Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What would you like to see? and H.I.G.H. 11

Do you know the difference between a goal and a business plan?

Not much at all if you don't use either.

But I'd like you to think about what your goals are and if you've created a business plan to get those goals accomplished. As I was preparing to write this blog today I thought about what my goals and plans were for my Writing Career Coach Program. I am already 1/2 way through January; have I made progress towards my goals for this month?

One goal I had was to double my subscriptions in the first quarter so I was pretty excited that my subscription has increased over 30% in the first 14 days of the year. Not only that but my daily blog traffic has more than doubled in that time as well.

Another goal I had was to release my first new product of my revised Writing Career Coach Course. I'm excited to say that it is almost complete. I've had other important projects as well that have pulled my attention away from focusing only on that but I've made SO much progress on it I'm certain I will reach that goal.

The funny thing about goals is they change. In fact, as I was working on this project I started to have more and more people approach me about mentorship. It was pretty exciting but, at first, I didn't know what to do about it. So I went back to my business plan [Have you made yours yet? Now you will see why they are important!! Do it if you haven't done it yet.] and I started to look at what I was doing, what I wanted to do, and how it fit in to my overall plan.

This is a great time management skill. We'll cover this in some detail down the road, but for now what is important is to know where you're going so you know what you need to start doing, and stop doing.

For instance, I saw that one of the places I volunteer was no longer a part of where I was going. Even worse, it was sucking much needed time from other volunteer opportunities that were more in line with what I am doing. Without a business plan and a clear sense of direction I would have had a hard time deciding what to stop doing. With a plan I knew.

So back to this mentorship thing. The idea started to churn inside of me. I wanted to help more people but how could I do that without being on the computer 24/7? Then I saw it!! I'll tell you all about it another time but first I need ALL of you to give me your input:

If I offered a mentorship program with your own password locked website with additional content, 1/2 off all my new products, EVERY special report I publish [retail $3-$5 each] for Free, and 30% off all my editing, proposal writing and, Marketing Advising services would you be interested? It would be $25/month for all that I listed above [which if you ask anyone I mentor pays for itself in NO time]. What I plan to do is offer the first month for $10 to try it then $25/month each month after. [Those of you already in the program would get your next month at $10 then back up to the usual $25]

What I need to know from you is if there is enough interest for me to spend extra time to take it live ahead of schedule. PLEASE email me no later than Thursday and let me know if this is something you'd be interested in. Put "Coaching" in the subject line. If you email and tell me you would be interested I will reply to that email when the new site goes live to offer you that special discount. You will get in two days before I announce it to everyone so you don't have to worry about bogged servers, etc.

And I'd love your input. What kinds of things would you want to see over there AND on this free blog?

So take some time to write out your Business Plan today. Are you on track to reaching your January goals? If not, you still have 1/2 the month to get back on track. Do it!

H.I.G.H. 11

Suzanne, thanks for the great comment on the story. I am writing it early so you aren't going insane all day. :-)

So I was living in slow motion watching my infant's chest rise and fall slowly. I tried to rouse her again but she was limp. My neighbor had already called the Ambulance. We live in a rural area so it was an all volunteer force. My husband was a part of the department so the scanner in the other room chattered out the call:

"7-0 Central on the air for Station 8-7 and 8-8. We have report of unresponsive 8 week old at..."

That was my address on the scanner. "This will be the Colter residence." They repeated the address and then the scanner went silent. Within moments the chattering began as people began to call en route to our home. It was, what they call, a "Y'All Call". When it is a kid, people come running. This is a small community and so many people knew about our newborn. This call was personal to many of them.

I took the phone and called my husband. He wouldn't know about the run because he was working in the city that day. I had to dial the phone 3 times before I dialed his pager number right. I'd had nightmares about forgetting how to dial the phone in an emergency. And here I was living it.

I punched 911 in to his pager and hung up. About a minute later my husband called and asked if I'd paged him. He thought it was one of his friends playing a practical joke [if you know a FF/Medic you know they're great jokers]. I told him the ambulance was on the way and that the baby wouldn't wake up. He said he was on his way. For some reason, that to this day I don't understand, I was confused by him coming home. I figured he'd meet me at the hospital or something. Remember, this was the 3rd time in 8 months one of our children had been taken to the hospital.

I hung up the phone and looked at my baby. She was starting to move again but her eyes were still closed. I heard the first truck, then a second, in our driveway. I heard sirens in the distance. The firefighters and Medics and EMTs started coming in the backdoor. My neighbor started to give a run down and those with medical training circled my baby.

I heard another set of sirens. There was one from the Northwest and one from the Southeast. With my baby in the hands of the department I went upstairs to check on the other two girls who were still playing and completely unaware of what was happening.

"Daddy" the two year old yelled when she saw the ambulance turn in the driveway.

"Tiff." My neighbor yelled from downstairs. I went down to see it was the woman from down the street [the mom of the woman across the street.]

She would stay with the kids until my mom could drive in from an hour away. More sirens. I heard the baby cry. There was chaos all around. About a dozen people jammed in my dining room.

Then I heard my husband's voice. Chattering with medical talk. I needed to call my mom. I needed to follow the ambulance.

"Tiff, what happened?" Chris, my husband, was looking at me. I know he was asking as a Paramedic. I told him in one long sentence. He knelt down next to the baby and I went up to tell the girls mommy would be back soon and Ms. Linda would be with them. I looked out the window and saw Chris carrying our baby to the ambulance. I remember than one arm dangled down, limp.

I got downstairs and Chris said goodbye from the truck. They closed the door to the ambulance and flew down the road. Lights and Sirens blazing.


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Charlotte Babb said...

Can you make some suggestions for what to include in a business plan?

Planning and time management are my weaknesses. I manage to get a lot done, but I am always confused about what to do next, what would be the most practical, productive thing to do first, and then what to do next.

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