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!

How To Marie Kondo Your Suitcase?

Packing can be stressful. 

Not only do you have to make arrangements for the fact that you will be leaving town and need to make sure your house/kids/pets/plants are taken care of, you also have to decide what to bring with you! Are you a light packer, or one who usually brings lots of items along, just in case?

At least for me, as a busy professional woman, I am sorely tempted to bring along a number of non-essentials. 

My hairdryer, my entire make-up arsenal (you just never know what kind of face you’re going to need to put on), books for the plane ride…pretty soon I have a bulky and heavy suitcase that is a pain to lug around. 

Never mind that it also probably weighs over 50 pounds and I’ll have to pay extra fees at airport check-in. No, thank you.

It’s sometimes tough to focus on packing when there’s so much else going on. Sometimes logic flies out the window during the packing process, especially if you’re short on time or feeling rushed. 

But with a little ingenuity and planning, you can Marie Kondo Your Suitcase like a boss and still have everything you need for your trip.

Golden Rule # 1: Does This Bring You Joy?

Marie Kondo’s main message is: If an item no longer (or never did) bring you joy, discard! The same is true when packing for a trip. 

So often we tend to haphazardly throw things in our bag that we end up never using or wearing. You wonder why you even brought it. So, for each piece, ask yourself: Does this bring you joy? Do you truly enjoy wearing/using it? 

If not, it doesn’t make the cut and doesn’t belong in your suitcase!

Packing Light is Key

This is true for a number of reasons. Not only is your suitcase lighter, but you won’t have to worry about overage fees when you check in at the airport. 

And depending on how long your trip is, you may even be able to get away with just a carry-on! Imagine that! In addition, having a lighter load means not dragging your luggage heavily over uneven concrete streets, or up flights of stairs when no elevator is available. Your back will thank you.

During the packing process, carefully smooth your clothes, fold any sleeves in and fold the piece in half lengthwise, then fold over, then in thirds (again using Marie Kondo’s method.) This way, you can pack them upright so you can easily spot and grab. 

Underwear and socks are another issue. These tend to get soiled more easily, but only take a few pair as most accommodations these days provide laundry facilities and you can wear several things more than once.

Mix and Match

When planning outfits, choose the appropriate number of tops and bottoms where you can mix and match to make several different outfits from just a few pieces.

The idea is to essentially turn one outfit into three!

Use neutral colors whenever possible, and choose pieces all from the same color palette. In this way, you can turn three tops and three bottoms into about nine ensembles!

And ladies, don’t forget to bring a couple of lightweight dresses to throw into the mix ;).

If it helps, lay out all clothing so you can visually see what the items look like together. Shoes/boots/sandals should be treated the same way. 

I always, always, always hang up all of the clothing I’m thinking of taking on a rack first and then, I go through a process of elimination to decide which final i.e. 9 outfits I want to bring with me. It’s super helpful!

Try to pack only two or three pairs of footwear and coordinate them with your outfits. Nothing is clunkier or takes up more space than your shoes.

Packing Cubes are King

They are like a guardian angel for organization and arranging things where they are easily found. Having tops, bottoms, dresses and underwear in their own compartments with clear, see-through packing cubes makes things so much easier.

They also help compress some of your items in your suitcase, leaving room for more bulky items or room for things you will inevitably buy during your trip!

Just don’t get too carried away with the shopping – it’s also a good idea to apply the same ‘will this bring me joy’ philosophy when shopping on the road. Anything you want to buy should pass through two filters:

1) Will this be something I’ll still want to own when I get back home?

2) Will it fit into my suitcase?

In case you’re wondering, I’ve been using these packing cubes and I totally love them :):

Cosmetics and Other Essentials

Since most airlines will let you take one carry-on and one purse/small bag with you on the plane, it makes sense to stow your make-up and any other essentials such as medication and electronics in your carry-on luggage.

Think about what activities you have planned and pack your cosmetics accordingly, taking only what you need. For example, if this is strictly a beach holiday, chances are you won’t need a lot (or any) makeup for that, just plenty of sunscreen and a hat or two!

Go through all of your cosmetics carefully as you are packing. Do you really need that extra lipstick shade or eyeshadow palette? Keep is simple. Less is more, always!

And it goes without saying to use TSA-approved travel sizes for any liquids you have, otherwise you will need to check it in your suitcase.

Side note: If you’d want to check out and find out what I put into my carry-on cosmetics bag, check out this blog article I wrote a little while ago. It’s full of my 26 must-have items to look fresh and be ready to take on your next adventure, even after a long-haul flight ;):

26 Products In My Carry-On I Can’t Travel Without

Be Prepared

Another pro tip you may have heard before, but it bears repeating – throw one basic outfit and set of underwear into your carry-on luggage.

Just in case the airlines lose your luggage, you have something to wear for a day as you’re waiting to get your luggage back. This is especially true for long-haul flights.

The above tips and tricks will ensure your luggage is light, clutter-free and easy to manage.

Having just the necessities during a trip will make you feel like you’re covered, while also taking some of the worry out of keeping track of too many belongings <3.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog if you did and/or share it with your friends ;).

And now – I’m curious – how about you? Do you have any tips you use when packing the Marie Kondo way? Please leave a comment, I’d love to know what you do!