Fourth Quarter Planning Time

Yesterday marked the beginning of the fourth quarter. Last month, I flew to Denver, Colorado to meet with my friend and business associate Nancy Golya (The Direct Sales Business Accelerator) and my step-daughter Chelsey Marie (of Be You Branding) and we did our quarterly planning together. I love this process and it's much easier when I do it with other like-minded solo-preneurs like myself (and it doesn't hurt when I love the people I'm planning with, either).

During our planning, I came up with my theme for this quarter: ("Breathe in The Air of Expectation!") and I identified the top five projects I'll be committing to this quarter. It was a super productive time and I'm excited about 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 2012 to go for you as well.

Finish Strong

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.

Get Organized

Just like I did this time last year, I'm working through my "Get Organized and Take Back Your Life" office organization course and completely re-doing my office and computer filing system. It's something I 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 this year it's been easy and freeing and I'm more productive than I've ever been.

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).

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.

Last New Year's Eve, my amazing husband John and I sat down and created our plan for the year and he committed to quitting his job to become a private consultant by the end of July. He's brilliant and has MAD skills as a control systems specialist (he works with water districts and farmers on water management and programs their systems for controlling fresh water, waste water, and irrigation), but after being a municipal employee for almost 30 years and getting a steady paycheck every other week, this was definitely "getting out on the skinny" limbs for him. I'm proud to announce that he's in the third month of this huge leap of faith and his new business is thriving (plus he's happier and less stressed than I've seen him in a long time).

From buying my home as a single mom to starting my business, I can honestly tell you that I've never, ever taken a huge 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 success language consultant, a direct sales coach and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, visit her at or check out her blog at


  1. Cathy Eads October 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Especially good for me as I feel like I'm going along with the "status quo" in my business.  Taking time to step back, re-evaluate and plan ahead can take place any time of year.  And I bet doing it in the fourth quarter makes the early new year's planning even more exciting, productive and expansive in what goals are set for the coming year. 

  2. Melissa Sieks October 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I love that you get organized in the last quarter of the year when so many people push this off for their New Year's Resolution or wait until spring cleaning. Productivity is the name of the game, take a little time to organize and reap the benefits all year long!

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