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Goals + Focus

How to Use Data in Goal Setting for the New Year as a Creative Entrepreneur

How to Use Data in Goal Setting for the New Year as a Creative Entrepreneur

Last year when I co-wrote Big Plan for the Creative Mind, I shared a practice that I’ve been doing since the second year of my business to help keep me on track with my goals, dubbed the CEO Report.

The CEO Report is so simple, something that will only take you 10-minutes a week to do, but yields such powerful results. Read more about what the CEO Report is in this post.

Today I wanted to share with you the impact that the CEO Report has had on members of our community that have adopted this practice in their own businesses. It’s amazing to see the impact the CEO report has had on their businesses and how they have made it their own.

If you want to create your CEO report, you can snag it here!

So maybe you’ve never heard of the CEO report, here is how some of our users describe it:

A big picture overview of your past week where you can track metrics yes but also where you can reflect on how your core values intersect with the work you did over the week. It really helps keep you focused on making business decisions based on your values, and allows you to see how well your business is serving you as the owner as well as your customers or clients. –Megan Seeley, The Goal Designer 

It’s become a way I keep myself accountable & really “check” myself week to week; it’s literally become something of a “weekly meeting” with myself as an entrepreneur. And because my 2018 word of the year was “progress” this has been a way to actually track that progress — the good & bad. –Albie, Albie Knows Online Interior Design & Styling

It is a way to capture, in real time, what you’re going through in life and in business. Remembering great successes as well as epic failures and insights into those failures will fade over time, but to capture them in the moment, you can look back and learn. Repeat the celebrations, and learn from the failures. It’s important to have this info for your business, in order to grow, and hone in on what works, and maximize that. –Alicia Haskew, Alicia Haskew Photography

What can you learn from utilizing the CEO Report?

I love the visibility of how much I’m actually doing as you record it each week. It’s the first time I’m keeping up with tracking my social media and email list numbers because it’s in context and I can see what is working and what isn’t. –Kerryn Hewson, Kerryn Hewson, Productivity & Systems Strategist 

That I’m usually terrible at stopping to celebrate good things or progress as well as considering things I can change to make my business better. I NEED my CEO reports for that! –-Krista Miller, Krista Rae

When I sat down to look at all the data from this year: revenue, site analytics, social media stats. I noticed spikes in them where there would be a month here or there that I would do really well then have a steep drop off. I wanted to see what was happening those months and why it wasn’t being consistent. Looking at my CEO report I realized that those “good” months were the months I was the most miserable in my business because I was taking on projects I hated just to make money. That was why the following months had such sharp drop offs. I had burnt myself out and needed time to recover before starting the cycle again. Now, that I see what is happening I can start making changes to bump up my income in a way that makes me happy and fulfilled. I can get out of that cycle. –Angela Reeder, Technical Geekery

“That owning a business is NOT separated from personal. I see my triggers of going down rabbit holes- when I’m freaking out about money, time, etc. and now I can look back and say, “Well, there’s the trigger, and the result from that mindset. Don’t do that again!” It helps me reflect on my blocks and helps me to be better about avoiding them, or at the very least, recognizing them earlier to nip them in the bud.” –Alicia Haskew, Alicia Haskew Photography

How much better I feel about life AND biz when I am taking care of myself. Also: that I lived out my word of the year (presence) — which thrills me, because it was a huge focus for me this year. –Jodi Brandon, Jodi Brandon Editorial

First I am seeing that the metrics I’m tracking are growing week over week, and I’m able to see where my energy is best spent based on growth. Second, that I make more aligned decisions when I reflect on what I’ve accomplished, who I have encouraged, and what my word for the quarter is. –Megan Seeley, The Goal Designer 

How can the CEO Report help you in planning out your year?

My plan will be able to really reflect on how far I’ve come, and discern what actually helped me make progress & what was just noise, so that I have more intention & clarity in 2019. –Albie, Albie Knows Online Interior Design & Styling

I have already studied my outputs from this year in looking at my big picture of what worked and what did not. I tweaked a couple questions for my 2019 reports. –Jodi Brandon, Jodi Brandon Editorial

I am looking for trends it projects and clients I worked with that really made me excited. It’s not something you can see by looking at raw data. Only the CEO report has that info. I’m able to plan my services for the upcoming year in a way that will be sustainable and healthy for me. –Angela Reeder, Technical Geekery

Best Practices: Tips On How To Make It Your Own + Part Of Your Routine

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do it. Make sure you are asking questions you want to know and reflect on. Give yourself some questions that allow you to praise yourself. Stephanie Graham

Make it quick and simple without overthinking it. That way it’s not something you skip – it will only take a couple minutes! –Krista Miller, Krista Rae

Do it at the same time on the same day every week. Make it an enjoyable ritual. Pour a glass of wine, put on your comfy pants, and dive in! –Megan Seeley, The Goal Designer 

I have adjusted the questions so they’re all relevant to me and help me to adjust and adapt my actions and business strategies. Having the reminder in Asana as a to-do with the link to my form makes it really easy to get in and do it. –Kerryn Hewson, Kerryn Hewson, Productivity & Systems Strategist 

Interested in learning more about the CEO Report and implementing it in your business?

Get your copy here plus a how-to video on setting up your own!


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