How are you doing on those 2022 goals you set at the beginning of the year? We’re almost at the midway point of the year. But if you’ve gotten off track with your goals, don’t worry! In this episode, I walk you through a mid-year review to help you figure out what is and isn’t working and how you can start planning for the second half of 2022.
On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:
2:42 – Look at each goal you set at the start of the year and ask yourself these questions. I discuss a few of mine, including a big one accomplished already.
6:07 – What goal am I not currently on track to reach? I’ve had this one on my to-do list for two years!
8:24 – The next step in the mid-year review involves digging a little deeper and doing a month-by-month review. I reveal how I do it.
14:27 – Answer these questions to really get a handle on what you’ve noticed in your mid-year review.
20:53 – Plan for the rest of 2022 with these four questions to ask about each month remaining.
25:38 – So many entrepreneurs struggle because they overcomplicate this! To wrap up, I offer this one final piece of insight.
We are at the midway point for 2022, and that has me asking, are you on track with those goals that you set at the beginning of the year? If not, have no fear. We are going to do a mid-year review today to help you to determine what's working, what's not, and how you can start planning for the final half of 2022.
Are you ready to grow from solopreneur to CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook. I've spent the last decade helping women entrepreneurs start and scale service-based businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.
Hey, CEOs. Welcome back to another episode of Promote Yourself to CEO. Today I wanted to press pause and make sure that we are taking the time to do a mid-year review. I think this is one of the things that we often forget to do because we just get so into the day to day in our businesses, growing our businesses, working with our clients, and we forget that we made a plan at the beginning of the year. If we're not regularly checking in on that plan, we find ourselves off track or we don't even know if we're on track.
I want you to walk through this process with me today and I have created a very special download to go along with this episode. If you are live with me today on TikTok, as I'm recording this and you want a copy of the workbook I have created for your mid-year review, just write “review” in the comments and I will DM you this link to get the Mid-Year Review workbook. This is literally the process I have gone through for years and years and years on my own. It's one of those things where sometimes you develop these processes for yourself and it's not until your clients start saying, “Hey, can you send that my way?” that you realize, “Oh, not everybody has a similar process to go through.”
This workbook is what we're going to walk through today to see whether or not you are on track with your 2022 goals. The good news is even if you're a little bit behind, or you've kind of deviated from your plan, there is still six months left in the year. There's plenty of time to get back on track. First up, the first thing we need to look at for your mid-year review is what were your goals that you set at the beginning of the year? What were your top five goals?
Now, if you took the Plan Your Best Year Ever challenge with us, we always recommend five because we want you to stay laser focused and not spread yourself too thin. If you set way too many goals, it's a lot easier to get off track or to find yourself really spreading your energy around too much and not having the focus you need to fully go after just a few goals. Each time we start our mid-year review process, I want you to pull out your planner again. I have my CEO planner with me and this is why this goes really well if you have the CEO planner, pull up your goals that you wrote and check in on each of the goals that you set for yourself.
For me, I'm asking for each goal: What was the goal? Did I achieve it? Why or why not? Let's look at this year so far for me. A big goal for us this year was to do a rebrand. We are shifting all of our brand under the CEO Collective umbrella. Previously, it was the Racheal Cook umbrella and the CEO Collective was just the branded name of my program, but we decided that that was going to be the core umbrella for the whole business.
Anybody who's ever done a huge rebrand knows that it is quite a process. But I'm happy to say we are going into June and the rebrand process for launching a brand new website for the CEO Collective is finished. We finally published that website after months and months and months of work and going through over a decade worth of content on my other site. All of that has happened.
I'm really happy to say that one of those big goals was accomplished already and the Racheal Cook website is going into development now. Maybe even by the time this episode goes out on my podcast, that will be finished. That's a huge goal that I had for this year, which means out of my top five goals for the year, one of those is checked off within the first six months. That feels awesome.
I also have some other goals in here that I'm tracking all the time. I have a list of upgrades for the CEO Collective program and we have three of the four upgrades we wanted to make to the program already completed. The fourth one we are working on next quarter. In my marketing strategy, my goal is 26 interviews a year, and I'm halfway there. I've been averaging about three or four interviews a month, thanks to my amazing team at Podcast Ally who pitches me consistently to make sure I am always getting in front of new audiences, and that's been going really, really well. We're on track with that.
We're on track with the TikTok project that I have been doing where I wanted to see what would happen if I dedicated six months towards TikTok. What I have committed to and the goal I'm tracking isn't something like follower count. I am tracking how many videos I publish. My goal was doing six months, publishing five times a week. That is how I'm tracking my success with TikTok. I'm on track for a lot of those goals which felt really, really good.
What am I not on track with that I set for the year? One thing that I have for my whole year is to work on my book, Promote Yourself to CEO. Because of a few things that have been going on in my personal life and my health, I just didn't have the bandwidth to finish a huge rebrand project and to work on all the things we're working on and have the energy, or really the mental clarity, to work on my book. I'm behind on that. I had to put a big old pin in that one until later in the year.
That stinks because this is something that has happened to me. I'm sure many of you can understand this. It stinks when you have a goal that you keep kind of pushing the deadline further and further back because it doesn't have as big of a priority as some of the other things going on in your business. The book has been on my goal list for honestly two years now. I was supposed to write it in 2020.
I've had the outline done for a long time. Between taking care of my disabled mother and managing her nursing team and having a family and my own health problems, it's just one of those things where that goal is not as high of a priority right now. It's just going to keep getting pushed back until I have a little bit more space, or at least, I can commit more time and energy to it.
As you look through your goals, this is one reason I love using the CEO Planner is because every quarter, I look at my annual goals, every quarter I can look at my quarterly goals. Something I shared with my members in the CEO Collective is once I write these things down, I will track on them. I will often come back every week when I sit down for my CEO date and I will check off how I am tracking towards things.
Here's an example for anyone who's watching me on the live stream. I make little checkboxes for myself and I check them off as I'm publishing TikTok videos. This is my April and in April, my first month of doing that, I published 29 videos. I'm tracking my progress. My podcast, I had four episodes go live on my podcast. I find that that is just really, really helpful for me to be constantly checking in on my goals and constantly tracking to see “Did I take the action I committed to taking?”
Once you've looked at your goals, and determined how are you doing there? Are you on track? Are you off track? Now, we want to dig in a little deeper and do a month by month review. I think this is really important because when we are in the day to day, we often have big feelings about lots of things going on in our business. But when time passes, we forget what was going on in our life, what was going on in our business. It's helpful to have these little moments where you can press pause and ask yourself, “How does each month look so far this year?”
In the workbook—again, if you are live with me and you want the workbook, just type review in the comments and I'll DM it to you—I'm asking myself each month three questions. I'm asking one, what was the revenue that month? How much did your business actually bring in total top line revenue that month? I think that's really important to be tracking.
I am always encouraging women to get more comfortable looking at the numbers of your business and get more comfortable looking at your revenue and tracking your revenue. This is just one of those crucial numbers you have to be paying attention to. Don't wait too long before you're making sure you know exactly what you closed the month with.
Then I want you to ask yourself, what drove that revenue? Here's what I mean by that. What was selling that month? Where did that revenue come from? Now for some businesses, this is pretty straightforward. Maybe you only sell one thing. If you only sell one thing, great, it all came from this one place. If you have multiple offers or multiple products or programs, it makes sense to go ahead and look at what percentage of sales came from what.
You might also figure out that you have an offer that maybe you were actively promoting and that is what drove revenue, like you were actively doing a promotion for your business. I think that's really important to track. How much revenue did you bring home? What drove that revenue? What offers were selling?
The final thing I want you to think about is what was your focus that month. What were you focused on in January, what were you focused on in February, etc, etc? Now, why is this so important? This is so important because again, I want you to be looking through your calendar, looking through your CEO Planner and figuring out where your time and energy was going. Because I don't want us to beat ourselves up anymore.
I don't think women need to beat themselves up any more about how hard they're working, or that they could be further along or that they're not doing enough because a lot of us are not just running businesses, but we're raising families, we're caring for aging parents, we're trying to remember to drink enough water every day. We have a lot on our plates and we don't need to beat ourselves up for not being far enough, some mythical far enough ahead.
This is why we need to ask ourselves what was our focus. This is one thing, again, I'm pulling back my planner, I go through my planner, and I'll look through week by week. I take notes every week about what's going on in my life. One of the pages I love the best is the weekly review in the planner, because then I can ask myself, “What were the wins from this week? Did I hit my top three tasks that I need to commit to? Did I hit my CEO score?” Because I track my activity. I time track and give myself a CEO score at the end of the week.
I ask myself what's working, what's not working? Who did I support? Who did I connect with? What am I excited for next week? Who do I want to connect with next week? If I had a terrible week, I document it. I think this is really important. I think it's so important for us to remember that maybe in January, your whole family got sick, and so you didn't get to focus on all the things you wanted to focus on or you felt a little bit behind for. Maybe we need to build more buffer into your business when that happens, it's not as big of a deal.
You also want to be asking yourself, what kind of marketing activities were you focused on? This is one of the reasons in the CEO Planner and in the whole 90-Day CEO system that I teach everyone inside of the CEO Collective. We want to make sure that you are not forgetting to do marketing and sales activities which I know everybody knows you have to do marketing and sales if you're in business.
But it is so easy to get buried in the busy work or buried and client work or so many other things and then you realize, “Oh, I actually haven't done any Attract marketing this month. I didn't do any Nurture marketing that month. I forgot to create content or I forgot to reach out to people who were potential clients for me.”
We want to ask ourselves where was our time spent each and every month? Once you can answer those questions for your month by month review for January, February, March, April, May, and June, you know how much revenue you made each month, you know what your percentage of each product, program, or service that drove that revenue was, you will start to see some interesting trends.
What I often hear from my clients is that they start to really see what I tell them is true; that the business you have today is the result of the work you did three to six months ago. I'll say it again. The business you have today is the result of the work you did three to six months ago. That is one of the biggest reasons why we teach the 90-Day CEO operating system because if you're not consistently doing the marketing activity and you don't have a strategy to continuously be making sales and you don't have an easy strategy to take care of your clients, then it becomes really, really hard to get out of that feast or famine cycle.
We're done with tracking everything all the way up through June of 2022 and we want to ask ourselves a few more questions to really review what we have noticed. First, what has worked so far this year? What offers were the most profitable for you? You might be surprised when you look at your numbers, when you start looking at our percentage breakdown of where revenue comes from. Did you have an offer that performed really, really well? Did you have something that makes up the bulk of your revenue? We tend to call this our bread and butter content or our bread and butter offer. Which one was that?
Then you also want to ask yourself what marketing strategies or what sales strategies produced the best results for you? Again, I think it's so important to track this on a regular basis so you're really, really clear. Because once you see something that's generating results, then you can double down on it.
I shared that I have been doing a TikTok experiment. It is a six-month experiment of me publishing five videos a week on TikTok, and within the first month, I saw already results coming in. I started seeing my audience was growing and I know that I'm going to double down on it. I've already taken the time to schedule another filming day with my team because I physically can't show up and make TikToks every single day. I don't have that kind of health that allows me to do that. But I'm doubling down on it and I've prioritized time to make that happen.
You also want to ask yourself what flopped so far this year: what offers didn't work that well and what marketing strategies didn't work that well? I think this is really, really important for us to ask ourselves because sometimes we do things because we feel like we have to and not because it's actually generating results. We want to be discerning with where we are putting our energy.
As you review your marketing strategy, you review your sales, you review your notes from the year to date, you might think to yourself, “You know what, I have been spending a lot of time feeling like I have to create all of this new content, but I'm publishing it on a platform that isn't really getting the results anymore.” Or maybe you feel like you haven't had the time to publish new content so you're trying to figure out how else you're going to nurture your audience. It's really important to make sure we're clear on what worked and what did not work.
Then finally, what got in your way. Again, we have to be gentle with ourselves. Is there anything that held you back from seeing the results you wanted? Was it a circumstance or something outside of your control? Was there a demand on your time that you did not account for when you were creating your plan? What held you back? It could be something unexpected in your life, it could be an illness, it could be a family demand, whatever it might be. I think it's really important to pay attention.
Because if we only plan for success in a scenario where everything is perfect, then we aren't actually planning for success because nothing is ever perfect. Our life is never going to be perfect. Our families are never going to be perfect. Our health is never going to be perfect. There's always going to be blips that can throw us off, a glitch in the matrix. We want to make sure that we're paying attention to that and that we are starting to learn how to build more buffer into our plan, so we're starting to give ourselves a little more wiggle room when things go wrong. We have the bandwidth to navigate that without it kind of throwing our business into a tailspin.
As we're reviewing, we also want to look at what is your leading metric that drives revenue. Now I'm tracking my metrics on a regular basis. I hope you are too. But I don't want you to get too in the weeds of tracking metrics. There's really only two metrics you need to track. You need to track your leading metric, and you need to track the lagging metric.
Now your lagging metric is revenue we've already tracked revenue. In this workbook, we've already tracked that. But we want to know how do we predict sales? What is the metric we're tracking that is the indicator that sales are going to come, that people are entering your marketing ecosystem, and that you're getting your message in front of enough people that you will get the sales you're looking for?
My particular business is email subscribers. I know that email subscribers are the biggest predictor of future sales. That may not be true for your particular business. There's a lot of businesses where their leading metric is referrals or their leading metric is request for proposal or request for a consult. That might be the leading metric that you're tracking. You want to really pay attention to where your clients are coming from and start tracking so that you can have a better way to predict whether or not you're on or off track to getting the revenue that you're looking for.
Then the final question, is there a gap in your revenue? Is there a gap between your goals that you set for the year and where you are right now? If you are ahead, awesome. Go celebrate. If you are on track, awesome, go celebrate. If you're behind, it's okay. I want you to know it's okay to be behind on some of your goals. In fact, I would expect it. I would expect for most of us there's going to be one or two goals that we're not 100% hitting on.
What do you need to do to catch up with that? I think this is where you really have to think about if you need to catch up with revenue, what is the gap? How are we going to close the gap? What is the simplest easiest way for you to close that gap? You might just need to do another promotion, you might need to take on a few more clients. You might just decide that you're okay with that gap right now and you'll make it up later in the year. It's totally up to you.
You might also decide that one of your goals needs to be kind of back burnered for the time being like I had to with my book. I just don't have the energetic capacity to tackle it right now so it's going to be bumped a little bit further down the line here.
Before we finish up our mid-year review, we are going to plan for the second half of the year. This is where we've reviewed everything, we've looked at our data, we've looked at some overall picture of what our business is doing, and we want to make sure that as we're moving forward, we're not repeating any mistakes, and we are refocused on what we need to spend our time and energy doing.
For each month for the rest of the year, I want you to ask yourself four questions for each month. First, what are you selling that month? What offer are you selling that month? Again, for a lot of us, it might be selling the same thing again and again and again. You just have one product or program or service that you're selling. But I ask myself, “What is the promotion I'm going to use to sell that thing? What are the deadlines and timelines I'm going to be selling that thing?”
For example, in July, I'm planning to offer a one time workshop to teach my overall marketing framework and I haven't taught a one-off workshop in quite a while so you guys were the first to hear about it and that's what we'll be selling in July. August, we will be reopening the doors to The CEO Collective. In September, we'll be opening The CEO Retreat and hosting that. In October, we're going to have a kind of a quiet month before we kick off our Best Year Ever challenge and sell The CEO Collective again.
I have something that I'm selling every single month and you should too, because if we forget to prioritize that, then suddenly our current clients wrap up and we're like, “Oh, I have nothing planned and no strategy to get more clients in the door.” Once you know what you're selling, then we need to reverse engineer from that and ask ourselves how are we marketing that? How are we attracting, engaging, and nurturing potential clients towards that particular product, program, or service?
This might start to sound very rinse and repeat and that's actually the goal. The goal is to have a business that is super profitable and super predictable. That means doing a lot of the same strategies again and again and again. When I ask myself, “How am I attracting, engaging, and nurturing potential clients towards becoming paid clients?” it's always the same thing.
I'm always doing podcast interviews, that's my primary Attract strategy. TikTok is now a primary Attract strategy. I'm running ads, I'm sending people to the Get Paid calculator. I'm sending people to the Business Growth Checklist. I'm sending people to the workbook for this podcast episode.
Then I'm nurturing them with content that I create on the podcast and send out via email and share on socials. Then I ask myself, “Well, how am I selling the thing that I'm actually offering? What is that mechanism to sell to people?” In the workshop that I'm going to host in July, it'll be a pretty simple send a few emails out. I'm going to keep it super, super simple. There will be a sales page. There will be a few emails, people who are on my email list will be the first to hear about this workshop. That's pretty much how we sell a lot of the things that we offer.
We have wait lists and when it's time to open the doors for it, we send out a series of emails. Currently, we're in the middle of our enrollment cycle for The CEO Collective from May 10th to May 20th, and we send out emails to people on the waitlist for that period. We do sales calls and answer questions with anybody who might have them.
That's the mechanism for me: it's emails, sales calls. Yours might be a little bit different. You might have an application process, you might have a proposal process, you might have a live sales pitch that you have to do. Everybody's sales mechanism might be a little bit different depending on your specific business. But you do want to make sure you know how you're doing that and you, again, have that clearly documented plan.
Then you want to ask yourself what's the goal revenue for each month. Remember, things are going to change month to month. It's very rare for us to have a business where every single month is bringing in the exact same amount of revenue unless you happen to be somebody who is working on a retainer with just a few clients.
For a lot of us, our months are going to ebb and flow a little bit throughout the year and that's okay. You might have some months where you are doing a big promotion for something and so you get a big bump in revenue and you might have some months where you're not doing a big active promotion and you just have your recurring revenue coming in.
But go ahead and plan out the second half of 2022. Use this review to make sure that you are on track to hit your goals. Remember, you can implement what has already worked. This is my final big piece of insight for everyone is to build a business where you can rinse and repeat as much as possible.
One of the reasons I see so many entrepreneurs struggle and continue to struggle is they’re sitting down to plan and they think they've got to come up with a whole new strategy each time, they've got to implement whole new strategies every single time they want to go after something. That takes a lot of effort. I would rather have a business that comes a lot more easily, that has a lot more ease, that has a lot more flow to it. That means looking at what worked and saying, “Great. Let's do more of that.”
If enrolling into our program from a waitlist with emails and SMS calls is what works, we don't have to overcomplicate it, we don't have to add a whole bunch of complexity to that. You can rinse and repeat. If you had something that worked really well in the first six months of the year, it'll probably work in the next six months of the year. If you had a sales strategy that worked really well, do it again. If you had sales emails that worked really well, send them again the next time.
If you had content that performed really well, put it in a different context in a different format. There's a million ways you can repurpose what you've done. This is why we're creating assets in our business that allow us to have a business that is more sustainable, where we're not constantly recreating the wheel.
If you liked this episode, and you want to dig more into planning with me, I have two recommendations for you. One, come get the CEO Planner. The CEO Planner is available on my website at theceocollective.com. It's designed to help you start implementing the 90-day operating system into your business. It is the tool that I have personally used for over a decade and I'm really excited that we can offer these print planners for any entrepreneur who is wanting to be more successful without burning out. That's the first place you can get more planning support.
The second place is to join us for The CEO Retreat. We have an upcoming CEO Retreat on June 10th. This is a one day workshop where we are walking you through our 90-Day planning process to help you take those 90-Day goals and turn them into step by step weekly action plans.
When you have a weekly action plan, you show up on Monday and know exactly what your top three must do action items are, suddenly you'll start to see so much more momentum in your business because you're not always scrambling to figure out where you left off. You have that clarity and you have a tool for self accountability.
Tickets are available for that upcoming CEO Retreat. You can join us June 10th virtually from anywhere in the world and we will also ship you out a planner if you decide to join us. I hope you enjoyed this week's episode and I look forward to talking to you again next week.