Today, I’m breaking the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions for the year. This isn’t an episode on the best way to set and accomplish goals, rather, it’s an episode on how to keep your momentum going the whole year and learning to enjoy the journey.  

Setting goals and failing to reach them can be discouraging and make you overlook what you have accomplished. As a business owner and a person, your year will be full of ups and downs, but the downs shouldn’t take away from the milestones you do hit. So, instead of New Year’s resolutions, I’m giving you ways to change your mindset that will help you love the journey and celebrate your wins.  

In this episode, Danielle also talks about: 

  • Tracking your metrics consistently and using KPIs to see what you are achieving throughout the year | 3:41 
  • Analyzing your past performance and financials in order to look forward | 4:57 
  • What is your focus for the year and creating an intention for your business | 6:36 
  • Planning a financial budget for the year to guide your intention | 10:44 
  • Getting the support you need in order to help and grow your business | 13:00 
  • Choosing the metrics or KPIs that will help measure your progress going forward | 16:54 


Resources and References from the Episode: 

  • EP 68 – Why Every Business Owner Needs a Budget | 
  • Brandee Gaar – The Wedding Pro CEO Podcast – EP S45 – Why That Course Didn’t Work. | 
  • Download our worksheet! |

Connect with Danielle:  

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Twitter |  


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Full Episode Transcript: 

Intro  00:00 

Welcome to Entrepreneur Money Stories, the podcast for women entrepreneurs who want to dig into their money stories so they can break free from limiting beliefs around money once and for all hosted by Danielle Hayden, owner of Kickstart Accounting, Inc. This podcast is a series of real conversations about money mindset with valuable and action packed takeaways for the entrepreneur who’s building their abundant empire. Danielle is a reformed corporate CFO who’s on a mission to help rule breaking female entrepreneurs understand their numbers and gain the confidence to create sustainable profits. And now here’s your host, Danielle Hayden: 


Danielle Hayden  00:38 

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of Entrepreneur Money Stories. I am really excited for today’s episode, anybody who has followed me for a long time, you know, I am not much of a rule follower, I like to bend the rules, I like to change the way we do things, challenge the status quo, challenge our group thinking and really embrace a new way of thinking and a new way of challenging ourselves. So I remember thinking the last few years and this time of year, I was very frustrated over the amount of content that was put onto the Internet. In regards to goal setting, and smart goals. We are flooded with this information starting December, through January, maybe even into February, you will hear statistics over and over again about the number of people who don’t actually move forward and stick to their New Year’s resolutions. And all the reasons why this new method is the way you’re gonna find success. And I want to give permission to say that we don’t have to do this. All right. We can’t control what what’s on our airwaves and the podcast episodes that are going to be launched during this time. But we can choose what we’re going to tune into. And we can choose what we’re going to do with that information, we do not have to be told we’re not good enough, we do not have to be told all the statistics of why we’re not going to make it why our New Year’s resolution, our annual goal is not going to make it we don’t have to do it, we can own our own success, we can own what’s going on in our business. And we can learn to start to enjoy the journey. Instead of focusing on the destination, these new year’s resolutions and annual goals create a focus on the destination of where we’re going. Rather than learning to love the process of getting to the destination. I cannot tell you how many clients and other entrepreneurs and colleagues that I’ve met throughout the years that have hit milestones. But one, they don’t even know that they got there until months later, right? Because they’re not looking at their numbers they don’t they’re not seeing the financial statements. So don’t even know that they hit the milestone. And then once they got there, they didn’t stop to celebrate. So all this focus was on the destination. But once they hit the destination, they didn’t actually know that they got there. And then they did it. Take the moment to celebrate now when we can change our thinking, to start to love the process. So learn to love the journey. Once we get to the destination, not only will we know that we’ve arrived, but we will have been celebrating along the way. So tracking our metrics is a way of celebrating the wins because consistently throughout the year, that doesn’t want feel a little bit better. Doesn’t that feel better to be able to say you’re not going to make it right, you’re not going to hit your goal, you’re not gonna hit your New Year’s resolutions unless you follow my process. This is saying you don’t have to follow any process. You don’t have to do it. What you need to do is be tracking the metrics throughout the year, so that you can celebrate the wins throughout the year. And you can understand what things aren’t going well, so that you can make a change. So let’s talk today about how we can start to embrace and teach each other to manage the process instead of getting completely focused on the destination so that we can start to celebrate progress. We can see and address any issues before they become big issues. So we’re not going to set specific financial goals, right, we’re not going to go through the goal setting process. What we’re going to do is we’re going to create milestones or key performance indicators to monitor throughout the year. So where do we start, right? Where do we even start with this process? First, we have to analyze our past performance. So we have to look backwards in order to look forward. This is a really great time of the year to do this, our team, our bookkeepers and account managers, we are flooded with calls all through December in January, because all of our clients are tuning into their numbers and looking at their past performance because they have that data. Right. So it’s so important that we’re looking at what happened at 22. What happened in 2021? Right, what changed? And where do I want to focus next year? All right, how can I learn from everything that my numbers are showing me so that I can make changes as we move into next year. So looking backwards, and if you’re somebody who does not have bookkeeping in place, please, please, please, you can come to a kickstart accounting and book a call, we offer something that’s called a catch up for entrepreneurs who have not done their bookkeeping. Yet, for 2022. This is such an important exercise, you want to be able to file your taxes on time, and correctly, right? To be accurate, we don’t want you paying the IRS, please God do not pay the IRS any more money than you have to. So make sure that your financial statements are accurate, that you can file your taxes on time, and that you have information to be able to look backwards so that you can set these milestones moving forward. So it’s not too late. Alright, so don’t start shaming yourself to not go down the shame spiral. It is fine, we can meet you where you are. And let’s get this information into QuickBooks so you can look at your past performance. Next, we’re going to look at what is our focus for next year. This is really about setting an intention. And what do I mean by this? Right? There’s a lot of ways to interpret our intention for the year. The intention means am I in high growth mode? Right? am I investing funds into the business to really grow this year, I want to see hockey stick growth in my revenue. Or maybe this year, I am focusing on profitability. So this year, I am not making major investments into my business into my growth this year, I’m not making major investments. This year, I am focusing on being as profitable as possible. I want at least 15% profitability in my business. And I am going to focus my spending. And I’m going to be very intentional about where I’m spending my money, how profitable I am with my clients, how profitable I am with my services, I have a complete focus on profitability, right? That’s the season. That’s my intention for the year. Maybe your goal for this year is something personal, if that’s okay, you can have a business goal that is personal. Maybe this year, you need to have more work life balance. And maybe last year, you had a high growth year, and you didn’t get to have as many experiences with your family, your loved ones. So this year is about finding balance, getting support in my business so that I have an option, I have the opportunity to lean on my support system within my business so that I can have those experiences that I need and want personally. Maybe it’s a vacation, he misses owners draw, maybe it’s you finally want to start investing in your retirement. It is about setting an intention. These are not goals, this is not a SMART goal. This is not about the destination, because it is going to ebb and flow. There’s going to be days where you don’t hit this I’ve ever I’m asked about how do you handle work life balance. So let’s remind people, there’s no such thing. So stop trying, right? We don’t need work life balance. Some days, I’m going to kill it in my business. And I’m going to be laser focused. And I might travel I might be present in podcasts and be speaking. But I am doing an amazing job in my business. And those days, I might not be the best mom. I might be tired. I might be a little snappy. I might be traveling so might not be home, I might move missing a football game or a basketball game track meet. But that’s okay. Because next month, next week, tomorrow, I might be a really awesome bomb and not kill it at work today. Right? So maybe I take off early and I spend some extra time with my my kids. And I cook a homemade meal, right? I just want us to understand that this intention does not need to be laser focused 24/7. So if you get to January or February, there’s no goal right? There’s no new year’s resolution for you to fail. There’s just an intention. There’s just a focus. So you have that opportunity in January, you have the opportunity February, but same opportunity you have in July and October, to reflect back at your KPIs and your numbers and ask yourself, Does this align with the intention that I set for this year. And because I’m thinking of it as intention, I’m never failing, I can shift, I can learn, I can celebrate what did go, right. I can celebrate what my small wins were my victories. And I can change anything that’s not working, and continue to shift. So the more in line with my intention, that’s I want you to think about creating a financial budget. Now, this is not a goal. These are not smart goals. This is a plan. This is a financial plan over the next 12 months, once you’ve set your intention, we need to set a financial plan so that you are guided in that intention. So again, if our goal is high growth, mode, hockey stick growth, then when we write out our financial budget, we need to think about where are we going to be spending money, what investments need to be made, in order for us to be able to hit that hockey stick growth, hockey stick growth doesn’t come just because you want it to come, it doesn’t happen. You can look at yourself in the mirror and say all the affirmations in the world and chance and meditate doesn’t happen. You have to do the work, you have to take the actions, you need to make the investments of time, money and energy in order to hit your hockey stick growth. So your financial budget is an opportunity to step outside of your business. So we’re not working in our business we’re working outside of our business are working on it, where we are taking our financial statements from the past 12 months and using that information to look forward for the next 12 months. We’re going to plan out what advertising and marketing expenses do we have? What facility costs right? Do we need? Do we need to rent out a co working space? Do we need an office space, right? What is going to be most conducive to help you work? Have laser focus work so that you are able to meet that financial goal so that you can help yourself reach your intention for the year? Maybe it’s support? Right? We talked about needing support? We cannot do it all as business owners? Let me repeat that you cannot. And you do not have to do it all as a business owner when I used to work in my as a CFO and my corporate days, not once did the CEO of say, I don’t need you guys. 


Danielle Hayden  12:47 

I don’t need you. I don’t need you for sales and marketing. CFO, I don’t need you. I’ll do the financials all by myself.  Bookkeeping? Got it! He didn’t say that. You know why? Because he couldn’t, he couldn’t do it all, there wouldn’t have been enough time, there wouldn’t have been enough energy, it would not have worked. And so for you as the business owner, please get help in your business. And this financial budget is going to help you see are you able to afford helping your business? What help do you need? Do? Is it social media marketing? Is it content writing? Is it bookkeeping? Is it somebody to help you provide your services, maybe an operations manager, virtual assistant, we don’t all have the same qualities as a leader, as a business owner. So we’re not all going to hire the same people we have to hire for our weaknesses. So analyze what is your strong suit? And where do you need support in your business. If you don’t know how to do bookkeeping, if you don’t know how to work QuickBooks, you shouldn’t be doing the bookkeeping, you should not be the accountant for your business. If you don’t know how to to write a social media post, if you do not know how or don’t enjoy engaging in social media, you shouldn’t be doing it, you are able to get the help that you need in your business and the writing your financial plan will allow you to understand what you’re going to spend money on. We’ll also plan out travel, conferences, training and professional development. This is a really big expense line for our clients, our clients we see more than any other expense, investing in professional development and coaching. And that’s fantastic. I am so excited to see that only if you’re using it only if you’re using it. And I’m gonna link to an episode My friend brandy gar posted an episode recently about the three ways to make a decision on whether or not a coaching program is right for you. Right How do you know if it’s the right time? So I’m gonna link that in the show notes. Really awesome episode for for you to reference to to help you decide, Is that the right fit for you? Right Do we need that professional development For this year, and I want you to plan, what your professional development and conferences are going to be for the year, because you’re gonna get shiny object syndrome. I know we all do. We all get it. It’s okay. I know. I do it to my Christmas shopping this year has not to look pretty. It’s pretty my friends. It’s because of shiny object syndrome. So if we can give ourselves a budget, if we can give ourselves an allotment, or even pre plan, what professional development, what coaches are we going to work with? What support are we going to get in our business to in order to take us to the next level in order for us to help us get to our intention? Alright, then I want to talk about travel. Because this is one that has been really interesting to watch over the last few years. We asked a lot, pre pandemic, and then the pandemic happened. And we were able to save a lot of money and travel and over 2021 22 by two, we’ve watched those costs come back up. And that’s okay. If your travel helps guide you to your intention, then I want you to do it. I want you to invest in it. But I don’t want you traveling without understanding the purpose of the travel and isn’t going to help you meet your intention of your of your year isn’t going to make you meet those milestones. So traveling with intention, if you need help with your financial budget, I will also reference in the show notes, our episode that we did on why every business owner needs a budget, how to budget. So that was a very high level of a financial plan. But it’s really important at this time of the year to be setting a financial plan. That way we can guide our spending to make sure that is in line with our intention for the year. Lastly, we’re going to talk about the metrics that are going to help us measure our progress moving forward are not our goals, not our achievement. It’s the progress, what gets measured gets managed. So these are also known as KPIs, I want you to reflect on what you need to measure in order to keep your intention. Front and center, I was referred to there’s a website that’s 1001 KPIs every business owner needs, you do not need 1001 KPIs, you need three to five, I want you to choose three to five KPIs that you can measure on a monthly basis that will help you stay in tune with your intention. And you can look at them weekly. But I want this to feel really doable for you. I personally look at at our KPIs on a weekly basis, we have a Monday actually moved to Tuesday, we have a Tuesday meeting with our senior team to review the KPIs. And if for some reason, were not able to make that meeting, if somebody has some of the need to do a doctor’s appointment holidays, whatever, we actually record each other a loom of video and present the KPIs to each other. So that’s how important the KPI meeting is, it is not something that you you miss ideal situations, you will look at them weekly, but at a minimum monthly, right, because this is our check in point to see is my progress tracking towards my intention for the year. And it’s also an opportunity to celebrate the progress, right? If you set a SMART goal of say your goal was to hit half a million dollars in sales this year. That was your goal, your goal was to hit a half million dollars in sales. But March is really slow. I mean, measure how defeating this is okay, I’m not going to add ever I, maybe maybe I’ll hit 100. You get the point, right, we’re not deciding the SMART goals for the destination, we are choosing the key performance indicators to help us measure the success or our intention for the year. So choose three to five. Again, if your goal is hockey stick growth, and you’re going to be investing money in advertising marketing, then an example would be customer acquisition cost. So how much are you spending per client and the door? Maybe your intention for this year is to really develop as a business owner, I’m going to do a lot of professional development. So example the KPI would be how much money have I spent? What is the usage of the professional development? How many meetings have I attended? How many videos have I watched? Have I completed the homework? Am I participating in that professional development that I that I signed up for? If your intention for the year was to spend more time with your family, right maybe it’s to be present for at least two dinners per week. That is a KPI because it aligns with your intention. You can create personal KPIs. So my goal is to be at two dinners per week. Now let’s track that on a weekly or monthly basis to ensure that we’re heading their intention. Should if our intention is to have a personal owners draw a personal salary, it could be vacation that could be $1 amount towards the vacation, it might be to start to invest in my retirement, make some personal investments, track your progress towards your owners draw. How much am I taking month over month? It’s not to say i My goal is to take $5,000 a month and I only took 2500 Shame on me. I didn’t do enough. I’m not good enough because I didn’t hit my smart goal. I’m calling BS you are making progress to your goal. Maybe last month you only took 1500 In this month you took 2500 Like freakin’ congratulations. I am proud of you. That is progress. Alright, so the KPI is tracking progress towards your intention. So if you are a more visual person, I know that I am. Whenever I listen to a podcast, I usually listen while I’m driving or walking and then I get home and I forget where all the steps were. I always like a visual guide, you can go to start accounting To download the worksheet that goes along with this podcast episode, we’ll go step by step on it specifically, how to set the intention how to choose your financial budget, your financial plan, and your KPIs. So again, go to kickstart accounting To download the handout that goes alongside today’s episode. Thank you for being here. I hope that this episode can allow you to break the rules feel good about the new year, and to approach 2023 with a new mindset, a change, right? None of us no more shame around New Year’s resolutions. If you enjoyed today’s episode, I asked you for one thing. If you could please share this episode with one other entrepreneur who you know needs this information. We are going to continue to show up week after week for you delivering this content, right there’s not a lot of people out there who are willing to talk about this hard topic. We are going to keep on showing up doing the hard work talking about money talking about how to design the business of our dreams and how to understand when we get there. And we are right here with you celebrating every single one of your milestones. Alright, cheers!