When it comes to planning what you want to achieve in life and business, you have to ask yourself, “Is this what I really want? Do I deeply care about this?” In this episode, we’ll determine how to plan out your entire year on one sheet of paper with Laura Posey.
Laura is an internationally recognised speaker, author, consultant, and Chief Instigator at Simple Success Plans. Her expertise is helping clients plan their entire year on a sheet of paper and get it all done.
A near-death experience gave Laura a new perspective of what she really wants in life. This made her realise that changes need to happen and she needed to eliminate things that wouldn’t help move the needle forward on her business growth.
Business owners aspire to achieve many goals in their personal and business life, but it can be frustrating when their to-do list never ends and they don’t achieve the goals they set out to achieve. If you want to learn how you can stay focused and get the outcomes you desire, tune in to the episode.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- A crucial moment that made Laura realise she can plan on one sheet of paper (02:30)
- How to decide what projects to focus on (05:08)
- The success circle and how it influences business growth (10:45)
- Why teams are significant in scaling your business (13:28)
- The advantages of outsourcing tasks (18:15)
- How you can plan an entire year on one sheet of paper (22:35)
- “If you’re not getting things done, start focusing on only one thing. You need to get into the habit of getting things finished and getting the outcomes you’re looking for.” -Samantha Riley
- “There are a million ways to build a business. You just have to find the one that works for you and helps achieve your goals.” -Laura Posey
- “We always think that deciding is about choosing what to keep, but it’s more about choosing what not to keep.”-Laura Posey
WHERE TO FIND LAURA POSEY
- Website: https://simplesuccessplans.com/
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauraposey/
- Facebook: https://facebook.com/simplesuccessplans
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_laura_posey/
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ABOUT LAURA POSEY
Laura Posey is an internationally-recognized speaker, author and consultant.
She is known as The Simple Planning Specialist for her unique ability to simply and easily laser focus her clients to get dramatic results.
Her Simple Strategic Plan is used by over 3000 companies from startups to Fortune 100.
She is the author of “How to Plan Your Entire Year On One Sheet Of Paper”, and co-author with Jack Canfield of “Mastering The Art Of Success”.
Laura Posey Snippet (00:00):
because you’ve thought about things that you’re really grateful for, and it sort of clicks your brain into that space of finding more things to be grateful for, they say you always see what you expect to see. And so if you expect to see wonderful things, that’s what you’ll see. And if you walk away from your desk in a great mood every day, how cool is that?
Samantha Riley Intro (00:20):
My name is Samantha Riley, and this is the podcast for experts who want to be the unapologetic leader in their industry. We’re going to share the latest business growth, marketing, and leadership strategies, as well as discussing how you can use your human design to create success in business and life. Inside and out. It’s time to take your influence, income, and impact to the level you know you’re capable of. Are you ready to make a bigger difference and scale up? This is the Influence By Design podcast.
Welcome to today’s episode of influence by design, I’m your host Smith Riley. And I’m looking forward to our conversation today, which is how to plan out your entire year on one sheet of paper. As you know, I’m a big fan of planning and how to do it my simply. So this topic is super intriguing to me. So welcome to the show, Laura Posey,
Thanks for having me. So great to be here.
You’re just ticking both of my boxes here planning and simplicity. But seriously, it couldn’t be any better than now I’m very excited. Why don’t you start off by sharing with us what it is that you do and the kind of people that you work with?
Yeah, so my whole practice, my whole business is focused around helping people plan their entire year on one sheet of paper, and then get it all done. And so I do that through a combination of courses and coaching and that sort of thing.
My clients are typically coaches, consultants, service providers, oftentimes, they’re folks who have come out of a corporate job, and either voluntarily or involuntarily. And now they really want to do great work and share their knowledge with other folks.
But they’re having trouble replacing that corporate salary that they used to get. And so my job is to get them, you know, most of them if they could make, you know, a quarter of a million dollars a year have, you know, eight or 10 weeks of vacation a year and have control over their time. They’d be happy as clams. And so it’s my job to get them there. And we have a great time doing it.
Love it. Love it. Love it. How did you come up with this idea of putting everything on one sheet of paper? What’s your personal journey to coming up with this?
Yeah, so it all started because I was running a business that I hated. I just, oh, no, it’s like, I left corporate America because it was boring. And I apparently asked a lot of questions. And I was just not a good fit. And so I started this business with a business partner, and a few years into it, like I just realized, I hate this man, I hate the work that we’re doing. Like, I need to figure something out.
So I kind of ran away from home for a couple of weeks. And I went to Sedona, Arizona, and had bit of a, you know, sort of a near-death experience. And that’ll always give you a perspective, right. And so I realized, like, I’ve kind of figure out what it is that I really want.
Like, I’ve got a you know, I just sort of took all my corporate skills and put them into a business and realized I had just created recreated my corporate job. And with a co-worker, I didn’t like and you know, with no benefits and no health insurance. And, you know, so I, I sat down, I just got really crystal clear about what it was I really wanted. And then sat down and said, Okay, well what has to change in my business and in my life if I’m going to do this, and I realized, like, you know what, I’ve got to just be able to fit this on a single sheet of paper so that I can just look at it every day to stay focused. And you know, it was originally much longer than that.
And I just sat down, I started crossing things off and going like, no, is this really important? Like, do I deeply care about this? And if not checked off the list? Or is this thing that I think you know, I’m supposed to be doing is this like really going to move the needle towards my goals, if not off the list. And so it really got down to just that single sheet of paper and choosing to do the most important things and ignore all the rest of it.
I’m a huge believer in just focusing on the things that move the needle. One thing that I see holding so many coaches back is that they spend time on jobs that really are not going to move the needle and they are just time wasters.
And you know these people are so overwhelmed and overworked you know they’ve left these jobs that they’re doing maybe 60 hours a week. it because they were like, I don’t want to do this anymore.
And now all of a sudden they’re doing 80 hours a week, but the things that they’re doing and not moving the needle, how do you sort of start that process of deciding? What are those things that you’re going to focus on the ones that are going to move the needle?
Yeah. So you know, what’s really interesting there is use the word decide, and I love this word because the root of the word decide means to cut out or cut away. Right. And so deciding is, you know, we always think it’s about choosing what to keep, but it’s more about choosing what not to keep. Right.
And so I, I think, part of the way that you start with it is, what do you really deeply care about in your life? Like, what is the you know, what is the lifestyle that you really want to have? And I think it’s easy for folks to get sucked into the hype of, you know, you could have four Lamborghinis and 12 houses and you know, whatever, like gold toilet, it was like really? Like, is that what moves the needle for you personally? Is that what excites you? Is that what thrills you like, How much money do you really want, and if it’s $10 million, great, it’s $10 million.
But what I find is that the vast majority of people, you know, they want to bring home $25,000 A month of personal income in their bank account, they can do all the things that they want to do with that, right, they can put aside enough money, they can help their family, they can travel, they can do all the things that they really want to do with that amount of money, and they can still have time to enjoy things.
And so we always start with like, what kind of lifestyle do you want? Like, do you you know, do you want to stay home? Do you want to work from home? Do you want to have an office? Do you want to have a team? Do you want to have a laptop lifestyle? Like, and we calculate, okay, how much money is it going to take to have that? And then we can say, Okay, well, what is your business app to look like, in order for you to have this lifestyle that you want?
Because there’s a million ways to build a business? Right? You just gotta find the one that works for you achieve your goals. And so, you know, sometimes it’s just looking at all the things that you could do. And go nope, not that. Nope, not that, like, you know, one of the things is, you know, people say to me, okay, well, Laurie, you should have a podcast. I’m like, I want to podcast. Yep.
And they’re like, but then I don’t want to end of story. Right? Full stop. Yeah, yeah. And so you know, if you look at stuff that’s on the list, and things that you could do, and you go, yeah, don’t do that. Okay, great. You don’t have to swipe, think starting with, you know, what are all the options and throwing away, the ones that you don’t like, is a great place to start.
Totally. But at the same time, making sure that what you’re deciding not to do does align with the outcome. Because what I’m hearing you’re saying is you don’t want to start a podcast, but you’re super happy with the income that you’re getting and the way that your business model is, as opposed to, oh, I want a $10 million business. But I actually don’t want to do any of those things. Like it’s about both of those things marrying together.
Absolutely. So, you know, people will send me a lie, I don’t want to do sales. And I’m like, then you can.
Sorry, you made me laugh. Like, hello, that’s there is no business with.
It’s like it was it and that’s okay. You just need to go find a job that you’re like, yeah, totally. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Right?
Absolutely. You know, or you need to go, you know, like, you can still coach, you’re just going to have to work for somebody, and they’re going to make the sales and they’re going to hand you the clients and they’re going to tell you what they want to pay you. If in your heart of hearts, you are uncomfortable with someone else telling you what you are worth. Then you gotta sell.
Yeah, but selling doesn’t. But you don’t have to be like some sleazy, gross, pushy salesperson. You just have to know what it is that you’re selling and make appropriate offers to the right people. Because doing that helps them right in if you have something of value to me like you have a moral obligation to tell the right people that this thing is available to help them or
hallelujah, I love that so much. Because when you take away that I think that there are some like a sleaziness around the word sales from past you know, experiences. We’re it is about just helping someone or serving someone and giving in, you know, helping them achieve an outcome or you know, whatever it is that they’re looking for. Yeah, that’s all sales are. It’s just serving.
That’s it. That’s it in you have to just feed You’re out how to find a comfortable way to make the offer. Right? You don’t have to be pushy about it. But you do have to let people know like, Hey, there’s this really amazing thing available called me, and I can deliver these outcomes for you. Hmm,
yeah, I love that. So in your one-page plan, you said, you know, you’re starting to cut things off, and I’m taking this off, what I want to do is drilling to those things that are going to move the needle, because not everyone knows what they are. And it’s one thing to say you’ve just got to choose the things that move the needle. But what about for people that say, don’t know? What’s your process for going through to find those things?
Yeah. So we have a process, I guess you would call it that we call the Success Circle, that walks you through all the things that you need to do in your business, in order to have a healthy, thriving business, you know, and it starts with your target market. I, you know, everybody I hear people’s I’ve been through that. And I’m like, Well, do you have one, because if you don’t, then you need to go through it again. And you cannot move forward to the next piece of pie until you get this one done.
I also find that it’s not just not having one that maybe it needs a bit of refinement, do you find that with people that start working with you?
Yeah, yeah. So you know, I call this a success circle. And if you can imagine, it’s, you know, it’s got these, like, 12 pieces of pie in it, right. And it’s, and you just sort of work your way around the circle.
But then what happens is, next year, you work your way around the circle again, right, and you get better at each of those pieces. And then you do it again, and you get better at each of those pieces.
So, you know, when you come around to target audience each year, it’s sometimes it’s oh, well, I’m going to add to my audience, right, I’m going to expand in some way, I’ve got a new offer for new people, or it’s no, I’m going to refine, I’m going to I’m going to drill down and become more niched, and, you know, and then the next thing is you got to have an offer, right, it’s like, you got to have something that you can sell, and you got to have a price and the things that go along with that, right.
And so, we give them this process to work through. So that, you know, in honestly, we just, we start with, like, you know, here’s the Success Circle. And they start out just by doing the old kind of life, we all exercise, it’s like, okay, if the center point is I got nothing. And the outside is I’ve got it perfect, go in and color in the percentage of each of these pieces that you have working.
And what we find is that people have this really chunky-looking circle, right? And it’s like, okay, well, if that was a wheel, how well would that roll? Not very guess what, that’s why your businesses and humming along, so we need to even that out. And we need to take some of the resources that you putting over here making this one thing perfect and put it over here so that you can sell some stuff.
You know, and then by the time you get around to the end of the circle, you’re working on things like bringing on team members, whether that’s, you know, just a one-off project team member or a, you know, a part-time team member who’s going to be a contractor for you, or even, you know, full-time employee that generally comes around that, you know, the third or fourth circle time.
right. I love that you are better at each of those.
I love that you mentioned that, that full-time team member comes sort of three or four times around the circle. I think a lot of people get really confused when we talk about and I say we people like us talk about you, you can’t grow without a team. And I know I have spoken about on the podcast before.
But for people that haven’t heard it, you generally don’t start off with a full-timer, when we’re talking about growing your team. You know, generally, you know, it may just be a contractor to help you with a project. And then maybe you make take that contractor and they may run multiple projects. So you may be able to take them on for 10 hours a week permanently. What else can you speak to around, you know, building a team?
Yeah, I think it’s in one of the things that I think is really helpful is you know, as you’re going around the Success Circle, you start to figure out where your gaps are. You know, I mean, you’re coming around there. And at some point, you’ve got to have some sort of graphic or visual way to present your offer. And, you know, that’s the point at which you discover you suck as a designer. Hmm, right.
You know, and so it’s like, oh, well, I can either go over into Canva and spend 15 hours trying to figure out this thing, or I could go over to Fiverr and I could pay somebody $20 to do it for me. No, and that’s where you start to figure out as you’re going around the circle. Oh geez.
These are the places where I really stink at this particular thing and then you get to stop for a second and go okay, wait a minute. Is this something that I just have to learn to do? Right? Is there just a learning curve here? And I got to figure it out? Or is this something I can hire out? Right? And so you know, when you’re coming around the circle, and you get to like lead generation, guess what? That’s on you.
Like you got to know your own lead gen do not. I see people trying to outsource that all the time. And it’s, it’s a massive failure, because nobody knows your business better than you do. I mean, can you outsource some of it? Way down the road? Yes. But you know, like, if you’re going to start doing paid ads or something, that’s probably not a place you want to spend learning curve time.
But up until that point, you’re responsible for your own lead gen, you know, but then you get around to other places. And it’s like, oh, well, some of the service delivery. When you’re first getting started, yeah, you’re it. But down the road, there’s some of that stuff that you can outsource and you get into the operations and finances and that sort of stuff. And is like, yeah, I don’t want to do my own books, huh, hallelujah.
But the right numbers in the right box? Good. I can jail if I had to do my, like, my counselors to me every single year, she’s like, are you ever gonna get good at this? And I’m like, no. This is why you are here. And this is why I pay you a lot of money is because I’m going to hand you a pile of garbage. And you’re gonna make it all good. Yeah. Keep me out of jail. Like, this is how we roll. This is job security baby.
Oh, my God, you’re up over here.
Crack her up to she just shakes her head.
That’s all right. I was on the phone to my accountant yesterday, same thing. I’m just like, alright, know what I’m about to ask. Just take a deep breath. That’s all you have to do. Take deep breath before you answer. Anyway, let’s not go into that. I want to go back to you know how you started that originally saying that you decide that you suck at design, and you decide that you’re going to eat could also be and because I know that there’s a whole heap of people listening, and they’re like, I’m great at design.
And I am I actually pride myself on my design work. However, it is not where the needle is going to move. If I’m in Canada, even though I’m good at it. It’s not where I’m going to move. So I have two full-time designers that work for me because I just want them to take care of it.
So I can do, like you said the lead generation, the sales, our operations, putting the putting our processes together. I’m not even talking about specifically, they’re creating systems in our business because I also our team creates the systems. I don’t do that either.
But for our teaching processes, like your circle of success, no one else could have done that. That’s your thing. Yeah, no, we have this is where we’re going to move the needle on the business by creating the IP so that our clients get the success and be so we can teach this to other people to deliver it.
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. We’re ever seeing around here, just because you can doesn’t mean you should, huh. All right. And so you have to look at those things and say, Can I outsource this? Right?
Is this something that I can hand off to somebody else? And if so, when it because part of the beauty of being an entrepreneur is you get to do the stuff that you love doing this stuff? That’s fun. This stuff is exciting. And you don’t have to do all that crap that you don’t want to do.
I want to acknowledge the elephant in the room here. Bran. Yeah, let’s do this. That outsourcing, it is going to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done if you’ve never delegated before. Yeah. Because I think a lot of people are like, Oh, it’s just so much easier to do it myself. Or this takes me so much time for the people that have this going on in their head right now. What do you want to say to them? And what do you want them to understand to be able to move through this phase?
Yeah, so I you know, one of the things that we look at in our business is, is this something that’s going to be going to need to be done more than once? If so, we’re looking at how do we systematize it and how do we outsource it? And one of the things that I have discovered over the years is you know, I’ve hired a bunch of people, some of them and also some have been garbage quite honestly, they’ve been horrible. I mean, they’re nice people.
They just didn’t work for me in the role that I needed them for. And you know, that happens. But I think that just the simple process. Yes. Does it take a little more time to go find somebody? Yes, upfront, but the like anything else? The more you do it, the better you get at it. And it forces you to get really specific about what you want. And what is really important for you.
And honestly, what’s happened for me over the years is that I’ve discovered that when I hire the right people, I don’t have, I can just give them the end thing that I need, like, I need you to produce this thing that does that. And they will magically make that happen. And I don’t care how they do it.
I don’t care how they get to it. And it actually ends up once you’re practiced it, taking less time than you doing it yourself. But it’s like anything else? It’s practice. Yeah. And if you never practice it, you’re never going to be able to do it, and you’re never going to grow, you’re going to get busier and busier, and more and more exhausted, and you’re going to go Please, God, can I just go get a job?
Yeah. 100% 100% a waste of your talents. Right?
And not only that, but what a waste of the dreams and goals that you had when you went into business in the first place. You know, we go into business, because we want our life to be a certain way, or we can see a better way. Or, you know, we’ve got something that we’re really passionate about that no one else is doing. So to walk away from all of that is just such a shame.
It is sad, it’s sad to watch people end up in that place because they’ve just burned themselves out. When there are hundreds, if not 1000s of people out there who can do that task for you do that job for you, and would love it. Like I have a virtual assistant who’s just absolutely amazing because she can do all the things I can’t do. Yeah, she’s fabulous in detail. She’s fabulous at dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s and making all the little piddly stuff work. And left to me, it would be an absolute nightmare.
Samantha Riley 21:58
Yeah, my assistant can create a Google spreadsheet faster than I’ve almost even told her what I want. I could spend all day in the Oh, hate stuff.
Yeah, yeah. Now I have a spreadsheet gal. But like when it comes to our CRM, she has actually threatened to change the password. No, I can’t get in and break something. I thoroughly expect that one day I’m gonna go to log in because I’ve got a good idea. I’m gonna do something. And it’s gonna be like, Nope, sorry. Yeah.
All right. So I’d love to wrap this up. I’d love you to share what I guess is the starting point for people to get this plan on one piece of paper and in place, we’ve talked about a whole heap of things. But what is that one thing that people can go and do right now?
I think that you know, I think it’s fun to sit and think about, you know, like your big lifestyle design and all the things that you want to do. And that’s super exciting. But like everything, it comes down to what are you doing today. Right today is really all you have control over.
Because you know, pandemics and all sorts of crazy stuff happen, right? So it really comes down to learning to get control of today first. And so one of the tools that we use is called a Daily Success checklist. And it’s got three columns on it, it’s got like, the reminder column of, you know, these are my goals.
These are the big projects that I’m working on. These are the things that I need to do today to be healthy, mentally and physically, and spiritually. And then the center column is like, this is what I got to get done today.
Like when these are checked off, the day is done. And there’s a limited number of boxes paid because you’re making a commitment. I’m going to get these things accomplished today. And then the third column is a reflection column. Right? So that you look back at the day and go, Oh, where did I make progress? What did I learn? What am I going to do differently tomorrow?
And then finally, what am I grateful for? And when you finish that gratitude piece was beautiful about it is it just sort of closes the book on the workday. Write in and when you’re done with that, it’s like, Oh, I’ve accomplished everything that I set out to accomplish today. I can walk away from my desk, and go back into my role of partner, parent, friend, fisherman, whatever made you can go live the rest of your life and not be thinking about work.
Because you’re done. You’ve checked it all off. You’ve turned the page, you’ve reflected on everything and then that’s it. And so it’s this wonderful sort of guilt-free way of just closing the day and you know, like for me on Fridays, I’m not working past noon. Just not happening. And, and I don’t work before noon on Monday. So my Monday and Fridays, the shorter list, because I gotta get them done. And Mama needs a three-day weekend.
Yeah, exactly. I really love that process, I find that if people are overwhelmed, and they’re not getting anything done, generally what those people do is add more to their list. And the first, what I’m hearing from you is exactly what I say, is actually take as much off as you can if you’re not getting things done, start focusing on only one thing and getting that they have done because you need to get into the habit of getting things finished and focusing and getting the outcomes that you’re looking for. Yeah.
But that second piece of gratitude is so important. And I think that it’s undervalued by so many people. And it’s just, it’s even the reflection piece that comes before that. And I’ll give you an example. Last month, I thought I had a terrible month, and I didn’t achieve anything. And I sat down with my coach. And we were going through what I had achieved over the month. And I looked and went, Oh, my goodness, I was saving myself up a big shame sandwich.
Because I thought I hadn’t got any of this stuff done. And we sat there. And when I go, that was an awesome month, because that reflection piece and then we can layer on top the gratitude, oh, my goodness, I couldn’t have got that done if it wasn’t for this person or this event, or you know, where I live or all of the other things that come into play to help it happen. So, so important.
Yeah, you know, I mean, there are days that are just challenging as heck. And you look at your gratitude list anything. All right. I am grateful that the cats made me laugh this morning. You know, like you’re stretching, right? It’s like, I’m grateful that I have a comfortable office chair.
Okay. Yeah. All right. You know, it because you know, it, some days are just tough like that. But you know, other days, like, wow, I could fill up the whole page of things and, and it just forces you like you every day when you walk away from your desk, you’re in a great mood. You know, because you’ve thought about things that you’re really grateful for and it and it sort of clicks your brain into that space of, you know, finding things more things to be grateful for, you know, they say you always see what you expect to see and to have you expect to see wonderful things. That’s what you’ll see if you walk away from your desk in a great mood every day. How cool is that?
Totally. Well, Laura, I’m very grateful for you for coming to share with us today. For people that have listened to this and they want to know more about what you’ve been talking about. And they would like to connect with you. Where can they do that?
The easiest place is our website simple success plans.com. And if you add us slash daily, at the end of that, you can get a free copy of the Daily Success checklist and it comes with a sample of how to fill it out. And there’s a little tutorial video to kind of walk you through each box and how that all works. I just figured if I can get people getting the day’s work in, then we can work up to getting the year working.
I love it so much. Thanks for coming and sharing with the floor. I so appreciate you
back out you. Thanks for having me.
Samantha Outro (28:19):
Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Influence By Design podcast. If you want more head over to influencebydesignpodcast.com for the show notes and links to today’s gifts and sponsors. And if you’re looking to connect with other experts who are growing and scaling their business to join us in the coaches, thought leaders, and changemakers community on Facebook, the links are waiting for you over at influencebydesignpodcast.com