Start at the end.
Many times, the starting line of any journey feels a lot like running with all of the vision in the world while wondering where the tools you need to get you to the finish line will come from. If I had to guess, your attempts to organize your daily tasks have been a beautiful conglomeration of relief, stress & tremendously focused effort thus far. I want to first applaud and encourage you in the truth that your dedication is the universal key that unlocks true success. This is just the beginning after all.
Today, I want to offer insight on how to expand and make clearer sense of your daily organization tactics.
Theming is all about your focus.
Theming your days is the practice of assigning subject focus to every task you complete. This includes your days, your weeks, your months and even your years. During the first few seasons of your business, your efforts belong in the “startup” category. A seasoned entrepreneur understands that it is in your best interest to go ahead and assign a theme to the first two to three years you are in business. Theming gives your mind the focus and freedom it needs to weather the rocky terrain that accompanies any start up. None of us ever assumes success will automatically come. The truth is, you plan for success and then for every obstacle that is promised to try and stand in your way until you see it.
The first year of your efforts could be themed as “internal growth”. Your focuses could be on building a loyal clientele, an audience of followers, your bank account and the training you need to compete in the market. The second year could be themed as the year of “external growth”. Gaining a brick and mortar space to welcome your faithful clientele into, partnering with like-minded businesses to further local influence, and building up your retail stock or in-house equity. The third year could be themed as the year of “sustainability”. Your focus this year could be stabilizing all of your growth thus far. Once your fiscal year maintains a healthy bottom-line, you are ready to call your “startup” a bona fide full-time career!
Not only does theming your yearly calendar promise to bring comprehensive results to your organization efforts as a whole, it eases your mind as you plan for the days that make up that year as well. Imagine if your next three years were assigned a steadfast focus. The months, weeks and days it encompasses can naturally follow suit.
Where the breakdown begins.
Each month of every year has a natural ebb and flow. As such, so will your business calendar. The winter months should have an entirely different market focus compared to the summer months. Your clientele is after a different supply during the rush of Christmas than they are in the heat of August. Wrap your focused planning, or better said theming, around the market pattern that is already in place. If you are planning for your first Christmas as a startup, you might want to dedicate October and November to establishing market authority so that come December you are an automatic go-to for holiday shoppers. Some businesses experience a lull in sales during the summer months. If you know your sales will be dipping at any point, schedule service based offerings such as group classes or personalized appointments to fill in the expected revenue gaps. Preparing for your winter rush means that your front end work actually happens during the late summer months and preparing for a summer lull means that you are already working ahead in February. For example, the brand new summer stock you just unveiled was actually a project you prepared for during a January photoshoot and the infamous Christmas rush is actually the unloading of the stock you made up during the summer months. Your plans will always require you to be sensitive to your needs & the needs of others around you, particularly your clientele.
Zooming your lens out means that every effort in your daily tasks in centered around and pointing you to a much bigger plan. You can now see where you are headed and that you in fact do have every tool you need to get there or at least there is a plan in place to obtain it.
The end will always be in sight--because you’ve planned for it.
"Theming isn't about saying no to anything, but rather growing disciplined in your focus." - pg. 60 A Maker's Guide
Once your years and months begin to take on a theme, your weeks and days inevitably fill themselves in. Much trial and error will be had before you find your perfect daily routine, so don't let yourself get too discouraged too quickly. Try a few different tactics on for size before you dedicate yourself to a steadfast practice. Once you find the perfect fit, run with it dear maker!
Until next time,
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