Growing Your Business with Powerful Intention

Excerpt from “Conquer Your Year” by Natalie MacNeil (with permission from TarcherPerigee, a division of Penguin Random House, Copyright 2016, Natalie MacNeil).

You’re here. And I know it’s for a reason. Welcome to “Conquer Your Year,” a planning system designed specifically for ambitious entrepreneurs like you—to do more, create more, live more, and grow your business with powerful intention.

I’m so excited you’re reading this because that means you’re on the brink of an incredible adventure. Inside these pages, you’ll create your plan, track your progress, hold yourself accountable every step of the way, and make major moves in your business and life. This is an amazing place to be, Conqueror. Are you starting to feel that tingle of excitement running up your spine? Me, too.

“Conquer Your Year” builds on the framework of “The Conquer Kit,” helping you break down that 12-month business plan quarter to quarter, week to week, and day to day for the year. This is all based on how I plan my own year, meshing creativity with strategy, fun with getting it done, passionate purpose with profit.

I believe that the goals kindled deep within our hearts are the biggest kind.

BIGGER THAN YOUR BOTTOM LINE.

BIGGER THAN ANY NEGATIVE RESPONSE A NAYSAYER MIGHT SEND YOU.

BIGGER THAN ANY FEAR OR DOUBT YOU’RE TRYING TO WORK THROUGH.

That’s what “Conquer Your Year” is here to help you discover, and plan for. Yes, it’ll help you make amazing things. Yes, it’ll help you plan for the growth and expansion of your business. But it’s also designed to help you live your life with more intention, passion, and clarity than ever.

After all, charting a course for greatness goes beyond checklists and deadlines. Those are elements, of course. But we’re going further than that, to focus on things like fulfillment and balance alongside launch dates and on making progress in happiness, health, and relationships even as you build your business.

“Conquer Your Year” is organized into 12-week sprints that set you up to achieve a major goal in your business and make time for personal growth, too, in areas such as adventure, health, giving, and learning. After all, personal growth and business growth go hand in hand.

You may ask, “Why 12-week sprints?” If you talk to some of the successful entrepreneurs you look up to, you’ll likely find many of them work in a similar way. Switching out of “do it all, all the time” mode frees you up to fiercely focus on one major goal in your business per quarter.

So many entrepreneurs do themselves a disservice by trying to do too much at once. They want to launch a game-changing new product while working on a book, traveling to speak at events, adding thousands of new subscribers to their e-mail list, and getting a new Web presence out into the world.

Does that sound overwhelming or, dare you admit, familiar? Inevitably, the ball drops on one goal. Then another. And the whole thing comes tumbling down until we’re back to square one, feeling completely discouraged.

That’s what makes this approach different. With “Conquer Your Year,” you’ll be sprinting to one, maybe two at the most, big-but-manageable goals every 12 weeks. That way, you get it done (and done right!) the first time. Then you’re energized, motivated, and ready for your next step.

Your Word of the Year

Before we dive into setting your goals for the year ahead, consider your intention for the year. I pick a new intention word, sometimes a few words, for each fresh year.

To give you some ideas, here are a few that have been shared with me on social media from people working through “The Conquer Kit”:

  • Sovereign
  • Aligned
  • Divine
  • Conquer (as expected!)
  • Tuned In
  • Kind Strength
  • Connected
  • Alive
  • Powerfully Present

Your Bigger Picture Plan

The thing about big goals is they can be super overwhelming. Whether you’re setting up to make your first major move or your 50th, it’s still so easy to worry your big dreams are total pie-in-the-sky, out-of-reach fantasies.  

You might wonder if you should tone it down just a little?

And the answer is: IF YOU CAN BREAK THEM DOWN INTO ACTIONABLE STEPS—NO WAY. KEEP YOUR DREAMS BIG.

Making big goals means you’re playing full out and striving to reach them. You’re pushing yourself to discover new limits and find new avenues for your potential. And that is an amazing zone to live your life in.

But you do need to learn how to break your massive dreams into doable, actionable micro-goals along the way.

After all, it’s easy to lose motivation and give up if you’re not making instant progress, isn’t it? That’s why marking your path with smaller goals that add up (and give you a string of small victories to celebrate) is so important.

Not sure how to make that happen? I have just the tool you need (and you already have access to it!).

Before you get started using this planner, you’ll be working through your Bigger Picture Plan for the 12 months ahead. (This is one of the most popular exercises from “The Conquer Kit.”)

Getting Started

Your Bigger Picture Plan is made up of the major goals you want to achieve for the year ahead. I usually set five Bigger Picture Goals, but go with what feels right for you. “Conquer Your Year” is structured around 12-week sprints, thus four Bigger Picture Goals may make sense to you, so you can tackle one each sprint. Some goals overlap with each other, and sometimes you have a team that can work on achieving a goal in your business without much involvement for you. In those cases, you may tackle more than five Bigger Picture Goals in a year. The choice is yours. There is no right way or wrong way here.

For each Bigger Picture goal, identify five specific milestones, with approximate due dates, to keep you on track.

Here’s an example of top-level, five milestone action steps for a bigger goal. Let’s say one of your five Bigger Picture Goals is to launch a new Website. Your strategic milestones may look something like this:

  1. Create a mood board on Pinterest with designs, textures, patterns, colors, and fonts to determine the overall look and feel.
  2. Write (or hire a pro copywriter to help you write) copy for the home page, an opt-in offer, the about page, a products/offerings page, and the contact page.
  3. Create a shot list for a photographer and book a photo shoot.
  4. Share your mood board, photos, and content with a professional designer to create the Website.
  5. Launch the Website. 

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