I’m back from my much need mid-year rest. My birthday was June 29, and I realized for the first time that my birthday is only 5 days away from July 4th. Also, June 30 is the end of the second quarter and July 2 is the exact middle of the year – a great time to conduct a mid-year review of your business. So, I’ve decided, starting next year I’m taking off June 29 through July 4th each year. This will give me an opportunity to close the quarter, take a break and regroup for the rest of the year and re-evaluate my yearly goals and adjust my plan going forward. And since I’m my own boss – I can do whatever I want.
I’m finally getting around to sharing my mid-year assessment with you. Let me take you back to late 2015.
At the end of 2015, as I was preparing for 2016, I looked at my referral sources to see where I got the most clients, and I realized that my best referrals for estate planning clients came from two places: accountants and financial advisors – but in 2015, I had not made any organized effort to reach out to them – it had just been haphazard.
So at the beginning of 2016, I came up with a plan to bring in more business to my law firm: Each month of the year, I was going to meet with one financial advisor and one accountant. And that was going to bring in approximately 3-4 estate planning clients each year, an estimated 10-15K per month of revenue into my business.
I developed and implemented the plan and it worked really well! However, about mid-May, the referrals were piling up and I was falling behind with the work and as a result, I had to kill my pipeline of leads.
What I had not calculated in my plan was how long each of those clients would actually stay with me (an average of 8-12 weeks).
So, the plan worked . . . but it didn’t really work. To add onto that, I business partner left the firm (under great terms!) and I lost my full-time childcare when my son’s nanny suddenly passed away. So it totally threw my plan into a tailspin because I had to care for my 18-month old and take on my former partner’s work load.
So that’s when I came up with the system of Plan, Implement, Absorb, and Adjust.
So when I was setting my goals in 2017, I decided that I wouldn’t only plan and implement, but I would also take time to absorb the impact of my goals, try it on so to speak and then adjust to them – either adjust what I was doing or adjust my goals. And it’s made all the difference this year.
Here’s I’ve defined these words for my business and setting my goals:
PLAN: In this post, I laid out my plans for 2017. If you’ve been following me, you’ll see that what I set out to do is a bit different than what I’m doing now. And that’s mainly because I had no idea what I was doing, I had no idea where this podcasting journey would take me, so I’ve actually had to readjust quite a bit. But I didn’t abandon my plan because it go too hectic, I purposely changed it because I changed directions – there’s a difference and I was only able to do that because I kept this system in my head.
IMPLEMENT: Implementing your plan is a two-step process. First, implement the action, next implement a strategy for the RESULT of that action and how you will actually carry out the result. In my case, step 1 was actually reaching out and connecting with the referral sources. But the second step was creating a plan for how I would deal with 3-4 referral sources per month – since that was going to be a change in my business. And in 2016, I skipped the second step. I never looked at my calendar to say, “if this many referrals come in, this is how long I will take with each client, and this is how it changes my schedule, etc.”
ABSORB: The next step is to absorb the results. This step is different from the second part of your implementation because this step isn’t merely looking ahead to see how it impacts you. You’re actually living in the fruits of your labor and seeing and feeling how it impacts you and your business.
ADJUST: Your final step is adjust. That means adjust your plan, adjust your goals, or adjust your implementation. I thought I was going to be perfectly happy with getting 3-4 estate planning clients each month, but due to the complexity of the type of estate planning work (international, tax, high-net worth planning) it became difficult to do the type of estate planning work I wanted to do without a more experienced lawyer to constantly check-in with. And on top of that, I started doing more work with online businesses and creatives and that work became more enjoyable. And that’s fine, it’s fine to change your mind about what you like and what you want to do.
So when 2017 came around, I was sure not to make the same mistake. One thing I didn’t plan for this year was to collaborate with other entrepreneurs in the online space. So I’ll update you guys on how that’s going.
Lastly, I talk about the one thing I DREAD in my business and how I’ve decided to fix it.
Listen to Ep. 20 here. Enjoy!
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