AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hey, there. It's been a while since I've invited you into my day-to-day life, and so I thought it was high time we do that again because things have changed in a big way, and things look a lot different than they did in my life and my business even just, like, three years ago. And what I want you to think about throughout this episode is how much has changed for you in the course of your life, both professionally and personally, but more importantly, like, in just the last few years, because it's an important way to take note of how you're moving forward.
So in today's episode, I'm going to pop in for a short morning and evening recap throughout the entire week. And I'm going to be personal, I'm going to share some lessons I've learned along the way, some tips that have helped me. Honestly, just, like, the good, bad, and ugly of the entire week. So buckle up, and let's kick off a week with yours truly.
INTRO: I'm Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy.
AMY: I did an episode like this three years ago. Holy cow, how time does fly. And I brought you along for a sort of a week-in-the-life journey with me. And that's what I'm doing again. But, you see, a lot—and I mean a whole lot—has changed in the last three years: things like the size of my team—that's dramatically different than three years ago—and where I'm focused and what my goals look like and where I live and what I've got going on. And to be honest, just a lot has changed in 2021 for me. So I wanted to be transparent with you on what my week looks like.
And here’s the thing. I think it's fun to go behind the scenes of someone's business. Like, do you ever wonder, if you look at your peers or look at your mentors, and think, “What do they do all day? Like, what are the things that they're working on?” Well, for me, I'm going to tell you. I'm going to take you day by day. I'm going to share with you what I'm working on; what I'm focused on right now; some behind the scenes; some action items; some insights; and anything else that happens personally or professionally for me throughout the week, I'm sharing it with you.
So for me, again, watching other entrepreneurs and my mentors and seeing just how they plan and prioritize and execute and live life throughout the week, it's significantly influenced and inspired how I set up my week. And so I thought you might be curious to know how I schedule my week, what I prioritize, the different tools that I use. I'm going to give you three tools that I use religiously, two of them you already know if you follow this podcast. One tool is brand new that I'm obsessed with, can't live without. I share that in the very beginning of my week.
So, I hope you find this episode valuable. Maybe you'll want to reevaluate how you set up your week, how you focus during the week, what you give yourself permission to do and not do throughout the week. I hope you walk away with some takeaways that you can apply to your own business. I promise to be honest with you and not sugarcoat anything and give you just a little tips and lessons along the way. I'll be doing a morning and an evening check-in from Sunday until Thursday night, and you can just come along with me, and hopefully you'll glean a little extra insight to help you with what you're working on in your business right now as well.
And real quick, before we dive in, could you do me a huge favor and share this episode with two or three entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs that pop into your head? My mission is to support as many entrepreneurs on their journey as possible, and so I'd be so grateful if you supported them by offering this free podcast. I hope it's been helpful to you, and if so, I hope you pass that on.
So thank you so very much for tuning in. Let's get to it.
Well, hey, there. Welcome to my Sunday-evening prep work. So, if I'm going to take you through my work week, it starts on a Sunday evening, and I take about fifteen or twenty minutes just to plan my week. I think it's important to know what's coming up and to be prepared for some of the big meetings or projects that I'm working on throughout the week. So I like to get up on a Monday morning knowing how I'm going to navigate through the week. It does give me more confidence and more ease.
And as you all know, I've been dealing with more anxiety than I've ever dealt with in my life, and one of the things that does help me with my anxiety is to slow down just a bit and plan for the day, plan for the week, maybe even a deeper level than I have in the past. So that creates more ease for me, so you can bet I'm going to do anything that will ease this anxiety.
And so, what I do on a Sunday night is I come into my office before I kind of shut down for the night, and I spend about fifteen or twenty minutes in my Full Focus Planner. So if you've been here for a while, you know that I love a Full Focus Planner. Any resource I mention over the next week, I will absolutely put a link to it in the show notes.
So, the Full Focus Planner is a paper planner that I use every single day in addition to managing the big projects we work on in the business in a project-management tool called Asana. A-s-a-n-a. So Asana is my online project-management tool, and my entire team uses it. But the majority of my team also uses the Full Focus Planner, which is a paper planner, and that's where every single week we start out the week by deciding the weekly Big Three.
So in this Planner, on a Sunday night, I review the week I just had—what worked, what didn't, what would I change?—and they have prompts to help you do that. And then I look toward the week that I'm moving into. So that's where I'm going to start with you, the week I'm moving into.
So, my weekly Big Three, let's talk about that. When you are using the Full Focus Planner and you choose your weekly Big Three, those three things that you're committing to for the week should all tie back to your quarterly or yearly goals. So you want to be more intentional about what you commit to working on. And the Full Focus Planner is something that helps me be more intentional because I'm going to say, all right, if I'm going to commit to these three, like, kind of bigger action items through the week, do they all tie back to what I committed to doing for the quarter or for the year? So I'm constantly asking myself. And in this case, they have, so let me share them with you.
Number one, my first weekly Big Three is that I'm going to complete phase one of my book edits. Now, let's talk about the book really fast, because it will come up a lot during this week. So right now, at the time of this recording, I am working on my initial manuscript. It's not actually due to my publisher until February 29, so that's when my manuscript is due. I have to hand it over to the publisher. And before that, I hired an editor to work with me and one other woman on my team. We call her Jaws, and she's the director of my content development team. And Jaws and I are working on this book together. And then we hired Kelly to do the big editing of it before it even goes to the publisher. So it was a big investment, but I knew that I wanted extra support.
So I'm working toward getting the manuscript to Kelly, my personal editor, and it's due by next week, so we are definitely heads down and working on getting it ready for her. So I see that as, like, the biggest phase-one completion when it gets into Kelly's hands. So that's what I'm doing this week. I've written the chapters. Now I'm going over them, and I'm editing them with Jaws, my sidekick, on my team. Okay. So that's number one for weekly big tasks that I'm working on.
Number two is we are going to finalize the 2022 promo calendar, plus the revenue/profit-margin projections. So we are in November right now, and I want to have that promo calendar completed as well as the revenue projections so that my team can poke holes in it. So here’s what we do. Chloe and I, usually, we’ll get together and we'll look at, what does the year look like? What do we want to work on? What's coming up in the new year? What are some of the promotions we're going to do? And there's things that we always do, like Digital Course Academy in September, and in 2022 we're going to be promoting B-School again. I took a year off, but I'm coming back to promote B-School, and I'm excited about that. And we’ll be promoting some other smaller programs as well inside my own business, like List Builders Society and Systems That Scale. So we've got specific programs we know we will be promoting, so now we've got to open up a calendar and figure out where all of this goes.
And what typically happens when we start to work on this is that there's way too much on the calendar, and it stresses me out, and I go through a moment of like, “Why are we doing all this? This is crazy,” like, in my head. So I already did that over the last few weeks. We’re in the final week of cleaning it up and taking some stuff out.
And then, when we put the promo calendar together, we then look at revenue projections for everything that's on the calendar. And we look at past numbers to help us with these revenue projections so we're not typically ever having to guess. We've got some data from past years. And then, we look at the profit margin. And so from years past, my profit margin has been around 48, 49 percent, but as my team has grown, that profit margin has gone down a bit. And so I'm always looking at ways to increase my profit margin, and so we’re going to be talking about that this week as well. So, that’s the second weekly Big Three action item that I'm working on: the calendar and the revenue projections.
And then, the third thing I put down for weekly Big Three is that I have one-on-one meetings with each person on my leadership team. So I've talked about this before, but because I do have a bigger team now, I have directors that run each of the departments. So I have a director of operations, director of content, director of community, director of marketing, and director of customer experience. And so once a month, I'll have a day that I meet with each of them for an hour. And they come with their own agenda. They ask me questions. We brainstorm. And there are typically conversations around each of the directors’ departments and the team members and the projects they're working on. So I do that once a month.
And the reason that helps me move toward my goals for the year is that if the leadership team is clear about their projects—they have the answers they need. They have the support they need—they're able to help us move toward those goals. So those one-on-one meetings are really important, and I do them once a month.
Those are the three things I'm focused on: completing phase one of my book edits, finalizing my promo calendar and revenue and profit-margin projections, and my one-on-one meetings with my leadership members. So at the end of the week, on Thursday night, I'll tell you if I was able to knock all of it out, because those are the three things, it's like come hell or high water, I'm getting them done this week. That’s how I look at my weekly Big Three.
And then, once we get to Thursday night, I’ll wrap up this week-in-the-life series, and Friday morning, I will get on a plane because Hobie and I are going to Turks and Caicos, which we've never been, just for the weekend. It's a really quick trip with Michael Hyatt and his wife, Gail, and then Bryan and Shannon Miles of Belay. Belay is a high-end staffing company that we use. And it's not a work trip. We're going for fun. We were invited by Bryan and Shannon Miles. And I love these types of trips with people that I've met through work scenarios and situations, but they've become friends, and the spouses come. So I love when Hobie gets to come on fun trips like this. And we're just going to have a good time and connect, and we haven't seen each other in a long time, so I'm really looking forward to that. So I've got something fun waiting for me at the end of the week. And so now it's just head down, get the work done, and I'll check in every morning and every evening.
All right. I'll see you tomorrow morning. Take care.
Well, hey, there. Happy Monday. Checking in with you, as promised. So last night, when I did my weekly preview, I meant to tell you about a new toy—I really should call it a toy—that I'm absolutely loving. And so before I get into what today's going to look like, I've got to share this with you.
So, I recently started using a reMarkable 2 digital notebook, and I never thought I would love this type of tool, but it literally feels like a toy. That’s why I called it that. It’s so fun. I absolutely love it.
So here's the thing. I was looking around my office the other day, and I had notebooks everywhere. I had different notebooks for different things in my business. And then I have a journal, and then I have another notebook for coaching that I do. And then, of course, I have my Full Focus Planner. Like, what are all these notebooks? And then on top of it, I couldn't even find my notes to prepare for a meeting I had coming up. I was, like, where did I write that down? So this was—actually, this was over a month ago. So I thought, I need a better solution.
So I started to research digital notebooks. I found reMarkable 2. Again, I'm going to put it in a link in the show notes, because you got to check this out. And basically, in reMarkable 2, it feels like you are writing on an actual physical notebook, but it's in this digital notebook, where you can create multiple files and multiple notebooks, so everything is insanely organized. Like, I started out with two files: personal and work. And then I go into, let's say, the work file, and then I create specific notebooks. And you can do different templates, like checklists or lined paper. Or really, they've got tons and tons of templates. You can choose whatever you want. But I absolutely love this thing. And you can take your notes, turn it into actual text, and then send it as a PDF to someone. What?!
Anyway, I'm a huge fan, and that's what I'm looking at right now, my digital notebook, as I look at these notes to share with you. So I don't know. If you're looking for something kind of cool to keep more organized, you might want to check out reMarkable 2. I’m a huge fan.
All right. So, as I look at my notes, I'm looking at my daily Big Three. So in Full Focus Planner, every single day, you're going to choose three tasks that no matter what, you're getting these tasks done. And to be more intentional, these three tasks should all be tied to your quarterly or yearly goals. And of course, I'm going to get more than three things done today, but these are the most important that deserve my full focus.
So, the first thing is I'm spending a huge chunk of my day reviewing my book chapters. So I'm going into each of the chapters, slowly reading the chapters, making notes about stories I need or things that I think need to be changed or moved around. Surprisingly, it takes forever. If a chapter is written, feels like twenty more hours have to be had in that chapter. And so I am reviewing chapters for a huge chunk of time today.
I also, number two, have a Facebook Live for my Digital Course Academy group, so I'm going to be live in the group. And then number three, I do have some tasks that are overdue in Asana, my project-management tool that I use with my entire team. And so I'm going to spend a good hour at the end of the day getting all cleaned up in Asana. I should've done it last week, and I didn't, so I don't like to have a bunch of overdue projects, so I got to figure out when I'm going to get those done this week. So I'm going to spend an hour doing that today as well.
So that's what my day looks like. Really, it's just a lot of book editing. Not super exciting. But I am going to get on my Peloton Tread. I have a Peloton Tread in my garage that I love.
And I got to share with you guys really quick before I let you go. One of the things, at the time of this recording, it's starting to get colder in Tennessee. And not too long ago, Hobie surprised me with a heater in the garage. Now, that feels very decadent, I know. However, this California girl can't go in a garage that's, like, thirty-five degrees. I'm just not going to go in there to work out. And we have, like, a little home gym in the garage. So I told Hobie, I said, “I just, I can't do it. It's so cold in there. It's miserable,” especially when you're getting in there at, like, six in the morning. So he surprised me with a heater, and, actually, heater/air conditioner. So when it's, like, super humid and hot outside, our garage will stay cool. So, I feel like that's a little bit over the top, but I'm so appreciative of it. So now I can go in my garage and won't freeze my buns off.
Okay. So there you have it. I'm going to work out this morning, then I'm going to get right into my book reviews, and I'm going to make it a great day. So I'll check in with you tonight. Talk to you soon.
Well, hello. So this is a Monday evening check-in, and today went pretty well. I mean, the three things I had to get done, just a reminder: I was editing chapters, I did a Facebook Live today for my Digital Course Academy members, and I spent an hour cleaning up Asana.
So, the thing I want to talk about is these editing of these chapters. I feel shaky right now. I'm reading them, and I'm like, “Really? Is this is the best I've got? Who's going to buy this book? This is not an interesting story,” or “I've told this story before,” or “I'm not a writer.” Like, oh my gosh. If you ever want to learn how to beat yourself up at the highest level, write a book. I mean, I'm not proud of it, but this is what I go through on a pretty regular basis. However, however, when this happens, I'm like, “Nope, nope. We're not going to stay here. We're not going to live here,” so in my head. So when it happens, like, “This is not a good story,” or “I've already told this before,” like, I always just redirect the thought.
So there was a lot of redirection happening today. I've got something really important to share with women that want to move out of their nine-to-five job and start an online business. And then, I think of all the people who I've been able to work with that have started online businesses and their lives have changed. And I just remember why I'm writing the book and why it's important to me.
Actually, there's something in the book that I wrote that I learned from my good friend Elizabeth Benton, and it's this concept—and I don't want to get into it too much because I talk about it in the book—but it's this concept of when you want to reach a goal or do something really amazing, you have to have more than one reason why you want it. You have to, like, flood yourself with tons of reasons. And I talk about this in the book because I think that when you want to leave a nine-to-five job, or if you want to make a huge pivot and you want to start over and start an online business, you got to have a lot of reasons why you want it because when it gets hard—like today. Today was a hard book-editing day. It did not feel good—but when it doesn’t feel good, I flood my memory with all the reasons why I want to write this book and why I think it's important and why I think that it needs to get out into the world. And so, I used that tool today, and I talk about that tool in the book because I think it's really important to flood your mind with all the reasons why you are chasing a goal or a dream.
So I don't know. Maybe someone needed to hear that today, so I'm just sharing it here with you as I check out on a Monday night.
So what does my night look like now? Now that I went, I feel a little bit emotionally beat up from all the editing of the chapters. So now that I've done all that, I'm going to go downstairs, and I'm going to get some dinner, and then I'm going to watch a show with Hobie.
So, what shows are we watching right now? Well, there's a really great show that's just wrapping up called Impeachment, and it's about the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. And it's really good, really good. And so we are watching that, so we're going to finish that up.
And then I love The Morning Show. But here's the challenge. Hobie did not start watching The Morning Show on Apple TV with me when I watched season one. So now he's not really into it, and I have to go and watch season two without him. And when you're married to a man that is retired and home every night now—like, in the past, you know, he was always at the fire station—I don’t get a lot of time to watch my shows. So, Real Housewives, haven’t watched it in forever because Hobie will not have it. He cannot handle any Real Housewives show. So, anyway, I haven’t gotten to watch a lot of the shows that I love that I watch without Hobie, but we still have a good time.
Also, Yellowstone just came out again, season four. We are obsessed with Yellowstone. So that just happened Sunday night, so we're just waiting for the next one in a week. So, yeah, that's a show we watch together.
Anyway, just a little behind the scenes. Not a huge, wildly fun night, but it's always fun to connect with Hobie. I literally haven't seen him all day.
So that's what's kind of funny about having a husband who's retired and home all the time. You'd think he'd kind of be up in my grill all the time, but he's not. He is outside. He's in his work shed. He's busy building or fixing something at the house or running errands, so he's really busy during the day, which I love. And because I would just kind of go crazy if he was always like, “Hey, what are you doing? Want to chat? What's going on? What are you doing?” I’d be like, “Oh my gosh, I'm trying to work.” So I'm kind of lucky in that way. He keeps himself very busy throughout the day.
So, I haven't seen him all day, so I'm going to go downstairs, give him a snuggle, and spend some time with him.
All right. I'll talk to you tomorrow morning.
It is Tuesday morning, and I'm going to share with you my daily Big Three. So I already got my workout in. Today I did weights in the garage, in the heated garage. So I already got my weights in. So in California, I used to take Scout for a walk every single morning. Now, when it gets cold, Hobie will take him. I know I'm such a wimp. So I don't get to take him every single morning, when it gets really cold, just because I like to work out really early in the morning or take him for a walk really early. And when it's, like, thirty degrees out, it just ain't going to happen. So I get my workout done in the garage. Scout, he still gets a walk later in the morning with Hobie. So, anyone was worried, he's good. So now I am going to jump in the shower, get ready for the day.
And Tuesdays typically are video days. I mean, I do video every day when I'm in a Digital Course Academy cycle. But if, let's say, I'm not in a session with Digital Course Academy, I try to limit video days to be, like, two days a week. I've noticed that that's getting harder and harder, but I'm going to try as much as I can. And here's why. So one, I'm a big believer that context switching slows you down. So, like, you're working on one major project, and then you do a different project, then you come back to this project, and all in, like, one day you're working on ten different things that don't really even go together. I really do believe that slows you down.
So for me, if I know I wake up Tuesday morning, it's a video day, one, I get ready for video. So I don't, you know, working from home, hair and makeup kind of is not my most favorite thing. So if I don't have to be on video, I'm not going to put makeup on, and you can bet I’ve got dirty hair in a messy bun. But when it’s video day, I'm going to get ready. I just feel better when I make an effort.
And then my day will consist of so many different video things, whether it be prerecorded videos, special live videos. We call our podcast videos that I do on Instagram Stories “Sneak Peeks.” So I'll do a Sneak Peek video about a podcast episode that just went live, like all different kinds of videos.
Today, I have a few Sneak Peeks to record. I have a training to record for another company. I was paid to do a sixty-minute training on online-marketing strategies, and so I don't typically get paid for that kind of thing. But this woman, I really respect the business she's created. She's got this summit coming up, and she approached me, and they had a budget for it, so I said yes. It's rare, but I did it. And so I'm recording it today. I already created the training, and I just need to get it recorded, possibly edited a bit, and then sent to her, because she wanted it prerecorded, not live.
And then, I also have an Online Marketing Made Easy episode with a guest, Roger Love. So by the time this comes out, I think maybe Roger Love’s episode will already have come out. But we're talking about the power of your voice. And so I'm looking forward to talking with Roger. And then, of course, I have book edits. I've got about a two-hour chunk of book edits today, so I'll be doing that as well.
So that's essentially what my day looks like. And then I've got a few other smaller videos that if I have time, I'm going to get to them as well. So, again, it’s a video day as well as book-chapter edits.
All right. So, looking forward to talking to you tonight. Cross your fingers for me. I hope I can get it all done. Talk soon.
Well, hey, there. It is Tuesday evening. I am tired. Oh my goodness. When you do a lot of video during the day, are you, like, just pooped at the end of the evening? I am. It's 6:00 p.m. right now, which is typically when I end my work day. So I start it around 9:00 a.m., end it around 6:00 p.m.
One thing that I do that if you don't do this I want you to consider it. Every day, I have an hour in my calendar for lunch. So usually around noon, I have a full hour that I take off. So I'll eat lunch. I'll go outside, talk to Hobie a little bit. Whatever might be going on at the house, I'll take care of. But I love an hour just to walk away from the work because then I come back ready to make it until 6:00 p.m.
So this is something that I used to not do in the past. And then, of course, I'm eating during a meeting or rushing and grabbing something that probably is unhealthy in the kitchen really fast because I'm not being mindful. So I thought, this isn't serving me. And so what we do is we put that hour in the calendar. It's there right now for, like, the next ten years. Like, it’s just in the calendar, every day at noon, Monday through Thursday, I've got a lunch time set aside.
So sometimes, once in a while, if some meeting’s not going to work out anywhere else, we’ll have to fit it in there. It’s very rare. So that’s one thing that makes a huge difference.
And here’s another thing about how I mange my calendar, that might serve you as well. Something I didn't do in the past, but we've been doing it for a few years now that I'm so glad we do it. So I have an assistant, Christine. She's my lifesaver. And she will help me manage my calendar. So whatever tasks that I need to do during the day, they are actually in my calendar.
So remember I said earlier today I had to record a training, I had an Online Marketing Made Easy episode, I have book chapters, and also a few Sneak Peek videos for the podcast. Well, all of that is in a time slot in my calendar for today, meaning she gave me two hours to record that training for that one company that paid me to do so. She gave me an hour to record my Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. She gave me a few hours for my book edits. She gave me thirty minutes for those Sneak Peek videos. But they're actually in my calendar at specific times so that we can prove to ourselves, oh, this is doable. Everything you want to get done today is doable because it has a time slot on your calendar. And we tend to add a little cushion or a little buffer so that I'm not rushed in case I get behind.
So, this is something that you can do without an assistant. Just say, “Okay, if I'm going to get these three to five things done today, where would they fit on my calendar?” to make sure you have the time to do them. But that definitely is a game changer for me.
And then, the last thing I'll say is I had to take a COVID test today because in order to go to Turks and Caicos this Friday, they need a COVID test that I could take as early as today and send it in. So I did that. So I got that done.
And I got all my stuff done. I recorded the training. I did the podcast episode. I did the Sneak Peek videos. I edited some book chapters. And again, I am exhausted. So I'm going to shut it down, go spend some time with Hobie, and then I will see you tomorrow morning.
Happy Wednesday morning. I slept horrible last night. I don't know what it was. Do any of you have—well, I probably do know what it is—do any of you have snoring spouses? This is the thing. Hobie snores, and he acts as though he doesn't. That's the part I don't understand. Like, in the morning, I'm like, “Babe, you were snoring all night. I tried to roll you over on your side, like, twenty times.” He's like, “No. No, I didn't.” Like, I'm going to record this. I'm going to actually record it. He does not believe me, but he kept me up all night. Good thing he's so cute because geez.
So, I'm feeling a little sluggish this morning. I did not work out this morning, but I'm going to give myself a day off because I worked out Monday and Tuesday. And yeah, just feeling like a bad night's sleep makes for a rough day, so I'm a little bit nervous about that.
But remember on Sunday night I told you one of my weekly Big Threes was to do my one-on-one meetings with my leadership team members? Well, that's today, and I am really looking forward to connecting with all of them. When you have a virtual team, and I'm not in every meeting that happens in my company, it is so fun to connect with people that maybe you haven't seen on video for a week or two. So I’m looking forward to connecting with each of them individually.
And as a side note, as your business begins to grow, one thing that I can guarantee is going to be weird for you is when people on your team start having meetings without you. I remember this happening years ago, and it was, like, I was so surprised. Someone on my team said, “Yeah, we met about this, and we talked about x, y, z.” And this is many, many years ago. And I'm like, “What do you mean you met about it? I wasn't there.” Like, “Oh, you didn't need to be there. We were just going to plan and then kind of put it in front of you to see what you think.” I should have been overjoyed by that. But in that moment, I felt a little bit left out and weird. Like, you’re meeting about stuff, and I'm not in it? Because when you're just starting out, you're in it all. You're like a one-woman meeting half the time. Like, you're having meetings with yourself. And if it's not with yourself, it's, like, one person. And you have a pulse on everything. You know everything that's happening in the business. Well, as you grow, and you will in years to come, you'll look back and think, “I don't know everything that's going on in the business. I don't have a pulse on every single project.”
Now, big picture, of course I know because I set the goals, and I set the vision for the company every year. But yeah, they're in meetings, and they're doing things that I don't even know about. And the rule is if there's a big problem, if there's some big red flags, and we need to troubleshoot, you got to bring it to me. So I always know if there’s a problem, they’re going to come to me. But if not, if they feel like they can work it out, they’re going to do that. So, pretty cool, right?
However, because I'm not in every meeting and I don't get to meet with everyone all the time, I do look forward to these one-on-one meetings with my leadership team, and so I'm going to do those today. That's one of my daily Big Three. I'm also going to do another Facebook Live with my DCA students, so I do have video today, even though I try to get video just on one or two days a week.
And then I have a calendar meeting with Chloe because Chloe is always someone who helps me put together the promo calendar for the new year. So we're going to go over it for the hundredth time today. We've been going over it and over it and over it and just pitching and catching ideas and all of that. But the goal is to have that done by Thursday, and so we're going to spend an hour in the calendar today. And then the calendar always relates back to revenue and profit margin because if it's on the calendar, if it's a promo, then it's a moneymaking project and then we've got to go back and say, “Okay, what are our projections for that now that it's on the calendar?” So that's what I'm going to do today.
And also, I'm going to take my wedding ring in. Okay. So for my Digital Course Academy students, you have heard this. But my diamond fell out of my wedding ring, and it was very scary to look down and not see your diamond in your wedding ring anymore. The good news is I found it in my house. It was on the floor. But I am trying to find someone who will fix it, and it's been this big debacle, and we can't find anyone that will fix it. And so now I'm going to go somewhere else today at my lunch hour. So I'm going to take time during my lunch to go run an errand. I usually don't do that. Running errands Monday through Thursday is not my most favorite thing because I don't like to be rushed everywhere when I've got meetings on the calendar. But today is an exception, especially because I'm going to be gone this weekend for that little trip.
So, anyway, you’re getting it all. You’re getting really behind the scenes. I’m running errands today at lunch. There you go. This is profound.
So, anyway, that’s what I’m working on. I’ll check back later. Talk soon.
Well, hello. Good evening. It's Wednesday evening. I'm doing my check-in before I shut it down for the day. And I've been looking forward to chatting with all of you because something really fun happened today.
And remember, I had my one-on-one meetings with my leadership team. And one of my leadership-team members is Sylvia, who runs my community department, so all the communities. If you've ever been in one of my communities in the last few years, Sylvia and her team will head that up. And she, also—this is when you know you have an amazing employee—when an employee comes to you and says, “I'd like to take on this massive project.” I hope she's not listening, because when she hears me say it like that, she might be like, “Wait. Hold on. Maybe I don't want to do this.” But it was her idea.
We are working on a documentary that goes along with the book that I'm writing. And so Sylvia had this great idea to create a documentary following five of my students who have left behind either a nine-to-five job, a corporate job; maybe transitioned out of being a stay-at-home mom; maybe transitioned just out of something they no longer wanted to do, into creating an online business. So what these five women all have in common is that they left something behind to then move forward to create an online business, which is essentially what my book is about, how to make that pivot, how to move beyond what you don't want into what you do want, and becoming your own boss in the process.
And so Sylvia had this great idea to follow these five women through their journey, or at least look at their journey, go behind the scenes, and make it more about their inspiring stories than, let's say, just me telling my story. I love the idea. And today she presented a deck to me that she has been sharing with some potential producers for the documentary. In our ultimate dream of all dreams, this documentary would be picked up by a streaming service so that we could get it out in front of even more people. But even if that didn't happen, just using it throughout the entire book launch would be really cool as well.
And so I got to see the deck. It was very exciting to see it come to life, and I love that this idea wasn't even my idea. It was Sylvia's, and she's excited about it, and she's running with it. And I just believe that when you have an incredible team that cares deeply about the mission, they are coming up with incredible ideas to serve that mission. So today was a really fun day to see that come to life.
And also, I feel like today I have decision fatigue. So as I was meeting with each of the members of the leadership team, plus there were some side conversations that were happening just throughout the day that I needed to call a few of my team members to discuss some things that we need to take care of, I just realized there are so many decisions that need to be made. So I'm in November at the time of recording this. That means that we are making big decisions for the new year. What are we promoting? How are we promoting? Who are we partnering with? What is that looking like? What does the team look like? Who do we need? Do we need to move anything around to make sure people are supported on the team? So all of these decisions.
At one point I looked at my director of content, and I said, “I can’t make any more decisions today. I don't know.” And here's what I kind of wanted to share with you. I don't love the feeling of not having the answer, meaning these decisions that were asked of me today, like, What should we do about this? What do you think about that? a lot of my leaders on the team will make those decisions, but they're really just bringing, like, “Here's two or three options. I’ve researched this, this, and that. What do you think?” That's the kind of conversations I had today. So it wasn't like everyone was looking at me to do everything. I just had to make the end-all decision as the owner of the company.
And what I hate is not knowing if I'm making the right decision. Have you been there? Just not knowing. Like, I don’t know. I don't know if I should do this or that or turn right or left right now. And I'm scared to make a decision. I found myself saying this in my head. Like, I'm scared to make this decision. It's a big decision. And what if I choose poorly? What if I choose the wrong way to go?
And then I paused for a moment, and I thought, I believe that there are no wrong decisions. Instead, I choose to believe that if I make a decision and I don't like how it's panning out, if I don't like the direction it's going, if I don't like the results I'm seeing, I get to make a new decision. We are always one decision away from a better business. We are always one decision away to a better life. So I just tell myself, then make a new decision. If you've sat with it long enough, if you've given this one decision enough time to play out to see where things are going, and you're not satisfied, make a new decision. So I believe so much of business is just making new decisions. We will not always know what the “right”—I'm using air quotes—decision is, but let's just say that we are determined as entrepreneurs to keep showing up, to keep looking at the data, to keep going with our gut, and to not be afraid to make a new decision when it is appropriate.
Now, some of you might even take this one step further if you're a natural worrier like me, and say, like, “Well, how do you know when it's time to make a new decision?” Did any of you think that or say that? Raise your hand, if that's you. That would have been me, just for the record.
I don’t know. I don't know if there is, you know, there's not a perfect time to say, “Okay. This is the time you need to make a new decision. This is the moment.” Again, a lot of this is what I call educated guesses, which are guesses based on the experiences that we can pull from and what's happened in the past and where we want to go. Educated decisions and gut feelings. I mean, sometimes that's just all a decision is, and sometimes it’s backed in more data, and you feel more confident, but sometimes you don't.
Lately, I haven't been feeling incredibly confident about the decisions I'm making, because we are charting some new paths in the business. We are looking at things we've never done before. That's going to be an educated decision and a gut check. It's not going to be, let's go back to ten years of data and see what that tells us to make the right decision. That's my favorite decision, but it doesn't tend to be that way.
Okay. So I got off on a tangent about decisions. But I do feel decision fatigue today, so I'm not making any more decisions, and I'm just going to go spend some time with Hobie and enjoy my evening.
The last thing I'll say, though, just to kind of wrap up the day. So I also told you this morning that I was going to do a calendar review with Chloe one more time for 2022 and then the revenue and projections review. And we officially have a first draft. It's a little later than I'd like. I'd like to be doing this in October, but we weren't able to do so. Just a few things got in the way. So we have a first pass of the 2022 promo calendar, revenue projections, and profit-margin projections.
And now what we’ll do is we’ll put it in front of the leadership team. We’ll ask them to take it to their team, punch holes in it. Where are the red flags? What are we missing? Are we trying to do too much? which is probably a yes. I'm probably going to have to take that calendar and strip down just a little bit. I think it's a little too much and also might even need to play with the—well, for sure, have to play with the profit-margin projections once I see everyone send in their budgets.
Oh my gosh, so much to say tonight. That's one more thing. For years, I did not have proper budgets. For years, I didn't necessarily even have a profit margin I would be shooting for, like, as a goal. That is something that's happened over the last few years. And should I have had budgets years and years ago? I think if one of my students, Jamie Troll, was listening right now, she'd say absolutely. But it just wasn't something I knew enough about.
So we won't get into all of that right now, but I will say that I have a program called Systems That Scale. So if you go to amyporterfield.com/systems, some of the things I do in terms of planning are in that program. And everything I do with systems and processes has allowed me to get to a point that I can put together budgets, and I can start looking at our profit margin in a deeper way, and I can start planning for the new year and all the promos for the new year because I've got things in my business that are working properly, giving me the opportunity to take a breath and look ahead. So, anyway, that’s a little plug for Systems That Scale because I do talk a little bit about revenue and planning in that program.
Okay. So there you have it. I will see you tomorrow morning. Take care.
Well, hello, hello. Welcome back. It is Thursday morning. So I'm excited because as you know, I work a four-day workweek, so my Thursday is now essentially my old Friday. And this is the weekend that we are going to Turks and Caicos, so I'm excited for that as well. So I've got one more full day, and today is full. So I got up extra early this morning because I wanted to make sure that I was looking at a few things that I was feeling behind in, so I wanted to knock those out this morning.
So I went into Asana, which is my project-management tool. And really, when I get behind in Asana, it's some tasks that people are waiting for my feedback on. And remember last night I said I have feedback fatigue, or decision fatigue. Same thing, though. Like, feedback, decisions, what are we going to do? I just couldn't do any more yesterday. So I got up early this morning to knock out a few more things that my team members were waiting for me on. And so I did that.
And then in addition to that, my day today, I've got something really fun. I am going to be on Jasmine Star's podcast, and so she's interviewing me today, which is really fun, so we're going to do that. And then on Thursdays, for my Digital Course Academy program, for this season, on Thursdays, I do an hour-long Q&A. So during DCA, I do a lot of live video, but I do an hour-long Q&A. And what I started to do that’s very different than I’ve ever done in any of my programs in, like, the thirteen years I've been in business is that now I bring people on, and they get five minutes with me.
So I love it and I hate it, and here's why. I love it—and shout out to Jasmine. She gave me the idea to do this because she does this a lot in her own programs—I love it because we're on Zoom, and people can raise their hand. I bring them on. I get to see their beautiful faces and put it, finally, a face to a name and learn about their story a little bit more. So I'm starting to learn more about my Digital Course Academy students at a deeper level because I'm actually having conversations with them. Usually, with Q&A, they send their questions in advance. I read them on my iPad. I read the question and respond. There's no interaction. So I love that they get to get on. Five minutes usually works. They talk fast with their question, I talk fast with my response, and we're off to the races. So I love that.
The part that I hate is that at the end of the hour, there's, like, still thirty hands raised, and I want to cry for those people because I want to make everyone happy. My Enneagram two starts coming out, and I want to take care of everybody, and I can't. So I only get an hour to do so, and I can't get to everyone. So I have turmoil every Thursday afterwards. But anyway, I'm going to just focus on the part that I love. I love interacting with them.
And then the last thing on my daily Big Three. So, number one, Jasmine interview. Number two, I’m doing the live. We call them Live Interactives. And then number three, I have my check-in call with Christine. So Christine is my executive assistant. I first got her through Belay. So b-e-l-a-y. And Belay is a high-end staffing company. And she was incredible from the get-go that I quickly bought her out from Belay, meaning she became someone that I could pay directly instead of going through Belay. They have a buyout program. And so I was like, I need her all to myself. She's just incredible. So I was able to get her to work just with me and bought her out from Belay. And it's been a few years now, and I have never seen her in person. How wild is that? When I just said that, I was like, Have I? Wait, what? Yeah. Never have I seen her in person. I feel like I have because we do calls all the time.
But every Thursday, because Thursday is our new Friday, every Thursday, near the end of the day, she does about a thirty-minute call with me on Zoom, and she comes with the agenda. And what we do is we first look over my entire calendar for the next week. So I go over everything she's put into my calendar because she manages my calendar. I no longer put anything in there. So we go over everything that's in there. I ask her any questions that I have. So that way, when I sit down on Sunday evening to plan my week, I've already looked at my calendar, and I've already asked any questions I need to ask since I'm not going to call up Christine on a Sunday night as I plan for the week.
And then, she has an agenda where she just knocks out a bunch of questions she has for me. And this is really cool. That means that Christine is not pinging me three, four times a day with random questions to support me, because she is in a support role that is very important to me. But she also doesn't slow me down with a bunch of questions. If something is pressing, she will absolutely text me or Slack me. But she'll save a lot of her questions up until Thursday, and we just knock them out. What do you want to do about this? What do you want to do about that? So I wanted to share this with you. I wanted you to be aware of that. That's the kind of conversation we have.
And because she does all my scheduling and calendar management, a lot of it has to do with, when do you want to do this or how much time do you need for this? So they're really great questions. It's quality time every Thursday. And Christine gets the support she needs, and I get ready for the next week before I shut it all down on Thursday.
So that's what today looks like, with a bunch of other things that we're going to do. But those are my three top, very important things I want to get done today. And we'll see. I’ll see you tonight.
Well, we made it to the end of the week. And listen, because I had a check-in every morning and every evening, you all kept me accountable, because I had a really good week, and I wanted to share some of the lessons I've learned this week, some of the challenges. I'll recap on some of the challenges, and then let you know if I got my weekly Big Three done. Good? Okay.
So, just to look at some of the lessons I've learned this week. Number one is that it's so awesome when you find the right people on your team, you hire the right people, you spend the time really training the right people and giving them the support they need, and then they come to the table with amazing ideas. Remember, I mentioned that Sylvia came to the table with the book-documentary idea. She's running with it. She's got a full-time job as the community director but wanted to take on this project as well. And I think as you grow your team, as you start to add a few people to the mix, pay close attention to the moments when they bring really great ideas to the table, because that is an indication that this is working, and you are doing something really right when you've got great employees with great ideas. And I think we have to celebrate those moments, not only acknowledge the employee, but also as a business owner, give yourself some credit that, like, okay. It's not just me. This is coming together. I don't have to come up with all of the ideas.
And right now, that when you're listening, you might be a one-woman show. You might be coming up with all the ideas. But that will not always be the case. So something to think about.
Also, you know this week I dealt with decision fatigue. And I think in those cases, I think it is important to say, “Okay. I need to shut it down for the night.” And when I say shut it down, years ago, I always—this is such a bad habit I used to have—I would always bring my computer downstairs.
So, let’s say Hobie and I were going to eat dinner, and then we were going to turn on a movie or watch one of our favorite shows. You can bet that if you found me watching TV at nighttime, I would have the computer on my lap, and I would be working on something. I'd be updating my Asana tasks; or I'd be responding to some people on my team, which is really annoying to them, I bet, that at nine o'clock at night, they're getting pinged on Slack; or I would be responding to other emails or whatever. Always, always, I'd be working at nighttime. And the reason for that is I would say, “I can't get it all done today. I'll just do it when I'm watching TV with Hobie tonight.”
And what I found is I've stopped doing that. I rarely will ever do that. And if I still have to get work done, I'll just stay upstairs and get it done, and then go downstairs. And not only do I allow myself to have my brain shut down from work, right? Like, I'm not always in it. If I can keep my computer upstairs—so if you have a home office, if you can keep your computer in your home office, when you're done for the evening, shut it down, and then be present with your family and just allow your mind to just relax, it's a huge gift.
And I am here to say I haven't always done that, but I do it now. I don't bring my computer downstairs. And even though Hobie and I might be watching a show, we're still talking throughout the show. We're engaging with each other. We're talking about each other's days. That didn't happen when I had a computer and TV, right? So either one was going to get my attention, but Hobie wasn't.
And I think that’s just important to point out it's a habit I've been able to break since being here in Tennessee. I think having my office upstairs and shutting the door, knowing I am done for the day, just that ritual has helped immensely. I don't know. Something to think about. I just wanted to share with you.
But decision fatigue was real this week, and shutting it down and going downstairs and just being present with Hobie helped immensely for the next day for me to jump in there and get the rest of the work done. The decisions that needed to be made were still there the next day, and I was able to knock them out because I got some good rest. So that's another thing.
And then, just overall, I think that it was interesting. I've done this episode before. I've done a week-in-the-life kind of episode. It's funny just how different the projects I'm working on are now from versus a few years ago, and it just reminded me of how quickly our businesses can change, and the role we play in our business can change as your teams grow. And I just want to tell you, if you're listening right now and you're just getting started or you're in the messy middle and things don't seem to be flowing like you want them to be, you're doing the work. And the way your business looks today will look dramatically different in a year or two from now.
So as long as you just stay in it, put your head down, make the hard decisions you need to make, support the team members you have, build the team that you want to build, in a few short years the role you play in your business will likely be even more elevated. You’ll be casting a bigger vision. You won’t have your hands in everything, so you'll be free to be more strategic and work on the projects you absolutely love. And in addition to that, you're going to see some massive growth, and that's exciting as well. So just wanted to share that with you. You won't always be where you are now, and so enjoy some of the moments you have, but also look forward to the growth in your business as long as you just don't give up.
Okay. So a quick recap of my weekly Big Three. Did I get them done? And the answer is yes. I was able to complete the phase one of the book edits that I wanted to complete this week. We have a rough draft of our 2022 promo calendar and our revenue and profit-margin projections. So excited that that is at least in its first draft. And then I had all my one-on-one meetings with my leadership members, and I wanted to be present and fully ready to jump in anywhere they needed me to this week, and I was able to do that. So I completed my weekly Big Three. That feels good.
And now I am off to Turks and Caicos, so I'm going to start packing. I haven't packed yet and just get excited to have a really great weekend with some dear friends. Be present and not work and just enjoy my time with them.
So thank you for coming on this journey with me this week. It's been a lot of fun. I hope you've gotten some value from it, and I also hope you have a wonderful weekend.
All right, my friends. I'll see you same time, same place, next week. Bye for now.