The One Thing for 2019

Christina Frei

Happy New Year!

First! I’ll be speaking at the gorgeous Village Works in Brookline for the 3rd time, and would love to see you there.  Sign up for my Marketing for People Who Don’t Like Marketing talk.

I recently read The One Thing by Gary Keller, a book about focusing your life and work so you achieve big things. Every time I pick it up, it spurs me into action. Keller asks over and over, “What one thing will move this area of your life forward?”  What a great question for business planning. Have you ever considered this?  What one thing will move your business forward – the one thing that takes care of everything else?

When I asked myself that question, the response came quickly: giving marketing talks. That’s my one thing. Marketing talks fuel everything else in my business: prospects, clients, email signups, and more.

So I took myself through some goal setting and project planning for 2019. In the past, this level of organization would have sent me screaming from the room, but if I do it well, that means giving more talks. And talks show me at my best, help people immediately, and build my business.  Also, I’ve been doing this strategy long enough that I have hard data on what is possible in one year.

This was such an energizing process that I wanted to share it with you, in case it inspires you to do something similar.

First, my 2019 Business Goal: Giving 50 Talks. That might sound ambitious but I gave 30 talks in 2018, and that included a move to a new area and time to settle in (again, hard data).

Then I did three things. First, I looked at the daily / weekly / monthly activities that would lead to 50 talks a year. Second, I broke down the results from doing 50 talks a year. Third, I created a weekly planning document that would simplify my life and keep me on track.

1. What Activities Lead to 50-Talks-a-Year (or 4 Talks a Month)?
a. Schedule 2 one-to-one networking meetings a day. (these meetings give me ideas + contacts)
b. Brainstorm / Reach Out to 1 new venue a day = 20 venues / month.
c. Sign up for 1 group networking meeting a week.

2. What Does 50-Talks-a-Year (4 Talks a Month) Generate?  
a. 12 Breakthrough Sessions (Prospect Meetings) / month
b. 3 New Clients / month
c. 32 New Clients (1.5 talks = 1 client, roughly)

As simple as this looks, it’s taken a lot of trial and error to get to these metrics. So give yourself a break if you’re still working on it.

3. I translated these numbers into a Weekly Activity Plan, which contains things I can control (schedule networking meetings) and things I can’t (client signups).

My business life? It’s all about printing this plan out (on colorful printer paper) and I’ve got my marching orders. I don’t have to wonder about my priorities at all. Just print and go!

Someone asked me, “What about when you don’t achieve certain things, like booking a talk or signing a client?”  If I see a blank spot where it says “One New Client,” I know I did everything I could to show up and do the most important things.  I can’t control whether or not people sign up to work with me.  But success is inevitable if I have a plan and keep working it.  As business owners, we know about ups and downs. It’s also empowering to stare your highest priorities in the face.  There they are in black and white (and maybe purple), asking me “What’s it gonna be, cowgirl?”

There are enough unknowns in building your business. This is a way to take control of what you do know.

What is your One Thing for 2019 and what is your plan to support that one thing?