3 Keys to Achieving Your Goals Consistently

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Last year, I attended a business conference and we were instructed to go around in a circle and share what our biggest, juiciest goal was for that year. A woman sitting next to me, who was a realtor, muttered her sales goal. The moderator (and arguably everyone in the room) noticed her half-hearted enthusiasm for this goal and encouraged her to talk a little further about why she wanted to achieve it. The woman tried to put her game face on and get excited about her sales goal, but finally she broke down in tears and confessed that she would rather open a yoga studio. Bingo – her “goal” wasn’t at all what she wanted. Maybe the goal was set by her boss, or she felt that was the income she needed to feel better about being in a profession she didn’t really enjoy.
 
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this woman returned home from the conference and entertained the possibility of opening her yoga studio, but comfortably stayed in real estate. Why? Because it would be a lot easier to stay in the steady, predictable career that she was in. Making a change and setting a big goal requires monumental effort. If you don’t have the right mindset and support around you, change can be incredibly difficult, if not impossible.
 
I’ve set a big goal for my business this year, and I’m working on expanding my services to make a greater impact than I’ve ever been able to do before! Is it scary? Yes. Do I know what I’m doing? Not every step of the way, no. Am I doing it anyway? Yes! I know you’ve got big goals for yourself as well. To make these transformations a success, we need to think and act differently than we have in the past.
 
1. Total mindset shift – This is something you must consciously choose every day. In order to make room for more, keep your mind focused on the end goal – despite setbacks or moments of doubt. Having a solid morning routine that includes reading, journaling, and exercise is essential for staying focused. I recently purchased a whiteboard and I’ve written my priorities for the next 6 weeks, and I see it many times a day. I’ve also set the background on my phone to remind me of my goals. Find ways to keep your goals at the top of your mind throughout the day.
 
2. Get support and perspective – Remember when you were a child and made a wish before blowing out your birthday candles? But you had to keep it a secret, or else it wouldn’t come true? That doesn’t work when it comes to achieving your goals. In fact, getting others involved will help you stay accountable to follow through. I regularly talk with my team and other trusted people in my network about what I’m creating. Their support and encouragement has been extremely helpful for staying motivated.
 
3. Hire help – In my experience, this is where goals start to fall apart. You’ve claimed your goal, carefully constructed a plan to achieve it, and then things are slow to happen or stall out. There are probably parts of your plan that you either don’t want to do, don’t know how to do, or don’t have time to do. That’s where hiring help comes in. For instance, in order for me to bring my new service to market, I knew I had to leverage social media a lot more than I have in the past. Rather than waste time and energy on trying to figure it out myself, I hired a social media manager who knows Instagram. As this project continues to move along, I will also need graphic design, web design, and a copywriter to name a few. Having a team to help you will keep the momentum going and achieve your goals much faster.
 
If you’re working toward a big goal or are making a change this year, I would love to hear more about it! Simply send me an email at melissa@savvycva.com and let me know what it is so I can cheer you on. If you’re stuck, I invite you to schedule a free call with me. Together, we can refocus your priorities and decide what can be eliminated, automated, or delegated. Click here for your FREE Delegation Planner Download!
 
Cheering you on,
 
Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

Not Feeling the Love on Facebook?

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“How do we grow our following without paying Facebook?” I asked him again.

A few weeks ago I met a local social media expert for coffee. After exchanging information about each other’s businesses, I decided to take full advantage of his time and expertise, and learn more about how we could help our clients get better results on social media. Facebook has been particularly challenging, especially with its ever-changing algorithm. The expert told me his company estimates the organic reach on Facebook is as low as 6%.

“Facebook makes billions of dollars in advertising revenue,” he explained, and recommended that a business budget at least $100 per month for Facebook ads to gain any traction. When I asked for other ways our clients’ content could get a better reach on Facebook, he insisted paid advertising was the only way. I didn’t settle for that answer, and he finally offered some outside-the-box ideas:

1. Blogging – Algorithms aside, good content will always be king. Posting regularly on your blog not only keeps your website fresh, but it’s also one of the best ways to gain followers and connect with customers. Display your social media links on your website and blog so that followers can stay connected with you. 

2. Leverage your email signature – How many emails do you send in a day? A week? Use a little space to promote your social media pages! We recommend using a branded email signature for a professional, eye-catching look. (Shameless plug: our team can help you create this!)

You may be wondering, why even bother? Credibility. Your prospects will likely check out your social media feed before deciding to work with you or purchase your products. Remember, people do business with people, and social media is a great way for prospects to learn more about your business in a zero pressure way.

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your social media pages and blog, our Micro-Marketing package is an extremely cost-effective way to get back on track and stay consistent. Simply respond to this email if you’d like to talk with our team.

Cheering you on,

 Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

 

 

Three Key Questions to Get Unstuck

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We’re more than half way through the first quarter of the year. How’s it going so far? To be honest, these past few months have been a blur to me – they always seem to be the most difficult months of the year. Cold and flu season and all the snow days present a number of challenges for families. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve spent most of my time working “in my business” instead of “on my business.” I haven’t been as diligent about working my plan as I should be. This week, I’ve been reflecting on the progress I’ve made during the year thus far, and asking myself where I need to make some changes. You may resonate with some of these as well.

1. What am I resisting? Two big things came up for me – growing my team and being visible. Fortunately, my business is experiencing a lot of growth right now, but I’ve been slow to increase my team’s hours and add more team members. Why? Fear. Worrying about maintaining this level of business and letting go of control and delegating has kept me from expanding my support team. It’s a double edged sword – not only have I been working “in my business” much more than I should, but doing so has kept me from increasing my visibility. I haven’t been as active on social media, attending enough networking events, and I've neglected making sales calls.

2. How can I make things easier? Our team recently started working with an awesome new client, however the startup phase has been somewhat like drinking from a fire hose! There were so many moving parts it was difficult to get a handle on everything. We knew there had to be an easier way to deliver the end result, so we’re eliminating several steps in our process that didn’t really add any value and reorganizing the information so it’s easier to find. In order for those changes to have happened, I had to let go of the way I thought we should do things and listen to my team.

3. What old habits do I need to break? When work gets busy, I get lost doing busy work. Instead of making sales calls, creating content, or working our strategic plan, I enjoy the instant gratification of checking things off my to-do list. The business development time I have blocked on my calendar each day? The first thing I schedule over. Every. Single. Time. (Note to self: Stop that, and ask for more accountability!)

Now it's your turn to do some reflection – what’s keeping you stuck so far this year? I would love to hear about what's coming up for you! We're all on this journey together.

Cheering you on,

Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

No One is Talking About This...

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I heard an interesting statistic at a networking event a few weeks ago – the average person gives up on their New Years resolutions by January 12th! Can you believe that? Less than two weeks after they’ve convinced themselves that it’s “their year” and they’re “starting fresh,” most people completely abandon their goals.

There is a component of making New Years resolutions and setting goals, anytime of the year, that no one is talking about.

Typically, goal setting begins with reflection and vision. We reflect on the things that are going well, and the things that need improvement in our lives. We also may visualize the future and ask ourselves what we want to change or achieve in the months ahead.

Next, we need to figure out how to make it happen. If we don’t make an action plan to achieve our goals, they are nothing but a wish list. Strategizing and putting together a detailed action plan is a key component in the process of goal setting.

Here’s the next step that no one is talking about – delegation. Take a few minutes and carefully review your action plan. I’m willing to bet there are parts of that plan that you don’t:
•    Know how to do
•    Want to do
•    Have time to do
Those are the items that don’t get done, and ultimately cause us to fall short on achieving our goals! There’s an old saying that there is strength in numbers. By getting others involved in helping us achieve our goals, we are much more likely to succeed.

If you’re interested in discovering what you should delegate, download a free copy of our Delegation Planner here. The planner will walk you through a few simple exercises to help you determine what you're best at and enjoy doing, and identify which tasks should be assigned to others. If you'd like assistance with planning who to delegate to and how, I invite you to respond to this email and let me know three times that you're available for a 30 minute call during the week of February 4th. This call is completely free, and there is no obligation to work with our team. I simply want to support you in taking the next steps in your delegation journey.

Cheering you on,

Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

Year End 2018

Before 2018 comes to an end, I would like to take a moment to thank you for supporting my business this past year. Whether you have read our blog or entrusted us to assist your growing business, I appreciate you. This year was full of exciting opportunities and challenges, and I can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for each of us.
 
I’m truly grateful to be on this journey together, and I wish you a wonderful holiday season.
 
Celebrating,
 
Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

Have you checked out?

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I’m just checking on you…have you checked out? I wouldn’t blame you if you have. This time of year is notorious for never-ending to-do lists and all sorts of extra activities. There are lots of distractions that compel us to put our work and business on the back burner for a while.

Here’s another reason why we might check out this time of year. Perhaps you’re feeling like you’ve fallen short and are disappointed when you think back to the goals you set earlier this year. It’s tempting to forget all about them and start over in January when we’re feeling fresh.

For the last two months, I’ve been following Rachel Hollis’s #Last90Days Challenge. The idea of this movement is to focus on finishing the year with the same dedication as the beginning. Rather than winding down over these next 5 weeks, let’s stay the course and finish 2018 strong!

For the remainder of the working days of this year (I’ll be taking time off during Christmas break to recharge), I’m committing to doing the following:

  • Dedicating time every day to marketing and sales to keep my business moving forward. For a long time, I didn’t bother with these activities because I was at capacity with clients. When I got serious about growing my team and expanding our services, I was able to start growing my business again! I’ve been intentional about writing these newsletters, updating our website, and posting on social media regularly. (Hint: If you’re struggling with being consistent in your marketing efforts, check out our Micro-Marketing Package!)

  • Regular check-ins with my clients and team to help them (and me!) stay on track. Accountability is critically important, especially during a busy season. Many clients enjoy the benefit of our team keeping them focused and projects moving forward no matter what is going on around them.

  • Preparing to hit the ground running in January through goal setting and strategic planning activities. Like you, I’ve got so many things that I would like to do over the next year! To help me get clear on my goals and develop a plan to achieve them, I’ll be attending Jess Dennis’s event “Creating the Plan for Your Best Life & Business in 2019” on Tuesday, December 4th. Visit the link in her client spotlight for details and to purchase your ticket!

Staying plugged in,

Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

When Everything Feels Hard

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Can I be completely honest with you? Writing the article for this month’s newsletter was so hard for me. I didn’t feel inspired like I normally do, my family has been out of routine during the last two weeks, and frankly, I’ve been content doing the busy work of my business.

Based on the conversations I’ve had lately, I don’t think I’m alone. What happened to the energy from last month, when we were excited about our goals for the end of this year? Maybe it’s the changing weather, the start of cold and flu season, or we’ve reached that inevitable point in every project where the momentum slows down. Regardless of how we’re feeling, we need to press on. Motivation comes from action, and I’d love to share some tips that can help us keep moving forward.

1. Manage your energy. When we have the candle lit at both ends and in the middle, we will burn out in a hurry! During periods of overwhelm, it’s critical for us to renew our energy every day. For me, this means going to bed earlier than normal and getting more sleep. Drinking enough water (half your body weight in ounces) is important as well. Exercise, fresh air, and healthy foods are also great for maximizing your energy. Yes, you’ve heard these before, but a little reminder doesn’t hurt! Want a fun suggestion? Create an energizing playlist to keep you motivated at work.

2. Ask for help. If you’ve been reading our newsletters, you know that having a team is relatively new for me. Lately I’ve been focused on discovering my “zone of genius,” which is the work I do best and enjoy the most. I’m also learning my team’s zone of genius and working to keep them focused on those areas as much as possible. To keep the ball rolling, delegate everything you can. (Hint: If you don’t know what to delegate or even where to start, our Delegation Planner is here to help.) I’d also like to add that the accountability that comes with collaboration is invaluable for getting things done!

3. Stay the course. These are the words I tell myself when I feel like quitting. Follow the plan, stay on task, keep on schedule – stay the course. I’m a big fan of Mel Robbins’s book “The Five Second Rule.” If you’re not familiar with the concept, you can search YouTube for a quick overview. Basically, our brains can talk us out of doing something very quickly. Robbins suggests counting down, “5-4-3-2-1,” to stop this process and launch ourselves like a rocket ship to take the action we know we need to take. Write the article, make the phone call, record the video…whatever task is right in front of you, do it before you can talk yourself out of it.

Remember, we’re in this together. When everything feels hard, let’s make the adjustments we need to, and keep moving forward.

Staying the course,

Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

…And We’re Off to the Races!

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It’s almost here – the final quarter of the year. Are you sprinting towards the finish line? Do you feel the creative energy around you? Or, perhaps you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed when you consider the gap between where you wanted to be and where you are now.

 Let’s take a step back for a moment and consider some key questions that can help get you to your goals in the 4th quarter:

1. Do you have a compelling “call to action” on your website? Many websites are informative and offer detailed information about a company’s products or services, and may include background stories and testimonials to build trust and credibility. We suggest having an opt-in offer to encourage website visitors to enter their contact information in exchange for valuable content or a consultation. If your website already has an opt-in offer, is it effective? Are you steadily increasing your mailing list or booking consultations regularly? If not, consider revising your offer to make it more appealing. Also, the offer should be very easy to find, such as a banner across the top of the page or a pop-up.

 2. Are you communicating with your customers and prospects regularly? Speaking of growing your list, what are you doing with all that information? In a distracting world, we need to stay in front of our audience and communicate with them on a regular basis so they don’t forget about us in the busyness of life. Our favorite ways to stay in touch are consistent email communications and social media interactions, such as commenting on connections’ posts, birthday wishes, and work anniversary celebrations. 

 

3. How can you make it easier for potential customers to find you? Wait for it…by being visible! (I felt many of you tense while reading that.) Visibility can be achieved through networking, blogging, and social media, to name a few. Take a break from the office and attend an event that intrigues you. Write an informative article or record a short, introductory video yourself and post it on your website and social media accounts.

 These activities take time and preparation to be executed well. Grab a copy of our Delegation Planner to determine your next moves and, most importantly, who can help you accomplish them.

Cheering you on,

 Melissa and the Savvy CVA Team

Let it Go

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Let it Go

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end! To me, Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end to summer, and it’s a bittersweet time of year. Our warm, sunny days are slowly diminishing until next year, and yet the beginning of the school year brings renewed productivity for many business owners!

As I reflect on all the changes my clients and I have made in our businesses this summer, I am truly amazed at what we’ve accomplished! In June, I grew my team. In July, we focused on training and implementing systems for task and project management, as well as sharing and organizing files. I know you’ve got plenty of successes to celebrate as well!

For me, the month of August was spent learning the most critical delegation lesson of all – letting go. As my team became more confident in their work, I was able to spend increasingly more time doing business development activities and meeting with clients and prospects, which I love! The challenge was that I was still the bottleneck in the day-to-day operations of my business. I kept myself in the middle of all communications between my team and clients. No work was done without me transferring information between the two parties. I also kept reviewing and approving all work before it was posted online or sent to a client. While this was important during the training phase, there was no need for me to continue doing this long after my team proved themselves more than capable time and time again.

I needed to get out of my team’s way and let them shine! I made two critical changes:

1. I created email accounts for them to work directly with my clients. This was a big step for me – not because I didn’t trust my team, but because I’ve been working with my clients exclusively for years. I was worried that my long-time clients would feel uncomfortable if anyone besides me contacted them.

2. I now enter all tasks and projects directly into our project management system and divide them up between our team according to our capacities and skillsets. I used to take notes during client meetings on pads of paper or in Word documents, and then comb through all the information and input tasks into the system. This was a duplication of effort, not to mention the cause of various time delays.

I’m still a work in progress, but I hope that sharing my own delegation lessons are helpful for you in your own journey!

Celebrating the last days of summer,

Melissa

Building a Team

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Building a Team

Until recently, I thought the best, simplest way for me to run my business was to do everything myself. Everything seemed to be going great…but it wasn’t. Without the support of a team, I was solely responsible for every single aspect of running my business. Some of these shortfalls might resonate with you, too: 

  • If I went on vacation or was off taking care of a sick child, I didn’t have anyone to back me up and serve my clients when I wasn’t available.
  • My ability to support my clients was directly limited to my own skillset. If they needed help in an area I wasn’t familiar with, I either needed to learn a new skill or refer them elsewhere.
  • I dedicated all of my working hours to serving my clients, but I wasn’t growing my own business. Besides, there was no more room for growth anyway – I was at capacity.

I’ll be completely honest with you. Hiring a team was scary! It required time and money that I just didn’t seem able to spend. I also worried about how incorporating new team members into the tight-knit relationships I had cultivated with my clients over the years would affect the ways we work together. Plus, the idea of delegating and cross training was daunting.
 
Thankfully, I didn’t let these fears stop me from making the changes that I knew I needed to make in order to start growing my business again. I made the investment anyway, and cleared space in my calendar to work with them. Delegation is a journey, and I’m very glad to be on it. This experience has given me a new appreciation for my clients, and everything they have given to me over the years.
 
This month, I’m celebrating my 6th year in business, and I know this will be a breakout year because I have a rockstar team supporting me! Please join me in welcoming them.

Cheers,

Melissa