It’s a funny old world, running a business isn’t it? Some days you can’t wait to jump out of bed and get cracking with the day, other day’s you can’t muster the energy to lift your head off the pillow.
Lately, I’ve been falling victim to the latter. Over the last couple of months I’ve found myself drifting and when I drift with no real direction, I always seem to end up further away from my end goal. Which is why I decided to take a step back from the business and work out where this resistance was coming from.
I decided to take a CEO day.
Have you ever felt like you’re running around putting out fires, constantly chasing your tail, replying to emails and social notifications, before realising you’ve not actually produced any tangible work to drive your business forward?
You need a CEO day.
Are you struggling to work out what your bigger picture vision is? Like, understanding why you’re actually running your own business and where you want it to lead?
You need a CEO day.
To take you away from the pull of every day and allowing the head space to work out what’s going right, where improvements could come in, and have the freedom to dream about the future.
Before we delve into the meaty stuff of how to take a business planning day, I wanted to take a moment to say, whether you run an online shop, a bricks and mortar store, a service based business, or even a blog, if you make money or plan to, then taking a CEO day is an absolute necessary. And don’t get hung up on the term CEO. I’m not telling you to get new business cards printed. But you do need to step up to the plate and see what’s working and what isn’t to be able flourish in a unpredictable climate.
A change of scenery is essential to having a successful business planning day. You see, when you’re surrounded by familiarity, you let habits sneak in that stop you from giving your full attention to the task in hand. Whether it be a new café you’ve never worked in before, a co-working space, booking a night away in an Airbnb like I did, or even just changing your desk position for the day if you can’t leave the house, the key is to not be sat in the same position you are day in day out. Take your laptop into your bedroom if you have to today and set up camp there.
WHAT WENT RIGHT?
Let’s start with the positives. Taking a look back over the last year in your business or blog, what would say has gone right for you? Make a list of your achievements and things you are proud of, from signing every new client, to paying your bills, to reaching a certain milestone on social media, perhaps even winning an award. For me, the last year in business saw me not only pivot my focus but end up creating a whole new business around manifestation, motivation and mindset coaching. The community I built around that was one of the biggest achievements of the last twelve months, and harnessing the power of a successful Facebook group reminded me where my focus needs to be.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
Were there things that you’ve struggled with, thing you’ve tried and perhaps learnt a lesson or two from? Take a look back over the last twelve months and see what stands out to you. For me, there were quite a few things I’d change moving forward. I definitely wasn’t as organised as I’d like to have been, and on occasions I ran over deadlines because I underestimated the time it would take to complete certain tasks (editing photographs, I’m looking at you). I also fell completely out of love with Instagram and let my perfectionist ways take over. But by sitting and making a list of all the things I wasn’t happy with, I was able, during my CEO day, to see where changes needed to be made, and also where no f*cks needed to be given.
WHAT IS HOLDING YOU BACK?
Are there things that you know are holding you back from growing to your full potential? I know there certainly are with me. I know that if I was more confident in front of the camera, I could grow my audience through Instagram Stories and let people see the real me. I know that imposter syndrome stops me from creating things because someone else might have done something similar and I automatically assume people will judge mine as second rate. My time management is a big reason for not getting everything done in the day that I’d like. Lack of direction was a huge sticking point for me during 2019, as was the feeling of not wanting to charge what my services should have been priced at. I want you to make your list on a separate piece of paper and once you’ve finished, read every single one aloud and say after each, “This is no longer serving me and I release this feeling”. Tear the piece of paper up and sit for a moment. Those feelings won’t change overnight, but you have taken the first step to becoming the person you want to be by noticing these feelings and taking control.
SCRIPT THE PERFECT WORKDAY
Ah, now to one of my favourite things to do. Scripting. The fourth part of your CEO day is to sit and describe your perfect day. Work out what you want to do more of. Take pen to paper and describe exactly how you want your day to pan out, picturing in detail everything from the time you wake up to how many sales you’ll hit, or how many page views you’ll get, through to the work you’ll carry out throughout out the day. For me, I knew I wanted variety and with running two full on businesses, that certainly wasn’t hard to imagine. However, I knew I also wanted calmness. Processes in place. I wanted to write in the morning and be creative in the afternoon. I scripted about speaking to dream clients as I coach them, as well as working on my interior design blog and digital magazine I run. And as I read it back, the beauty was I knew it was all possible, it would just take a little organisation and free time to batch create. Oh hello 3-week lock down, I think I might have manifested you.