Simple Tips To Take The Guesswork Out Of Growing Your Business

February

26

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Planning is a big challenge for many business owners. Either we don't do it at all or we make it too complex. Today we’re going to dig into some simple ways to make planning easier so you can get focused, organized, and drive results. Our special guest, Laura Posey, from Simple Success Plans has some awesome stuff to share with us.

Join Laura Posey and Tim Fitzpatrick for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Simple Tips To Take The Guesswork Out Of Growing Your Business



Tim Fitzpatrick
Planning can be a real challenge for many business owners either. We're not planning at all or we take way too much time to plan and make it far too complicated. Today, we're going to dig into some simple ways. You can make planning easier so that you can get focused, organized, and drive results. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. So thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I'm super excited to have with me Laura Posey from Simple Success Plans. Laura, welcome, and thanks for taking the time.

Laura Posey
Thanks for having me here today, Tim. I am so excited to be here because we're going to talk about planning.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, yes. Planning. We can make planning simple and exciting, right?

Laura Posey
Absolutely.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. When we connected a month or two ago, I think there was a lot of synergies there. You view planning like I do. We got to keep it simple. So I think we're going to have a great conversation and I've been looking forward to it. So before we dig into things, I'd like to just start out, ask questions as an icebreaker. Let us get to know you a little bit. Tell us what's the best vacation you've been on in the last five years.

Laura Posey
The best vacation the last five years was three weeks on the island of Lombok, which is right next to Bali. So it's gorgeous, is the best snorkeling I've ever done. Went out to an island that has like twenty-five people that live on it and ate some food that they had caught like an hour ago, some fish and vegetables they'd grown, everything steamed in banana leaves. I mean, it was just an amazing, amazing adventure.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Oh, that sounds absolutely awesome. How long does it take to get there?

Laura Posey
Well, you got to you can't fly into Lombok directly. You have to fly to Bali and then take a little puddle jumper over. And so getting to Bali is not super easy. Usually, you got to go to Singapore. So it's about I mean, it's halfway around the world for me. So it was about a thirty-five-hour journey.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Oh, my God. That's why you went for three weeks.

Laura Posey
Oh yeah. Yeah. No, you don't do that kind of vacation in a week, you know. But the beach is a great place to get over your jetlag. Crystal-clear waters, amazing service, amazing people like the friendliest, warmest, most lovely people I've ever met, and just a stunningly beautiful place.

Tim Fitzpatrick
OK, I'm going to have to put it on my list now. You know, for me, when was this? Twenty nineteen. My family and I met my parents and then my brother and his family in Kwai and we were in Kwai for ten days. And that was fun. We stayed in a couple of different places across the island and. Kwai is my favorite island in Hawaii. There's no doubt about it.

Laura Posey
I've heard great things about it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, it's quiet. It's lush. It's just it's a lot of fun. So that was an amazing trip. Not quite thirty-five hours, but for me, it was an eight-hour flight, which for my kids was a long flight. So, fortunately, there was TV on board and they just got their fill and it was fine.

Laura Posey
So it's the same thing when you're flying Lombok. I mean I, I fly out of Richmond, Virginia and so you go to Tokyo first, we get Atlanta first and get Tokyo. And I've got a whole routine. I've done that kind of trip. Enough that get off in the sky club, take a shower, change your clothes, and then you get another flight to Singapore, which has I mean, it's like a hole that this airport is like a city in and of itself. So you can do anything you want to do there, go and have a drink, relax, and then you get to fly into Bali and just step off the plane into paradise. So totally worth it. Spend a day or two in a booth in Bali and then hop over to Lombok.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Very cool. I'm going to have to it's going on my list, Lombok.

Laura Posey
All right. You'll love it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. Well, listen, tell us more about what you're doing with Simple Success Plans before we dig into this conversation.

Laura Posey
Yeah. So, you know, all we do is one-page access road maps. And it's just figuring out on one page how you're going to get from where you are to where you want to be. And, you know, we were just talking. We eat our own dog food. You're my friend. All right. This is what it looks like. That's what a successful road map looks like. And so what we do is we help people create their road maps. And then we stick with them and we help them get from where they are to whatever those goals are on that road map, our team is charged with one hundred percent of our clients achieving 100 percent of our goals, of their goals. So what we do all day, every day.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So you help him with the plan?

Laura Posey
Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Then you help keep them accountable for executing the plan.

Laura Posey
Exactly. We look at the sort of three legs to the stool. There's the skill set, like helping them know what to do, the mindset, getting them out of their own way. And then the accountability is holding their hand and kicking their butt until they actually get it done, getting through all those obstacles and roadblocks.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So when we talk about planning, one of the first things that always comes up is goals. And man, I think we've all had varying experiences with goals. We set them. We might accomplish them. Sometimes we set them and we don't do anything. Where are business owners going wrong in setting goals?

Laura Posey
Yeah. So the biggest thing that I see is that business owners get confused because they've never been taught between what we call projects and actual goals. So our goal is something that drives your business further. And the purpose of your business is to sell stuff so that you can then go deliver on those promises to your customers. If you're not selling anything, your business isn't growing. And so a lot of times I'll see people set what they think is a goal, you know, and say, well, OK, I've got a goal to write a book this year.

Laura Posey
And I would say writing a book is not a goal, selling a certain number of books is a goal. Because who cares if you write it, unless you sell it unless you get it into people's hands, it's not helping your business anyway. People are like, oh, well, I'm going to be an authority because I could say I wrote a book and it's like, yeah, but if people say, well, how many books have you sold? You go, well, none. How much authority are you then? Right. And if you don't sell it, you don't get any exposure. So goals are always around what you want to sell.

Laura Posey
So I want to sell this number of coaching programs or consulting engagements or books or online courses or beach towels or T-shirts or cell phones or whatever it is you sell. Your goals are around what you're going to sell and everything else is a project that's going to get you to that sale.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it. Yeah.

Laura Posey
So writing the book is a project. Selling five thousand books is the goal.

Tim Fitzpatrick
How do you, um, I love this because a lot of times when you look at goals focused on selling. Right, I'm going to sell X number of copies of the books. The way I've always thought about goals like that. Is there it's an outcome-based goal. You're looking for a specific outcome, right? The challenge that I see a lot of people have with goals is with an outcome-based goal, there are a lot of things beyond your control that may impact your ability to hit that goal, right. So how do you find the balance to stay motivated, to work to hit those goals but really focus on the things that you can control to get to that goal? Does that make sense?

Laura Posey
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that's really where the projects come in, right. And so you set this goal to sell 15 coaching programs. Right. Whatever, whatever your thing is, or 15 consulting engagements. And so then you've got to sit down and figure out, OK, how am I going to sell those? Right. What what is my sales process for getting there? And oftentimes what projects are for things like that are the things that are in your control, such as creating your lead conversion system. How do I get somebody from hi, I know who you are I read your blog post through to here's my credit card? All right. What are the steps in that process and then creating your lead generation system? How are you going to get people into that conversion process or what your funnel is often called?

Laura Posey
And so those things, building those things and running those things is completely within your control. Now, you can't control whether somebody buys or not. Just because you have a conversation with them doesn't mean that A, they're qualified in the exact right person that you want to invite into your program. And B, they might not have the time or the money or the desire or whatever, but as part of the building that leads conversion system up to part of what you put into that project is knowing your numbers and having a tracking system. And so, you know, if you think, oh, I'm going to close 50 percent of the people that I have a conversation with, and it turns out that you only closed 30 percent of them. Right. Then you can go tweak the lead gen system and dial that up.

Laura Posey
And so it's like, OK, I've got to put more people in there because I'm only closing the third instead of half. And so ultimately, it is all within your control even when we have something like a pandemic. That's the big thing. It doesn't mean you need to change your goals. You can still have the same goals. You may have to change the projects. So we say change your tactics, not your goals. You might have to take a different route.

Laura Posey
It's like, you know, we call it a success roadmap because you go in from year to year and sometimes you get somewhere and the bridge is out like, OK, well, I got find the detour. I'm not going to abandon my trip because the bridge is out or the road is closed. Yeah, I'm going to find a detour. And so sometimes in the middle of March of last year, you have to find those detours. But that is ultimately how you respond and react to those things. And the plans you put in place to address them is ultimately all within your control.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So it's the this always stuck with me and I can't remember I think I read it in the book The Slight Edge. Have you ever read that?

Laura Posey
I haven't.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I can't remember the author's name, but it's a really good book, very similar to the guy who wrote that book was the guy that I think mentored Darren Hardy, if you're familiar with him. But he talks about the plan. You start with this, not the plan you're going to end with.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So the plan is hoping you take the action that you need to take to get to where you want to be. So I really like that. So the goal is help you keep you focused. Right. You've got your eye on that prize. But day in, day out, you're focusing on those more tactical project elements that you need to execute to get to the goal. And then one of the key things that you hit on that I want to pull out, which is really important, are those metrics. Tracking the metrics to know whether the actions that you're taking are having an impact or not. And based on that information, then you can make educated decisions on where you need to course, correct?

Laura Posey
Exactly. Yeah, yeah. Because, you know, I mean, it's sort of like we use the road map analogy a lot, you know, and your plan is sort of the GPS, right. It's giving you turn-by-turn directions and it's going to go here, go there. But all the while that you're doing that, you've got other things that you're monitoring as you got to if it's a thousand-mile trip, you've got to figure out, OK, where am I going to stop and get gas, right.

Laura Posey
Or am I going to stop and sleep somewhere? How much money is it going to take? And as the trip goes on, things might come up, you know, that impacts you. You may think, oh, my car gets forty miles per gallon and you discover it gets thirty or you think it gets 30 and you're getting 40 on your trip. You think that you're going to be able to spend one hundred dollars a night for a hotel when you realize that part of your trip is in San Francisco and it's going to be three hundred dollars a night. Right. You're making those adjustments and it's knowing those numbers.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. So let's talk about the benefits of planning. Right. Why is planning worth the effort?

Laura Posey
Yeah. So I think that there's a couple of different reasons. One of the big ones is that when you sit down to create a plan, and particularly when you put constraints around your plan, like putting it all on one page. It forces you to make decisions and that the root of the word and the origin of the word decide means to cut out or cutaway. And so when you have to decide what you're going to do, you have to choose the things that you are going to put your time and energy money into and the things that you're not.

Laura Posey
So it's not as much of what you say yes to. It's what you're saying no to along the way. And you're creating this plan saying, OK, this is what I have decided to do and I'm going to commit to this and I'm going to ignore all of this other stuff. I'm not going to get distracted by the shiny objects. I'm not going to say yes to anything unless it's on my plan. And so taking the time and energy to do that upfront is going to save you that time and energy a hundredfold down the road because you're not going to get pulled in all these different directions.

Laura Posey
The other thing is that when you're doing your plan, you're typically doing it in a very calm, thoughtful place. And so you're able to make smart decisions when you get into doing it mode, you really are become a victim of your emotions and you end up it's like, oh, I haven't sold anything in a couple of days. I'm going to just run a flash sale real quick and you just start doing all these crazy things and you start confusing your prospects and confusing your customers and you make just a horrible mess out of stuff and you'll end up making a lot of really bad decisions based on your current emotional state. And you get this thing, you get that roller coaster going. Whereas if you sit down and make the plan and then just follow the plan.

Laura Posey
It's so much easier and so much more direct, it's like, you know, I always tell people it's sort of like, you know, again, it's like get your phone out and saying, OK, well, here's the address I want to go to. Right, and then then you can just follow the directions versus I'm going to drive across the country. You know, that is not. It'll be fun. You'll see a lot of interesting stuff, but you'll also probably get into a lot of trouble and a lot of scrapes. And if your goal is to grow your business in the most efficient and effective way possible, you want to do it with the GPS and that's your plan.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Laura, you are speaking my language. I have said the same things when we talk about marketing planning. So it's benefits of planning, eliminating that distraction and that information overload and that overwhelm it keeps you focused and it helps you make better business decisions because you're not making those decisions based on whatever emotion it may be. You know, I actually did a podcast for a month or so ago about a lot of people making decisions in the pandemic from fear, and when you're making plans and decisions from a place of fear, that is a really bad place to be making.

Laura Posey
You'll always make bad decisions when you're coming from a place of fear.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. So I hope people are getting this because the planning is super, super, super important, but it doesn't have to be difficult or complicated. Yeah. hard. This is not an overly complicated thing. So, I'm buying what you're selling. I've put together my road map. How the heck do I stay focused each and every day? How do I start walking the walk of what I need to do with my roadmap?

Laura Posey
Yeah. So the first thing is like I said, we put it on a single sheet of paper. We encourage our clients to review that plan every day. Just look at it. Just read it. I just remind yourself, where am I going, what am I doing? The other thing that we do is have all of our clients use what we call a daily success checklist. And that's the sort of inside of this binder here. And as we go through the checklist, the top here is we put your annual goals in there. Right. What is it so you're looking at every single day? What am I working towards? Then you have your quarterly projects. What are those big projects that I have committed to getting done this quarter?

Laura Posey
And if what's on my daily list isn't aligned with those projects, why is it on their. Right then at the bottom, we have what we call our daily success habits, and these are the things that you do to keep yourself in top shape physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Right. So it could be your daily meditation or journaling or prayer or practicing a language or reading something or getting some exercise.

Laura Posey
Right. But making sure that you're doing those things that will set you up for success not just in your workday, but in your life. Right. It could even be just having dinner with your family every night. Then, the middle of the plan is where you write down what you're going to get done today. And so we have each day has a focus hour and the focus hour. Each focus hour has a theme. So for me, like Mondays are money Monday.

Laura Posey
So I do all my financial stuff at nine o'clock on Monday mornings. I do it for an hour and then I'm done. Then it's the what are the project tasks that you're going to do today? Because those are the things the project tasks are the changes that you're doing in your business to make it better and to achieve your goals. And so we typically say do up to three of those a day and do those before you do anything else, before you open your email, before you deal with clients, before you do anything else, get those project tasks to make sure you're making progress every single day.

Laura Posey
And then there's all the other stuff that that happens in the business. Right. It's all the client work. So like I tend are just down here in this piece, I write down what my appointments are for the day and any other little piddly tasks that need to happen. Right. There's just follow-ups and all sorts of stuff. And then the last piece of the day is this checklist is a reflection. So before you leave your desk each day, you go through that reflection exercise and think about where did I make progress, what am I proud of? What did I learn from the day? Is there anything I'm going to do differently tomorrow based on what I learned today?

Laura Posey
And then what am I grateful for? And that allows you to sort of mentally close down the workday. And what I tell people is do is when you're done with this, just flip this over, sit this on your desk so that it's ready when you sit down the next day, the next day on your plate. Right. Like it's just a really easy physical habit. And it's one of the reasons I tell people I put it in a binder.

Laura Posey
It's just so much. We're humans. We have all these senses. Right. And our sense of touch is something really powerful. So having this here, having it in a binder makes it feel real and weighty and important because it is. But using that checklist really helps you stay focused and make progress every day. But then it also helps you mentally close your work mind at the end of the day so that you can then go be a full human in the rest of your life.

Laura Posey
You can be present for your kids and present for your partner and present when you're doing your hobbies. And like one of my hobbies is woodworking. And when I'm working in my shop, I can't be thinking about work because I'm running power tools. I can't be thinking about work while I'm running something through a table. So I'm going to lose a finger.

Laura Posey
I mean it's dangerous stuff like and you got to remember to put on it like you can't be messing with stuff without your safety goggles, right. Because you're going to end up with sawdust in your eye. And so just being able to be fully present and know, like, OK, I did everything I needed to do. I know what I'm going to do tomorrow and I've finished my day and now I can go concentrate on all the other things that I want to do.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I like it. I before we jumped on, I told you I use a daily planner and I've got a lot of similar elements in there. But it's just so things become so much easier when your daily planner has what's your long-term goals are. What the high-priority projects are, and then when you have dedicated focus time each day, even if it's just an hour. If you get tasks done that are helping you accomplish those projects that are supporting those. So many of us would be so much better off.

Laura Posey
Oh, and it feels so good to check them off, right. I'm looking at my quarterly projects and it's like, oh, that one's done. Oh, that one's done. Oh, that one's done. And I like to write down next to my goals the progress that I'm making on those. Right. So that I can look at it and go, oh, that's pretty cool. Okay, so another one of those. Yeah. We're getting there, making progress.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think that is so important because I am very much an I've checked it off my list kind of person. I get a lot of satisfaction from that. But, you know, it allows you to celebrate even those small wins. That if you don't celebrate the small wins, it's so easy to lose sight of that larger goal because it's like, oh, my God, am I getting any closer? Yeah, I am getting closer. I checked off eight things this week that are helping me get to that place. So, I'm taking the steps I need to get to where I want to be.

Laura Posey
Yeah. We have a little check box down here, so if you get the stuff in your column done, you check off. I won the day. And because what we say is, is if you win the days, you'll win the weeks. You win the weeks, you'll win the months. If you win the month, you'll win the years. And if you win in the years, you win your life. It's all today. This is what I have control of is today.

Laura Posey
And so it's so great because our clients are like they're just obsessed with checking that I won the day box. And part of that is it also forces you to be very realistic about what you've put on your list for today. All right, so we were talking earlier, I said Thursday, I had seven coaching calls. There was nothing else that was going to happen that day.

Laura Posey
I had one project task and it was really small. And check and everything else was just handling clients, just doing coaching calls, but I was still able to win the day, I was still able to find something small, but I could make some progress on and win the day and get everything checked off.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, man, awesome. Fantastic information. And it's just one of the things that he talks about in The Slight Edge, too, is just those the little habits, the little steps that we take each day. They're so easy to take, but they're also so easy not to do. And when we get in the habit of not doing them, it impacts us negatively in an exponential way. When we get in the habit of doing those positive things, it benefits us exponentially long term. So all of the stuff that we have talked about is helping people do those things that are going to help them reach their goals and not get in their own way. This has been awesome. I really appreciate you taking the time, Laura. Where can people learn more about you and simple success plans?

Laura Posey
You know, the thing that I want to do is I want to give everybody a copy of The Daily Success Checklist, because I think that's the best way to learn about us, is to use our tools so they can go and download. We call it a checklist kit because I want to give you a fillable version of the plan, a printable version of the plan of filled-in samples so you can see what it looks like when it's all done. And I put together a tutorial video that walks you through each thing, each of the individual places, and says, OK, here's what goes here. Here's what goes here. And if you don't know what goes here, here's how you can get something that'll help you.

Laura Posey
Get what goes here, because, I mean, you go prowl around the read website and read my bio and all that sort of stuff, but that that's not going to help you. I want to give you something that you can use and use the tools and go, oh, wow, this really works. What else do you have that can work?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. So simplesuccessplans.com/checklist. You can get that. Please head on over there. Sign up for that. If that's the only thing you do, it will benefit you tremendously, but Laura has a ton of value to offer and I know that anybody that's watching, listening can benefit from that. So, again, simplesuccessplans.com/checklist.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Any other last-minute parting words of guidance?

Laura Posey
Just focus on winning the day. Today is what you have and make progress. Just make a little bit of progress every single day. And it's insane how far you can go in a year.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Fantastic, Laura. I am grateful that you took the time to chat with me today. I know people are going to get a ton of value from this. Again, guys, I'm Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. If you want to gain clarity on where to focus your marketing efforts right now to get the best return on investment. Hop on over to our website at rialtomarketing.com. That's R-I-A-L-T-O marketing.com. Click on the get a free consult button to walk away knowing exactly where you need to focus your efforts right now. Guarantee you'll get a ton of helpful information from that call. So thank you so much for tuning in. Till next time, take care.


Connect With Laura Posey



About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

Do you know you have an opportunity for revenue growth and are unsure how to make it happen? Do you lack someone with the time, skill set, and desire to take ownership of marketing to drive results?

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