Transcript: How to Plan Your Promotional Calendar Like a Boss

December 1, 2016

AMY PORTERFIELD: Well hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield. Today we are talking about my ultimate favorite topic, I mean above all else…that is planning. 

Specifically, we get to talk about planning for the new year. I’ll tell you right up front that there are so many different ways you can approach this whole planning process for your business. Today, because I like to make all of my podcast episodes mini training sessions, I’ve decided to give you one approach. 

I’m not going to do it alone. I have a special guest, Anne Samoilov. Anne and I go way back. We’ve seen each other’s business grow over the years. She has become an expert in organizing and planning and executing online marketing launches. 

Because she is such an expert in planning launches I thought I should have her on the show to talk about planning for the new year. I knew there were a lot of similarities in how you might sit down and plan a launch and how you would sit down and plan an entire new year of promotions and partnerships with affiliates and special projects and all that good stuff. 

If you’re not yet sure how you’re going to plan the new year, you don’t know how many promotions you want and what exactly you want to do, I think Anne’s formula that she’s going to break down for you could be incredibly valuable. It’s very timely. 

She’s going to go through a lot and I have a lot of questions for her where she breaks down the whole process that we want to share with you today. I don’t want you sitting on the subway or going on your walk and thinking you need to take notes but not have anywhere to take them. I don’t want you wondering what to do. 

For this special episode the freebie is a quick guide to the exact formula we are going to give you in this episode. It’s really specific. It walks through every step we’re going 

to break down for you and it includes a list of questions that you must ask yourself before you ever sit down and calendar anything for the new year. 

To get your hands on this guide that’ s totally free, go to http:// or you can text the phrase 138download to 33444. I want you to have this guide almost even before you listen. You’ll be able to follow along really easily so definitely go grab it now. 

Before we get into all the details and I introduce Anne and you get to hear all about what she does with launching and how that applies to planning for the new year we have a quick word from our sponsor. 

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Are you ready to dive into a really cool formula for planning your business in the new year? I hope so. Let’s do this. 

Amy: Anne, thank you so much for coming back on the show. I’m so thrilled to have you on. 

Anne: You have no idea, Amy. I am thrilled to be talking today. 

Amy:  It’s always fun to catch up with old friends. I mentioned in the intro that we’ve been fast friends for so long so I absolutely love catching up again. But, today I want to talk about planning for the new year. Some people will listen to this right when it goes live so it will be very timely as we move into 2017. 

But other people will catch it well into 2017 and I still think it’s going to be incredibly valuable. No matter where you’re at when you’re listening to this it’s always important to look at the year ahead and reflect on what’s working and not working. 

I wanted to have Anne on the show to talk about this because Anne is an expert in planning and executing launches. I feel there are so many similarities and really good congruencies between planning a full-on launch and planning your year. 

I approached Anne and asked if we could talk about this. She was so gracious. Thank you so very much. 

Anne: Oh my goodness. I’m surprised you didn’t call me a planner freak or planning freak. It is a little bit freakish how much I enjoy this conversation. 

Amy: I forgot to mention in the intro that you and I have this love of paper planners as well, physical planners. Would you agree with that one? 

Anne: I would agree. Actually, I felt a little bit odd that I don’t have that planner with me right now. I’m like, this is not right. 

Amy: I was actually recently planning on buying a physical planner. I like to do things digitally but I’m also really in love with the idea of something sitting right next to my computer that I can flip through. 

I was on YouTube and wanted to look and see what you were talking about when it comes to planners. Sure enough, she had these videos about these physical planners she uses. But you were then working on a new one recently, right? 

Anne: Um hm. 

Amy: Is that out yet? 

Anne: No. It is not. 

Amy: Okay, when it comes out I will make sure to add it to the show notes for this episode because it’s going to be a good one. I can already tell because you were teasing it on Insta Stories. 

Tell us a little bit about what that video’s about so when I put it in the show notes people will be excited to check it out. 

Anne: Gosh, honestly I have wanted my own planner for quite some time so I have pieces of that based on everything I teach in programs and work on with clients but I have never fully put it together. 

I’m just excited to do that. 

Amy: So you’re going to kind of show us what your planner looks like as you’ve pieced different things together. 

Anne: Honestly, people in the programs have asked me for a planner that basically reminds them of everything they’ve learned in the course. 

Amy: That’s good! 

Anne: I’m like, okay, you’ve got it. 

Amy: I’m excited about that. I’m sure you thought about this so it’s not going to be a new idea but I would be the first person in line to buy a physical planner if it was designed by you. Just know if you ever want to get into physical products I’m going to be the first one in line. 

Anne: Okay, I’ll remember that. 

Amy: Not that it’s not a huge undertaking if you did it. 

Anne: Oh my gosh, there is so much. 

Amy: So much. But let’s back up a little bit because I didn’t even give you a chance to tell the audience a little bit about you and your work with helping entrepreneurs launch. Talk a little bit about how you even got started and about what you do, specifically, to help people launch. 

Anne: That’s actually a great place to start. I always like to remind everyone that there are lots of launches happening offline. I know that a lot of your audience and even mine are online trying to build businesses online. I actually started in film, television, and then finally video games launching bigger properties, bigger projects like that. 

They have the same process. They have the idea. You have a set of stuff you have to complete by a specific date. Then you release it to literally the world. 

When I came online, actually my very first really big launch was Marie Forleo’s B- School. At the time she was partnered with Laura Roeder. I worked as they developed the course content for the very first time for our first multi-six-figure launch. The second launch was seven figures right away so I was able to manage those launches and got a lot of amazing experience. 

I also realized I had been preparing for this since the days of planning talent shows in high school. 

Amy: It’s just in your blood. 

Anne: Honestly, I was going to say something that was really going to date me but I decided not to. There is a specific show that used to be on called Solid Gold. 

Amy: Oh my gosh, I love it! 

Anne: I would have a clipboard and say, “Okay, you’re doing this and you’re doing this, and the show’s at seven.” Of course, my sisters are five years younger than me so it was really like pulling teeth to get them to do anything. 

Amy: So good. 

Anne: Anyway, that was preparing me for the future. What I did after those initial couple of years working with Laura and Marie I just saw a need for some additional launch training. I know there are a lot of launch training programs out there now but this was specifically for women entrepreneurs at the time. 

I created a program and then just started, honestly, just very recently taking on more private clients because I know launching is changing. I want to be in the weeds a little bit so I can see how it’s actually changing in real businesses. 

I plan to take everything I’m learning from my current, the most coaching clients I’ve ever had at one time, back into what I teach in my courses. 

Amy: I don’t know if you mentioned it and I missed it, but what is the name of your course? 

Anne: I did not mention it. It is Fearless Launching. 

Amy: Fearless Launching. This wasn’t planned because we’re not necessarily talking about launching today. But I can’t help myself. When you say you feel like launching has been changing, I know I am very curious and I know those listening  are questioning what you mean. Can you give us a little taste of what you are seeing? 

Anne: I think the overall thing is that there are so many more touch points, so many more “strategies” and ways people can reach people. It’s not about using all of them and it’s not all about using maybe one of them. It does require you to get very clear on where you have the strongest channels. 

If you are strong with Facebook Live or Instagram or a blog or a combination, and this is linking it back to planning, what helps you understand that is when you make a plan and execute on it, let’s say you do all of the things that are happening, Periscope, this, that, the other thing, at the end you can look at your plan and see that it was stressful and unnecessary. 

I’m just seeing that people are kind of substituting great strategies for a real plan that they can fully take to the finish line and I think that’s the hard thing when it comes to launching. People bite off more than they can and should chew. 

Amy: That’s so true. I love that you’re doing one-on-one consulting with this because I do believe that once someone has a solid plan for launching they can use that over and over again with tweaks and modifications and staying relevant with what’s working and not working in social media and all that good stuff. 

I bet to have that first experience with you is incredibly valuable for them. 

Anne: What’s interesting too, Amy, is that I spend the first couple of sessions, it’s usually just one but some people require two, creating this map for the entire year at least in some terms. 

Sometimes it’s a little fuzzy and far out into the future. But we always unpack all of the ideas, pop them onto the calendar where we think they might go and then we sit back and say, “Okay, that’s crazy,” and start pulling things off. 

Amy: I have so been there. I can totally relate. Too funny. 

You know launching. But what else is really valuable in your arsenal of tools and strategies is that you know how to plan. You know how to look at all of the moving pieces and say, “Where do these go and what should I do as I move forward in my business?” 

As we prepared together for this episode you have outlined five categories that you want to look at as you start planning for the new year. So real quick, can you list the five categories? We are then going to drill down into those. 

Anne: Definitely. The five categories that I think are most important are 1) Your paid products, offerings, or services; 2) Your free resources or free “stuff” you will be sharing with people; 3) Other people’s products including partner products; 4)  Affiliate programs you’re part of, and special promotions that might look random but which are done in any kind of blank spot throughout the year; 5) I got this one from you, I believe, Ms. Porterfield, marking in time off. I think that is actually the very first thing I do, to be honest. 

Amy: I love that. This is something I did a year ago when I was planning in the sense that I knew I wanted to take some really good quality time off. I think I actually at one point blocked off an entire month. Full disclosure, that did not happen. 

I just could not do it and I don’t think I would do that again. I think that’s too much for my personality. You’ve got to know yourself and what you’ll do. But I do love the idea of deciding to go on a vacation “here” and take a week of Christmas off “here”, I want a full two weeks when my son’s out of school. 

Putting that on the calendar first is so good. But I’m getting ahead of myself. You’ve got these five categories. 

Your paid products or offers, your free resources and free stuff, other people’s products you want to promote and affiliate stuff, special promotions. One example of that is my ten-people in-person webinar workshop in New York that was a special promotion I did. I am assuming that would count there? 

Anne: Yeah. Also, some people might consider a Black Friday sale to be a special promotion. Some people consider that their regular jam, something they do every single year. But you don’t have to do those special promotions. 

Amy: Got you. They are kind of like icing on the cake. 

Anne: They are. 

Amy: I like that. And the fifth is time off. Those are the five categories. How do you balance all of these? How do you break them up? What do they look like in the new year? You have a really cool system I want you to talk about. 

Anne: Okay. 

Amy: Hint, hint. 

Anne: Basically, I just start very small. You might think you need  five  products launching here, there, and everywhere. I like to say I want two of one category, two of another, two of another, and two of another. Of course, I made it little two by two by two by two. 

Amy: Okay. 

Anne: They start with two times a year you focus on promoting your main free thing. For me that’s my launch tool kit. It might become an on-demand webinar or a webinar that I want to promote during the year. 

It might be a brand new resource that I create or maybe some free planner pages. It’s something you do twice a year to promote. By the way, one thing I don’t think I’ve ever said to you, Amy, is that I look at those times as true launches. 

You can focus for a couple of weeks full on making sure your list knows that you’ve got a new free or updated freebie or something like that. You can take that two weeks and kind of practice the process of launching. 

Don’t underestimate those free times during the year, the free promotions you might do. 

Then, two times a year I like to do a live launch or live promotion of my signature offering. That’s when I usually do Fearless Launching twice a year. This year was a little bit bizarre because of buying and selling a house and houses. 

Generally, I like to have two times a year for that main signature thing. It might actually end up being that I have two signature things at some point but I will still do those two times a year. I like that bookend. 

I have two times a year at least, but I always try to block in two for sure, that I’m promoting other people’s things. I think you and I have some of those main other people’s things. 

Amy: Like B-School. 

Anne: Yeah, 90-Day Year from Todd Herman; LeadPages; these are things that aren’t even people just asking us, we like these people, we respect them and have been through their programs and use their products. They are key affiliate programs and you kind of have to make the decision whether they are right to choose or not. 

That’s not for this conversation. You pick your main things. 

Amy: I love that you’re bringing this up. In your two by two by two by two one of the things you’re saying is to choose two partner promotions that you want to put on the calendar. 

I love this because I’ve talked about it throughout some of my other podcast episodes. It is really valuable for you to decide who you want to promote. As your business starts to get bigger people will come to you asking you to promote something. 

People ask if you promote theirs they will promote yours. I’ve done all of that but what has really worked for me is if I choose a few, like you said, B-School is always one I promote in February and March. I always promote LeadPages because I use it all the time and B-School was a huge foundation in my business so it became my success story and I like to promote that program. 

SamCart is a new one that I’ve been promoting because I use it for all of my checkout pages. I have a huge tie to those programs and products so it’s really easy to put them on the calendar and feel good about promoting them. 

I reach out to them saying, “I’m going to promote you if you will have me. Here’s what I would like to do. Can you work with me on this?” 

When they hear that I’m literally building it into my calendar and have a date and time and ask them for help in terms of content around it they are really helpful in that sense. They know I’m taking it seriously. So I love that you’re building this into your calendar. 

Anne: Absolutely. One thing I also want to say, and this is something I talk about soon, actually being part of some of these really key affiliate programs can do a lot for your launch knowledge. 

Amy: Good point. Talk about that a little. 

Anne: There were a few programs that asked me to be part of their promotion for the year. Unfortunately it overlapped with another key promotion that was already on the calendar. But they all have a training for the affiliates, a private Facebook group. It shows you how far in advance they are working. 

They give you behind the scenes of what’s happening, what’s converting, what’s not. You want a launch education? Of course I want you to come to Fearless Launching but you know what? Become an affiliate and you are actually making money as well. 

Amy: Exactly. I have definitely learned a lot of things about how to treat your affiliates and partners through some really good promotions I’ve been involved in. I totally agree with that. 

Anne: The next one is that I like to leave room, and I don’t know these right off the bat, but I do kind of like to say that two times during the year I am going to do some special projects, maybe a holiday promo. 

This last year I decided that I wanted to do a fun summer promotion for Fearless Launching that I don’t actually have to do too much for. That sounds crazy but… 

Amy: No, I get it. 

Anne: I was off this summer and I was moving so I did a summer school promotion where they really just got access to a self-paced program and I did a couple of live calls. That was it. Done deal! 

Amy: That’s cool. So you kind of did a lighter version for your own program and you called it Summer School. That is so fun. I like that concept. I like the idea of these special projects that you are calendaring in. 

You might have an idea for them and might not have figured out all of the details yet but I also know a lot of entrepreneurs need flexibility. I’m a structure kind of girl. I like it on the calendar and like to know what’s coming up. 

Lot of my friends that are in the same world as I am don’t like such rigidness. You here are allowing people to say that there are two things they might not have figured out yet but we are going to put them on the calendar to say  there  is  room  for flexibility. 

Anne: Another thing I just thought of that might be considered a special project. Let’s say you have an idea for a course or digital product or something you want to do in the new year but are not quite sure how much you want to develop it. Maybe you could do a beta version, not as your special project or promotion. 

Last fall I did a team building class, essentially, training your team to launch. What I realized after I did it, thankfully, I was glad it was small because I realized that even though I’m passionate about building teams I don’t know if I’m passionate about teaching people to build teams. 

But you can do these beta promotions where you are testing something out. 

Amy: I love that. Just experimenting you found out that you don’t necessarily want to teach that. So you didn’t make it into a full blown course, thank goodness. 

I think that is really great. Another thing these promotions can do for you, you’re calling them special projects, let’s say come October you’re realizing you’re not going to meet your revenue goals that you set. 

You may be a little behind but know that if you did a special week-long summit where you do a private Facebook, coaching one on one with a small group or on a certain topic you could make up for some of that. 

It is always a great idea that you can have this space to do so. It could really save you so I like these special projects. You’re saying to try to plan two of them and if you want to go for it then they are at least on the calendar. 

Anne: Exactly. One more idea for the special projects, during the year there are built- in times when you can (I don’t know if it’s the right word) jump onto the energy of the new year, a holiday, change in season, back to school, and all of those things. 

Think about naturally occurring times when people are doing things you might be able to attach a project to. That’s something I like to do and that’s why I’m even talking about planning today. I have a class later all about that for 2017. 

I feel it’s one of those things that’s logical that it would happen now and not just some other time of the year. 

Amy: For sure. I like that. The final one that we talked about is time off. We’re hoping people are actually putting that in their calendar before they even get started but I do think it’s really important that you at least find some pockets of time that, no excuses, you’re taking the time off. 

It is hard for us entrepreneurs to take time off but is so essential. 

Anne: If you have kids sometimes you don’t have that choice. That’s what I marked off this past year. I looked at my map and saw that I actually already counted that time as off so that’s good. 

Like you said before Amy, time off doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not working- working. I feel like it just means during that down time you’re not promoting. 

Amy: That’s a good way to look at it too. 

Anne: You can take the time off. You’re giving your audience a little bit of a breather from promoting all the time. You’ve giving yourself time and you’re giving your team time to rejuvenate as well. 

Amy: That’s another thing. Looking at your team. Sometimes I think I don’t need the time off but I think that my team could really use a breather. I do try to keep that into consideration as well. 

You mentioned a good thing and then we’re going to get into some things to reflect on that happened this year for everybody, but you mentioned something that made me think. 

When you look at your calendar and in the olden days (like two years ago for me) I used to get a big calendar out. It was a big dry erase calendar. I just don’t do it that way because I’ve turned more digital. But I loved it in the sense that I had dry erase markers and would move things around. 

I would do it like that first because I wanted to make sure I saw a lot of white space when I wasn’t actively promoting and aggressively emailing my list about a certain live promo I was doing. 

I like breathing space so you make a great point that taking time off is important for you and for your team but also for your list. It doesn’t mean you’re not mailing them at all. It means you’re not asking them to buy. There’s got to be some good white space in your calendar to do so. 

Anne: Absolutely. Amy, one of the most interesting ideas that I think I heard at a traffic and conversion summit this past year, they were talking about always making deposits and withdraws from your audience and your mailing list. 

If you’re constantly only withdrawing (promotions and launches) then you will eventually have a zero balance. You’ve got to build in that white space. In a lot of ways it’s really important for your list and your audience. 

Amy: It’s incredibly important. I love that. I love that analogy for sure. 

We are moving on to talk about the areas we should be reflecting on before we actually move forward. We gave you guys the good stuff, the five things you want to pay attention to. The two by two by two by two formula is a really great place to start if you’re not sure where you should focus or how many promotions you want to do. 

That is your framework. But we want to back up a little bit before you dive into all of that and put it on the calendar. I think it’s important to reflect on your year, the year you just had. Anne, I want you to talk a little bit about some things we should ask ourselves or think about that could shape how we do our two by two by two by two formula. 

Anne: Reflection is one of those things I actually just believe you have to schedule on the calendar for after launches, at the end of quarters, and especially at the end of the year. You really want to sit back and be able to say, “How did this year go?” 

What are the marketing activities you were actually successful  at  doing  and completing regardless of the result? What did you complete in the way you thought you would? What were the most profitable ones? Then you get to decide and really think about whether you really enjoyed what you did this year. 

Did you enjoy the work? Were you stressed out all the time? Were you so excited that you could totally do more? This is another one. I always ask if I was lazy. Sometimes you get lazy. It’s a really hard thing to admit. But if you felt that you didn’t get enough done maybe you just weren’t doing anything. 

Amy: It kind of does happen. That’s why when I was thinking about these questions I thought that one of the first questions I always ask myself is how I felt about my year. If I look back at the year, what is that feeling? 

You and I are both fans of Danielle LaPorte. She talks a lot about how you feel and those emotions and how that affects everything you do. If I look back and ask myself how I felt about the year, if it’s a feeling of being frustrated or super overwhelmed or stressed then you have to look at where you spent your time to make yourself feel that way. 

Anne: Yes. Sometimes the first thing you have to do is look at yourself. Forget about all of the things that happened. There were a lot of things that happened this year for me and I’m sure for you and everybody. What did you do about it? 

I feel it is a good time to get real with things like your revenue goals and not just how you feel. Did you take on too many clients? Did you cancel a lot of sessions with people and reschedule? 

Amy: That’s good. 

Anne: You can really dig into your work habits and even the things you started and implemented. I just recently implemented meditation and a sleep app to get myself to a better place physically and mentally. 

As a mom sometimes you just don’t sleep, I don’t know. I’ve been trained not to sleep. 

Amy: That makes sense. 

Anne: Back to business though you start asking yourself what you can simplify. Did you offer too many things? Do you have something that really didn’t make the money you thought it was going to for the year? Can you lose that? 

Simplification can happen with what you offer and what you put on your calendar but it can also be applicable to just the way you approach your work. What are some other questions you would ask? 

Amy: There are so many things. One of the things I think is really important is to ask yourself if you have the right people in place. When you look back at the year ask if you leveraged enough or if you did too much on your own and if you had the right people in place to support yourself. 

If not, maybe it’s time for a little restructuring as you move into the new year. There are actually so many different questions I think are incredibly valuable to offer insight into how you want to shape your year. 

In the cheat sheet I mentioned in the intro, Anne and I have listed a bunch of questions that we want you to reflect on. Again, if you go to http:// you can get the cheat sheet and  take  a good 30 minutes at least and look at the questions and answer them. I think it will offer so much insight as you move forward. 

I love these questions, Anne, so thank you for including these. 

Anne: No problem. You know what, I also think you should feel free to keep asking yourself the question. A good friend, James Wedmore,  always says that, just keep asking the question. Keep asking yourself questions. He’s so smart. 

Amy: He is. You are going to get those different answers. Sometimes I will ask myself what frustrated me most during the year. I will give you guys a quick example. At times this year I felt like I couldn’t just get really focused on one thing. 

I wondered why I was feeling that way when I reflect back, what is coming up for me? I love that you mentioned James’ suggestion to keep asking. I kept asking myself. I didn’t have an answer or it was surface. I knew that wasn’t it. 

I asked and asked and finally just the other day it came to me that I traveled more and spoke more on stage for business than I had intended. I was on the road more than I wanted, probably three times more than I wanted. 

I just have a very bad habit of not being able to say “no”. When I’m on the road everything feels like it stops for me. I can’t get focused right before or right when I get back. No wonder I was feeling that way. 

You are right, if I kept asking myself I did get down to the solution and that means I’m going to change that for the next year. 

Anne: Wow, that’s really good. That’s really good to think that through like that. Again, mentioning Danielle LaPorte, she also always says to do that. You want this, why do you want that? Why do you want that? You just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper until you come up to really find the core reason. 

Amy: It’s fully annoying in the moment. 

Anne:  Yes, if you are asking yourself. Journal it or write it in your paper planner if there’s a note section or something. This is certainly not a new exercise to reflect and ask yourself these questions. I was just thinking there are actually a few different workbooks I’ve used in the past couple of years but they always have the section on reflection. 

The questions are always slightly different but I do think it’s an important part of planning. If you can do it at the end of the year, great. Extra credit if you actually do it at the end of each quarter. 

Amy: Actually, a long time ago you had suggested some workbooks and I followed up. I got them and really loved them. They helped me reflect and were around mindset and shaping your year. 

I know you always have some good recommendations so if you were going to recommend some workbooks to help you reflect on the year and shape the year ahead what are some of your favorites? 

Anne: I’ll tell you, there are a few. That one I think you are talking about is Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Year. She usually releases those every single November/December. 

Then there’s Amber McCue’s Fresh Start. It is a little bit more businessy. There is some mindset stuff in there. 

If you’re ever in the 90-Day Year with Todd Herman he has a great workbook that is split out. It’s the same reflection process that I think is so valuable. It ain’t easy. It’s kind of a detailed one. 

There is a newer one that I just had to tell you about. I haven’t told you about this yet, Amy. It’s called You Got This. It’s not a notebook. It’s a workbook by a woman, Alexis Giostra. She is a planner productivity maniac so if you like the topic of planning she is someone to go check out. 

Amy: Co o l . I will put a l l o f tho s e in the s how no te s a t http:// You can get the links and check them out to see which ones might be perfect for you. I’m glad we ran through those. 

You’ve got this whole idea of questions and I want to encourage all of you to get the cheat sheet, the freebie for this episode so that you can really look at those questions and get some more recommendations if you want to dive deeper. 

Before we wrap up I want to talk about moving into Quarter One. Once everyone has done their reflections and have really looked at what worked and what didn’t work and then start with their two by two formula and get it going, what do they do now? 

What are the next marching orders to get momentum now before we move into the new year? 

Anne: There are a few things. The first thing I always do, this is something I’ve already done, I’m sorry, I’ve got to call myself because I’m very excited about it but I actually got it done, you get moving now on Quarter One. “Put money in the bank,” is what I like to say. 

That means maybe you book a client or start working on a course revision or reach out to potential partners and join affiliate programs now for things you want to promote in the new year. I like to start Quarter One with money in the bank. 

Amy: I love it. 

Anne: I think it makes you excited and not questioning what is going to happen. Once you have that and start figuring out what that might mean for your business, it could just be that you start working on a project that you’re going to launch and unveil, so think about those things you can get started on now. 

All you have to do is map out all of the known pieces to your two by two etc. process on a blank piece of paper with 12 boxes. This is exactly what I do. I mark my time off and then I mark all of the different types of categories of launches that I want. That’s it. 

Once you map that out then, this is another way to get moving on Q1, by the way, take inventory. Once you’ve got your map it’s time to focus on just specifically Q1. You look at the projects, the promos, anything you are doing in those first three months. 

Start creating a list of what’s done already. There is nothing better than saying, “Check, that’s done.” 

Amy: Oh yeah. 

Anne: Take inventory again. I have to shout out to who really got me doing that, Jeff Walker. That’s one of the main exercises he takes people through in Product Launch Formula. I thought that was such a fabulous way to put it. 

I’ve used it since that day I learned about the inventory. 

Amy: Let me make sure I understand this whole idea of taking inventory. This is new for me. You are saying that once you’ve mapped out what you want to do for the year you are looking at Quarter One. You are looking at the projects, promos, launch, whatever you’re doing in Q1 and creating a list of everything you need to do. 

You are taking inventory of what needs to get done and then even in this year where we’re not even into the new year yet if you can get some of that done you get to check it off. But it’s like your whole project plan for Q1 or one main project? 

Anne: Yes. But when I take inventory really, Amy, it’s of the things that if I know I’m launching Fearless Launching in Q1 I’m looking at whether I have partners. Who are they? Do I have graphics made already? It’s the stuff that is already created. We already have a webinar. That’s great. We have our blog posts we’re going to start sending and doing our little Facebook ads to. 

Amy: Oh okay. Yes. 

Anne: I’m trying to remember what that’s called, that cornerstone content that gets people excited about what you’re going to launch. Think about everything you already have. 

Amy: Okay, I looked at that incorrectly so I’m glad you said that. Everything you’ve already done that you could use for getting momentum on the project you want to work on. Got you. Taking inventory. That makes more sense. 

You had a final one that I thought was really good. 

Anne: One of the things I feel I focused on this year more than anything was actually routine, rituals, the things I do daily and weekly. I really feel like one of the best things you can do for your business is to establish the set routines and rituals like planning at the end of the year, having a reflection or review of each quarter, something you do at the end of projects. 

But not even just those projects and bigger milestones, I also do a top three everyday. I set them and try to set them the night before but I’m usually not that on it. I set my top main three things to get done everyday. 

Amy: I do that too. I love that. 

Anne: I set a top five things I’m going to focus on for the week. They might all be in the same project but are just things I really want to accomplish by the end of the week. I have daily meditation on that list. I have weekly movement. 

Notice I say weekly because I’m working on that. I’m working on it. 

Amy: Baby steps. 

Anne: Baby steps. I’m running up and down my stairs. 

Amy: There you go. 

Anne: Talking about Todd Herman, you might have themed days. You might have a daily end of the day brain dump or brain storm. Another thing I started doing this year was the Miracle Morning. 

It is a great book. It is basically a thing you do in the morning. It’s five little things you can do at the beginning of your day that really just change the way you approach the rest of your day. It just makes you so much more clear, focused, and productive. 

Like I mentioned before, I have been focusing on meditation and sleep and using Headspace and doing my Headspace meditation every day. It’s an app I just started using along with Pillow, looking at my sleep habits. 

You have to have a nice mix of rituals and routines that are business and personal. 

Amy: That’s so true. I always say what’s business is personal and what’s personal is business. Sometimes as an entrepreneur they start to blend together. This idea of sleeping better and meditation and moving all totally affect what we do in our business for our big promotions and launches. I love that you put the two together. 

I too have been working on some morning rituals and I do the top three like you said. I really like to look at the focus of the week. There are so many things we can implement to make it almost a guarantee that you reach some of those big goals. I do believe it starts with these rituals and routines. I love that we are ending there as well. 

Anne, I cannot thank you enough for coming on the show. I feel this is such valuable episode of how to get ready for the new year. No matter when you are listening there is always a time that you can sit down, reflect, and even plan ahead. 

Thank you so much for coming on the show. 

Anne: You are very welcome, Amy. It was awesome as always. 

Amy: There you have it. I hope you found this planning process incredibly valuable. I love how it’s an exact formula that you can follow and really make it your own. 

Remember, we covered a lot and there is the really important list of questions you want to reflect on before you get started. Plus, there is a really cool list of workbooks you might want to look into if you want to dive deeper. 

To get the freebie and the list of workbooks all you need to do is go to http:// and you can get all of the details. 

Finally, before I wrap up, a quick word from our sponsor. If you’re currently  a freelancer, coach, or consultant and you’re juggling multiple clients, I want  to encourage you to check out Fresh Books. They just released a new version of their cloud accounting software. 

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I cannot wait to see you here next week. I’m going to do a roundup of my top ten very favorite episodes from 2016 and I’m going to share with you why they’re so valuable in case you missed some of the most important episodes from this year. 

I can’t wait to see you next week. Until then, have a fantastic week. Bye for now. 

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