how right away creates friction, and it results in us rushing to judgment when really sometimes we just need to let things percolate.

It’s about patience — something that’s not the natural state for most of us, but it’s so so needed. Mel Robbins, the author of 5 Second Rule, shared a quote a while back about being willing to work 10 years for it. I know I am. So giving things time is totally fine.

Strategy 3. Have something to anchor you

Listen, this may get a little woo for a moment, but when you’re the boss of your business, it’s easy to get untethered, to get lost in client work, to lose yourself in the doing and task lists.

That’s why you need an anchor. For each of us, how we anchor will be different, but on a personal level, I know when I don’t have this in some way, things get messy.

So, what could be an anchor? This may be a word of the year, a mantra, or a physical reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing. I don’t care what you pick, just that you have one.

For some of you, it may be a meditation or prayer or gratitude practice. Again, all of those can anchor you and tether you to reality and not the show you’re starring in in your head. Or your imposter complex or whatever the heck is going on when things aren’t so awesome.

Finally, having a person or a group of people that can be your reality check when things get challenging, OR when you’re totally standing in your own way, OR you’re wanting to low ball your pricing. Having at least one person you can trust to bring you back to earth is key.

Strategy 4. Focus on habits — daily action matters

Some of what I touched on above is about habits and daily actions — which is key if you’re going to really make the most of 2019.

I know you know this, but it’s always a good reminder. Big changes come from choosing to take action at the daily level. Where we tend to get stuck here is that we make a list of all these new habits we’re going to tackle, and we try to do it all at once.

There’s a reason why resolutions fail, and it’s why I don’t make them anymore. The pain of not sticking to them is too great and then that causes even more havoc down the line. (I’m really an all or nothing kind of girl.)

Now I focus on habits throughout the year. But forming habits takes time, so we need to set ourselves up for success. Last year, I focused on forming a new habit every six weeks or so — that way I’d know the habit would stick. Also, it’s not going to be perfect. It’s going to take course correction and so on, but be kind to yourself. There’s a line between discipline/commitment and being unrealistic.

Also, consider how you may be subtly sabotaging yourself at the daily level by spending too long on social, compulsively checking your email and so on that keeps you multi-tasking, context switching, or generally unfocused. You can choose what’s easy, or you can choose what’s going to move you ahead.

No judgments here either for where you may want to improve. Let’s be honest here. At this time of year, I sleep late. That’s a choice I’m making for my body right now, and that may not be the “thing” to do, but it works for me.

One of the things I want you to know is that you choose how to do this and that you don’t have to be a morning person or follow a set of miracle steps or whatever. If that works for you, great. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay too. The key is that you decide what you want to change and then commit to it — and I’ll change my late sleeping ways come March like I do every year.

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