2014 Planning: Here's to a Uber Successful New Year

How to be Uber Successful in 2014.png

Can you believe that 2014 will be here in 2 weeks? Yeah, me either. And I'm sure by now you have seen/read approximately 2,521,470 blog posts on how everyone is setting goals and planning how to be uber successful in 2014.

Well, here's another one. Joking (kinda)... not really.

Uber success in 2014

This time last year B&A was humming on all cylinders. We had made plans for 2013 to be the best year ever. Then, summer came along and things changed because people change, economies change... we change. And Jenn would hate to hear this but it is what it is. Whether it was out of my control or I totally just fucked it all up, it left me feeling defeated because I didn't make the big yearly goal happen. I didn't get that trip to the Caribbean I wanted. So this year I'm doing my planning and goal setting a little different. I'm making it more like a to-do list.

I work well with to-dos and deadlines so this approach is perfect for those that like to get things done in small more digestible tasks. I get really overwhelmed when the sheet of paper says, 'Make more money.' What? How do I just make more money? I can't do that. And when I get overwhelmed, I don't do anything. Then I completely stress out. And when I get stressed my ear hurts and my whole body gets achy. And guess what? That just isn't working for me anymore.

How to get more stuff done in 2014

  • Use my products: For 2 and half years I have been saying I want to create a product suite because that is the easiest way to scale and monetize a consulting business. I have in my mind what I want to create so I'm going to use those tools for myself this year and Voila! new B&A products. Done and done.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Create products and make more money.
  • Simple, simple, simple: I tend to over think and over complicate everything. So this year I'm really going to KISS (Keep it simple stupid) and concentrate on making things simple. My attention span is that of flea anymore. So, when I create those products above I'm going to make them 1 page (2 max).
    • Big 2014 Goal: Create more freedom, more money and more love.
  • Plan more: Evernote is totally gonna save my ass this year. I tend to be a go with the flow kinda girl. But I love a good plan. A SIMPLE ONE. And we are going to use online collaboration tools this year to get those plans out of our heads and into action.
    • Big 2014 Goal: See above about creating stuff.
  • Join a support group: Or mastermind. Whatever you want to call it. I'm a weird mix of introvert and extrovert and I thrive on interaction with people but it is very easy for me to be a hermit. So I need a group of biz peeps with a structured format to get my ideas flowing and worked out.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Again with the creating.
  • Show some love: To my family, to my friends, to my personal brand site, to B&A products, to myself. I need to be better about appreciating what I have and letting the people that matter know how much I love and appreciate them.
    • Big 2014 Goal: Be a nicer person (That's totally stupid, I know, but trust me on this one)
  • Eat better: And lose 10 lbs (isn't this on everyone's list?)

What are your goals this year? How are you planning to be uber successful in 2014? What are some of your best tips and tricks for planning and setting goals?

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: B&A STYLE

So I just got back to WV from a week long business/pleasure trip to Charleston, SC. Boy, am I exhausted. I thought my 4 and 6 year old boys wore me out, but working for Bartles & Associates is super exhausting, yet SUPER FUN! I laughed so much and hard. Working with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs is like the best job EVER! Not only do you form a business partnership with your clients, you forge friendships.

You get great perks too!

Two days into my trip, we are out on a boat for a leadership retreat with Jim and his crew at Concentric. It was a great perk but was literally a 2 ½ hour business meeting at the same time. It was an awesome time getting to understand one of our small business clients and what they do and what they need (specifically from us).

Several days later into my trip I felt like a model. Having a uber-talented photographer/videographer as a client is exhausting. Dana at Verve Media Photo+Video took headshots and video of us at B&A for our own marketing material (so be on the lookout for our new promotional marketing stuff). Those that know me know I HATE having a camera in my face and I don’t like ANY pictures taken of me, but Dana made it fun and not so intrusive. AND I LIKED THE PICS – that she let me see so far. Dana and her team are phenomenal and so much FUN! I laughed so hard at all of our wacky antics. Oh, and if you are signed up for our Champagne Thursday Inspirations, you would know that Verve Media was a part of our Champagne Thursdays Mastermind session for this month! (Shameless plug alert coming up…) If you are not in the loop, you better go to anywhere on our site and sign up (under Bartleby’s Goodies) to get your own inside scoop on our fun way of doing business and FREE marketing (and business) advice.

Between business meetings with small business and entrepreneur clients, eating, drinking, visiting a winery and distillery (add link) (all in the same location for convenience), and many, many other adventures, my trip went by way too fast. Oh did I mention…WE GOT TO WORK ON THE BEACH TOO! Yeah, there are some AMAZING perks to working for B&A and helping our clients achieve their maximum potential and creativity!

Planning for Business...Or a Wedding?

Have you ever had to do both of these at the same time?

Granted, I don’t own the business I’m doing the planning for, but that certainly doesn’t make it any less important. I still feel the weight on my shoulders and am constantly pondering the outcome of every decision Ronii has asked my opinion on. But then, how does that really differ from planning a wedding? There are still deadlines, budgets, appointments and meetings, changing minds, slackers, and people “yessing” you.

Can you tell I’m feeling the pressure of planning a wedding? I shouldn’t even use the word plan. I’m more or less doing this frantic, scramble-y type of dance thing. I’ll decide on something and finalize it, and then feel so accomplished from this fractional bit of progress that I don’t do anything for two weeks. Then it’s back to the frantic dance when my Mom calls, asking how the groomsmen are going to get to the venue and where are the Grandparents going to stay since we can’t get a block of rooms and why aren’t you going to throw a bouquet?! Because I paid $80 for this damn bundle of flowers and I’m about to just chuck it across the room!

So, is planning for a business really any different? I mean, you sit down with a client and grill them about their pursuits: what is the personality of their business and what are their goals and who’s their audience and what’s their budget?  So they give you the answers and you begin to draw out a plan, but a day later they call you and start changing things around, and right after you hang up another client calls to see if you can meet them at the drop of a hat across town and on the way your assistant emails you saying she has writers block and didn’t write a blog this week.

I think that planning a wedding and planning for business are very similar, indeed. A lot of pressures and changing dynamics, a lot on the line, and you are constantly learning new things about yourself. But you know…its kind of fun! People are counting on your experience and best judgments to guide them into uncharted waters and there’s this rush of panic and accountability, followed by a sort of regal calm. You’ve made it this far by trusting yourself and your decisions and listening to your clients (or in my case, my mother) about their preferences and concerns, and now they are trusting you to make the right decisions for them and their company. The fact that we think its fun just tells us we’re doing it right. 

Big Year Ahead

As a new intern here at Bartles & Associates and a senior beginning my very last semester of my undergraduate career, I have found my mind constantly racing. The typical questions continue to surface. What do I want to do once I graduate? Where do I want to be? Should I just hop on a plane and see where traveling takes me? Sitting in my very first class of the semester, my professor looked at us and delivered a wakeup call sounding louder than a bull horn. It’s time to actively start chasing after my goals full speed. 

It is inherently important to remain motivated in the plans you have laid in front of yourself. Ronii recently laid a solid foundation for planning strategies in the “2012 Marketing Planning” blog post so I will focus on the motivation behind its importance. Someone told me once, “if you do not have any idea where you want to be, you will not be anywhere for long. Self motivation is key.” Every individual will hold different tactics in regards to pushing themselves through demanding situations, but a similarity that is universal in getting the job done centers around self-actualization. Where am I at? Where do I want to be? How am I going to get there?

This may be presented as a daunting task when the ever present overwhelming feeling surfaces. Take heart, because if you have created a plan chasing after a goal then you are already a step ahead of the game. It is a new year after all, so tap into your inner motivational pushers and grab success by the horns. With that being said, I am excited about the experiences I will receive at B&A and how they will fit into my future goals. I will leave you with a short quote by Johann Gottfried Von Herder for thought.

“Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.”

~Laura

From the upstate of South Carolina, Laura is currently a senior at the College of Charleston working on finishing up her degree in business and arts management. Being a visual artist at heart, hers goals are to contribute her creativity in the field of advertising. While she isn’t buried in the books or behind her sketchpad, Laura enjoys all things athletic, a nice glass of wine, the joys of the food and beverage industry, and the great sport of people watching. 

2012 Marketing Planning

Its that time of year to start your 2012 marketing planning! We have been busy at B&A with helping clients with this. Every time I bring it up with any of them the first thing each and every one of them says is the same thing, "What?!?! How do I do that? Where do you start?"

We have a little trick that makes it easier for us. Get online and download the calendar of events for the groups and associates that you participate or your target customer participates. You can use serveral social calendars from your local area of events, associations or holidays. Then, determine which events are pertainent to your company and start creating some creative concepts based on how your organization will be involved in each of these events or around these events. Remember to make them relevant to the target and true to your brand and what you do. Once you have those down, work backwards on the calendar and set deadlines for specific deliverables for each event/creative concept (be realistic and give yourself and your team some time to work on things and don't push too close to hard deadlines like getting material printed). There you go, you have your marketing plan for the year. All you have to do is put it in a document to track and make the calendar available to all those that now have deadlines to meet.

For example, B&A's 4th Birthday is July 1 and this year our creative concept for a birthday campaign will be 'Stand Out From the Rest'. We will run the campaing for 1 month before and 2 weeks after and will set our deadlines for print and consumables at May 23rd for distribution on June 1 and we will set our content writing dealine for May 30th for social media and any traditional mediums that we incorporate. That's just one campaign for the year but it will give you an idea of how we plan it.

Planning ahead like this will keep you from scrambling at the last minute to put something together for campaigns and only doing it half as good as you should have. B&A will be getting its calendar this week and starting our planning for 2012, then everything will go on our digital public calendar and we have no excuses to miss any deadlines (missing Champagne Thursday deadlines is just inexcuseable here). Do you have any quick tips or tricks for your marketing planning? We would love to hear them, so drop us a line and chat. Have a safe and happy holiday!

~Ronii