The Importance Of Setting Personal Goals

Why do I do what I do? The answer is both long and short.

The short answer is to serve entrepreneurs like myself to grow their dream business.

That is the reason Priority VA exists. We enjoy and take pride in serving a multitude of entrepreneurs in a variety of niches’. To play a role in their success is an honor that I don’t take lightly.

The long answer is personal and makes me feel extremely vulnerable.

Two months ago, my husband and I decided to fulfill one of our dreams. To purchase a home on the beach. We aren’t real estate tycoons by any stretch of the imagination. We do however, long for peace in our lives. Essentially, this beach home is designed to give us escape.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. Colorado is home to me. That square state in the middle of the country is home to my family, friends and a life that Chris and I have built. While the snow capped mountains are pretty and bring in tourists in from miles around, they aren’t what soothes me. What soothes me is the sand and surf of the beach.

We are currently at our beach home with our family. In fact, I invited my core PVA team to a retreat this week. I’ll share more about that later. Suffice it to say, we are revolutionizing the way we do business, but that is a whole other post in itself.

Do you want to know why I do what I do? It’s for this….

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The thing I love most about these photos is that they aren’t staged. Not. One. Bit. I had no idea that my assistant was walking behind us snapping photos.

What do I see?

I see a Mom that is relaxed and at ease.

I see a little girl whose life is changed forever because I have worked my freaking tail off the last three years of this business.

As business owners, we are constantly setting goals for our businesses, so why not set goals for ourselves personally, too?

I’d like to encourage you to find what soothes you.

  • Is it finding consistency for family dinner nights? Put it on your calendar.
  • Is it a weekend getaway once a quarter? Make the travel arrangements.
  • Is it buying a home to escape to? Find it.

If you don’t make time for it, it won’t happen. It’s as easy as that. Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time”.

This looks different for each person.

We all have different aspirations. My goals, my dreams may be look different than yours, but we all have the same driving force behind it. The longing for balance and peace in out hectic lives. The important thing is to find what feeds you and pursue it.

Will it come immediately? Probably not. It took several years before we were ready to take the plunge. My challenge to you is, set a goal and aim for it.

Today, I’m soaking in the ocean air and feeding my soul with walks on the beach. Am I working hard while I’m here? You bet! I’ll never stop working hard. It’s who I am. I’ll go out on a limb and say that’s who you are, too.

Dear reader and fellow entrepreneur, find what soothes you and do it. Make it a priority!

Amidst all of the noise and chaos of building a business, and building your team. Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Are you drowning in work? Perhaps it’s time to add a Priority VA to your team. We’d love to find a way to serve you. By clicking this link, you’ll begin to explore the opportunity for yourself.

Why Taking Time Off Can Be Good For Your Business

I’m sitting on a patio in Ft. Lauderdale Florida watching ocean waves gently roll ashore. It’s 9:00am, and the grandparents are down with the girls at the beach, so I could sleep in. It’s been a glorious few days, off grid and relaxing. Writing this post is the first time I’ve turned on my computer in days. (Shocking, I know!)

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I don’t do this often enough. This trip has taught me why I should, and I want to share my revelations  with you.

We all know the famous “Work From Wherever” slogan, and while I agree that this is a novel concept, (that makes me want to move to a coast as soon as possible), it’s not quite feasible for all of us. My husband and I have been dreaming about that day for years now, and while still elusive, I know that we will get there one day.

The moniker has had most of us making drastic changes in our businesses to get to that point, we’ll hire the cheapest help we can, to save on expenses, or we’ll take shortcuts to make sales so that we can keep the revenue coming in while saving for the adventure we’ll take one day.

I believe this thinking is flawed. Here’s why:

Taking time off allows you to decompress.

One of the healthiest things I’ve done this trip is NOT think about work. Taking Slack notifications off my phone, turning off Facebook and email reminders for these last few days has been refreshing. I chose to scroll Facebook a few times rather than respond to the endless notifications of being tagged in posts from people needing things. I’ve been able to be fully present with my family and not worry about what’s happening, or not, in my business.

When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s hard to “turn off” work. But taking time off has allowed me to decompress from what can feel like endless stress of being “needed”. We’re all entitled to that, and should schedule time frequently for such off grid extraction from our daily lives.

New Ideas are born when we’re not trying to do a million things at once.

Ever have a brilliant idea in the shower, or in my case, 70ft under water?

The time I’m taking away from my business this week, allows creativity to flow. I’ve been feeling pretty stagnant lately, where I didn’t feel very creative in my business. Working in the 90 Day Year Model, has allowed me to make some amazing strides in our business. I’ve broken the habit of making the same mistakes over and over. I’ve LEARNED from my PAST PERFORMANCE that I need down time in order to get new ideas, and have made changes in my 90 Day Goals to always include down time. I’ve traveled a TON the past couple of months, but it has been mostly for work. As a result, I’ve just been doing the same thing without introducing many new ideas the last few weeks.

The ocean is my happy place, where I can relax, and think. Case in point – I was snorkeling with my family last evening and thought of a new business idea. Not because I was actively thinking about work, but because I was observing my environment (in this case, fish) and thought about their behaviors and how they relate to human behavior.. And BOOM! a new idea flashed into my head and I just giggled through my snorkel at the timing of it all. When we’re able to structure our business and time to not be overwhelmed, our brains are able to process information more fully, which in this case allowed creative ideas to flourish and not get squeezed out by a massive to do list.

The 90 Day Year taught me that the endless amount of goals we could be working on could actually be detrimental to the growth of our business. So, focusing on goals in a different framework, we can stop busting our booties to produce results using a broken model, and actually start accomplish things we want to in our business. Like taking more family trips, creating new revenue streams, or hiring new key players to join our team.

Block and Tackle works for down time, too.

My friend Todd teaches the Block and Tackle method. Because of his training, (which you can find here in his FREE video series on the topic), I’ve been able to structure my work days to focus only on certain activities (Block) and get achieve my goals faster, and with more excellence than before (Tackle). He teaches all about how to do this in the 90 Day Year which he breaks down in the third of his video series, out today.

Applied to down time, the framework looks like this:

Saturday – Travel Day

Sunday – Dive planning, Snorkel Trip and relaxing Beach Day

Monday – Grandparent Day, relationship building and game day

Tuesday – Open No plans to allow for free flow activity

Wednesday  – Adventure Day, Diving and Parasailing
Thursday – Tourist Day; local activities centered around the culture of the area, Fancy Dinner

Friday – Adventure Day, Diving all day

Saturday – Travel Day

Do you see what we did there? We blocked our activities so there aren’t endless switches, from wet bathing suits to dry clothes. We’re not going from diving to dinner parties. We’re keeping our “goals” in chunks, (block) so we’re more likely to have success in achieving them (tackle).
We even allowed for an “open” day, not structured or scheduled so we can do random fun things that pop up (distractions) and not feel overwhelmed that we couldn’t fit them in (or take the call from the client that was not on our schedule previously).

The frameworks I’ve learned and implemented in my business have got me to where I am right now – on the beach, whipping up a blog post, and then offline to spend time with my family. I honestly don’t think I would have gotten here without implementing some important changes in my business.

I wouldn’t have known how to fix what was broken, without Todd. I thought everyone was working and living like I was while trying to build a business. I felt so broken, like I was doing something “wrong” because I was working SO dang hard, but not seeing the results I knew were possible. I had no idea that it wasn’t ME that was broken. It was the SYSTEM I was working in. Changes to that system resulted in changes in my thinking, and in my execution. And now, I have a business that is thriving, a marriage that is in sync and a family that is healing from all my “frantic hustle” that led to lots of frustration.

All because I changed the model.

And you can, too. Check out this video (which is my FAVORITE in the series) and learn how YOU can implement a new framework and implement a new way of looking at an old problem…and perhaps you too will be “off grid” as much as you’d like, with a business that still works while you don’t. You can do this. Todd can show you how.

I’m off to play games with the grandparents. Have a great week!

 

Three Ways Children Taught Me to See Life Differently

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and hadn’t finished packing for my 5:55 a.m. flight. After only three hours of sleep, I muddled my way through the airport, and onto my first of two flights that day.

I was headed to San Diego, to work on a project with a client I adore. I was tired and really would rather have been in bed. This was not the way I intended to start my trip.

I have four girls, and at that time they ranged in age from 18 months to 11 years old. As a work-from-home mom, there is an exceptionally large sigh of relief at the tail-end of summer that washes over me when I’m on a flight for two hours. Alone. Without shrieking.

My first flight was uneventful, and I expected more of the same as I claimed my seat in the rear of the second plane, flying from Phoenix to San Diego. I’ll just read the rest of my book, Day Job to Dream Job, and snooze a bit on the plane. Or so I thought.

As we sat on the jet way, waiting for what felt like hours, two little monsters began squealing away behind me. Likely two or three years old, they were making quite the scene at 7:00 a.m. As a mom of one of “those kids” on a plane, I immediately empathized with the parents. I could imagine them praying in their heads, “Dear God, shut them up.”

People around me began to get restless. We had been waiting to take off for some time, and the littles were losing it, screaming unintelligible things. Clearly, they wanted to take off, too.

Suddenly, it was as if a switch turned on in their heads. No, they didn’t stop screaming, but they began to scream with purpose. The young boy began to encourage his sister, and the two – in unison – began their new performance.

“One, two, three, GO!” Their excitement built with each chant, and they got louder and louder as the anticipation of our take-off grew with each repetition of their new mantra.

Oh, people were irritated. The tired mom next to me, with a sleeping child in her lap, tried to force a smile. The burly ex-football player shifted in his seat as he grew ever more irritated about his sleep being disrupted. And me? I started laughing. Silently to myself at first, and then an all-out belly laugh along with those kids.

They were excited. They wanted to get going, and they were thrilled at the anticipation of the adventure they were about to embark on. Their innocence reflected only the joy of what was to come – not the anxiety of being stuck on a jet way, or stress of the meeting they’d be late for if the plane didn’t arrive on time.

I began to realize, in the increasingly louder chants of “One, two, three, GO!”, that we’re all somewhere along this path, waiting to go, wherever our destination may be.

I learned three important lessons from those children behind me:

1. Those kids didn’t care about the hang-ups or delays. They were just excited to get going. It made me wonder about how often we get consumed by the speed bumps in our day, and neglect one important truth: the journey is life. And when we’re only focused on the destination, we miss out on the best part. I learned that perspective is so important.

2. I learned that perception changes things. Whether the glass is half empty or half full may be an age-old question, but it also may be the lens through which you could make or break your day. Your decisions. Your life. If we can change how we perceive circumstances, and default to hope and optimism rather than annoyance, we could rewrite the entire blueprint of our life’s journey.

3. I learned that our priorities matter. Had I been so consumed with having a moment of rest on my flight, I’d have completely missed out on the pure joy laughing with those toddlers allowed me. I got off the plane that day in a great mood, much better than how my day started. Why? Because I made it my priority to have a good time. I wasn’t preoccupied with myself or my agenda. It’s a beautiful thing when we can step outside of ourselves and just be.

How do you handle those speed bumps in your day? In your business? Do you enjoy the course, implementing the things you learn when you fall down? Or do you shift in your seat like many of the passengers on the plane with me that day, terrified of what’s to come and inconvenienced by the hindrance to your plan?

Life will hardly ever go as smoothly as we plan in our head, so take it from the kids in row 19: get excited, and enjoy the sweet anticipation of what’s to come. Even if you don’t know exactly what that is.