Sara Louise Fox
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My First Quarterly Feel Good Business Review

Can you believe that a quarter of the year has passed already? It’s officially Spring, the clocks have sprung forward (here in the UK), and Easter has been and gone - even if there are a few Easter eggs still lying around. I thought I’d take the chance to take stock and reflect on how the year is going so far.

One of my clients - Business consultant, Denyse Whillier - swears by her quarterly business review as a cornerstone that helps her make consistent progress in her business, so I thought I'd follow her lead. However, rather than going for a business review in the traditional sense - this being The Feel Good Business Woman and all - I’ve decided to focus on the 7 feel good factors that are important to my personal business journey: fun, freedom, fulfilment, finances, vitality, connection, and balance (not in order of priority).

Today I'm sharing my quarterly review with you, in the hope that it will inspire you to do the same so you can ensure that you are consistently making progress towards having a feel-good business. 

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Sara Louise Fox, The Feel Good Business Woman

My First Quarter Feel Good Business Review

#1 - Fun

Fun is one of my most important values. So important that I once did a values elicitation exercise with a business coach who didn’t quite know what to do with me when he asked me if fun was more important to me than making money, and I answered with an emphatic “Yes!”

Anyway, looking back over the first part of the year, I realise that I need to have a bit more fun with my business. Rather than seeing work and fun as separate (a habit I dragged along from my past office jobs) I want to make it more part and parcel of the way I work. So I’m paying attention to what I enjoy, what I don’t, and am planning to make sure I deliver my future offerings in a way that’s fun for me.

#2 - Freedom

Another top value of mine. I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to have a bit more freedom – particularly time-freedom. The journey has begun, and I’m putting things in place with my clients and in my business to free up my time and give myself a bit more flexibility of when I work. I’m still in a transition period, but it’s working and feeling good.

#3 - Fulfilment

Spiritual and emotional fulfilment is increasingly important for me. Helping my clients to feel good while running their business gives me a sense of fulfilment but I also started this year knowing that I wanted to make time for my own spiritual growth, personal development, and learning.

After a few years of not consistently making this a priority, I finally joined a women’s circle that gives me a safe space to do this work, which inevitably has its emotional ups and downs as I let go of old patterns to make way for the new. Having never been in a women’s circle before I’m still getting used to a very feminine way of working together, but three months in and I’m feeling the benefits... and enjoying it!  

#4 - Finances

The money is still important (that is, after all, what makes your business a business) and after a very full-on end to the year, I made a conscious decision not to work as many hours this year. Having been doing work that is a direct time-for-money swap, this meant a slight drop in my income for the first quarter but it’s also giving me the time to work ON my business rather than just working in it (i.e. doing the client work.) This means I have time to work on the things that will help me to leverage my time and increase my income, in ways that I enjoy and don’t involve working all the hours god sends. Watch this space!

#5 - Vitality

The wellbeing of your body and your business are directly connected. I know that if I feel good physically, I am more productive, focused and happy when I’m working on and in my business. This year has unexpectedly been a year of baby steps in this regard. There are three things I have done that have made a significant impact on my vitality levels:

  1. Getting 8 hours a sleep a night. I’m not perfect, but I am getting 8(ish) hours of sleep most of the time, which is making an enormous impact on my productivity, focus, energy levels and general sense of wellbeing. I set myself an alarm in the evening so that I will start getting ready for bed in good time so that I can get enough sleep, whilst fitting in any reading or journaling I might want to do to wind down.
  2. Drinking enough water. A client of mine introduced me to Plant Nanny, an app that encourages you to drink more water by having you “water” a virtual plant every time you drink. It has made a world of difference and I’m consistently drinking 2.5-3 litres of water a day, which seems to be the amount my body needs to feel good.  
  3. I stopped drinking caffeine every day (that’s right!) I literally felt the sharp intake of breath as you read that. I’ve known for a while that caffeine doesn’t really do me much good, giving me huge energy slumps and reducing my capacity for coping with everyday stresses. Even switching to decaf – which is often made decaf with the use of nasty chemicals - didn’t really help. So I woke up one Monday morning and decided that I wasn’t going to drink any caffeine that week and now it’s been nearly two months. I might have a proper coffee once a week or so but only if I’m somewhere I know it’ll be a really nice one – and not on a workday. Once the initial withdrawal symptoms wore off I stated to have more energy, feel more clear-headed, and calmer when faced with situations I might find stressful. It’s amazing!

None of these changes were particularly planned out or thought through. I’ve just asked “What does my body need next?” then made a small change and let it settle in for a few weeks. Then the next thing seemed to present itself as if by magic. I’m finding that this approach of layering small changes one at a time is having a huge cumulative impact.

#6 - Connection

Towards the end of last year, I felt like I was spending so much time in front of my computer that if it weren’t for the fact Mr Fox lives in the house I might have forgotten what other human beings look like. So, this year I decided to make more meaningful connections with people I like. So I’ve started contacting friends, and business acquaintances who I’d like to be friends with, to arrange catch up chats so I can re-connect and/or get to know them better. It’s great fun. On that note, if you fancy connecting then I’d love to arrange a chat with you, just pop me an email at hello@saralouisefox.com and we’ll set it up.

#7 - Balance

I know that there is a school of thought that work/life balance is a myth (and I wonder if the person who started the circulation of that particular myth ended up burning out.) But whether it’s a “thing” or not, we all want that feeling of balance - of feeling like things are generally in control and all is well in the world and there’s more to life than work. And most of us would like to spend a decent amount of time doing fun non-work-related things. I believe this is important even when you love what you do, because it makes sure you keep loving what you do. Having had a very unbalanced 2017 (what with a house move and a wedding too) I feel like things are getting back in balance this year.  I’m breaking some long-standing workaholic habits, but the scales are definitely tipping in my favour.

One of the things that helped was joining a hot-desking workspace, so that I leave the house to “go to work” and get a bit of exercise in the process (it’s a 20-minute walk away.) That’s given me some separation between business life and home life. Though sometimes I still like to work at home in my PJs ? Oh yes, and a few days in Spain last month worked wonders! 

How Was Your First Quarter?

So that’s my first quarterly feel good business review. Your feel-good factors may be different to mine, but I hope I’ve inspired you to take a moment to reflect on how your year is going so far, and what you’ll do make sure your headed in a direction you actually want to be going.  I may or may not make this a regular quarterly blog, so I’d love your feedback on whether you found it interesting. Just let me know in the comments below.

If you'd like to do your own quarterly review, here are some steps you can take. 

7 steps for doing your own feel good business review:

  1. Put a time in the diary to do it (it doesn't need to be long, no more than an hour - unless you're going deep!)
  2. Make sure you have your favourite hot or cold drink to hand (just because) and whatever you're using to record your review e.g. pen and paper, computer, post-its and markers, maybe even an audio-recorder. 
  3. Decide what "feel-good factors" are important to you in your business. You can use my seven above, or create your own. Include physical, mental, spiritual and emotional factors, and of course the money 🙂 
  4. Think about how you want each of those areas to be ideally - you might write a few notes.
  5. Reflect on whether you are headed in the right direction for each feel good factor. 
  6. Identify where you need to course-correct, and what you should keep doing because it's working. 
  7. Identify one action for each feel good factor that will get you a step closer to where you want to be (and celebrate any where you're already there!)
  8. Prosecco anyone? 

Over to you...

Have you reflected on your first quarter yet? How is 2018 going so far? What feel good factors be? I love to read your tips, tricks and insights, so please share in the comments box below.

About the Author Sara Louise Fox

I am passionate about women in business achieving success in a way that works for them and making the changes they need to make in order to make that happen. However, though change can be exciting it can also be scary, triggering behaviours that might not make sense to you (procrastination or self-sabotage anyone?). I help entrepreneurial women to navigate change with more clarity, confidence and courage so that these behaviours can be dissolved and they can move forward with ease and flow. If that sounds good, I'd love to hear from you!

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