Ep 28. CEO Mindset + Quarterly Planning

I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

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I want to chat with you about the importance of a CEO mindset and walk you through how to plan for the next quarter. It is absolutely essential that you go into each quarter with a plan of attack and maximize your time. I want to break down for you what it looks like to have a CEO mindset and not an employee mindset. I also want to break down exactly how I like to plan and give you a road-map for clearly planning your quarter.

You might be wondering what is a CEO mindset and if I have it and how do I get it? Let’s start with what an employee mindset is; an employee is obsessed with task completion. They wait for approval from others and they are only focused on what’s happening right now in the present moment and checking off the to do list. A CEO is obsessed with results and they’re obsessed with profitability and efficiency. They’re always looking for ways to streamline processes and make things easier to enhance the client experience.

Take a minute right now and just think about which mindset are you. Are you focused on checking off the to-do’s constantly? Are you focused on just getting the next thing done to stay afloat? If that’s where you are right now, I want to give you the opportunity to switch your mindset, shift into that CEO mindset and start thinking about the future of your business and where it’s going.

I have a great podcast to share with you, and it is called Promote Yourself to CEO with Rachel Cook. I am learning everything about the CEO mindset from her and I encourage you to subscribe to her show and listen to her because honestly, it’s literally game changing. As we go through these different steps of quarterly planning, you’re going to see what I mean about having that CEO mindset. Literally, every step that I’m going to share with you will make you think about your business in a growth mindset way where you’ll be future focused and obsessed with results.

Heart Goals

The first thing that I do is to get out a blank sheet of paper and I start by identifying the heart goals that I have for the upcoming quarter. When you’re thinking about your heart goals, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want this quarter to look and feel like?
  • How do you want to show up for yourself this quarter?

Answer those questions, then think about what habits you need to focus on implementing this next quarter. If you find that you aren’t focused on planning and setting goals, then this can be one of your heart goals this quarter.

Maybe you need to make more time for personal development and reading just for fun or you need more self-care in the morning. Whatever that looks like, I want you to write down those habits you need to focus on implementing on that blank sheet of paper. Also think about any habits that you need to break. I just did an episode all about Identifying and Breaking Bad Habits and It’s Episode Number 25, where I go through all of the steps that you need to take to break those bad habits. Whatever that bad habit is, I want you to identify that under your heart goals and figure out a game plan for how you are going to replace that bad habit with a better habit.

I have been guilty of this, but I feel like a lot of people when they think of quarterly planning, they only think of their business goals. They don’t think about personal goals or about development and relational goals. They mostly just think of income and the bottom line. I encourage you to really think about what your heart goals are for this upcoming quarter.

Income Goals

Once all my heart goals are randomly brain dumped all over the page, I start to think about my income goals. I recommend that you take a look at your last year’s quarterly income report. So, if you haven’t started tracking your revenue monthly, I recommend doing that because it’s really easy for you to then go back and refer to different months and know instantly without having to tally how much revenue you made per month and then per quarter.

Set up some goals for this quarter based on the real numbers that you looked up from last year’s quarter. And then I also want you to take a look at the previous quarter for this year. Now some of you might have businesses where your quarterly income looks pretty consistent and then there are others like me where my quarterly income varies a lot. That’s why I encourage you to take a look at your income report to help define your income goal. It’s extremely important that you have an income goal, if you don’t have one and you don’t reflect on it often, you’re not likely going to reach that goal. And that’s the difference again, between the CEO and the employee.

I used to have that employee mindset where I was going to wing it and it didn’t really matter what I made, but I just wanted to make as much as possible. If I’m not having an actual, tangible goal that I can reach for, then I’m just going to probably fall flat on my face. Once I have an actual number in mind, then I can come up with a very clear plan for how I’m going to make that happen.

What products and services will you promote?
The next step after you’ve decided your income goal is to decide which products and services you will be promoting. I encourage you to jot down on your blank sheet of paper, all of the products and services that you will be promoting. And then figure out how many of those products or services you will have to sell to reach your monthly goal.

Just to give you a quick example, let’s say that I want to make $2,000 a month and my mini sessions are $200 per session. If I want to make $2,000 and each session is $200, I need to book 10 sessions a month in order to reach my goal. That’s a very simple explanation, but it gives you an idea of how you can work with your income goal in mind, and then break it down by product or service to get that actual number of how many you need to fulfill to reach your goal.

Marketing Goals

Let’s chat about your marketing goals. I want you to think about what your marketing plan will be, and I know a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with this part. Because if business was just flowing in constantly, we’d all be totally fine, but the marketing piece is the piece that is hard for so many people. And so, what I want you to think about is how often are you going to post about your products and services. What is your strategy going to be to entice people to buy? Are you going to share behind the scenes testimonials, maybe finished products? I know that when I share behind the scenes of me working at my sessions, I get a ton of inquiries right away.

Now I want you to also think about getting your potential clients engaged by doing a poll and get to know what they really need. Also, you can hop on a few calls with your ideal clients and get insider info on what they’re looking for. For me, I plan to reach out to some of my repeat VIP clients that always book with me and ask for their insight on their preferred locations for this fall. If I can reach out and get actual client insight that is gold for my business and that will help me market my service.

Also think about a referral program; If you do not have one of these, you’re missing out on so much business. It is so important that you stay relevant and that you stay top of mind to your followers, because they’re not always looking for your service, but I guarantee you they know somebody who is. So definitely promote a referral program, and what that looks like for me is I give 5% of the total session fee or package price to whoever referred me. Because I want them to know how valuable their referrals are.

Finally, ask other people to share your products and services. This is sometimes really simple, but we sometimes are afraid to ask people to share. Now you have to be strategic about this and don’t just reach out to random people that you’ve never talked to. Reach out to actual people that are your friends, that you connect with, that you really have a relationship with and make sure that what you’re offering is going to provide immense value for their followers and their audience.

Visibility Goals

At the beginning, I told you that planning for your quarter is not just income. It encompasses so much more than that and so visibility is extremely important to the growth of any business. I want you to ask yourself, what goals do you have this quarter for more visibility? How can you get in front of new audiences? Think about whether it would it make sense for you to be on a podcast. Are there podcasts out there that have a similar audience to your ideal client? And could you potentially pitch yourself to be on a podcast that would get the word out about your business?

My goal is to be more visible on other people’s podcasts and my coach has encouraged me to go on a podcast tour, which means pitching myself to as many podcasts as possible, so that I can expand my reach in this business, The Purpose Gathering.

Think about whether you can do a collab with an Instagrammer or maybe a business that has your ideal audience. Or determine what are some free trainings that you can offer to get your product or service out to more people and grow your email list at the same time. That’s a win-win. For my business, The Purpose Gathering. I created a free training all about Instagram Planning with Confidence, it’s a 45-minute training about how to plan your content on Instagram and how to strategically market your business. I offer that for free, but at the end, I pitch my course The Efficient Mompreneur. So, I’m able to give free content that’s absolutely valuable, and then I’m able to pitch my resources and the things that I sell at the end while growing my email list.

I want you to think about how you can strategically be more visible to more people. And if you are interested in learning more about creating and nurturing an email list, I created an episode all about that Episode 14, called Five Steps to Creating and Nurturing an Email List.


So now comes the absolute most crucial part of planning for your next quarter, and that is scheduling. I follow Dave Ramsey, who I consider to be a financial genius. I follow a lot of his principles, and he says that a budget tells your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. Having a schedule and routines does the same for your time. It’s our job to budget our time wisely and be in control of our calendars instead of letting them control us.

You need to take a look at the next three months and plan all of your personal time first. What I need you to do is schedule in those date nights, schedule in the family vacation, schedule in margin in your schedule; call them rest days, whatever you need to call them. Block those days out in your schedule, where you literally have nothing planned. The hard part is going to be to actually stick to that, but I’m going to address that in the next couple points.

Be mindful of the upcoming holidays and think about your kids and their school breaks as well as birthdays and plan accordingly. Then make a list of rules for yourself when you’re contemplating how you’re going to respond to unexpected requests. Whatever it is, there are going to be some personal things that pop up and you need to have a game plan of how you are going to assess whether or not you say yes or no.

I want you to go through your calendar and add in all of the work-related events. Write out in your calendar and outline different blocks of time in your schedule that you are willing to work. So, my rule of thumb is that if I have a wedding already booked, I will not book another wedding the next day or the day before. I also do this for mini sessions; I only want to schedule a round of mini sessions once per weekend. That way I have a rest day on the other day of the weekend.

I do not like to work on Sundays, however sometimes it works out that a Sunday is convenient for my client.. And so, I will have to assess whether that trade-off is worth it to me. Sometimes I will pass on that opportunity just to save my sanity and also connect with my family. I want you to consider the cost of the yes and remember that money isn’t always everything. Most importantly don’t forget about your mental well-being and also your family. Be in control of your calendar and set the expectation.

Get an Accountability Partner

The last and final step of planning for your next quarter is to get an accountability partner. It is absolutely crucial, to find a friend that can plan with you, one that can help you brainstorm ideas, point out those distractions or those gaps in your schedule that you forgot to add but that you should add. This needs to be someone who is business minded and cares about you and will not be afraid to hurt your feelings if you need tough love.

I hope that you’re envisioning someone right now that can be your accountability partner. If not, I would encourage you to plug into the Facebook group, The Purpose Gathering Mama’s Group and find someone in there that can be your accountability partner. Find that business bestie! I’ve said it before, but we need to be starting to view our community as an actual community and to see community over competition. Even if you’re in the same industry with someone doesn’t mean that you both have the same ideal client. I want you guys to always keep that in mind and look for ways to connect in our group.

So, I hope that you’ve enjoyed today’s piece all about mindset and quarterly planning. And I hope that you are going to actually take the information and put it into action. Hopefully you will have a really clear game plan of what you need to do to plan for your next quarter. As always mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.



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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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