This recap and masterclass was made possible thanks to our friends at Xero.
“I’m spending so much time working IN my business, I don’t have time to work ON my business.”
Sound familiar? It’s one of the most common experiences of people running a business, and it’s being felt more than ever in 2020. Across the country countless small and midsize businesses are doing it tough, with anxiety around managing day-to-day operations and dealing with the new reality of lockdowns and social distancing. And while it can easily feel all too hard to reflect on the long term goals of your business, the benefits of keeping track of them will pay dividends.
Financial Educator, Wealth and Business Coach and Business Chicks Premium member Fairien Azeem believes that in uncertain times, having a plan is more important than ever. Fairien has helped thousands of people achieve their business and financial goals, and in a recent masterclass, shared her tips on overcoming money fears and blocks and putting a continuity plan in place to achieve your long-term aspirations.
Work smarter, not harder
Fairien opened the masterclass with some very powerful words. “You need to learn to work smarter not harder. 20% of your time should be bringing in 80% of your revenue, or, 20% of your clients should represent 80% of your revenue.”
How do you achieve this? By working to your strengths. “I’ve been in business for twenty years, and since I started outsourcing tasks five years ago, it has been life changing. When I learned how to work to my strengths, I was able to reduce the overwhelm.”
If you’re in the position to do so at the moment (and we understand that many small businesses owners are not), Fairien believes you should employ extra help in your business before you’re ready to. This will afford you time to step back and focus on growing, with the resource ready to support you when the business explodes. “As women, we like to do it all. But we need to learn to say no and focus on the things we’re good at. Don’t let your business run you.”
Use smart goals to build your framework to success
Fairien is a firm believer in setting 30 day goals as something to work towards (in less uncertain times she’d recommend 60 and 90 day goals, too). She shared that hitting these goals releases our “happy hormones” – dopamine the reward hormone, oxytocin the love hormone, endorphins the calm hormone, and serotonin the will-power hormone. Celebrating your small wins and getting the hit of these hormones will motivate you to work towards your bigger goals.
Financial goals should be a part of your life and business, as they give your money a purpose. There are a variety of financial goals you can set for your business, including revenue goals, profit goals, cashflow goals, margin goals, goals to bring on new staff, to move on to (or purchase) a new space, or goals to reduce expenses.
We’ve heard it time and again that goals must be SMART; specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. By breaking down your annual financial goals into smaller goals, you can chunk down your products/services and work out the number of sales needed to hit your total goals for each period. Systems like Xero can be used to track your numbers and keep you accountable.
Align yourself and set action steps
“Aligning your heart, head and hands is crucial to hitting your goals. Anyone can put a goal out there, but without taking action, it is just a wish.”
Your goals should align with your values, and your thoughts and intention should be clear on achieving them. To take it from a wish to a goal, you need to take action steps, whether it’s putting yourself there and making new connections, winning new business, or growing your online presence. Fairien suggested setting three action steps every week to achieve a goal and keeping track of these in a journal to build the habit. “And don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take toward reaching the goal. Celebrate all the wins along the way, as this motivation will drive you towards your bigger goals.”
Get out of your own way
“Your mindset can be the one thing stopping you from achieving your goals,” Fairien said, “sometimes you need to get out of your own way.”
Money fears, money blocks, limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviour common roadblocks for business owners. To overcome money fears and blocks you must forgive yourself from past financial mistakes and avoid projecting other people’s mistakes onto your future. Breaking free of limiting beliefs is all about overcoming imposter syndrome and scarcity mindset. “You need to know that the world is an abundant place. There’s many people to service and enough money for everyone.” Self-sabotaging behaviours are when you are not setting financial goals. You might be spending all of your money and wondering where it went, or you’ve had your head in the sand about your numbers, rather than regularly reviewing them.
You have the power to shape your money story
Once you’ve moved through these barriers, you’ll be on your way to a positive money mindset and a clear path to success. “Your money mindset is an integral part of the ability to live a happy life. Money is our currency of trade, so we need to love it, show gratitude toward it and embrace it! When you fear it and have a scarcity mindset about it, you’re limiting your choices.”
Fairien shared the concept of a money story. That is, your foundational beliefs about money, built up over time and influenced by family, friends, and life experience. If you can overcome your money fears, money blocks, limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviour, you’ll have the power to write a money story of abundance. As Fairien said, “the secret to having it all, is believing you already do!”
“I believe manifestation helps to achieve your goals. When you keep your wishes inside, no one knows them. When you share your goals, you become accountable to them.”
An abundance mindset is contagious and having someone to be accountable to and bounce off can be a great motivator to achieve your goals. Likewise, toxicity is just as contagious, so remove yourself from situations where you’re being negatively impacted by others.
Focus inward to maintain a positive money mindset during hard times
We’ll never have control over the factors impacting our business, so in hard times (hello 2020), it’s important to be realistic and extend your goals to adapt to the economy. What you can control is yourself and the way you react. “Stay in your own lane and know that you can only control your own reactions and own self. We cannot control the media or a pandemic, but we can control the way we react to it.”
“Focusing on your business is about building a happy place for yourself, a life and work you love. Be comfortable in being uncomfortable and move through actionable steps to reach your goals.”
This masterclass and recap was made possible with the support of our presenting partner Xero, an online accounting software platform that’s committed to supporting small businesses. Download Xero’s free Stronger and smarter: a small business handbook for a practical guide made up of expert tips to keep your business moving during COVID-19 and into the future. For more guidance, you can check out the resources hub on our website.