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136. Prepare Your Business for the Holidays

Updated: Mar 7

Sincerely, Future You - Life Coach Jessica McKinley Uyeno

Wishing you could be completely UNPLUGGED for the holidays? In this episode, you will have a full To Be Scheduled list that will ask you: what are all of the things that I need to answer, do, and delegate to be fully unplugged and come back from the holidays without stress? Get your notebook (or Notes app) out to start your holiday TBS list.

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Full Transcript:

Jessica McKinley 0:01

Failure to do this is gonna lead to resentment. Either you're gonna resent your business for not being able to be fully present with your family, or you're gonna resent your family for interrupting you and not understanding and for you not being able to get your work done.

Jessica McKinley 0:19

Welcome to Sincerely Future, You, a podcast that helps ambitious women like you make decisions today with the future you in mind.

Jessica McKinley 0:30

All right have stirs. Welcome back, let's talk about the episode we have for you today, which is preparing your business for the holidays. I know I know, it's feels like the holidays are still a little ways off. But this is how you get to approach the holidays in a calm manner is by preparing. So I wanted to make sure that we did this episode with enough time for you to get going. So at the end of this episode, you should have a full TBS list to be scheduled lists for all of your newbie listeners that will ask you: what are all of the things that I need to all the questions that I need to answer all of the things that I need to do on the things that I need to delegate in order to hit my year off goal be fully unplugged in the ways that I want to be unplugged, staff it, come back from the holidays, without stress, and to take things off the table that I really am don't need to be doing over the holidays while people are off. But before we get into that, I want to talk to you about an upcoming offer enrollment is coming Can you feel it in the air, it's like fall should start to symbolize happening sessions enrollment is coming. I really actually want it to be like the pumpkin spice latte is coming back. Okay. It's like you know, the day that it drops your're like, fall everything Happster everything. Are you guys ready? I truly believe that you if you're a woman, who also owns a business happening sessions is a no brainer investment for you. I was doing a CEO level evaluation on my last launch, which is something that I have all of my clients do to get to thinking in the math and the facts rather than their drama. So I was doing it on my own business as I do with all of the tools that I teach. And the last launch it came close to selling out but it didn't. And I discovered something in my evaluation that I've done really well in the past that caused me to very quickly grow my one on one practice to a waitlist, that for some reason I've neglected to do in the past six months. And it was just I hadn't even realized that I stopped doing this. And that is letting you all know specifically where my train is going. Here's what I mean by that. I wanted to share this also, because if I'm doing it, I imagined that of course, some of you guys must be doing this as well. So let's learn from it. The past few years, I sat and shared my really big, hairy, scary goals, both personal and business. Right, I hear on the podcast on my Instagram and my emails everywhere. You could not talk to me without understanding where my business or I was going in the next year. And I was committed to and I shared my skill development and mastery that I was doing. I claimed the results that I was going after publicly, I let you know exactly where me and my business we're going to be next year, which for those of you that do this or are thinking about doing this, it creates a safety for your customers to buy. Because they feel like they know whether it's this round or next round, they're going to prepare themselves to be in a room that isn't going to suddenly disappear or you know, it feels concrete. And when you're spending a lot of money. Like if you have a high ticket offer like I do, it's really important for your buyers to feel like it's safe. Another reason why I have a money back guarantee which we talked about a couple episodes ago. And after achieving my results this year, most of them are really Whoo. I didn't create and share the specifics of my new vision. Partly because I just conquered all my dreams and that I didn't really think it's time for some new dreams. In the last 12 months alone. I increased my revenue by 150% and scaled back my coaching hours from 22 hours per week to five hours per week. I got married. I bought a house I had a baby. I took off for months to for unexpected pregnancy nausea. Tentative 10 do not recommend and into for maternity leave, where I really got to snuggle and completely unplug with my baby while my business kept running, which was a first for me, I never thought in a million years that Not in a million years, but it always felt very far away, that my business would be able to run without me. So I'm here to tell you that if you have something that you want to take a step back for personally from your business, you do not have to be at the multimillion dollar level, or even at the multiple 606 figure level in order to do this in order to set your business up that way. So anyway, that was something that I did as well as I uplevel my assets, my tools, my coaching skills, their certification, and masterminds. And my marketing skills, as my coach likes to say, my coach Brooke, when you dream hard, and then you work hard, you can envision things and then just create them. So here's the vision hamsters, here is where my train is going in the next year, in 2023, happening sessions is going to grow and begin to include some deep dive courses. So these are some things that are in the works. I'm going to focus on developing some physical app assets for you, including a hipster digital planner. And the two of the courses that I really have near and dear to me that will be coming out soon our a course on giving as a way of engaging with your money and also unlearning people pleasing. There's going to be a an in person component that will be added on in the in the upcoming rounds. Maybe not next round, but possibly the one after that to each round, where we do a deep dive and we have a day to just go all in really connect so that when you get in the room, it feels very safe to open up and be vulnerable and ask the tough questions and do the hard work that we have to do. And then finally, we're going to have an award ceremony. My coach and my coaches coach and they have award ceremonies, and it's my favorite part of anything that we do. I love watching other even before I was ever getting an award. I watched them get awards. When I was in network marketing, I watched the top leaders in our industry get awards and it was so inspiring to me. I just love hearing people celebrate themselves and, and explain kind of why and what helps them get there. Celebrating is my favorite. I celebrate Tuesday's like they're a national holiday, and I want celebration to be a curated moment for you all for all the hipsters. I want it to be a goal for hipsters to aspire to. And one for you to remember that feels like the Oscars. So get ready hamsters, this train is in motion are you come in to two? Okay. Now let's talk about the episode we have for you today, which is preparing your business for the holidays. I know I know, it's it's feels like the holidays are still a little ways off. But this is how you get to approach the holidays in a calm manner is by preparing number one is making sure you're preparing by planning your time off. People like to do this in reverse where they like to plan all of their work stuff. And then they leave their time off as the afterthought. And this is a problem only because the part of our brain that we use to plan is never gonna forget about the work. It's the overzealous over ambitious part of our brain, the prefrontal cortex, that doesn't account for relaxation, or mood or slowing down or rest really at all. So we need to make sure that we attend to that first as if it is our number one priority. Because it is right we need that in order to be able to be productive and for the holidays. Hello, it's a holiday. I think we forget that sometimes with our business, we're thinking about where our business needs to be for the holidays. But also we need to make sure we're accounting for our time. So these are some questions you need to ask yourself. Are you celebrating just the day of Christmas or Christmas Eve? Or are you taking a longer extended time off? Do you have holiday parties that are going to be coming up? Even if maybe you don't have the invitations? You know that there's typically a holiday party that you go to or there's a school thing, can you check the calendar can you find out in advance these are things I only started to do last year and it was such a game changer for me because then I wasn't resenting you know my son's teacher for all of a sudden decided on a Thursday, they're doing a little presentation for Thanksgiving in school, a little show and I wanted to go to it. But I had calls that day, or I have to break some of my policies and look unprofessional and change things around last minute on my business, or sacrifice a deliverable because I want to go to these things. And when I hear people say that they, they felt like they were missing out on things that's only happening because you're not preparing properly, your time off. Okay, so, answer all of these questions, go all the way through to New Year's Eve, right Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, if you're in the States, and also just make sure that it's luxurious, some of you are going to go on vacation. And it will be for two weeks, take whatever time you want, especially if you're planning this for next year. I recommend doing this earlier than just now through the podcast. But we're going to talk about the holidays right now. And then you can use this episode to prepare earlier for next year. And if you know another entrepreneur like and you're listening to this in the future, which of course you are listening to the future, but I mean, in a future year, send this to someone else who also might need to prepare for the holidays in advance. So you can be preparing for your holiday season in January for the next year or in July, right? Okay, make it luxurious, some of you will be going on vacation, and then don't love to unplug the whole time because of the work that you'll have to do when you get back. Depending on your business model or the nature of your business. If that's the case, that's not a problem, there's no need to be all or nothing, you need to completely be on vacation, or you need to completely be working the whole time. Just make sure that you're planning it meticulously and intentionally. So what I mean by that is, occasionally I will say yes, to an extended family trip where I commit, still to working two to four hours in the mornings, certain days. And then being off the rest of the time. Right, commit to getting a certain result done. Make sure you're saying results oriented, right. But make all of these decisions now so that you can set up your holidays with love. Failure to do this is gonna lead to resentment. Either, you're gonna resent your business for not being able to be fully present with your family, or you're gonna resent your family for interrupting you and not understanding and for you not being able to get your work done. This way, you're never going to miss out quote unquote, on holiday fun. Because you've committed to which events you're all in on in advance, and which ones are a no go? Can you preload some of your work in early November with masteries that you have a layer schedule in late November, December. These are some high quality questions that you can ask yourself to make sure that you are properly accounting for your time off. Okay, number two preparation for the holidays, and of your goals. So a lot of you guys set a full year goal. So we know we're coming up on that end of year goal. This is your time to check in and say am I on track. If you didn't set a revenue goal, that probably means you're new to this podcast welcome. Make sure you get on my email list for access to my monthly free business coaching webinars and more time, money and CEO mind set mastery trips, tips, it's never too late though, if you haven't yet set a goal. So you can just set one now from now until the end of the year. If you are on track, if you're checking in you are on track, great. Just make sure that you've accounted for the holiday time off. And if you haven't just run through the high quality questions that we just talked about in the beginning of this episode, because sometimes we're on track in terms of weekly revenue, but then we forget to account for the two potential weeks off in November and December. So what would if that's the case, again, nothing is a problem. We're just solve for x, what do you need to do to account for this gap? Now, if you aren't on track, this is just your reality check. Sometimes I get to November, I'm not quite tracking in the way that I had expected. When I set this goal. It's not a problem unless I put my blinders on and I just keep doing what I'm doing and then get surprised or hit over the head when I like reach December 31. And I'm like, Oh bummer. I didn't hit my goal. It's like well, if you really were looking at it, you probably knew that you weren't going to hit it by doing these things in October. So now is the time where you can sit down and say like okay, what needs to change? This is the point of setting a goal isn't just to shoot for this bars on paper, it's to have a benchmark for measuring what's working and what isn't. It's to audit your discomfort meter. just made that up. Be honest with yourself, okay, acknowledge, if you're way off neutrally, what I mean, by way off is acknowledge if the way that you calculated the math is no longer adding up for you to keep executing the plan without making a change. For example, my plan for the year with my two launches, had a range of expectations for if I sold out the launches, or if I minimum had like five people in happening sessions, right? It was somewhere in between for both of those launches. So then after my second launch, I had to reevaluate and say, Okay, what needs to change now in order for me to still hit my goals? Am I willing to make less money? And then I just am comfortable with that. And I make that decision now? Or am I interested in, you know, bringing on some workshops, doing a speaking engagement, adding on some one on one clients, be honest with yourself, tell yourself the truth, reevaluate the plan, and commit to that being your action plan from here on out, okay. There's nothing CEO like about just setting this goal, and then just putting your blinders on and continuing to do something that isn't working. Okay. So don't make it mean anything about yourself as a person, if you're way off, simply reassess. If you're not hitting your goal, it just means that the way that you're thinking feeling and or executing on your plan isn't working. The high quality question here is what needs to shift in order to reach my goals on time. Okay, number three for preparation is do you need staff. Now, if you are taking off for the holidays, your first choice employees may not be available for the holidays. And for some reason, every year, there's one of my clients who's like shocked when they asked kind of last minute, or they plan for their staff to be working during the time that they're away. And they have not coordinated their holiday schedule, or they planned, you know, for the person, they're just like, well, they work for me. So they should be just doing what I say, well, make sure you guys are all on the same page, I like to talk about the holidays, way in advance with my team, so that I actually like I have my staff completely take off for the holidays, because that is the type of business that I have. But for some of you, it's not going to make sense for some of you, you have maybe a restaurant that's open on the holidays or something like that. So you want to make sure that you're staffing that as early in advance as possible. So find, like I said, when you know this in advance, you make sure that you don't end up in a pickle, although dreams, I love pickles. I don't know exactly where that expression came from. But it sounds delicious. Okay, number four for preparing for your holiday season is have your q1 planning session. It this might be a meeting if you have a team or it might just be yourself. If you're a solopreneur. Just make sure that you're making some decisions about what is happening when you return back, coming back from the holidays doesn't have to be stressful. People talk about this, like it's a given like, oh, yeah, it's like getting back to work. I'm like, it's not, it can feel lovely, just as lovely as any other day of the year, if you've made all the decisions in advance, which is what I love to do, and which is what I recommend that you do, the stress of coming back to work is caused by your thoughts of catching up, or your feelings of confusion or overwhelmed due to that not planning in advance. Even if it's just the first week of January or the week after Christmas, or whenever you're taking your break, make as many decisions as you can now, that includes your goals. And that includes, you know, your schedule for the weeks of coming back. If if there's any gaps, who is going to be away? What needs to get done, what deliverables? What are we focusing on? Have that q1 planning session now, not when you're in q1? Okay. And finally, number five is take things off the table. Remember, at the end of the day, you're the boss. That's why I like working with you guys. You're the smart people that decided to be entrepreneurs and be your own boss. And you get to decide the culture of your business and your company, even if it's just a company of one right now. You need to be thoughtful about what type of culture you want to have because as you grow, that culture is going to come with you and you're going to train. Your staff subconsciously, in your own habits and the way that you think about your business, it's a pretty American thing, to not make room for really taking time off and enjoying the holidays. I know, because when I was living in Spain, people always looked at me like I was a crazy person when I would talk about, you know, not taking all of my vacation days at work, or whatever it was, people are like, what what is wrong with you, Americans, we feel like we're gonna get left behind or something like that. Just decide that there's plenty of time and decide what kind of a holiday season you do want to have. You get to decide what parts of your business are fully unplugged? And for how long? Do you want to have any content posting during the holidays? If so, do you want to pre plan that? Or do you want to only have like, what type of type of content really does need to be consumed over the holidays? Also, I want you to make sure that you are asking, and making that decision right now about whether you or your team are working at all. I personally will pre plan my podcast. And I will optionally post if I'm feeling inspired. But I do not make it a requirement of my business to post while I am on vacation. Remind my clients, this is another thing I'll do, I'll remind my clients that there's a week off from coaching, and I will put an out of office on my email. If you have a business that is open on the holidays or sells gifts. What else what other things can you opt out of? And you remember you are the boss? There's no right decision here. Just because I do it one way or another business owner you see does it a different way doesn't mean that if the industry does it one way, decide to be an industry breaker decide to be a trailblazer decide to be a leader, you are not your industry, you reflect and you shape your industry. Okay? So make these decisions, put your CEO hat on decide what you really want, instead of feeling obligated and then resentful of your industry and your business because you're not making these decisions consciously. Okay, decide and then don't look back. So producer question here from the bright side studio, is, if you're planning ahead, how much time should you schedule to plan for, let's say, the Christmas holiday? If I don't want to work at all that week? How should I plan ahead for that now? Like, should I block out an hour next week? In my schedule to do that? Or should I do like one hour next week and one hour that week? Like? How When should I start implementing that planning cycle? Yes. Okay. So it's a good question that is going to take a little bit of experimenting, for those of you who have you had a business that is kind of like a well oiled machine, and you have the back end of your business pretty well set up and you have policies and you have a team, maybe this might not take very much planning, it might be something that you can do within an hour, because so many of your decisions have probably already been made. So really, it's just about like, running through it with a fine tooth comb thinking big picture about the actual, like holiday week zooming out zooming in. I always say like, you got to make sure like, what is the day to day look like? Who are the people on the ground? And then zooming out, like, what actually do I want my clients to be doing and or feeling or thinking during this holiday season? Do I want them to be showing up and consuming my content? Or do they I want them to be unplugged? Do I want them to be shopping? Or do I want them to have already shopped and for them to be spending this time giving? How do I want to engage with them? So it's about like asking those high quality questions to figure out how much time I would say that the if you're doing this process for the first time ever, there. The sooner you do it, the better. That's probably more important than how much time you've set down because I'm just thinking about setting up my maternity leave, which was eight weeks off. I started planning that about right around a month or two. So maybe like seven months, a month or two into my pregnancy I started planning for my maternity leave. And that seven months allowed me to do a big zoom out and say like, Okay, this is this is what I need to account for. And then as I got closer, I kept catching Oh, and this Oh, and this. And this. And I also had my assistant with eyes on it too. I would have her asked me questions, I'd be like, okay, so if I completely gave you the reins, do you feel like you have like, and you couldn't ask me any questions? Do you feel like you'd have it and then all of a sudden, it would bring up three more questions that she had. And I wanted that to happen as far in advance as possible. So that really, she couldn't ask me any questions. And I, I told you that there might, you might have a relationship where you have newer team members, that you do want them to be able to have contact with you and you're off, or you might really not, I really did not want to be looking at my business at all on maternity leave. And if that's how you want to approach the holidays, you need to tell your staff that I am under no circumstances to be contacted unless it's an emergency. And when you put that level of responsibility on your team, or on the even if it's not your team on the pre planning that you have to do, whether you're scheduling posts or scheduling emails, you will go through it in a more much like if you were not allowed to go back and edit at all, if day of it was just automated, and you couldn't change a single thing. What would you think about now, and you'll think about it way more more in detail. So it's less of how much time and more of how, how can I quickly ask the high quality high pressure questions that are going to make me think deeper and deeper levels of all the things that I want to to get done. So zoom out, ask a high quality question, zoom in to the day of an Ask high quality question there. So it can take an hour if you have been kind of doing the business for a while. And otherwise, I would expect it to take you know, at least an hour every week leading up to the holidays to like refine the process. I wish you the most lovely holiday but more importantly, a lovely day. Whatever day of the year it is whether it's January or July or Tuesday or Friday. You can set up your business and your future to be stress free. All right, you guys have a beautiful weekend.

Jessica McKinley 27:31

Hey Happsters, if you want to learn more about today's topic, head over to what's forward slash podcast. That's what's happening. W h a t s h a p p y n i n g dot com forward slash podcasts. If you're a business owner and you're resonating with what we talked about here, what are you even doing? Come hang out with me over where the party's at on Instagram at what's happyning w jess. Again that's happy. H a p p y i n g and book a discovery call to see if coaching is your next best step.

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