9 Questions To Evaluate Your Progress
In this post I have nine specific questions to share with you to help you evaluate if you're actually making progress towards your goals.
Sometimes it doesn't feel like we are making progress towards our goals.
These questions will help you evaluate if you're spinning your wheels, which is very frustrating when you feel like you are downloading all the freebies, and you're trying to figure this stuff out on your own, and you're watching all the YouTube videos. It's really exhausting.
There's a lot to do.
There are many hats to wear when you're an entrepreneur, when you're just getting started in business. It can feel very overwhelming, and these questions will help you discover if you're staying on track.
Do you have a vision for your business that motivates you to do the hard work of showing up?
There are days when we wake up and say, "Man, I do not want to rise and grind. I do not want to get up and do the hard work of showing up." Sometimes I don't even want to brush my hair.
That's okay, but do I have a vision for where I want to be in three months, six months, one year, five years, that will push me to do the hard work of getting my butt out of bed early and getting stuff done?
If you don't have a very clear vision, you need to start there.
Why are you even doing this business in the first place? If you don't know where you're going, you can't measure your progress in tracking how to get there. It sounds very simple, but a lot of people are doing all this work, they're spinning all their wheels, and they're hustling, hustling, hustling, and they're exhausted, and they don't even know what they're driving towards.
It sounds crazy, but it happens because we just get so in the details, we get so in the thick of it that we can't even see the forest for the trees.
Do you still have a vision? Or maybe you had a vision you don't believe in anymore, and that's okay, you just need to evaluate it, acknowledge it, and pivot. But make sure you have a vision that is still motivating you to get up and do the hard work.
Is your strategy for your business still simple?
In getting those clients, in building your visibility, in growing your list, is your strategy simple? Because, guys, this is not rocket science.
What it requires is consistency and persistence, and a lot of people drop out of the race because they're just not consistent in what they're doing.
Keep your strategy simple, don't overcomplicate it.
It is very easy to overcomplicate, especially when we're struggling with shiny object syndrome. We want to try to do what this person's doing over here, and to do what this person's doing over there in that industry, and try to incorporate this little thing here.
Keep it super simple, and be very consistent with what you're doing.
Keep showing up.
Are you actively showing up?
It's very easy for us to, especially in the online space, dig into the back end, systems, automations, and in working on my next piece of content or my next offer, but we're not staying visible, we're not staying active in it, or we're like, "You know what? I'm just not feeling it this week, so I'm just not going to show up for work. I'm just not going to do this thing for my online business."
Maybe you're still working nine to five and you're really tired, and you're thinking, "Man, I just need a break from my business."
If this is going to be your job, you need to treat it like your job and show up for it as if it's your job.
You can have a dream job and work from home, or you can even work from Bali.
You can be a nomad and a digital entrepreneur who's traveling the world.
You have to still show up and treat this like a job and not like a hobby.
If you treat it like a hobby, it's going to be profitable like a hobby, which most hobbies, they suck our money, and they don't make us money.
Do you still love your ideal clients?
Your ideal clients are people who you would absolutely drool over getting to work with them, like, "Oh my gosh, I cannot believe I get to work with this person who's getting to do this thing, or their dream is to do this thing. I want to get behind that. I would love to help them do that, or this particular event."
There are clients that we dream of working with.
Do you still love them?
If you realize, "Mm, that doesn't excite me anymore," or you'resaying, "Oh, a client," you need to reevaluate. You need to say, "Who is my ideal client?" If you don't know how to figure out who your ideal client is, I have a free workbook.
Make sure you know who your ideal client is, and discover and reevaluate, do you still love working with them?
For example, if you're in the photography industry, and you used to shoot wedding, and you're like, "Mm, brides just aren't my game anymore. I really love maternity and newborn stuff. I love the intimacy of that. I love the sacredness of that, or the specialness of that, that very short window of time."
That's a pivot, that's a different clientele completely.
Same with fitness, maybe you're moving away from classes in aerobics, or maybe yoga and Pilates, and moving more into weightlifting, or something that's more specific, even body-specific. You might still love fitness, but you may not love working with a certain type of client, and that's important to differentiate.
Question # 5
This is for if you do have clients already: When you're working with them and you're talking to them, are you still enjoying every moment?
When I say "every moment," I kind of mean every moment.
There are hard parts of conversations, and sometimes you might disagree with clients, or they disagree with you, but that's part of your process, which as a designer or brand person, there's sometimes pushback of, "Well, I don't know how I feel about this," or "I don't know how this looks," or "I don't know if this fits right. What do you think? I don't think so."
If that dialogue or that process is not feeling good to you anymore, and you're not enjoying the process with your clients, even though not all of it is pretty, you need to reevaluate that.
If everything you're doing is pushing you towards being in that place in that process with those clients, then you need to step back and say, "Hey, I'm kind of spinning my wheels and making progress towards something I don't want to make progress towards. I'm building a life that I'm not wanting to live."
Maybe it's not clients, maybe it's course stuff. Maybe it's you don't enjoy teaching this live workshop this way anymore. Maybe you don't enjoy doing these types of events.
It doesn't have to just be clients, but I think you guys get the picture of what I'm talking about. These are really important questions that we need to pause and ask ourselves to make sure we're actually making progress towards our end goal, which might be leaving our nine-to-five or traveling while working online.
If it's not pushing us towards our goal, it's pulling us from it, so we need to be aware of those things.
Look back on the last 90 days and see if you can see any progress. Can you see any progress looking back over your last quarter?
I just started using 90-day journals. I use in particular the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt. I really love it. What I also love is that I start to run out of pages, and it forces me to reflect on what I've done. What have I done? It also asks some really great questions, ergo it helps me stay focused throughout the day.
The point is, can I track my progress? And if I can't, I need to pause myself and say, "Why? Why can't I track progress? Did I not set trackable goals?"
For example, if I want to get a new client or sell another course, then I need to get in front of X number of people. How many times a week do I need to get visible in order to get in front of X number of people? Four or five times a week.
Okay, maybe I only got visible two times a week, and that translated into low site traffic or a low group engagement activity, depending on where your people are at.
Maybe your Instagram account was very quiet, and you didn't get as many likes or comments or interaction there. And then that's going to translate into sales, right?
There are trackable things which, in and of themselves, numbers are just numbers, but if you look at them the right way and you approach them in the right way, they become very powerful indicators of your progress.
If you're wanting to grow your list by a thousand people, but you've only written two blog posts this quarter, you might not get the list growth that you want from your blog.
You might have to say, "I need to write 10 blog posts, and I'm going to get super visible with them in 10 different Facebook groups, or 10 different Instagram partners, or besties." You know, partnering with people, or you're going to get live on 10 different podcasts, or 10 different Pinterest tribes, whatever you're doing.
Then you can say, "Well, I only got 500 people from that, but I can track my progress and growth towards my number of growing my list by a thousand people."
Can you look back and see progress?
Maybe it was just "I want to get on the phone with two people this quarter," and that was your progress, and you got on the phone with one. Okay.
Make sure that you can track it and set good, reasonable goals for yourself that you can push yourself with, but also attain.
Are you expressing appreciation and gratitude for where you're at right now?
This is, I think, super key to tracking whether or not we're being successful and making progress towards our goals.
It is so easy to become dissatisfied and very dependent on results and numbers in your business, and to incorporate that into a part of our identity of "I'm a failure, I'm not successful, I can't do this."
When we express appreciation and gratitude, and when we're also very in tune to the pulse of our business, because we're tracking what we're doing and what's working, then we're able to say, "You know what? I had a really bad day. I had family stuff going on, I had a medical emergency, the dog got sick, whatever. But you know what? I did my Facebook Live, and that's one step in the right direction towards hitting my goals."
Maybe it's "You know what? I was able to be available for that medical emergency, and I was able to leave my business where it was, and it was fine. Nothing collapsed, and I just pick it back up tomorrow."
Expressing appreciation for where we're at in the process and the journey towards those big goals is really key, because when we start functioning from a place of scarcity and from a place of lack, man, that comes through. That comes through in ways that are not tangible.
Make sure that you're expressing gratitude and appreciation for the little things, for the small wins along the way, and that's also going to keep you hopeful.
It's very easy to slip into "I can't do this" mindset, but the truth is, you can do this, and there's evidence that you can do this, because you did grow your group by 10 people this week, or five people this week, or one person this week.
There was growth, there was motion in the right direction, and any motion in the right direction is great motion.
Are you following a proven approach to whatever it is that you're trying to achieve?
This is just a point in not reinventing the wheel.
We don't have to reinvent the wheel.
What I do is I help people put a personal brand and spin on that wheel.
I don't believe in cookie-cutter businesses; I do believe in doing things that are based on our strengths, and having strengths-based brands. That is my big thing.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel. There are proven models and concepts, philosophies, principles, frameworks, whatever you want to call them, for businesses to succeed, and you don't have to figure those out from scratch. It's helpful to understand them from the ground up, but you don't have to invent them, or reinvent them. You can do something that works, that makes sense, and build it on your strengths.
You need to make sure that you're really just not overcomplicating something, and not trying to reinvent the wheel.
This is a great place to pause and say, "Am I overcomplicating this? I'm trying to build a 52-step funnel with all these different automations and things." A lot of people, they just need a two-step funnel to get started. An opt-in and a thank-you page, and delivery of the freebie, or something like that. Or maybe it's a webinar. They opt in for the webinar, they deliver the webinar, and there's a follow-up email sequence, a three-step funnel.
It doesn't have to be rocket science, it doesn't have to be overcomplicated.
Doing webinars, doing freebies, doing live challenges and workshops and things such as that, those are proven models and principles in building a business and selling your offers and your services.
Do what is effective, but make it feel fresh by making sure you're clear on who you are, what your strengths are, and putting your personal brand spin on it.
Are you making time for fun and taking care of yourself?
This one is something I'm very passionate about, especially when I'm working with my clients, because this is something that I slipped into when I didn't have any mentorship, and I didn't have any community around me, and I didn't know what I didn't know.
I was coming from a place of urgency, and feeling of, "Ah, I've just got to get this done, I've got to get money coming in."
Some of that urgency came through, and I didn't even realize it, and I was pushing people away instead of pulling them towards me. I could help them, but I was pushing them away because of my urgency to feel like "I've got to get this done, I've got to get it done the right way the first time."
All this pressure put on myself.
Make sure that this is still fun.
You should do this because it's fun, because you enjoy doing it, because it's based on your strengths, because you can help people, because you love helping people.
There is time for fun, there is time to breathe, there is time to do your mindset work.If you are just joining me for the first time, I do my mindset stuff in the morning, every morning.
This is essential, because if you burn yourself out, you aren't going to make progress towards your goals.
Burning yourself out constantly, every quarter, and you're saying, "Okay, progress, progress, progress, progress ... And I burned out, and I'm taking three weeks off, and I'm losing momentum, I'm losing consistency, I'm losing authority and expertise with my people who are watching me and following me, because I'm inconsistent, and they don't know when I'm going to burn out again, because I'm trying to do it all myself, or I'm trying to do all the things."
Keep it really simple, especially in the beginning. You can absolutely scale down the road, and I am pro-scaling, I am pro-systems, I'm pro-automations.
Make sure that there is some level of balance, and that doesn't mean that you don't work hard, that doesn't mean that you don't work long days.
Personally, I'm of the belief that you can work for two weeks, and then take off a long weekend, and then go back at it for two long, full weeks, and then take off a three-day weekend.
Just make sure you're taking time for fun and building in restorative activities into your life, into your day, whatever that needs to look like for you. Maybe the frequency of it is more often than for others, maybe it's less often, and that's okay.
Make sure, though, that it's right for you. Am I still moving in the right direction?" But at a minimum, every quarter, make sure you're having some kind of review, and asking yourself some really sharp, pointed, direct questions.
I hope that you find this very helpful, very powerful. I know I do, and after having started asking myself some of these more pointed, direct questions, it's like, "Ouch, I don't think I'm very clear on my vision. Ouch, I haven't been showing up the way I should be. Ouch, I haven't been taking care of myself, and I am burning out and wanting to quit." I don't want that for you; I want you guys to learn from my mistakes and go further.
Guys, somebody's ceiling needs to be your platform, and so I want to see you guys go further faster, because I know you guys have beautiful visions, beautiful missions on your hearts, beautiful messages that the world needs to hear.
If you have any thoughts or comments or questions, please feel free to drop them in the comment section. Thanks for reading!