Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Critical Mistake Most Business Owners Make

by LDI Team Members on January 26, 2016

what problem are you really solving

You probably aren’t doing what you think you are doing. In business, that is. Click To Tweet

In business, it’s easy to think the sign on the door tells what problem we’re solving:

Massage.

Products for sale.

Idea consulting.

Doula.

Excavator.

21Jan The emyth revisited

Excavator, really Grant?

Yep. I have a friend who does dirt work. To protect the innocent, we’ll call him Bob. You know, like Bob the Builder. He’s pretty dang good at it. You need a hole in the ground, he’s got the tools. He’s got the experience. You need gravel delivered or snow removed? These are his specialties.

A FRIEND DOES DIRT WORK SML

I was talking to Bob recently about his business. The funny thing is, we didn’t spend any time talking about his work. We talked about cash flow and invoicing, hiring and managing people, making decisions about what kind of equipment to buy and what sort of work to get. But we didn’t spend any time talking about how you dig holes or haul gravel.

As I say often, business is a creative endeavor.

An endless line of interesting problems to solve. But if you want to be successful, the one thing that can’t be a problem for you is what you do for your customers. The problem you solve, can’t be a problem for your business. Does that make sense?

21Jan Business is a creative endeavour

Think about it – the photographer, has to be great at taking pictures.

That’s an assumption.

Can you imagine a doula showing up for labor with questions about exactly how the process works? Imagine your fear and surprise when she pulls out a book, “Doula’ing for Dummies” in the middle of your labor and starts to read up on how to help.

doulaing for dummies book SML

Or as another friend of mine who is an Emergency Room nurse says:

‘Going to the Emergency Room is an emergency. Running an Emergency Room isn’t.’

In fact, it can’t be. It won’t work that way. We take our emergencies to a place that is specifically designed to handle them and we don’t expect them to be as anxious or unprepared as we might be for the visit, right?

In business, the service you provide must be an assumption.

The problem you’re actually solving is something different.

Let’s jump back to Bob. For Bob, the challenges aren’t in the work, but in the logistics and processes that make it possible for him to show up in your yard, with the right machine, the right crew, on the right day, with the right plan, to get started digging for the new garage you’re having built. Oh, and he’s got to make money in the end of all of those efforts, so let’s say profitable logistics and processes…

Do you see where I’m going here? It is a subtle shift perhaps, but as you think about it, it gets bigger and bigger.

Chances are you’re already good at what you ‘do’ for your customers. That’s how you came to be in business. But that’s not enough to keep you in business.

You cannot be good enough at your craft to overcome being bad at running your business and still achieve the kind of results you dream about.

Seriously.

In his book The eMyth Revisited, Michael Gerber outlines three roles that all business people have floating around inside their heads. They are the Entrepreneur, the Manager, and the Technician.

Lots of us are drawn to business by the Technician.

We are good at something. People say, hey, why don’t you sell this, do this fulltime, open a shop and offer this service?

emythrevisitedSML

Gerber talks about the moment when we get a flash of inspiration and for just an instant, the Entrepreneur shows up and says

“YES, that’s a GREAT idea. What do you say folks, let’s do this thing!?!”

For many people in business, that’s the last time the Entrepreneur is seen in for a long, long time.

21Jan A problem well put is a problem half solved

So who’s running the place?

Well, Gerber says it is the Manager and the Technician, but in most cases, I see an awful lot of the Technician at work.

The person who does great work, but doesn’t communicate the whole time the work is underway – a Technician.

The referral you get from a friend, that comes with a caveat…”if you want your cake by your wedding date, make sure you get her started on it a year in advance. She’s great, but she’s always behind” – yep, a Technician.

The mechanic who says (when YOU call), ‘Oh, yeah, your car is done, but I haven’t gotten around to the invoice yet, should just be a few more days (and you’re thinking days = weeks)’ – definitely a Technician.

Which brings us back to Bob, remember, the Builder? Digging holes and hauling gravel is Technician stuff. That’s his trade. But solving the problems of how to run the business and how to grow the business, these are problems that the Manager and Entrepreneur are uniquely suited for and they should be solving them.

And so how about you?

Take a minute and think about your business. Are you good at what you do, the part that you actually produce/give/deliver/provide to your customers? Great.

How about the rest of it?

Are you hiding anywhere behind the idea that you can be so good at your core skillset that you don’t have to focus on other areas?

Remember what I said above: **You cannot be good enough at your craft to overcome being bad at running your business and still achieve the kind of results you dream about.**

21Jan You can not be good enough

Do you know how to change hats and bring your inner Entrepreneur into your business in the right places?

The 2016 Create Your Shining Biz Workbook is designed to surface your inner Entrepreneur and give her a boost in helping to run your business. Sometimes, it can feel like you’ve been involved in hostile takeover by an out-of-control Technician, and the questions, dreaming, and goal-setting activities the Workbook provides can be super helpful in re-focusing you on what brought you here in the first place – not your great skills, but your great dream.

That’s also the purpose of the new weekly Diary-Planner. By bringing your goals and dreams into a monthly, weekly, and daily focus, you can remember what you’re really chasing and as a result, be more disciplined on working across all the parts of your business.

Take a minute and think about your business.

How would you describe the problems you’re really solving? What are people really paying for? They may think they are buying your end-product, but what really satisfies people is a whole set of different tasks you’re executing with excellence.

Let me leave you with a final picture.

Have you seen the show Cake Boss? An energetic baker with a serious New Jersey accent bakes beautiful cakes for all sorts of occasions. Clearly, Buddy, THE Cake Boss, is awesome at baking cakes. Most of his creations wouldn’t get past the flour stage with me. His cakes always amaze and delight his customers. But what you see on the show is the behind-the-scenes view, and there, it’s easy to see the problems Buddy is really solving.

In order to deliver an amazing cake at a specific time, he’s got to have a team of people, the right tools, the right ingredients, and a bakery culture that brings all those aspects together in the production of masterpiece after masterpiece. At the front end, people ask for and receive cakes, but back in the bakery, people problems, process problems, equipment problems (and the occasional vehicular incident) are all on the road toward the Cake Boss delivering another stunning creation.

If you’re not familiar Buddy the Cake Boss, this is a great clip of him in action:

So why does this matter, really?

Isn’t it just semantics, to say I’m solving this problem or that problem?

I don’t think so.

I think it’s like John Dewey said, “a problem well put is half solved.”

When we focus on solving the right problems, we can ensure that our business is fully prepared to deliver the kind of output our customers need to rely on. We will have prepared to delight them and in the process, improved our income, our sanity, and the longevity of the precious entity we’re working so hard to create.

problemwellput SML

If you’re looking for something to do over the next couple of weeks to get your head in the right place for growing your business in 2016…

I highly recommend a read through the eMyth Revisited. (And completing your Create Your Shining Year in Biz Workbook! If you haven’t bought one yet, get one today at shiningyear.com!)

Be well + enjoy the journey,

grant sig 2

P.S. FYI: we’re down to our last few boxes of printed books + won’t be reprinting this year! One of you is going to score one of the lucky last ones to score one! Don’t miss out!!!)

LD_IG_FB_AD_2

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Leonie’s Scrapbook: one IKEA visit too many + drama llamas

by LDI Team Members on January 26, 2016

scrapbook

Hiya lovebugs!!

We’re back with my usual scrapbook of photos + ramblings from the past few weeks.

Workbook launch season is nearing a close + it felt good to take a look back at the whirlwind madness. Holy bonza balls!

I look forward to sharing our many new exciting projects that 2016 is bringing!

Here we go!

 

dyb binded

GUESS WHAT I BOUGHT GUYZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

My very own BINDING MACHINE MOTHERFUCKKKKERZZZZZ.

And then I promptly co-opted Mr Dawson to be my binding bitch.

And I have made some ridiculously polished binded documents for very little reason and I feel SO LEGIT guys. SO LEGIT.

#menwhobinddocumentsfortheirwives #icouldwriteeroticfanfictionaboutthis

tie dye

National Uniform of Hippy Nation.

barely survived ikea

We (Barely) Survived IKEA 2016.

beth and starry

The best way I can describe my kids is this: my first born was born with all the fucks to give. She gives a fuck about everything. My second born looked at the allotment of fucks left and realised Ostara had used them all up when she was born. So Beth consequently walks through life giving zero fucks about everything. That’s my daughters. The perfect match for each other’s destiny, each other’s teacher. I’m so fucking eloquent and insightful today!

double your biz printed

I also decided to something WILD (I AM SOOOOOO CRAZY GUYZZZZZ) and get my own Double Your Biz program (available in the Academy) PDFs printed out as a big book so I can look at it proudly on my shelf. 50,000 words on how to double your profits + reach (oh and how to do it without sacrificing your life in the process). I’m one proud mama bear of this.

jan 11 too late to set goals

It is the end of January!!!! Too late to set goals for 2016!!!! Guess I’ll have to wait until next year to write goals and make my dreams come true. LOLLLLLZ NOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

national portrat gallery

I went to the National Portrait Gallery to work and eat petit fours and have a lovely meeting with the Canberra head of Business In Heels (I’ll be speaking at one of their events soon. Spoiler alert: I will probably be wearing Crocs or Birkenstocks. LOLZ). Then I went and sat under the trees near the National Rose Garden. And I thought to myself: you ain’t so remote hillbilly anymore girl. You in CIVILISATTTTTIONNNNN. #fancyladyalert

the miracle of motherhood

I’m thinking of doing a beautiful black and white fine art photography photo book called “The Miracle of Motherhood.”

team skype meeting

Team meeting with all our customer service staff… It’s been a wild few months as we’ve sold more than double the amount of workbooks as last season (and we haven’t even finished yet!!!!!) Consequently we had to hire a bunch of new magical customer service fairies to keep up with the sheer influx of emails. So grateful to Julie, Jennifer + Fallon for joining our shining team!

And as always, big love to Erin, Amber, Joyce and Grant for being such solid stars.

(And to our other incredible contractors who do design, development, copy and PR – Suzi, Kayla, Kelsey, The Ginger Minge [apparently his name is Nathan, but that’s not his name around these parts], Tim Tam and Naomi! And of course, our new Operations Manager Sonya!!!!)

Chris walked in on our team call this morning and came over to say hello and saw the amount of people and said “HOLY SHIT! DO ALL THESE PEOPLE WORK FOR US?”

Hahahahahaha… yes… it’s a little surprising sometimes… our team has doubled in size this year… but big dreams needs lots of wings to help them fly…

Endlessly grateful. I love these people and I love the work we do.

<3

copywriting galore

This is how elegant I look after copywriting intensive. Me and Grantacular got a wily fankle of an idea to totally transform our Academy information page. It was such a massive effort pulling off the Academy membership site relaunch earlier several months back that I didn’t have the time or energy left to make our Academy information page scrumptious and thoughtful and useful.

We decided now was the time… Which meant we needed to do a copywriting deep dive. He booked into a b&b, I sent him boxes of copywriting and sales books to read. We decided on our own curriculum. Then we spent a total of ten hours on Skype over two days. He’d tell me everything he’d read in the books, I’d tell him everything I’d learned over the past 8 years. Then we’d brainstorm and type as fast as we could to keep up with the word tsunamis that rushed through us. We have two more days to finish it and then it gets handed to our designer.

I love a short deadline to make things happen… Otherwise I will procrastinate for years. Luckily, Grantacular digs riding wild donkeys just as much as I do. Plus, we are lucky – Mr Dawson would visit regularly to chime in on Skype and make us both laugh. The blokes in my life are some of my biggest blessings. Anyways… Keep your eyes peeled for the new Shining Academy page in the next couple of weeks. It is going to be scrumdiddlededumptious!

chris hot date

Driving to pick up kids after a hot date. One of my mates looked after them, we look after hers on Saturday so she can hot date her hubby. On our super hot date we went to the music store, the National Library of Australia to see their Qing Dynasty exhibition, and then to the bookstore. Mostly we just enjoyed the sound of no screaming children. #livingdadreammmmm

revenue goals handy tip

Handy tip: keep your big goals front of mind, especially when you are donkey riding. I put up our revenue goal of $2m at the start of workbook season. It was on the window in front of my desk, half way up the window. I also had a sticky note lower on the window with the income we were starting at – about $1.2m.

Each time we hit another $100k, I’d add another post it note moving closer to the final goal. It was incredibly motivating.

I think I’ll keep that top post it note as a reminder, a celebration. I love how goals when done well can keep our intention focussed and make some pretty huge dreams come true.

new cam

We did a stocktake of our audio visual supplies and all the plans we have for creating new programs for the Academy in the next year… And realised we needed an upgrade.

I set Mr D loose on product reviews and specs and this is what we decided on. Next month, Grantacular and I will be in the video studio for a bunch of days to create a stack of new courses with Mr D and Mrs A as videographers and production assistant. We are totes into nepotism around these parts!

family tie dye

The family that wears tie dye together… Looks rad together. Hahahahahaaaaa!!! All of us wrapped in new @thesunnydaisytiedye threads! Are you a tie dye fan? Where do you get yours from?

babysitting

Today’s the day I discover babysitting 2 kids on top of mine is easier than just having mine. They are all out there eating popcorn while daytime glamping. I haven’t seen my kids in hours!

beff and chris

Beth has discovered the supreme joys of swinging. So has Mr D.

leonie baking

On quiet Sundays… Sometimes just sometimes this non-cookingish type person gravitates toward the kitchen. Overripe bananas and leftover coconut cream needed to be used up so I made a raw chocolate banana pie. Gettttt innnnnn myyyyyyy faaaaace.

sunday sabbath

Sunday afternoon. You know what that means… Solo mama mini retreat. Art journaling, e-courses, 2016 goals workbooks. It’s a ritual. One I love with my whole heart and look forward to each week.

leonies golden rules

Making myself a poster to remember my own personal rules which bring me success. We all have different rhythms and rituals that bring out our best. It is our job to find them and then over and over again remind ourselves of them.

company growth

Want to see my own personal behind-the-scenes proof that goal setting works? I’m doing my year-end reviews for my 2016 Create Your Shining Year in Biz goals workbook, including historical financials. I just pulled this from our stats… year in, year out growth for 6 years running (since I started recording financials properly!)

If you’re not doing yearly business planning in your business, you’re doing yourself, your income, your company, your staff + your customers a HUGE disservice and not achieving the potential you have. If you’re committed to growth, this is what it takes. No excuses – just dedication and disciplined action towards your dreams. I’m soooooooooo proud of what we’ve achieved… and excited what we can create in 2016.

12507283_1030676156994908_8906811067135172293_n

Holy. Shit. So. Good. Perfect for this stage in my life/biz. Working Together by Michael Eisner.

I went through it with a red pen, taking notes + underlining so I can send it to Granto to read as well.

If you’re in a working partnership, this is the bomb diggity.

It’s been such a surprise to me (and to Grant) to end up working WITH someone to build a business – we’re so used to doing it on our own. The last year of working together has been huge + life-changing + filled with so many intense blessings + challenges.

chris + leonie car

Hot date at the accountants with my boo. There ain’t nothing sexier than financial literacy!

treadmill desk

Guess what I bought?????? I cancelled my gym membership and bought a treadmill desk instead. Will let you know how it goes!!!

baby carriers for syria

Mr Dawson sorting and packing baby carriers to send to Greece for Syrian refugees. We have been collecting carrier donations as the Australian contact for Carry The Future so our company can pay the postage of getting them to Greece. We’ve honestly been in awe of how many we’ve received. We sent about a cubic metre of carriers to send.

To Greece, With Love.

ikea with kids

REALLY ENJOYING HUNTING THROUGH IKEA TO FIND ONE THING NEEDED FOR A WORK PROJECT.

#blessed #lovinglife #whenwillilearn

duo becomes a trio

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better… Our duo became a trio and it was exactly what was needed. Destiny is working with two of my best mates, dreaming big dreams and making them happen, healing our shit, becoming our best selves, integrating spirituality and personal development and business as one and growing a business vessel that changes lives and changes the world.

I feel very lucky to be so lovingly held, supported, challenged and taught by Grant and Sonya. Together we can do anything.

carebears

Weekend. Thank fuck. It’s been a big week/month/year in a high growth company.

Time to cuddle on the couch and watch vintage Care Bears.

beer and books in the garden

Beer and books in the garden. There would be chips too, but Beth upended the whole bag and the dogs ate them all.

#devastating #prayforme #ithinkiwilleatfudgeinstead

sabbath walk

Sabbath morning walk with the angels.

feathers

On my Sunday morning amble up the hill today, the theme was feathers… A sure sign that the Angels are near. A big black/purple feather right on my driveway… Small white feathers on the path… Two huge white cockatoo feathers laying side by side… And then a half dozen of Major Mitchell cockatoos hung out with me for a while.

If you don’t know these beauties, they are pink and grey and the most beautiful looking things. My mate Donna says “Those birds are evidence that God is an artist.” They were quite friendly and not at all bothered as I ambled along beside them. Then some tiny little wrens…so tiny they looked like fairies flirting about.

It was a walk filled with the winged ones and I felt like I was walking through a tiny miracle.

ted talkls

TED talks & journaling in bed. I have a raging Brené Brown crush.

brene brown audio

Finished listening to this audiobook by Brené on my walk with the Angels this morning. Highly recommend!

Definitely on my #leoniestopbooks2016 list.

management read

Bonza read on management. Highly recommend!

drama face

When it be full moon, sometimes normal everyday people shapeshift… Not into werewolves… But DRAMA LLAMAS. This phenomenon is most found in Internet forumz. You know what I say to this? Ain’t no drama llamas belong in wild donkey paddocks!

Woweeee! That’s all folks!

Thank you for sharing the journey with me.

Big love,

leoniedawson

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Word of the Year Artwork Inspiration!

by LDI Team Members on January 26, 2016

21Jan Your word of the year

Hi lovebugs!

Creating an artwork to celebrate your theme for the year is one of my most favourite creative side projects in the workbooks (you can see my 2016 word of the year + artwork here!)

thrive painting

I thought it would be fun to see what some other workbook goddesses were doing as their artwork for the year.

I asked workbookers in the 2016 Creating Your Shining Year workbook group to share with me some of theirs!

I love how different + magical each of these is… a strong totem and emblem for exactly what they want to invoke in 2016.

Hope these inspire you as much as they did for me!

Tamela Fawns

Tamela Fawns created a gorgeous pen + watercolour. I love the smile on this girl’s face. Totally embodies the energy of “embody.”

Kristin Milton

Kristin shared her art journal collage of her word of the year – Foundations!

(Fun side story: I met Kristin years ago when I got to photograph her pregnant in the river.)

Lemme see if I can find a photograph from it… AWWWW YEAHHHHH>>> JUST DID…

SO BOOTIFUL!

2016-01-25_2313

Okay… back to word of the year artwork now!

Bard Judith

Bard Judith shared her gorgeous digital collage…

Natalie Miller

Natalie Miller made this MAGICAL creative act to celebrate bloom… Imagonna guess them be seeds? Or rice? Either way… #radperfect

Dalea Faulkner

Dalea Faulkner made me giggle my ass off… combining my favourites and making a MERNICORN!

Andrea Stern

Andrea Stern reminds me of Picasso’s line work. I remember seeing his originals as a teenager in “The Big Smoke” (aka Brisbane!) I loved how perfect and thoughtful yet lyrical it all was. So yeah… go you good thing Andrea!

Kt Shepherd

Kt Shepherd shared her scrumptious zendoodlish THRIVE!

Marigold Fairweather

Marigold Fairweather is adorable as fuck.

Tia Elizabeth Tuuta

Tia Elizabeth Tuuta made a gorgeous framed collage. I’m also tripping out over the print because it’s the EXACT same one I have on my laptop skin!!!!

Yvette Griggs

Yvette Griggs created this beautiful watercolour and ink. So vibrant yet peaceful. Patience. What a sweet exhale.

Trina Esquivelzeta

Trina Esquivelzeta combines black + white chalkboard with magical lettering.

I love how uncluttered it is. It’s exactly what it says it is.

FOCUS.

 

Karen Shopoff Rooff

Karen Shopoff Rooff made this stunning digital collage.

Iris Fritschi-Cussens

Iris Fritschi-Cussens – exquisite artist at work. I love how all these artworks are sacred totems at work, reminding their creator of their highest intentions.

Anna Georges

Anna Georges drew her own kind of 2016 poster of mottos + goals, encapsulating some of the big things from her workbook. Fantastic idea.

 

 

Susan Meyer

Susan Meyer – a beautiful, beautiful photograph embodying the energy of her theme. Bliss!

Andrea Chamberlain

Andrea Chamberlain made a mosaic of her word. I just adore its rainbowy goodness.

Also: me + Andrea are totes mates IRL. Last year I crashed a workbook party that was happening a couple of towns over from where I lived and Andrea was there. She has the sweetest heart… just like her artwork.

Kate Rogers

Kate Rogers created this textured rainbow artwork for her word. SO creative. I’m guessing she wrote the word first in some kind of liquid glue or 3d paint, waited for it to dry and then painted over the top. I love how layered it is… like the word emerges out of the colour.

 

Lioness Lee

Lioness Lee created basically her own logo for 2016. She should just print it on a hundred stickers and brand her life with it.

Have you done yours yet?

If not… jump on it!

What’s YOUR word of the year? Share it with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #2016planners!

Can’t wait to see – they bring such a smile to my dial!

Love,

leoniedawson

P.S. Just as an FYI: our stocks are starting to run low on 2016 Shining Year workbooks. We definitely won’t have printed supplies for much longer. If you’re keen to get yours, do it now, love. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on this opportunity to craft a beautiful life or biz for yourself this year. We’ve only got one gorgeous life to live… might as well live it in full colour. ORDER YOURS NOW.

PlanCreateGrow_2

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