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Month after month for the last two years, I’ve added the same goal to my monthly goal setting pages in Powersheets: Start Template Shop Project. And for 20 of those 24 months, nothing happened. Instead, other things became more important in the moment, and I let the baby step of simply starting slip into the next month, and then the next.
Until January, that is.
When 2017 started, I decided enough was enough, and it was time to take action now. But with a full client load and lots of travel scheduled, it certainly wasn’t easy. Here’s how I was finally able to make The Magnoliahouse Shop happen:
Set a (public) deadline, and work backwards.
I knew I needed accountability to make progress on this goal, and it needed to be real. So I started the project not with a plan, but with a date. After looking at my personal and client calendar, I settled on a launch date of April 18, and published it on our website. From there, every decision we made was centered around hitting that deadline – and we did it!
Get wise counsel.
I’m confident in my ability to craft beautiful templates and other pieces – but running a product shop was completely foreign territory, and y’all know how I feel about email marketing. So I reached out to the amazing Amber Housely, marketing director for Southern Weddings and and Cultivate What Matters, for assistance. Her coaching was invaluable for helping us do things right the first time. With her guidance, we were able to spend more time doing – and less time planning and second-guessing our plan.
Make a detailed plan – and work in the fringes.
We had a full client load for Q1, and wanted to make sure our clients got the full experience they deserved, leaving us with less time to work on the shop. To make up for this, we created a detailed plan in Asana, breaking tasks into bite sized chunks, many of them 5-20 minute tasks. That allowed us to make real progress in the in-between times – between scheduled calls, while dinner was in the oven, early on Saturday mornings. Breaking down the project made it less overwhelming, and made the final push in April much more manageable.
Edit. (And by edit I mean delete).
This one’s a challenge for me, since I’m a big dreamer and detail-obsessed. But in order to launch on time, we had to focus on what we could get done well in the time we had left, and delay features that weren’t as essential. For example, printing and shipping for concierge designs was one of the features I was most excited about, but we’ll be rolling it out very soon, so we can make sure the experience is as seamless as possible for our customers.
It’s possible to make big things happen with a full schedule – as long as you’re disciplined and realistic about your goals. I want to hear from you in the comments – what big dream are you making happen little by little?