What Pregnancy Taught Me About The Art & Science Of Business Goal Setting

This article is about how pregnancy and preparing to give birth to my first child taught me about goal setting in business.

I also hope to encourage you to prepare for any other big goal you have this year like a mom prepares for labor AND giving birth to a baby during pregnancy!

9 months.

39 weeks.

273 days.

That’s approximately how long it takes to grow a human inside your body.

A pretty magnificent feed if you think about it, granted that that’s a relatively small period of time in a normal human’s life.

But magnificent, regardless :).

What is equally amazing is that it took me about the same amount of time to prepare for this big goal I have – birth.

That’s right! As a first-time mom (and I’m sure many second and third and fourth time moms too), preparing myself for this event called ‘labor and birth’, was on my upmost mind these past few weeks.

Today, while sipping away on an Iced Almond Milk Latte, I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever quite prepared the same way for any other goal I had in my life!

Especially, in business.

And I am an entrepreneur and the owner of the digital marketing agency, FunnelGal!

Let that sink in for a second.

It honestly shocked me when I started to draw comparisons in my mind and quickly, started to journal about it. That’s when this article came into existence.

Sure, there were high school and college tests and graduations in my life, the wedding to my husband Ben, countless moves, trips, business revenue goals, etc.

Though, nothing – and I repeat NOTHING – has innately made me prepare with such an explicit carefulness to detail and towards one goal, as my pregnancy.

Lemme explain and if you’re a guy reading this right now, this is for you too!! I promise it will be worth your while and after you finish reading this article, I know you’re going to have a completely different perception around goal setting as well.

For starters, the prospect of pushing out an insanely huge thing – a baby – out of one of your body’s entrances is motivation enough to learn more about it. I think we can all agree on that.

But what can we take away from that about business goal setting?

Well, to begin with, we need a why.

A big, mother-fucking…

W-H-Y.

If your ‘why‘ ain’t big enough, your innate drive to prepare the best way you can and accomplish your goal that is related to your why, is diminishing significantly.

So, how can we develop an equally big why as ‘pushing a baby out of your vulva‘?

If we think about the comparison between pregnancy/birth AND business, we can come up with a refreshing new framework of what makes a great WHY.

Now, we’ve already established that a WHY is needed because it’s the gas that helps continuously operate your engine to drive you forward.

Copyright Simon Sinek

As such, a great WHY needs to have/be:

+ Urgent. It needs to have a due date.

+ It needs to have some form of emotional connection related to it.

You need to be able to feel the creation and development of your goal into existence. For example, for a pregnant soon-to-be mom that is the thought of knowing the baby is growing & developing every day plus imagining it.

+ It needs to have a fear related to it, say if ABC ain’t happening, XYZ might occur – this in turn again, creates an innate need to figure things out.

Say, you eat tons of sweets all day, every day during the duration of your pregnancy, you might get pregnancy-related diabetes which in turn can harm you and your baby.

+ It needs to have a simply wonderful outcome that is filled with love.

The outcome for pregnant women is the thought of holding your beautiful baby in your arms one day. When you’ve achieved the goal, what is one wonderful thing you’re going to be able to experience?

+ Your WHY needs to be so big to have potential life-altering effects on you and your family.

A baby changes everything in your family.

Say, you get featured on Forbes or invited to do a TEDTalk, etc. all of these things, alter the course of your life going forward in some way as well! If your WHY does not include a life-altering change, it is not a big enough why.

Dream bigger! Think bigger!

Copyright @CorneliaPauline

If you had established this strong of a WHY, could you imagine how radically different you’d achieve any and all goals?

And I betcha your business would look very different right about now.

Let’s move into the second important piece of achieving any goal:

EXECUTION.

For those of you that have never been pregnant, I want to bring you quickly up to speed on ALL the things that are suggested you do as a pregnant woman.

All of these things essentially are there for prepping you for the big day – labor and birth.

Here’s the list:

  • Daily meditations or mindfulness training.
    • This help you start developing the right mindset to make it through hours of labor filled with probably and surely excruciating waves of pain, also known as contractions.
  • Daily breathing exercises.
    • Practicing deep breathing – so inhale until you can’t fill your lungs with oxygen anymore and then slowly let the air slip out of our body again. This is scientifically proven to lower stress levels when faced with any sort of challenges.
  • The right nutrition.
    • I know that not every one of my friends have gone crazy about their nutrition when pregnant and have splurged a bit every now and then – myself included. However, there are a clear set of suggestions you want to be following when pregnant. Your diet changes. After all, you are creating a human being – all while going about your day!
    • Nutrition for pregnant women is very similar to the kind of strict nutrition lifestyle, athletes, high fashion models, a vegan or someone that is lactose-intolerant follows.
  • Pelvic floor exercises.
    • In case you don’t know what they are, don’t fret about it. It’s something that starts becoming important when you get pregnant because exercising your pelvic floor muscles will make actual birth and postpartum healing so much better.
  • Exercise.
    • Oh my gosh, exercise has been awesome to maintain a healthy, positive mindset during pregnancy and to feel strong and beautiful throughout each passing day of being pregnant. Healthcare professionals are suggesting everything from yoga to cardio and weight training.

  • Education.
    • I’ve watched documentaries pertaining to labor and birth like ‘The Business Of Being Born‘ plus Youtube videos, read books on how I can ‘improve’ my labor and birth outcome, attended child-birthing classes like the Bradley Method Class, etc. I feel like I could give a course on pregnancy right about now haha :).
  • Labor preparations.
    • Here, I’m going to include everything from choosing the right care provider to deciding where to have the baby, etc.
  • Etc.

In short and during the timeframe of nine months, your FOCUS is on creating the BEST environment for your baby to grow, thrive and be healthy.

My question for you is:

Can you say you are preparing in the same meticulous way for any type of business goal you have at the moment?

OR,

Is this something you could approve upon? 

I am one hundred percent positive that if you are not happy with your business at the moment or, if you have failed to achieve your goals (in the past and in this moment),

There is something about your execution and action list that can be improved upon.

If you go back to the list of all the action items that women do on a pretty regular basis during pregnancy, it should inspire you to look at your own daily list of business execution items as well.

Also, are they all connected to your WHY we talked about before and moving you towards achieving one, definite GOAL.

You need a different ‘list of execution items’ for different goals!

It is easy feel overwhelmed in your business, if you have not set a CLEAR WHY, defined ONE CLEAR GOAL and worked out an execution list on how to get there.

You can find a great further read on ‘business goal setting’ on INC. Magazine here that goes into detail on the different components of a goal you want to be focusing on as a CEO for your business.

I can guarantee you that once you worked out an ‘action or execution list’ – similarly, to a woman that has just found out she was expecting a beautiful baby – your imminent achievement of your goals is a given!

Side Note: You might also enjoy this related article on how to achieve $1 million in revenue in your business: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/08/08/4-big-milestones-to-reach-1-million-in-sales-with-your-business-online/

Furthermore and regardless, how tired you might feel, if you experience emotions of doubts and worries, if you feel demotivated because you don’t feel your best on a given day,… whatever it is!

Your WHY on why you are doing what you are doing every single day because you’ve got a clear, definite goal with a set due date – WILL KEEP YOU GOING!

Just like it helps a woman during her pregnancy ;).

If you think about anything that you’ve achieved in the past that was worth-while achieving, you’ve probably invested months – even years, at times – prepping for it.

Preparing for this life-altering event of giving birth and becoming a parent takes time. And it should!

If you find yourself impatient because you haven’t quite hit your business goals yet – be patient.

  1. Reflect on why you haven’t hit your goal yet.
  2. Work on re-developing a stronger WHY for you.
  3. Create a new plan and prepare yourself better for your goal now that you’ve read this article.
  4. Have an unwavering faith in a positive outcome.
  5. Let go and do your daily dues to put yourself in the best position to succeed.

Here’s to not only birthing healthy babies but also, birthing successful businesses :)!

If you’ve enjoyed this article, be sure to go ahead and share it online. Oh and don’t forget to subscribe.

Let’s do this!

Countdown to 2018!

Oh, what a year it has been!

2017, I have to say I’ve been quite in love with you <3.

However, you’ve also been a year during which I’ve learned a few of the most important life lessons yet.

Let me share a couple of the most important mistakes as well as take-aways that this adventurous year has brought with itself:

💡 You don’t always know what you want unless you try it.

I could have also titled this one as, “life consists of different seasons.”

When you get older, there are different things that are important to you than when you, for example, start college.

As a result, I thought that what I truly desperately wanted at the beginning of 2017 was to travel the world.

Don’t get me wrong.

I STILL want to travel.

I IS one of my biggest passions in life.

However, I realized that after coming back from a 3-month Europe and South Korea trip, what I wanted EVEN more than traveling the world was…

To build a legacy of my own.

I always felt that I was meant for more than dying a slow, potentially very uninspiring, corporate death.

That was one of the reasons I got into entrepreneurship.

I almost felt called upon to do so.

I’m an entrepreneur, an artist and creator to my very core.

It was important for me to travel to find out that this is not what I would want to be doing my entire life… so, in essence, to be a digital nomad.

How come?

Because I truly believe especially after the experiences of this year, that you need to set roots in order to let that legacy blossom and bloom.

You need to focus.

You need, most importantly, time.

As much time as can get in a day.

You need to look to multiply said time.

So that you truly can grow to your full potential and positively, touch as many people as you can throughout your lifetime.

When you decide to travel the world instead,

You continuously are looking for flight connections, hotels or AirBnBs to stay at, you want to reserve time for sight-seeing, you are dealing with jet leg and more.

What I decided I want to do is to find a better balance with more of a focus on building a legacy while reserving time to travel ;).

And this brings me to my next point…

💡 Instant gratification will only take you so far.

Oh, we truly live in a world where instant gratification is available to us where we look!

One thing that I am struggling with is to resist that call for instant gratification…

If it is focusing on the long-term vision for my life and sacrificing small joys in order to reach my goals,

If it means stop traveling for the moment in order to take my business to the next level and build that legacy,

If it means not spending all my revenue on like clothes or concert tickets, etc. but instead invest it right back into my business to further grow it…

I’ve learned way more in this year than any other to focus on opportunity costs.

I hope you are able to do the same.

Life is made up of small moments.

Each and every decision you make at any small moment (for example, am I going to pick a vegetable bowl over fried chicken and fries for lunch) is going to decide your future.

You are this powerful.

Act accordingly.

💡 Don’t spend more than you earn.

And yes, this has also somewhat to do with instant gratification.

After talking to quite a few entrepreneurs and business owners this past year (as well as people actually in general), I’ve become aware of the fact of how little people are skilled at managing their money.

Heck, me included.

I would say that both of my parents had a completely opposite view on money – an unhealthly one – and so, I have never learned or adopted smart skills around money.

Guess what?

It does not matter if you make $500/month, $2,000/month, $20,000/month, heck – even $250,000/month in profit.

If you are not putting focus on budgeting and managing your money, you are going to end up spending more than you earn.

And it is very easy to spend a lot of money fast ;).

You probably have a few ideas on your own.

So, the main mistake I have made is that I could have saved up and invested a lot more money from all of the money I have made in 2017 than I have in my accounts at the moment.

Yes, it hurts.

And yes, it’s slightly embarrassing to reveal this.

However, I want to shed some light on it because I think there needs to be a LOT more talk on this topic.

I have met a few entrepreneurs these past few months who’s business makes multiple 7-figure revenues.

However, they themselves, are still struggling to get by each month because of all of their expenses.

Anyway, I’m definitely thinking of writing a separate blog post on this topic and talk a bit more about about my own experiences so if you would be interested in that, just drop a comment down below and let me know.

💡 Stop caring so much about what other people do or think.

I am a nice person.

I like people and generally, I’m a very likeable person myself.

However, when you start reaching a certain level in your business – you inevitable are drawing to you some unpleasant characters or you are even going to piss some people off.

It’s truly inevitable and I am still a bit taken aback by how true this is.

It’s like so many things in life.

You keep hearing about some things but you don’t really want to believe it until you have been experiencing it yourself.

Oh, well!

I think this is one of my biggest lessons for 2017 and one I am still going to be taking into 2018.

To stop giving so much about what some people think.

And to stop also focusing on what other people in my industry are doing.

After all, you should be first and foremost concentrating on improving yourself as well as your business.

So if there is one major take-away I can give you it is that consuming content from like influencers, experts, ‘celebrities’, etc. in your industry – ONLY goes so far.

At one point or another you have to shut off all of the noise and just start CREATING.

Put yourself out there, the real you with all of its angles and curves.

💡 Celebrate those sleepless nights.

Growing up, I slept like a marmot.

Cute little suckers, aren’t they :)?

The older I get though, the more I seem to suffer from insomnia.

I lot of other entrepreneurs and business owners do too.

I usually got all panicky when I experienced those.

It seems so… unlike me.

Though this year, I have been trying to embrace them whenever they came.

This year, whenever I experienced a sleepless night,

I wouldn’t just lay awake.

Instead, I got up and out of bed and got to work.

To me, I’ve started seeing that there is a reason to why I could not sleep.

There most often is.

And guess what competes insomnia the most in my opinion?

Taking consistent action.

It quiets the demons.

The further I get in my business, the more strategic I have to be about how my use my time as well as the actions I take.

What moves the needle the most?

What action will have the most impact?

These are questions constantly playing in my head.

And they probably always will.

💡 Stories sell.

Finally, if there is one thing that I’ve come to learn throughout 2017 it is that stories truly sell.

Not only that, if you are open and honest about the way you are telling the stories of your business and life online,

Structure them accordingly,

And publish them on the correct social media platforms,

They can have the power to propel your business to unforeseen spheres.

Since experiencing this myself,

And since working with a few new awesome clients on increasing their visibility,

Upping their sales and revenue game as well as brand awareness through the kind of stories they publish on social media,

I have been playing around with the idea,

On creating a new digital program around just that (and more!).

If this would be something you are interested din and would love to me develop in 2018,

Let me know in the comments down below.

Phew!

So now, that we’ve got this out of the way…

I wanted to share a bit more abut my 2017 highlights as well:

<3 Trip To South Korea.

I’ve missed Seoul SO much since studying abroad in South Korea about 4 years ago.

I’ve been dreaming to go back, to revisit Yonsei University (my old school), go to all of my favorite places, see my lovely friends again that live there as well as attend the wedding of one of my fellow exchange students ;).

It was a blast and it brought up many memories.Things that I wanted to achieve, things that I have achieved but haven’t thought of doing while I was there.

Friends that I have stayed in touch with and others, not so much because our lives have developed so differently.

Feelings I’ve had and how different my impressions of Seoul were only 4 short years after.

Accepting and adopting to change.

Reflecting.

What a beautiful trip and I will be back soon.

<3 Celebrate my 10-year wedding anniversary together with my husband.

I got married when I was just 19 years old.

Not many people know this of me.

It is actually not something I like to advertise.

For years I have received the oddest questions to the fact that my husband and I got married so young.

We are not religious or anything like that.

We did not get pregnant by surprise as teenagers.

We just fell in love.

And it was a powerful deep love.

A love that freaked me out from the first moment it caught a hold of me.

I still remember it to this very day.

Take me back to this moment all those years ago,

Heck! A decade!

And I still would end up making the same choice :).

Note: You can read more about our story here: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/11/25/38/

<3 Going on a trip through Europe with some dear friends of mine.

When you are an adult and especially one that runs a business, you do not have that much time available.

Most entrepreneurs and business owners know that.

So, reserving some time for social activities and simply, to hang out with friends becomes vital.

Friendship, just like anything else in life, requires work.

It does not just happen or is maintained on its own.

You have to put a focus on it.

Stay in touch.

Talk.

Offer advice.

Land a helping hand.

Connect.

Let us all connect with the people we love in 2018 a bit more.

Deal?

<3 Believe in the kindness of strangers.

If you’ve followed me on my Facebook Page or Instagram, you know that I have lost my laptop on a train in Poland.

It was an overnight train at that and well, I just forgot it after not sleeping the night before.

Note to self: Never take an overnight train again lol!

Moving on.

So, after receiving some help from my dear Polish friend Aga and lots and lots of patience,

I had my arms around my laptop again in no time :).

Yes, it hadn’t been sold or taken apart as I had feared,

But I received my fairly new MacBook back from the train staff, exactly how I had left it.

Miracles do exist!

<3 Spend some quality time in Austria. 

Oh, how I love my home country!

It’s filled with rolling hills, endless fields, flowy rivers, still lakes as well as romantic European cities and cute traditional villages.

Since I built up a digital service-based business as well as this blog, I have been able to fully be in control over my own time.

I am able to work from wherever I please and that, to me, is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

Even though, I am not going to be traveling as much this next year (because as you’ve read I am focused on building my legacy hehe), I still love to know I have the freedom to go back any time I please <3.

And do you know what makes my time in Austria always sweeter? Visiting my cute little niece.

<3 Starting this blog.

I love to write…

And this is finally something that I have decided I am going to be doing a whole lot more of in 2018.

Telling stories.

AND, teaching my clients and students how to do the same to effectively create a life and long-term, sustainable business that they love.

Watch out for an innovative new program on social media and content marketing coming to you in 2018.

Note: Be sure to subscribe to this blog to be the first one to receive future updates <3.

<3 Hitting a new revenue goal in my business.

Finally, my team and I were able to break the $20,000/month mark in revenue.

My goal in 2017 was definitely to surpass the 5-figure income/month mark and I feel pretty dang good that we were able to get this far.

Now on to passing that 7-figure revenue mark in 2018.

Note: In case you’d want to read more on what a $20,000/month revenue for your business looks like accounting-wise and were some of the money goes, check out my blog post on it here: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/24/true-behind-scenes-look-making-20000-revenue-month/

 

What have been some of you major revelations and take-aways as well as experiences in 2017??? Comment down below and I am already looking forward to reading more about them ;).

Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr!

~ Cornelia