North Star Session – A business ritual
6 JUNE 2017 // BIZ SH*T
Today I want to talk to you about a ritual I have introduced into my business over the past few years that has helped me grow, that has helped me move forward and that has helped me shape the way I want to grow my business. Now I know my business model is different to yours however, the principal I am going to share with you here works for every single business.
This ritual? My North Star Sessions.
If you follow me over on Instagram then you may have seen my Instagram Story from last week where I took myself away from the office (aka the spare room!) and went to a beautiful venue a few miles down the road. I cosied myself into the snug with a pot of tea and I started my North Star Session.
Let me explain.
I like to think of my big scary business goal as my North Star. The thing that sits high up the sky, that lights my way, that I can look up to to get direction. At the start of the year I set myself one BIG goal. For me, this goal was a 5 year goal. It is the first long term goal I have ever set myself because before I didn’t feel like I knew enough about me or about my business to set a long term goal. Previous years I have set 6 month goals, 12 month goals, goals that have just moved me forward and this may be the case for you now.
From this goal I set myself projects that I needed to do to get me closer to that goal, with some key milestones along the way. This North Star Session is my review time. It is time that I take myself out of the everyday noise of life and actually make sure that I am still on the right path. Make sure that I am flexing where I need to. Make sure that I am spending time doing the right things – the things that will get me closer to that 5 year goal.
This point of the year is a fantastic time to review and reflect. To see progress. To see what is holding you back. To see what is working and what is not. And that is the ritual I am talking about here today.
So what are the steps of a North Star Session if you want your own?
Step 01. Step away
Take yourself out or at least away from distraction. I know this is not always possible if you have kiddies or commitments but try and sneak to a coffee shop for an hour or two, or at least work from the sofa instead of the desk – the important thing is to change the scenery and remove distractions.
Step 02. Brew up!
Get coffee! Or your favourite beverage. I quite like doing this over a glass of wine but I was driving so you know – tea was the choice!
Step 03. Look back
Look back at the notes, the goals, the plans you made at the start of the year.
Now, you will be in one of two places here
- You may have planned and planned and planned and then not looked at the again – that’s OK, that is why we are doing this, to get you back refocused
- You may not have planned and may not have anything to look at – don’t get your knickers in a twist – just think about what you had thought that you would have liked to achieved 6 months into the year if you were looking back to Jan.
Looking back at the plans helps you to see just what you have ticked off but the biggest lesson from doing this for me is that I can see what has changed. Have my dreams changed. Has my passion changed. Has my focus changed. Have I shifted. This is super powerful to do because it means you can engage with these feelings and really use them to move you into the next step of your business.
Personally I have one notebook that I have used for my goals and plans for each year and that is what I grabbed off the shelf before I came to do this North Star Session.
Step 04. Journal
Write about the last 6 months. This may seem a little woo woo and a little odd to start with but I journal. I write about the past 6 months. I don’t overthink it, I just think about what my business has felt like, what I have felt like, what has worked for me, what has not. What has felt good, what has not. What I have done, what I have changed, what I have loved.
This can take a little of time to get into so you have to sometimes nudge it along a little. I take a look through my diary and see what tasks I have done as this tends to jog the memory! For you it could be good to look through the bookings you have had, the blogs you have written, the stuff you have done in your biz and the brides you have worked with. This can help get you thinking.
Just journal for as long as you want about whatever you want over the last 6 months. This helps you to release any frustrations but it also helps you to bring to the surface what you HAVE achieved which is probably more than you even think. This is so lovely to look back on aswell. In 6 months time, in 12 months time, in 5 years time.
If you are going to commit to doing this North Star Session then don’t miss this step – even if it feels a little strange for you. It is really powerful for the next step.
Step 05. Look forward
Look forward to the next 6 months. What do you want to achieve and what projects do you need to do to get you there?
When it comes to planning we can get a little over complicated. Thinking that there is a system we need to use, a structure, a format, an answer. But you know what, there really isn’t. Everyone works differently and I have honestly found that the best plans are the simple ones. Just brainstorming where you want to be in 6 months time – what do you want to get to the end of the year and say you have achieved? How do you want to feel in your business? What do you want your business to give you?
Step 06. Brainstorm
The next step is to brainstorm the actions that you need to take. Again, no need to overthink this. No need to get into overwhelm. Just take the actions above and then write down all the steps that you need to do to get you moving. This list will evolve and get clearer as you dive in.
Step 07. Open the diary and plot it out
The key thing to getting this working is to open the diary and actually book time out. I did this as part of my North Star Session and it makes me feel super clear on what action I need to take. Getting it in the diary sets the tone for action. Write it in PEN so you have to stick to it 🙂
TOP TIP – If you find it hard to find time to do this biz building stuff then I recommend blocking out an afternoon each week that you dedicate just to this work. You can flex this at busy times, such as now, you may be bang slap in the middle of crazy wedding season but just make time for this stuff because it will grow you. Even if that time is in a month or two – set it out now and get into the focus.
So go off and book a North Star Session in with yourself. You can do this in a couple of hours if you set your mind to it. Remove distractions and get to it. Own it. Make this your time.
Get your North Star front and centre to your vision.
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Emma is The Wedding Biz Coach. Working with wedding professionals all over the world to help them grow their wedding businesses. She teaches more than just the what and the why. She teaches the how. She teaches the invisible aspects of running a business, of being an entrepreneur. Her approachable nature and easy to learn style means that once scary strategies become non-scary. They become do-able, achievable. Nothing is impossible.
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