Transcript: How to Organize & Plan Your Year (2022 style!)


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Megan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business,

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
where competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Megan Martin 0:20
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of talking small business. We are knee deep in planning and goal setting season. So we’re gonna continue with this thought process and this work together. Today we’re going to talk to cat again, we’re going to put her in the hot seat, because honestly, y’all know I don’t go set. So. But of course, it is the season where everyone is preparing themselves for the next year. We’re all deciding, you know, what do we want to focus on or be intentional about for next year, and we’re setting goals. So we want to have an episode specifically about this. Now, I want to say and we’ll link it below. But we did an episode back six months ago where we talked about quarter lead planning. And so Kat, I want to hear from you right here right now. What does it look like for you to plan for a year, when we know that you are more of the quarterly planning person? So what are you doing right now?

Kat Schmoyer 1:18
Yeah, annual planning is not my favorite. And I’m like, I’m just putting that out there for you guys. I feel like there is just this like hype all around it and like December and then into January where everyone’s like I’m planning my whole year and like putting all these stickies everywhere and like writing all of these goals for next December. And I just I don’t think that that is the most intentional way that you can plan. Quarterly planning is absolutely my favorite way to go about planning, because it breaks down the year in really tangible pieces. And I mean, goodness, y’all. How many of you guys right now in December can look back just to January and say like, oh, yeah, everything I thought was gonna happen in 2021 habit like, No, you can’t do that, like your business changed, it shifted for the for the better, or for the worst in certain scenarios. And so I’m not a huge fan of annual planning. We’re talking about it today, because there is a part of annual planning that falls under the quarterly planning process. And so, what I love to do first and foremost, when you’re looking at annual planning, it’s actually your end of year review, which we talked about in last week’s episode, you have to know where you’ve been in order to know where you’re going to go. And I’ll just leave it at that, go listen to last week’s episode, you need to have that data of the end of year. So now when you’re looking ahead to 2022, the first thing that I want you to do is make what I like to call your parking lot list, brain dump it all based on the data from 2021. Like what worked, what didn’t work, what your customers are saying what you’d like to do, and your own dreams and wishes for 2020 to literally just write down like what do you want to happen? Like, what would you like to do? Are there certain clients you want to work with? Is there a launch you want to do as a new website on the horizon, just like write down all the things you’re like, I’ve just, this would be super fun for my business as a goal in 2022. Write them all down. no rhyme or reason to writing them down. Then after you’ve written them down, you’re actually going to take a bird’s eye view of 2022 This is like the most annual planning you will do with me. All right. bird’s eye view. So like type a friends don’t get crazy. I don’t want you like putting actual concrete things on the calendar yet because again, you cannot tell me right now that you know exactly what’s going to happen in December of 2022. You just don’t. Okay, so bird’s eye view, look at things and then tight be friends. Don’t let the bird’s eye view scare you like it’s just we’re just taking a quick quick glance. Okay, quickly. So then jump out, like don’t get hives when you look at it. Alright, Megan’s laughing Abby, but it’s true. I know some of you guys who don’t like it. The bird’s eye view y’all is really helpful because there are certain things in your business that are seasonal. So for those of you that are service based, you know, there’s going to be certain booking seasons that you know, are either going to be busier or not quite as busy throughout the year. And so just making mental notes of that knowing like maybe family vacations coming up, or if you are in the digital product space and you have certain sales and like marketing promotions that you kind of reoccurring, you have on the calendar, you do Memorial Day you do July 4, you do Black Friday, some of those things, it’s helpful to like, go ahead and have that bird’s eye view and make note like this, I know is probably going to happen in 2022. So let me just make a note of it. But that’s all I want you to do. After you’ve taken that bird’s eye view. Then you’re zeroing in on January to March and your quarterly planning. You’re looking at January, February and March. What do you want to happen in your following a more traditional quarterly planning process for the first three months of the year and really mapping out goals? Steps for those goals? past oriented like, that’s when all my typing friends go crazy January through March, write it all down, do everything that you want to do and only focus on January and March right now.

Megan Martin 5:11
Cat, why do you think everybody else does it? Does what you’re talking about with quarterly planning for an annual basis like what, why? Why do we do that to ourselves?

Kat Schmoyer 5:23
It’s really fun to plan. I know Megan, I know Megan doesn’t believe me. But I feel like for a lot of us, like there’s a control in that plan. There’s a like, hey, I can sit here and I can put all the sticky notes that I want. And I can like write it all down. But like, I’m actually not making it happen. I’m just like dreaming. And as entrepreneurs, a lot of us are really big dreamers, and you’re visionary. So it’s really easy for you to sit down and cast vision and to think about like, well, I want to do this, and then oh, this sounds fun. Oh, and then this is going to come next. But we don’t think about the reality of things are going to ebb and flow throughout the year. So like in this what with what I like to do, let’s do January through March, and then in March, let’s look at what’s actually happened in January through March. Did I do those things that I really wanted to do? What didn’t I do? What would I like to do next? Okay, now, let’s look at April, May, and June. And so we’re going to take it one step at a time until all of the puzzle pieces of the year come together, you still get to vision cast, you still get to dream, there’s just a little bit of boundary to it so that it can actually become reality.

Megan Martin 6:34
So, so smart to put that boundary on there. And it takes the pressure off, I feel like us Yeah, to some create some wild plan, and also takes the pressure off of like, how much you need to like mentally have on your plate to produce right, you know, like, years worth of weight on your shoulders is

Kat Schmoyer 6:57
right, right. No, absolutely. Like I have friends that are like, I’m planning our YouTube videos for like the whole year. What like, how do you know what you want to talk about? Like, I just can’t, and I love to content plan. And I love to like think about those things. But it does feel like you’re biting off a little bit more than you can chew. Now I will say and we talk about this all the time on here. I do think knowing like projected income for the whole year, you do want to have an idea of that you do want to make sure that you know like okay, for 2022 This is what I’m projecting will come in whether that service base digital base, a mixture of all those Matt and I were actually already starting to do that for ourselves for next year, just so that we’re being strategic with our finances. So I do think that that’s something that you do want to have a little bit of a better handle, because that factors so closely into then how your quarter goals go, goals go. So if it’s a booking season, and you know the if you want to bring in 50k and wedding photography, and it’s booking season, well, then your goals should be all about wedding photography and getting those bookings, your goal should not be launching some other new product or service when you’ve got to focus on the existing one. So revenue is a little bit different when you’re looking at annual planning. But that’s not the fun one that people want to look at an annual basis. But

Megan Martin 8:21
they should. Yeah, for sure. Okay, tell us about how, how are you physically doing this? How are you so say you do your bird’s eye view, I did my parking lot list, put whatever I want on there. And then I did my bird’s eye view. I like know what’s going on for next year. And now I’m not going to plan the whole year out. I’m just going to plan January through March. What do you do to make that happen? Tell us about it.

Kat Schmoyer 8:45
I love using my printable calendar. So like I’m so visual I feel like a lot of us are. So I like having a tangible look at this as what my year looks like rather than just writing out the dates, you know, in a Google Doc. So for the annual part, when I’m doing the bird’s eye view, I print my annual 2022 calendar, I have it framed and so I use a wet erase marker on it that way you can, you know, use it like a dry erase board, in essence. And so for a bird’s eye view, again, it’s bird’s eye view. So I’m not going crazy with like all of the nuances that are going to happen all year long. I’m really just kind of hitting the high points, and you get to decide what those high points are. For me personally, I will be family thing. So I’m going to look at when are we taking a vacation? Like do we know our vacation? When are the kids in and out of school? Like I’m going to make notes of some of those things because all of that factors into what am I doing in the business well and maybe shouldn’t launch something in July because my son is home from school and it’s like a little bit crazier and like that timeframe than when he’s in school in the beginning of June and stuff like that. So I look at family stuff. And then I look at the business stuff. And like I mentioned before if your digital or tangible product like physical product based, maybe you know certain sales that are just seized Like you always have them. So go ahead and mark those like put a little sticky because you know some of that stuff that’s going to happen, maybe your service. And so you know, some of the marketing pushes, make that bird’s eye view and so on the physical calendar is when I’m just putting in some of the stickies, maybe writing in little notes. And the way that my calendar works is every month has what’s called a monthly focus. This I don’t usually do when I’m doing the bird’s eye view, because again, your year is going to change. So I feel like it would be kind of silly to make a monthly focus for November of 2022, when I’m not quite sure how January and October are going to go. So I try to focus my monthly focuses on the quarters. So I’m looking at okay, now that I can see my bird’s eye view, what what do I want that monthly focus for January, February and March? Is it launching the new website? Is it booking a certain number of service based clients? What is that focus going to be? It helps me to see it written down in black and white on the calendar. So I’m like reminded every time I look at the calendar, and I want to get disco ball syndrome and like jump to another goal or do something else. I’m like, No, this is what I said my focus was. So this is what my focus is. And then next up, bear with me annual calendar, you’ve done that bird’s eye view, I’ve kind of written down that monthly focus for the quarter that first quarter. Now I’m going to jump to my quarterly planning calendar, where it has three months, much bigger. And I’m allowed I allow myself in this space to really get into the nuances of what is happening in this quarter, both in terms of the physical dates, in terms of note, like there’s a section for notes, a success standard, like all sorts of things I can fill out on my quarterly plan that allow me to take those three months of the annual and make them life size. So then I work through the quarter

Megan Martin 11:56
on your quarterly plan calendar that big, like huge calendar that you have. Are you how tell me how detailed you’re getting? Like, for example, are you getting detailed in the sense of like a blog post is on like one day of your little like, calendar? So what do you do? How deep do you go?

Kat Schmoyer 12:13
Depends on how you want to use the calendar, I use mine mostly for marketing launches. So I do note when blogs or podcasts or whatever is happening, because it helps me to remember and see what am I pushing out like what content is going when I don’t get detailed in terms of like weekly calls? Like it’s not like a weekly planner, where every Monday I’m looking at that calendar to see like, Oh, that’s right, like, I have a hair appointment, or I need to jump on a mastermind call or whatever. I don’t do that. It’s the high points of my marketing plan and my launch plan for the quarter.

Megan Martin 12:50
Tell me because you just talked about like you don’t put your hair appointments or whatever on this calendar. Do beyond beyond being a visual person, is there a benefit to this living outside of Google Calendar? You know, like, like you have it you sell it as a printable product. What is the benefit of this living outside of your everyday calendar?

Kat Schmoyer 13:11
Well, I mean, I said before the visual aspect, I think that it, there’s something to be said for physically seeing something day in and day out. I also think that there’s something to be said for your writing on it. Like you are not just putting it in, you know, typing it on your computer in Google Calendar. But you’re like getting to see it a little bit more life size and physically writing. This is what I want to happen when I also find it to be really helpful at the end of the quarter when I’m reviewing and then jumping into the next because here we go. I’ve got this big one I can hold that shows me these last three months. I’m like, How was this marketing plan? I’m not getting caught up in my Google calendar with all these other things that were happening. I can look at like, No, this is just what I want to focus on. And now I can see a life size.

Megan Martin 13:59
So really, it’s huge and motivation while you’re in the quarter and looking forward to the quarter. Absolutely. Right, which I feel like as an entrepreneur, probably one of our biggest obstacles and hurdles is motivation every single day, you know, to keep it up and keep going. I feel like those review periods you know, the end of year review that we talked about last episode and even the quarterly review periods are helpful to keep us like to give us a like little burst of motivation. But it’s like that concept of seeing it every day can help you keep taking the steps and keep walking which is so beneficial.

Kat Schmoyer 14:37
And I think it also can help you remember like what you are working towards. Sometimes it’s so easy for us to just get caught up in what we call like the Monday and have our business you know, like the day in and day out. We’re tired. Our kids are grumpy. Like we just want to go to Hawaii like it’s just we just have those times and our business and that’s normal for every small business owner. We all walk through those seasons. But for me personally, I am someone who is task oriented and so physically seem things on my calendar that’s like, Yeah, this is what I’m doing like, this is why I’m doing all of this work is for this purpose can add to that motivation factor. And also help me keep my blinders on when I get distracted by the other goals of other things that are happening and I can like refocus on No, this is what I am doing because I set this goal the right way. I worked through my interview review I worked through my parking lot list of dreams, I know what I want to do, doesn’t matter what she’s doing. And this is what’s on my calendar.

Megan Martin 15:41
Love it. Cat. Do you have any final words of advice or encouragement for the listener who is literally about to sit down and plan for 2022?

Kat Schmoyer 15:52
First of all, I love when people sit down and plan like it’s my favorite thing I do. I love it. Please, please, please do not go crazy with all of 2022. Like if you got nothing out of this episode, as much as I want you to plan and I want you to be strategic about what’s ahead for you and your business and your family. Do not do yourself such a disservice to plan out all of next year only to see it change three months in or five months and like that is not helpful for anyone. So I just highly recommend starting with my process, do that bird’s eye view and then really focus on the first three months putting your all into what those three months could look like knowing that your business is going to keep growing and pivoting and changing in really beautiful ways. And it will allow you to set the most intentional goals that you can

Megan Martin 16:44
love it. Thank you for that encouragement. All right friends. I am excited for this year to wrap up. I hope that in the next couple of weeks you take some time to slow down. Enjoy the rest of this holiday season with you and yours those who are special to you. And don’t listen to cats advice don’t get wrapped up in trying to plan out all of 2020 to have that bird’s eye view do your quarterly plan for the start of the year. And then rest and that being enough if anyone knows that it’s enough it’s cat because she runs a bang in business and this is how she does it so seriously. Also make sure I know we’re going to link it below cats calendar printable is going to be in this episode are linked below this episode so make sure you go grab it. It’s like super affordable as well right $9 $9 You can print it like you can send it to Staples or wherever get a poster print, go to Target get a cute gold frame do it y’all. You will love it. Put it on your wall and use cat system but we are going to take a couple weeks off for the end of 2021 so we can do the same. We can enjoy our family time and the rest of our holiday and we cannot wait to catch you in the next conversation in January of 2022. Happy New Year you guys.

Kat Schmoyer 18:05
Happy New Year. Bye bye

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Transcript: How to Organize & Plan Your Year (2022 style!)

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