Listen to The REAL Truth about business Podcast

Setting the Stage for Success in 2024: Start with Self

In this episode, Michelle introduces a series for the month of November focused on preparing for 2024. She emphasizes the importance of reflection as a foundation for successful planning and encourages listeners to start by assessing themselves in various aspects of their lives, including personal successes, skills, strengths, celebrations, and areas of improvement.

Self-assessment is intended to boost confidence and provide internal validation.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Reflecting on personal successes is essential, separate from business achievements, to celebrate individual accomplishments.
  2. Identifying and evaluating dormant skills that can be utilized in different areas of life or business is crucial.
  3. Recognizing and appreciating personal strengths, even those taken for granted, can instill confidence.
  4. The self-assessment should also include celebrations, pushing one’s comfort zone, and identifying areas for improvement.

Grab your free worksheets here:



Michelle (00:01.154)

Hello, hello, welcome back to The Real Truth About Business. Oh, my favorite time of year, it is biz planning season. So we are kicking off a series for the month of November, which is designed to prep for 2024. So a lot of people always just dive into planning, right? They're just...

busy, busy with new ideas and things they want to do inside of 2024 and they'll just start taking action. But one of the things I really want to encourage everybody to do and what I'm hoping to do through this little mini series of prepping is really to take the time to do some reflection. And so each week I'm going to dive into a different area of...

your business, your personal assessments and whatnot that you can reflect on, reflect on and really set yourself up for success in 2024. I know, trust me, I hear you. I know that sounds cliche like, oh, let's set ourselves up for success. Right? Like everybody says it, I get that. But I really do want you to kind of look at different areas. Okay? So if you caught the live...

part of this little mini series is I've been doing lives on Instagram that kind of touch on these subjects, but inside the podcast episodes, we're going to dive a little bit deeper. Okay. So the first area that I want you to really reflect on as you prep for the new year is your self. Okay. We must start by doing a bit of a self assessment. All right. Because we typically, what I see is

we become business owners, entrepreneurs, as entrepreneurs, no matter what title you give yourself, solopreneur, we immediately just identify as business owners. And that's pretty much who we become. And we sometimes lose our sense of self. And I think our sense of self is what makes us incredible business owners. But yet we tend to spend so much time reflecting on business that we...

Michelle (02:20.374)

don't always reflect on ourselves. All right? And so I found myself in this position, just through conversations, realizing that there are parts of me that I have really let go, just because I haven't needed them, or I've kind of pushed them aside, or I'm constantly learning new things, and it really kind of affects, and it can, I don't want to say, it's not really a hindrance by any means, it's not that. It's...

just that there are probably certain aspects to you and yourself that you have not really brought to the surface in a long time. So with this series, grab a pen and paper. And if you want, I do have some worksheets just that are easy. They're really just some questions, but they're going to go along with this episode. I didn't really want to make like really big, expensive worksheets. So they're just...

very basic, but a place for you to jot down this information. Okay. So we're going to start with self-assessment. And the first one is I want you to really start to analyze or reflect on your successes, right? So start with your personal successes. What is something personally that you have done? All right. And I don't want this to be business related if possible. Okay. Um,

Excuse me. If possible, I really, really want you to really just celebrate your personal successes. Like what is something that has been a personal success in 2023? And I'll give you an example of one that was mine. One of my personal successes in 2023 was to have a Christmas fund set aside.

this year, right? One that I didn't touch all year long that was sitting there ready and waiting for me for Christmas, right? This is something that we've talked about doing my husband and I have talked about and we've done it. We've had some savings, but we've never really set aside like a good chunk of money for Christmas. And this year we have that and it feels so, so good, right?

Michelle (04:38.43)

I love that Christmas is like my absolute favorite season. Gifts is my love language 100%, 1000%. I love, love to buy gifts. And so even though Christmas isn't about the gifts, for me it's about just being able to like go shopping and let people know like, hey, I saw this and I was thinking about you. And I just love the whole thing. And so I really wanted to be able to have a fund available.

so that I could do that this year, right? And I could just have it there. So that was one success. The other success for me, the biggest success, probably my personal, was pulling off a three day surprise party for my husband, right? It was his 60th birthday, and I wanted to do this surprise party, and man oh man, if you weren't following it on social media, go check it out. It's on my Facebook page. The whole thing is documented. There's an album.

But I was able to fly in and surprise him with like over 20 family members and friends. And then we had another 20 friends here locally from Florida and that joined us. And like every single day was a surprise for him. He knew nothing. Like how I pulled that off. And not only did I pull it off, but like every single thing went as planned. Everything. Like there was not one thing that did not go as planned. And so that was a huge success. Right?

just being able to celebrate those things, right? Remind yourself what a fucking badass you are because we forget, right? These things are not, and it could be monetary, it could be personal, it could be health related, it could be family related, it could be related to your kids, but something that you've done that was a personal success, right? I want it to be 100% about you, right? Did you set boundaries? Were you able to take quiet time?

Another personal success that I've had is I've been really setting aside just small pockets of my day I set up a little chair right in my office space and Through the help of Britt with my Reiki Spiritual mentor I have been holding myself accountable to just sitting in that sacred space by myself doing something every single day right like just really tapping back into my mindfulness practice and it's

Michelle (07:00.738)

been so amazing. I also, these are like little things, but I'm going to keep giving you these examples because I want you to realize that like these successes are not just little, but they build up and they're, they build into bigger things, right? And we tend to just let them fall. So like another huge success for me is like, I have downloaded a couple games on my phone, like a word game, and then I've got this like color by number app and it keeps me from scrolling.

Right? Like it energizes my brain. Like I love the word game. That's so fun. It's like boggle plus a crossword. It's fun. It's just, but the biggest success of it is not about the games, right? It's not about the games. It's not about the coloring. It's not about any of that. It's a, it's really just about, again, tapping into that mindfulness practice to stop the scroll. Right? Yes. I want to spend less time on my phone.

But I also really understand now that my brain really thrives on like stimulation and ADHD. You know, I definitely feel like I'm undiagnosed ADHD or self diagnosed, I should say. But I really, really enjoy just that mindless kind of entertainment.

It really helps me kind of come down after a day. It keeps me from thinking about business. It gives my mind a time to rest and not think about all of what's going on. And so just doing those little things are like massive successes. Okay. So those are just some personal things. Then the other thing I really want you to start tapping into and reflect on is your skills. Right? When is the last time I did an episode, I don't even know. I think I talked about this at least three or four years ago.

And I think I actually have an opt-in. I'll try to, I'm going to try to attach it. Um, I'll make, I don't know. It doesn't matter, but skills, like what are some skills that you have that you are not utilizing, right? Like skills, these could be business related. They could be personal. But I think when is the last time you've basically done a skills assessment, right? Like everything that you could bring to the table. And I think this is such a powerful exercise and reflection.

Michelle (09:15.318)

because there are so many skills that we have that we are not utilizing. And this is something I really have been reflecting on because I have a lot of other business skills that I have not been using in my business. Not that it's because I don't want to, it's just because the clients that I'm working with right now don't necessarily need it, or at least I thought they didn't need it, but I could bring them back to the table and...

really, really help them out and or serve a different audience. So if you listen to a couple other episodes back, I talked about how I wanted to really serve and get back into some of the corporate more smaller, like a couple million dollar, like small business corporations, because they just utilize a different skill set that I have. Like I am Lean Six Sigma certified. I am Kaizen certified. I have background in like AP and AR and being able to analyze accounts receivable and accounts payable.

Inventory management is something that I was really, really amazing at. A lot of people hate managing inventory. Inventory management is 100% my jam. I loved it. I used to manage $2 million worth of inventory from little tiny things that were less than one cent up to $5,000 lighting units. I love doing inventory management, especially in the manufacturing space.

And that is a skill that I have not utilized in a long, long time. And not only could I utilize that in more of the bigger, small manufacturers, but I could use that skill with solopreneur manufacturers, right? Like your Etsy or your creatives, people that are building and creating things and selling physical products and have inventory, right? Like being able to set up simple min-max systems that track your inventory, helping them to

get a better handle on their inventory, understanding what their inventory costs are. I love utilizing that skillset, and so it's not something I wanna necessarily offer as a service because it would be a complete pivot to a different audience. However, it can be something that I can talk about. I'm gonna have it as a spot on my website. And I just really wanna start utilizing that again. So like...

Michelle (11:35.082)

There's just skills I think that you have, but then once you list them all, so literally just brain dump, anything and everything that you've done. It could be personal, it could be professional. Meal prepping is something that I'm phenomenal with. Again, do I want to do anything with it from a business standpoint? No, not really.

everybody's asked me about it. Like, could I start a blog with it? Yeah, but who the hell's got time for this shit, right? Like I don't want to do that right now, but it doesn't mean it's not a skill that I have and how can I utilize these skills in other ways, right? So that's step one is like, just dropping every single skill that you have, not only just to see like if you want to utilize them, but just to like give yourself like a pat on the back. Like you would be surprised how many things you are amazing at, how many skills you possess.

that you've forgotten about and just being able to sit and reflect on that. And again, like really, really look and see like how much of a fucking bad-ass you are. Like that's what I really want you to do with this. This, this part is just really looking at like, holy shit, look at all these things I can do. Right? Like I really want you to understand that because what I want you to do with this self assessment is I want this to in

fuse confidence inside of you. I want this, I want you to look at this and really think like, wow, I am really freaking good at what I do. I have a lot I can bring to the table. I know that I can help in this way. Like these are all things that I know without a shadow of doubt that I am really freaking good at. Like that is the whole point of this is to really, really instill confidence, right? To give you that like immediate sense of like,

because it's so easy to look at things that are going wrong. It's so easy to look at all the things we need to improve on, which we are going to talk a little bit about that. But the self-assessment, you need to start with all of these amazing things. So personal successes, the skills you bring to the table, and then strengths, right? Like maybe strengths are more like personality-based or strengths could be...

Michelle (13:42.31)

not like physical skills or things like that, but like what are some, do you have communication? Like are you a really powerful communicator? Are you an extremely logical thinker, right? Like what are some things that are very, very like really high quality strengths that you, you possess that people tell you about? And a lot of times these are things that people say to you like that you don't even realize. So you may even have to like ask other people, like just ask people like,

What is something that you feel like is a huge strength of mine? I really encourage you to ask people that. Um, obviously because most of the time we don't recognize our own strengths. I had, um, somebody tell me recently that one of my strengths, which I know it's a strength, but I guess I just, I don't really, really see it as like this really amazing, powerful skill and strength that like other people don't possess.

is this ability to be a power connector. And that is something that is a massive strength of mine. And I take it for granted because it is something that comes so easily to me. And I think that if it comes easy to you, that is a strength that you really need to tap into more. And for me, being a power connector is so simple. When I have a conversation with somebody, my brain is immediately firing and going, oh, have you talked to this person? Or, oh my gosh, you should.

talk to this or let me introduce you here. Hey, I think you and so-and-so would be great friends or like it just is so natural to me that I don't really recognize it as a strength. So sometimes until somebody else pointed it out to me, I didn't recognize that. And so sometimes this exercise you may have to get a little help with on this one is just to ask people. And I wouldn't even really, I would ask your clients, but I would really ask people more

in your personal life, like people that see you just even personally. Um, I actually, it was really interesting is a couple of weekends ago, we went down and spent some time with my aunts and uncles that I don't really see that often. And my one aunt who I, I probably have seen twice in the past, I don't know, five years, we were talking about something about coming down there and we were getting ready to go. And I just said, Oh, I just didn't feel as organized to come down here for this weekend.

Michelle (16:01.77)

I was just so busy all week long and she said to me, oh my God, Michelle, you're one of the most organized people I know. I can't imagine that's even a true statement. So for somebody who I have not seen, like obviously my aunt, she's my aunt, but as an adult, I have not really, I really am not in her life. We're not close, right? Like we see each other on social media or different things, but like I have not really spoken to her. So for her to see that is a strength of mine and we really don't interact on a day to day basis.

That's what I'm saying. These are things, there are strengths that you possess that you are discrediting 100%. Organization is a huge strength of mine. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have been able to pull off a three-day surprise party without my husband having a clue. I also have the ability to think fast on my feet. That's a massive strength because I had to think fast on my feet. I never had to think as fast on my feet as I did during that party planning when everybody else kept slipping and I had to keep covering it up.

And somehow I managed to do it and he didn't know, right? But it's also a strength that I use in business, which is why I have rapid fire coaching, which is why I love that style of business, that business model for me and my clients because I can think fast and I actually work better when I am thinking fast. Right? So that's where I'm saying like, how can you use all of these strengths, right? In your skills and different areas, then

Once you have all of that, and then also any other celebrations, is there anything else that you want to just celebrate? Again, celebrate about you and yourself and how amazing you are. Just really reflect on that. Just celebrate that. Celebrate anything that you've overcome this year, anything that you learned that was new. Is there a celebrating, putting yourself in, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone?

celebrating anything, anything and everything. Like just that would leave an extra section there for like, is there any other celebrations that you want to? And then again, with self-assessment, we sometimes, we also really need to reflect on areas of improvement, okay? So what is an area that you really want to improve upon? And I will say for me, one of the areas that I want to improve upon is,

Michelle (18:26.854)

a little bit in my scheduling, right? My time and my scheduling and not over-committing, not saying yes to too many things, and really looking at also sometimes my motivation levels. I realized too that one of my areas of improvement that I need is I've got to get out of this house. I took the big leap and I rented an office for 2024, but

Part of that was because I feel like when I'm home, I can find a million other things to do. And it's starting to affect some of my work because it's not that I'm not getting it done, but it's causing unnecessary pressure because I will find other things to do at home and not actually get my work done. And then I get it done, but it's because it's procrastinated, whatever. Procrastination is an area of improvement, which I'm also...

really researching and understanding that's part of being an ADHD neurodivergent in a sense is that procrastination really is a thing. Also that's something that I really want to improve upon is just understanding a little bit more how my brain works, understanding do I need the official diagnosis? I don't know if I need the official diagnosis. It's pretty prevalent. I think it's pretty obvious at this point that I am, but I do think even...

getting the diagnosis and working with somebody would be very beneficial because I also believe that a lot of my clients are ADHD and so being able to help them, right? So understanding areas of improvement there and things that I can do to actually really set myself up for success. I know there's some herbs I could take, there's some other just different routines that I could put in place, there's other things that I could do and so that is something I really want to improve upon.

in 2024, right? It's just really understanding my brain, how it works and how I can set myself up to work with it and have my brain working for me. I don't even want to say against me because I don't feel like it's working against me. I just think that I could use it more efficiently, right? So there's just different things like that. But like, where do you have areas of improvement that it could be personal, it could be in your communication, it could be in...

Michelle (20:48.73)

your quality time, it could be in being more present when you are in a situation. I am finding that myself. I am finding that when people, when I'm in situations, my brain is thinking about other things and I'm not actively listening sometimes. That is something I want to improve upon. It's not really on Zoom or in business. This is really 100% personal because I am...

usually thinking about a million other things or doing other things and I'm trying to multitask. So an area of improvement is being present and not multitasking and actively listening when people are talking to me and not just saying it. So I think that there's always things that we can improve upon and it's not to beat yourself up. It's just again to create awareness. The whole

Michelle (21:44.978)

It's just a self-assessment. Check in with yourself. How am I doing? What are the areas that I'm really excelling? And what are the areas that I feel I need to improve upon a bit? That's really all it is, right? But these things really are going to set you up. I know, again, cliche set you up for success in 2024 because when you can be honest with yourself about what is going on and you can feel confident

in yourself and you can celebrate yourself without needing all of this external validation. We have become a society that relies so heavily on external validation that we need to get back to a place where we are very validated by our own internal validations and not needing those external validations. And that is what this is designed to do is give yourself that internal validation.

Right? Really get comfortable with internal validation. External validation is icing on the cake at this point. Right? Like, but really this assessment I want you to do is to really get so freaking confident in yourself and be so honest with yourself that like, it doesn't matter what anybody else says. Thank you. It's just feedback. So external validation becomes feedback. That's it. Right? And that is really, really going to propel you.

into 2024. And then also, we're going to, inside the Focus Visionary Mastermind next year, this is something that I am going to incorporate, we do more of in throughout the year because yes, it's wonderful to do it once a year, but we need these reminders more often and we don't, we tend to just, again, always move forward. And I'm a huge

We always do reflection inside of the strategic planning program. I can't wait. The Focus Visionary. Go click on the link. Like seriously, this is going to be the best strategic planning program out there. And yes, I just said that. And yes, I am owning that. You know why? Because I've done the self assessment because I have the confidence because I feel so strongly. I've done the reflection work. I know exactly what went well.

Michelle (24:08.382)

I know exactly what needed improvement. I know exactly how I need to show up. And it is 100% without a doubt, I feel so strongly that it will be the best and number one strategic sales planning program of 2024. So if I were you, I'd go click the link. However, my point is, is that not only inside of the BizPlan program in prior years, we've done a lot of reflection on the business side. And...

one of the things I am really incorporating into 2024 is much more of this self-assessment because it's so easy to get down on ourselves. It's so easy to look at and feel like we are not doing enough, right? We always are chasing that next big goal. We're always chasing that next big thing. We're always chasing that shiny object that's down, you know.

100 feet from us or a thousand feet away, right? Instead of just sitting and really looking at and going, holy shit, damn, that is freaking amazing. Like I did such a great job with that, right? And so the self assessment, right? Is like, again, really looking at like, are there skills that you are not utilizing and bringing to the table? Do you wanna bring them to the table? Is it time? Is it not time, right? Part of the thing is like,

Again, having this list of skills is something that you need to decide. Do I want to, I don't need that right now. I don't want to utilize that skill right now. It's not something I want to bring to the table. But if you're looking at this on a regular basis, then you can decide like, yeah, this is a skill I want to bring and this is a skill I want to showcase this year. And this is a skill I want to showcase during this program. Right? Maybe again, one of the things that I, the skill, like I just was telling you guys,

about is like inventory management and understanding like your costs and everything else. That is a skill that I am bringing back and bringing back to the table inside of the focus visionary because I see where people don't understand. And yes, I don't want to get into being replacing CPAs, but I really want to help people understand the costs, the costs involved in their business and really having very good handle on exactly what's going on.

Michelle (26:28.61)

what they're spending and where their profit margins are lying. You know, we look at profit margins on a very base level and I want to start dialing deeper into that. And so that is something I'm really going to start incorporating into next year's program. So anyways, take the time to set this up tomorrow, the next week, you know, each week we're going to build on this. So this is part of a four, four week series moving into December.

The Focus Visionary starts the first week of December, so all of this is obviously leading up to when we are starting. But even if you don't join the Focus Visionary, you should be leading up to the new year, right? So no matter when you're listening, you're leading into the new year. Even if you're listening to this in January, you can do this and again, reflect. There's never a wrong time to reflect, okay? So grab your worksheets in the show notes.

and do this self-assessment, okay? Start with self, all right? That's what I want you to do. You know how to find me, I want you to share this episode, this series, this is like the prep for 2024. Share this series on Instagram, Michelle underscore Danio, and tag me in this, share your worksheet, send me a DM, I wanna see your skills, I wanna celebrate with you, I wanna celebrate your successes.

I want to freaking pat you on the back and tell you what a bad ass you are. So please, please share with me, tag me, share this episode with a friend, leave a review if you're feeling called to it. But seriously, let's propel ourselves into success in 2024. I'm here. I'm cheering you on. I love you.

Recent Post

Sunday Morning Brew Newsletter

Join our vibrant community of go-getters and dream-chasers.

Let Sunday Morning Brew be your guide to a productive, action-taking, and joy filled week.

Embrace the nostalgia of those lazy mornings while equipping yourself with the insights that matter.

📩 Join the Brew Crew and start your week on the right note! ☕📰

Delivered EVERY week direct into your email inbox 📥