I'm Tara Gentile and I am going to be walking you guys through all the way from setting a big big vision for your business all the way to the nitty gritty action that you're going to have to plan out to help you make that vision a reality. And the reason I know, the reason after a whole year of not being on CreativeLive that I knew we needed to start with this topic today is because I hear from so many business owners how they are in the weeds. Do you guys feel in the weeds of your business? All of that stuff that happens on a daily basis, all the customer needs that come up, all of the fancy gadgets that come out, the new apps, the new tactics, all of this stuff that's vying for your attention can make you feel lost, hopefully in very pretty weeds like this. (audience laughs) But it can make you really lost and confused about what direction you should go to actually reach the mountaintop because that's where you want to be, you want to feel like you are on top of your business, you wa...
nt to feel like you're in control, you want to know what to focus on on a daily basis, you want to know what to prioritize what action comes first, what projects come first and what can wait til later, if at all. That is what we all want as business owners and so that's what today's class is going to be all about, getting to that mountaintop and getting out of the weeds for good. So this class is about goal setting and planning, that's what we're going to talk about, we're going to set some goals, we're going to set some 12 month goals, some quarterly targets, we're going to talk about where you want to be five years from now and it's also about planning, planning out what you're going to do this week, next week, and the week after that. But really, this class is all about becoming the leader who actually forges the path from the weeds from the valley up to the mountaintop. Because what goal setting and planning is all about is taking control, not finding control, not discovering control, not getting yourself to a place where control just kind of happens, it's about being the person the CEO, the executive, the leader that takes control of your business that makes smart choices, that creates productive plans, and so hopefully by the end of today, that's exactly where you're going to be. So let's just forget the weeds right now and start thinking of ourselves as leaders of our business. Now this class is perfect for you if you've been in business for a year or more, and you're hungry for more. You know if you're feeling like oh I kind of got things covered, then this class is probably not going to be very helpful for you, but if you feel like you know, I've got things covered and I want much much bigger things or if you feel like things are a little crazy (laughs) and I would really like more control, I'd like to feel more of my own power, more of my own leadership, you're hungry for that kind of a more, this class is perfect for you. This class is also perfect for you if you have struggled to reach your goals in the past, how many people have struggled to reach their goals in the past? Yeah we all have, me too, me too, I am not alone here. You teach what you need most right and so that's part of what I'm doing here today too, but you still want to reach for the stars. You know that you haven't reached some of the goals you've set in the past, maybe you haven't reached most of the goals you've set in the past. But that hasn't gotten you down, maybe it's left you a little disappointed, maybe it's left you a little sad from time to time but right now right here today, you out there online as well, you are still ready to reach for the stars, you're ready to set bigger goals today than you ever have before, even though you've struggled to hit your goals in the past. And this class is also perfect for you if you feel conflicted about the business decisions on your plate and you want to make good choices, you guys want to make good choices? Do you have a lot of those conflicting priorities right now? Yeah we all do, this class is going to help you get through those. So by the end of this class, you're going to have a clear vision of the mountaintop that you're traveling toward 'cause the truth is we're all traveling on different mountains that's part of the beauty of being in business and it's also part of the beauty of this class is that we all can be in different businesses, moving towards different kinds of goals, moving towards different types of mountaintops and this is still going to be great for you. You're also going to have a clear path to walk on so that you don't get lost, so you don't stay stuck in the weeds. By the end of today and in fact probably by the end of the third lesson, maybe even sooner you're going to start to feel like the path is clear and you are ready to walk it. And you're going to build a project plan to guide your steps so you don't get stuck in the weeds. So we're going to identify the mountaintop, we're going to lay out the path and then we're going to figure out how we're going to take step by step down that path. I want you to keep one thing in mind as we go throughout today, planning is not a once and done affair. Business planning is something that happens on a yearly, quarterly, weekly, and daily basis. In fact the more I brought goal setting and planning into my day to day activities, the more productive I've gotten, the easier it's been to reach my goals, and the easier it's been to make really tough decisions about the direction of my business. So I want you to keep in mind that what we do today is going to be awesome and you're going to feel great at the end of this class and you're going to need to keep doing it, so this class is going to become a great resource for you as you go through that regular planning and goal setting process. I promised you I'd tell you a little bit more about me, that's me and my partner Shawn the red bearded beer drinking man (laughs). I have been at this since 2009, I don't like to think of myself as some sort of a grandma of online business but I am like the older well-respected aunt. So I started my first website way back in 2009 and I have been, my business has been evolving and I've been learning and I've been working with people just like you ever since. And the things that I'm going to be teaching today have developed over that process. I'm the founder of CoCommercial, which is the business association for digital small business owners. I'm going to be telling you a little bit more about that throughout the day in fact I'm going to be using our company as an example throughout. So I'll give you a behind the scenes look at how I actually use this process in my own business and even more how my operations manager actually uses this process in my business because sometimes you need a little help. I'm also the host of Profit Power Pursuit which is the podcast that I host and co-produce with CreativeLive and on that podcast every single week we take you behind the scenes and show you the nitty gritty of what it really takes to run a successful small company and I'm going to be using a lot of examples today again from businesses that I have actually interviewed or from entrepreneurs that I've interviewed on Profit Power Pursuit, so it's a great secondary resource to really examine some of these ideas even more in depth and really see them in action. I also like to tell people that my degree is in religious studies, it's not in business, I do not have an MBA I don't even have a BBA, I have a BA in religious studies. So why I tell you that is because I have learned this the hard way, I did not sit in a classroom and learn how to run my business, I learned it through a lot of trial and error, a lot of exploration, a lot of experimentation, and through a lot of mistakes. And so my goal for you today is to help you learn from my mistakes so that hopefully you don't repeat as many of them as I have (laughs). I also like to tell people that I'm an introvert. It can be easy to see me up here doing my thing and think oh that's really great for Tara but I'm not that kind of person I'm quiet, I'm introverted, I'm shy, guys I am all of those things. You guys started streaming in and I closed the greenroom door (laughs) that down time ahead of time. So no matter whether you're an extrovert or an introvert whether you're outgoing whether you're kind of quiet and stay in your home office the way I do, this class is for you, what I teach is for you. And then finally everyone loves a good book recommendation I've got a whole list of them as free RSVP materials. My favorite book of 2016 is The Fifth Season. If you love some science fiction, if you love some fantasy, you love something just really unusual, check it out. Alright here's what we're going to cover today (laughs). Lesson one what we're going to do in this very first segment is making your vision a reality. We're going to really name crystal clear where you want to be five years from now and more importantly what you want to add, what you desire to add to the commonwealth, our whole collective wealth as a society, as a culture, as a community. In lesson two, we're going to talk about aligning your action with your values, I want to help you take your personality and your core principles and actually use them to help you make better decisions about your business to set better goals and to create better plans. It can seem like values are this corporate exercise that it doesn't really apply because you just kind of do what you feel but what I believe is that knowing your company values inside and out, using that in your planning and goal setting process actually helps you stay more connected to your goals and it helps you create more traction in the market. In lesson three we're going to set your chief initiative. This is about one focal point in your business that everything you are working toward is aimed at. And you probably heard me talk about setting a chief initiative before, I'm going to go further into it today than I have ever done before, we are going to lay that out, so don't tune out if you've heard it before, new stuff I promise, Patrice (laughs). And in lesson four we're going to create your project plan so we're actually going to look project by project action by action deadline by deadline resource by resource of what you need to do to make all of that planning actually happen.