ArtistsMBA Track 1 – Vision, Goals, Plan

Choose a Theme for the New Year

focus, theme, goals, planThis time of year you hear a lot of talk about New Year’s Resolutions. Do they work? Don’t they? Everyone has a theory. I’ve written about methods I recommend for creating a successful New Year’s Resolution in the past. And, of course, I’ve written a ton about setting goals and creating plans.

But this year, I’m going to try something a little different for myself.  See, over the last few years, I’ve noticed that my years seem to have themes. The theme isn’t readily apparent at the beginning of the year, but I can usually identify the theme by mid-year. Some years have been about health. Others have been about family and relationship. Some years I’ve really focused on my business.

But whatever the theme turns out to be, it hasn’t really been a conscious intentional choice on my part.

So, this year, instead of setting New Year’s resolutions, I’m choosing a theme intentionally and then I’m going to use that theme as a focusing tool as I go through the year. Rather than letting the theme choose me in an unconscious way – I’m picking my theme for 2018 and using that as my guide for my goals, my time management, my choices. And I invite you to come along on this journey with me.

How to Pick a Theme

I’ve spent the last few weeks asking myself:

  • What do I want this coming year to be about?
  • Where do I want to put my focus?
  • What kinds of endeavors do I intend to pursue and is there a common motif, topic, question or issue?
  • What opportunities are showing up for the new year – and again – is there a common theme?

When I looked at it from this perspective, the theme became really clear to me – 2018 will be about education – my own learning and myself as educator. (Stay tuned for some cool announcements about the opportunities aspect of this.)

So, what is your theme? What will your coming year be about? Please share with me in the comments!

Use Your Theme as a Guideline

So, great, you have a theme. Now what?

Set Your Goals

I recommend posting that theme where you will see it often. Then, sit down and make your goals for the coming year, and work backwards so you have quarterly goals. As you’re considering your goals, ask yourself, “Are these aligned with my theme? Do they share a focus?”

If your answer is, “No!” Then ask yourself:

  • Is this a “should”? (If it is, what do you want to pursue?)
  • Is this truly something I’m committed to for the coming year?
  • Could I reframe this goal in light of my theme? (This might just be a language reframe, but it could also be a complete shift in focus.)
  • Is this goal an outlier? (If it is, do you want to put the energy into it this year? And if so, how will you make sure you get to it? So often we make outlier goals, but we just don’t get to them. Because … outlier)

Not to say that you can’t have goals that don’t fit perfectly within your theme – but I think you’ll find this a useful tool of inquiry.

Create Your Time Structure

Now that you have a theme and goals – you need to set up your days so you actually work on them! For me, I will need to build time into my schedule for activities like:

  • Study, reading and class projects (for me as student)
  • Research (both as student and educator)
  • Class Content Creation (both for Debra Russell Coaching as well as upcoming teaching opportunities)
  • Writing (Blog, book, articles for others)

When I first started thinking about this, I felt really resistant and overwhelmed. But when I put it in context of my theme for the year – I found myself actually anticipating spending my time this way. I came into alignment with the demands instead of overwhelmed by them.

Support and Accountability

Now that you know your themes and your goals. And you’ve created a plan for how you will incorporate this focus into your day-to-day life. You will need to find ways to be disciplined and maintain your theme focus through out the year. I recommend:

  • Working with a coach (I mean, you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)
  • Accountability partners (perhaps meeting once a week, perhaps more frequently)
  • Sharing your intention and focus with your significant other, family and business team.
  • Checking in at the end of each month and each quarter – how did you do? Did you maintain your plan? What are your goals for the next month/quarter?

It will be important in the coming year to manage other people’s expectations of you – as you make this shift into clear focused action. Particularly if you work from home and/or others are used to you being available or easily distracted by what they want you to focus on.

Remember the best way to manage other people’s expectations is to under-promise and over-deliver. Teach them to expect less. And then when you can, you surprise them!

Can you see how choosing a theme goes way beyond setting New Year’s resolutions? I’m really curious, myself, to see how I do with this. And I’ll be curious to hear from you what theme you choose and how it goes for you – please share in the comments and check back over the year to let me know how you do!

Create Mastery in Your Business for 2018

If your Theme for 2018 is taking your business to the next level or improving your systems (such as time management, finances, marketing, etc.) Let me help you make 2018 your BEST YEAR EVER!

Toward that end, I am running a ridiculous sale on the Marketing & Business Mastery Lab for a limited time!

Check it out!

An Idea is Only as Good as the Implementation

What is implementation?

im·ple·men·ta·tion /impləmənˈtāSH(ə)n/ (noun)
the process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution.

As a creative business owner who loves what you do, you are probably inundated with great ideas every day. You probably get them in the shower, as you’re driving, while you’re sweating on the treadmill. But how many of those great ideas do you put into action and see through to fruition?

That’s what I thought. I know, I know, it’s hard! You’re so busy running your business. It’s hard to find the time for something new. A new idea may require you to learn new skills to bring to fruition. It may involve getting help, spending money, investing time.

And new is scary. What if it doesn’t work out? How do you know if its the right idea at the right time?

Of course, there are no guarantees. But think about it. What if Steve Jobs had never moved forward on the iPod? What if Ford never invested in the assembly line? What if John Adams and Thomas Jefferson quit before writing the Declaration of Independence?

What world changing, business revolutionizing, life impacting idea have you set aside because you just don’t have time?

So, how do you, as a ridiculously busy entrepreneur make your ideas a reality?

“It is not always what we know or analyzed before we make a decision that makes it a great decision. It is what we do after we make the decision to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision.”

–William Pollard

Create the Structure for Implementation

idea, action, implementationIf you are not implementing ideas, it is likely because you don’t have an existing system or structure for taking an idea, developing that idea into a plan of action and then implementing that plan. So the seed of the idea floats around for awhile but doesn’t find the fertile ground to settle into and begin to grow.

Put a few simple structures into place and your ideas will have a place to land:

  • Have a notebook (online or a physical notebook) to record your ideas when they come to you.
  • Schedule time in your week – every week – to explore and develop new ideas. Back in the day (they aren’t doing this anymore, I don’t think) Google used to allow their employees to take 20% of their time to work on ideas. You don’t need to spend 20% of your time – but set aside an hour or two every week. It’s the quality and consistency more than the quantity of time that’s important.

Implement One Idea at a Time

I recommend serial monogamy when it comes to projects – 1 project at a time! Too many projects means you won’t effectively deliver on any of them. So pick one idea and for all the rest, keep them in your idea notebook for the future.

So how do you decide which idea to pursue?

  • Remember, you’re jotting down your ideas in your notebook – is there an idea you’ve written down more then once? Is there an idea that keeps popping up, over and over? That might be the first one to go with
  • Maybe go through your list and pick the one that seems most exciting, most shiny to you.
  • All your other ideas, go into the notebook for later. Keep writing them down – but don’t let them distract you.

Once you’ve picked your idea:

You may discover from this process alone that your idea isn’t really going to work. That’s OK – it’s not wasted effort. Because you will have learned a lot – and you may find a way to pivot your idea or this may open up other ideas or clarify ideas you’ve already had. Just pick the next idea and move forward.

Put Your Idea into Action

Once you’ve made the decision that this idea is the one you’re going to move forward on, make a specific schedule in your week for when you will work on it. Get coaching and support and most importantly get into action.

Let me know how you do in the comments!

 

 

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How to Implement the Learning

Artists MBA, Foundation ProgramThere is a lot to learn about how to succeed in your business – whether it’s Music, Art, Film, Dance. Here at the Artist’s Marketing & Business Academy, we strive to teach you all that you need to know to create the career of your dreams.

But it’s not enough to simply learn. Knowledge without implementation is worthless. You must put what you learn into action and sometimes it’s hard to see exactly how to do that.

It is not always what we know or analyzed before we make a decision that makes it a great decision. It is what we do after we make the decision to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision.

William Pollard

In this class you’ll discover:

  • How to overcome your blocks to implementation
  • How to prioritize which pieces to build first
  • How to plan your implementation
  • Where to get support for implementation

Joining the Artist’s Marketing & Business Academy was a great decision to learn how to succeed. Now get busy and implement what you are learning into your business!

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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Step 5: Implement the Plan

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramGET INTO ACTION – Finally

So, you’ve explored your starting point, created your vision of the ending point, explored all the ways to get there and created a plan. And now, finally, it’s time to put that plan into action!

In Step 5 of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success, you implement the plan that came out of all the groundwork you laid in Steps 1-4.

In this class, we’ll explore:

  • How to build this into your already hectic life
  • How to handle all the “What If” fears that stop you from starting
  • How to create steady sustainable momentum with your plan

Thinking, wishing, dreaming, planning is all well and good, but you’ll never achieve your goal until you get into action. Ready? Set? GO!

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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Step 3: Expand What’s Possible

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramStep 3 of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success method for achieving your goals is “Explore all the ways to get there.”  Most people, when they Set a Goal, jump right into action doing all the things they know to do in order to achieve that goal.

The problem is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

As a result, one of two things generally happens – you either get to a certain level of success and then get stuck there.  Or, you hit an obstacle and quit – because you don’t know that there are ways around that obstacle.  Does this sound familiar?

Step 3 is about expanding what’s possible.  It’s about discovering what you don’t know, and figuring out how to learn what you need to achieve your goal.

You’ll learn:

  • How to Brainstorm – to access you’re own inner knowledge and creativity
  • How to Research – what are the right questions?
  • How to tap your resources to learn what they know
  • How to use this information to help with Step 4 – Create the Plan

Attaining a goal is always a learning and growth process.  In order to reach the next level of success, you must Expand What’s Possible.

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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Step 1: Starting Point Assessment – Where Are You NOW?

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramOnce they’ve set a goal, most people make the mistake of jumping right into action doing the stuff they think they should.  But how can you successfully plan for a journey without knowing where you’re starting from?

In any journey from Point A to Point B – identifying Point A (your starting point) will enable you to chart the quickest, easiest and most likely path to success.

Most people don’t want to “waste time” evaluating where they ARE and what they’ve ACCOMPLISHED.  They want to focus all their energy on where they aren’t and what they don’t yet have!

This is a huge error from both a tactical standpoint and from a Law of Attraction standpoint.  Because remember, what you focus on expands.  If you are focusing on lack, you will soon lack more.

The Starting Point assessment is the 1st Step in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success.  In this class, you will discover:

  • Why you MUST start from the starting point
  • How to assess your starting point in a useful way
  • Several useful tips to start assessing your starting point

When my private clients take these actions in pursuit of their goals they always feel more powerful and able to pursue their goals.  This is a surprisingly empowering process.

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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Step 4: How to Create The Plan

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramOnce they’ve set a goal, most people make the mistake of jumping right into action doing the stuff they think they should.

Which may get them to a level of success, but more often they get stuck at that level, because they are only doing what they already know to do –

And they don’t know what they don’t know!

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. Thomas A. Edison

Create the Plan is the 4th Step in the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success.  In my experience, people who try to go after their goal without first creating a plan often have sadly limited success and may even quit on their goal at the first sign of a challenge or obstacle. A plan will enable you to:

  • Work through or around obstacles
  • Maintain momentum in the face of challenges and distractions
  • Take advantage of serendipity and opportunities that come your way.

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • The 3 things that stop you from making a plan
  • What to do with the results of the first 3 steps of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Roadmap to Success
  • A fast, simple and natural way to create the plan for any goal or project
  • Some tips and tricks for implementing and moving forward with the plan

They say that Luck = Opportunity + Preparedness

Creating the Plan will help you be Prepared for the Opportunities!

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How to Write the Dreaded Business Plan

Artists MBA, Professional Program

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin

We’ve all heard this quote, and yet, we struggle and resist against writing a business plan. For most artists and creatives, there’s the myth that the plan will cramp your creativity. But what my private clients discover over and over again, is that the plan empowers your creativity and just makes life easier.

To be clear – the method I’m teaching won’t result in a 60 page business plan to get financing from a bank or Angel Investor. This is a plan you will use to guide you to create your successful business. If luck is truly when opportunity meets preparedness, your business plan is the first step to prepare for success! In this class, we’ll explore:

  • Why you want to write a business plan
  • The key components in your business plan
  • How to use a business plan to move forward in your career

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Creation of a Successful Year

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAt the end of every year, usually between Christmas and New Years, I take a few hours to powerfully envision and create my new year with confidence and intention. In this class I will walk you through my process. I’ve found this process clears the slate and allows me to step powerfully into the New Year.

 

 

You will discover:

  • How to celebrate the wins of the past year
  • How to transform the past year’s challenges and losses into a powerful tool for success
  • How to lay the foundation for expansive success in the coming year
  • How to use these tools, in combination with the Time Management and Project Management tools to prioritize and focus your actions in the coming months

This Holiday Season, celebrate with more than family and friends, food and booze!  Celebrate your amazing future!

Note from Debra: While this class was created and delivered at the end of the year, this process can be run at any point.  In addition to the dawning of a new year, I recommend doing it when you are on the verge of any significant change – ending/beginning a job, moving, ending a relationship, stepping into a new phase of a relationship (e.g. marriage), or launching a new business or career.

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S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Road Map to Success

Artists MBA, Foundation ProgramSo you’ve set some goals…

Now, how do you take those juicy goals from inspiring concept to real world success?

Debra has laid out the 7-step “S.P.E.C.I.A.L.” Road Map to Success.

 

In this class you will discover:

  • The biggest mistake that most people make in pursuit of their goals
  • How to create a foundation for real success
  • How to create a plan organically and easily
  • How to stay in action, and tune your actions for best results
  • The important final step that fuels future successes

Debra worked with callers to create some specific actions to get them started on their own Road Map to their inspired goals.

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