This time of year everyone is putting their Big Ideas into motion; from lofty 6-figure business goals, to simple commitments like eating better or hitting the gym. January sparkles with possibility and determination, but as the months and year wane on… it’s easy to get derailed.
Factors like bad time management, lack of motivation, and a general sense of overwhelm start to creep in and knock you off your calculated plan. Then suddenly, it’s February 28th, and you’re right back where you started, wondering where all your resolve flew off to.
But you know what? That doesn’t have to be your fate in 2013 – or ever again. This is your year, the year everything changes in a big way, for real, and for good.
I want to see you soar this year, so I’ve created a 3-part series, Your Year of Stunning Success, to help you stay the course and see your goals through to the finish line. (Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?)
Before we get started, take a moment to jump up and down with a little exuberance. After all “Stunning Success” isn’t meant to be taken lightly. This is your year, baby! Woo-hoooooo!!!!
From January to Stunning Success
With your heart pumping from all of that jumping, you may not care how I’m going to get you from January to Your Year of Stunning Success. But once the adrenaline wears off, you may start to wonder how we’ll make it happen. So I may as well tell you now.
We are going to start by setting you up with some systems. Before I tell you what they are (in case you’re not totally clear – it can be a confusing subject) or before you groan (if you think you know what they are and dread the thought), hang tight and allow me tell you why they are essential to Your Year of Stunning Success.
Effective systems simplify your life and business. They take the guesswork out of tasks. They ensure things are done consistently, reliably, completely, and drama-free.
When you establish effective systems, your mind isn’t doing the did-I-remember-to game when you’re trying to sleep or is-that-important-thing-on-the-list freak-out when you’re wanting to harness your creative superpowers.
Systems free your mind from day-to-day chaos and let you focus on The Now so you can Do Your Thing. And when you’re in The Now and you Do Your Thing, Your Year of Stunning Success is bound to happen. Tweet that!
Okay, So What Are Systems?
Let’s look at it this way. Do you have any regular habits that work really well for you? For example, maybe you’ve developed a great practice of getting up first thing in the morning and walking your dog. Maybe you always use a grocery list when you go shopping or put the coffee grounds in the coffee maker the night before.
These routines are actually foolproof systems – a series of steps you repeat the same way over and over in a manner that works for you. They are consistent and reliable and you don’t need to think twice about whether it did or will happen. You trust them.
When systems work well, tasks are completed the same way every time without stress, drama, worry, or inconsistency. You don’t fret about finding time to walk the dog because you know it happens first thing every day. You don’t get antsy that your partner will make the coffee his way instead of yours because you put the grounds and water in the coffee maker before you headed to bed. This worry-free mentality is what I want for as many aspects of your business as possible.
If you’re sold on the value of systems, I’m now going to tell you exactly how to set them up. Because the less stress you have in your business, the more time you have to Do Your Thing and make Your Year of Stunning Success a reality.
5 Steps to Crafting Your Own Systems
I am going to walk you through how to set up effective systems in your business. You can use the same steps to create them for your day-to-day life as well.
Step 1: Start with a list
Start by listing everything you do that’s related to your business – from accepting new clients to blogging, doing taxes, writing your newsletter, responding to emails, etc.
Step 2: Pick a one system to create or improve
From the list above, which area causes you the most stress or frustration? Which area would feel most liberating to streamline first?
Step 3: List out the steps
Let’s say that you want to improve your newsletter-sending system.
Think about all of the steps required to make that happen, from writing content to giving the material to your assistant to upload to reviewing the draft and sending it out. You may have to mentally walk through the steps several times before you write every single detail down. Be sure to capture every aspect of this system. (Yes, you must do this.)
Step 4: Map it out, find the gaps, fill them in
Now that you have written down all of the steps involved in your system, put them in order. What happens first, second, third, etc.?
As you map it out, notice if there are any gaps or places where hiccups happen. Or sometimes you’ll realize that a certain step is done a different way every time.
The reason you want to note inconsistencies is because the next step is to fix them! You must have a consistent system in order for it to be effective, repeatable, and time-saving. For each step in your process, you must set it up to be done the same way every time.
After you’ve mapped out the steps and found the gaps, determine how you will fill those gaps.
Do you need a template to fill out for your weekly newsletter to be sure you send your assistant everything she needs? Do you need to create canned emails for the things you find yourself saying over and over again?
List out everything you need to create to complete your system, then go create those things!
Step 5: Implement and test your system
Once you have a full system mapped out with all of the gaps filled, it’s time to put it to work. Set up a trial period where you test your new system.
There is a good chance that when you implement it, you’ll find a few new gaps or hiccups. When you do, don’t think that you did it wrong (because you didn’t–it’s part of the process). Instead, rework your system, fill in the new gaps, and resume using your newly-improved system. With just a few tweaks, it will be humming along and you’ll be loving it.
Why Systems Are Worth the Effort
I realize setting up a system isn’t a trivial amount of work, but you will love the time, money, and stress savings that you will be rewarded with. Also, you will reap the rewards almost instantly upon implementation, so be encouraged that your hard work will pay off quickly!
Systems will save you an astounding number of hours and dollars. Not putting systems in place, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.
I’ve had clients lose clients (and by association, cash) because they misplaced emails, forgot important dates, or just didn’t move efficiently enough for the people who wanted to hire them. I’ve had other clients work nearly double the hours they needed to because they were spinning their wheels with the simple, daily tasks or delegating ineffectively and inefficiently to their assistant.
There is not a single right way to create a system. What you create will depend on your needs and priorities. For this reason, I’m a huge believer in personalized systems, which is why I prefer to teach you how to set your on up, instead of saying do-it-exactly-like-this.
However, it can be tricky to get started if you’ve never created systems, so here are some ways to get moving if you need some support.
Getting Started with Systems
If you’re struggling with where to start, check out these examples of systems that you may be able to implement in your business.
One is a standardized new client intake process, and the other is a simple process for getting killer testimonials. Both outline a system that I put in place in my business and helped others implement in theirs. It will give you a feel for how an effective system is set up and how to create them in your business.
If you want a little more detail on creating systems for your business, you can download a FREE copy of the System Flight Kit: Everything You Need to Create Effective Systems for Your Business, right here.
Or, you can sign up for one of my limited private coaching spots, and I’ll personally help you create systems for your business
Where Will You Start?
Now that you understand how systems will help you make 2013 Your Year of Stunning Success, tell me….
1. Where in your business (or life) could you benefit from systems?
2. What step are you going to take TODAY to put these ideas into action?
I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got in the comments below.
Stay tuned for next week’s post, on the secret, mighty power of keeping a schedule. The second step to creating Your Year of Stunning Success.
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