I like creating frameworks that put things into a proper context and make it easier for me to understand what I have to do. This is one of those frameworks. Any time you take on a new goal, it can be daunting. If all you have to look at is the mountain top, the climb seems huge and insurmountable. Luckily, there is always something you can do to break that huge climb down into smaller pieces. Even if you are starting something new, you can break it down into smaller pieces to see what you are really dealing with. The more experience you have, the easier it becomes to see all the trees instead of just the forest. This is one technique I use to break down big goals into manageable steps that I can understand and tackle one piece at a time. First, we have the big goal: The end result of the work you are doing. This is the thing you ultimately want to achieve. You can add numbers and get super specific if you are experienced. When you are a beginner, my advice is just to look for improvement. You will learn what specific goals make sense over time. Your strategy: This is how you plan to make everything work and get to the goal. It fills in the gap between where you are and where you want to be. To execute a strategy, we use tactics: These are the smaller scale actions that you will take to put the strategy into real, actionable things that you do. When we need something besides just ourselves to accomplish something, we have tools: Outside objects, software, and thought processes that aid you in completing a thing. They give you leverage and let you be more effective. Last, we have metrics: Measurements which let us see the progress we are making toward our goal. They tell us if we are moving forward or backward. The tricky part with metrics is knowing which ones are important, and which ones give us useless information instead of useful feedback. First, a non-business example to show that this framework works most anywhere: Goal: Bench press 315 pounds Strategy: Use a combination of bodybuilding and powerlifting strategies to build the mass and strength needed to move heavy weights with your upper body. Tactics:
Metrics: With a final goal of a 1-rep bench press of 315, it might seem like we should only measure our progress on 1 rep bench press. The problem is that that number may not move much for a while. That doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made. With that in mind, you can track other metrics that act as stepping stones.
This plan could get a lot more specific, and it probably should. But this breakdown takes a huge goal (bench 315 pounds) and turns it into something that most people can at least see as a logical progression and understand the steps involved. So now, an example focused more on a Shopify store: Goal: Increase revenue for your store through email Strategy: Give customers a good reason to sign up for your email list, then use email to sell with behavior triggered automated email flows and segmented marketing campaigns. Tactics:
Metrics: Email can help revenue along in several ways. Any of which can be tracked and measured through analytics and your software
Again, the plan can get way more granular. There are things like design, subject lines, copy, segmenting criteria, etc to think about. But what matters here is to build the framework that the rest of your work sits on top of. Understanding the basics of how you can accomplish a goal before you get started means that you won’t get discouraged or sidetracked along the way. You’ll know what you want to do, how you are going to do it, what you need to make it work, and how you will measure success. That puts you in the driver’s seat.
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