It’s no secret that consistency has been one of my biggest challenges in business.
(I’m first to admit that my productive flow comes in fits and starts…big creative bursts and hibernations.)
Throw in a pregnancy + a deployment, and this year (2015) has been no exception.
Between hosting my first webinar(s) to celebrate the first anniversary of A Course About Copy in February + traveling to Dallas to speak at Off the Charts Live in May, my husband headed out for a seven-month deployment AND I found out we had a new baby on board.
By the start of June (and my 30th birthday!), I was pooped.
But thennnn I saw a Facebook post leading to (a version of) this free video series I had seen at the end of 2014, and I caught a glimpse of hope + possibility for Q3 (AKA my second trimester):
Making. ish. happen.
[ENTER TODD HERMAN.]
Before I get into the nitty gritty of HOW I made ish happen, I gotta back up a bit.
I’ve mentioned him here on my blog a few times since I started working with him through 90DY, but in case you haven’t come across him just yet, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Todd Herman.
His about page is full of fun facts – like his Canadian farmboy childhood of fort-building + cow-milking, his well-documented root beer obsession, and pics of his gorgeous fam.
(I gotta say – from a communication nerd perspective, I love how includes warm fuzzies like that on the page to add a nice balance to his ridiculously legit street cred.)
Here’s why you wanna know this guy:
Todd’s spent almost 20 years serving as one of the world’s most sought after peak performance coaches… working in the trenches to help over 10,000 Olympic athletes, 9 Fortune 100 Companies, billionaires, and even royal families achieve the epitome of success in their fields.
Basically, he’s an expert in getting RESULTS out of people (who are willing to work for them).
He likes to use words like grit, hustle, and drive.
He’s all about facts, figures, and research.
He says that while amateurs talk about potential, pros only care about PERFORMANCE.
And THAT right there is what sparked me to pay close attention to what he was sharing:
FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE (NOT POTENTIAL)
I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’m pretty sure my biggest fear isn’t failure or messing up (not fun, but it happens).
My biggest fear is not living up to my fullest potential.
Because I KNOW it’s in there. It’s what inspired me to start my business in the first place.
I know that I’m capable of living + serving in a bigger way.
(We all are!)
Todd’s no-fluff, no-excuses perspective helped me realize that I’d been using the idea of my “potential” as a pacifier of sorts.
As in – during those lulls + hibernations when I wasn’t making any forward motion, I’d soothe myself by saying, “But if I triiiiiied….I could totally do it.”
Potential. Defined (by my Google search) as: latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
MAY lead to future success or usefulness.
But I’d like to be useful now, thankyouverymuch.
Time to focus on results + outcomes.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE TRIMESTER OF AWESOME
As I mentioned – in June of 2015 I was about to kick off my second trimester of pregnancy + the second half of my husband’s deployment.
While nobody would blame me for using those two major life events as excuses to stop or slow down, I know my vision for my family and my business. And it’s a biggie.
I had the foresight to know that December Nikki would look back at July Nikki and think:
“DUDE. Seriously…that was too much for you? Becauuuuse now you’ve got a newborn.
And not a lot of sleep. And another deployment around the corner.
And you’ve still got big dreams + real deadlines, sister. Suck. it. up. For me. Please.”
And so I did.
Without hesitation (and largely thanks to a last-day reminder from my buddy Erin Brule!) I signed up for The 90 Day Year at the VIP level.
On my first call with Todd I remember referencing my buddy Amber McCue’s program “How to Clone Yourself,” and joking about how at that point I didn’t even WANT to clone myself.
Because I wasn’t really doing anything, and 0 x 2 = 0. Womp womp.
Once I watched the first videos inside 90DY, did my homework, and chatted with Todd, I settled on three main areas to focus on for the next 90 days:
Systems + Hiring – because my biz was an undocumented mess that mostly existed between my ears, and I’d been “meaning to” hire help for months.
Content Creation – because I had a serious craving to add value after being consistently inconsistent with this blog you’re reading right now ;)
Boosting Revenue – because I was halfway through the year, not quite halfway to my revenue goal, and #math.
I did my best to use the program to break each focus into a specific outcome goal, then I used (what Todd calls) the 4Ws to map out who will do what, where, and when.
(Again – teamwise I was almost solo, sooooo that list was a bit overwhelming.)
But I started plugging away anyway.
Imperfectly, but consistently. << That’s the important part.
THE TRIMESTER OF AWESOME IN REVIEW
Looking back at how much has changed between then and now, I’m pretty impressed ;)
We’ve still got a long way to go to reach the streamlined + systemized status I’ve got in mind, but the key players are in place, the momentum is building, and I have HOPE that my dreams for 2016 are actually quite achievable now.
Here’s a recap of the aforementioned Trimester of Awesome:
FOR SYSTEMS + HIRING:
I found a dreamy VA to help me get organized and keep movin’.
I’d resisted hiring a VA for several months because I wasn’t sure if I’d find the right fit.
Full disclosure: It took three tries to find the right fit, but because I just STARTED the search and stopped making excuses, I now have an assistant that I know, love, and trust.
(Yes, admitting the WRONG fit can be awkward + uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. Trust your gut, be honest but kind, and move along quickly. This is business.)
Sidenote: Now that I’ve experienced how glorious it is to have help, support, a running buddy who’s invested in my success + can keep pace with my crazy, I’m looking for a second VA who specializes in clear, sincere content (i.e. repurposing, SEO, drafting ideas for me to style up, etc. If you know somebody – HOLLA).
Thanks to aforementioned dreamy VA, I also got serious about documenting systems in my business.
We’ve still got plenty to do + document, but a VERY healthy chunk of day-to-day and launch-time operations now live in Asana + Evernote.
That’s a WIN.
We’ll keep focusing on this in 2016 and beyond.
FOR CONTENT CREATION:
Right at the start of the 90-day cycle, I batched blog videos (eight in a day!) for the first time.
I even shared MOST of them on the blog – which I now realize is the toughest part of batching (knowing you could do it better if you just had ONE more go of it…and technically there’s tiiiime….).
I had a 16+ week consistency streak (with my VIP emails + posts) for the first time ever.
Once October hit, my husband got home, we moved houses…in short, the closer I got (get!) to baby time, batching and blog consistency slid down the priority list *because* I realized that I can still add value to you even if it’s not through a brand new post each week.
While my plan for the next 90 days of content is largely TBD by my energy once the new little guy arrives, I’m VERY happy with how the second half of 2015 played out. Because focus.
FOR BOOSTING REVENUE:
My main foci (yes, I said foci) here were a) list-building, and b) a live promo of ACAC.
For the first time ever, I got serious and invested in Facebook ads (+ help managing Facebook ads) to build my list with intention.
That extra accountability inspired me to finally finish the makeover I’d been MEANING to give to my first opt-in freebie (The Conversational Copy Cheat Sheet) for over a year.
I also partnered with my buddy Carrie Green to promote ACAC, hosting two live workshops + offering a sweet bonus before closing the doors in September (documenting all related steps + systems along the way – check, check!).
Between the Facebook ads, my episodes on a few super-popular podcasts, the live promo of A Course About Copy, and consistency with my blog content, I’ve welcomed over 10,000 new folks to my email subscriber list since summertime.
WHAT!? (I had just about 10,000 total this summer…after over two years in business.)
I’m not QUITE at the revenue goal I initially aimed for at the start of the year, but thanks to not giving up early, I’m pretty dang close, and all things considered, I’m VERY happy with how this year has turned out.
Good stuff happens when you focus on RESULTS and performance, not just potential.
Which brings me to this:
IT’S TIME TO MAKE A DECISION.
Todd’s a performance coach, so his focus is on helping people get RESULTS.
He’s got approximately 1.5 squillion names for the methods + processes he shares inside The 90 Day Year program. (I think the athletes, Olympians, and Fortune 50 execs must like that stuff ;))
Don’t let the terminology intimidate you.
The heart of The 90 Day Year program is to bake in accountability for checking your progress, closing feedback loops, adjusting the sails as needed.
In short: it’s about deciding to focus on what matters + actually doing it.
I don’t invest in many courses or programs these days because I have juuuuust enough brainwidth to handle what I’ve got on my plate.
But this one (genuinely) isn’t about adding more content to your life (and your hard drive) – it’s about providing context…actually changing the way you work.
I will absolutely be going through The 90DY again (+ again) in 2016, and I’d love it if you’d hold me to that ;)
That’s why I’m very excited to share the scoop on THIS:
MY 90 DAY YEAR 2017 BONUS COMING SOON
I shared Todd’s videos last year even BEFORE I signed up for the program, because they’re freaking helpful. And refreshingly different than anything else we typically see in the online space.
Now that I’m an alum of the program, I’m also a proud PARTNER of the program, which means if you decide to join The 90 Day Year through my link, I get a hey-Nik-thanks-for-sending-lovely-people-over! commission.
As a way to add value to those who DO join via my link, I’m offering up a bonus bundle o’ support + encouragement.
More details coming soon!
I have some Texas-sized goals for 2017, dude.
Aaaand I’m about to have a brand new sidekick needing a LOT of TLC in his first year on the planet.
It won’t be an easy year, but it WILL be a big one. And I’m totally open to share the ins + outs of it with you through these bonus calls.
So here’s the Q of the day:
IS THE 90 DAY YEAR RIGHT FOR YOU?
NOTE: I originally wrote this in December 2015, now updating with December 2016 cycle dates!
The cart opens December 14th and closes Thursday, December 22nd.
Only you can decide if this is what you need to get the results you want in 2016.
Watching these videos to get a feel for Todd’s teaching style + approach will only help.
If you decide this program IS right for you + you’d like to be one of my 90DY accountability buddies, make sure you use my link when you enroll: www.nikkielledgebrown.com/90dy
Once you’re in, please forward a copy of your invoice to support (at) nikkielledgebrown.com so we can verify with Todd’s team.
The next 90 days will come + go just as quickly as the last.
Whether you watch the vids, join the program, or read nothing more than this blog post, please promise me that you’ll take some time to get REALLY honest with yourself about this:
Are you hiding behind the idea of your potential, making excuses for why it hasn’t come to fruition?
(No judgment here – as I mentioned, that’s my default safety zone!)
How do you want to feel about your progress (+ the contribution you’ve made to the world) when you look back 90, 120, 365 days from now?
Do you currently have access to the tools + support you need to make that happen?
If you could use some extra accountability + focus, let me encourage you to take a good look at The 90 Day Year this week.
It could be just what you need to finally step off of the context-switchin’ hamster wheel and into the driver’s seat of your business where you belong, and I’d LOVE to check back in with you throughout the year to hear the story!
To performing to our potential,
P.S. If you liked this post, I’d GREATLY appreciate it if you’d use the buttons below to share it with your buddies! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see new videos before I’ve had time to turn them into blog posts ;)