For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
- African Proverb
I have been preparing for this moment for a while. 2020 is around the corner and in many ways, it is a special year. Apart from the fact that it is the start of a new decade, it's also the year that many organisations and people have planned to realise some of their big visions. It shouldn't be any different for you.
Starting today, over the next few days, I'll share with you 20 things to do in 2020 in order to have a fabulous year. Some of them would be things you need to do before 2020 begins and some of them would be things you need to do in the course of 2020.
Whatever the case, these are things that you need to do to ensure your success in 2020 and I sincerely hope you would not only take them to heart, but you would also implement them. Here we go....
1. Get clear on what great looks like
Most advice you would see on preparing for the new year or new decade usually starts with asking people to set goals. However, sometimes people may not even have an idea of what is possible and that alone may be limiting their imagination.
Once when I worked with a dear mentor of mine, she shared with me some frustrations she was having with her team because they just didn't seem to get the picture she was trying to paint for them. Many times when she needed to bring something to life, she would lean on me to get it done, because we had the same background and we had both worked for international organisations.
It's the same thing in our lives. If we don't go out of our way to see the fantastic things happening in the world, when it's time to dream or envision the future, we may end up limiting ourselves severely. This is not something to deal with lightly.
ACTION: Research on 4-5 global companies or personalities in your space and see what they are doing, what they have achieved and ask yourself what would be relevant in your space not so that you can copy, but so that you can get inspired.
2. Outline your vision
This is very basic but the thing is many people don't take it seriously enough. Very recently, my husband and I spent some time with my mum and dad- my Dad is very big on personal development. In fact, my Dad has devoted a lot of his time to understanding how the mind works and how many successful people/families are different from the norm. One thing he shared with us during that session is around the power of knowing what you want. It is simple but profound. The problem is many people assume that they know what they want when indeed they don't.
The question here is simply this - "what do you want for your life?" What do you need to achieve in 2020 that would take you closer to the life you have imagined? I personally like to compartmentalise my life when I am envisioning what I would like so that I don't miss out on any vital part. For instance, I would look at my business, my spiritual growth, my family, friends, finances etc.
Once you have clearly outlined this, you have taken the first step to getting ready to have a fabulous 2020.
I don't want you to answer this question in your mind. Go ahead, pull out your journal or a phone (you can use an app like google keep that syncs with the cloud so you don't worry about losing it) and write down the answer to this question. This helps you to firmly entrench in your subconscious mind so you can actively begin working on your goals.
3. Align your identity with your vision
Very recently, I learnt about the power of identity. I attended a program at my church where we were taught about the power that resided in us (The Holy Spirit), we were asked to become more conscious of who we are as God's children. Imagine my pleasant surprise when the (secular) personal development book I decided to read for the week began to talk about how to create habits that stick with you for the long haul rather than start and stop the way many of us treat our new year resolutions...
The writer suggested that people have to primarily change their core - their identity which is basically what they believe about themselves in order to create this lasting change that helps them create the desired habits they want for themselves.
Bringing it home, if we want to translate this to building a successful business, rather than simply setting goals for how much you want to make, go a step further and identify the kinds of actions a successful business owner would most likely have taken to get there e.g they would have their system set up in such a way that they can follow customers up automatically, they would have a system for attracting new customers, they would have a system for selling to those customers. Now think of the identity of such a business owner... what kind of person is this?
- Are they afraid of tech? Do they say to themselves, I am not a techie person?
- Are they afraid of investing in their business?
- Do they advertise their business?
- Are they scared of investing in their personal development?
The answer to each one of these questions is no and if you are honest with yourself, you would agree with me.
Here is what I want you to do.
Write a list of all the things you have constantly told yourself.
1. I am not a techy person
2. Facebook Ads doesn't work for me
3. I don't invest in online courses
4. I'm not a marketing person
And turn the narrative on its head for yourself. Begin to change how you see yourself. Tell yourself "I am a techy person", "I am a marketing person" and slowly you would see that you want to keep up with the narrative and you would begin seeking out actions that are consistent with your new view of yourself.
4. Treat your business journey like a marathon, not a sprint
One day, someone reached out to me to make an inquiry about one of my programs. Specifically, she wanted to build her email list and wanted to explore my method for marketing online but she wanted to know if she would get her money back immediately. In fact, she sent me a voice note explaining that this was her last card and she needed the turn around very quickly.
She had a few options but one of them was to quickly go and run ads for the business, while the second was to invest in one of my programs. I explained to her that building a business that stands the test of time should be approached like a marathon and not a sprint.
In a sprint, you start with so much energy but it lasts for only a short time and you race very quickly to the finish line because the distance is very short. However, with a marathon, if you start with the same speed and energy you use in running a sprint, you would tire out before getting very far.
In her case, investing in facebook ads immediately without doing the research on what kinds of ads to run and what kind of funnel to use or how to follow up and ensure the right return on investment for her would have been her choosing to treat her business like a sprint.
While investing in my program where I teach her how to lay the right foundation , how to learn what her customers want and the best approach for her marketing before she begins investing in ads would have been treating her business journey like a marathon that would pay off for the long term.
The point is not to be complacent but to make decisions for your business that is good for the long term and not just right now. Many times when you look for shortcuts we end up hurting ourselves even more.
I've realised that with building a business there are no shortcuts - it is hard work. The difference is, with guidance, your hard work can also be smart and then you end up with fantastic results or you can take the long road of looking for shortcuts without merit that end up leading you nowhere.
5. Get Help
2019 was the year I tried not to do everything by myself. When I speak of getting help, I don't mean getting a mentor (this is important and we would talk about it later), neither do I mean you must compulsorily hire permanent staff. However, there are ways that you can get more done (especially work that cannot be automated) if you hire someone to help you (No man is an island).
Before now, I used to do everything in my business by myself, do all my designs, my videos, my emails etc I still do a lot of the work myself largely because I have automated the routine stuff like sending out emails and following up with people that just join my email list. This year though, I got a virtual assistant to help me with some admin work and it just felt liberating.
I also got someone to help me with my videos and the videos did 10x better than if I had done my regular style of just doing it myself.
There is so much value in getting other people around to participate and benefit from the success of your business.
Naturally, when the time comes, I expect you to hire someone full time when your business can afford it.
The truth though is that many times, we are able to afford help and we would be much faster and freer if we actually got help, but for whatever reason, we sometimes hold on to all the work and keep pushing ourselves to do it all alone.
Ask yourself what you can get people to help you out with in your business without breaking the bank.
That's it for today! Be on the look out for more in the next few days. In the comment section, share which of them resonates the most with you.
If you would like to explore working with me, you can click on the link below