9 Ways to Declutter Your Business……. Starting with You

9 Ways to Declutter Your Business……. Starting with You

In the new Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, the Japanese decluttering diva shows Americans how to do with less, challenging America’s hoarding and consumer cultures.

I love her approach of “throw out anything that doesn’t spark joy” (true confessions, I haven’t watched any of her shows…. life is just too short!).

So why not use this approach in your business?

That’s the topic of this week’s podcast and cheat-sheet article for you below.

This is a topic that is top of mind for me because this week I have done the ultimate declutter.

I have closed my award-winning website after 10 years!

Decluttering my business in such a drastic, but essential way, has allowed me to release the energy I need to make a greater impact.

So, making the most of the unique decluttering energy I’m feeling at the moment, I share with you today the 9 ways you can declutter your business and let go of things (and people) that have an energy that really isn’t serving you anymore.

Once that cluttered energy is gone, you’ll free up space and emotional energy to attract other things into the vacuum you’ve created. This freedom allows you to feel and see things more clearly. It is essential to the growth of your business.

Read / listen/ watch on  for the 9 steps in the order I recommend.

If you any of these areas I share make you go “Aha! That’s what I’m going to do next”, come and share it. I’d love to hear it from you. Share it on the podcast on the blog page or get in touch with me through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, wherever you hang out.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

9 Ways to Declutter Your Business

Clear the energy to attract great clients, great staff and great opportunities.

Plus clear your mind and business life my simplifying in these 9 areas.

The list below has a very specific order. It’s not necessarily to do with the importance, but the right steps to approach your business declutter.

#1 Clear Out Your Office

This may not seem like the most important area to focus on first, but it is actually the best one to start with.

If you have an office, throwing out things that clutter your peripheral vision or things that distract you without you really noticing it, will be freeing.

Keep only what is important.

This clutter not only clutters you visually, it clutters you energetically.

Take the time to create a calm and focused energy in your immediate work space. A place you can feel a beautiful energy that is pleasure to work in. For me, I always have flowers on my desk where I can see them without having to turn my head. I also have an aromatherapy candle just outside my peripheral view. And I keep these little things, presents, that remind me of why I do what I do.

Set yourself a deadline to work on this and just focus.

TIP: If you don’t have an office, but the area where you usually work isn’t giving you a good energy, then claim an area in your home for yourself, even if it is small. Create a sense of “ritual” by creating a clear space and whatever you choose to include to create a feeling of happiness where you work.

#2 Your Clients

This might sound weird or a bit tough, but you need to do this.

Look at the people you’re working with. Who among them use a lot of your energy and time? Who causes you stress? Are there clients who are making you focus on things that you don’t do well?

They could be a client from hell or you’re simply just not a good match. Maybe you’re not the best person to help them or maybe the help they need  is something that is not a part of your business any more.

Make those decisions.

  •         Does that client need to go?
  •         Do you have to refer this client to someone else?
  •         Should you review the boundaries you set with that client?

I’ve only had to do this twice. Once was with a client who I was able to get great results for, she paid on time but she was incredibly needy. She sucked my energy dry.

She also counted as a high percentage of my business. So I  built up the other parts of the business so I could eventually let her go in a kind way.

This is how I worded my letting her go:

“It’s been wonderful to help you achieve so much in the time we’ve been working together and we’ve well surpassed what we set out to do. I don’t think you need me any more. And for some of the stuff that you still need my help with, I can refer you to some people who specialise in just that part.”

There was one other time where it was actually a client from hell.

She was awful. She had everybody in tears. I just had to let her go. I gave her all the money back even if we’ve done the work because I didn’t want that energy.

That’s only happened twice in 10 years. Letting go of them just freed me and opened up opportunities and space for new, wonderful clients.

But what if you actually have fantastic clients?

I’m actually at that stage where I have the world’s best clients. I’m just attracting people who I know I can really help. They get me and I get them. I’m absolutely adoring them.

So if you have great clients, let them know!

Also say to them “I want to work with people who are like you. I’d love you to refer people to me who are just as wonderful as you”.

You can also offer your favourites an alumni package to help these great clients stay with you for longer. I just did that with my Rising Stars clients.

#3 Declutter your products

To do this, you’re going to have to do a couple of things.

Look at all your products and services.

This is helpful if you’re doing a lot of little things. This also applies if you’re doing very different things for each client.

If you’re doing a lot of different things for a lot of different people, I want you to list everything down you are doing. You do this because you need to get really clear on what you are really offering. Then you can make decisions on what you will no longer offer.

Simplify and channel your energy to doing less, better and with more focus.

You’ll also attract clients easier with this new clarity.

Look at your profit and loss.

How much money do you make from each of the products and services you offer? If you are creating tailored solutions for people – coaching or service provision – then I want you to look at which of those are making you the most money.

Most importantly, look at the time you are spending on each. You might be getting a lot of money from it but it also may be taking up an excess amount of your time, emotion, or energy.

On the other hand, you might have products that are low cost but they’re efficient because they don’t take much work on your part.

Look at what you can simplify.

It’s not necessary that more is better. Less can be better for you because you can be clear about what you offer. More importantly, you’re not going to be using as much emotional and mind bandwidth.

Can you declutter your programs and your products?

That’s something I just done recently by consolidating everything into one core program with 2 VIP levels. All of the things you offer should lead to the ultimate result.

#4 Your Opt-ins

Do you have a lot of different ways for people to join your mailing list?

Are some of those really not going to be the best ones to lead people into your nice, simplified, decluttered products?

If so, maybe you should just get rid of them. They’re just confusing and unnecessary. Keep it simple. As much as it can be overwhelming you, it could be confusing your clients as well.

Questions to consider:

  • Are these going to attract the perfect clients you want?
  • Are these really going to lead them to the products and programs that take the least amount of time, and give you the least amount of stress and the most amount of profit?

If you don’t have an email list yet and you need help, I can help you create an integrated solution from opt in to programs to profit through the Attract Your Tribe program.

#5 Your Content

What are you doing that’s getting you in front of people?

You need to be seen and heard for your ideal clients to find you and know what you stand for.

Some of these include:

  • Podcasts
  • Blog posts
  • Facebook live
  • Videos
  • And more

What is it that you’re doing to let people know that you know your stuff, to connect with people and stay top of mind? Take a look at what’s working and focus on them.

Some of the things you do might be things you do just because you’ve always done them or you feel that you have to. Many of those things are often things that don’t give you results.

Simplify. Doing different types of content can attract different types of prospects, but have a really good look if any of them aren’t really getting results.

This is a great place to declutter. Again, do more with less.

Disclaimer:

Now this depends on the stage of your business. If you’re just getting ready to launch, you need to be building your mailing list. You need to be getting people’s attention. You need to be visible. That’s your runway.

For a plane to get lift and really take off, it needs a long runway. That’s when you’re going to be creating your content and building your mailing list. You might look at it and go, “Janet says I need to declutter if it’s not working.”

Recognise first if you’re in that runway phase. You’re still building so you can get your sales. Don’t go and throw things out without knowing what you are measuring. How many opt-ins are you getting? What kind of engagement are you getting? What suite of core blog posts are you creating that’s going to end up attracting the perfect clients? Have a look at that and the way that you’re creating content.

Can you declutter there?

#6 Your Staff

That also includes you. It could be you, your virtual assistant, your staff, the people you call in every now and then. Or nobody else.

Look at your team and think:

  • Is there anybody here that if they would leave, I would be absolutely horrified?
  • Is there anyone here that if they left, I wouldn’t be too upset?

If they’re not doing a fantastic job, then maybe you should declutter. Don’t surround yourself with mediocre.

There might be someone you’re keeping because you don’t want to go through the effort of looking for somebody else or you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Let that energy go. You’re going to attract somebody awesome in instead.

Finally, if you have a virtual assistant, are you using them to their full capacity? Would you be better off just hiring part-time? Take a look at what you’re doing and delegate better.

#7 Yourself

Look at yourself. Are you spending time doing things that matter or are you doing “busy work”? Be really honest. Can you declutter yourself as the person who is running the business and attracting the clients? Can you declutter your own time and use the support team that you may already have, or intend to build?

Now, what is using up your bandwidth?

What email lists, Facebook groups are you on? Things that use up your time and attention. Work out your criteria for what you really need to grow your business and only spend time reading and interacting with the content and groups that will help you.

Ask yourself, which are the ones you really look at all the time?

If you were on a newsletter list or Facebook group just because you were curious or someone else had added you, just unsubscribe or leave. That’s all clutter using up your brain and distracting you. Exercise minimalism so that the energy that you use is going to be calm.

#8 Software Subscriptions

How many of the software you pay for are you not actually using? Go and get rid of it. It’s going to save you money and the space at the back of your head where every now and then something comes up and you go “why do I have that; I don’t remember” just declutter.

Streamline. Less clutter. Less things to learn. Less things to pay for.

#9 Your Online Presence

Once you’ve decluttered all this, take a look at your website and social media. The best way for people to join your mailing list. Does it reflect your new decluttered life and business?

Now be careful when you approach decluttering your online presence.

When I talk about decluttering you and your time, one of the things to be wary of is “busy work”. These are things that seem really important, keeping you busy, but is not actually growing your business and making an impact.

One of these unproductive, busy things is constantly tweaking your website.

So when you’re decluttering your website, make sure you’re sure about what needs to go. Set your timeframe to do that. And if you haven’t been using your virtual assistant efficiently, this is the best thing to ask them to help you with.

Just don’t fall into that trap of “I’ve been really busy tweaking things on my website”.

This is the last thing you would want to do because you want it to represent this minimalist, decluttered energy that you are clearing around yourself and your business so that the good things can flow in.

Do you have other areas you recommend decluttering?

Or maybe you have some other great tips?

Share down below what’s worked with you and if you have tips for other people, share them as well 🙂

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.

Woohoo!

I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

Read The Transcript Here

Transcript will be available soon!

Why I Closed My Award Winning Website

Why I Closed My Award Winning Website

Where is Wonderful Web Women?

Hey if you clicked on a link expecting to arrive at Wonderful Web Women (or anything that starts with Wonderful Web for that matter) and you landed up here, you are in the right place!

After 10 wonderful years Wonderful Web Women has closed and the website you are on now is the next stage in the evolution of this powerful tribe online.

Read on to find out The Wonderful Web Women story and watch or listen to the behind-the-scenes podcast to learn how the Wonderful Web Women brand built so quickly, why it won so many awards, and why on earth I chose to close my award winning website and launch the Romance Your Tribe brand.

Wonderful Web TV

Looking for episodes of the top ranking video podcast Wonderful Web TV?

You can find 4 years of short and sweet Marketing, Motivation and Mindset videos over here on Youtube.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

Wonderful Web Women. The Evolution of a Revolution

It seems like hype to call Wonderful Web Women a revolution. After all, at the time of writing in 2019 there are many powerful business women online creating a true impact. They are leading their online tribes and visible as leaders alongside visibly successful men online.

There are also many wonderful online communities of women supporting each other to create success in a way that builds on the strengths of women and defines success in a way that is meaningful for women who often have many hats to wear and roles to fill.

Yet, over 10 years ago the online space was very different.

It’s hard to believe that women were hungry to find visible female role models creating success online. There were also far fewer online communities for women to find like-minded women creating successful business online.

Yet the reality is, 10 years ago online business was dominated by men (far, far more than the still male dominated industry in 2019) and women wanted change.

Wonderful Web Women became an early leader in that space.

Read on to find out more.

The Revolution Started in The Women’s Toilets

Yep.

If you’ve ever been to a conference and tried to go to the Ladies toilets in the lunch break, you’ll know what it’s like. A long line of women with full bladders spilling out of the doors and into the hallway!

All talking!

It was at one of these conferences on Internet Marketing I started to notice a popular and passionate topic of conversation. The questions asked up and down the line of waiting women was:

“Why are there only men on stage?”.
“I can’t relate to all the testosterone”
“Where are the chicks?”.

An idea was born.

What if I could find successful women online and interview them about how they have created success. Would people want to listen? Can I make money from this idea?

I’d been burnt in the past by not researching a business idea thoroughly enough before investing years and all my savings and credit on growing the business. I was wiser by then.

So I spent months, attending Internet Marketing Conferences, and believe it or not, conducted my market research in the women’s toilets using an MP3 recorder!

I knew without a doubt there was a huge demand and there was the potential to make this work.

I just had to find all these successful women, work out a way to interview them, build a mailing list, create a new website and work out a model to make business.

So I did the obvious thing: I set a launch date, announced it to everyone I knew then went flat out trying to work out how to do it!

Lessons:

  • Look and listen. Business ideas are everywhere.
  • Do your market research
  • You don’t have to research in the ladies toilets. Facebook exists now!

The Project That Launched Fast

I’ll cut out describing the months of lack of sleep (my kids were still young and in primary school then), the stress, the self-doubt, the scrambling to find things to sell on eBay to pay for website software (wordpress wasn’t mainstream then for membership sites), the incredible support from my husband and the way I grilled everyone I met, on techy stuff, marketing stuff and business models. The money I spent on digital programs on “how to Interview” and “How to make money online”.

A few months later this is what happened:

  • I launched an 8 week live telesummit featuring wonderfully successful women online
  • All the women promoted my summit to their subscribers for me
  • I bought hand-painted silk scarves, designed for each women, as gifts of gratitude (yep, I even commissioned them to match their eye colouring and hair!)
  • In 8 weeks I built an email list of thousands, from a start of zero
  • I replaced my last 12 months of income in 8 weeks with a combination of commissions from programs my guests sold on my interviews and a last minute $47 / month membership that offered recordings and transcripts of the interviews (yep that means the first members joined an empty membership area)
  • I won an award for Best Membership Site
  • People I didn’t know contacted me to ask if they could pay me thousands of dollars for me to coach them (I had no idea what coaching was but I said yes!)

Lessons

  • You’ve got to hussle when you’re starting out so set a goal and get moving
  • Affiliate commissions are awesome
  • The telesummit model is a great way to build a business and gain rapid credibility
  • Be really nice to your husband 🙂

The Project That Turned into an international Business

The launch of Wonderful Web Women was a success by anyone’s standards. Now the challenge was to turn it into a sustainable business. Again, I set some big goals and did some pretty gutsy moves, which I’ll tell you about. Doing the scary thing paid off and the business momentum developed a life of it’s own. Fuelled by “The Revolution” and the power of building a tribe around your business. Something that I have since specialised in helping my clients also achieve (hint: this website is called Romance Your Tribe!)

The Gutsy Move

I mentioned before that I launched with an 8 week telesummit. The problem is, the 8th speaker was stuffing around on the dates (well her assistant was) and I was going live without a confirmed last speaker. So I did something a bit crazy.

I scheduled MYSELF as the final speaker and the topic? “How to build a targeted mailing list and gain instant credibility through the power of joint ventures and expert interviews- in 6 short weeks”.

Good grief! I had a list of zero and literally spent my last cent in my business account the day I wrote that. It was the day before I did my first interview!

No pressure.

This is what happened:

  • When I presented (I got a customer to interview me) I had actually achieved exactly what I said I would (phew).
  • Every other speaker had sold a program at the end of their interview so I decided I should too
  • I sold my first program for about $500, before it even existed, on the topic of….you guessed it….”How to build a list of thousands and turn your passions into profit in 8 weeks”.
  • The guest experts were so grateful to have a platform available focusing on women in business online, they recommended their peers be my guests. I had a waiting list!
  • I did a live interview every week for 2 years and then one every 2 weeks for another 2

Lessons

  • Back yourself and embrace the feeling of “Scarecited”
  • Position yourself as an equal with experts by including yourself as a guest expert in your own line-up
  • Test a new product by pre-selling. If it sells, then create the program live with your first members

Award Winning Business

Business success is about building and nurturing an engaged tribe and that starts with first of all identifying a tribe without a place to hang out. I found that in the women’s toilets!

It is one thing to find and attract your tribe. The real magic happens when you immerse yourself in your tribe, listen to them and allow yourself to trust the tribe and open yourself to “go with the flow” with opportunities.

That’s what Wonderful Web Women developed into and has been the basis for this next phase of growth.

This is what happened:

  • One of my guest experts, loved what I had created with my tribe and invited me to be a guest speaker at her conference in the USA. I had to be prepared to travel there, speak for 90 minutes, and sell a program for a minimum of $1500. I said yes!
  • I had no idea how to present and sell from the stage so I did the obvious….I found a leading female expert on the topic and interviewed her!
  • My program I had created was only $500 so I had to find a way to make it more comprehensive. So I ran a workshop, filmed it and included the DVDs in the package. Plus extra goodies.
  • On return to Australia I started receiving lots of invitations to present from the stage because now I was an international speaker!
  • I co-authored a best selling book (an invite from another guest speaker).
  • I produced 3 co-authored books with my members and guests as co-authors because I wanted to give my members the same opportunity I had to be an author
  • I won a very competitive award for Australian Marketer of The Year
  • During this time our host went belly up during the financial crisis. All our websites (our income) disappeared overnight. Then our backups didn’t work! I cried. We rebuilt. We didn’t lose 1 customer in the month it took to rebuild and in fact, we gained members. That is the power of tribe.

Lessons

  • I became a best selling author, international speaker and award winning mentor in a short time because I made friends. Seriously. I adored my guests and created friendships and opportunities came from that. I adored my members and subscribers and so looked for ways to give them opportunities. Tribes consist of friends. Relationships lead to business success.
  • Say yes to opportunities then figure it out.
  • One successfully completed opportunity will open doors to far more.
  • Enter awards.

The Market Changed… and will always change

You’ll notice Wonderful Web Women was built on live interviews with a thriving paying community built on a simple model of people paying for access to an archive of recordings and transcripts.

Can you imagine that working easily now?

Of course not. (before you say anything, there will always be exceptions)

Podcasts are so popular now you can get access for free to a wealth of great content. In fact, the interviews I do for my podcast Romance Your Tribe Radio are very similar to the one’s I did all those years ago.

This is what happened

  • I saw that change coming and so changed the business model to become monthly training modules on topics my members asked for. This turned out to be a LOT of work!
  • I also launched my first high level group coaching program. HUGE learning curve for me!
  • I ran my first 3 day live event at $1000 per head. Respect to anyone who does this. Huge learning curve for me!
  • Wonderful Web Women started to change focus because it was not so much about women role models.

Lessons

  • Stay ahead of changes in the market place and be willing to adapt
  • Creating comprehensive training modules is heaps more work than interviewing experts
  • High end programs are awesome but be prepared to create systems and training material or you’ll burn yourself out

Signature Systems Create Leverage

As you can see, since the initial revolution things have changed. I found my tribe asking more for my step-by-step trainings and wanting more of ME, and less focus on spotlighting other female leaders online.

They were actually starting to say “You are no longer the passionate reporter Janet. Step up and claim your space as the expert. We want YOU”.

To be honest, I resisted this for a while and could have seen the demand for this much earlier if I let myself. It actually took individual customers contacting me and saying “…girl, we need to talk”. They challenged me to step up further.

See why I love them?

This is what happened:

  • I developed a signature system to build a strong tribe online and a loyal tribe, the way I do things. I called it Romance Your Tribe.
  • I wrote my first solo book, introducing my Romance Your Tribe System. It went to #1 on Amazon kindle
  • I launched a comprehensive training program called Shine Online.
  • I also launched a video podcast called Wonderful Web TV that ranked in the top 10 in iTunes in Marketing for the 4 years I published it.
  • I taught my Shine members how to do my MeTV video podcasting method
  • I launched a new high end program
  • I closed my monthly membership
  • I gradually started to feel the name Wonderful Web Women no longer reflected what we actually do anymore. A feeling on incongruency started sneaking in.

Lessons

  • You will evolve in your leadership and capacity to impact people. Be prepared to step into that leadership.
  • A signature system, with your unique language, can actually create a sense of tribe, even if there is no longer a revolution.
  • Create training resources to help your clients get results with your systems. This will free you up tremendously.
  • You can choose to work with lots of people at a low price or less people at a high price. It’s difficult to combine them (I share a story on the podcast above of one client who tried to join the $47/month program but we had removed the buy button from the order form just that day. So she purchased a $10,000 VIP program instead! We are still great friends!).
  • If you start to feel incongruent, take notice. This will start to hold you back.

Congruency is Everything….. this is why I closed my award winning website

You see how the last lesson I shared, was the sense of incongruency I started to feel about what the name Wonderful Web Women stood for, and what the business has evolved to?

I knew I was no longer true to my roots and this incongruency was starting to sabotage my confidence to step up.

This is what happened:

  • I asked myself…”what would I advise my clients if they were in my situation?”
  • I consulted with colleagues for an experienced impartial view.
  • I decided to apply my own Romance Your Tribe System to my own business, starting right from scratch, working through the exact steps and exercises they would use.
  • I made the decision to make my system the star of the show (with me as the co-star), instead of “Women in business” the star of the show.
  • I developed so many insights by systematically applying my system to my own business that I created streamlined templates, systems and training material so my clients could apply the system to their own business faster and with less stress.
  • I created, launched and sold the most comprehensive and awesome program I’ve created so far called “Attract Your Tribe” and seen my members seriously kick some goals.
  • I launched a new video podcast called Romance Your Tribe Radio and produced over 40 new episodes
  • I developed new branding, new messages, new logos, new website that really reflect what I now stand for.
  • I simplified my business further with a nested business model of VIP clients part of a tight-knit group implementing the Attract Your Tribe program (and so proud of the results they have been getting).
  • Closed Wonderful Web Women for good in January 2019 when current members of the Shine program had completed their training.

Lessons

  • There is no better proof that your system works, than treating yourself as if you are your own client and do the work you ask them to do!
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify
  • If you feel incongruent, acknowledge this and take action. Otherwise your business and confidence will slowly erode.
  • It can easily take a good year of solid action to detonate a brand and build a strong foundation of your message, marketing and offers. Longer (much longer)  if you do not have a proven system to follow like Attract Your Tribe.

What’s Next?

The past year has been a true investment in Sweat Equity. It’s been a lot of work!

Now my focus can be completely directed to:

  • Experimenting with marketing, launches, content and great ways of including my tribe in all my marketing and connecting strategies.
  • Focus on getting great results for my existing and new clients in my comprehensive training at Attract Your Tribe and working with my VIP clients (Those in the Attract Your Tribe Accelerator Program and my advanced business owners in my Rising Stars Program).
  • Actively inspiring and enabling the wonderful people in my online tribe to step into their own power as a leader of their own tribes online.
  • Help people, who help people, help more people!

Share Below

I’d love to hear from you.

Have you been part of the Wonderful Web Women community over the last decade?

I’d love to hear your stories.

Let’s have a reunion party in the comments below!

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.

Woohoo!

I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

7 Steps To Get Back Into Work Mode After a Vacation

7 Steps To Get Back Into Work Mode After a Vacation

I’m writing this on my first day back at “work” after 2 and a half weeks of Christmas and a perfect Aussie summer beach staycation. It took my brain a week to slow down and after that (another week and a half) has been fantastic. A beautiful rhythm of beach life of walks to the beach, swimming, cafes, kayaking, exploring wild swimming places, painting and cocktails.

Here’s a few holiday snaps from one of our exploring days:

As always after a holiday, no matter how much you love what you do, it can take a few cranks of the keys in the “mental ignition” before the business woman engine catches on and starts to rev up.

So what better way to get back into work mode than do something I love, and that’s record a podcast episode for you.

And what better topic than the one I’m struggling with myself today, and that’s how to get back into work mode after a vacation.

In this week’s episode I share:

  • In hindsight, the last thing I COULD have done on my last day of work before leaving for holidays… and how it would have made the transition to reality easier
  • The importance of sleep cycles and vacation mode.
  • How to use your Vacation Brain to improve your business
  • Priorities for the first day back
  • How to keep the holiday vibe and still be productive in business
  • What Goldilocks has to do with your first day back

I’ve also written a short “cheat Sheet” article on the 7 steps I follow to Get Back Into Work Mode After a Vacation with some handy links to help you, if the transition back to reality eludes you.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

7 Steps To Get Back Into Work Mode After a Vacation

Reclaim Your Business Sleep Cycle

If you’re like me, you’re sleep cycle may have defaulted to holiday time, instead of productive, world domination mode.

So get to bed early! (boring I know but important).

Set that alarm baby and get up!

Simply creating this structure to your days will move you out of lazy time.

Cut yourself some slack for a few days

Before you went on holidays you were very likely super woman / man. That person who powered through the to-do list with adrenaline fueled energy, so you can go on holidays.

You probably imagined yourself coming back after holidays, super fresh from relaxing, and hitting the ground running. That’s so not going to happen if you really did get to wind down on your break.

So set your goals (for example on your wake up time, to do’s etc) but allow yourself a day or so to get in the swing of things.

But only a few days!

Consciously Keep the Holiday Vibe

If you’re relaxed after a great break, be careful not to switch into head down bum up mode too fast. Otherwise you’ll need another holiday by the end of the week!

Instead consciously create a vacation vibe in your work space.

Here’s a few very simple ways:

  1. Music that keeps the vibe
  2. Burn essential oils
  3. Place a few mementos on your desk and allow yourself to stop and spend a few moments of mindfulness in pleasant thoughts.
  4. Schedule short breaks more often and consciously visualise / meditate on calmness and joy. Then bring that energy back to your work.

Actually, I do all the above most days to stay focused and calm.

Allow your first day back to be a planning and catch up day

It can be easy to get into micro-mode on return from a break.

Answering emails, getting stuck into looming deadlines etc.

Instead, take time to get clear on the big picture.

Do an assessment of any unfinished tasks from before you left, clarity on important goals and commitments for the next few weeks and top priorities.

Schedule this overview and planning for Day 1 and resist the urge to action items immediately.

Instead of schedule WHEN they will be actioned and then do them in that order. That way you won’t get overwhelmed by “stuff”.

And hey, if you ever start to feel overwhelmed in business, this article on 8 steps to free yourself from overwhelm in business is a great place to start.

If you start to feel overwhelmed by all the crazy things you feel you need to get done in the next week or so, then use this fast and simple template I use to quickly identify priorities. You can download it here.

Connect With Your Team and Your Top Clients

Relationships are your top priority in business so make reconnecting a priority.

This doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment.

A simple email, message, post in a customer support group or super-quick phone call is important on the first day.

Simply to say “I’m baaaack” and you’re here for them.

This is a simple customer service, and leadership touch point that can make a big difference.

Make The Most of Your Relaxed Mind

If you are relaxed from a holiday, this is the perfect time to tap into the right side of your mind.

This is the creative side that is so often ignored when our left sided brain takes over to power through all the to-do actions.

So use this strategically.

I’ve mentioned visualising, mediation and mindfulness above.

That’s not just woo-woo feel good stuff (which by the way I’m totally for too).

These are also tools to help you tap into your creativity so when you do these exercises, consciously ask your subconscious the question “what is a new way to look at what I’m doing?” or ask about a specific project, goal or issue.

Also bring this new energy to the next step.

Make a Reality Check of Your Year and Next Quarter Plans

I have very clear steps my VIP clients and I use to create simple 90 day plans that work to keep us focused, accountable and motivated.

There is nothing better than returning to that 90 day plan immediately after a holiday and ask yourself the question:
Does this plan seem too big or too small, with the clarity I have with my vacation vibe?

I often find one of three things happens:

I’m clearer on WHY I do what I do and I realise my 90 day plan is thinking too small!

I don’t mean I hadn’t planned to do enough work.

It very often means I planned to be busy with things that were more of the same, and not really pushing me out of my comfort zone.

I have stopped running on adrenaline and realise I had a 90 day plan to burn out

Yep I’ve done this too many times over the years.

When I’m focused I’m totally on fire and I keep on going!

However, that’s not always the most effective way to make a difference through my business.

Often less is more (my mantra for the last 12 months and likely to be the lesson I still focus on this year).

Slowing down often gives me the clarity on how to simplify.

If you feel the burn out coming, you might find this article on how to get out of a funk in business over here.

The Goldilocks moment

That’s what I experienced today, when I returned to work and did everything I’ve listed above.

I reviewed my plan and had that rare moment when everything was JUST RIGHT.

Pure Goldilocks moment.

I find if I do THIS end of year ritual before I do my yearly plan, the Goldilocks moments occur far more often.

Over To You

I’d love to hear any rituals, hacks and special tips you use to get your business mojo back when you have been on vacation.

Share below or even better, take a screen grab of the podcast above and share it on Instagram or Facebook and tag me I it sharing your tip. I’ll choose great tips and re post to my story in Instagram or Facebook and help shine the light on you.

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.

Woohoo!

I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

Facebook Messenger Bots For Business

Facebook Messenger Bots For Business

One of the things I find really frustrating about keeping in touch with my subscribers and customers, is how difficult it can be to get your emails to even land in people’s inboxes (so many get blocked) and then fighting for attention in crowded inboxes.

Don’t get me wrong, email is still a powerful medium, but with an average open rate of 20% (in my industry anyway), surely there is a better way to get more people to even read your messages?

Well, yes there is.

There is a medium that currently has open rates that average 80%.

Plus it has click through rates (the percent of people who click links in the communication) that are 10 times the average rates of emails.

That medium is Facebook Messenger Bots.

Now I’ll be totally open here, I’ve done workshops and courses on bots, set some up in our biz and really done a pretty mediocre and half-hearted attempt.

That will be changing in 2019.

So to advise on how to use Facebook Messenger Bots for business I called up a friend who I met at a conference, Sue Prentice. When I met Sue, she shared over drinks the incredible success her business has had with Facebook Messenger Bots. Sue sells awesome bluetooth earphones for runners (I know because I use them).

This episode of Romance Your Tribe Radio is direct from the trenches with Sue sharing how you can use Facebook Messenger Bots in your business. Sue uses bots in her business every single day, which means she has put her own money on the line to test and tweak strategies that work. This is far better than someone who has only ever managed bots for someone else.

Plus an extra bonus, which I only found after I invited Sue to be my guest, is she has now opened a new “done-for-you” Facebook Messenger bot business (hello, someone to create the great bots you’ll see me using this year).

In this episode we cover:

  • How Sue and I met and why I call her Conference Barbie
  • Why Sue cancelled her email account for her business selling Bluetooth earphones for runners), even though she had industry average open rates.
  • How Facebook Messenger Bots transformed their marketing (plus she shares the stats in their biz).
  • What Facebook Messenger Bots are
  • Who should be using bots and at what stage you should think about using them (this surprised me)
  • The first bot you should create and what software to use to make it easy (which also comes with some great free training).
  • The biggest mistake people make when they start using Facebook Messenger bots for business.
  • How writing emails for marketing is very different to writing for Facebook Messenger Marketing and the simple rule to follow to create messages that convert.
  • How to combine email and Facebook Messenger bots for business.

Plus, below this week’s podcast episode, you’ll see an article explaining exactly what a Facebook Messenger bot is and where to start.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

How to use Facebook Messenger Bots for business

What is a Facebook Messenger Bot Anyway?

Do you use Facebook?

If not you’re probably one of the few people on the planet who don’t.

Have you ever sent or received a private message through Facebook?

If yes, then you have used the Facebook Messenger app.

You are one of the 1.3 BILLION monthly active users on Facebook Messenger. And it’s still growing faster than social media usage.
Are some of these your customers?

Have you ever had a conversation with a business via Facebook Messenger? Maybe asking about their product or services, registering for a webinar or similar?

Yours may have been one of the 8 BILLION messages sent between over 400k other brands and their customers each month (Facebook, May 2018).

Many of those messages may have been automated, with the questions and answers you both give personalised according to answers you give and links and buttons you click.

Think of it as a “choose your own adventure book”, except it all happens through Facebook Messenger and the conversation “decision tree” is managed through software called a “bot”.

It might sound complicated but it is easier to set up than you may think.

After all, email marketing can sound complicated when you are first introduced to the idea of automating emails, and bots are no more difficult to use.

Simple Ways To Start Using Facebook Messenger Bots For Business

Contact Bot on Website

You can create a simple Facebook Messenger Bot series to add to your website for people to contact you. It can give your contact details and also ask them questions to help understand their needs and direct them to the best place on your website.

Yep it’s still using Facebook Messenger but it is on your website.

Segment Visitors Into Different Groups You Serve

Create a Facebook Messenger Bot series that allows visitors to self select their interest (for example, if you are a real estate agent, you can ask if the visitor is buying, selling or both). Then you can answer their most common questions according to their segment.

Solve The Biggest Problems Your Customers Have That Uses Your Time

Are there questions and decisions you spend time helping people with?

For example, how to measure their sizes if you sell shoes or clothes, or how to choose which of your products / programs / services is best for them.

Book Sales Calls Discovery Sessions

If sales calls and discovery sessions are part of your conversion process, a Facebook Messenger Bot is a great way to pre-qualify visitors to see if they are right for your services and then actually book a time there in Facebook Messenger.

Build a Relationship

Just like giving away a great gift to entice people to your email list, you can do the same via a Facebook Messenger Bot. You can also drip send great value content to build trust and lead to the sale.

Make Sales Simpler

Use a Facebook Messenger Bot to speed up the sales process and in some cases, even make the sale and do the transaction directly in the bot.

A survey or Quiz

This is what you will see on my bot sometime soon (hopefully by February).

A quiz can help you segment your visitors, give them great value and insights and then lead them to the best product or service to help them. Plus you can make them fun.

It’s Action Time

There are 1.3 billion monthly active users on Facebook Messenger. 19 million of them are in Australia, millions of others in other countries around the world. These days, 65% of people would prefer to contact a business via direct message rather than phone or email.

Your customers are already on Messenger. They have a growing expectation that you will be able to answer all their questions there.

A bot will never replace a conversation with a real person. Instead, it can help automate the beginning of a conversation and if people still need help (or identify as awesome potential clients) then you can continue the conversation in person.

So, let’s get started.

Here’s your action plan:

  1. Identify the customer conversation starter that will give you the best return for you in your business (eg, which service is best for them).
  2. Check out Many Chat to create your first bot.
  3. Check out Sue’s website at Beyond Points and see the examples of different bots she has created for you to explore. For example the one on their contact us page.
  4. Go to Beyond Points Facebook page and send in “Learn more”. Go over and interact with the bot so you can understand how an expert nurtures the relationship with their customer.

Go get ‘em folks!

Sue’s Bio

A continual passion for business, ideas and branding has always kept me seeking what’s next. I believe knowledge is power. I thrive on the contagious energy around like-minded entrepreneurs, and have enjoyed travelling globally, immersed in my continual journey of my personal education.

Being born in a third world country was motivation enough, valuing what survival of the fittest really meant. An immigrant 3x over, Australia is home. I’ve been fortunate to work alongside major global brands, like IBM and QBE to name a few, perfecting the art of long standing customer relationships, some of which proudly go beyond 20 years with great friendships built along the way.

And with over 25 years under the belt and a mix of advertising and sales, working to make brands stand out I am at ease with being known to “sell ice to eskimoes”. After all, it’s sales that make the world go around. As business owners it’s what we all want. Looking back, I believe it it is all about being authentic, offering value first and being personal through conversations!

In 2014 I could not ignore the buzz in my head that was telling me the future was online. I happened to be going to the US for a 4 day training event about eCommerce when I met my business partner Giles Smith, energetic, smart and determined with the same goals. Together in 2 and a half years, we grew a 7 figure online lifestyle brand from scratch, today our products are used in 16 countries around the world. It would not have happened without investing thousands of hours and dollars in our education. Always seeking what’s next, we discovered this ground floor opportunity .

Mastering the art of Facebook Advertising and the intricacies of social media, we have proven the power of Messenger Marketing. We recently travelled to Austin for the worlds first conversation conference where the leaders in the field gathered. The results we have achieved in our eComm brand I hope will inspire you.

However, what we’re excited about is Working with other entrepreneurs is what we enjoy most. We officially launch in January and will be contributing to a great cause for every bot we build to truly make a difference in the world to underprivileged children. (can’t announce charity name yet)

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.

Woohoo!

I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

Read The Transcript Here

Transcript will be available soon!

The End of Year Business Ritual to Finish the Year with a Bang

The End of Year Business Ritual to Finish the Year with a Bang

As I write this, it’s only a few sleeps until the end of the year and my family and I are looking forward to our end of year business ritual. This will be our 12th year completing this ritual and we all look forward to it as it is guaranteed to finish the year with a bang. It’s a lot of fun.

I’ve introduced this ritual to many of my customers over the years and I look forward every year to hearing their stories and seeing so many of them including their version of the end of year business ritual in their own families and businesses.

In this week’s podcast and action article, I’ll walk you through the entire process and importantly, WHY this step is essential for you as an entrepreneur before you finalise any plans for the following year.

We’ll cover:

  • Why this fun end of year business ritual is an important business planning strategy (disguised as a family bonding exercise)
  • The type of energy you have before and after this exercise, and how that relates to business growth.
  • The concept of the Celebration Board and how to adapt to an individual and to a family or team
  • How to prepare and materials you will need
  • What to do with Celebration Board for the next 12 months

I also show you the roll of our 12 years of this ritual and talk about how they have evolved since my children were 8 and 9, and are now 20 and 21. I also show you one of my most recent boards so you can see what they look like and what sorts of things we included on it.

This year will be yet another stage in how we complete our end of year ritual. That’s because my son will be back-packing in India. He didn’t want to miss out on our ritual so this year we will be adding a virtual video component to the mix. It will be interesting to see how this works out.

You can see “my baby” here, already looking like a local!

And hey, if you want some tips to get the conversations flowing at Christmas, especially with the second cousin, on your step-brother’s side, you’ll love this simple exercise over here.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below. Never miss an episode. Click here for all the ways you can subscribe.

The Celebration Board As An End Of Year Business Ritual

Now if you’re like me, even as this year is winding up, you’re probably already planning for next year, and may already have your next year plotted out. But a word of warning…… if you attempt to do any planning before doing an exercise that strategically clears negativity about the previous year, makes you think “big-picture” and builds your confidence, then your plans for the next year are likely to be ho-hum, uninspiring and even set you up for failure.

This exercise is called The Celebration Board and it is an end of year business ritual I’ve been doing for the past 12 years. It ends your year with a sense of celebration and is also a lot of fun to involve other people in, such as your family, friends and business team.

Why this end of year business ritual is important

At the end of the year it’s really normal to feel quite overwhelmed. There’s a lot of expectations and demands draining your energy. As well as trying to “wrap things up” for the end of the year, organise Christmas presents, family gatherings and meeting other people’s demands, you may also be thinking about your plans for business and personal for the next year.

Most likely, either formally or even subconsciously, you’re reviewing what you achieved this year compared to what you had planned. How dies that make you feel?

Maybe you’re disappointed and don’t think you achieved much?

Or maybe you have achieved your goals (go you!). But you may now be thinking:
How can you keep this pace up next year?

Or how can I even do better?

Whichever of the above sounds right to you at the moment, the energy you have at the end of the year is the WRONG type of energy to bring into the visualising and planning process for the next year.

Your energy may include frustration or disappointment. It may include overwhelm and exhaustion and even a sense of panic. It will always be an energy of “doing” and task focus, simply because there is a focus on wrapping up and the crazy to do list.

If you bring this energy into your next year plan the following is most likely to happen to your big plan:

  • It’s going to be small. You’re going to end up making a to-do list. This limits the kind of planning you would do. You’d end up doing the same old.
  • You won’t be able to think creatively. There will be a small-minded energy in the planning you will be doing.

We don’t want to do that. We want to make your next year your best year yet. Even if the previous year has been your best year yet, or your lowest.

Even if you have already done your plan before the craziness started, it is important to review it again after completing this end of year business ritual.

The whole purpose of this ritual is to acknowledge the different things you have achieved this year. With this ritual, you’d be bringing in to your planning a sense of gratitude and well-being. Instead of panicking, you’ll clear out the panic and the heaviness of the to-dos.

We’re going to bring in that beautiful, optimistic, positive energy into your planning

Decide on who you’re doing your end of year business ritual with

I’ve been doing this every year with my family, starting when my children were still at an age where I had to really convince them to sit down and do something for a long time.

Now that they’re 20 and 21, they’ve come to anticipate the Celebration Board. They ask me when we’re going to do it because they really feel as if they own the ritual and they look forward to it every year. They looking forward to creating this celebration together as a family.

Now you may not have family, or don’t want to involve them at all. That’s totally cool because, this is YOUR end of year business ritual so you can include who ever you like! The first few years I did the exercise on my own first and then afterwards would drag my family in with a “you’ll love this, really”. Now we also include Leo The Dog!

Here’s ideas on who you could include:

  • No-one. Just do it on your own
  • Your immediate family
  • Your extended family (you choose who)
  • Friends
  • Your animals
  • Your business partners
  • Your business team
  • Your clients

Write your own adventure 🙂

Decide how you are going to do it

We use a huge sheet of paper and coloured pens. Some people like to use pictures and clippings from magazines. Others like to do it as a powerpoint presentation or other software.

We just keep it simple.

You could do it one person at a time or you could work on it simultaneously while sitting in a circle or at the table. The point is for this to be an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Decide on a schedule

Decide on a date and a time. Make sure that everybody sticks with that.

Christmas is usually a great time to do this because that’s when you usually gather with people important to you. But don’t let distance be a barrier. It can be a really good thing to have everyone on board.

As I mentioned above, this year we’re gonna have to change how we’re going to do this because my son is backpacking in India for 3 months. He told us that we couldn’t do it without him, so now he’ll be joining us via video call. We’ll work out how we include his contribution in our final Celebration Board.

Prepare sufficiently

Every single person has to prepare because it’s so easy to forget what you have done. Social media is excellent for this. You can go through Facebook or Instagram. You might also go through your phone gallery, emails, or your calendar. Whatever it is that would help you identify things that were significant to you and your life.

Alternatively, look at the events in your life that are negative. This could be a sickness or a death in the family, or any kind of loss. You might also think of a time that you’ve felt really depressed and could not feel motivated to do things. Those things are really significant.

Have all these major events, and also significant small things in a list you can access on the day.

When you get together, get a big piece of paper you can do it on. Get your materials and that’s all you need.

The process

As you start, assign a corner to each person and start writing down all those significant things. Acknowledge the positive and negative things as things that have happened. Eventually, you’ll find things about them to celebrate. The important thing is to focus on the learnings and to focus on celebrating.

That’s why it is called a Celebration Board.

For example, one year my mother was very sick and needed a lot of personal support (emotionally and practically) for that year.

Instead of focusing on the negative, I celebrated the fact I was able to care for her. There are always positive things for you to celebrate which are learnings from surviving hardship.

Here are some of the other things to keep in mind:

  • Celebrate the wins and celebrate the learnings as much as the wins.
  • Take your time. Just write it down or draw, whatever each person is more comfortable with. My husband likes to draw because these things are triggers that he can figure out right off the bat. As you do this, talk to each other and remember the things you achieved or enjoyed during the year.
  • Be honest with yourself. Other people don’t have to see it. So take the time to really process what happened this year and what you can take to make next year better.
  • Focus on the learnings that you have and what you are grateful for. That way, you identify the things that really came to matter even as other things fell apart or didn’t grow.

Finally, just acknowledge yourself.

That’s the energy you’re going to bring in to your planning.

Now look at what you’ve learnt through your end of year business ritual and ask the following:

“What are the things that I’m really happy about that I’m going to build on?”

For me, there was one year where I was traveling a lot – which I love – but I wasn’t doing it with my husband. So we set the intention that the following year we would focus on travelling together and romantic weekends away.

“What are things that happened I don’t want to repeat next year?”

And more importantly, what did you learn from them?

Continue to celebrate

When we have completed our Celebration Board we put it up on a  wall where everyone in our little family can see it for the next 12 months. That way when we walk past it we can celebrate our achievements and life lessons again.

Then we store every year’s Celebration Board together and bring them out every year when we complete our end of year business ritual, and reminisce and celebrate.

You may choose to put it in your office or somewhere private you can look at when you choose.

Some people even photograph their Celebration Board and use it as a computer background.

If you’ve done this before, I’d like to know. Tell me all about it on the comments. Have you made it a ritual? How is it impacting your life?

Feel free to share a photo of your own Celebration Board on Facebook or Instagram. Tag me @janetbeckers and use the hashtag #CelebrationBoard so we can celebrate all of it together.

I’ll share your post with my friends.

A Special Message From Janet

Thank you so much for being here. I know there are a lot of podcasts you could choose to listen to  and you chose to join me on Romance Your Tribe Radio.

Woohoo!

I’m honoured and  grateful for your support.

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d love for you to take a quick minute to share your thoughts with us and leave an honest review and rating for the show over on iTunes!

Links and Resources Mentioned

You can see a succession of my celebration board videos over the years, over here.

Download Your FREE 1 Page “Chaos To Clarity” Tool Today

Romance Your Tribe Radio in iTunes

Read The Transcript Here

Hello and welcome Janet Beckers here and nearly the end of the year.

I hope that you have had a fantastic Christmas time with your loved ones and if you’re like me and like most people as well as having a chance to relax now, now are you really thinking about the new year. There’s lots of talk about what are you going to be doing next year what are your plans? What are your goals? Now. I’ve got lots of other resources that I’ve been sharing with you this month on how to plan for next year.

But hey I wanted to share with you the very very first step that I do every single year before I finalize my plan for the for the new year.

And it’s a really important step to take. Unfortunately it’s also a really fun one. So what I’m going to share with you today is a ritual, really, that I have been using with my family now for 12 years. And it’s something that ends your year with a sense of celebration. With a sense of energy and optimism that you bring in to the new year. So I’m going to share with you why it is important to do this activity now. If you haven’t done it, next year you may even do a little bit earlier. But really important to get this done before January. Why it’s important to do this, and then we’re going to walk you through step by step exactly how to do this and how to actually make it a bit of a ritual with you and your loved ones.

It’s a really exciting activity. So let’s get started and I shall share with you what it is. Now, every single year, I do what is called A Celebration board now why are you in a moment what actually one looks like. Why do you want to do this? Well, when you are leading into doing your planning for the next year normally around about this time of the year, You could be feeling really overwhelmed and quite exhausted. You know there’s a lot of expectations a lot of demands on your time and your energy at this time of the year in your business and also just personal. You know what it’s like you know getting the Christmas presents. And organising whose you know whose place you’re going to go to at what time.

All of those sorts of things that take a lot of your headspace up. And it’s also a time of the year where, if you haven’t already done your planning for next year which you really should have, but if you haven’t and you’re going to be really focusing again on reviewing your plan for the next year you can be looking back at your previous year, like the one that you’ve just finished, and thinking a sense of “I haven’t got anything done,” You know “I set myself these huge goals or they didn’t even seem huge at the time and what have we haven’t achieved them or if I have achieved them”.

You may be thinking “how am I going to do better next year or how am I going to build on this or how am I going to have the energy to be able to continue to do this?” These are really normal things. I tell you what when you were coming in to doing your plan for the next 12 months or reviewing your plan that you have already done, which is just a really normal thing for you to start doing at this time of the year. If you bringing that energy of, you know, a frustration of disappointment. or If you’re bringing in that energy of “oh you know I’ve got to get all this done before the end of the year”. That panic, that sense of tasks and to do if you bring that energy in to your planning for the next year.

You know be thinking two things. One is it’s going to be small. You’re going to be really bringing a “task energy”, “to do energy” into your plan and. That’s going to really limit what kind of plan you going to do. And it will very often mean it’s going to be the same old same old. And the other thing that’s going to do if you bring that energy in is you very often will not be able to think creatively about what is possible. And so you can be bringing in a very small minded sort of energy that comes into it. So we don’t want to do that because we want to make your next year the best year yet. Even if the year that you’re just finishing HAS BEEN YOUR BEST YEAR YET. Or it’s been the worst year yet. We want to make next year, your best year yet. So to do that we have to make sure that we’re bringing in the right energy. So the exercise I’m going to share with you is actually a really enjoyable thing to do and the whole purpose of it is to really acknowledge the different things that you have achieved this year. Now if you’re thinking well I haven’t done much to stick with me okay. So it’s going to acknowledge and celebrate the things that you have achieved that year and to be bringing in a sense of gratitude, a sense of well-being, and a sense of clearing out the panic. Clearing out the overwhelm and the heaviness of the to-dos. Because we want to bring in that beautiful optimistic confident energy into the plan that you can be creating. So this is a really important step to do.

And fortunately, it’s a lot of fun. So let me introduce you to the celebration board Now this started, the first one that I did, was in 2007.

So let me just show you who see this big roll up paper. You can see the end of it here like it goes. Woah! Can You see that? Layers and layers and layers. So 2007 was our first one. And so as I’m recording this this is the end of 2018.

So this will be number 12 that we have done. Now when I say we, this is something that I do with my husband and my two children. So I’ll give you a look on what one looks like. So you can see. And also on the podcast page. I will put some photos. I’ll blur out the details simply because this is not just me. This is also everybody else in the family. But what we do is we get a great big sheet of paper. Lots of colored text. Put the year in the middle. This one’s 2016. And each person’s name is on there. Now. It’s. A little bit hard for me to be able to show you here. As. You can see. Really quite big. So let’s run over with you. What we’ve done, so you can get an idea.

Now. Now. I really love to be able to involve my whole family doing this because the reality is, that you know. It may be your family. Or it may be friends. It may be your dog and your dog usually makes it every single year. But it’s really lovely to be able to do something like this with the people who are impacted by what happens with you on a day to day basis. And you’re impacted by what’s happening with them. It’s a really lovely thing for you all to get together and acknowledge and record everything that you have done. Now what we do. And so the first one we did it was in 2007. Now my youngest was eight at that time and my eldest was almost 12. So they were, you know, they were young. Now as you would probably know with kids that age, sometimes you really got to convince them to do something that means that going to sit down for more than five minutes. So the first few years that we did this required me doing a lot cajoling. Now that we are in 2018. I’ve got a 20 year old and a daughter who is going 22. By the time that you see this, she will be 22. She had her birthday just before Christmas. So that’s pretty different. So we’ve been doing this every single year. So now we have our children instigating it going. “When are we going to celebration board? We’ve got to do it. What date are we going to do it?” And they’re really looking forward to actually creating this celebration together as a family.

In fact this year as a you know a sign that you know that we will have to be changing how we’re doing it is, my son who who’s just turned 20 has just taken off with a three month visa for traveling in India. With a backpack and no plan beyond the first four days and he’s gone. But, he did say “what we can’t do this before I leave because I’m going to get so much exciting things I want to put on the celebration board before the end of the year.”

So we’ve got to do it via Skype and we get to work out how we’re going to get his contribution onto our big family sheet. but That’s. So it doesn’t even have to be that you’re going to have the people who you want to do this with need to be together. But I’m sharing it with you here around Christmas time because I know that there’s a very good chance that you may be with your loved ones at the moment. So don’t let distance be a barrier. It can be a really nice thing to be able to do virtually. So how does it work?

The whole idea is that we get together using a creative way so we do colored text, lots of drawing. Some people who are taught this to like to use photos or magazines or things like that. We just keep it simple and we set ourselves a well I had to set a timeframe when the kids were little (laughs) just to promise them that it was nearly over. But now that they’re bigger you know we you know we’ll set aside a date and we’ll set the time to do it.

Now the idea is that you spend the time going over every single thing that you have done that year. And I’ll go through the steps on how do you do this. All the different things that you have done this past year that maybe in your business. That may be in your hobbies. That may be activities different activities, you know excursions. Or different special events that you’ve had during the year. Special times that you just have with multiple ones. Things that were a personal growth to you. You know. Challenges that you may have had. But we’re not going to focus on bad things we going to focus on you know how were they good. What did you get from those. And so doing this especially as a family is a fun thing because a lot of times it’s things that we did together that we want to be able to do like a combination so there’s often lots of arrows going on out. And you know we, the dog even gets to celebrate, you know, that he got to to the beach a few times a week or you know little things like that. So that’s the whole idea is that we’re going to be putting that beautiful celebration in to what you are doing now what we do with ours when we’ve completed it is, we actually put up. That year’s one we put it in our living area and sometimes it in the hallway to one of the bedrooms or at the moment is up there where we do all of our painting. Because that where we’ve got a house where is always artworks happening. And that just means that, you know, every now and then you might walk past and you’ll have a look at it: “That’s right. That was really cool that that happened.”

So we actually live with it for the year which is really nice which is why the latest one that I’ve got here is two years ago. So. Let’s go over. Some of the things that were there from last year. From 2016, two years ago, that I can just see from this one and then I’ll guide you through. You can do this for yourself. So for example if I have a look at mine. This might work for you. So we’ve got each of us sort of sits around it. so It’s all at different angles because we’re all sitting around this table. So for me. I’ll turn it around. There might be a bit of noise.

So I’ve got things like for business wise you know that I launched my video marketing program so I around ran workshops. And my daughter who was studying event management at the time actually came along and was the event manager. So we got to travel what we did those workshops so that was that was a big event. We also did things that particularly here I was the patrol captain for our surf club. For our patrol. And we actually won the Best patrol of the year which was pretty awesome. And then I had a bit of fun because they they lifted up to me, they put the embroidery on the winning jacket. So I changed it and put most awesome patrol as the official embroidery on my jacket. So I’ve got there a picture that I’ve done there. I’ve also just written there about some fantastic camping and kayaking with my husband.

I also put, you know, here was an interesting one. My mum was really sick that year. Now I could very easily have put down here that that was a negative you know because I spent a lot of time with my mum. She was very sick and I went there but you know what I put down that I got to care for my mum. I Was able to be there. That was something that was a real positive from that. You know I’ve also been able to put things here like you know swimming. Going swimming with my friends. A weekend away. Actually I was being written down about 50 kilometres away and I really liked it. Some weddings we went to. When I was in the United States. That I was masterminding the high mastermind but I also made sure that every single time I went over there from asked why I stayed longer and explored. So that was a pretty good year. Yeah that was a pretty firm one.

We’ve also got things like, you know, my kids put things here about this one here my husband my my son was finishing high school. So for him he put down about all the difference even though yes he was studying for his HSC. He’s still we got there about all the different festivals and bands he went to ’cause he’s just obsessed with music.

And we also put about you know he took over being patrol captain for me. Oh he got a beautiful girlfriend. Gosh she was beautiful. still Is beautiful. My husband put down lots of things to do with his art and his gardening and his work. We put down about where we bought our first Aboriginal art as an investment. My daughter and I. All these different things that we did together and you know. And going and seeing Macklemore together. I was probably the oldest person in the audience but I was probably the loudest as well. So that’s it just gives you an idea of the kind of things that. Is.

Going to throw that down. So for me that was a great year. We had a lot of fun but also at that same time, as you saw, you know I was doing a lot of caring for my mum who was sick. So that was actually taking a lot of my time I could have very easily is focused on the negative. So you can see there’s all different positive things. So even just me reading that, I’m feeling a real sense of achievement but I do know that before I went to start that I was going: “oh yeah I did a bit of travelling this year that was really cool but you know”. There was always that sense of frustration of you know there always is. Everywhere we set ourselves big goals “I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done”. But after that I feel really really good about myself. So that is the purpose of doing this. So let me run you through exactly how do you create your own celebration board and create a ritual around that.

So these are the steps. Number one: decide who you want to do this with. You can do this on your own at some times especially when the kids were younger. I would do it on my own to start with because I really want to do my planning and I wanted to get this energy and then I would do it again with the family. So sometimes there were two sheets that I had and that’s okay.  You can do it more than once. So deciding you know what we are going to do it on your own and then you’re going to do it again later as a family. As a ritual that you do with your family. It’s a really lovely bonding thing to do. So decide who you want to do this with and decide then how are you going to do it. Are you going to do it as a virtual thing or are you going to do it together?

The next thing you will do is set the date of when you are going to do it. Set a date and a time and everybody sticks with that.

And just that they’re only going to do it with.

I was running through this with my Rising Star clients this week. I Was doing this exercise with them and one of them was saying what she’s actually going to be doing it when she’s got the whole family together. Including her kids’ partners because they’re a big part of the family as well. So that’s you know that’s going to be a big part for her is the extended family which will decide to do that as well.

So set your date. Now, the next thing is every single person needs to prepare because it is amazing how you forget what you’ve done. Now social media is fantastic for this so I always go back through my last, all the photos that I’ve had in my last 12 months on either Facebook or Instagram. Now for you you may not do much of on social media. You may go through the photos that you’ve got on your phone. That may be your trigger for that. You might go through your calendar and look at the different things that you do especially with business. You may not have documented those so much through photos but go through your calendar. Maybe even go through your e-mails looking for big things. Whatever it is it’s going to help you to try to remember the things that were significant for you that year and that also includes the things that were that you could perceive as a real negative. You know you might have some sickness in your family or yourself. You may even have deaths in your family. You may have had a time or where are you just feeling depressed and could not feel motivated to do things. They still count, okay? They are really significant because then what we’re going to do is when we get together, which is the next step. First of all, you’re going to get you know you need the materials. We get like a big piece of paper. We can go down to the newsagents and get a nice big sheet of paper. We just find that bigger is better because it just allows you to be freer. We get either coloured textures or colored pencils and really that’s all you need. I don’t have to complicate it. So you’ve got to get those. Now what I say about including things that might be really negative because what we’re going to do here now is we’re going to get we’re going to get our own little corner and we’re going to be creative with our colour. And we’re going to put down those significant events. And these are really nice things that you’ll be discussing that with each other as you’re going. It allows you to process so even those negative things is to look at to acknowledge that they happened and then to look at what was something that you can see as a sense of achievement around that. It may be, in the case when I was talking about, you know you may have been feeling really depressed. You know what I kept on going. Or it may have been you know there was something happened with your business. That you didn’t you didn’t get the results you wanted but you can be putting in there. You know what, I did the work. I learnt a lot through there. Celebrate the wins and celebrate learnings as much as the wins. Okay.  

So what you going to do now is just take that time is to just do what you want to do if you want your drawings or you just want to write words or a combination. Whatever works for you and each person can do it differently. You know how I want to. My husband’s I had to guess what they were for that year because he’s always just drawings. But they’re really they he knows what they are straight off. They’re triggers to remind you. So this is take that time to actually talk amongst each other and go to go to each other. “Ah remember when this happened or when know was that”. And be honest with yourself because it doesn’t have to be anybody else sees this. We put it up somewhere where we as a family to see it. But you don’t have to you know I can just be you. So that’s the next thing is to take that time to really process.

Now the next step is to look at what you’ve done and really acknowledge. Just soak up that energy of, “you know what? Things happened this year. This was my life.” And you know what? Really focus on the things the learnings that you had and what you were grateful for. And know I can remember one year that’s in that pile there where my business really, it stagnated. And that was for quite a few reasons. One was I had kind of outgrown the business but I wasn’t allowed, I wasn’t admitting it to myself. And so I wasn’t enjoying it as much because I was ready for the next step that I was holding on. But also it happened to happen at the same time that my mother had gone through time she was really unwell. Really unwell. She’s had a tough couple of years. You know she’s getting older and she had a lot of problems with her heart. And so for me I think you know what? Every single week, I travel two hours to be with her every single week to take her to the doctors. That is something to celebrate. And it is okay that other things fell apart. Not fell apart, but didn’t grow. Because that was what my priority was that year.

So allow yourself to really look at it and to be able to acknowledge things that you’ve learnt. And really acknowledge the things that went really really well. And just acknowledge yourself okay because that’s the energy that we want to bring in. Now when you’re taking this energy and you’re going to be planning for next year and I have whole process that I use for planning for the following year is the first thing you want to ring at any time now you look at what you’ve done and go you know what. What things that happened last year what things do I want to. I’m really happy about that. I want to build on so you can make sure when you’re planning your next year that you’re going to make sure that you that you do that. For me looking at that particular year. I know for me a lot of that was I was travelling a lot which I loved but I wasn’t doing it with my husband. So for me I put down you know what I would do more weekends away I want to do more kayaking. I want to do things just with my husband which is what we did.

So those are, you know, they were learnings. What do you want to more of? And what are the things that you had as big lessons that you don’t want to repeat that lesson? But what can you take from that to build into the next year? But if you had seen all of those things as failures or whatever, you can’t bring that energy forward. But if you’re celebrating the learnings that you had, you can bring that into the next year. Okay.

So this is a fantastic ritual for you to be able to introduce to your own family as I was saying the first time I started doing this. I have an eight and a 10 year old. Now I have a 20 and a 22 year old and we are still doing it. And there’s no way that the kids want to stop doing it. It’s probably going to be something we have to be doing for decades. And I tell you what, it is fantastic because what we also do is every year now, we open up all the previous years and we go over and reminisce and celebrate again.

So it’s a really beautiful ritual to have a really really important, actually very strategic thing for you to do before you set any big planning and visualizing for the next year. And if you’ve already done your plan for the next year, revisit it after doing this exercise and see if there’s anything that you want to change.

Okay I’m really looking forward to hearing from you. So I would love very much if you can share with me if you’ve done this. If you’ve done it in the past, because I know I share this every year. If you’ve done it in the past I’d love to hear from you. You know, have you made it a ritual? How is it impacting your life. If you do do one. I would so love it if you would share a photo with me. So come over onto Instagram or Facebook and share a photo of your celebration board. I would love to be able to see that just come and share that with me as well. And let’s use a hashtag. #celebrationboard. That would be a fantastic thing to do. I come over on Instagram come over on Facebook and share that and then you can search on that tag and see if you can find what everybody else has been doing that would be super cool. And just leave comments down below on the podcast page. I’m not quite sure if you can upload images there but if you can. I’m not quite sure if you can be extra awesome as well. All right. So I would love to hear from you and again. Hope you’re having a really beautiful time with your family or your loved ones. Or just also if you want it to just be alone, if you’re getting some time for some space to yourself. I’m hope that you’re actually doing what you want to be doing at this time of the year. I’m really really looking forward to helping you has much fun next year.

I have some pretty exciting things planned to really help you. I’m super excited about them.

Okay, bye!