How to choose the RIGHT goals to work on

Dear leader who’s a goal-getter,

Ever wonder if what you’re working on is actually bringing you closer to your goals?  The biggest challenge when it comes to goal-setting is choosing the RIGHT goals to work on.  As an entrepreneur, there are a million things you want to (or need to) work on, so it’s important to know where to focus your precious time, energy, and resources to make the biggest difference in your business.  When you choose to work on one aspect of your business at a time (meaning intentionally changing or growing it), you give yourself the permission and space to get it up and running WELL.  You’ll know what to say YES to, and what to say NO (or not now) to.  When you work on one aspect at a time, you get to be intentional with what you’re creating.  

There are five pillars of your business that when it’s all working together can become a well-oiled machine.  When you get familiar with the different “departments” of your business, you’ll get a better sense of what’s working and what’s not working so you can make the appropriate changes. 

Here are the 5 pillars of your business:       

  1. Visibility
    Visibility is the marketing of your business, and sharing your brand message to engage and build relationships with influencers, peers, and prospects.  This is super important because the reality is, if you no one knows who you are and what you do, it’ll be pretty hard to get clients.  Visibility can be through content marketing through social media, blogging, and videos, speaking engagements, networking events, collaborations and joint ventures, guest blogging, podcasting, and which ever medium and method you prefer to provide value to your community.  

    Do you have a clear and compelling brand message that you’re sharing on a regular basis?  
    Are you building relationships with influencers, peers, and prospects in a way that you enjoy?  
     

  2. Sales
    These are the actions you take to convert people who are interested in what you offer, into people who say “heck, yes!” to buying it.  Sales activities can range from offering free assessments, having a discovery call, hosting a webinar with a call-to-action at the end, asking for referrals, and following up with leads.  

    Do you have a sales process in place so you know how you’re converting leads into clients?  Are you making consistent sales?  

  3. Product Development/Creating Offers + Signature Services  
    Your products and services are how you work with your clients and it takes time and intentionality to create valuable products and services that contribute to your client’s transformation.  In this pillar, projects can include: market research, pre-validating and pre-selling your offers, pricing and packaging your offers, and actually creating the materials needed to work together.  

    Do you have a signature service that helps solve your client’s most pressing problem?  
    Do you have a product suite at different price points to help along your client’s journey?  
     

  4. Systems and Processes
    There are probably a lot of aspects in your business there have a step-by-step process and are repeatable.  For example, you have a process to onboard new clients, or a system of creating content to share on social media.  These can be documented (I just do it in a Google doc), and simplified with different tech tools and systems.  I like to keep things simple!  

    Are your back-end systems simple and organized?  Do they help with efficiency?  
    Do you have your processes written down so they are repeatable?  
     

  5. People/Team Development/Culture
    Once your workload starts to increase and you can sense the need to getting help, you can consider growing your team.  As your business grows, it’s important to focus on finding the right people you can trust to help expand your vision and support you along the way.  This is where knowing your vision and values, area of need, and creating ways to effectively communicate with your team will come in handy.  

    Do you need to outsource or hire team members to help you grow your business?  
    What are your company’s core values so you can create a cohesive culture?
    Do you have a way to communicate effectively with your team members?  

How to choose the right goals:

On a scale from 1-5, (1-nonexistent, 5-well-oiled machine) how would you rate your business in each category?  

Then, if you were to focus on ONE category to improve over the next 90 days, which one would make the BIGGEST impact?  

*This is where you can focus your efforts*  

Finally, brainstorm and select the projects, habits, and actions you’ll want to execute to help bring you closer to your goals.  This becomes the strategy to help you reach your goals.  

Ask yourself:
Given my resources, what projects will help me with my goals?  
What habits do I need to create to contribute to my success?  
How can I hold myself accountable to achieving these goals?  
(Who can I reach out to for help?  How will I reward myself?  Why do I want to do this?)  

There you have it!  When you know where to focus a MAJORITY of your efforts, you can have the freedom to work on what matters in the moment.  Don't forget to write your goals down in a visible place and consistently review them!  

I’d love to hear your go-to tips for setting and getting goals!  If you’d like personalized support and accountability with your business goals, you can book a discovery call to see if working together is right for you.  

With joy,

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Work With Your Ideal Client

Dear business leader who wants to work with ideal clients, 

        Let’s talk about ideal clients, shall we?  When you run your own business, you get to CHOOSE who you get to work with.  How empowering!  On the other hand, you have the responsibility to attract and enroll people you love to work with.  With so many choices, it can feel overwhelming…especially as a Christian woman in business who wants to help everyone. So in today’s letter, I’m sharing with you a few filters to create to help you narrow down your dream clients so you can work with the exact people you’re meant to serve. I also wanted to share with you some action steps for you to take so the ideal client isn’t just a dream in your head, but relationships with real people that are healthy and productive.   

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1. Focus on the Problem You Solve + Solution You Provide.

The most important details to know about your dreamy clients is their BIGGEST challenge and your solution when it comes to your area of expertise.  Your business exists to serve your clients, and your products and services exist to solve their problems.  This helps to narrow your focus so you’re not being all things to all people, but helps you to be known to helping a target group of people get specific results.  

There are ideal client avatars that get really detailed about demographics, hobbies, and preferences (B-School grads, anyone?).  These exercises are helpful for giving you ideas on where to meet and market to your potential clients, and to help you write copy and content that speaks to a specific type of person.

But what if someone comes to you and doesn’t look like the “ideal client avatar” you created in your head?  REAL ideal clients rarely look like the avatar you had in mind, but they WILL have the challenge that you’re equipped to solve.  I’ve had clients of all ages, nationalities, and seasons of life, but they were all looking to grow their service-based business.  You can keep an open mind and still consider working with them on a case-by-case basis (considering they meet your non-negotiables).  

2. Know Your Values so You Know Your Non-Negotiables

Your core values are the characteristics and actions that are most important to you.  When you clarify and express your values, you live in integrity, attract and connect with other people who value the same thing.  The best part is -- when you’re clear about what you care about, it’s easier to create a non-negotiable filter of characteristics of people who would be “heck, yes!” clients, or “hell, no!” clients.  

For example, if you value hard-work and perseverance, you can filter for people who are willing to take action, get feedback, and keep going rather than people who are just looking for the shortcut to success.  

Or, if you care about honesty and authenticity, you’ll value people who are open and vulnerable with the good and the bad rather than people who don’t own up to their mistakes.  

When you know what you’re available for and not available for, you can incorporate these values into your content marketing to attract the right people, and repel the wrong ones.

You can even use a questionnaire for a discovery call or application with specific questions to screen prospects to make sure you would be a good fit.

Knowing your values can help you determine your “heck, yes!” clients from your “hell, no” clients!
— Shi Chen

3. Lead with Clear Expectations and Continue to Communicate

Think back to a time when you have a less than ideal experience with a client (or even as a client!). Chances are, there weren’t clear expectations, boundaries, or communication. As a leader, it’s your responsible to guide your client through the process, letting them know what parameters would make your work together a major success.

What are your responsibilities as the service provider? What do you need from the client, and by when? When are your office hours, and preferred modes of communication?

I have these terms laid out in a coaching agreement or contract that my clients and sign, and we go over it together during our initial session. This way, we’re both on the same page of what to expect. If challenges come up, like showing up late to a call, I can just remind them to it will just be a shortened call.

During the process, it’s important to continue to communicate, check in on what’s working and not working, and adjust if necessary. As a coach, I often ask my clients how I can better serve them to make sure I’m meeting their needs. Even though I’m working with an ideal client, I still want to make sure I’m creating a positive experience of transformation for them.

On a final note, it’s okay if your ideal clients evolve as you do. The more you work with people, the more clarity you’ll have. You can always revisit these 3 components and learn what’s working and not working so you can truly be of service to the people who need you most.  

Tell me in the comments below —which component are you working on? Who are those super dreamy clients that you love to work with?  

With joy, 

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Dealing With the Imposter Syndrome

Dear leader who feels like an imposter,

I recently went on a business retreat with a group of female entrepreneurs who were all super talented, leaders in their industry, make lots of money, and somehow also kind, generous, and gorgeous (seriously, the whole package!).  I mean, these ladies are INSPIRING with the books they’ve written, coaching programs they’ve created, and yes, children they’ve raised.  At first, I couldn’t help but feel intimidated and wonder:  

“Who do you think you are?”

That’s when I realized that the Imposter Syndrome was rearing its ugly head.

It’s the critical voice that questions your authority and achievements.  It’s the lie that holds you back from feeling truly confident in your value.  It’s the fear that leads you to feel inauthentic or that you don’t belong to your circle of influence.  If you’ve ever felt a sense that someone is going to figure out that you don’t know it all, or have it all together, then you’ve experienced that phenomenon called, The Imposter Syndrome.

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In this week’s letter, I want to shine a light on the Imposter Syndrome so it no longer holds you back from greatness.  At the root, it is the fear that you’ll be “found out” and exposed as a “fraud.”  The interesting thing is, the Imposter Syndrome only affects creative, high-achievers who had tons of accolades to be proud of.

For example, Maya Angelou the great American author says,

“I have written 11 books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’”

So let’s dive deeper into this mindset with some tips to help you recognize it, and how to deal with it.  

1. Celebrate your past accomplishments.  

People who struggle with the Imposter Syndrome feel like they’re not enough (which is a lie!) because they have trouble internalizing their past accomplishments.  For example, you may think you nailed a presentation because it was a team effort when in reality you had the brilliant ideas and the work ethic to follow through.

This is when the Imposter Syndrome says, “This accomplishment was a fluke because….”

To conquer this silly thought, write a list of your past accomplishments, experiences, and people you helped in a list of “humble brags.”  Post it in a visible place you can refer to and add to. You can even craft a canned response that highlights your work ethic and achievements to tackle the Imposter Syndrome head-on.   

For example, when I start to feel the self-doubt creep in, this is my response, “Who am I?  I’m the coach who’s called and committed to helping women grow the confidence to lead.  I’ve earned my certification and worked with more than hundred people.  I’ve done it before, and I trust myself to do it again.”

2. Create your own fan club.

The Imposter Syndrome can feel like you’re isolated, alone, and the only one struggling.  Fear has no power in a community rooted in authenticity, vulnerability, and true connection.  That’s when it’s helpful to invest in your fan club -- coaches, trusted peers, and friends who are your confidants and biggest champions for your success.  These people are your reminders of why you’re awesome.  

The most refreshing aspect of the business retreat was the connections formed when we shared about our successes, struggles, and brainstormed solutions to our challenges.  It helped me to see the “behind the scenes” stories of the ladies I admired, and receive praise and support for my own business.  

3. Get real (and specific) about your skills.  

Now that we’ve talked about mindset, let’s address your actual competency as a leader.  Leaders don’t need to know it all, but leaders do need to know what they’re good at, and what they’re not good at.  This distinction helps to know the areas where you shine, and areas where you can intentionally work on to get better.  When you accurately assess your skill level, and get specific on what you need to work on and how, you can can create a plan to help close that gap.  

A simple way to do this is to get clear on your goals, and the most important skills to help you achieve those goals.  Then, rate yourself on a scale from 1-10 (1-low, 10-high) of where you are right now, where you’d like to be in 3 months, and how you’re going to get there.  

For example, let’s say your biggest goal is to get 3 new clients, but you rate yourself at a 6 in your sales conversation because you’re not consistent with reaching out afterwards.  You want to be at a 9 by getting better of following up and creating a streamlined process to help you do so.  When you’re real and specific about your skills, it helps you to focus on doing the work.  

4. Confidence comes from taking action.  

The more you acknowledge the thoughts from the Imposter Syndrome and intentionally take action anyways, the more experience and confidence you cultivate.  Take one step (big or small) in the direction towards your goals so you develop more self-agency and self-trust.  Your actions and accomplishments are the best way to prove to yourself that you CAN make a difference.

I hope that this letter was helpful for you to recognize the Imposter Syndrome, which can be the shadow edge for true confidence.   

If you found this helpful, then make sure you get your Leadership Style Quiz download below to help you pinpoint what your strengths are to help you lead from a place of confidence and security.  

With Joy, 

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[Stewardship Series: Maximize Your Time as a Christian Entrepreneur]

Welcome to our Stewardship Series: Maximizing Your Time, Talent, and Resources!  

This week, we're diving in to talk about making the most of your TIME, which is your most precious resource.  

Ever feel like you should be further ahead in your life and business than you actually are?  Us, too. 

Jenna Shriver and I have some real talk and truth bombs about lies we believed about time.  

During our conversation, we chatted about: 

  • how the lie of "I should be further ahead in life and business" was the result of comparing ourselves to other Christian women, and the idealized, future version of where we wanted to be 
  • how becoming moms motivated us to get clear on prioritizing our faith and family first, so gave us the permission to build a business at our own rhythm and pace. 
  • remembering that our work has an impact on the legacy we're creating, so we don't have to experience FOMO (fear of missing out), but help us to focus on developing deep relationships, creating sustainable lives and businesses, and investing in building something that will affect generations to come.  

Let me know what resonated most with you!  How are you going to maximize your time to create a lifelong legacy?  

If you'd like more resources on stewardship as a Christian entrepreneur, download the free eBook on "Maximize Your Time, Talent, and Resources!"

[Stewardship Series: Maximize Your Resources as a Christian Entrepreneur]

Welcome to our Stewardship Series: Maximizing Your Time, Talent, and Resources!  

This week, we're diving in to talk about making the most of your RESOURCES, which is all about leveraging your money, relationships, and resources.

What's your money story?

Jenna Shriver and I have some real talk about our relationship with money growing up, how it impacted us as business owners, and how we price our services for getting started and growth.

During our conversation, we chatted about: 

  • how Jenna grew up on a dairy farm when her parents worked all day for little money, and how Shi grew up as a first generation Chinese kid whose parents worked various jobs, and saved everything for the future. 
  • the truth that's not talked about enough: God doesn't want your money, He wants your heart 
  • strategies for being resourceful when you're first starting out 
  • the dangers of "pricing what you're worth" and what we believe instead 

Let me know what resonated most with you!  How are you going to maximize your resources to grow what you've got?

If you'd like more resources on stewardship as a Christian entrepreneur, download the free eBook on "Maximize Your Time, Talent, and Resources!"