3 Steps to Creating [Business] Clarity
Kristin | On 19, Nov 2014
Over the past couple of days we’ve been on a journey to discover the TRUTH about what it takes to find clarity around our work, our time, and beckoning that ever elusive ‘financial freedom’ call.
We’ve learned that most people try to do it all on their own, or rely too much on their friends, or on the overwhelming number of free resources they can find, and believe that if they only had more money they would actually be able to pull all the pieces together into a profitable business model.
As you now know, I myself was guilty of these beliefs when I started out…
…subscribing to all the guru’s newsletters, downloading every free eBook and guide I stumbled upon, relying on busy friends, or using my lack of monies as an excuse to not get started or take action.
The reality was my business was stagnant. And my life was too, for that matter (hello, all day and night on my computer!). I was simply chasing my own tail, getting nowhere fast.
It was only later that I realized I was struggling SO much because I lacked the necessary clarity around my business model, my modes of income, and the networking and marketing tactics necessary to truly begin to make money doing what I love.
Once I realized I was wasting time on unnecessary research and in-action, everything changed.
I realized there are only a few things that truly matter when starting a business. And one of them is this:
Clarity is power.
It’s funny—once I figured that out, everything else fell right into place.
Sure, I still had a lot to learn as more of how exactly to go about GETTING clear was revealed, but it was amazing how that shift completely changed how I view my work, my time, my income, AND the people I was trying to reach.
Although I had just discovered that I needed über clarity around essential pieces of my business it wasn’t enough to just KNOW it.
I had to figure out HOW to accomplish it. How exactly do I go about finding clarity on all the swirly junk whirling around in my noggin?!
I decided to try a few things. I tried figuring it all out on my own by researching, reading, reading, and more reading. I tried asking friends who I thought would be able to help. And I tried telling myself that I just needed more money before I could really DO anything substantial about it.
Over time I stumbled upon an idea that I’ve found is the single most effective way to find clarity around my business model and modes of income.
One of my mentors calls it the “Brain Dump” exercise.
Thanks to this exercise, I always have a proven strategy to turn to whenever I’m feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or downright lost.
Once I discovered this I didn’t just say, GREAT and go crazy. I went to my clients. I tried it out with them. And then with more clients. And then even more.
And it worked!
Let me share some results:
Using a simple Word document, paired with my Google calendar, and only one or two hours of “dumping” and organizing, I INSTANTLY felt lighter, freer, and unbelievably clear as to what I needed to work on that SAME day—and for the next WHOLE YEAR ahead of me!
It was like someone flipped a switch and I went from near sobbing myself to sleep at night, to jumping out of bed, jazzed to start the day because everything was now in order (what I needed to work on and when) and was all in one location that I could access at ANY time.
The best part—other people started noticing too!
I was getting questions like, “How are you able to get so much done in one day?!” And “You’re so much happier and energized lately, Kristin. What’s changed?!”
And it worked for others who have tested it too.
Check it out:
This is from Shoshana, “Before my business had an internet presence it existed solely as a bundle of concepts and general ideas in my head. I had no clear direction or what kind of company I wanted to create, let alone a concrete idea on [which industry I wanted to create a business within]. [Afterwards]… I had selected the medium I was going to focus on, we had developed a potential name for my business, and [I walked away feeling as though] my dreams could become a reality.”
THAT’S the power of creating clarity around your business model and modes of income BEFORE moving into other elements of your business planning.
Okay, so now that you’ve seen the Brain Dump technique, you’re probably wondering, “How can I do this myself? Is it going to be complicated and time consuming?”
Nope! It’s actually really easy. Admittedly, it MIGHT take a bit of time (set aside 1-2+ hours), but trust me—it’s WELL worth it.
PLUS, this is just for YOU. No one else has to be a part of it. This is solely for your own clarity and benefit. So take your time. I think you’ll end up really enjoying it!
Here’s how to conduct a Brain Dump:
Step 1: Dump
Open a new Word or Google document and start writing: write down absolutely EVERYTHING that you’ve got swimming around upstairs. All of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to-dos.
Write down EVERYTHING related to both your personal and business life (phone meetings, lunch breaks, doctor’s appointments, big plans, small goals, etc.).
Don’t worry about the order of things just keep writing until you can’t think of ANYTHING else.
Write until you’ve COMPLETELY emptied your brain! :)
Step 2: Organize & Prioritize
Now that you’ve got everything written down—and it’s living comfortably OUTSIDE of your brain and securely elsewhere—it’s time to organize and prioritize!
Start by categorizing each item.
Since your list is in digital form it’ll be easy to cut and paste to move each item around.
Move each to-do item under either a “Business” or a “Personal” category.
Then below each category PRIORITIZE your list based on timing. Go through and ask yourself if each item needs to get done now, tomorrow, in six months, or is just a floating idea to revisit at a later date.
Again, move each item to a desired place, in order of importance.
Do this until you’ve got everything listed under a designated category, and prioritized based on importance.
Step 3: Schedule
Finally, schedule, schedule, schedule!
Take each of your items that you’ve now dumped, organized, and prioritized – and assign them DUE DATES.
They can be something as simple as “begin considering this new project I want to work on,” or as specific as, “interview with so and so today at 12PM.”
Add EVERY single one of your items to your calendar!
I like using Google Calendar so that I can move items around as they come up, should I find that they fit better at a different time.
Even if it means adding something a year or more from now—work through this scheduling phase until everything has an assigned date.
Trust me—the simple act of KNOWING that you will be revisiting an idea (when the timing is right) FEELS so much better than holding onto it and letting it float around your head, worried that you might forget it or never get to it.
Now that you’ve completed your first “Brain Dump” you’re ready to breathe a little easier knowing you’re well on your way to extreme clarity and action-taking. Way to go!
Of course, there’s much more you can do if you want to continue moving toward turning that passion project into a profitable career. Far more than I can fit into this blog post.
Once you’ve “dumped” your brain whirlies, there are other exciting questions to answer:
- How do I reach people who will pay for what I’m offering?
- What types of products and/or services should I be offering, anyway?
- How do I monetize the offerings so that I can earn a living doing this stuff?
If you’re interested in finding detailed, step-by-step answers to these questions, I’ve got good news. The “Brain Dump” exercise is only one small part of the offerings, that I mentioned a couple of days ago.
I’ve bundled my offerings into one program called “Creating Freedom + Mastery.” It’s a self-guided online video training series and enrollment opens on Thursday.
It’s perfect for those who want to gain clarity around their business model and modes of income, become known within their industry, and make money doing what they love.
If you want to create freedom for yourself and master the art of clarity, networking, and monetization, I’m opening the program tomorrow, to everyone who reads this blog post.
But for now I’d like to challenge you to do just ONE THING in the next 3 minutes.
If you’re going to start a business, or up the ante of an existing one, post a comment below with just ONE of your “Brain Dump” to-dos, and how you plan to prioritize it, and get it done THIS week.
Here’s what you should write:
“I’m _______________ and I run/want to run a _______________ business. One “Brain Dump” to-do, that I could prioritize, and get done this week, is __________________.”
Post your comment below, with your “Brain Dump” to-do, and if you want to hear about my Creating Freedom + Mastery course, I’ll be sharing the enrollment information on the blog tomorrow.