Goal Planning and Setting Up Business Goals | Upwork Live
(cheerful music) - First and foremost, my name's Neal. I wear a couple hats. The first hat I wear is as a social media strategist, I've been freelancing for about five years now. It'll be six years this summer, which I'm very excited to celebrate. And the other hat I wear is that of an Upwork Ambassador. So, I create events like these and try to learn from other freelancers that are out there while at the same point, hearing from other people in the US and in our community, around our virtual towns, if you may.
And with that, it looks like we've got a lot of people of different industries and also coming in from different places. We got a lot in Florida, California, couple designers and writers, even some attorneys and some accountants. So thank you all for joining us.
I do wanna meet our guest or introduce our guest. So Jodi, welcome. Thank you for joining us today. Where are you joining us from? And what do you do? - So, hi. So glad to be here. Thank you for having me. I am in Atlanta, Georgia.
And I am a privacy consultant. So, we're gonna talk about what that is. I know for sure. Oh, someone else is from Atlanta. Hi.
Hi to everybody else too. - That's awesome. Well, I'm sure the Atlanta people are over priority. I'm also from Philadelphia. So, east coast as well. And so, I love seeing people join from around me.
Anyway, so why don't we start there with what it is that a privacy coach and a privacy advisor does? - Yes. So for many people here, I imagine, you maybe you've gone online and you've noticed that what you were shopping for has followed you. If that has ever happened to you, you know, like thumbs up, write a note in the chat, that's ever happened to you. So, the data that is being collected from companies is being used by a myriad of middle people all the time. And the other thing that you kind of see on the outside, is a cookie banner.
I'm sure people have clicked on cookie banners or you've agreed to a privacy notice before. All of that is kind of the external piece. And there's now a lot of laws in place.
I call it, privacy alphabet soup. You might have heard of GDPR. That's what kind of started the frenzy years ago. It's the EU privacy law. Here in the United States, we have a variety of other state privacy laws that are here and are coming and there are definitely other privacy laws around the world.
What I do is help companies figure out which law applies to them, how to comply, if you're able to still use that data going back to my first example, the question is, should you? It's all about helping customers figure out what they can and can't do with data and what they should and shouldn't do with data. And ultimately, it's about building trust with customers. All of us are customers in a variety of different fields. And companies need to figure out, what they're doing with our data and what we're okay with. And laws now tell us a little bit more detail and requirements that as individuals and companies we have to adhere to.
And so, we're working with companies to help them figure all that out. - Wow. Awesome. That sounds incredibly helpful. And it also sounds a little confusing because it sounds like you work on the back end with a lot of different clients. And especially, as you think about just all the different states in America and all the different laws that there are around here, but then also overseas, how, if they're operating in with GDPR, and in Europe or in other places, how those laws change and how I'm sure, their requests of you and what they need to understand changes as well. So how do you, well, actually, before I get to that question, how did you get your start as a freelancer, but also as founding Red Clover Advisors? And what does the rest of your team look like? - Sure.
I imagine my story might be kind of similar to many of you where I kind of woke up one day and said, I'm done. I don't wanna do this corporate thing anymore. And that's what I did. It will have been five years ago where I said, I'm done. And I picked a date and a line in the sand and said, I wanna move on from them.
And that line in the sand was August, 2017, because I wanted, here in Atlanta, we start school really early. And as a mom of two kids, I wanted to be able to start the school year off with my new role. And I spent a lot of time working to figure out, how could I make that happen. Through networking is how I kind of, created my first freelance job.
I was a subcontractor to other people in a variety of different ways. And that's really how I got started, of just creating what I wanted and then working feverishly to find the different opportunities that would work for me. And fast forward to answer your question of, where are we today? I have several consultants who work for me, both in a W-2 and 1099 capacity. And then, I have a myriad of part-time, other freelancers around me or other small business owners who, their business is built potentially, by other freelancers. As a small business owner, I wanna support other small business owners.
And I'm a big fan of finding the fractional team to help do the different parts that we all need to make a business work. So there might be, I have a really awesome graphic designer that I found on Upwork who's based in South Africa and right? Love that. And then, there's other people I don't even know what time zone half the time people are in, but someone else who might be able to help with podcasts and I know that that person works with people around the globe and somebody else who helps with some of the content marketing. And I know that person also, has people all around the country.
And it's about identifying what I really needed and trying to find the different people to help help me. - Incredible. And so, that's actually an interesting place to start. So how do you identify what you want and not only what you want for right now, but, you know, if we were to break that down and what you need for the end of the year as well. - I think the first place you have to start is, what are your goals and what is it you're trying to achieve? Some people might just want to kind of have, you know, what sometimes people refer to, as a lifestyle business, right. Enough to kind of keep you busy and pay the bills that are important for you and save for whatever is important for you.
Other people might wanna keep growing and build a whole team and build a whole business. And for me, I'm in that latter camp. I see a real opportunity, I see a real need.
I actually find this growing a business thing, incredibly frustrating and really fun and challenging at the same time. And I wanna jump all in and try and do what I can. So, I really hope the dogs is gonna join our conversation.
Always right on cue. I really want to be able to figure out, you know, what is it gonna need to be able to grow? And I think there's a bus that's gonna go by. Everyone, thanks so much for your patience. Those of you watching the recording, thanks for your patience and understanding.
The yard people just went by, not the bus. Let me leave that. When it's for me, about finding what other assistance I need, it often starts with what I'm not good at and what I don't want to learn, because my best use of time is not to do that or learn it. It's not that I can't learn anything.
When I graduated school, I'm not gonna tell you how long ago, you can figure it out if you go to LinkedIn, there was no, I mean, I guess there was privacy, but that wasn't the thing. I graduated in the accounting field. I've transformed my career multiple times.
It's not about not wanting to learn something. Everyday I'm learning. It's about what is most valuable and where I shine and where my strengths are. My strengths are not going to be in figuring out how to design a graphic or report. For me, it's gonna be better to go find someone.
And that makes them happy to do that. That drives me bonkers. I don't wanna do that. And the same is true with a variety of other things, which is why I have a business because other people don't want to do what I do. They don't wanna figure it out. They could go to Dr. Google and search.
They don't. They want a professional. And I believe that all of us have different talents and we're filling a need. And for me, it's about identifying what do I think is going to help from a marketing standpoint or what am I spending too much time on in the business and who could help fill that gap or role for me. And then, I go and try and find that person or team to be able to help solve that need or technology and then the person to help me do the technology. And then, I get to stay and do what makes me happy and passionate. And that's what will help excel the business.
- Yeah. That makes a ton of sense and I like that. I always like going to Dr. Google as usually my first place to ask every single question that comes to mind, including what the weather is. But I often find that, especially for business, like when I was first starting out as a freelancer, I would go to Dr. Google and I type in like,
what do I need now? Or like, what's my goal for the end of the year. And there's a bunch of articles that pop up and a bunch of results that pop up from various amounts of different ways. How do you decipher through all of that? But also for yourself of like, after you get that first client or that second, or that third, like what you really are going after? And when did it change for you from, hey, I just want one more client, or I need help with this marketing project, or I need someone to do something that I'm not passionate about to over the next year I wanna accomplish this? - Lots of really great questions. Going backwards, I'm a really goal oriented person.
And I started this knowing where I wanna go. I started wanting to build the business. However, I knew I had to start somewhere. And you have to get your feet wet, right.
You have to kind of begin and then the snowball effect. People knew me, but they didn't know the work that I was doing. And you have to build that credibility and those relationships.
And then it starts to create the domino effect that I'm experiencing now and I'm sure many people here have as well. For those of you who, maybe that's not. You just started this as, well, this sounds like fun. Or maybe you lost your job and you wanted to do something else, right. People find their path here in a variety of ways.
And maybe you're not ready for that business part. I think the other important thing is, what is this here? This is a community. That's what you're trying to build here, right, together to learn. And I found my community and I think it's really important for people to find their community. Maybe none of your friends are freelancers and own a business and think what you're doing is crazy.
And so, if you wanna grow and thrive, that's not the group of people that are gonna help you do that. So, I think community's really important for whatever is important in your life. If you're parents, you typically go and find other parents to help you solve the parental crisis. You don't typically go to your single friends to say, hey, what do I do with this child issue I have, right. They're not gonna have a clue. The same is true in the business context.
I found the communities that worked really well for me. And I think a part of that community is kind of, a coach slash advisor. Because if you're new to the business world, I mean, I went to business school. I get business. So, certain parts of business weren't foreign to me, but I haven't actually grown my own business. There's all kinds of things that I don't know how to do.
And I wanted to find advisors and mentors and other people who have done this before and who can help teach me in that area. And then, it kind of comes with the community. Oh, you see them doing that? Well, that's an interesting idea. I guess I could do that. And then it kind of starts to come together of what your goals might be.
For example, if you were someone who, you're happy with your couple clients. You didn't think about growing, but you find a community of other like-minded people, maybe in your field, and you see what they're doing, perhaps that inspires you. Now, you can learn from someone of how they grew and what's important for them.
Maybe you're like me, who already know you wanna build something, having that community and the coach or advisor to help you realize where you are and what you need to do to get forward, either read lots of articles on how to go forward. And there's plenty of self business books. I mean, I think there's like, a million leadership books out there. There's no shortage of them.
And you can kind of chart your path. I'm a fan of finding people who've already done it. I like to learn shortcuts and gather all of that information as they can. And you mentioned, if you go to our friend, Dr. Google, you search, you get a gazillion articles. You could spend all day in analysis paralysis.
And you can just keep reading and reading and reading. And if you don't actually take any action, then all the reading in the world's not gonna help you. It's important to make sure that you're balancing how much of the research you're doing with the people, who's in your community gonna help you sort through all of that, unless it's you. But if you're still reading every day and you've done nothing, right, so somehow you kind of have to measure, is it number of clients? Is it dollars? Is it free time, right? Maybe you're working too much. You want more free time.
What are you gonna need to do to get more free time? Well, you might have to get other people to help you do some of the little things that are taking up your time. And all of that are pieces I think, to building the business and or the lifestyle that's important to you. - I love that. And I'm gonna add in that little shameless plug for if you are looking for a community, the Upwork Community is a great place to start.
But actually I did use the Upwork Community and a lot of other freelancers as my community when I first got started. I remember when I was first started freelancing and I'd walk out every morning. I'd have a cup of coffee in my porch, especially over that first summer. And my neighbor asked me what I did. And I told him over and over again that I was in freelancing.
And he was one of the sweetest people I knew, but he had no idea what freelancing meant. And he just kept suggesting more and more ways about how I can apply to get a real job. And I realized that was one of my goals. It became one of my goals for the years to teach him by the end of the year, what freelancing meant? And that it, you know, could be a career in and of itself. And so, once I figured out how to explain that to him or how to communicate that with him, that also helped me communicate a lot about my business to potential clients and to other people that I was working with. So, we do have one question in the chat already, but if anyone has other questions, please feel free to throw them into the Q and A box and we'll get to them in just a little bit.
So, Jodi, I did wanna ask you, what are some of your goals that you've had for yourself over the years, and especially, you know, you were talking about how to measure different goals and how to measure success almost. How did you measure success for yourself in achieving those goals? Was it financial goals? Was it of clients? Amount of team members? Or amount of, you know, changes in careers that you went through? - As a former CPA, it was very financially driven. It was, you know, revenue, expenses, profit. That was a significant part of what I was talking about.
And then, it began to grow to the number of clients that I would have. Then, it also would be well, what is a client? Is a client a single project or is a client a repeatable project. And what is a repeatable project? Is it three months, six months, a whole year? How many clients do I have that have come back year after year or how many clients have referred me? So again, I think it goes back to the goals of the person. For me, I really wanna be, I really wanna build this business and have a less barky dog. So far, the less barky dog's not working out for me. I hope you people have dogs here on this call.
So tho those were the metrics that were important for me. You know, for some people it might be, how quickly you can get a project done. I don't tend to do, and I see a question here. We can talk about this hourly contract one. You know, there's definitely hours worked.
I actually try not to bill on an hourly basis. And I think very much depends on the industry you're in and the type of work because some work lends itself more to an hourly basis at the same time, other work can lend itself more to a project basis. And for anyone here, if you can, oh, I love the meowing cats for me. Thank you. And love dogs. Thank you.
If any of you can do a project base, it takes a little bit of time. You gotta kind of think about how long it's gonna take you. Be able to think about what your hourly rate is and kind of put whatever profit you think you need on there where you won't totally price yourself out of the market.
But then, you start to move out of just a flat hourly. And at the same time, I mean, look, some of the contractors I have are hourly. And that's because it makes sense. You don't know if a design project's gonna take 30 minutes or three hours.
You just don't know. So, it really is kind of unique I think, to each different one. - That's some great advice there. And I wanna kind of, dive into that question a little bit more.
So the question that Jodi was referring to, was about hourly contract and that this person typically receives hourly contracts. However, soon they're gonna be out of their capacity and wanna hire other freelancers to take on some of those contracts. So they were asking, "How do you hire freelancers to take on your projects that are hourly and, you know, it's without short changing themselves in there too?" So, that's just for, for a little context there. So, is there anything else you want to add to that Jodi, before we move on? - Well, so this particular one is, I think the way to look at if, when you bring somebody else on, whether it's to do the work that you're doing or to do a marketing task of finance task, any other task, is think about when you hire that person, how much you pay them and what your profit is.
And what will you do, either with the dollars or the time. Because maybe you want the free time back. So, that's valuable to you. Maybe you want the free time back because you want to just go to the gym. Okay. So, is however much that profit worth you going to the gym, 'cause that's what you're giving up.
Or is that time that you can reinvest to make more sales. And when you look at it that way, however much money that is, now you've doubled because you have the first earning that you get and then you're able to reinvest in the business. Or maybe you take that amount and you reinvest in actual marketing or business development or something else. So, you kind of wanna think about, what will you do with that time, because you're gonna gain time, but right, lose a little bit of your net profit. And so, it's all a matter of what you will do with that net profit and what's important for you. - I think the other thing to remember there is that, out of that time, even when you're hiring other people, there is other work that's involved in there.
On the base level of that is still just how much time are you going to invest in actually hiring that person, but in training them up or making sure that they are keeping that quality that you're looking for. - That's a great point. Absolutely great point. - Yeah. I think that's one of those things to remember of just because you're hiring someone, doesn't alleviate all the work and it's not just, or usually it's not just, you turn it over and you run away.
- Well, and if I may add Neal, part of that is, you know, now you're managing people. And there's a whole nother world of managing people. So you have to decide, do I wanna manage people? And you might because you gain all these other things. You just have to decide.
- Yeah. I was in a conversation actually, earlier today with someone who was asking me, how do you manage other people? And they were mentioning how they have, they actually went to school and got an MBA and they left and they still don't know how to manage people. They still find it as every day they're learning and every day they're asking questions to figure it out. But it's one of those things that no one really teaches you in school. So, it's definitely one of those things that you have to, or I think it's important to make sure that you're creating the time for yourself to learn that and to have those learning curves in there. - Absolutely.
- Yeah, we also had another question earlier on about networking and kind of going back to what you were saying there. So, how have you kept up your networking over COVID and as the world shifted to mainly virtual events over in person events. - Yep. So, there's a couple different ways. And it kind of goes back to finding the communities that are gonna be right for you. For me, I've joined a couple places that focus on entrepreneurs. There's an organization called Entrepreneurs Organization.
So, I've joined that. And there's also sort of a younger version, I shouldn't say younger, a version for growing companies. And then, there's like different tiers depending on where you are.
So, I've joined Entrepreneurs Organization. There are also oodles of communities based on industry. For example, local in Atlanta, there's a massive marketing Facebook group. It is 20,000 people strong.
I can join that community. There are other national Facebook groups that I've been a part of in certain areas that are of interest to me. Some people and I actually, I'm very, very, very active on LinkedIn and have made a variety of different friends just by posting. The same is true, I know, for people in other social platforms. People have found communities on Reddit, Other Facebook groups, depending on, you know, what their area is, local networking groups. I'm also part of a profess, so for any of those who are in the United States, kind of in certain markets, you can look it up, there's an organization called ProVizors, professional advisors.
It's called provisors.com. And there, it's a lot of freelancers. It's people who have small businesses and all different types of industries. And, you know, I've built a community through that.
Because of the pandemic, it kind of went virtual. It's in a little bit of a hybrid situation. So, certain cities are going back to in person and some parts of it are staying virtual.
It kind of just depends. And there're in probably 20 different cities now. It keeps growing.
So, tho those are examples for me. The best advice I could offer is find again, that community, maybe it's an alumni organization for your school, maybe it's a school, you know, like your local area, Rotary club, the business chamber, find what your industry is and find the different social media groups that are part of that particular industry. I actually think the ability to network is easier online. I don't have to drive.
My time is easier to be spent here. I would say, almost everyone here, our work is national or international. So if you only think about, I go to the local networking event, well, you only meet the local people. Maybe you don't want that. So, think about where your referrals come from and go find the people where those kinds of people are gonna be there.
Or think about where your partners could be from. So for example, if you are a graphic designer, maybe you wanna go find ad agencies. So, where do all those marketers hang out and go find marketers? And then you can, I see all the time agencies saying, I need this, this and this. Well, all the freelancers say, well, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it. And, that exists. I'm just using marketing again, as an example, but for all these different industries, it's gonna be really kind of the same idea.
- Thank you. That's incredibly helpful. So, we do have a couple of other questions that came in. I do want to kind of separate some of them out. So, if you have specific questions about your individual profile or something very specific to yourself, I'd definitely recommend reaching out to Upwork support. So this way, they can look into your individual case and take care of that. For this, I wanna keep it a little more general.
So this way, the questions can apply to a lot more people. With that, Jodi, I did wanna ask you. So, you mentioned earlier on that you made the change from being a subcontractor going into being, you know, where people recognize as you're, or excuse me, that you're no longer a subcontractor.
You're now under your own brand. So, how did you make that change? And what did that change look like for you? - Well, what was fun for me is, I got to double dip. I got to build my own brand at the same time as doing subcontracting work. And that was because I always knew I didn't wanna be a subcontractor always.
I really wanted to build my own brand. And just over time, all those relationships and the dominoes, like we've been talking about fell into place. And I think part of what has contributed to that, for me, in my industry is thought leadership.
In the privacy space, it's a confusing, overwhelming term. People don't know what they need to do, and there's a lot of education. And as a result, I put a significant amount of content out there. I'm consistent on LinkedIn. I'm consistent in my content.
I do a lot of speaking events. This is a speaking event, right. I do a ton of education, whether it be about careers, women in business, working moms, data, privacy, whatever it is, to be able to help build, kind of my personal slash company brand.
Personally, I always knew I wanted it to be a company brand. And so, it wasn't the Jodi Daniels LLC, which I do wanna actually answer the LLC question 'cause I have some good thoughts on that. It was Red Clover Advisors. I wanted to build a brand that could stand beyond me so that when I brought people in, it would eventually be, yes, they're buying from Jodi because that's who they got to know. But ultimately when I had team members, it was Red Clover and that was very deliberate. And I would use all of that in our content marketing and speaking as well.
And so all of that together, it just takes time between networking, the thought leadership, building relationships, getting your name out there, being consistent, and then obviously, underneath all of that, right, actually deliver good work to your clients. Then it pulls it together to be able to help make that transition from a subcontractor to having your own brand. - I do wanna, before switching over to the LLC question, I did wanna follow up and ask you. So, it sounds like you knew even before you really started out freelancing or started out on your own, you knew what you wanted to become and you knew what the ultimate goal was.
How did you set a timeline on that? Or was there a timeline or a calendar you kind of saw as like three years, five years goal? - Well, the type A in me just, is a little bit goal oriented and I think I'm also one that wants to move faster than maybe reality. But I set the initial time of when I just wanted to make the cut and leave corporate and start on my own. And you know, each year I just kind of make a goal of where I wanna go. And I think about, what do I need to do to make that happen? What are the steps that I need? Who are the people? Who can be my partners? Where are the challenges that customers and clients are going to have? And how do I communicate to them in their voice so that it resonates with them? - How do you encourage your team members to set their own goals or to, you know, kind of grow with you through goal oriented yearly accomplishments? - I think, you know, that's an important piece.
First part of it is when you're hiring people. You want people who believe in your mission and believe in what it is that you're trying to achieve. And that's one of the values that's important to me. No different than, can you actually do the work? At the same time, I explain and share, here's what we're doing. I ask for ideas.
What would be good topics for us to talk about? What are you reading in the marketplace? Some of the team members have specialties that I don't have. So let's kind of call those out and bring them to be able to help in those particular areas. And then, we talk about what the goals are going to be. What is important for you to cover this year and let's make sure that we're able to help you achieve that.
I think the mission and in helping to understand what the goal is, so if the goal is to help companies make data privacy simple, then everything we do has to be that way. All of our deliverables have to be really simple. All of the language when we talk to people has to be really simple. So it's about tying it all together throughout the whole experience for me. - Okay. And then there was a great question that just came in of, "Do you journal your yearly goals or do you use an app based system to keep your process organized? - The super ridiculously organized person over here does not use a fancy app based system.
So I love organizations, but I don't use any app. For me, I might have it all in my head, which all of my mindfulness people would tell me, don't do that. But I mean, I do write things down though. So, I actually firmly believe that when you write, I mean, I, I have paper here, people. Like, I take my notes on paper. Because for me, when I write it connects.
And there are scientific proof of why that is. So, I will actually write goals, you know. Whether it's in word or an app, for me, my recommendation would be, whatever is going to work best for you. Whatever it's going to be. I know some people who have sticky notes and they keep it on their mirror so that every day they see whatever the goal is, personal or professional.
Some people just wanna write it down and review it every month. How are you tracking to it? What I would say is if you have a big lofty goal, what are your little goals to be able to help get you there? And you have to reevaluate consistently to be able to help to achieve that. It can't just be a big, big goal. You have to find the little pieces along the way, because there's small, you know, what? If your big goal is a certain revenue and you've met with five people this week, that is actually very successful that you should be paying attention to and say, I just met with five people. I didn't meet with five people last week.
I should celebrate that I met with five people 'cause that's five people closer to where you were when you were at zero. And sometimes we get so bogged and the big goals. Big gals are awesome. They help motivate. Little goals and how you're going to get to the big goals, I think, are how you actually achieve it. - That's credible and incredibly helpful.
I especially like that bit in there about paper since I'm also one of those paper people where my entire business has run through a computer and in clouds and in random places. But I still have notebooks next to me at all times a day. I always carry one when I travel, there's a little black one that's always in my back pocket for whenever an idea strikes or whenever I hear a good tidbit. I gotta write it down. And there's a lot of other people that have joined in the chat saying that they're they big fan of paper too. So with that, you know, there's, actually, before we get too off topic, I do wanna, someone asked about LLCs and you said you wanted to, that you had a good answer for that.
- Yeah. So the question is, should you create, as a freelancer, should you create an LLC? In my view, the answer to that would be yes for a couple different reasons. The first is, they're really pretty inexpensive to be able to create. And at the same time, I have actually a lot of reasons for this. So they're fairly inexpensive to create these days and pretty easy to do.
The second is, from a privacy standpoint, if you have an LLC, you can create it, well, actually a couple things. You can separate your business versus your personal expenses and really make the business from a personal, completely separated. The second is, depending on how you grow, you might decide, and this is a little bit US based, sorry, international people. I have no idea how the tax system works. But for my US friends here, there's different statuses of LLC.
And when you register as an LLC, you can also get an actual Federal ID number. And then, you're not handing your social security number to every large company out in the planet. Think about how many times you're sharing your social security number. It would be much safer from a privacy and security standpoint to have just a federal ID number to be able to share as opposed to that social security number. The other reason is, depending on the kinds of companies that you're trying to work with, from the outside and LLC makes you look a little bit of a more established company.
And lots of big companies wanna work with small companies and fine with freelancers. But again, it just kind of helps you a little bit more with, oh, you're a fancy LLC. You take all of this business stuff very seriously.
And so, for those reasons, I would recommend an LLC. - Well, thank you. I do wanna say two things.
So, we're actually planning to have a event all about businesses and business classifications and how you can kind of go through all those different things from corporation to LLC to LLP and everything in between. And that'll be in the next coming month. So, definitely keep an eye out for that. Also to keep in mind that, to take Jodi's best piece of advice that I think you gave a little bit ago, which was make sure to do what's best for your business. And so, what works for Jodi or what works for me or what works for someone else may not work for you.
So, to make sure to consult a local tax professional or a local lawyer, to make sure that you're doing what's right for your business and for your industry as well. So, moving right along. We're getting a couple more questions in, and feel free to keep them coming into the Q and A box here. We've got one from over here, that's talking back about goals and about kind of those net profit goals. So, if we were to pick that CPA brain of yours, Jodi, are annual goals or monthly goals better? And which is a better way to track and to keep those goals front and center? - I think it's both.
So, when I used to work in finance in a large company, we'd have an annual budget and then they divided the annual budget across the months. And, you know, some months would have more. It wasn't always evenly distributed based on what was actually happening. The same, I think is true in our businesses. If you think about, what do you wanna achieve in an annual timeframe, what do you need to do along the way to be able to get there? And if you say, okay, so I have this amount of money, for example, I wanna earn and this amount of money that I wanna spend.
Well, maybe in month one, you thought you were gonna earn something, but you didn't. And then in Q2, you're hitting your stride. It's helpful to look at that in month one, two and three. well, what hasn't worked. Why am I not hitting my budget. From an expense perspective, you might be able to say, well, you know, this is gonna be something that's really important to me.
So, if I just looked at a monthly budget, it might spike. But if I looked at my annual budget, well, it might work overall. So, I kind of think both are really important. - Thank you. And kind of getting back to, as we're talking about switching to a company and the change that you went through from being a subcontractor to hiring other people, how do you talk about your company to other people? And how do you position your company? So as you, you know, talk about what you wanna do and how you're going to accomplish the privacy work that you're doing nowadays, do you talk about it from a company perspective or as an individual perspective? - I talk about it from a company perspective. And I really have talked about it from a company perspective since day one.
And that is because I was very particular in the branding. I wanted that branding to be at a company level, even when it was just me. Even when it was just me, I would talk about Red Clover. And I would use the word, we, even though it was just me.
And still today, I'll do that and people will say, is it just you? And I'll say no. No. We're a team. I'm still the face of the brand.
I find that fun. Many of my team members don't want to do that. They don't want to be the face and have these kinds of discussions and that's perfectly fine.
Some team members do want to do that. And you have to do what's comfortable for you. Nailed to your point before, right, what works for me, doesn't always work for everybody else. But if you wanna be bigger or you want people to think that you're bigger, we, and use the company name. I also think, just from a kind of self talk perspective, when you do that, you realize, no, you are a real business.
You're not a freelancer like Neal's neighbor doesn't understand. You're a business and a real, valued, viable, important part of the global ecosystem today. - Thank you, Jodi. So we have a great question from Mike over here about, that you mentioned that, learning how to build a business can be frustrating. Do you ever second guess yourself and think about going back to the corporate world? - I second, guess myself all the time.
But I never wanna go back to the corporate world. So no. You know, I think it's, for me, every dollar out is a dollar out of my family's pocket.
So, you know, that's the way I kind of, always think about it. And you always sort of wonder, well, did I make the right investment? And should I make a bigger investment? Did I pick the right person to help me execute on this? And part of it is, sometimes I take too long to make those decisions. So for three months, maybe I've been deciding who can help me do something. And honestly, in those three months time, I haven't found the right person, which also means I haven't done anything. One could say I've kind of second guessed myself.
But I firmly believe in what I'm doing. I believe I've done, I've planted the right seeds. I can see the opportunity that is ahead. I can see how my business personally has grown.
And I love the challenge and I like what it brings me. The idea of going back, no. No, no.
No, no. - Awesome. Well, I'm glad you're enjoying this. I do wanna to expand on that question a little bit. It's one of the things I question myself on, is sometimes my goals.
And especially as we're rounding out the first quarter of the year, and I look at my yearly goals, I'm like, is this really the right goal for me? Or, you know, should I be changing this? Should I aim a little lower? So A, do you ever face that? And B, how do you either get over that? Or how do you transition some of your goals throughout the year? - For me, I think I've been told that I should think higher as opposed to lower. So I think I might in like, underestimate what I can do. At the same time, what I wanted to do in 2021, I didn't, I just flat out didn't. And you know, I can justify why, I can explain myself. So, it kind of makes me mad that I didn't achieve what I wanted to achieve. But I laid so many seeds that my 2022 is right where I want it to be if not higher.
And that's really exciting. So, even though I think you should always aim high, much higher, because I think people always underestimate what they're capable of doing. And if you don't meet that, it doesn't mean that you didn't achieve success, which is why I think it's important to understand what is a monthly goal and what do you need? What have you achieved? So, if you just had a revenue goal, which was kind of what I had, I missed. Well, you know what? I hired people and I had this many articles and this many views and this many conversations and this many seeds planted and all these different other elements that are really important.
Because the person who had zero meetings, has zero chance of doing much of anything else. If you had five meetings, then you're five meetings closer to where you wanna be. If you had 10 meetings, you're 10 times better than where you were at zero. And all of those I think, are really important. So I would offer, what is it that will help grow your business? Is it the number of pitches? Is it the number of meetings? Is it the number of conversations? Is it the number of proposals? Is it maybe raising your income a little bit, right.
Just uptick the revenue side, just a little. Or, you know what? Maybe part of your goal is free up your time by 5%. So, what 5% do you need to outsource to somebody else who can free up your time to do whatever it is you wanna do? All of those to me are measurable, but I think we all, what we can do and I would offer, go higher.
- I love it. So with that, do you mind if I ask you a personal question, is, what is one of your goals for this year and how are you doing with it? - Sure. So one of my goals this year is, I want to hire another consultant on the team. And I'm kinda close. I haven't quite put, actually, if you go to my site now, you'll see that I have a job description out there 'cause I kind of always have it out there.
I wanna see who might apply. And two people applied last week, actually. But I wanna hire somebody else.
And if I were to win all my proposals, I would need that person now. Which people would then tell you, it's been too late. So you're supposed to hire, not later, not when all the work comes in, if you start to feel the pressure is when you're supposed to start looking a little bit. My accountant in me, makes me a little bit risk averse. So, I'm gonna kind of keep waiting.
I wanna see it all come in first. But that's, to me the, the exciting piece, is I wanna hire someone else. So, I guess it would be publicly, I'd like to be able to say I could hire someone else in Q2. - Nope. That's awesome.
That's really great to hear also how you're working through that. So, I do wanna ask this to the rest of the group as well, that's joining us today, so, if you have a personal goal or something you're striving to do, throw it in the chat. I'd love to hear what everyone's aiming to do this year or next quarter.
And with that, we do have a few more minutes. I'm gonna keep trying to answer and going through some of these other questions that we've got in here. Jodi, one of them is, someone actually wants to know what your website is and where they can check you out? - I saw that and I just put it in the chat. So for anyone listening and not chatting, it is just redcloveradvisors.com.
And you can find me, I'm super active on LinkedIn. I'm also kind of active on Facebook, but LinkedIn is my jam. So, you can find me personally and Red Clover over there as well. - Awesome. Thank you. And so, we had another question here from Sabeth.
"How do you separate out your goals from requirements that are absolutes needed for the business to function?" - That's a good question. The things that have to get done to make it function, I have to do certain marketing activities or no one's gonna know who I am and then I fall off the planet. That's not gonna really work out so well, I need to keep up with the privacy space or I'm not gonna know what to do to be able to help my clients. So, there's some of those very specific things that we have to do.
But then, I have lots of ideas of how I want to grow. I wanna create a toolkit. I want to have more video out there.
I wanna do all those things. And they all keep getting bumped down because I have do all the other things first. So frustratingly, they keep getting bumped down. But I just need to find more people to help in this awesome community and then I can bring them back up.
- That's awesome. I find that the goal that I always have trouble with is taxes. And it's always doing my taxes and it's, I'll say like, oh, I've got plenty of time. And then working my way closer and closer. I'm like, oh, I'm getting really close this year. - Yeah, I hear you on that.
I snooze through that task too. I have someone who does them. I firmly believe in outsourcing that task, but all the things I had to get them, I hear you. - Exactly. It's also the easiest thing. I also find them most productive when I'm procrastinating at least one task.
So, I like to always procrastinate my taxes and I justify it to myself as it's helping my other tasks to an extent. Great. So moving right along. Kevin asked, "How do you manage and honor self-imposed deadlines for the inner workings of your business?" - A couple ways. I think this is a little bit of, kind of how people are designed. I'm a very self starter deadline kind of person.
If my kids were here, they would be the total opposite. So, I really appreciate that people are very, very different. At the same time I live in my Outlook. So, I'm an Outlook girl. And I am all about my tasks and putting deadlines. And I schedule, I'm going to work on this then.
Now sometimes they get bumped like taxes, right. I just kind of keep moving it. But then I also get people who remind me, oh, you need to do blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then, I have to do it.
So, I kind of use the calendar and I block off time of working time for what it is that I have to do, 'cause that system works for me. - Thank you. So, I do see a couple people heading out and needing to run to other meetings. I'm gonna put into the chat, a link to a feedback form.
And so, if you do have time, anyone, I really do would love all of your feedback, not only in terms of, oh, I see that the Link's not really working too well. So, after you leave in the follow up there, will also be the opportunity to fill it out there. But I would really love any and all, feedback that you have not only about this event, but about future events. My little spiel on this is specifically for this event. Jodi, I actually got this idea because someone I came to a previous event and said, "I'd love to know about goal planning". And so, that's how this event idea came about.
So, I definitely will love your feedback if you have it. We do have a couple more minutes. So, if you're able to stick around Jodi.
One of the questions that we had, another, excuse me, question that we had was around goals for the next, for quarters versus months and then also, when you don't achieve your goals at all. So is there any, you know, we've kind of talked around this a bit, but when you don't achieve your goals, or you mentioned that for your 2021 goals, you didn't achieve it. How do you reset on that and either try to achieve it again in 2022? Or how do you know when to just push it aside and say, this wasn't the right goal. - Yeah, so the one, I wanted to double my business in 2021 and I didn't.
I maintained it. And I look at every day as an opportunity. So, I bounce outta bed, super excited to tackle it again. And I know that I've planted the right seeds to get there. So for me, that particular goal, I'm not gonna wash it away. I know I'm going to achieve it.
And actually, this year I should knock it out of the park. So that's exciting because I've done all the things I needed to do. So, perhaps my goal in 2021 was a little different, but I did all these other kind of small things to plant my seeds to be able to get me to be there. I think there's other goals though.
I mentioned a toolkit. I've wanted to create a data privacy toolkit. So, for smaller businesses who maybe, won't need full consulting services that I have, kind of, here's a toolkit. Here's what you might need to go off. I've had this idea for literally years and it's still just sitting.
I don't shove it away because I keep hearing, I heard a person yesterday who I was talking to about my business and she said, "Well, do you have a toolkit? You need a toolkit. Here's what you should think about the toolkit". I was like, "Oh yeah, the toolkit.
I need to think about the toolkit". So I have to reprioritize how I'm doing whatever it is because I keep pushing it away. I keep not doing that.
I think there's some goals of, you know what? Maybe I wanted to speak on a stage, I wanted to speak on a national stage and it took me multiple years to be able to get there. So, for me, it's about a big goal and the steps along the way that I need to do to get there. And if I don't achieve it it's well, is it even still a goal that I have anymore? Maybe it was a stupid goal and I don't want it. Or no, that was a really good one. I wanna speak on the national stage.
Who do I know? What do I need to do to get there? Maybe I need to have more presentations locally. Maybe I need to reach out to these people. Maybe I just need to bother them every month. I don't know.
What do I need to do to be able to get there. And I think that's true for any of the goals, whether that's monthly or quarterly or annually, I think you should have an annual one and then you can evaluate quarterly, you can evaluate monthly. What you really want is to evaluate in something that's bite sized. So what are you doing today to achieve your goal? And how often will you measure it? Lots of people in the goal system will tell you, there's kind of this idea of a 90 day plan. And every two weeks you should be evaluating what went well and what didn't go well, and then you reset for the two weeks but you had the 90 day plan.
And the 90 day plan is kind of our, part of a bigger overall goal. Because if you just sit and create all these massive goals and only focus on like, okay, gotta do the goals, you're gonna kind of lose sight of the actual work you're trying to do and spend so long on the goal. And if you don't meet the goal, then you're gonna be upset that you didn't meet the goal. So, we want them as guiding lights, as opposed to, I think, hard and fast I achieved or I didn't achieve.
- That's really awesome. Thank you for that. I love that idea of the 90 day goal. One of the questions I love to ask myself is, not only why did we achieve this goal or why did this work so well, but also why didn't it work or why did we miss the goal? And I, I love to ask myself that especially with clients, but I realized I don't ask myself that enough. So when I don't achieve my goal from last year or when I don't do my taxes on time, instead of asking myself why not? And to figure out how to better get there for next year. I think one of my goals for myself is to do that a little bit more. So I think we have time for one more question.
And there's this question here that I've left off for a while. So one person asked if you're achieving your desired work life balance. If so, how'd you get there and if not, what steps are you taking to get there? - So for me, if a little bit of an interesting situation. I'm married, two kids. We live far from my kids' schools, two different schools. And I wanna be like super mom and grow a really big business.
So, that all doesn't exactly match up to what some people's work life balance might look like. For me, it's that I can pick my kids up. I'm also the carpool taxi. So, I can leave every day and go be the carpool taxi except for today so I can do this webinar. So, my husband did it.
And then, I can do all the work that I wanna do and be able to do some of the fun things that I want to. I could easily pull back on my business or hire more people, but I don't want to, because that won't let me achieve the work goal that I have. But for me to be able to be the kind of mom that I want, I also am stepping away from work. So for me, this world that I've created for myself, where it's like all day, but intermixed between family and work is okay to me.
But to some others, they wanna leave, they want a 9:00 to 5:00, if you will, and then be done and off to their personal life. That won't really work in my universe and I'm okay with that. - That's awesome. I think that's also a great answer of, that's exactly what works for you and what works for you may not work for other people or may not be the goal for other people. So, yeah. So with that, thank you so much, Jodi, for all of your help and for all of your great advice.
To everyone joining us as well, thank you so much, especially for joining in the chat. and for asking wonderful questions. Again, if you do have some time afterwards, I'd love your feedback from this and I hope to see you again on events soon. Thank you so much, Jodi. - Absolutely. It was so much fun.
- Awesome. Well, again, if you want to reach out to Jodi, you can return, and correct me if I'm wrong here, it's redcloveradvisors.com and LinkedIn, you're the wiz and you're always on there.
Is that the best places? - Yeah, that's totally true. Yeah. - Awesome. All right. Thank you so much. Thank you everyone for joining and good luck with everyone's goals this year.
- Thank you. Have a great day, everyone. Bye.