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The year of LESS to achieve MORE

In this episode, I wanted to be open and honest and share my vision for 2024 and the importance of doing less to accomplish more.

To emphasize the need to focus on what truly matters and to say no to obligations that don’t align with one’s goals.

In this episode we will be discussing my key success factors, including protecting her schedule and avoiding overwhelm, leaning into the idea that more is NOT always better and emphasizing the importance of customizing strategic growth plans.

Takeaways

  • Focus on doing less to accomplish more.
  • Say no to obligations that don’t align with your goals.
  • Slow down and stop with the feelings that everything has to be done RIGHT NOW.
  • Build habits gradually and avoid overwhelm.
  • Customize your strategic growth plan and reject the ‘more is better’ mentality.

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Transcript

Michelle (00:01.474)

Hello, hello, happy new year. Welcome back to the real truth about business, the first episode of 2024. I hope everybody had a relaxing December holiday season. Hopefully you got some good quality time in with family, friends, or even just yourself. I know, I don't know where December went. I know December was much, much busier than I had planned, but...

It's all good. It's all good. And it actually is leading me to the conversation that I want to have today about the vision for 2024 about this thought process around doing less to do more. This is the theme that just keeps coming up. I was having a conversation with a friend about it and she was like, you know, I like, I understand you, you can't even put it into words, but like, I totally hear what you're saying. So, um, I really want to dive into that today, but

First, real quick before we do, I wanted to remind you that if you are not subscribed or on the list for the Sunday morning brew, make sure you click the link in the show notes and get on the Sunday morning brew. I decided, I think I talked about this in an episode a while back that instead of creating all these different lead magnets and having all of these different things, right? Again, doing less so that we can do more.

One of the things that I was going to do was use the Sunday Morning Brew, which is my weekly Sunday newsletter, and use that as my lead magnet by giving everybody a freebie every single week. So there's going to be 52 weeks of freebies. And don't feel like it's going to get super overwhelming, like, oh my God, I promised myself I wasn't going to download any other freebies. This is not going to be like big classes or anything like that. I mean, your freebie might be...

like a kick in the pants extra episode on the podcast. It may be a worksheet. It may be five tasks that you can do every single day. It may be an accountability. It might be a dashboard. Like there's all kinds of different things that are coming, but again, they are going to be easy, actionable resources. Things that you can implement and take action on in less than 30 minutes, okay? So they are not gonna be like massive, super overwhelming. Okay, so Sunday morning brew.

Michelle (02:26.126)

share it, please do me a favor. Like I want this podcast and the newsletter both to grow simultaneously. So if you are enjoying this podcast and you get a lot out of it, screenshot it and share it on your story, share it on your Instagram, your TikTok, your LinkedIn, invite other people to listen in on the podcast. And same thing with the Sunday morning brew. I know many of you reply and tell me how much you enjoy it.

And trust me, like those replies literally make my day. Like I love on Sundays, all day long, I get these replies or messages on Monday mornings when you read them on Monday morning. So if you're enjoying it, like share it, share it. This is something that we're gonna be doing a lot of in 2024. So anyway, today I want to really dive into my vision for 2024. I've got my vision.

worksheet right here. Oh, and if you're watching this and not listening, you're getting a little sneak peek into my new office. The background's not completely set up the way I want it, but we're getting closer. So anyway, and I want you to use some of these questions if you've not taken the time to do any of this vision work or you have not, I know we talked about it, but I want to share kind of my vision for 2024, especially as I went through December, I think

I spoke about this in the setting the stage for success, the casting the vision episode. I think I talked about kind of my vision, but as December rolled in and it was so busy and there were certain things that just didn't get done, there are a couple of things that I really, really want to touch on that I think are going to be very, very important for you as well. Okay. So overall, how do I want the year ahead to feel? And I wrote down joyful. I wrote down purposeful. I wrote it.

fulfilling and engaging. And I put in here, like, I just want it to feel like I am working and serving with the right people. I want to feel like everyone is growing and winning, right? Like everyone, whether you're listening to this, whether we ever talk one-to-one, or maybe you just listen to this podcast, like, I just wanna feel like we are.

Michelle (04:45.298)

all winning that we are all succeeding. 2023 for a lot of people was like a really just a very different year. I don't want to say it was good or bad because I think there's, it was just different, right? And so I just want everything to feel right this year. And I want you to think about that. Like what would make this year feel right to you? And I said this to my husband the other yesterday when I was going through.

um, and sharing with him my vision. I said, you know, it's very, very hard for me to define right, but it's a feeling. Everything just feels right. My offers feel right. My audience feels right. The things I'm saying yes to feel right. The newsletter feels right. This podcast feels right. Like everything, it just feels right. Like I don't feel like there's anything I'm doing that doesn't feel like the right thing to do.

Right? And so I really want you to sit with that and think about that. Like as you're, because it's January, right? It's January, 2024. You have the opportunity to create this. What does that look like for you? How do you define right? You know, like what in all honesty does that look like? All right. And then what do you want to be known for in 2024? You know, like what is it that you want to be known for? And

I think you can create a bunch of titles. I think you can create all of these different things. And the thing that keeps coming back to me for myself is this strategic planning expert, right? Like I want to be known as the expert in strategic planning. If you are struggling with your growth, if you have a million ideas, if you're struggling to balance the grind and the goals and the visions and all of that, and you're trying to find this balance for growth and scaling, and you need a strategic plan on how to do that. That's what I want to be known for.

Right? And I also really want to be known for the person that helps you do this in a way that feels aligned. Right? Um, one of my clients named me her strategic alignment strategists or strategic alignment coach, something like that, like strategic alignment. She said, I, I need you and I love that you help me keep everything in alignment. Right? That's what I want to get known for. So using that is kind of your guiding light, like your North star.

Michelle (07:10.518)

How can you make sure everything that you're doing, you need to be looking at it and saying, like, if I put this piece of content out, is this going to help me get known as a strategic planning expert? Is this going to help me get known as, whatever it is, a hypnotherapist, a trademark attorney, the click up specialist, right? I'm using all my current clients. But, and I'm not saying that you don't wanna put content out there that helps people get to know you as a person.

But again, like what type of expertise do you want to get known for? And then being very mindful, like put that front and center for yourself so that you are very mindful to know like, is this piece of content is what I'm doing right now is how I'm presenting myself. If somebody comes to you with an opportunity and says, Hey Michelle, I'd love for you to teach networking. Okay. I can teach networking, right? I can teach networking, but that's not what I want to be known for. So

when I have to look at that is like, is networking a way in for me to also educate this audience on how to create a strategic plan for growth? Can I use networking as a piece of strategic planning, right? Like be very, very mindful about the things that you say yes to, which leads me to the next key thing that keeps coming up for me is doing less to accomplish more.

I've journaled about this. I literally for almost every single day in December. And I feel like, and it finally came to me actually on new year's day, it came to me of this. You need to say yes to less. I don't know if you've read the book by Shonda Rhimes, the year of yes, where she said yes to any new opportunity. And I feel like this is my year of less, not yes, the year of less actually saying no to more things, saying no to

Um, things that don't feel aligned saying no to chasing people saying no, just really doing less, um, not getting overextended. One of the things that also keeps coming up for me, and I know a lot of other people and I'm seeing this a lot as a trend too, is this like constant feeling of rushing this constant feeling of behind this constant feeling like you're not good enough, this imposter syndrome, this comparison, I just, I always feel behind.

Michelle (09:33.674)

Right? Like I feel like I am always behind, even with this office. I felt like I'm behind getting it all set up. Like even right now, the background isn't what I want. I'm missing a plan, you know, like all these little things. And I was like stressing and it was causing me so much stress because I felt like it had to be done by January 1st so that I could get in here. And I had to remind myself that like, it gets to be a work in progress. Right? Like I felt like my website copy. I'm kind of rebamping my website again, like that had to be done. I felt like I had.

all of these things that had to be done by January 1st. And I was putting this massive pressure on myself, massive pressure on like stressful on my husband, on clients, on other people, like other people that were helping me accomplish these things. And I'm like, why? Like who says it has to be done right now? You know? And so saying yes to less is saying like, okay, well what needs to get done today?

right? What do I need to get done? Do I need to say yes to this? Do I need to feel guilty about the fact that I haven't seen this person for five days? Do I need to feel guilty that I haven't talked to so-and-so? Right? Like I was just chatting with a friend and she said to me, she's like, Michelle, has it like honestly been since like September, since we've seen her talked? And I was like, I think it has. And I said in no offense, but like, it's okay. Like it's all right. You know, we're talking now we're reconnecting, but I've just been

focused on myself and selfishly or unselfishly, like we need to be more okay with focusing on ourselves, right? And if somebody approaches you about an opportunity, maybe or maybe not, you know? So really thinking about your vision ahead, I want you to really think about like, if you're feeling behind, if you're feeling overwhelmed, like what do you need to do?

What do you need to do to create this sense of peace, to create this sense of ease, to create this sense of excitement, right? So that you can also manage that grind, right? Because the day to day, the things, those things are not gonna stop, right? You still have kids, we still have dinner, we still have like life things that happen, and then we also still have business, right? We still have clients, we still have tech issues, we still have scheduling, we still have content, we still have marketing, lead generation, sales, right? Like all of those things, those are just the grind. And then we have all these new big ideas, like.

Michelle (11:55.378)

I want to do this. I want to create 52 weeks of freebies. Like one of the things that was driving me crazy is like, I told you in the beginning, I'm going to do 52 weeks of freebies, um, with the Sunday morning brew, which I have a lot of them already because I've created so many freebies over the years, but I felt like I had to have a list of them, right? Like I had to have a list and I had to get it done in December. Why? Why am I sitting here feeling behind about that? I literally have to get you a freebie by Sunday.

That's the only promise result, right? And if that means I get five ahead, great. If that means I'm literally making sure I have the freebie ready for you Saturday before you get it Sunday, that's all that matters too, right? Like nobody's gonna know whether or not you created this freebie on Saturday or if it's something you created six years ago and it's been sitting and it's ready and rock and roll, right? Yes, I would like to feel ahead of the game.

you know, I definitely don't want to be creating and making sure I've got your freebies lined up because I want to be very strategic in them. Um, but I also don't need to have all 12 months laid out right now. Right? Like I didn't have to have 12 months of freebies set up for you in order to be able to promote the Sunday morning brew and the 52 weeks of freebies. Right? Like I just, that's ridiculous. But again, we put this pressure on ourselves. So less, right. And

even with the freebies, like they don't have to be big, massive freebies. Like they need to be actionable. They need to be small. They need to be like things that people can digest easily, not massive things. Okay. So really, really thinking about doing less, you do not need to be on all the social media platforms. You do not need to attend every networking group. You do not need to be in every paid mastermind.

Right? You do not need to be following up and doing all of these things. And one of the other things that's really been, I've been focusing on too, is like this feeling of like, I want to create all these new habits, right? New habits, new, new. I want to walk the dog every day. I want to do Pilates every day or yoga every single day. I want to do this. I want to do this. I want to do this. I want to make sure I'm doing this. Here's the thing.

Michelle (14:11.402)

If you've not read the book Atomic Habits, I highly recommend it. And I probably will reread it this year, but it's like, not everything has to be done again right now. So what do I need to do? Maybe I need to start with walking the dog three times a week, better than what I'm doing right now. Or maybe it's following up, like following up with three people a week. That's it. Then maybe it becomes three people a day or three people, three times a day. Right. But like,

don't jump in with both feet if you've not been there yet, right? Like don't try to go from zero to a hundred. And this is what I see all the time when it comes to strategy too. And when it comes to business growth and all of these things, and this is why I always say making sure you keep things in alignment because the grind still happens the day to day still happens. And I've got an episode coming up on that about like the focus visionary framework and how it balances the grind and the vision and how that's where like the middle is that secret sauce.

But you've got to really think about like, what is it that I need to do? Like, what is 1% better? And I know people have talked about this. This is not something new. I'm not, this is not something I've made up, but like, what is one thing you can do? Right. And then when you master that habit, how can you add on to another one? Right. But let's not try to add on five all at the same time, because this is what's creating overwhelm.

This is what's setting us up to fail. This is what's setting us up for disaster, right? Like, and then we shut down. It just happens, right? And so why? Why? So maybe that doesn't resonate, but maybe it does. And if it does resonate with you, then maybe you need to make 2024 your year of less as well. Okay? So I'm just less stress, less drama, less obligation.

less commitment, less feeling guilty about doing all or not doing these things. Like I'm just not going to do it anymore. And that's what I said to a friend. I was like, Hey, you know, like we can get together or not. Like, and I'm not trying to be rude, but like I don't feel bad about it. Because I'm just so focused on my own self and my business, because I feel like I put everybody else first. I know exactly what I'm trying to achieve this year. I have very clear goals lined out. And in order to do that,

Michelle (16:29.826)

That means I have to say no to a lot of things. And I know it's going to really hinder some relationships, but at the end of the day, what does it matter? Like weighing out what's more important, right? Like I realized that a lot of these relationships that I chase aren't worth chasing. Right? So why are we doing it? So anyway,

That's just kind of, I know it went tanginey there for a while, but I've really like, I wanted to just share an episode on my heart. Like I've got all this content laid out of like these really super strategic episodes I wanted to let share with you, but like none of it matters if you don't understand the vision for what I'm trying to create and the vision that I'm helping you create. Because again, like the best laid strategy, if there's no vision behind it, if there's no feeling behind it, if there's no emotion behind it,

You're literally just going to go through the motions, but the results are not going to net you what you're hoping to get because there is no emotion behind it. And so maybe 2024, maybe December was too busy. Maybe you're feeling this excitement, but it doesn't feel in alignment. Take a step back. And then I think I talked about this in the other episode, but one of my favorite.

favorite questions to ask, especially when I'm kind of like planning a vision for a year ahead is like at the end of December, 2024, what are going to be my key success factors and why, right? Again, what's the emotion behind it? Why is this important? One of the things for me is profit margin, right? Like I am an accountant by trade. I understand profit margin. I help my other clients do it. But one of the things that I have always in the past six years of being in business that I have let go.

is my profit margin, right? Like I know I wanna keep my profit margin at 80% or 75%, let's say, less salary and taxes and all of that. Like that's a whole nother conversation, but either way, like profit margin. But it's not just about a number on a piece of paper. The profit margin for me is about trusting myself not to say yes to every offer that comes my way, like, oh, I need this, I need to learn more, I need to buy this, I need this help, I think I need to do this.

Michelle (18:47.498)

Right? Like I don't need to learn more. I know what I need to do. I don't need to feel guilty about hiring people. I know what team members I need. Right? So the profit margin is about trusting myself to make the decisions I know I need to make and not making them out of guilt, not making them out of feeling like, Oh, maybe I should do this with this person because they're getting these results. Right? Like, is it really what

I need in my business, right? So the profit margin piece is like that guiding star, but there's so many other things behind it, right? It's important to me because it will mean I trusted myself. This is exactly where I wrote down. It will mean I trusted myself to charge and retain my own money, right? Because that's one of the other things. It's like, Oh, hey, if you need me, I'm here. And I just, I'm all for giving away free value. But at the end of the day, it's still a business, right? We've talked about this before. Um,

And that it means I trusted myself to make very smart money decisions and that I'm not a spender, right? And that it's not about, it's just about spending wisely, not just about spending to spend. Again, at this point, there are a few things that I need in order to help grow my business for sure. Um, and I want to make sure that I'm hiring the right people that I'm buying into the right programs.

right? That I am not just saying yes, because it's like, Oh, I think this person's got a great audience. So I'm going to do this. Or I'm going to say that like really making sure that the investments I make feel very, very in alignment and that I can commit to them. And that's why the profit margin is so important to me. So like right now in January, there's a couple of other things I would love to do. I've got somebody kind of in the wings, like on a creative side, but like, financially it would.

throw my profit margin more than I, you know, lower than I want it. And so I was like, no, which is also the motivation to increase revenue because I want to hire her because I have ideas, right? So it's like finding that balance of like, now is not the right time to hire her, but it's also giving me fuel and motivation to say like, okay, I've got her and I want to hire her, but in order to do that.

Michelle (21:07.466)

revenue needs to be at this level. So what do I need to do to get there? And then really focusing my action and taking the disciplined focused action that needs to happen to get the revenue where I want to bring on the expenses that I need. Right? Like, so I know that sounds a little bit confusing. And for some people you're like, you know, and I know other business coaches tell you like, you've got to invest to make money. Right? And I get all that I've been there, done that. Trust me when I tell you, I mean, I'm 15, 20, 30,

probably plus thousand dollars in investments into my business. So I am not one to hold back on investing to like, I am a big fan of spend money and make money, but this is the year that I save, right? This is the year that I turn the profit that I actually want to turn, right? It's a completely different mindset. So again, that's my key success factor. It may not be yours, but like, what is it and why does that mean so much to you? Right? Like,

Why does it mean so much? Okay? And so anyway, those are just a couple things. There's some other key success factors that are personal, like from a savings perspective, there's another success factor about getting some certifications that I feel are really important to me for more of like a five-year plan. But really, the biggest key success factor is protecting my schedule, right? And saying the yes to less. Like...

I do not want to feel behind this year. That's my biggest key success factor. Like I don't want to feel behind. I want to protect my schedule. I want to protect my sanity and know that I can get the results by doing less and that the noise in the space of doing more, more is all a bunch of horse shit.

It's all a bunch of bullshit that we've just been fed for years and years and years that you've got to be doing all of these freaking things. And let me tell you something, it's not true. You need to do the things that net the best results. Not everything get really good at a few things. And that's my guiding star for the year. Right? That's the vision. So really think about that.

Michelle (23:32.446)

I want you to really think about that. And maybe you've done this work, maybe you haven't, but if you ran into 2024, you know, both feet hit the ground running, and you have not taken the time to do all of this work, and you have not taken the time to just sit and think about what do I want my vision to be? How do I want this year to look? How do I want this year to feel?

Right? You're going to end up doing strategy after strategy, execution after execution, and it's going to maybe move you forward, but you are going to end up spinning in circles. You're going to spin in circles simply because there's no north guiding star for you to keep, to keep you making sure that you're going in the right direction. Right? We can take a lot of forward action.

But forward doesn't always mean growth, right? Forward could very easily mean spinning in circles after circle after circle after circle, which brings you back to the same destination over and over and over again. And so if you are feeling like you have had that and you've only seen a little bit of growth, then take the time to do this vision work, okay? And if you need help creating that vision, like that's where I've got two VIP days. I love the VIP day model. I'm really...

Um, I've done it now with a client. I do one a month with a client. I love it. Um, but it really helps make sure that what we're doing is actually in alignment with that bigger vision. Okay. So anyways, you're going to hear me talk about it a lot this year. You're going to see me doing a little bit less, you know, I'm not going to be the one that says like, Oh, Hey, you should try this and Hey, let's try this. I'm all for sharing all the different strategies, but

I really want to focus on that strategic growth this year, right? Like what is it that you need to do? And my strategic growth plan is going to look completely different than yours, right? How you like to show up, what you enjoy doing, what your audience resonates with. It may look different. And that's where I'm saying, like get very clear and customized with this clear on what you want to do clear on where you want to go and clear on how you want to get there. Right? That's the epitome of a strategic plan. That is it.

Michelle (25:47.422)

Right? Clear offer sales or you know, you got to have an offer. You got to have leads and you got to convert them into sales and you got to have a plan to do it. All right. And if you still need help with that plan and you didn't want to join the focus visionary mastermind, I have one to one spots open. I'm taking two clients on per month. That's it. So there's a couple different opportunities on how we can do that. VIP day, a one month sprint, a three month, you know, there's options, but ultimately it's about creating and having that plan.

What is the vision and how do we balance the grind inside of it? Okay. All right. So I'd love to hear your vision. Are you feeling this year? Like if you are feeling this year of saying yes to less, I want you to screenshot this podcast right now and I want you to share it. I want you to tag me and I want you to say, I'm saying yes to less this year. All right. So let this be the year we do less and achieve more cheering you on. I'm so excited for what's ahead. If you need me, you know where to find me and I'll talk to you soon.

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