We are halfway through the year, and for the month of June, we’re talking about that mid year review for you and for your business. This is where we get to dig in on what we’ve done so far this year, how far we’ve kind of measured up and leaned into some of the goals and the dreams that we had for a full year’s worth of work of life, right? 365 around the sun and all that jazz.
We’re kicking off this midyear review by digging into some of the things that you can do to accelerate your growth. Last month we talked a lot about wellness and entrepreneurial mindset. We dug into how you are replenishing yourself, taking care of yourself as a sole proprietor, as an entrepreneur, as a founder, and as someone with big dreams who’s out there changing the world.
I’m giving you 8 deep work projects you can do from the beach.
So I thought it would be appropriate to kick off our first chat this month around the things that you can do to accelerate your business even from the beach. Okay, so how you can really leverage that refreshing time to reset and provide momentum for the rest of the year?
All of these things can be done from a beach or from a chair or from a remote location. Most businesses can get pretty far with a little bit of hope and a high speed connection. So lets get to it.
Mid Year Review Project #1: Content Brain Dump
When I talk about content brain dump, I’m talking about you really preparing and thinking about the content that you generate for your business in a way that attracts your ideal clientele.
Now for me, this means looking at the framework and methodology that drives my coaching. Think about “what are the unifying factors that pull all of my work together?” And then think of all of the questions that people ask you within your area(s) of expertise.
A great way to do Content Brain Dump is to sit on the beach with some paper and pen.
You write out the largest sweeping categories of things that you talk about, or that are your area of business expertise. This is a good exercise to do with a timer. Let’s say your topic is Italian cuisine. Set a timer for a minute and you write down all the things that pop into your head. And then, you write down all the questions that come into your mind around that topic.
So in those 60 seconds things what might come into your head is, “how do you make noodles? Why are Italian Grandma’s recipes so special? What does the phrase a ‘spicy meatball’ really mean? Is Pizza truly from Italy? What’s the deal with Mozzarella? Why is it always in a wet substance when you buy it? And tomato sauce? What’s a good way to make that at home? The feast of San Gennaro? Where does that come from?”
So you see, it’s really getting into the mindset of your clientele, your customers. If you haven’t done an exercise like this in a while and you don’t know what people are asking you, then that’s probably a good idea to start with some market research and digging to find out. You’ll see more on how to do that in #2 in a second here.
So do the dump for 60 seconds (or more) for each of the major areas that you have tons of knowledge. You’ll find in the 6, 7, 8… 10 minutes, you have a whole laundry list of ideas and content that you can use to create videos, write blog posts, or that you can speak into a podcast.
Mid Year Review Project #2: Market Research
The second thing that you can do deep work from the beach to really boost your business through the next six months is market research.
As I said in the content brain dump section, if you’re having a hard time thinking about what to talk about, a great way to find out is to do a market research survey. And that’s something that you can create from a beach chair. You can sit down with Google forms or on Typeform, and just write out a few questions to ask your target market. This is where you would be asking questions about your topic area.
(So again, we’re going to just keep using Italian food. It seems like that’s an easy one, but if your area of expertise is Italian food, then do your market research survey.)
“Matthew, what’s your current struggle with Italian food? What things have you tried to overcome your struggle with Italian food? How much did you pay for that kind of service? What prevented you from leveraging? How would you rate your relationship with Italian food? Why did you give it that rating? What’s one thing that you wish were different about it and why?” These types of questions help your audience support you as they tell you what they need around your area of expertise.
How I use Content Brain Dump in my own business:
Now I’m going to take it out of the abstract for a second because I work a lot in money management, time management, wellbeing, effort, work-life balance. If I’m doing a market research survey, I might be asking people about work-life balance: “what’s the most difficult thing around running your business? What have you tried to help manage your business better? How do you like to receive information around managing your business?” So this is where, again, you’re asking all of those questions that will help you create what you need to create to be best of service in your business.
And this is a survey tool that you’ve created from the comfort of the beach (or any other place outdoors where you can enjoy some nice weather). There are a lot of templates for this type of tool. If you Google for 20 minutes, I’m sure you’ll get a whole flood of questions and then all you have to do is curate and put together your top 10 to 12 very short answer questions or multiple choice that you can then repurpose.
Share out the survey tool through your Facebook page or through your website or your mailing list. You will get a lot of data and feedback about what it is that your current and potential clients want and need from you.
Mid Year Review Project #3: Ask for Referrals
The third thing that you can do from the comfort of the beach to boost your business is ask for referrals. This is another thing you can do in a quick survey form or a quick email that you send out to your list and can be done with just a quick five question ask:
“How have you leveraged our services?
Would you recommend our services to a friend?
Are there any people or events that you think I should be aware of?
Please include those details below.
May I follow up with you after accessing the references you provided?”
This is a really quick way to get referrals from your audience and also reconnect with them. You demonstrate that you care about their opinion, which is also a nice benefit of the market research survey. And then of course after you seek their advice, go to those events they refer you to, or to those people, reach back out to them and let them know that you did those things.
Mid Year Review Project #4: Repurpose Your Content
The fourth thing you can do from the comfort of the beach is start to repurpose content. If you have been consistently creating content at this point in the year, you can look at bringing some of those pieces together. Compile them, brand and create knowledge products from the material you already have.
So if you’re a blogger, this is where you can look for themes in your blog posts. You pull them together as a compilation, and create a book.
If you’re vlogger, you put together a compilation playlist. Your audience can watch the curated list without the hassle of seraching for that info themselves
If you’re a vlogger or a podcaster, you have a lot of audio files that you’ve created around your content. You can have those files transcribed and turned into books and articles that can then be repurposed and shared with your audience. This could be either as a book, or you can create white papers and shorter newsletter content. These are all tools that you can then use to attract people to your brand and your area of expertise.
I think the white paper one is a great idea because then you can convert something that maybe was a podcast or video into an opt-in or a freebie that you can support your audience with in the future. If you hurry, you can jump on She Runs It member Tai Goodwin’s 7 Day Content Repurpose Challenge and she’ll hold your hand the whole way through.
Mid Year Review Project #5: Listen to a Business Book
This is a great one for the beach. I’m a big fan of leveraging Audible or any audio book type applications. The Public Library even has audio book applications now. There’s no excuse not to listen to more information that’s going to support your business. A great way to do this, of course, is to download it to your phone, or to your mobile device. Just sit on the beach with some ear buds in, learning about how you can up level your marketing, your sales practices, your client outreach, your product offerings, or change your mindset around something right quick and easy. Within 4 – 8 hours, you have a whole new skillset.
Mid Year Review Project #6: Read an Inspirational Book
I know on my list this summer is, I’m kind of ashamed to say it, but Michelle Obama’s Becoming is still on my list. Haven’t gotten to it yet. I did receive it in hard copy for Christmas, so that is on my list of things to do when I’m sitting up at the lake house in late August. #getinspired
Mid Year Review Project #7: Reconcile your Receipts
Number seven, reconcile your receipts in your shoe box. I know a lot of us like to wait till the end of the year to dig into the hard, hard task of bookkeeping. Like may be a strong word. But a midyear point is a good place to check in. Also, if you keep the paper receipts of business expenses, know that the ink does fade. Oftentimes by the end of the year, your accountant nor you will be able to read what any of those things are.
This is a nice opportunity to get a camera scan app on your mobile device.
Sit with your shoe box, your receipts, your phone scanner, and start scanning receipts into a cloud location like Google drive or Dropbox.
And start creating a folder system so it’s easy for you to find those things.
If you’re using bookkeeping software that’s integrated with some type of cloud receipt capture system, then go just get it directly into your bookkeeping software and then everything’s all together all at once. If you do get audited, it’s easy to find the exact expense that the line item in question relates to.
Mid Year Project #8: Write your Partner Review
Now we talked about annual reviews earlier in the year as it relates to whomever you share your life with. This is for your spouse, your life partner, not your business partner, although I’m pretty sure it’s a good review to do with your business partner as well. Just the categories would be different. I digress.
If you haven’t checked out that review, please download the review worksheet, which is available with the original post around annual reviews and you would just modify it to a six month review. Use it for mid year check point on that relationship, especially around that emotional support category (big deal for business owners).
It’s also a mid year check point for all the other supports you have in your life. That’s why we’re looking at what inspiration do you need, what additional skillsets or areas of growth do you need? How can you be in more service to your clientele? So the mid year review for your partner is a great opportunity also to check in on how the person who you do life with can continue supporting you and your business in all of its entirety. It’s a good time in the year to get that done.
All of these things are great activities to do from the beach or from your vacation because they’re quick and meaty tasks that you can get done without a lot of pressure. You are just kind of leisurely typing away or reading or listening from a relaxed state.
A nice way to kickstart some of your productivity for the end of the year is with the partner review. Please know that I’m talking about drafting the review, not having the actual conversation from the beach. Depends where you are in a relationship, but I would recommend using some time to draft the review, answer the questions about your spouse, and be reflective as opposed to getting into the meat and the conversation with them. That’s not always a fun thing to do when you’re away enjoying herself.
How will YOU use your vacation?
Okay, those are my top eight. Again, all of these do require that you are taking time away. You’re taking a vacation. Definitely look out for an upcoming challenge. Those of us in the She Runs It group have been talking about a challenge.
Do you plan two weeks away from your business and what that would entail? Check out my nuggets on taking your entrepreneur vacation if you haven’t already. And be on the lookout for an upcoming challenge. But until then, I hope these 8 projects help you out, and that you have a vacation on the books!