Myth of the One-week Planning Retreat #Solopreneur

Mompreneur, solopreneur, planning business change.

Road trip!

Many of us have salivated over the idea of getting away from our business to think, strategize and build a stronger, more rewarding structure. Re-work our prices. Zero in on our ideal market. write compelling position papers and blog content. Find incredible network partners. Especially in some exotic locale – you with me?

In fact I would be happy to just be the facilitator at this kind of event – “Ms Cunningham can we work outside today?” Absolutely!

The bad news is, you will never find the time.

The worse news is that even if you did, you probably wouldn’t get it done on your own…a nd if you did, you would not have time to apply it and integrate it when you got back.

The good news is, that is not how to affect change.

Change cannot happen without process. If you don’t know what you ARE doing, you cannot re-design it… One of my more life-changing Ah-Hah moments when I realized that… thank you Michael Gerber.

What do I do now? Exactly what do I do? What steps do I take, when and how?

This means:

  • Marketing process.
  • Sales process.
  • Client process.
  • Execution.

There are a myriad of steps we take that we have never identified. We just do them. Like making a pot of coffee or driving a car, when we doing something well, we are not really sure how we do it.

Until we know our process, we cannot create change.What are the questions we currently use to qualify our leads? turn a lead into a customer? When do we up-sell? How do we decide that? What do we say? How do we create a proposal? Build rapport? Close a sale? Carry out the work? Ensure our customer is thrilled? Get feedback and testimonials? Get referrals?

Any word-processing program will help you create a flow chart to or checklist to build your client process. And once you have that, you can transform your business in 5 minutes. Easily, Consistently.

Here is the good part:

Triggers are what create change. They remind you to do something else.

An example, if I want to add meditation to my life every day, all I need to do is think about one other thing that I do every day that I can use as my trigger activity. It might be brushing my teeth. So to start, I make a sticky note and put it on the mirror where I brush my teeth. It says simply “meditate” in a big bold beautiful (or tacky) reminder.

A trigger reminds you to change your behaviour. And it works – if you choose the right trigger, and you choose the right timing.

Lets say you always forget to ask for a testimonial. If your process currently has the last step of taking payment, you can set “take payment” as a trigger to request feedback. At your cash register or in a line item of your invoice template, you add a reminder TO YOU to request feedback and a testimonial.

Another great trigger/reminder idea is to add a one month follow-up reminder to yourself before you allow yourself to invoice 🙂 Then your calendar will pop up an alarm in 30 days that says something like “email Jane for a photo? a testimonial? a referral? to ask how the wedding went?” whichever timing and wording fit the client.

Write your compelling changes right into your processes then decide on a trigger and implement it. Five minutes to lasting change.

Next time you watch a webinar, attend a conference or read a book, keep a notepad beside you where you capture ideas you want to apply, then note where in your process they fit.

As soon as you get back to your office… 

Cher Cunningham

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