Category Archives: Time Management

how to plan your business year the smart way?

How do you plan your business year the smart way?

7 steps

You do not need the beginning of the year to decide that this year will be your best year ever.

The problem with good intentions on 1 January is that we hardly stick to it.

If we have one already, those intentions.

We have great plans. And there is little to nothing that gets realized.

One of the reasons is: 1 year is long, way too long. And we tend to overestimate the things that we can achieve in 1 year (and underestimate the things we can achieve in 10 years)

And yet we have to plan. Even though some of us (me) don’t like this.

However, I have learned that you cannot be successful and cannot lead a stress-free life if you do not plan. Especially in terms of business. It is a must.

 

And to be honest, I do not want to live like a stressed-out chicken who has panic attacks at night and is a zombie during the day: -o

So planning, it is.

 

I did my homework and did some searching.

I searched for the best and most fun ways to plan.

And I have found a way that I will share with you – my 7-step plan 🙂

It’s a combination of ideas that I got from books like http://www.the1thing.com/ and http://gettingthingsdone.com/ and https://12weekyear.com/ and a lot of courses that I’ve attended on the topic of time & priority management.

 

Is it the only sacred way to plan?

No.

But it helps me and maybe you too.

 

Here is my 7-step plan

 

  1. Identify your mission, your why

It is important that your company vision fits your personal vision. It seems obvious, but we tend to forget it when we look at our business plans.

 

The point is that you have to put your long-term vision on paper. Think about who you would like to be in ten years, what will you have realized? Even if you have no idea how you will get there.

 

If you ask in the beginning: “how?” you will probably kill your mission. So forget about the HOW for now.

 

  1. 1-year plan

Only after you have written your ten-year mission, should you ask yourself “How can I achieve this?” Then, based on your ten-year mission, think about where you want to be in 1 year and write it down on paper.

 

  1. 12-week year

Next, identify your 12-week goals – what should you do the coming 12 weeks to achieve your annual goals? The authors of the book “the 12 week year” say that you have to treat every quarter or 12 weeks as a full business year. After those 12 weeks you celebrate or have a holiday, and then you start fresh with a new “year”.

 

In this way, you create a sense of urgency because your “annual” goals must be achieved within 12 weeks. So no time to waste. You cannot say “oh, we have a lot of time left”. No, you only have 12 weeks. So hurry up!

 

  1. Weekly planner

Each quarter consists of approximately 12 weeks – record your 3 main weekly goals and tasks and priorities. That is your weekly power action list. Use my free downloadable weekly planner for this.

Weekly Planner Greet Bunnens

  1. Daily power actions

And every weekday, at the beginning of your day, you identify your power actions of the day. What are you going to do today that will lead you to your overall goals? Schedule this on your agenda. Daily!

 

  1. Quarterly wrap-up

At the end of each “12-week-year” or quarter, review a quarterly overview and study your business progress, your focus, your personal development and do not forget your personal goals in your private life.

 

  1. Year-end wrap-up

Make sure you have a business wrap-up at the end of the year. Think back to the business year, your progress, your sales, your achievements, your challenges, your breakthroughs …

 

Voilà! It’s that simple.

 

I discovered a great tool to help you with the planning: The Daily Greatness Business Planner from www.lyndellepalmerclarke.com You can find it at www.dailygreatness.co

You can, of course, download my own weekly planner here for free. It is a fillable pdf, so you do not have to print the document. You can find it here: http://www.greetbunnens.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/weekly-to-do-GREET-fillable.pdf

Weekly Planner Greet Bunnens

Good luck !!

 

Your turn – what’s your secret planning tool?

 

 

The secret behind my work-life balance.

I’ll never be sad again…

 

Hi there

How do you do all that? How do you manage it?

That’s a question I often get.

I’m pretty visible online and often attend networking events.

I work with my clients, I work on my marketing, I organise online and live events…

That’s the professional side.

On the personal side, it is important for me to spend time with my family & friends

And I also need me-time.

 

So how do I manage all that?

Don’t worry, I do not wish to work 100 hours a week.

That is not my definition of a fulfilled and happy life.

 

A friend of mine asked me that question.

She knew I was on holiday and still she saw multiple social media posts of mine.

She also received an email with my blog post.

So she said to herself: ‘even on holiday she keeps on working.’

She also said to herself: ‘this is not the lifestyle I want. If this is what Greet will be teaching me, then I am not interested’

 

Thank God, she told me what was bugging her.

This way I can give an answer to her.

And to you, should you be worrying about that too.

 

I can tell you a lot of things about time and performance management.

About work-life balance.

 

But I’ll focus on my S.A.D. approach.

If you follow this approach you’ll never be SAD again 🙂

At least not with regards to your professional time management.

 

We, entrepreneurs, have a lot of stuff on our plate.

And what you need to know is …

You don’t need to do everything now and all by yourself.

That’s it.

You need to know how things work, but once you figured that out…

  • Stop repeating the same thing all the time.
  • Stop doing everything manually
  • Stop doing everything yourself

 

That’s the secret. The S.A.D. method:

 

Systemize

Think in terms of systems and processes all day long.

Example: I batch my blogs and vlogs. In other words, I do not write a blog post every week. I usually write 4 blog posts at the time. I block time for that. Once written I’m all set for the coming month.

 

Automate

There are a lot of tools out there that will enable you to simplify your life.

Example: let’s take the blogging example. Once I’ve written the blog, I send it via an email service provider (Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign…) to all the people who have opted in for my blog. This happens automatically. Another system (MeetEdgar) distributes my blog posts (and other posts) over and over again over time. Automatically. Easy, simple, efficient.

 

Delegate

I have a wonderful assistant who helps me with a lot of administrative things. I’m not fond of that, I am not good at that.

Example: let’s focus on blogging again. For example Facebook does not like the automated posts that much. So I combine the automated stuff with manual posting. And luckily I do not have to do that myself. My assistant Christine helps me distribute my blog on Facebook, LinkedIn … during the week. She does that manually. Facebook & LinkedIn happy. Me happy 🙂

 

That’s the secret.

Not so difficult and fancy huh?

Just do it. It will make your life easier. Promised

You will never be SAD no more 🙂

 

 

Up to you now – what’s your efficiency secret?

 

 

What’s the secret to success?

That secret is called A.C.T.I.O.N.

 

How come some people seem to be successful,

Seem to achieve all their goals

Seem to realize their ideas…?

And others don’t?

Are you part of the first group?

Or do you know the secret to success?

 

The secret to success.

Doesn’t that sound sleazy and phony?

Is there really 1 secret?

And what is success anyway?

The answer to that is very personal.

 

This being said, I have been triggered by that concept almost my whole professional life.

That’s why I studied the subject in depth.

I read the books, whitepapers and blogs,

I follow these so-called successful people,

I have interviewed successful and not so successful people.

 

And we (my colleague Karina and I) have discovered there are 6 main success factors.

6 elements that separate the successful people from the others.

We’ve combined these 6 elements in our A.C.T.I.O.N. model.

A.C.T.I.O.N. has 6 letters – 6 success factors.

And combined, it all comes down to taking action.

 

Now I know you’ll probably be thinking:

“Boy, this is no rocket science.”

I know all this.

 

Question is: what do you do with this knowledge.

Do you put it into practice? And how?

Be honest to yourself.

I know I don’t always apply the method vigorously.

 

Ok, let’s have a look.

 

  • Accountability & responsibility

Personal accountability isn’t a trait that people are born with, it’s a way of living that you can learn.

When you’re personally accountable, you take ownership of situations that you’re involved in.

You see them through, and you take responsibility for what happens – good or bad.

You don’t blame others if things go wrong. Instead, you do your best to make things right.

 

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability.

They found that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone.

And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.

Your turn: how will you become more personally accountable? And improve your success ratio?

 

  • Competence

Fortune 500 leaders spend about 30 minutes per day on Personal Development.

In other words they spend 11.000 minutes per year on developing their skills, competences & knowledge.

Or 23 days (of 8 hours).

How much time do you spend on personal development?

Now beware:

These study results (conducted by the Internationa center for management and organization effectiveness)  suggest 30 minutes per day. Not 8 hours per day.

I still meet a lot of people who never get anything done because they never stop learning.

And that should not be the case either.

The idea is that you have to: LEARN – DO – LEARN – DO – LEARN – DO…

Your turn: what skills do you wish to master? Social media, sales, marketing, public speaking? … (we can help you with that 🙂)

 

  • Target

Successful people set goals. Full stop.

Until a couple of years ago I never set goals.

I had some crazy reasons for that.

You can find out what reasons and how silly I was in this video

and Laugh Out Loud :-/

 

Anyway, write down your goals.

Share it with others.

And forget about SMART goals.

Dare to dream big.

 

Your turn: what’s that dream goal of yours?

 

  • Implement

The Business Boost Event motto is:

“The difference between dreams and reality is called implementation.”

 

This is where it often goes wrong.

Way to often do we see our students energized, inspired,

They have new skills, new ideas

Good resolutions.

And then somehow, they never implement.

What a pitty.

That is why I wrote the blog about the Power Action Method© recently.

It helps you set your goals and implement.

 

That is also the reason why my colleague Karina and I have developed a specific training program called the Implementation Booster.

To help people grow as a person and build their business.

AND to help them implement what they have learned along the way.

Interested? Join the program. It’s almost for free. (it’s in Dutch though)

don't wait

  • Overcome limiting beliefs and excuses.

Another major reason why people are not successful.

They never start or they never finish.

And all because of limiting beliefs and silly excuses.

Question is: how can you get rid of these excuses?

Answer: read my blog post on that topic. You can find it here.

Your turn: what’s your excuse that is preventing you from moving forward?

 

  • Navigation plan

Imagine this…

You’re on holiday in la Provence

and you are really hungry.

There’s nothing in the fridge yet.

You start dreaming…

Dreaming about ice cream.

About “la coupe surpise” – 10 scoops – 10 different flavours.

Ahhhh.

 

You know where to get it. Near the Mont Ventoux in a village called Bédoin.

But how can you get there? Without wasting too much time.

You are terribly hungry, remember?

 

Solution:

  1. You have to know where you are now. Duh!
  2. You have to know your destination.
  3. You look for a map
  4. And/or a guide. Someone who knows the fastest route to the village.

 

That’s what we mean by navigation plan.

Karina and I have a map/plan just like that.

It’s called the B.I.Z.B.O.O.S.T. journey.

And we’d be happy to be your guide.

Interested? Contact us.

 

 

Your turn –  what’s your secret to success?

Please leave your feedback in the comment field below.

 

dare to dream

 

 

 

The Power Action Method©

Or how to achieve your goals in 3 simple steps.

 

Hi there

I’m back – holidays are over.

I’m full of energy and have ambitious  goals and plans.

You don’t have to wait for the 1st of January to start with good resolutions.

How about you?

Do you have some ambitious goals and plans after the holidays?

 

Now how about realizing these goals

Have you ever been in a situation where you were so committed,

You really believed in yourself,

You really believed in the goal you had set,

And then something went wrong along the way.

Maybe other priorities.

Maybe some urgent thing in the family.

Or just maybe you lost interest?

 

Now how can we avoid this?

The Power Action Method© might just be the way…

 

This method works for me. I might just work for you too.

No rocket science.

3 simple steps.

And you might say “yeah Greet, I know all this”.

My question: “OK, and do you do something with this knowledge? Do you put it into practice? There is a difference between knowing and doing.  There is a difference between thinking and acting.”

And specifically step number 3 is where it goes awry for most of us.

 

So here are the 3 steps:

  1. Identify the goal and shout it from the rooftops (so to speak)

What is it that you want to achieve? Lose weight? Run a marathon? Shoot your first video? …

Now share this with the world, or at least with minimum 1 accountability partner. A person who will keep you accountable. Keeping it all to yourself reduces the chances of reaching that goal tremendously.

  1. Identify the Power Actions

How do you eat an elephant? One bit at the time.

In other words, how can you cut your goals into sub goals (or what I call the power actions)? What are the steps you need to take in order to achieve that goal? For example, if you want to start a video blog you’ll need to have a camera and microphone, you’ll need a script, you’ll need to get comfortable in front of the camera, you need to look for a video editing tool, create a YouTube account etc….

  1. Every day choose 3 Power Actions and schedule

This is the important part we often ‘forget’.

Every day in the morning you choose those 3 Power Actions you will focus on that day. Plus, what is crucial: schedule dedicated time in your calendar.

Just having this little to do list, is not enough. You need to block time in order to get it done.

And ideally, you do this first thing in the morning. Brian Tracy calls this ‘eat the frog’. Get the important stuff done first.

 

What I would like to suggest is that you try this method for 60 days. That way you create a habit.

And this important process should really become a habit.

 

 

Your turn:

What is that big goal you of yours?

Share it in the comment field below

 

PS: should you have interesting business goals and you’d like to get some help achieving these, join our free two-day Business Boost Event (in Dutch), this is a business training for ambitious entrepreneurs just like you.

Forget about the annual planning

Forget about the annual planning

Here is the 12 week year system!

 

You don’t need the beginning of the year to decide that this year will be your best year ever.

Because the thing about New Year’s resolutions is we hardly stick to them if we even have these resolutions.

One of the reasons is: 1 year is a long time. And we tend to overestimate the things we can achieve in 1 year (and underestimate the things we can achieve in 10 years)

I have written a blog post about that and you can find it here.

Anyway, in my New Year’s resolution blog posts I talked about my 7-step planning system, something I do to try and achieve my annual goals. It is something that works fine by me, although not perfect. Remember, I’m not the best planner in the world, I admit.

I’m good at inspiring my clients to become good planners though 🙂

Now, in short, here is my 7-step planning system:

  1. Start with the most important thing: Plan your holidays and free time
  2. Identify your yearly business goals
  3. Plan your monthly goals – what do you have to do each month to achieve your yearly goals?
  4. Each month consists of about 4 weeks – you’ll get the picture I guess, write down your weekly goals and tasks and priorities. That’s your weekly to do list.
  5. And each weekday, have yourself a miracle morning if you wish (it has changed my life) and otherwise get yourself in a peak state by identifying your Number 1 What will you do today before you do anything else that will lead you to achieving your goals.
  6. At the end of every quarter, have a quarterly review and reflect on your business progress, your focus, your personal development, and do not forget your personal goals in private life.
  7. Have yourself a year-end business wrap-up. Reflect back on the business year, your progress, your sales, your achievements, your challenges, your breakthroughs…

It’s as simple as that.

Now this weekend I read the book the 12 week year by Brian P Morran and Michael Lennington. In short they claim that if you follow their system you will achieve more in 12 weeks than most of us achieve in 12 months.

Now how about that?! Interesting, I thought. So I read the book.

booklc

What I discovered is that it isn’t so different from what I’ve been doing at first sight.

I mean, I have my yearly goals and I translate them in monthly goals and next into weekly and daily goals.

So I could easily say “I’ll take my yearly goals and divide them into 4 quarterly goals and next have my monthly, weekly, daily goals. Right?

NOPE. That’s not how it works.

The authors say that you have to treat each quarter or 12 weeks as a complete business year. After those 12 years, you celebrate or have a vacation or so and then you start fresh with a new “year”.

That way you create a sense of urgency because your “yearly” goals have to be achieved in 12 weeks. Thus, no time to waste. You cannot say “oh, we have lots of time left”. No, you only have 12 weeks. So hurry up!

I kind of like the idea. However, it is important to have this time off once the “year” is over, because otherwise you’ll be constantly under pressure. Or at least that is my feeling.

Now how do you go about developing your 12-week-plan.?

First of all, I suggest you read the book.

However here’s a short summary, I repeat short summary.

1. Identify your personal life vision (in other words your WHY, your mission) – it’ important that your business vision is in line with your personal vision. Seems obvious, but we tend to forget it when we look at our yearly business plans

The point is that you should get your long-term vision down on paper. Think about where you would love to be in ten years’ time, even if you have no clue as to HOW you are going to get there.

In the beginning, if you ask “how?” you will most likely kill your vision because you clearly do NOT yet know HOW to achieve it.

2. Only AFTER you have written down your ten-year vision should you start to ask yourself “How might I achieve this?” Then, based on your ten-year vision, think about where you want to be in three years’ time and write it down on paper.

3. And then set goals for your first 12 week year.

4. Once you have done that, the process of managing your 12 week year begins. In other words, you translate your 12 week goal or goals into strategic/ critical tactics or tasks (don’t have too many goals and tasks, we only have 12 weeks, remember?), prioritize then and plan.

5. And make it a weekly routine: review and score your previous week and plan your next week.

 

As mentioned, the book goes into much more detail, but this gives you a taste of what the 12 week year system is like.

Last thing I would like to add to this system is the difference between what the authors call lead an lag indicators (you need to measure in order to know whether you are doing a good job).

  • LAG INDICATORS are the obtained results: e.g. I attract 10 new clients for my new 6 month Personal Branding group program PROFICIENCY© (which I will be launching soon by the way, so contact me should you be interested 🙂 )
  • LEAD INDICATORS are the actions/tactics to drive the results: e.g. call 100 prospects.

It’s important you measure and score both.

And the authors tell us you should score +85% on the lead indicators if you want to achieve your goal. If you still haven’t achieved your goal even though you scored + 85% go back to the drawing table, ie the planning table. Something is wrong with your plan.

And last but not least, if you want to increase your chances of success, have yourself a buddy or coach who will hold you accountable. Every week. That is what I do too.

Good luck !!

And I’m curious to know what you think about the 12 week year. And how you will achieve your “annual” goals. Tell us!

Share if you like! THANKS!!

Vision without execution is hallucination

so what are you doing today to make your dream come true?

hi there

Last week I wrote a blog post about what great leaders do every morning and I also explained my 66-day challenge of living a more purposeful life by getting up early and enjoying my miracle morning every day. 

This is day 13 of this 66-day challenge, and things are going just fine. So fine even that I’m getting up at 6 AM instead of 6.30 AM. WOOHOO  Continue reading Vision without execution is hallucination

To Freelance or Not To Freelance – Part 3

Are you ready to go FREELANCE?

Ask yourself these questions… (PART 3) & do the TEST!

 

Hi there!

Two weeks ago I started this serie of 3 blog posts regarding the questions you need to ask yourself before you jump into the Freelance adventure.

Here’s part 3: Again with several assignments and a TEST for you! So let’s get moving. Continue reading To Freelance or Not To Freelance – Part 3

To Freelance or Not To Freelance – Part 2

Are you ready to go FREELANCE?

 

Ask yourself these questions… (PART 2)

Hi there!

Last week I started this serie of 3 blog posts regarding the questions you need to ask yourself before you jump into the Freelance adventure.

Here’s part 2: Again with several assignments for you! So let’s get moving. Continue reading To Freelance or Not To Freelance – Part 2

To Freelance or Not To Freelance – Part 1

Are you ready to go FREELANCE?

 

Ask yourself these questions…

 

Hi there!

I read an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review “7 questions to ask yourself before going freelance” from Sara Horowitz, head of the Freelancers Union.

I meet a lot of people in doubt “should I become a freelancer or not? What are the risks? What are the benefits?” I always ask them several questions in line with the article.

We’ll cover 9 questions in this and the next blog posts. And together with these, I have several assignments for you! So let’s get started.

Continue reading To Freelance or Not To Freelance – Part 1