Ep. 85 A Planning Breakthrough

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Hey everyone, this is Julie. What’s up? I hope you’re doing amazing. Today I want to talk to you about this new, it’s not really a new way, but it’s sort of like, I have these ideas and then I like aerate them, and reiterate them until they start to really work in my business.

So today I want to talk about a planning modality that has been working really well for me.

Now a quick back story, a lot of people think because of the level of productivity that I have that I am super organized. And I am organized, but I’m very organized at a macro level, not a micro level. In fact, if you saw my desk right now, you would see just how non micro level organized I am. I should take a picture. But I organize at the macro level because this is what allows me to do incredible amounts of work in a short period of time. Because I’m willing to ignore extraneous, unnecessary details, and I think this is where a lot of people get messed up. I see all kinds of organization products on the market, and they are so detailed and comprehensive, and that’s awesome, and entirely unsustainable.

So I’m constantly an advocate for macro organization, which allows you to still have some disorganization. So I’m trying new things all the time to try and see what works for me. So I just did a Q4 planning meeting with my digital insiders, of course I made this cool spreadsheet. And one of the insiders was like, “Every time you do a planning meeting, you give us a different process.” I said, ‘I know. Because I’m trying different ones because not everything works for everyone all the time and anybody that says they have one system that fits all people is lying.”

So I, but I love this one and I actually think I might stick to this one. So I introduced this idea back at the end of, oh my gosh, what year is it? 2019, when we did sort of an end of year workshop in Funnel Gorgeous. It’s this idea of promotion, process and production.

So in a business you have three different types of activities, you have promotional activities, which are related to outward selling of your services and products. So put that in promotion. You have process based activities, which are things you just do every day, whether it’s fulfillment, customer support, operations, just things that happen day in and day out to keep the business running. And then you have production, and production is the word I use that are project based, right. You’re building your funnel, you’re not going to have to build that funnel every day, so it’s a project. It has a start and an end. You’re building a new course, you’re building a new customer support system, whatever it happens to be. They’re production project based.

So I like to think about my business and my life in these three modalities. So I made this spreadsheet where I have three, so let’s say, we’re coming into November here, so there’s a November calendar for promotion, a November calendar for process, and a November calendar for production. Three calendars, three tabs. What I do is get in my brain, “Okay, what am I promoting for November? What is the focus?” Well, I know it’s black Friday, so the focus for us is going to be to open Funnel Gorgeous Society. We opened it in May, and now finally it’s almost finished. It’s actually finished, and now we’re ready to sell it to the masses.

So my promotional focus for November is FG Society. So then I think about, “Where am I going to promote? How is the prelaunch, the launch, all of that stuff?” I just make notations in my calendar, then I move to tab two.

Tab two is process. What are the things that are happening in November that I just am on the books for? So I put things like all my milestone calls for Launch Gorgeous and Funnel Gorgeous, all my audits for Digital Insiders, all my Voxers for Digital Insiders, the fact that I have to create YouTube videos and I have to record podcast episodes. I have group calls for Digital Insiders, I have hot beats, I have blog posts to write. I have content to create. So all of this stuff that I’m doing on an ongoing basis, I put there. Now, you could do it for your entire business if you wanted to, all the ongoing things. You know, customer support, social media ads, etc, etc. I don’t actually do any of that part of the business, so I didn’t put any of it in my calendar, just because I didn’t want to clog it up. Okay, so that’s tab two.

Then I go into tab three and I think simply about what projects, what things do I have to get done? Now the production calendar is often times related to the promotion because I know, for example, that I’m going to be promoting Funnel Gorgeous Society in November. So that means I need to make sure I have my funnel ready. So project wise, production wise I know I have to write sales copy for Funnel Gorgeous Society, I know I have to create webinar slides, I have to write launch copy for that promotion.

But there’s other production stuff happening, because I’m in the middle of creating brand new Launch Gorgeous curriculum while I’m teaching it. So I know I have a couple of phases I know I have to prep for. And I have a few other projects that are not related to promotion, or you know, they’re just operational. So we’re working on some software stuff. Those things are project related.

So what I’m doing in each of those three tabs is I’m not trying to think of everything. I’m just trying to think of what do I need to promote? What are my every day responsibilities? And what are my projects?

The cool part about it, is that tab four curates all of them. Now, it curates all of them so that I can quickly see, “Oh wow. So on November 18th I’ve got a promotional thing to do, I’ve got a process thing to do, and I also slated a production. Well, that doesn’t make any sense because I’ve already got a promotion and a process.” So I go and rearrange it.

Now, some of you might be saying, “Why wouldn’t you just do that all on one calendar?” You can, but I think that the ability for the brain to just stay focused on just one type of activity is going to make it better. So if you don’t want to use spreadsheets, you could go into Google Calendar, create three Google Calendars, one is promotion, one is process, one is production. Turn all the calendars off except for one, and start writing in all the activities you want to do for, you know, you’re promotional period. Then turn that one off, go to process, turn that one off, go to production. Then turn them all back on and see what you have and what it looks like.

The reason I love this method is because a lot of people when they’re doing their quarterly planning, they’re always planning promotional things and project things, and then forgetting the process. They’re forgetting the things that they’re already on the hook for, and then they inadvertently over commit and can’t meet their goals.

So that was something I just taught in Digital Insiders that has been really powerful. And I’ve modified it actually now, so that in the weekly meetings with Funnel Gorgeous I have, yes, you guessed it, a spreadsheet. And in that spreadsheet I’m asking questions, our agenda is promotion, production, process, you can do it in any order.

So what we do is we say, “Okay, what are the things that we’re promoting this week?” and we go through, you know, look through our coaching, our courses, our templates. Then we go to production, we say, ‘Okay, what’s currently in production? What do we have to produce this week for coaching, courses, and templates?” and then we look at process. How are process based things going in customer service, coaching, courses, and templates?

So in this way, you can see at any given moment what’s happening, let’s say from Funnel Gorgeous Society from a promotional aspect, from a process aspect, and from a production aspect.

So this is a very macro way to look at a business. Obviously it doesn’t account for everything. But it allows you to get a quick handle on what you’re doing. And it also makes sure that you’re not overly focused on promotion and then everything is falling apart on process, or overly focused on process, forgetting to market, or overly focused on projects, then promotion and process fall by the wayside.