Increase Your Focus and Productivity with a SWOT Analysis | Michelle Cornish | Skillshare

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Increase Your Focus and Productivity with a SWOT Analysis

teacher avatar Michelle Cornish, Author & Illustrator - Former Accountant

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Introduction Increase Your Focus & Productivity

    • 2. Your Mission Statement

    • 3. Your Vision Statement

    • 4. Your Project Step 1

    • 5. SWOT Analysis Intro

    • 6. Your Strengths

    • 7. Your Weaknesses

    • 8. Your Opportunities

    • 9. Your Threats

    • 10. Your Project Step 2

    • 11. Your Project Step 3

    • 12. Conclusion and Bonus Productivity Tips

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About This Class

For the solopreneur trying to do it all . . .

In this 33 minute class, you will learn how to use a simple business tool called a SWOT analysis to increase your productivity and focus so you can meet your personal and business goals!

Michelle Cornish, former CPA and entrepreneurship instructor, will explain what a SWOT analysis is and how you can use it in combination with simple mission and vision statements to determine the best way to spend your time.

Michelle created this class because she was feeling pulled in multiple directions in her own business and was tired of not knowing where to spend her limited time to see the best results. Since implementing this simple system for herself, she has seen results like increased income, a greater sense of accomplishment, and improved overall well-being.

Perfect for the solopreneur trying to do it all!


Meet Your Teacher

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Michelle Cornish

Author & Illustrator - Former Accountant



I'm Michelle, a former accountant with a passion for writing and teaching business and personal finance. I worked in public accounting for almost 20 years. I self-published the book Keep More Money: Find an Accountant You Trust to Help You Grow Your Small Business, Increase Profit, and Save Tax as a result of meeting many business owners online that didn't know how to hire an accountant. In 2019, I started a new adventure: writing picture books and financial crime thrillers.

I love the opportunities Skillshare provides to learn AND teach!

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1. Introduction Increase Your Focus & Productivity: hello and welcome to increase your focus and productivity with a SWAT analysis. In this class, you learn about a simple business tool called a SWAT analysis that you can use to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses and then determine what you need to do to improve your focus and productivity. I'm Michelle Cornish and author and illustrator with a background in business, and I started using a SWAT analysis to improve my own focus and productivity because I was so tired of spending all my time trying to figure out what to do and none of my time actually taking the steps I needed to achieve my goals in this class. I'll show you how to create a personal or business mission and vision statement and explain why you should. I'll teach you about the SWAT analysis and how you can learn about your own individual strengths and weaknesses in order to improve your focus. When you improve your focus, your productivity automatically increases. This class is for you. If you're feeling overwhelmed and looking for a simple system you can use to get back on track, improve your focus and productivity and crush your goals. I look forward to seeing you in the class 2. Your Mission Statement: a mission statement goes back to why you're doing something and you can create a mission statement for personal goals or business schools or both if you want. And if you're a solo printer, often those two overlap on. And as you'll see in my example at the end of this lesson, my mission is much more personal, even though it does relate to my business as well, because I'm a solo Criner, and that is why I do what I do. So I will share my own mission statement with you at the end of this. Listen now, you may have heard of the very popular Ted talk by Simon. Cynics start with why it was done a few years ago now, and it remains popular today. I'll provide a link to it in the resource section in case you want to watch it, but it's very helpful if you're not sure how to figure out why you're doing something. He also has a book called Start With Why? If you're interested in going really deep into the whole idea of why we do what we dio Okay , so I'm going to start by showing you some examples of mission statements from companies that you know so for skill share. Their mission is to provide thousands of classes and design business tech and more so millions of members can learn cutting edge skills, network with peers and discover new opportunities. And you can find that on their website. If you go to their about page. And if you're curious about a company that you really like, you can just Google whatever the company's name is and mission statement, and you should be able to find that no problem. Some companies will actually list it under mission statement, but other companies will listed on their about page, and you might have to find it through the about page rather than looking for the heading mission statement. Okay, so look at Nike. Their mission is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world, and then they want to make sure that people know that if you have a body, they consider you to be an athlete. And that is from their website and also their about page. And the next and final example that I have from big corporations is Tesla. So Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. And again, that is right from their website on their about page. So you will notice with corporations like this that the mission statement is outward focused, so they're focused on what they can do for you. And that's a great thing to think about when you are developing a mission statement for your business as far as what you want to achieve in the world. But when it comes to this class and we're looking at focus and productivity, I want you to focus on yourself, so your port, personal goals within your business, or even just a personal goal that you have that is not business related. So I have a few tips for you when it comes to creating your mission statement, because you are going to do that in step one of your project. So number one try to keep it as simple as possible. And when I get to showing you my mission statement, you will see that it is very simple. So of the three companies that we looked at, Tesla has the simplest version of a mission statement, and if you do end up Googling cos you will see that they range from very simple two Very complicated, depending on the company. I want you to base your mission statement on what's important to you. So think about your values and again because we're looking at focus and productivity Look inwards. So when you see my and mission statement, you will see that it is very focused on what I want to achieve. If you were creating a mission statement that you wanted to put on your website, you would focus it outward. What can you do for your clients? But for this class? Because we want to improve our own focus and productivity, we are focusing it in words. You want to try and answer the question? Why? So why do you have your business and again? Because we're focusing inwards. Why, personally, do you have this business and you'll see this is how I have focused my mission statement when we get to that which will be on the next slide and then focus on your personal goals because we are trying to improve our focus and productivity. Okay, so here's my mission statement and again, this is looking at what do I want to achieve what I'm thinking in terms of my own personal goals and improving my own focus and productivity. So I want to work around like kids schedules to earn a full time income and pay off debt. Now, if you were to go to my website, I don't have a clear mission statements. I don't have a heading that says admission. I haven't about page. And you know, when it comes to my clients, what I want to do is help them get their message to the world. So this is very different for this class, because again, we're focusing on how we can improve our productivity and achieve our own goals. Okay, so coming up next, I have the vision statement. 3. Your Vision Statement: all right. So like a mission statement of vision statement is also focused on your goals and the reason why I want you to create the mission and Vision statement, and we're going to get to that and stuff one off the project. But they are like an anchor for you. So when you're thinking about your goals and what you're trying to achieve, you go back to your mission and business statement and make sure that any activity that you are doing is in line with those statements. So the mission statement is focusing on your current situation what you want to do right now, whereas the Vision statement is looking into the future. So what do you want to achieve as a broader, larger goal? So you'll see when we look at the vision statements for the same companies that we reviewed that the mission statements, you'll see how their vision statements are. They have a much larger field to them. It's really what they want to do in the future. Okay, so let's hop on over to the side and take a look at those vision statements. So let's take a look at skill shares, a vision statement to make the new economy and open meritocracy, where the skills and expertise needed to succeed are available for anyone willing toe learn . And then for Nike, we have to expand human potential by creating groundbreaking sport innovations by making our products more sustainably by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work. So I have included the slide handouts in the resource section for you, so you don't have to worry about writing any of this down, and you will be able to refer back to it when you are working on your own statements. All right, so let's take a look at test to create an entirely sustainable energy ecosystem by making products accessible and affordable to more and more people, ultimately accelerating the advent of clean transport and clean energy productions. So once again, when it comes to companies and businesses, the vision statements are focused on what they're going to do for their customers and clients, and that is the way it should be. And if you're making a mission or vision statement for your business, you should think about how it's going to affect your clients and customers. But again, for the purpose of this class, where were you talking about our own productivity and focus? We are going to turn that inward, so if you look at my example of my own statement, you will see that it is very personal, and I will get to that in a second. But first I want to review the tips. So for the vision statement, the 1st 3 tips are the same as for the mission statement. So remember again to keep it simple, base it on what's important to you. So consider your values when you are creating your vision statement and answer the question . Why am I doing this? And again, it goes back to what's important to you. And then the fourth point is different for the vision statement because the vision statement we're looking at the future, whereas the mission statement is the current situation. So focus on your personal goals for the next five years or further. If you want to think further into the future, that is perfectly fine. But if you noticed in the company's examples, the vision statements are much broader and they're like a much bigger goal than the mission statement. It almost feels like it affects more people, in a way. Okay, so this is my vision statement and again because we're focusing on productivity. We're looking at ourselves for this vision statement. So I want to remind you for my mission statement. I had that. I wanted to work around my kids schedules to earn a full time income and pay off a debt. So for the vision statement, I'm taking it about step further. I'm looking into the future. And in the future, I want to achieve financial freedom by doing something I love well being there for my family. So when we get to a project which is coming up next, you will see the example that includes my mission and vision statement. So you will be able to refer to that as well. There is a link in the resources section that will take you to a Google doc that has my own completed project. And you'll also see it in the sides coming up in the next lesson. So I will see you there. 4. Your Project Step 1: Welcome to step one of your project. So for this stop, I want you to create your mission and vision statements based on what you've learned in the class so far. So your mission envisioned statements act as anchors that you could refer to when you need clarity around which projects to take on. And so let's think about my mission statement. So that was to work around my kids schedule to earn a full time income. Let's say that I was offered a speaking agent engagement that took place at a time when I would normally be home with my kids. Now that is not in line with my mission statement. So I would not accept that engagement unless my vision statement overrode the mission statement. So my vision vision statement is to achieve financial freedom, doing something that I love and being there for my family. So I wouldn't really have to think about the being there for my family part if I felt like doing this speaking engagement was not in alignment with that. Then I would not accept the engagement because it wouldn't be in line with my vision statement only or either Sorry. So hopefully that gives you an idea as to how you can use these mission and vision statements as anchors for making decisions. So because they are the anchors, I want you to place them in the center of your paper and I'll show you coming up. I have an example of the completed project. You can use an actual piece of paper. You can use your computer, a tablet, a phone, whatever works the best for you. I used my a bullet journal. And remember to post any questions that you have in the discussion area if you get stuck on this stuff. So this is my completed project. We have part one is in the red box. So my mission and vision statements are in the center of my bullet journal page and we're gonna be working on the SWAT analysis that you see at the top. That is our next step. So I will see you in that lesson. 5. SWOT Analysis Intro: so the SWAT analysis is a really common business tool. If you've taken any business courses before, you've probably heard the term. And even if you've had it, you've probably heard of SWAT analysis. So it stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. And I'll be going into each one individually in the next lessons. So how the SWAT analysis is used most often is in a business plan. Now there are some really good courses on skill share about creating a business plan. So if you want to learn about that, look them up. Fe Brown has a really awesome one. I will share the link in the resources section, but generally a business plan is most commonly used to apply for financing. But the SWAT analysis section is really helpful to use as an internal plan for your business and also, as we're talking about here in this class, to make decisions whether they are personal or business based. So in the business plan, the SWAT analysis is usually used to look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the business. So your own business and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of competitors, because when you're doing a formal business plan. Whoever is reading that wants to see where you fit in terms of your competition, because if they're going to give you financing, they want to feel like you're going to succeed in your business. So the strengths and weaknesses those air internal So those are coming directly from you and you have direct control over them, and opportunities and threats are external. So those are things in the environment. And like I said, I will get into more detail on each one in the next lesson, So up first is strength. 6. Your Strengths: all right, So Step number one in the SWAT analysis is looking at your strengths. So remember that strengths are internal, which means they are things that you have direct control over. Now, sometimes when we think about our own strains that can be a bit daunting. I find it's easier for us to focus on the negative rather than the positive. So if you are having trouble, I have some tips here. Help you out. So if you're feeling stock on identifying your strains, you can ask yourself these questions. What are you good at? What unique skill do you have? What is something that you can do that other people in your life can't do or maybe can't do as well as you can? And if you're a business owner, why do people do business with you? Why do your clients and customers come to your business if you're still feeling stock? If these questions are helpful, you can always ask your friends, family, co workers, even your clients and customers. But you want to make sure that whoever you ask is someone that you trust. That is because you want to make sure they're going to give you an honest opinion. And they're not just telling you things to be nice or telling you what you want to hear. Okay, so I have some examples from my own SWAT analysis, So these are my strength. So you have an idea of the kinds of things that I'm talking about so I can write quickly. I'm a pretty fast hyper, so that really helps a lot. I have an eye for design. I love art, and I love playing around with colors and shapes. I'm a good researcher. I'm creative. I have lots of ideas, which I sometimes feel is a weakness because I just have a way too many ideas. But that actually is a good thing because you can always generate your ideas and then we the bad ones out afterwards. And I'm also supportive of others. So I will take these things and put them on my SWAT analysis, and I want you to go ahead and think about what your strengths are. Step two in the project is going to be adding our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to our paper that we started with the Mission and Vision statement. So if you want to go ahead and jot these down somewhere. For now. That will save you some time when we get to step two for the project. Okay, So up next we have our weaknesses. I will see you in the next lesson. 7. Your Weaknesses: Okay, So up next on your SWAT analysis is your weaknesses. So, like I mentioned in the strength video, weaknesses are usually easier for us to identify than our strengths. And they're pretty self explanatory. Like strains, weaknesses are internal and something you have direct control over, which means if you want to improve on those weaknesses, you definitely can do that. If you are having trouble identifying your weaknesses, you can ask yourself these questions. What do you wish you could do better? What do you feel like? You spend way too much time on what is frustrating for you. And of course, you also have the option again to ask your friends, family members, co workers, clients and customers. But make sure that it's somebody that you trust. So you get an honest answer. You don't want somebody who you think is going to just give you a nice answer and not truly tell you what your weaknesses are. So I have some examples of game from my own swat and else. So these are My weakness is just to give you an idea of the kinds of things you might identify, so I am easily distracted. I have that shiny object syndrome, and it often prevents me from getting my work done. I tend to do things on a whim without following a schedule, so I have a bad habit of creating a schedule. And then instead of strictly sticking to the schedule, I will just work on whatever I feel like that day. While I don't consider the fact that my kids come first as a weakness, where it is a weakness is from a business point of view. So the business tasks I have always get pushed to the bottom of the list because my kids come first. Okay, so take some time, make a note of your weaknesses were going to use those in step two of our project when we put together the SWAT analysis. So if you bring storm right now, it will save you time. When you get to that step up next, we are looking at opportunities 8. Your Opportunities: Okay, So up next in the SWAT analysis is your opportunities. We have now moved into the external section of the SWAT analysis, so strengths and weaknesses are internal, which means you have direct control over them and opportunity. These and threats are external, so this means you do not directly control your opportunities and threats. So think of an opportunity as something you might not have been using to its full potential , for example, asking others for help. If you're not sure how to come up with opportunities, and these can be from a personal point of view or a business point of view, think about who you can ask for help. And where is the market heading? So when you think about your business, what is happening in your industry that you might be able to take advantage of? Maybe there's a certain trend happening. Ah, like, for example, for authors right now, clean romances are really big. So if you wanted to write a clean romance that might be an opportunity for you And who has offered support that you have refused so often times people will say, You know, if you need anything, let me know but we almost never take advantage of that. So if you know that someone has offered to help you think about whether or not that is an opportunity for you. And just like with the strengths and weaknesses, you can ask your friends or family members, co workers, clients and customers that you trust and make sure it's somebody that you trust to brainstorm this with you. If you're doing this from a business point of view, it could be really helpful to brainstorm opportunities with somebody that knows your business and your industry. They might think of something that you never thought of. So I have some examples for you. And so this is from my SWAT analysis things that I have identified as opportunities. So remember my mission and vision statements, which are really my big goals are to be financially free is my vision, and then my mission is to be able to earn a full time income while working around my kids schedule. So I keep that in mind when I'm thinking about my opportunities and identify the fact that I could guest post on blog's or podcasts and some guests post for blog's even pay so that would help me to work my way towards earning a full time income. I, um, have a growing networks. I'm meeting people all the time. There might be somebody that I can reach out to and ask for help or that can connect me with somebody else. I have a lot of Facebook friends, so posting on Facebook is a great way for people to get to know what I'm working on as far as the books that I have coming up for sale and my Lincoln Network is really active, which is also a big help. So I want to make sure that I post there once in a while and then I'm not afraid to ask. So when it comes to things like asking for help or guest posting somewhere or just not knowing what to do, I'm not afraid to ask questions. So I consider that to be an opportunity. So take some time, brainstorm what your opportunities are, makes a notes because you're going Teoh need to put those on your squad in l. A. Says when we come to step Teoh in the project and up next we're talking about threats 9. Your Threats: all right, So we are at the final item of the SWAT analysis, which is your threats. So, like opportunities. Threats are also external, but threats are something that are considered to be in negative, so it would be something that could prevent you from achieving your goal. So if you're stuck and figuring out what might stop you from reaching your goals and from a business point of view, think about who your competitors are. What are your competitors doing? What what might they do that would prevent you from reaching your goals? What challenges are created by the current market? So again, thinking about your industry, what is happening there that might prevent you from reaching your goals? So I mentioned in the opportunity section that clean romances are really big right now, and maybe some authors want to take advantage of that as an opportunity. So a threat might be if somebody is actually ah, paranormal writer and they don't want a write romances. They could be afraid that the romances are going to take money away from their genre because readers are going to switch and start reading romance. That's probably not gonna happen, but that's just an example of challenges in the market that could impact your goal. Now, from a personal point of view, what factor beyond your control might prevent you from reaching your goal, and this could be a factor or factors. So just think about it in terms of your mission and vision statement. What could prevent you from achieving those things? And again, of course, you can ask for help. Ask your friends, family members, co workers, clients and customers. But make sure they are there people that you trust. And if you're doing this from a business point of view, make sure they are familiar with your business and your industry. So again, I have some examples for you. So these air my threats from my SWAT analysis. Remember again, my mission is to earn a full time income while working around my kids of schedules, and my vision is to be financially free. Um, and debt paid off. So one threat is that there might be better or more interesting books out there that people will want to read instead of my books. Traditional versus South publishing could be a threat. Maybe, ah, traditional publishing is going to overtake South publishing. Or maybe there won't be as many ways to self publish any more. That could be a threat for me. And the public views on South pollution can be negative. So that is a threat to me, because right now I am self publishing. And when people see that they might not want to buy my book, So brainstorm what your threats might be and coming up, I'm gonna be talking about step two of your project and then the final section of the class . We're going to be talking about what to do with your SWAT analysis to really increase your focus. So how you can use that SWAT analysis to really improve your focus and productivity? I am super excited to get to that up. Next, I'm talking about Step two of your project. 10. Your Project Step 2: All right. So Step two of your project is completing your slut analysis. So if you've been making notes as I was talking about each individual section of the SWAT analysis, you are practically done this part already. So I want you to take the piece of paper or if you did it in your computer or your phone or your tablet. Wherever you have your mission and vision statement, I want you to go there. And now add in the SWAT information so you're going to start by putting the letters S W O T at the top and make them nice and big. And then in the next section, you're gonna put your bullet points for what you identified for each of those items. So you can see here on my example how I've done that for you coming up. We have my favorite section how to improve your focus and productivity using the SWAT analysis. So once you've got all those items entered in there and added to your mission and vision statement, I'm gonna tell you how you can use those items to improve your focus. All right, that's coming right up 11. Your Project Step 3: welcome to step three of your project. So in this, we're going to be completing the focus on section based on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that you identified in step two. Okay, so I'm going to explain what I did for each of my strains and how I determined they would help me with my focus. You don't have to go through every single bullet item. As you can see here. I've only got two items and my SWAT analysis had more than that. So just pick whatever stands out to you, you're looking for patterns. So when I saw that I said that I could write quickly, I thought it would really help me be more productive if I made sure that I wrote every day for at least one hour. And when I said that I had an eye for design and I was creative in order to help me earn more income and save some money, I thought I could be comfortable doing my own cover design and formatting for weaknesses. What stood out to me was that I'm easily distracted, and I do tasks on a whim. So to help me with being distracted I decided to use a timer to block out distractions. So where it's different between strengths and weaknesses when you're determining your focus is with the week at weakness, as you want to figure out how you can counter act, Um, whereas with your strengths, you're really playing on those and accentuating them. So here I am, doing tasks on a whim. How can I counter act that? So I know that I have tried before to write things in my planner and do certain things at certain times, and I still end up doing things on a whim. But what does help me is setting certain work hours and just accepting the fact that I might not get done everything I want to do if I'm going to keep doing tasks on a win like that. But having a set work schedule helps a lot. So for opportunities, these are positive things. So we want to accentuate these again. And as you can see it and not include all the opportunities that I brainstormed, I've just picked up Ah, few that seem related. So I've got guests opportunities on blog's and or podcast, and that my networks are growing and I have lots of social media connections. So to me that is all about networking both of those things. So in order to increase my focus, I want to make sure that I reach out to my networks every week to help achieve my goal of being able to earn a full time income while working around my kids schedules. So four threats were back to and negative. So we want to figure out in the focus section how we're going to counter Act, that what is going to help us be more productive. So my threats, I actually in this category I did include all the things that I brainstorm. So that fact that there could be better or more interesting books in mind to read traditional publishing versus self publishing and that sometimes public views regarding self publishing can be negative. I thought all three of those things could be counteracted if I created the best book possible, right, researching, practicing and doing. And if you notice in my strength section, I did say that I am a good researcher. So here is where you can look through your whole SWAT analysis, go back to your strengths and opportunities and see if those can be ways to help improve your opportunities and threats. So here is my bullet journal page, with everything all put together. There is also a copy of this in the resources section, with where all the steps are noted as well. So now it's your turn toe. Put it all together. So I want to know how you are going to improve your focus based on the SWAT analysis that you completed in Step two. If you're stuck, make sure you share your comments in the discussion section and post any questions there as well and share your completed project in the project section. I can't wait to see what ideas you've come up with to increase your focus and productivity up. Next, I have the class conclusion and a couple extra productivity tips for you. 12. Conclusion and Bonus Productivity Tips: thank you so much for taking my class. I hope you have picked up some new tips to help you with your focus and productivity. Using the simple SWAT analysis tool, I look forward to seeing your project. Remember, if you can improve your focus, your productivity will automatically improve. I have a couple of chips to leave you with. These are not things that I came up with. I wish I would have written down who I got them from so that I could give them credit because they have helped me so much. The 1st 1 is when I'm struggling and feeling like I'm not getting much done and feeling overwhelmed, I ask myself, Is this the best use of my time? Right now? I find that as soon as I ask myself this question, it's really clear what I need to dio. The other thing is the three D's do eat delegate and delay. So delete is if the task is really not necessary to achieving your goals. So really give it some thought. If you really need to do that, then obviously you still need to do that task. But if it's not going to get you closer to you. Go. Just cross it off your list and forget about it. Delegating is seeing if someone else can help you with the test. Maybe someone can do the whole task for you. Or maybe they can help you with a part of it. You know, sometimes it is difficult to delegate things to people that we feel like it's easier just to do it ourselves. But give us some thought. I'm sure you know some people with the skills that can help you out. And DeLay is putting off the task for a later date. So is this something you need to do right now to achieve your goal, or would it be better to leave it and do it in the future? All right. I'll leave you with that. Thank you again for joining my class. And I look forward to seeing you in the next one.