Your 2024 Game Plan with Katie Bell
Discussing strategic planning for the upcoming year. Emphasising the importance of reflection on the past year's successes and challenges
In this weeks episode, Katie delves into the crucial topic of working on your business, not just in it. She shares insights on shifting your mindset and practical strategies to make it happen. As the year approaches its end, it’s the perfect time to strategically plan for the year ahead.
Katie emphasises the significance of stepping out of the day-to-day grind to focus on the bigger picture. Drawing from her own experience, she highlights the importance of allocating dedicated time for what she terms “Exponential Growth Activities (EGAs)” – tasks that only you can do, and are key to your business’s unique brilliance.
By differentiating between EGAs and non-EGAs, you can maximise the value of your time. Katie encourages listeners to create non-negotiable time blocks for business development, facilitating a shift from merely ‘exchanging time for money’ to strategically investing it for substantial growth.
1. Prioritise EGAs: Identify and prioritise tasks that directly contribute to the significant growth of your business. These are activities aligned with your unique strengths and expertise.
2. Leverage Non-Negotiable EGA Days: Allocate uninterrupted blocks of time for EGAs. This dedicated focus allows for intentional planning and strategy, separate from the immediacy of client appointments.
3. Embrace the Pareto Principle: Recognise that a small percentage of activities often yield the majority of results. Streamline your efforts by focusing on what truly drives growth.
4. Do Less, Better: Learn to say no to tasks that don’t significantly impact your business’s growth. Concentrate your energy on activities that create meaningful, transformational results.
By implementing these strategies, you’ll not only see a positive impact on your business’s growth but also regain valuable time for a more balanced and fulfilling life.
Thank you for joining us in this episode! Stay tuned for more insights on business growth and development in the coming weeks.
This podcast is sponsored by the team at HMDG
Welcome to another episode of the treat your business podcast. I’m your host. And today, we are going to be talking and diving into a topic. And we’re going to do this this week, and on next week’s episode as well. But a topic that’s absolutely crucial for clinic owners and this as soon as and that is the importance of working on your business, not just in your business, we’re going to explore what shift in mindset, we need to enable us to spend more time working on our business and not feel guilty and not feel bad about it, and be able to set some really strong boundaries. But we’re also going to discuss the practical strategies for finding the time to make this happen. So let’s jump right in. Everything that you’re going to hear, whenever you’re listening to this podcast, we are recording it in November. But everything right now on the podcast, that blogs that we have got going out the free master classes that we are we are working on and we are delivering is all around the state. Because as we approach the end of the year, we really encourage our clients to look strategically at the year ahead and make some very clear plans. But to do that, we have to get them out of their business. So I’m very excited because in two weeks time, we are taking all of our clients to a venue where we are bringing them out of their business for 24 hours. And we are getting to work on the game plan, the 2024 game plan, but we’ve got to do some big reflection, we’ve got to look at what’s gone well into a 23. What we’re happy with what we’re not so happy with what are we tolerating? What are we just accepting as this is how it should how it has to be in our business. And then we’re going to pull all of that out of them. And we’re going to then reset for 2024. And we’re going to strategically look at how we are actually going to make that stuff happen. So I have just come back from doing this very thick. And I have just spent seven, seven full days working on my business. So you all know me now you’ve been listened to many of these podcasts. I like to back myself into a corner when I do things like this when I make a decision that perhaps looking at what I want to change within my two businesses and what’s gone well, and what do I feel is not going so well? And what is it what saved me and what starving me, for me to really get that time away and work on this without any interruptions. You’ve heard me say this before I have to leave the country. And this is what I did. I went I got to fly, I went to Marseille I picked up a higher car, I drove into the hills of France, I have to say that in a very French way. And I met nine other nine other fabulous fabulous business owners. And all it is from across the world. I was the only British person there. It was very, very exciting to bring my British ways to it. But I basically was in a French chateaux for five full days. And that had a day either side where I was on my own, and I worked on my business. Now when you guys start your business, when we write in the kind of beginnings, the young business phase, we’re often too flexible with our clients. We consent to things outside of the original agreement with them, we do extra work without charging for it. I’ve been there. We are very available for phone calls on evenings and weekends, we grant unusual requests that are definitely not within the original scope, scope of the work that we decided. And the problem is, once your client load is at full capacity, then you have very, very lucky time. These extra all these often non paid demands really take a toll on you and they create resentment. They create frustration, they create anger, and they prevent you from growing your business further. And ultimately, during your life. I really remember this feeling back in the early days of running my clinic. I was just no boundaries. I was way too flexible because I was in a state of lack and fear. And I’m just going to have to do everything. I’m in the graph stage of making this business work. And guess what? When I grew my clinic and I’ve learned all these amazing things, and I’ve now got an amazing team and basically don’t have to do much within my clinic anymore. I then started thrive, and I found myself doing the same thing. I found myself over delivering I found myself with no boundaries. I found myself wanting to prove to everybody that I was cared, I wanted to create this amazing business. But I picked up on it a lot sooner. So what I’m, the reason I tell you this is because this doesn’t mean you’re a bad business owner, it doesn’t mean that you failing, it doesn’t mean that you are not going to be able to make this change. I have done it, I have seen it happen, I made the change. And then I went and did it again, in a different form. I caught it sooner, I made the change sooner. So what happens when we feel like we’re literally just putting out fires, and what we’re doing is having to focus solely on the immediate, immediate, urgent tasks. And they generally just provide short term low impact results. And the solution is to remove reevaluate how we use our time, but it’s not always easy, because we’re so busy seeing patients. And I always say we cannot you cannot grow your business between client appointments. When I’m in the clinic, I my literally feel like my business is stagnating in an awful word, hello, I flooded. So you think of a stagnant pond water. But when I seen clients, my business is stagnating, because all I’m focusing on is the immediate urgent task in front of me. And focusing on Iti is worth X amount of pounds, 100 pounds, 50 pounds, 80 pound, whatever you charge, it’s like that time money kind of swap. But when we reevaluate how we use our time, it will allow you to reset and reinforce some of these boundaries with the people in your life, patients and personal to help you regain some of this valuable time. And I have so many stories. And so many of our clinic owners that we work with when they join our programme are overworked, they’re overwhelmed, they are tired, they are exhausted, they are seeing 5060 7080 Sometimes 100 patients a week and I literally physically can feel they’re exhausting when we’re on a call together. But when we gave them some time back, when we give them the confidence to step out of this time, money, swap, then their business starts to grow. And yes, it feels scary. And yes, it feels uncomfortable. But that’s when you need that support network around you. So you can get him back a really surprising number of hours. And I always hear people say, Casey, I don’t have the time. Now that you you, you definitely do that you really really do have the time, it’s just how you’re choosing to spend your time at the moment. So when we’ve got this surprising number of hours, and I promise you though, it is a surprising number of hours back, we can use it for the vision, we can use it for strategizing we can, we can use it for implementing those important longer term tasks, which are the ones that make the most significant impact on the long term growth of your business, the ones that are going to allow you to enjoy your life again. Now, when we start out when we’re in new business, time is your greatest currency. In fact, I’m going to rehash that time is just your greatest currency period, whether you’re a new business owner, or a long in the tooth business. And it should be priced above all else, not every minute if you how not every minute of how you currently use your day is equal in value, or has equal value. When you first start your business, all hands on deck, get what you need to get done, you grind it out, you rinse and repeat. And you go in the following day, you do exactly the same, you do it another juggling 15 balls in the air, just to get past that kind of like startup phase, you do anything that’s required, because survival depends on you and you again, it. But for those of you who are listening, who are wanting to reach that next level of your business, maybe grow your business, from 2k a month revenue to 10k on revenue. And maybe you’re a 10k business owner and you want to go to the next level and you want to make multiple six figures in your business. That modus operandi no longer applies, and it has to stop. And we talk about what’s got you here is not what’s gonna get you there. The way you use your time to get to where you are in your business now isn’t going to get you to where you want to be that next that bigger level. And what’s required is a shift in our thinking about how we use our time which is our most precious commodity. And this shift is based on the understanding that not every activity that you do not every task or project that you work on, provides an equal return on investment So there are some things that you’re going to be currently doing in your business that are worth 100 quid an hour 500 pound an hour, 1000 pounds an hour 1000 or more pounds per hour that truly only you can do in your business. These are what we call in Thrive e g, a is exponential growth activities. They are the things that that are really your unique brilliance that only you can do. Give you an example, for me in, in thrive is this podcast. Okay, yes, I can have guest speakers on. But this is my this is what I love to do in thrive when I’m delivering group strategy days when I’ve got people in front of me in a room where we’re creating the energy and we’re creating massive transformations. And I can make every single person in that room feel like they are the only person in that room, I might feel like I’m blowing my own trumpet here. I’m not, I’m just telling you, that is my zone of genius. That is my area of unique brilliance. But to do that, I have to work out all of the FPGAs. So the non exponential growth activities, basically all the shit that you don’t want to do that you still do it that you could pay somebody else 15 pounds an hour, maybe even 30 pounds an hour to do for you. These are non exponential growth activities. Now understanding the difference in this is what can get you free. Non exponential growth activities are usually those things that are immediate gratification activities, something that needs to get done, but doesn’t really add long term growth of the business doesn’t really add to the long term growth of the business. Whereas conversely, eg A’s are long term, big vision based business development activities, solo gratification projects, which is always hard when you’re a high achiever, like you all are listening to this podcast and we want it now. Well, in fact, I wanted it yesterday. It takes more time. And it will require your expertise your mastery to accomplish rather than something you can quickly delegate. And when you make a list of all of these tasks that you currently work on in an average week, and you add next to each each item, the pound amount, or euros or dollars, or wherever you listen to this from that you could pay somebody else to complete these tasks, you’ll notice that the EG A’s are worth far more in the long term of your business than than non eg A’s. For obviously, for obvious reasons. You’ll also have massive insights as to where your time is going. As I said earlier, it’s not that you don’t have time to get everything done. Just working on the wrong things. And every business owner falls into this trap in cycles. I have like all transparency here. I get really good at it. And then I get really shit at it for a bit. And then I have to go well, what am I doing? I’ve gone back into old habits because my frugal my programming, my deep rooted, like generational belief system will go a bit woo here and it fell apart with me when I’m talking about this stuff. My generational programming is work ethic is drive we work hard to make money, we don’t stop we work six, seven days a week. And we our success is based on how hard we work that is the like seven generations back. This is come through to me loads of spiritual stuff that I’ve been working on. So it’s easy for even me to forget this stuff and go back to doing all of those non exponential growth activities. And then I go whoa, okay, need to stop need to reset, get to Provence for seven days, drink fabulous wine. I mean, that wasn’t obviously, I’m straight. But I felt like it was important to experience the whole culture and to get myself out of and I did exactly next I wrote a list of tolerances. This is something we’re going to be working with our clients on next week. When we get together, we are going to get them to sit in a room. And we’re going to make them think about what they are tolerating in their professional life and their personal life. Good, so good. But when we have that realisation and when we pull ourselves out of the busyness and the craziness and I get it and the number of clients that you kind of see and all these balls that you’re juggling at the moment And when we have that realisation that you can, that can help you make decisions about your work what you will or will no longer do and allow you to be ruthless about how you’re going to use your time going forward. We can then create these non negotiable E. G A days, maybe a day feels too big stretch for you right now. Maybe it is like at all I can give to this half a day, a month. Okay, your growth is going to be slower, your life is going to be more painful. I’m joking. I mean, it probably will be, the more that you can have these non negotiable times where literally nothing else happens when I was working on my business in, in Provence, I had no, I was not on my phone. I was not on social media, I was not on my emails, I was out. I was in my journal, I was in a room with women. And I had to take out all distractions away. And we were asked big, deep questions that made me think about my life and my business and what’s great and what’s not great, and what I need to change. So yes, we can talk all day long about strategy and the how and like, what, how do I need to make this happen. But first of all, we’ve got to figure out where we’re spending our time, and what we’re going to tolerate and what we’re not anymore. So when we have these eg ad days, this is how you leverage your time and your business. Because it’s really difficult to do this in between clients. So dealing with the now is a different type of thinking than that of being strategic and planning the future. To grow, we’ve got to, we’ve got to now shift your thinking and habits so as to create more uninterrupted blocks of time for these exponential growth activities. These are the ones that are going to set you free from the cage, and the treadmill of clients that you might feel like you’re in. And I’ve been using these eta days, right from the beginning. Like when I first opened my clinic, I used to have days where I would block them out. And it was just me because it was nobody else in the business at the time. And I would go to a place that’s in the countryside in the Peak District not very far from the house 20 minutes. And I would take my notebook. And I would have a whole day where I wasn’t talking about the minutia, I was looking at my business from the bigger picture, the bigger vision. And then, as my business started to grow, and grow and grow and grow, I started having more of these egta times where now I take a whole week out of the business. I have my CFO coming up to Sheffield, next Wednesday, in fact, and we have a full VGA day, we’re going to be talking about that bigger picture thinking we’re going to be projecting into next year, we’re going to check that it’s aligning with the vision and aligning with what we really want to create and our mission and what we’re here to do. And then we can pull out the strategy and the how and all the big show around that the more blocks of time that you create for business development, rather than just putting out fires, or working on the immediate tasks, the more serious traction, you will experience like I have experienced in my businesses, the business owners that we mentor that we coach that we guide that we support. Always, this is always the biggest challenge, we’ve got to get them out. We’ve got to get them out but still retain the income. Those who follow the process, those who trust in the process experienced the biggest increase in revenue. And it’s not all about the money, they experience the biggest increase in time back so that they’re more present with their family and their friends and their kids and the dog and that you our whatever it is, that is the most important people to that. And when you create more of these kind of non negotiable time blocks in your diary, you’ll feel like you’re more in flow in terms of action in your marketing ideas or projects that aren’t necessarily urgent that but those that would significantly drive your business forwards. It helps you this uninterrupted time helps you be intentional about the long game of your business. Why are you running this business rather than trying to squeeze it in between each patient through the day? Or one of the biggest challenges that I always used to find and I just scrapped this really early on? Was there I’d have a half a day patients and then half a day of an ETA day. And I was like okay, I’m doing great. I’m working this time and this is this is what I meant to be doing. This is all really good. And then I just basically didn’t do that because am I, the headspace that you need to be in when you’re seeing clients and when you’re doing eg A’s Like two totally different heads faces. And I found it really difficult to fit between the two, which is why now on a Tuesday, I see clients, I teach classes, nothing else, don’t even open my emails, don’t look at my slack channel. Don’t even go on my phone because I’m like, I’m just, I’m just here for my clients today. That is the headspace I need to be in to deliver the best value and to to be of service to my clients. But I can then have half a day where I’m like, Okay, now I’m out the thing about the treatment room, I’m gonna think about the big picture where I want to be in five years. brain isn’t just not there for it. So I have to just separate those. And I had her clinic time, one day, and then I had to have my Aja stuff happening on another day. I had a client recently, who will be listening to this, I’m not going to name Julius he’ll know who he is. He’s got his and I love him. But we when he first came on, on into thrive, he was doing 100 Plus patients a week. He physically is exhausted, he was mentally exhausted. Or he was trying to split his time between being a dad being a clinic owner, being physio being the accountant, but being everything to everybody. And the person that was really being affected was him. He was consistently busy working with patients. Great. It was me. But you do the math 100 times 100 quid? Yes, sir. Great wage in a week, but he was absolutely exhausted. So the first thing that we did is we looked at is that we looked at his diary. And we looked at how we were going to streamline this and how we were going to pull him out. And we have to do the metrics because his brain was like, This is too scary for me. I said, Let’s do the maths. If you come out of clinic this this many hours, if we just purely look at it from what you’re going to lose, not all the gain, but just the loss. Can you sustain that for one month? You said, Yeah. So can you sustain it for two months? Yeah. Okay. So what we’ve got to do in the next eight weeks is replaced that income without you having to be the one that makes it like in the treatment room. Yeah, okay. Well, that’s, that’s the plan. So we can leave metric driven. Because our brain, sometimes that can be helpful. But then what started to happen is that we were very clear to his practice manager, do not schedule patients in on this day, like absolutely non negotiable. Doc out, I used to have to old school paper diary, scribble it out in by row so heavily, that was absolutely impossible for me to edit it, or like, change it in or add patients in, do whatever you need to do to block that time out. And at first, he really resisted it. How will I make more money? If I’m not working with patients? How will I make more money? If I’m not working with patients on this one day that you’re asking me, to be honest, it doesn’t make sense to me. But very quickly, he realised in the experience that that block of Tammy now had to focus on his business development, on his marketing, on setting replisome referral systems with some local consultants, with interviewing and bringing new people into his team that he his key strengths, when we do his strengths test with him is all about teaching and coaching. And where his unique brilliance is, is having a team that he can teach. And he can impart his amazing knowledge to, but he wasn’t using it. But it’s just the patients on time, when he was able to actually put these initiatives in place. It all of a sudden, he was like, Well, I’ve got my accounts, and I’m not losing any money, how I don’t understand, because I’m not seeing the number of patients that I work with, Oh, I was. But this is where we stop exchanging time and money. And we start swapping them and we start looking at spending one hour on making a connection with a local consultant, who is then going to send you 510 1520 grands worth of work in a year. That’s a 20,000 pound of power job. And at the time, he was the only person that should do that in his business. So it can work it will work and it just allowing you that space, to think about where you want your business to go, and where it’s not serving you and where it’s starving you that just that space in itself will allow that creativity to come through. And the Perito principle is alive and well in how you use your time. And I think about this all the time, when I discovered this 8020 rule, which which is called The Pareto principle. I began seeing it everywhere like in my personal life, in my gym workout in the foods that I ate in my sleep patterns in where I spend my money in What I was doing in my in my day to day work, and it’s basically 20, because that I wear 20% of my shoes to sell at the time. This does not mean I’m going to get rid of the other 80% I have a shoe lover, I don’t care if I whether I’m selling the fabulous shoes anyway, my grocery cart, or like your, you know, your give cart that you stick things in online only varies about 20%. Because we generally will order the same bulk off standard food in a week. And then if you think about it in your business, most of us 20% of the tasks are the ones that I really enjoy. Versus the 80% where I don’t really, but 80% of my time is spent on all the tasks I don’t really enjoy doing. 20% of our marketing activities often bring you about 80% of your clients. 20% the clients often are the ones that will refer most consistently. So this is a real breakthrough breakthrough. Because when you realise that the way that you use your time in your business to take how much your business grows, if 20% of activities were what really drove the business forward significantly, while 80% didn’t have the same impact or value. Why am I still doing them? Why am I still busy being busy only 80%. If I use my time simply really simply to do more of the activities on the 20% list. My business would just grow. And I’m now created loads more time. So what was our Wait, what are you wasting or what was high wasting my valuable time? on things that didn’t produce anywhere near the results that other stuff did? And what would happen if I just transitioned not saying you need to do this today or tomorrow or if I if I just transitioned to using exponentially more of my time on the things that did create those bigger transformational results in the business. By getting rid of some if not all of these non exponential growth activities that bought you really rubbish mediocre results anyway and replacing them with exponential growth activities that previously only took up 20% of my time, you then create what we call the compound effect, do less better. Warren Buffett says the difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything. I feel like I want to drop the mic and walk away if I haven’t like don’t do that. So I want you to take this week because we’re really focused on this over the next like four or five episodes. I want you to really take this week to write down for a week track. Where am I? What am I spending my time on everything and anything personally and professionally. And of those activities, highlight star circle, whatever you need to do are the ones that really make a difference to the number of clients that come through the door and the amount of money that you make. Thank you for joining me on this week’s episode. I can’t wait to be back next week where we’re going to continue with this theme and really dive into kind of the mindset and think about our boundaries and our barriers and our self worth. See that.
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