Personal Productivity: Five Exercises to Make Your Big Goal a Reality | Kate Arends | Skillshare

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Personal Productivity: Five Exercises to Make Your Big Goal a Reality

teacher avatar Kate Arends, Founder, Wit & Delight

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Power of Big Ideas


    • 3.

      Redefining Success


    • 4.

      Exercise One: Redefining Success


    • 5.

      Overcoming Obstacles


    • 6.

      Exercise Two: Overcoming Obstacles


    • 7.

      Choosing Your Idea


    • 8.

      Exercise Three: Choosing Your Idea


    • 9.

      Staying on Track


    • 10.

      Exercise Four: Staying on Track


    • 11.

      Exercise Five: Celebrating Wins


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Ready to act on that one idea you’ve always had in the back of your mind? Join creative star Kate Arends to discover a new formula for articulating and achieving any goal!

When Kate Arends started posting her personal essays online in 2014, she never imagined that Wit & Delight would one day grow into a leading lifestyle brand with 3.3 million followers. The secret to her success? In response to her ADHD, Kate developed a simple system for turning her big ideas into a reality, one manageable step at a time.

Now, Kate is sharing what she’s learned so that you can do the same: accomplish any goal you set your mind to, while feeling energized, empowered, and fulfilled. 

This 50-minute class is packed with insights and exercises from Kate’s personal journey—and includes five exclusive downloadable worksheets to guide you from initial idea to final product. 

You will:

  • Push past self-doubt to figure out what you really want and need
  • Redefine success to reflect your passions and expertise
  • Identify the right ideas to pursue based on your unique priorities
  • Create a framework for breaking down your goal into small, daily actions
  • Stay motivated with tips to celebrate your wins (and failures)

This system is designed for everyone and accessible whatever your goal—whether it's running a marathon, launching a side-hustle, or building a new creative habit. By the end, you’ll have a personalized productivity system you can return to every time you need to kick-start a project or brainstorm your next chapter. 

There’s never been a better time to unlock the life you wantone big goal at a time!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kate Arends

Founder, Wit & Delight


Wit & Delight is an ongoing project created by Kate Arends. Founded in 2009, the lifestyle website has evolved into a brand that celebrates a combination of veracious expression and simple elegance with an approachable, yet edited point of view. Above all, Wit & Delight is dedicated to the development of it’s readers, promoting self discovery, mental health advocacy, and wellness topics as the foundation of a life well lived.

Wit & Delight reaches a million readers everyday, and has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, Women’s Wear Daily, Fast Company, New York Times, and Elle Decor, among other national publications. In 2014, Wit & Delight introduced a limited-edition product line with Target Corporation.

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1. Introduction: A big idea is something that you think about quite often. Something that you want to do so badly that you could devote a big chunk of your life to doing it. My name is Kate Arends, I run the lifestyle brand Whit and Delights and today's class is all about how you take your big ideas and turn them into reality. Big ideas are oftentimes clear in our mind, but it takes tiny action every single day in order to get there and that can be really hard to do. I developed this approach because I needed it personally. I've had a lot of big ideas in my life. The biggest obstacle that was in my way was myself, and I needed a way to figure out how to look at what I did every day and connect it to the reason why I wanted to achieve that big idea. This class involves five custom-designed worksheets that will take you from ideation all the way through to mapping out and celebrating your wins. This system is designed to use for any big idea, whether it's running a marathon or starting a business. You don't even have to know what your big idea is. In the past, I would beat myself up on my way to achieving my goals. I would say, "You're not going fast enough, you're not doing enough." In this way, you're building up the habit of showing up for yourself every day and making things possible for yourself. If there's one thing to take away from this class, it's that if you're able to take that big idea and really understand the steps that's going to take to get there, half the battle is already won. So don't be afraid to just jump in. Now let's get started. 2. The Power of Big Ideas: This class is for anyone who's ever wanted to create something in their life. It doesn't mean that you have to have a big idea right hear and right now. The worksheets themselves are designed to help you find where your zone of genius is, where you have vision where no one else does. This is really about building confidence that big ideas are not a scary thing, and that they can be achievable no matter how big they might be. Before we get started, I want to level set. We're not going to judge your ideas here today at all. We're going to set that aside and remember that that's the biggest hurdle that oftentimes we have when looking at something big we want to achieve. So I just want to say it out of the gate. We're not going to be judging ourselves here today in this class. The reason why that's important is understanding the power of these big ideas, you're not going to get the effect of it if you're constantly saying, "I don't known if this is for me." There are a lot of people out in the world who have got a lot of good to give and they tend to say, "Someone else is going to do it. Someone else is more equipped to do it. That's too hard or I don't have the time." So I want you to think of these feelings as signals that you're going in the right direction, you're moving towards personal growth. Remember that discomfort is part of growing. I know this discomfort well. In fact, I use it as an indicator that I'm moving in the write direction all the time. Sometime it shows up in negative situations. For example, when I was growing Wit &Delight, we grew really fast, really quickly, and while they were all really exciting at the time when I decided to pursue it, when I got in the middle of making these things happened, I realized I had spread myself way too thin. When I stepped back and I looked at my discomfort as a signal that I shouldn't quit, but maybe look at how I could work a little smarter, I realized that I had three really viable revenue streams that could be operated under one brand umbrella with a smaller team. Not only did I save time and money and effort, I saved my business. That was all through looking at discomfort as a signal that I needed to reframe the way I was moving towards my path, not give up and say I had failed. The process that I developed is one that I use to this day. In fact, I use it to vet new ideas all the time. It doesn't start with identifying the big idea and then thinking about how you're going to get there. It starts a couple of steps before that process. The first step is going to be identifying your zone of genius. You're essentially looking at where your energy and your expertise intersect, and where it is really easy for you to get in the groove of doing really important work. This is where we look at what you do better than everyone else because everyone has something about themselves and their expertise that has a completely different viewpoint in the world. Next, we're going to take inventory of your life. This is a step that people often overlook. They think I have enough grit and willpower and hey, I don't need a lot of sleep in order to make their big ideas happen. Reality is, there are certain resources that are finite. Oftentimes taking inventory of where we are in our lives can help us identify which big idea to pursue at that point in time. What I love about this section is that you're able to really look at what might trip you up along the path to making these big ideas happen. The next worksheet is where we get into the meat of the class. We're going to choose our big idea. A lot of us have a big idea in our head and we think that's the one that is going to work the best, but we need to validate it. We've created a process where you're able to look at three ideas like in the same set of criteria so you're able to really objectively look at what idea, one, speaks out to you the most and two, is most viable to you, where you're at in your physical, emotional, and mental life. After that, we're going to make an action plan. This is a system that I use every single day. It's how we connect our big idea to what we do every single week and every single day. Last but not least, we're going to talk about celebrating small wins. It's really important that we curve out moments to say we've completed an important task on the road to making big ideas a reality. The example I'm going to be using is a real life situation I found myself in last year. We were tasked with launching a home decor line, and really found a lot of friction around making that happen. So I'll be walking you through the steps that I put myself through and you'll see how the results might surprise you, how my big idea shifted and turned into a really great viable business for Wit & Delight. By the end of this class, my hope is you have validated one big idea and created an action step and a system for yourself where you feel empowered to go out and start tomorrow, or even start right after this class in making that dream a reality. So know that along the way, you're going to build self confidence. You're going to build a belief in your idea. You're going to get validation that it's good, and you're going to really gain the confidence to continue to evolve on more big ideas. This isn't going to be the only big idea that you have. Oftentimes, one big idea leads to another, and this is not something that you unlearn. It's something that you build upon. They are skills that compound on one another. That's why going after something that you care about is so important. This is a lot more about growth than it is about just achieving something big. All right, let's get started on these worksheets. 3. Redefining Success: Oftentimes, we look at success as something to achieve, and what we really want is a feeling that we've accomplished something that matters to us. That doesn't always line up with what we think success will look like. You always hear about people who have achieved great things in there lives and they still feel like they have this empty hole inside them. This section is all about getting past that expectation of already knowing what success looks like for you. I found that this step is really key because most times, we don't know ourselves as well as other people know us, that lifelong journey to get to known who you really are on the inside. Take, for example, me as an introvert. Turns out I have a passion and a love for connecting and teaching people. That goes against every aspect I ever thought about who I was as a person. I always thought I would be better off creating alone, not being a leader, not being an entrepreneur, not being in a place where I had to be extroverted all the time. It turns out my zone of genius, I'm better at this because I am introverted. The first step of this process is going to be focusing on your zone of genius, and the term zone of genius comes from an author named Gay Hendricks in his book, "The Big Leap." It completely changed the way that I thought about honing in on your area of expertise. He really helps you focus on not only what you've put your time against and where other people have validated what you're good at, but what lights you up? Where do you feel like you have infinite amount of energy to work towards? Sometimes those things don't always line up, but where they overlap can be a really exciting area to explore. Turns out I have a passion and a love for connecting and teaching people. That goes against every aspect I ever thought about who I was as a person. I always thought I would be better off creating alone, not being a leader, not being an entrepreneur, not being in a place where I had to be extroverted all the time. It turns out my zone of genius, I'm better at this because I am introverted. That's what we're going to be doing through these worksheets. I want you to think about times where people have said, you've really provided an amazing amount of value. Then think about, what would you do if you didn't have any expectations for who you are as a person? What would you do without the labels that you hold for yourself? That's what we're going to explore in our zone of genius worksheet. 4. Exercise One: Redefining Success: This is our zone of genius worksheet and it's designed to help you think about when you were feeling empowered, what you were actually working on, how you were feeling, and then giving you some prompts and examples of how you could describe the type of person and type of creator or connector or strategists you might be. Sometimes we think of ourselves as one thing when we really look at where we excel, we are another, and that can really affect the type of big ideas that you're going to want to pursue. So let's start at the top. I want you to ask yourself, when was the last time you felt empowered by a project? When was the last time you felt that you could work on something for hours on end and the ideas just kept coming. It can be when you were in school, it can be when you were in college, it can be last week. But really what I want you to go to is when you felt your expertise and the feeling of, I really feel like I know what I'm doing aligned. It's important to think outside of project as it relates to work because what that is going to show you is where your passion points really lie. A lot of us like to think, oh, it's probably more convenient if I stay within my zone of genius as it pertains to work. But that's only part of the equation that we're looking at. We're looking at where you light up and you could spend all of your time. Say perhaps who love building things. You might like problem-solving, you might like the puzzle that goes into actually making a system that works. For me, I loved giving people information that they could then go and use in their own lives. Teaching wasn't something I ever thought I would be excited about doing, but here I am loving every minute of it. So now that we have thought about the last time he felt empowered, I want you to think about what you were working on. How did it feel? What part of that project did you feel really connected to? Did you feel in control? Did you feel excited? Did you feel elated? Did you feel curious? Did you feel like you want it to stay there all day? It's important to identify the feeling itself because those are the things that we can't necessarily regulate. What we do and how we feel are intrinsically connected and what we want to do is more of the things that make you feel empowered, passionate, motivated, and excited to continue forward with what you're doing. That's what we're in as zone of genius. The next question you can ask is where is an area of expertise for people ask you for help? The reason why this is important is we oftentimes discount our areas of expertise as something that's easy, everyone can do, and when we start brushing off what comes easy to us, we're ignoring the parts of ourselves where we're able to access really good information with not much energy expended. The next thing I want you to do is circle what others would describe you as. Again, this is just another way at tapping into times where you have been told you really excel in these areas. Most of us fall into one of these categories. A connector being that you're really good at bringing people and ideas together. You're a great facilitator of putting the right people in the room. So incredibly valuable. Maybe you're a creator, maybe you have an abundance of ideas of how things could come to life. There's never a shortage of what is possible when you're a creator. The strategists loves thinking about how to approach a problem. They love all the intricate pieces that are going to come together to create a solution. They like to think about how they can get the best outcome using what they have. They're resourceful, they're analytical, they're logical. An analysts is really great at looking at all the data that exists and finding new ways of looking at it. They're creative with numbers, they're creative with understanding where risk is involved. An idealist. A lot of entrepreneurs fall under this category and it doesn't mean that you're just a big dreamer and someone who doesn't look at the details. You are someone who sees what's possible where other people can't. An implementer. These people love to get into the weeds. They love to make things happen. They love to make sure that all the moving pieces are all synchronized and that the end result is perfect, detail oriented, and really interested in all of the steps that'll take to drive towards the best solution possible. You can be more than one of these things, and if you find yourself not able to pick one or the other, I'd love for you to circle all that you feel like you identify with and then rank them one to three, where you most accurately show up. For example, I'm a really great connector, creator and idealist. Where I really become a little bit faulty is strategist, analysts and implementer, and I've hired against those three roles, and I look for areas where I could be more of a creator, more of a connector, more of an idealist, in the way that I run my business. The last phase of this worksheet is where I want you to take your time. I want you to think about what you would do if no one was judging you and if you were not judging yourself. You're probably going to need more than this space here. It's really important to give yourself space to dream. So give yourself 24 hours of no judgment ideation and have fun. I have filled out a worksheet just to show you how I worked through these things. So the last time I felt really empowered by a project was actually the feedback that I got on our Skillshare classes. We had no idea that so many people would take them. So that's when I realized that we had a little bit more to offer than just written content. I was teaching personal branding and I felt really empowered and valuable and helpful to see that I was able to help other people work through their problems. I think I was most helpful or what our students really said that I understood was that I knew what their pain points were and did a really good job speaking to those and giving them solutions based on where they were at right now. The area of expertise people want my help with is within social media productivity and getting things done, chasing goals and entrepreneurship. They see what I've done in my business and want to understand how they can learn from my experiences and apply them to themselves. So what would I do if no one was judging me? I think about this all the time. But what I circled was create a membership site, where we have our best content, courses and products. The reason why this is such a fun big idea for me to think about is, we have lots of different vehicles that went into light shows up in the world and if we could create one place for them all to live, that would be really amazing. We still don't really know if that's a great idea or if that's the right idea, but that's the thing that I'm thinking about. If no one was judging, that's what I would do. So we can explore that a little bit. We can also explore expanding our print offering or maybe introducing digital prints. So the scale of these ideas can be quiet large. They could change the course of your business or your life or they could be just about trying something new. Remember that the things that make us feel something like fear or discomfort, they're pushing us to grow and we shouldn't be afraid of them. So download this worksheet, fill it out and meet me in the next lesson, where we're going to talk about taking inventory of our lives. 5. Overcoming Obstacles: The inventory worksheet is a really special part of this class. We're going to get to know potential obstacles that might get in our way to making these big ideas a reality. We've created an inventory that essentially you check through, give yourself a score and then when you don't check, you ask yourself why you might be lacking in that area. This is going to bring us closer to where our strengths lie and where potential roadblocks might live. There's no wrong answer to checking a box or not checking a box. It's really important to be honest with yourself, because the more honest you are with your inventory, the better results you're going to get through the next couple of worksheets when we look at where our roadblocks are, and come up with ways that we're going to overcome them. Internal resources are the things that we're able to access within ourselves. This is our energy. This is our ability to focus. This is our brain capacity. This is our relationship to work. This is our relationship with ourselves. This is how we talk to ourselves and this is how we manage ourselves and we really have an understanding of how we're managing our internal lives, we can better make choices in our external lives to get the most out of ourselves and get the best result as we move forward in the work for a big ideas. It's important to understand your road to success is going to look different from the person next to you, because you're built differently. You've had different life experiences. You have different beliefs around work and money and success. Taking inventory is going to really help you understand where all those levels are so you can build a personal road map that works for you. That takes less time, less effort, and less emotional anguish along the way. I'll be going through my inventory sheet with you and it surprised me. I thought that I was going to have more limiting beliefs and emotional beliefs around work. But it turns out I was physically depleted. I needed to sleep more, I needed to rest, I need to work less. I think if I hadn't really looked at all of these areas where I needed to have inventory and my physical, intellectual, and emotional life, I would, I think make my road map a little bit differently. I thought that I could just go through on grit. It turns out as an introvert, I have a much smaller tank when it comes to the amount of time I can spend doing focused work. So I've learned how to build my schedule around the type of inventory I have in my internal life, so I can do more of what I love. 6. Exercise Two: Overcoming Obstacles: I created this inventory as a way to assess where you are in life but then also look at where you can improve. So where you don't check the boxes, we're going to come up with a solution for how you can work around and build in better resources where you're lacking. So first, we'll start with the emotional. This is all about feelings and how they're related to your work. It's important to feel valued and appreciated. For example, if we feel that we can achieve anything we put our mind to you, we're going to have a lot of inventory, we're going to be able to self-sustain the feeling of support along the way, you're not going to need it externally. However, if you really do need validation, you might want to build in some opportunities to have checkpoints of people that you know, and love, and trust. For the intellectual category, this is where we want to make sure that you have a healthy appetite for being challenged, that you're aligning your purpose and your passion. If that's lacking, we're going to spend a little bit more time building and supporting that area. For the physical nature of things, this is going to be looking at how much energy you have in your tank. If you're at a time in your life where physical energy is lower, you're going to build a timeline that looks differently than if you're someone who maybe doesn't have kids and has a lot more time on their hands. So once you go through each of these sections, we're going to look where you're limited. What I want you to do is circle one section where you need to focus the most. Then I also want you to acknowledge where you're most abundant, where do you have a really great healthy relationship with yourself? Most of us are not healthy in all of these. The next step we're going to do is look at where we can take action. We're going to look at where we most limited, list the four areas where you need to increase your resources and come up with steps that you will take to improve that resource. These things take time and what I want you to do is think about what is the most important one which is where you have got reaction where you know it's the most unhealthy, or you can start with the one that you think would be easiest to fix. So this is what my inventory worksheet looks like. I have a couple areas in my emotional life where I need a little bit of work specifically around defining big goals and then being reliant on myself for positive reinforcement. I also have a little bit of a lack of belief that there's unlimited opportunity available to me. But where I'm really lacking is in the physical category. I don't have much free time. I have a hard time prioritizing light physical activity, and I have a track record of not holding myself accountable. So what I liked to do was say, I'm a little bit more limited in one category, physical. It's easier to tackle the physical side of things all at once versus hopping from emotional to physical. So I wrote physical here. Where am I abundant? In the intellectual category. This is probably why I feel the confidence and the push in the right direction that one of these areas of my life I'm feeling really ready to push outside my comfort zone. So where this worksheet gets really interesting is we're able to take where we did not check our boxes, write them down, summarize them, and then write one step that we can take to begin to improve where we are in that category. So for example, free time. I said I can do some batch planning, which is where I focus on one thing for a week at a time, and maybe I can give up an hour of TV. I'm willing to give up something like that in order to get a little bit more free time to prioritize my goals. So when it comes to setting goals, I thought a little bit about why setting goals was a task that I tend to not prioritize. What I realized was I wasn't breaking them down into small actionable steps. All I new is that I have this big thing I wanted to accomplish, but no real action plan that I can track and follow day in and day out. When you map all of it out first, it's a little bit easier to jump in. I found out how to do that through acknowledging that. I'm really setting goals all that well. Holding myself accountable, that's something where I really lacked at too. So maybe finding an accountability partner to check in with would be a good way at holding myself accountable until I can do it on my own. The last one I wrote down hear was limited beliefs. I picked one thing from the emotional category that I thought was important because that might get in my way of being able to continue to do some of these things. So I wrote down, give myself a compelling reason. That is, I'm learning to believe that I can change my habits, I'm learning to believe that I can improve the way that I think about myself and the way that I think about my goals in order to achieve them. When you look at this inventory, you're going to say to yourself. "Yeah, I've always known that that's been something I need to work on. Maybe it's time I face it, or maybe I should ignore it." I think it's important to go with your gut and really recognize if there's something on this list that you feel is really holding you back, to confront it now and think about ways that you can move past it. Download the worksheet, take your inventory and next up we are going to actually get to the mid of the course, choosing your big idea. 7. Choosing Your Idea: So we've looked at your zone of genius. We've taken inventory of where you are at in your internal life. Now it's time to put it together. We're going to choose the big idea based on the path of least resistance. This worksheet is the heart of the class, it's probably the longest and hardest worksheet you'll fill out. It really asks you to be honest with yourself about what you can stop doing or need to start doing by pursuing these big ideas. Because you've already taken inventory of where you are in your life, you know what you're willing to give, you know what you have to give. Life is going to change, there's going to be times in your life where you have more energy or less energy. Knowing which idea to pursue when can make all the difference and if you're going to succeed at it or not. Wit & Delight is a lifestyle brand that exists in this media landscape. As I've been an entrepreneur, I've always been looking for ways to make sure that we were diversified in terms of our income and two, move from media entity into lifestyle brand. It's been a mission that I've had ever since starting the company. So I have no shortage of big ideas. The reason why this worksheet is so important is I have a track record of just pursuing all of them at the same time. When I found myself burnt out, I new that I had to figure out a way to select these ideas one at a time. It meant that I needed to have some inventory in order to work walk myself through that. This worksheet is not necessarily about choosing the big idea at the outset and then finding out ways to make it happen no matter what. What you'll find is that within doing these exercises, you might find a smaller idea that might be smaller in scale or smaller in scope, and realize it's the idea that you should be pursuing. In my case, it's opening a print shop, not launching a home decor line. 8. Exercise Three: Choosing Your Idea: We're going to get into the nitty-gritty details on validating your idea. We're going to select three and ask the same question for each one. These questions really work for business, but they also work for any area in your life where you're looking to pursue a goal. They're quite broad, and they really help you identify what's important about the reasons why you're doing this but also what do you have to gain by putting your time and effort behind it. All of these things become really important when you show up every single day and look for the compelling reason to continue on. The first question I want you to ask yourself is, what is a problem in society that you're interested in solving? Chances are in our zone of genius worksheet, you have worked on some of these problems yourself. Perhaps you were connecting people within the community that you knew would serve on a great board together, or maybe you learned that you were a really good teacher and helped people see opportunity within themselves to go out in the world and try something new. When you think about your big idea as a solution to the problem, you're able to see a bigger picture around what you want to accomplish. It's really important that you understand why this problem is important to people other than you, and that's what this section is about. The next question should be really easy to answer once you've identified the problem. What is your solution? What is the simplest way you can solve that problem? It's going to be really important for you to be able to identify exactly what that is in a couple of words because you're going to want to be able to make this big idea as simple as possible. Is it an app? Is it a membership site? Is it a service? Is it a product? Get super specific. The next question is, how does this relate to your zone of genius? I think it's really important that the problem and the solution all tie back to where you have this wonderful intersection of where your expertise is and where your passions lie. You need to be able to want to put all of your energy behind this. It needs to light you up. There are a lot of problems to solve in the world and a lot of solutions, but we need people behind them that want to see it happen more than anyone else. So this is where you validate that part of the idea. The next question is, how does this solution provide transformation? In what way is your big idea invaluable? In what way does it serve people beyond just a functional thing? Within every product or service, there is a small promise of transformation. It's either going to make your life a little bit more organized, a little bit more fun, a little bit more free, and you really have to hone in on that little bit of emotional connective tissue that is between your idea and your customer, and you also have to understand your relationship to it too, you have to believe in it. Next, let's talk about who your ideal customer is or who your ideal audience is. If you're working on a business, this is going to be the person that you're going to be talking to the most. Most often, we think, "Well, everyone would want the solution." But in reality, we want to talk to this specific, perfect person that you are solving a problem for. The reason why this is important is when we have an idea that we try to fit for everyone, we end up making decisions that dilute the idea. We end up making it too nebulous, too broad, too watered down that it really isn't for anyone. It's not to say that this won't change, but you need some kind of benchmark to know how your big idea is stacking up against what the need is in the market. The next important question is, do you have direct access to the segment? Having access to this ideal customer is one going to be really important for understanding your knowledge of them and, two, really understanding how much work it's going to take in order to build that relationship. So be realistic. It's okay if you don't have access to this customer segment. There's a lot you can do to get there, and you don't need a massive audience to make a big impact. The second piece of this question is, do they trust you? The reason why we want to ask if the segment trust you is that trust is everything when it comes to trying out a new product. It's everything when it comes to being influential within a customer segment. If there isn't trust, we're going to start with building trust, if there is trust, we're going to start in a different spot. So be honest and, again, there's no wrong answer, yes or no. It is what it is. The next question is, what is the profit potential, and what will you stop doing and what will you not do when you start doing this? Those two questions are really important because it looks at what the opportunity actually is. Sometimes you have to know if the juice is worth the squeeze. By really assessing what the profit potential is, you look at the nitty-gritty of what the market opportunity is within the niche that you're going into. You can also look at profit as resources that you gain that do not dwindle as soon as you accomplish them. You can think about your habits as a kind of profit. What do you gain by showing up every day by running a marathon? You gain consistency, you gain strength, you gain the ability to believe in yourself. All of those things are just like profits. It's like putting money in the bank that you can tap into and the next big goal that you try to accomplish. The last question is, what are the compelling reasons to pursue this? People who pursue big ideas, ones that change the way culture looks, even small ideas that improves people's lives, they have a compelling reason behind the reason they get up every day and work hard to make that idea a reality. What's yours? Write down on a couple. It could be to have a better life for your family, it could be simply to know that you can do it, whatever that compelling reason is, if it resonates within you and it makes you motivated to get out of bed every morning and get to it. That's compelling enough. So that's a lot. It's a lot of really important questions on one little worksheet. So I'm going to walk you through, and you'll see how I am able to remove one completely by answering just a few of these questions. Spoiler alert, it was the one that I wanted to pursue the most. The two ideas I'm going to walk you through is our print shop launching that and our home decor line. First, the problem in society that we were solving was our readers were looking for affordable art and decor. They trusted and knew that I would find the type and style that they liked and so I was a one-stop shop for finding these things. I made life easier for them to source it. Solution, how did this plan to my zone of genius? Well, I went to design school and had built a very large following looking at how home decor could look really accessible and beautiful at the same time. They both provide a transformation. People felt empowered to either buy art because I had made it affordable and I created it with my own hands, and as we looked at home decor, I was able to pull things together that made it very easy for people to get a high-end look that was eclectic without having to do the work. Both lines of business worked perfectly with our Wit and Delight readers. So we had access to our ideal customer, we knew exactly who they were, and they trusted us. Where the rubber really hit the road was how this business actually came to life. Just because my zone of genius and my love for decor was incredibly prevalent, we weren't going to make any money bringing it to life. In fact, when I asked myself the question, what will I stop doing by building that line? We had to do more work. It was going to take me, my time scouting, my home, my savings in order to create all these spaces, shoot them, get them out into the world, only to have to redo that every quarter or as an art where we had the same kind of appetite and need for it. We could create 75 percent profit margin, have zero inventory, and I own all the assets. By creating this inventory and by actually looking at these two things side by side. I could have decided to take the hard route with less profit potential and say, "It's my passion to bring home decor to life of the Wit and Delight brand or I could look at a baby step." I could look at creating art for people's walls and create the income and the infrastructure and possibly the money it takes to then invest in a larger home decor line. I met myself where I was at, and frankly, we've been able to get into people's houses faster and build that relationship with them by starting with smaller idea. It sure did feel big once we put it out into the world. I think if I would have considered it too small, I would have missed out on that opportunity. I really encourage you to pick one idea to move forward with because what we're going to do in the next lesson is break it down into small actionable steps to get you started. So download the worksheet, fill it out, select the idea you're most excited about, and I'll meet you in the next lesson. 9. Staying on Track: At this point, you've selected your big idea. Now, we're going to get to work to make sure you have everything that you need in order not to get stuck on the way to achieving your big goal. This worksheet is something I use every single day. It is designed to keep your big idea top-of-mind, while you're chipping away at the smaller things that you need to get done monthly, weekly, and daily. I was diagnosed with ADHD at 27. I got to a point in my life where I was doing really well creatively but I could not keep my life together. I was having a hard time paying my bills and to do lists felt like a mountain of a task. So what I realized was I needed to figure out how to excited about those big ideas. Those were the things that I would use to procrastinate and create little benchmarks, tiny little lists of things that I could do that I could return to everyday. I figured out how to create a system that worked for my brain. Most of you probably don't have ADD, but I'm sure that there are a lot of things that are vying for your attention right now. So you have to figure out the best way to remove other friction around getting this work done. There's always going to be something else is going to distract you. There's always going to be something else that's going to feel better to procrastinate against doing these tasks. This is all about showing up for yourself, helping you get out of your way, keep your eye on the prize and get the little things done each day that are going to drive you towards your big idea. Before we get started with filling out this sheet, what I want you to do is get a big stack of paper and I want you to write down every single thing that you can think of that you have to do in order to get from point A or point C if you are already started on your big idea to the end. You're going to want to create lists so long that you feel like you're never going get it all done. But the reason why you want to do this is it's going to get everything that's in your head out onto paper. Then you can take some scissors or you can reorganize this and you can type it all out, organize it by the stuff that belongs together. You're going to then be able to put numbers on top of them of steps of phase one, phase two, phase three, phase four, phase five and so on. What I like to do with each of these phases is only focus on the phase that is right in front of me because after we do this, the entire road-map is in front of you. Start with the things that are easiest for you. For a lot of people, that is, buying the domain name. For other people, it's getting the handles. Think about what's the easiest thing for you to do and that's going to be your phase one. So I want you to get that notebook right until you feel like you've got every single little thing out of your head. I'm going to meet you right here and we're going to fill out our action plan. 10. Exercise Four: Staying on Track: Do you feel better now that you have all that out of your head? That's one of my favorite parts of this exercise. I keep those notes handy all the time because I know that I don't have to stay up late at night worrying about all the things that I might potentially have to do. This worksheet is something I use every single day. It is designed to keep your big idea top-of-mind, while you're chipping away at the smaller things that you need to get done monthly, weekly, and daily. We're going to help you work through any roadblocks that might come up and decisions that you have to make, like when you're going to do the work, where you're going to do the work, and what time you're going to do the work. So right now, what we're going to do is focus on the first phase that you've put together that you'll be able to chip away at. What I want to do is have you write down your big idea, the one that we circled in the last lesson and then I want you to make a promise to yourself that by next month you're going to finish phase one or you're going to finish half of phase one. I want you to put that right here next to the big idea knowing that that is the only thing that you need to be focused on, is just getting that thing done. For the week that you're looking at, you're going to want to pick out the handful of things that will be the main focus. If you overload yourself at the beginning of your week, you're going to feel defeated and like this is entirely out of your hands. Small little defeats, in your mind can end up feeling like big, huge defeats. We want to have small wins that feel like big wins, at the end of the week. The every day I will section. I use this as a way to say, "I'm going to show up for myself and do the bare minimum to make sure that I'm on track." The next section of the worksheet, is connecting to your compelling reason and that has everything to do with why you selected your big idea. The compelling reason is a reason why you show up every day, even when you don't feel like it. It is so important for us to be able to be around cheerleaders, because there's always going to be someone who's going to tell us our idea should be this, our idea should be that, what we're doing is not enough. When you're able to show up for yourself, you're able to remember that your idea is still a baby infant in your mind, it's still a little seed and you're the one who's responsible for nurturing it. You're the one who's responsible for feeling good about what you're showing up and doing. So that compelling reason is here to say this is worth it. You made a promise to yourself and maybe today you don't feel like it, but tomorrow you'll be really happy that you showed up. The next phase of this worksheet, is making promises to yourself to show up at specific times to work on specific things. The biggest reason why people often fail to finish things, is that they underestimate how hard it is sometimes to show up to do the basic work. It's about repetition, not necessarily about mental grit and strengthen and willpower. So this section is about making a decision as to when you're going to be able to put the work end towards this big goal. What exactly you're going to be working on and where and when you're going to be doing it. This isn't about being regimented, this isn't about not being flexible, this isn't about being an A type who can't not follow the rules. This is about making sure that you're feeling those small wins. That you feel good about showing up for yourself and you get excited about the next phase in conquering your big idea. The last part of this worksheet is really the meat of figuring out your step-by-step action plan. This is where you're going to look at that list that you chunked together, that's under phase one, phase two, and you are going to write down the task at hand, the potential obstacles that might be in the way, and how you will overcome them. There's always answers to the problems that you begin to see within yourself. It's about being open to what obstacles might come your way and just thinking about solutions. This worksheet needs to stay focused on phases. You need to take that big-brain that you had and make sure that you're filling things out based on step A, B, C, D. It's really great to batch work, the work that you're doing towards your big idea. Because most often, you're going to be doing other things when you're working towards these big goals. When you do things that are batched, when you do things that are in one medium or one part of your brain for one whole week, it's a lot easier to jump in and start checking boxes off. So here's an example of how I use my stay on track sheet. I have one phase and I'm working on with my project, which is to finish our marketing plan, and get all of our assets done for our launch this holiday season. The most important part to look at my example is to see how I'm connecting my big idea, the Witten Delight print shop, with what I will do every single day. I commit to draw, to share on Instagram, and to engage with our followers. For you, it might mean going onto Facebook and starting to talk about the ideas that you have. It might be reading in an area where you need to have a little bit more knowledge. What are you going to do every day that's going to help to arrive towards the success of your big idea. Then the two spots in between, I'm looking at what phase I'm working on, which is phase two, which is launching new prints in our shop. In this week I'm looking at, approving your concepts and shooting your mock-ups. Everything that's happening right here and here, I am committing to doing these tasks. I've listed the potential obstacles that might get in my way and possible solutions that I need to address or maybe implement in order to get these done. For example, with our concept and strategy work, I have a tendency to overthink them, to doubt and maybe change my mind later on in the process. So the possible solutions for this, is to set deadlines for myself to list all of my ideas and ask for feedback, to make sure that we have time to get proof-of-concept before we start shooting. In the past, I would approve the concept, not give myself enough time to vet through it, which should only take about 24 hours. Then we will get started shooting and I would have thought that should've been thought through earlier on. I know myself and I know that I need a little bit of extra time, and I've noted that here. Another example would be e-mail. I'd have a tendency to over-complicate our e-mail strategy, because it's one of those things I really don't like doing. So what I've done is, I've looked at ways that we've been able to just repeat what works. I don't have to overthink it, if we don't break the formula. I do my stay on track planning every single Sunday night. You'd be surprised how often the big idea can float away from you after a long weekend or just a long week at work. It's a great way to build on the ritual of resetting, figuring out what's important to you, keeping that goal top-of-mind, and then mapping out a way that you're able to move forward. This is extremely customizable, you can use it for just about anything. So I want you to download the worksheet, right down your big idea, and get started planning. Next stop, we're going to talk about celebrating small wins. The exciting part is, you get to start celebrating your small wins right away, because they're really important to your success. 11. Exercise Five: Celebrating Wins: It takes a long time to make our big ideas a reality. So celebrating small wins along the way is how we keep the momentum moving. There are ways that you can celebrate small ones every day. I give myself a little check mark in my journal every day, when I go to bed on time and drink water. It seems a little bit silly, but it's something that I feel really proud of. I've seen both my cognitive function improve, and I'm a lot happier and healthier. I have more energy to achieve my goals. What it made me realize is doing small things consistently is where big change happens. That's what this worksheet is all about. That's what this lesson is all about. Big ideas are scary and hard to accomplish, but when you break them down into small incremental steps, show up where you're at and celebrate small wins, you are a lot more likely to finish the projects that you want to start and achieve your big dreams and goals. This worksheet is super simple. It's designed to give you a start date, a task, a completion date, and then a difficulty scale from 1-10. The reason why I like to give that difficulty scale so much space on this page, is that, I think it's good and important to remember that not all these tasks are created equal. Some things are more difficult for you than they are for me, and vice versa. So celebrate the small ones and acknowledge when there are big ones. Don't let the benchmarks pass you by. You hear a lot of people who have achieved really great things, and do feel empty at the end of it. Because we've taken an inventory of what excites you or your passions are and connected it to your big ideas, you should feel really full and proud when you get done with even the smallest tasks. We've aligned all of the things that we need as humans with what you liked and loved to do in your life. You have to make sure that you've written them down in a way where you know where they start and stop. So launching, completing, submitting, sharing, they're all actions that can signify in a beginning and an end, and that's why they're so important. Your big idea is going to be so big, you're not going to be able to sometimes realize you've made it there until it's out in the world and living it. Here's an example of the way that I like to use these tracking small wins. I've listed a couple of key things that we've gotten done this year. You're able to see that the scale and the difficulty is related to personally how I feel, how hard they are to accomplish. Sometimes that's the toll it takes on me mentally, and emotionally, physically. For instance, creating our PR outreach deck is a lot more taxing for me than launching large format printing. There's a better outcome for the business when we launch new format, but the PR outreach is a long-term gain. When I know that I'm going to be doing something that's going to require a lot out of me physically or emotionally, like getting in front of a camera or getting in front of an audience, I like to remember that's hard for me. So when I complete something that has the level 10 difficulty, I like to reward myself with either a lone bowl bath, a night off, little ways to just punctuate the fact that you did a great job. I don't want you to be discouraged if you find it hard to achieve your goal and the timeline that you set for yourself. Every failure is an opportunity to tweak and learn about yourself. Most often, it has nothing to do with your ability, how smart you are if your idea is good or bad. It has everything to do with how you're managing your time and yourself. Go back to the drawing board, think about where your obstacles tripped you up. Identify what those were, write down what you would do differently. This entire system is about understanding where you are, where you want to go, and then monitoring your time and your achievements in a way that you're able to give yourself momentum to keep moving forward. Not achieving a goal is one of the best things that can happen to you while going through this system. Remember that you always set new ones. If you don't achieve it, it's not because the idea isn't good. 12. Final Thoughts: Congratulations you guys. This is a course that asks a lot of you. It asks you to think about your hopes and your dreams, and it asks you to be really honest about where you are in your life. I really encourage you to give yourself a pat on the back for even showing up and even acknowledging that your big ideas are something that are really important to you and that you want to invest in the time, the energy, and figuring out how to get there. It's really honorable, it's really brave, and you are likely going to get a lot out of the process of just pursuing them. The concepts are simple, but they're really hard to implement in your life because they require you to reframe your thinking around what it means to go after something that is hard. Remember that the discomfort is part of this journey and it's nothing to fear. Please consider uploading your project to the project gallery and feel free to jump into the discussion. I would love to talk to you about how I can help bring those big ideas into reality. Sometimes just having someone else to talk to you that's going through the process and help you feel a little less alone, and a little less afraid to jump in, and start making these steps towards making your big idea a reality. Thank you again for taking the class and I cannot wait to see what big ideas you all achieve.