Creating Clarity and Purpose for Your Public Speaking Business Plan in 12 Months
Clarity and Purpose are two important words for paid motivational speakers–get used to these two words if your dream is to be one. Public speaking is a hard enough business, but not knowing where you are going (or why) makes it all the more difficult.
Every 12 months I create a new plan that helps me focus on what needs to be done to improve my speaking business in the year ahead.
These are the 8 steps I take to run my speaking business instead of letting my speaking business run me:
1. What Didn’t Work Over The Last 12 Months.
I look at the past 12 months to see what activities bring me closer to my goals, and what activities distract me from them. I have specific goals and projects, both personal and professional, and I evaluate the time and energy I spend doing them. When I do this I determine the things that are sucking on my time instead of feeding my goals.
I create a plan to handle these types of distractions for the next 12 months or to eliminate them entirely.
2. What Did Work Over The Last 12 Months.
I look at what forces drive business to me over the last 12 months in all the areas where I generate income–to make sure I keep doing the good ones and maybe even improve on them.
Build upon success.
3. The Joy Piece.
I’ve always focused on what I need to do to drive my business. But in looking back at the past 12 months, I see that I need to focus more on what really, really brings me joy in my business. Writing a novel doesn’t make business sense when you look at my public speaking brand. But the very idea of it lights me up from the inside out.
I’ve chosen to write joy into this dream plan for the next 12 months–for no other reason than joy for joy’s sake. And, who knows, maybe it will turn out to be a smart business decision. Don’t know; don’t care.
4. New Ideas for Growth.
I look at any new ideas that may help me reach my goals and whether I have room to add them to the list. I’ve learned that if you try to do too much, you don’t really get anything done well.
Prioritize the new.
I look at the money I’ve made and the money I’ve spent to determine whether any changes need to be made in my business finances. It’s not really about how much you make, it’s about how much you keep.
Budgets help keep you focused and motivated.
6. Five Buckets.
I determine everything I need to do and continue to do and sort them into five major categories or buckets (e.g. Close More Sales, Leverage Current Customers, Sell More Product, etc.). Then under each bucket, I create a strategy to accomplish them over the course of 12 months.
“All you need is the plan, the roadmap, and the courage to press on to your destination.”–Earl Nightingale.
7. Weekly Processes.
I determine how many hours I want to allocate to each bucket per week. This will become my weekly homework. All tasks MUST be on this list, or they get moved to another 12 months down the road. These buckets are locked in. Everything else must wait until homework is done.
This is new for me. I’m used to having big business plans, and I’m used to working hard. But I kept being overwhelmed each day. There is too much to do and every project seems big, so I never get to the big ones and I focus on tiny projects that are never in my original 12-month business plan.
Over the next 12 months, I’ll be more focused on the tasks I have chosen, and I have a way to divert all other things until I’m ready to look at them.
I tweak my inner office systems to fit this new laser-focus goal. I don’t like to see emails stack up, so I know they’ll sit there taunting me all day, reminding me that people are asking for things. I create a system to get them out of the email and off to somewhere else. Details aren’t important.
The point is that I’ve allowed emails to rule my days, leaving me no time or energy for the stuff that matters most.
My 12-month plan is already working! By pinpointing where my distractions are coming from, and crafting a workable weekly checklist where I simply work my way through the list, I accomplish my priorities. Now, if I can just keep it up. As with any plan, creating the plan is the easy part; following it is key!
Create a 12-month plan for your public speaking career and may it help you find clarity, purpose, and more income too.