Ahhh … the smell of a New Year … 365 days of nothing but possibilities in front of us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found the way I start a new year profoundly influences the way I’ll end it … so I am approaching 2019 with a mindset of abundance and gratitude. My first practice is to replace “I have to” with “I get to” in my personal and professional lives.
I hope our last two conversations – here and here – have alerted you to the budding opportunities that voice-controlled devices like Amazon’s Echo can have on your BVFLS practice. If you don’t believe you have the time to look into this or the technical chops to take advantage of it, consider hiring a virtual assistant who can do the legwork.
On to this week. Speaking of the possibilities of a new year, the goal setting process is upon us. In the past, my focus has been primarily on topline revenue. But something shifted for me this year, and I am realizing that impact is a better measure of success than income.
If you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
And there is a freebie if you read through to the end … because … abundance and gratitude.
There are 10 days left to get your 2019 BVFLS Practice Development Marketing Plan.
Who’s it for?
It’s for those who don’t have a plan.
It’s for those who say they have a plan “up here” (pointing to head).
It’s for those who have a plan, but haven’t been able to consistently execute on it.
“I need this. Your marketing plan will help me get up in the morning and not have to wonder, ‘What should I do today?’ I’ll still ask the question, but I now have answers.”
– Pete Rivera, ASA
The last day to get your plan is Friday, January 11th.
My theme for this year is impact
I spent a good part of last week working on my 2019 goals … something I always do. But this time around I asked myself two questions when I came up with potential goals for 2019:
#1 – Why do I want this goal?
#2 – What feeling do I hope to get by achieving it?
This Q&A led me to my theme (or overarching goal) for 2019: impact.
And the reason I am fixating on impact is that I believe it will lead me to do fewer things extraordinarily well for a select audience – rather than doing more things unexceptionally average for a large crowd – and still reach the income level I am looking for.
What is impact?
As it relates to what I want to do, I want to change lives by providing ridiculous amounts of value to my audience.
To make that happen, here are three things I will focus on mono-maniacally over the next 12 months:
1st, I will be a thought leader in my niche, not a thought follower.
Because I will never rise higher than the perception I have of myself.
2nd, I will trust my instinct over what our profession says is possible or proper.
Because I can’t – and won’t – please everyone.
3rd, I will serve my ideal clients without compromising my product or pricing.
Because I know the people I like helping, the work I like doing, and the pricing mistakes I must avoid.
[Note: When you subscribed to this newsletter, you received a File Autopsy toolkit that was designed to help you discover those things. You can download it again here if you don’t remember getting it, forgot you had it, or can’t find it.]
There are role models in our profession who exhibit this kind of impact-behavior.
Why can’t I – or you – be one of them?
Because it’s not who we think we are that hold us back; it’s who we think we’re not.
So what if impact was your theme for 2019?
What would impact look like to you if you were your client?
How could you provide ridiculous amounts of value to your audience?
What is no one else in your space doing?
I think impact is personal. So I hesitate to suggest what will work in your practice. But here are five ideas that pack impact and could make your 2019 a better year than 2018:
#1 – If you don’t have a space, that may be the place to start.
Stop being a generalist. Be the expert. Own your niche.
#2 – Create a sanitized portfolio of your work that you can share.
Prospects want to know your perspective and that you’ve solved their problem before.
#3 – Institute a better vetting process that ensures you and your prospect are a good fit.
You can’t work with everyone, nor do you want to.
#4 – Only price with options.
Give your prospects the luxury of asking, “How do I want to work with you?”
#5 – Call your clients every Friday to give them an update on their project?
If you paid all that money for a valuation, you would want to know, too.
At the end of the day, you want to get so damn good at what you do that you can’t be ignored – and have impact. This will allow you to magnetically attract your ideal customer (and repel those who are not) AND let you charge a premium fee that still wins the business.
In real life
Do you set aside “partner retreat” time to work on your practice each year? I’m talking 1-2 days of serious reflection time away from the office. Time devoted to (re)imagining the practice you want and then coming up with the strategies and tactics to get you there.
“But Rod, I have clients who are chasing me.”
Yes, you do. And as they say in the airplane instructions, put your own mask on first.
Because in order to take care of others, you have to take care of yourself first.
If you have set your goals for 2019 (good for you!), you may want to revisit them.
If you are still in the goal setting process, you may want to review what you have so far.
Reading that can help
No reading per se. But perhaps watching Simon Sinek’s What is your why? will lead you to discover your version of impact.
And if you are interested in the template I use for my annual review and planning process, you can download it here. It’s my way of starting the year by providing readers like you with a ridiculous amount of value.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.