Last Saturday marked the beginning of the fourth quarter. This week I’m in Phoenix, Arizona for an Infusionsoft Partner conference with my friend and business partner Nancy Golya (The Direct Sales Business Accelerator). We’re learning a ton and doing some planning for the last three months of the year. I’ll be totally honest, this is the first real business planning I’ve done this year. With the death of my husband at the beginning of the year and all of the upheaval that’s ensued in my life since, I’ve really been flying by the seat of my pants this year. I haven’t enjoyed working that way, but the grief journey just didn’t allow me to do any planning. I had to accept that early on and just be ok with working my business day-to-day for a while. Now I’m finally ready to make a plan as we step into the final quarter of the year.
During our planning, we’ll spend time on the consulting business we run together and our own individual businesses as well. I’ll come up with my theme for this quarter and identify the top five projects I’ll be committing to this quarter. By the time I get home on Thursday, I’m hoping to be stepping into October with a clear plan of action and some inspiration (which is what my theme provides for me). I thought I would share here what that means for me and hopefully that will inspire you to take some time and think about how you want this final quarter of 2016 to go for you as well.
Part of my strategy for the fourth quarter of every year is to set myself up for success in the coming year by finishing out the current year on a high note. To that end, I’ve looked ahead to the next three months and decided pretty clearly where my focus will be during each week of the quarter. Having my five areas of focus defined helped immensely with that. I also know that I have some big goals for next year and there are some pretty specific things I need to do this year to make sure I’m prepared to receive all the good that I know is coming.
Just like I did this time last year, I’m working through my “Get Organized and Take Back Your Life” office organization course and cleaning up computer filing system. I normally include office clean up and update in this process, but since I just moved and set up my office last month, that’s been done. It’s something I normally do at least once a year because I know it’s easy to get off track in this area of my life and that can easily derail my success for the quarter. It’s actually become something I look forward to and being in a totally organized office and a brand new space has helped me get motivated for the end of the year.
Employ the 3 “D’s”
I’m deciding what I can delete, defer, and delegate this quarter. What tasks are a waste of your time? What tasks fall outside of the five areas upon which you’ve chosen to focus? What tasks can you delegate? This is not as easy as it sounds, but once you complete it, you’ll feel like a new person (and have more time to really focus on the important areas of your business). This could be the single most important shift you make this quarter (and the most challenging…I know it’s always hard for me).
Take A Leap of Faith
I’m taking a leap of faith this quarter. This is probably the most important one for me. When you commit to something that makes you stretch, you play a bigger game. Come up with a goal that’s really going to push you. It may be a financial commitment, a brand new direction in your business (like it is for me), or the idea that you’ll quit your job by the end of the year, something that big.
My life has been a constant series of leaps of faith this year. I sold my home in Walla Walla, WA, moved 250 miles to Vancouver, Washington after buying a brand new home there, and have moved through the grieving process with the faith that I’ll come out the other side stronger and wiser. One thing I can honestly tell you is that I’ve never, ever taken a big leap of faith without experiencing huge growth and meeting my goals. It’s almost like making the commitment is the hardest part!
Plan Some Time to Plan
Set aside some time and do some planning in the next few days. You have to actually schedule this on your calendar or I’m pretty sure it won’t happen (at least that’s true for me). Challenge yourself and stretch a little. And if you’re brave, share your leap of faith below. That’s the quickest way to make it feel real!
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Julie Anne Jones is a sought after keynote speaker, online trainer, and corporate business consultant. She’s an accredited life and business coach with over fifteen years of experience speaking on stages across the United States and Canada. Known as “the systems specialist,” Julie Anne can break down any concept into simple, step-by-step, action-oriented training. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and communication tools for business success. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read more blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.