Episode 79 // Goal Setting: The Chalkboard Method

July 5, 2016

You’ve heard us talk about The Chalkboard Method—what we use to make money and track goals with a little bit of magic. Today we’re sharing how it works and how you can implement it in your business and life.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"The chalkboard is a big, visual reminder that you need to put in the work to make this happen."
- Kathleen Shannon

Discussed in this Episode

  • How the Chalkboard Method started (3:05)
  • How to set trackable goals (8:02)
  • Fears surrounding goals (18:19)
  • Reframing goals (20:36)
  • You attract what you track (25:07)
  • Mapping out a chalkboard for Being Boss (41:03)

featured download!

In this episode, the Chalkboard Method Worksheet worksheet was mentioned. Download your copy here!


More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Emily Thompson 0:00
Hello and welcome to being boss episode number 79. This episode is brought to you by fresh books, cloud accounting. Being boss and work and life is being in it,

Kathleen Shannon 0:16
it's being who we are doing the work, breaking some rules. And even though we each have to do it on our own

Emily Thompson 0:24
being boss is knowing we're in it together.

Kathleen Shannon 0:27
Today we are talking all about the chalkboard method. So it is a method for making money tracking goals. And it's there's a little bit of magic involved. And we've been talking about it over and over and over again. So finally, we are dedicating an entire episode to sharing what the chalkboard method is all about how it works and how you can use it in your own work in life. But first, I have to mention that we are selling a course on the chalkboard method, we're going to share everything we know here in today's episode. But if you need a little more guidance, or want a little bit more of a templated step by step, here's how you do it go to being boss club slash chalkboard, and you can take our course there. So today we're talking about the chalkboard method for tracking goals and really manifesting clients who have cash or selling products that will get you cash. But it doesn't replace the systems that we use for legit tracking. And one of those systems that we use is fresh books, cloud accounting. So I love using freshbooks to track the money coming in and the money going out. And just like the chalkboard method freshbooks makes it so visual, I can go to my dashboard, and see exactly where I'm tracking with my own goals in my business. I can also look at what other businesses that are similar to mine are doing in the industry. So I can see if I'm kind of on par with what the standard is, which is always really nice to so try fresh books for free today by going to fresh books calm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section?

Emily Thompson 2:09
Kathleen, I'm super excited about talking about the chalkboard method with you. Because it's kind of life changing and amazing and imperative for business folks. And it's your bit of magic that we're sharing.

Unknown Speaker 2:24
It's about freaking time,

Emily Thompson 2:25
right? I know done with people asking us about the chalkboard method. Let's show them how to do it.

Kathleen Shannon 2:30
No, I mean, it's always happening in the Facebook group. Someone will mention the chalkboard method and someone else's like what's the chalkboard method? And it turns out that the person asking what's the chalkboard method has never listened to being boss, or we have, you know, dedicated fans listening to our show that are like, Wait, where do I find more information about the chalkboard method? I've heard you guys mentioned it a few times, like Tell me what it is. So we decided we needed an episode. That just says what it is chalkboard method in the title,

Emily Thompson 2:59
we just want to be able to send one link that says you are know what it is. Here it is and so here it is the chalkboard method.

Kathleen Shannon 3:08
Starting from square one, the chalkboard method is a system for making goals and tracking them. It's really truly as simple as that. But let me tell you how the chalkboard method started. So Tara and I were working with our executive life coach Jay prior, and he is in Episode Number 40 Ah,

I could be wrong. But one of our most popular most listened to episodes with was with Jay prior and he has been instrumental in guiding me in my business in life. And I love everything that he does and shares and says, So turning we're working with Jay prior at the time, and we didn't have very many clients we had just launched, it was a little bit like crickets chirping. And he said, You have to physically make space for your clients. And I was like, dude, there's plenty of space. And he said the universe abhors a vacuum. So if you make some physical space for your clients, well, they'll come like kind of that if you build it, they will come philosophy. So he recommended getting out a poster board or just something large and visual. And I happen to have a pink chalkboard wall painted in my office. So I drew 10 empty spots on this chalkboard. And it was really intimidating. It was really scary to acknowledge the fact that I didn't have any clients and that I had goals to make 10 clients probably within the quarter. But what was surprising is we filled our entire roster within a week. So at that point, I became a total believer and we have been using our chalkboard to manifest clients to manifest our goals to keep track of them every single quarter since starting our business. So it's been about almost five years now that we've been you Using the chalkboard method, and I can tell you every single quarter, it works like magic.

Emily Thompson 5:07
I love that I remember whatever, you guys started using it. And I remember you guys talking about it, and like us talking about it as well, you were like, you were like, so I started putting names that are blanks on a chalkboard, and I'm like, why? And I thought it was so amazing this idea of, of making space for clients, but also the fact that it was so visual. And I think that's one of the things that I really want to point out here is like, a lot of times will like, I'll get out a notebook and you know, first page in your notebook, set some goals for what I want to do over the next quarter or, or in a spreadsheet on your computer's sort of, you know, getting up in a spreadsheet and saying, alright, you know, this year, I want to make this much money, I want to have this many clients, this much profit, whatever it may be. But the thing that I love about the chalkboard method is that it is this big thing that's in your face. And so it's not like on a spreadsheet file that's hidden, right hidden away in your Dropbox, or it's not like in a notebook, you know, on a page, you're never gonna flip through again, it's something where you are visually reminded of the goals that you have set every time you look up from your computer. And I think that's one of like, the really magical pieces of it, we have all these tools for setting goals. That doesn't keep them in our face quite as much as the chalkboard method does. But this is like, legit big goal setting that you look at over and over again. That's part of the magic of it.

Kathleen Shannon 6:28
Mm hmm. And you know, I have a lot of people asking me, okay, but how does it work. And I want to share that the chalkboard method is kind of equal parts art and science, there is no right or wrong way to do it, you can do it any way you like. And so even whenever we first started doing the chalkboard method, I shared it with you, Emily, and then you started doing it. And your chalkboard looked a little bit different than our chalkboard, but it works all the same. And it boils down to having goals, committing to them by making them visual, and checking in daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly to really see your progress. So we're gonna get into kind of step by step how you physically put chalk to your wall and make your chalkboard and there are other ways that you can do it too. You can use note cards on a cork board, you can use a whiteboard, you can use a poster board, but like you said, Emily, the idea is to make it visual. And really, if you get anything from this episode, it's just find a space in your home or in your office to really get your goals up on the wall.

Emily Thompson 7:33
Yeah, I think I think that is the huge part. I've done the chalkboard before. And you're right, it was a little different from yours. And we've seen tons of them, like people have put them on Instagram and stuff. And everyone's is a little different. I've also used just like those really big like five by eight note cards, and literally just put them like right beside my computer screen. And I think that you can do things like that whatever sort of works for you, and do it. But let's, let's talk about how you actually do it. So the whole point of this thing is goal setting. It's like setting some hard goals, some hard like trackable goals, which always makes me really happy and putting them down on something. So let's talk about how to set trackable goals.

Kathleen Shannon 8:17
I know I one of the things I love about you, Emily is that I'm all about goal setting and kind of like what you were talking about of opening the notebook and writing it down. And I'm definitely much more emotional about my goals. Like I think a lot more about how I want to feel and really what I want my ideal day to look like. And what I love about goal setting with you, Emily is you're like okay, but can we talk numbers?

Unknown Speaker 8:43
Right? Well, I

Kathleen Shannon 8:43
feel what are we do?

Emily Thompson 8:45
I feel like on some level, it's really easy to get or I get lost in the feelings of it. I think this is just like a difference in like the type of person you may be like, some people need to focus on the feeling. I have the feeling down pat, I need like something trackable, and, like a really good metric to track. So for me, it is about numbers like you know, I'm not going to let money get in the way of feeling good, because I'm not going to go after the money if I feel like shit. So like I almost like for me feeling pieces is there. So I like to go straight for the numbers. So yeah, that's that's one of my favorite things about this is that it does kind of track both both of them. One of the elements I know you guys have of the chalkboard method is your like, I don't know almost your little like attracting icons, like that's even really fun, adorable part which we'll get to in a minute. I know. Or I'm sure right, we are going to get like we're gonna get that magical piece. But let's talk about the trackable ones. So like the key of it. The Key of this, especially for you guys was making those blanks for clients that you needed. But to do that you had to set a number for how many clients you wanted for that quarter

Kathleen Shannon 9:59
and I I will say whenever I was first starting a business and only had one stream of revenue, like I think that this is an important part, as I started really simple, I didn't start with one on one service or multiple one on one services, I didn't start with a ton of digital products, I didn't start with even a ton of different ways to share content, I basically had one offering one website, it was really simple. So in order to sell that one offering, I looked at how much money do I want to make. And let's just say for, this is not how much it was. But just for the sake of easy math, let's say I wanted to make $100,000. And each client was worth $10,000. Again, it was like probably a 10th of that. And so probably 10th, I probably wouldn't make $10,000 in each client was $1,000. Um, but I knew how much money I wanted to make. And then I divided that by how much I could charge per project. I mean, it's really simple math here. And that's how I got that number. So I think that the chalkboard method or making a visual is a really great way to figure out how to price yourself, you look at how much money you want to make and how much you want to work. And you do the math. I mean, right? Definitely

Emily Thompson 11:15
Oh, and let's talk about so you guys do your and I've done mine This way, like quarterly. So you can do a chalkboard for every month, every quarter like an entire year, if you want. Like if you do like these long term projects, we're going to need like for a year or something like that. But you can you can break it down into whatever timespan you want we've chosen quarterly. And yeah, you figure out how much money you need to make in that quarter, and how much money you charge per client, and then do a little math and figure out how many spots you need. And then you make those spots on your chalkboard so that you have these blanks and like numbered blanks. And as you book clients, you fill them up. And this doesn't even have to be one on one client work. These can be, you know, retailers to wholesale your products. Or it could be it could be people who sign up for your ecourse or your digital offering, or whatever it may be. It doesn't have to be just one on one clients, you can, how many things do you want to sell in any week or month or quarter of your business and make blanks for them. And then as people are buying them, you write them down. And I think that's part of the magic of it too, is every time you are booking a client, you're intentionally going to your chalkboard and making them a part of your business. And I think that i think that that act of like, putting them there is just as magical as not, or as you know what I mean?

Kathleen Shannon 12:44
Another another reason why making this huge, and we're talking about goal setting. But now we're just jumping into chalkboard and that's okay, too. But one of the things I love about having this big visual chalkboard and seeing your client names up there is that at the end of the quarter, you can really use it as a way to reflect on all the clients he worked with. And you can go through client by client and ask yourself, what did I love about working with that person? How did I best help them? What could have gone better? What about that person or the project did I not like and you can really use the chalkboard as a way to refine and hone in on your dream client, you can use it to find holes in your process. So if you want to get into more advanced chalkboard messaging, and we've even used it before to track clients, we close on clients that we're in process with, and then clients that maybe move on to retainer or are done. And it's it sounds more complicated than it is and if you want to go to being boss club slash chalkboard, we'll hook you up with a little worksheet to show you like the most simple chalkboard method layout that we've got. But in our course that we're going to be launching, I'm going to be sharing up to I think 10 to 12 templates for a beginner chalkboard, an intermediate chalkboard and an advanced chalkboard. But I want to go back to setting goals to track and really the process before you ever put your chalk to the chalkboard or your dry erase marker to that whiteboard. I want to really share how like my process for goal setting because I think it's really important to be able to not get overwhelmed by this like huge blank chalkboard and just get it on paper first. So I do like getting out that journal, that notebook and really brainstorming all my goals and I like doing it Mind Map style, where I will maybe think of three big categories in my life that I want to set some goals around. So one might be braid creative. And the work I do there. One might be being boss and the work I do here. And then another one might be let's say, fitness and exercise or maybe even family and home. So these are all the kinds of things I'm usually setting goals around. And then I will draw little satellites around these big topics, to really subcategorize different things in those areas. So in braid creative, I recently actually went through this process and under braid. My goals there, even though we do one on one work, are really focusing on the braid, method ecourse, and the digital product side of things, to really focus on sharing content, and making sure that I'm sending out at least one newsletter a week and one blog post a week. And making sure that the content I'm sharing really supports our expertise. So really getting focused there. And being boss. You know, I think that a lot of goal setting, especially when where you want to get specific about your goals, it's easy to say, it's really easy to pick the number of like dollars that you want to make. But what's interesting about being boss is that our goals for this year of really launching and creating the new website at being boss club isn't necessarily to become millionaires, but really to just grow our brand and grow our following. And then of course, Emily, you know, so I might share that with you like, hey, what if we really just focus on growing our brand? What does that actually look like? And then I think, Emily, you're really good at, and this is why you're my business bestie? Because you're really good at saying okay, but what does that actually look like to grow our brand and to grow our following, we do have to be able to measure that somehow. So I think it is good to, once you start to mind, map out your goals, or get a list on paper to share it with a friend, or a business bestie or someone who gets it someone you trust. And they can really hammer down and ask you questions that will help you really get specific around your goal setting. But for you, Emily, you were like, Okay, what does it look like to grow our brand. And for us, it will look like newsletter metrics. So growing our newsletter, it looks like relaunching the minisodes so that we had more episodes every week so that we could increase our download numbers and stay in the top of those charts on iTunes. And so we got really specific about what those goals look like in the real world. And some goal setting around fitness and exercise might be as simple as drinking enough water every day, or going for a walk every day. It doesn't have to necessarily be a number on a scale. And then maybe even around home and family. For me, it's travel and adventure and even projects around my house like wanting to paint the bedroom, different things like that. So that's kind of how I start to mind map out all my goals. And then like I said, I will take those goals, and I will share them with a trusted friend. And I'll say here's what I'm thinking, here's what my goals are. What do you think about these things.

Emily Thompson 17:47
So I think that's really great. I think that by taking these larger sections of your life and just sitting down and freeform like just going at the sort of things that you want to accomplish is a really great way to take, take really big things and start narrowing it into more and more specific goals. And then once you have these goals, developing the metrics that you need to track it, I think that that's, that's a really great way to just sort of get it going. And I'm similar, like I'll sit down with a notebook and just start writing, like, what are the things that I want to accomplish? And what do I have to do to get there. But let's talk about what happens whenever you have all of these goals written out on paper in front of you. And that is the fear that comes from potentially not reaching all of these goals you just wrote down. So you mind mapped. You have all these goals? How do you feel Kathleen?

Kathleen Shannon 18:40
I mean,

I'm typically not afraid of that part of it. Like once I've mind mapped it. I'm pretty ambitious. whenever it comes to me take over the world, in my life and live the dream, right? But then I get scared whenever I start talking to you. You say okay, how much money do you want to make? How many downloads do we want to make? Or how many downloads do we want to get? Like once I start putting metrics to my I get afraid and so I get more fearful whenever I get specific. And I think it's there's a combination of things happening, like I start to fall into the comparison trap. So let's say my goal is to make $60,000 a year. For me that sounds like a lot of money for someone else that sounds like they would be homeless on a sidewalk for $60,000 a year. I mean, I started to think Is this enough? like should I be making more and so I think that I get really scared whenever I get specific and fall into the comparison trap, or whenever I get really specific and I'm just afraid that I'm not going to hit those metrics. So you know, it's funny because the chalkboard method in a lot of ways, it was creating space for making goals happen, but in some ways, it was also just a place where I could track what I learned That, right. And so let's say social media metrics. For example, I didn't really have specific goals, whenever I first started out, I was just using my chalkboard as a place to write down, here's how many followers I have on Instagram, in January, and then in February, and then in March, so I could just start to visually track where I was at. Um, but I've learned through you, Emily, that whenever you set that bar, you're much more likely to go after it, rather than just passively tracking what is coming your way.

Emily Thompson 20:36
Right. And I think another thing I want to point out here, especially around some social media graphics a little less, so whenever it comes to revenue, because like, you know, not the end of the world, if you don't make your goals, but if you don't make some revenue goals, that could be bad. Um, but one of the things that I want to say about that is, you know, the goals that you set for yourself, or just yours. So unless you, they're not tied to anything that's going to, like, absolutely ruin your life. And I think a lot of people go into goals and this idea of like, you know, if I don't meet this goal, then my business is done. What I'm like, Sure, there are some cases, if you're like, really, really not doing so great, that could absolutely be what's happening. But on the usual, that's not the case, like, if I make 10 slots on my on my client list, and I only fill eight of them, then I'm probably going to be okay. And I think a lot of people put way too much weight on goals and like, measure their own self worth by their own ability to meet their goals. And I think for me, that was a mindset that you that I just had to get over, and I got over it a long time ago. And that's why it's so easy for me to like, get specific and make goals is half the time, I'm probably not going to make them. And I'm okay with that. I think that once you can disconnect your like, own view of your self worth and what other people are gonna think of you if you can disconnect that from the goals that you make, it's a lot easier to just put down numbers and work for it and not even care what happens, but simply be pleased with what was what the outcome ends up being.

Kathleen Shannon 22:10
And I want to share this, that whenever you can, you know, put down 10 spots for a client list and you only fill eight, we talk a lot about reframing failure, but it's not a failure, what it's doing is it's giving you information about where there are gaps in your process, or maybe gaps in your pricing. So let's say in general, eight clients, maybe that felt really good and the universe actually had your back and was like girlfriend, you can't handle 10 clients, but I think you can handle eight, then maybe what it means is you just need to raise your prices by $500, a client or $1,000, a client, whatever the math would add up to be to make up for going from 10 clients to eight clients. And we've done that a lot on our chalkboard method. And another thing that I want to mention is that there have been times that I have set goals. So when that I can specifically remember was not last year, but the year before I wanted for speaking gigs just for in the year and I filled one, I only got one speaking gig that year. And I didn't necessarily feel like a failure. But what it did point out is if I want more speaking gigs, I'm going to have to put attention on speaking. And so then we started a podcast and I started speaking into a microphone every week. And this year, how many speaking gigs Do you think we have? Like, I feel like it's almost one a month

Emily Thompson 23:33
to a week more or less? I don't even know.

Kathleen Shannon 23:37
But you know, I mean, we have, we have a lot of paid speaking gigs definitely made for I think probably between and it's not going anywhere. Like we keep getting invited to speak more and more. And that's awesome. And so sometimes the goals that I set, do not usually sometimes, okay, sometimes the goals that I set don't always fall into the timeframe that I specify, but they do eventually happen. And so I wouldn't have known or even remembered that I had set this goal to get for speaking gigs unless I hadn't seen it on my chalkboard for that full year. And now that I have more speaking gigs, I can say, Oh yeah, I remember that year where I had four spots for speaking gigs, and I couldn't fill them. But now they're coming in like gangbusters. I think it's just a really good way to show yourself. I mean, you can't, you won't know that you've met your goals unless you set your goals, right. And I think that goal setting is a really great way to just say here's what I want, and then celebrating it whenever it does happen. And having something like the chalkboard in your face every single day is just a reminder that you need to put in the work to make this happen. So you know I talk a lot about manifesting clients and the chalkboard being magic but what it really is is a big Daily visual reminder that you need to do the work.

Emily Thompson 25:03
Hey, man. Yes, absolutely. So I want to talk about something I've heard you say lots of times. And that is that you attract what you track. And I think that's like one of the like, biggest themes of this chalkboard method. So speak on that a little bit. you attract. Oh,

Kathleen Shannon 25:22
yeah. So whenever we first started our chalkboard, and this kind of goes into the mantras, part of it, but whenever we first started our chalkboard at braid, creative, we drew 10, empty spots. But we did not specify the kinds of clients we were attracting. And we were just wanting to fill up those spots with clients with cash. I remember that's what it was, we were filling up these spots with clients with cash. After working with 10 clients that were not so dreamy, I literally had an I had a client who sold concrete. And he was great. He was actually like a really fun, interesting guy. And he was really into metaphysics. So we got along well, but it was definitely was not the dream project. And I remember one day turn, I actually had a meeting with a used car salesman, which I know sounds like a joke. But legit. We were sitting in a used car facility. What would you call that used car place?

Emily Thompson 26:19
Yeah, facility. Sounds good.

Kathleen Shannon 26:22
It was. And we're talking like the guys who are screaming on commercials. And they have those like, balloon

Emily Thompson 26:28
wacky inflatable arm guys.

Kathleen Shannon 26:30
Yeah, wacky inflatable arm guys outside. And it was just bad, bad vibes. And we were sitting there talking to this guy. And I remember two hours later, he offered me a cup of water. And so it wasn't a bottle, it was a cup of water. And I felt like I was about to be roofie. And I knew that if I took a sip of this water, like it would hit my gag reflex, and I would throw up all over the table. But this is how grossed out I was. So turned, I literally drove home from this meeting. And we looked at our chalkboard and we're like, we've got to make this work for us a little bit better. So we decided to start tracking what we attract. And But to do that, to attract the dream customers that we wanted, we knew that we needed to focus on well, attracting dream customers. So we consulted Jay about this, we were like why are we not getting our dream customers? And he was like, because you need to get really specific about who that is. And so we sat down and had a conversation and we said, okay, we are attracting dream clients with cash. And what that looks like for us right now are photographers, designers. Now it's, you know, coaches, and writers, but really just creative entrepreneurs. And I think that we have the self limiting belief that creatives don't have money. And it's just not true. So like, don't impose your own self limiting beliefs on yourself as you're making your goals because half the time, it's just not true. And so we drew a little magnet with little like charge lightning bolts coming out of it. And on our chalkboard to remind us of our mantra that we are attracting dream clients with cash and maybe we even drew like, a heart on the other side with an arrow going through it. Because we want to love our clients. And and we do and so then we started attracting our dream clients and only filling up spots with dream clients. And it was also what gave us the visual guidance to say no to not so dreamy clients, because we wouldn't we only have so many spaces, we wanted to save them for the most dreamy people.

Emily Thompson 28:44
Couple things I want to talk about there. So yes to the like attracting the dream clients and getting really specific there. I also think the whole attracting what you track really plays into all the other metrics that you can track on the chalkboard as well. So even if it's your social media, you're not setting goals, you're simply tracking it like you can see that growth, and you put more more like work into seeing those grow as you track them. And another thing that I used to do is I was out I would actually track the things that I said no to. So on my chalkboard, I would put like a big No. And then keep a tally of the things that I would say no to whether it was clients that weren't the right fit, or whether it was you know, collaborations or projects or blog posts or whatever it was that people were wanting me to write the things that I said no to and again with the idea that I wanted to be attracting lots of opportunities but I wanted to maintain my control over what it was that I said yes and no to and I think that as you put like the power of like writing something like that down and tracking it, you are you're inviting so much more of that like into your business and you are attracting the things that you are tracking. So whether it's whether it's you know, selling digital products or growing your social media presence or simply saying no to things, I think that putting, like incorporating those things into that chalkboard is really awesome. And I like that you guys there made it, like made it almost an art project of like, you know, creating these, these little graphics that would communicate at least to your brain as you're looking at it that like, I'm not just going to be attracting clients with cash, like, you know, smiley faces with money signs, like I want to be attracting clients that we love. And I think that I don't know, I love it. This is all the reasons I love the chalkboard, man.

Kathleen Shannon 30:37
Well, and I actually love the idea of tracking what you say no to even if it's just tally marks. So I know that last week, you set a goal for yourself to say no to five things because you're feeling really overwhelmed. And he wrote about that you wrote an article about it at being boss club. And it really inspired me and I love the idea of tracking what you say no to you. Because I think that a lot of us really suffer from the fear of missing out. I know that I do, especially as our business grows and that our as our brand grows, we get a lot of opportunities. And we're asked to do a lot of things. And we want to say yes to all of them. Because most all of them sound really amazing. But there's only so much of us, right? So I think that the idea of tracking what you say no to is a really great way to eliminate the fear of missing out by bringing the power of choice into the equation.

Emily Thompson 31:29
Yes, that's absolutely what it's done. It's worked really, really well.

Kathleen Shannon 31:34
So I've heard also about people tracking rejections, and like making it a goal to get 100 rejections in a year, which I think is really fantastic. Because then what it means is that you're putting yourself out there more than not. And by making it a game to get rejections, you don't take it so personally. And at the same time, there are only so many times that you can get rejected before you also get a big, resounding yes, from a really great opportunity. So I love that idea. And this just goes to show that there are so many different ways that you can do a chalkboard method. And there's so many different kinds of things that you can track. So one thing I want to mention is that as we started to grow as a business, our chalkboard started to grow as well. And the things that we started to track started to grow. So whenever we first started, our chalkboard literally had 10 spots on it, then we made room for our mantra and our little icons, then we started to make room shortly after we launched or maybe a year after we launched, we decided to launch some braid ecourses. And so then we started tracking those and how many of those we were selling every single month. And I will say I want to mention here that our timeframe that we typically do, and I think that you do this, also Emily is quarterly, and the timeframe of how you're tracking your goals is so important. Because if you're redoing your chalkboard every single week, I don't think that it gives it time to really settle in and make it a part of your life. I keep trying to find I've been thinking about this over the weekend. And I keep trying to find the words around why quarterly is good. But I think that you just have to give your chalkboard time to work. But you also have to be able to revisit it every quarter. Because you are evolving as a person, your brand is evolving. Your offerings are evolving. And everything about you is evolving. But I think that quarterly is just a good amount of time.

Emily Thompson 33:29
Yeah, you have to I mean, the whole part of it working is you looking at it like you seeing it and going oh, you know, I have you know, four spots this quarter and a month in and I have three less than I need to like hustle things out. Like I think I think that by having a whole quarter to look at it every single day just sort of gets drilled in. And if you're looking at it, if it's changing every week, you're not it's not getting in your head the way it needs to get in.

Kathleen Shannon 33:56
I'll also say now, our chalkboard has. So braid creative we can take on we change it between 12 and 15 clients per quarter, just depending on how much of our own projects we're working on that quarter. But let's say it's 12 clients per quarter, there have been times where we've literally filled the last four on the last day of the month of the quarter. So I think that's where it starts to feel really magical is like okay, we need to close on four clients literally in 24 hours to meet our chalkboard

Unknown Speaker 34:28

Kathleen Shannon 34:30
Yeah, that's worked. And so that's the thing I want to say is give it time to work, but then also be revisiting it every month. And people have asked me a lot about like so are you tracking what you close on or what's in progress? We've tried it a lot of different ways we've even had to chalkboards. This is something I've never mentioned before. So we have the magic chalkboard. I put that in air quotes because that's the chalkboard that really tracks what we're closing on. And then we have kind of a more functional chalkboard. And that's where we can just literally see what we've gotten progress from the last quarter. So we'll move clients that we've closed on from the last quarter over to our other chalkboard, which is kind of in progress. And there are other tools that you can use in conjunction with your chalkboard. So we even have a big corkboard map. And we've put pins in the different states and cities and even countries that our clients have come from. And so that's a really fun also visual way to track what we attract. And from all over the world, we can see kind of a breakdown of how many of our clients are local versus national or even International. You can also use, I have a huge standard calendar, which is that big black and white calendar, that's an all Helvetica. And you could also probably incorporate that into your chalkboard method and track some goals there on post it notes. So again, this is the art part of chalkboard method is that it's not, there's not one exact way to do it. But again, we have templates for you guys. So there are many different ways that you can try this. And I've even been doing a lot of research and setting up Skype calls with people who have heard about the chalkboard method and are taking a stab at it in their own way. And it's so fun to talk to them and really see how they're tracking their chalkboard and then seeing where their holes in their process or how the chalkboard is pointing out some business needs that they're not needing. Alright, it's just interesting stuff.

Emily Thompson 36:35
It is. And I think I think the flexibility of it is one of the things that makes it so helpful. And so applicable for so many kinds of businesses, I mean, because it mine's the same, like, you know, I'll use one format for a quarter two, or maybe three, but then you know, I'll remove a service or add a service or launch an ecourse, or add another social media platform or decide to track something else in my business. And every time. Every time that I do this, the chalkboard changes a little bit, but the method of using it stays the exact same, like you still are tracking the things that are important to you in your business at that given time. And I've also had like supplementary, like chalkboard items, like, a couple of years ago, I got this really big roll of craft paper and mapped out like 18 months of products, and launches and things that I wanted to be creating. And again, like on some hand, that's just like a big task list I put on the wall. But on another hand, it's something that I'm putting like, in my in my like circle of vision that I'm seeing every day and that makes me work on it and makes me work on the things that are important to me, it's important enough that I want to put it on my wall. And I'm going to be seeing enough that I'm going to be like pushed into action to actually make the things that I want to accomplish, happen. And I think that i think that's that's really just what the chalkboard is. It's this, this big visual reminder to do the work and make the things that you want to happen happen.

Kathleen Shannon 38:06
No, this is why I love bullet journaling so much. Whenever you did the bullet journal post on being boss club, I was so inspired because it's very much like the chalkboard method where there's no right or wrong way to do it, you can get on Pinterest and put in bullet journal and see really amazing artsy journals, or really just simple nuts and bolts lists. And so for bullet journaling, I felt really overwhelmed by that. So I started really simple and really small. And I knew that if I could do that, as I got the hang of it, I could start to really make it my own and really dig in with making it a little more complex or interesting. And changing up what I'm tracking. So I've been bullet journaling now for two weeks. Nyan, yeah. And it's going really well. And it's holding me accountable daily for the things that are on my chalkboard quarterly. So I love using multiple tools. And I want to mention that these physical real life tools do not replace our digital tools that are helping keeping all of our team on track. So we still have Asana for tracking our projects, we still have Evernote for creating our agendas and dumping out our ideas. We still have, I mean, all the books, right, you know, we still have fresh books for actually literally accounting for the money, right. And we have a ton of online tools that were still calendars or calendars,

Emily Thompson 39:33
right. All the things Yeah, well, and I think you just said something that I think is a really great place to sort of head on is this accountability piece. Like when you are working for yourself, you are the person holding yourself accountable period. And the more the more you can make these things easy for yourself because I know like any given quarter like I don't know, what quarter is at right now. Like I don't even think I know.

Kathleen Shannon 39:58
Okay, that actually leads me to ask you this. Are you still chalkboard methods?

Emily Thompson 40:03

Kathleen Shannon 40:04
Okay, so you say that horrible, all nice, but also what I mean, don't feel horrible. So I, so my chalkboard was living in my house for a long time. And then my sister finally built the worksheet of her dreams. Yep. Which is like this beautiful little writing shed with the law is doing now. So now our chalkboard lives over there. And what's funny is, she actually has the work in progress chalkboard, like the physical chalkboard that was talking our work in progress, because our chalkboard, the magical one is bolted to my wall in my house, and I just didn't want to deal with unbolting it to the wall. And it still literally has fourth quarter from last year braid projects on it. And so I felt, I'm feeling really inspired after having this conversation with you to revisit it. And this might be a great way to show our listeners, or at least tell them how the chalkboard works. So I want to brainstorm with you Emily, like, what should I track on this chalkboard?

Emily Thompson 41:09
Oh, I don't even know cuz I'm in the same place as you were, you know, we're officially stopping making or stopping taking client work at least for a little while. And so you and I like our goals have simply changed immensely. Like this isn't just little shifts in our quarterly chalkboards anymore. These are like scrapping old chalkboard methods, or models at least and recreating what it is that we're tracking.

Kathleen Shannon 41:35
So really, our business model has changed completely, completely changed. So as your so this is another thing that I want to point out is that creating a chalkboard for your business is a really great way of looking at your business model.

Emily Thompson 41:49
Right and what it is that you need to be working for. I mean, I since stopping using it, I've certainly felt more scattered, just in terms of like what am I working for it at the moment I'm working to, you know, complete some client projects and getting you know being ball systemized. But there isn't anything I need to be. There isn't anything I've needed to be tracking lately. So much as I know, there is coming up things that I need to be tracking. So let's brainstorm this, what do we need to be tracking?

Kathleen Shannon 42:17
Well, oh, hey, so big goals for us, really increasing our brand awareness and getting some more reach out there so that we can get more impact out there for creative entrepreneurs. And we need to figure out what that actually looks like. So we've also been getting really into newsletters, yes, and building our list. So for me, I would love to be able to double our list by the end of the year. So maybe something we can do is break that down by quarter. And really look at what our newsletter goals are. So I would love to track newsletters.

Emily Thompson 42:52
I agree with that. I would love newsletters is definitely a huge part of that I would really love to track downloads. So one of the things that that we've experienced is not like a lol and downloads, they're not going down by any means. But I have felt like they're not quite growing as much as I would like for them to. So I think for me tracking and setting some really big, amazing goals around our like iTunes subscribers and downloads from iTunes and SoundCloud is one of the things that I want to track.

Kathleen Shannon 43:26
Okay, so I want to point out here that I'm starting to get a little scared around this goal setting.

Emily Thompson 43:32
All right, I've already dropped.

Kathleen Shannon 43:35
I wouldn't have mentioned the fear that is coming up is not what I would have expected. The fear that I'm feeling right now is why haven't we figured this out already?

Emily Thompson 43:45
Right? Well, it's because we've been figuring out everything else. Everything else. So you know, we have relaunched our website, we've started blogging, we have started or we're we're taking on all of these speaking gigs and we've launched our project with Paul and Jason. And we've been doing like we've been doing a ton of things I think it is now like now that we have all of those things figured out the websites launched our team is making amazing things happen. We're getting some projects under our belt like it's time for the next things and like this is this is simply a Don't let it to let it fear you. Let it drive you Kathleen.

Kathleen Shannon 44:26
I think the word is scared Don't let

Emily Thompson 44:29
that don't let it fear. You know, I guess that would actually be the other way around. Right? Don't let it scare you. Fine. We'll use that.

Kathleen Shannon 44:37
Okay, so um, so we've got newsletters, we've got downloads. I think another thing that we could track are we do our vacations are being bus vacations, but one of the things that we've started to think about are being boss weekends. Yes. So things like going to venture pop which you can learn more about at being boss club slash venture pop. We'll be speaking in New Orleans there. But really, whenever we go to conferences, finding opportunities, connect with our tribe there, so we're going to be holding a party down there. And freshbooks is bringing us up to Toronto in September, which is super exciting, you can get on our mailing list to find out more about that, we'll send you more information as soon as we get the details hammered out. But really, I want to start tracking how we start, how we engage with our community. And so for me, that looks like that face to face interaction is so important. I think that's where the magic is. And I think that's what's going to set our podcasts apart from a lot of the other podcasts. Something else I've been thinking about tracking, or at least really focusing on whenever it comes to being boss, is we talk a lot about doing the work. But what is it that we really want to be known for? And how can we really, really help people? So for me, it's being who you are 100% of the time. And so that's something I really want to double down on. Like, I really want to figure out, how do you know who you are? Like, what are some tools for bringing more of who you are into the work that you do? So it's something that I want to explore. But again, this is me brainstorming it out with you, how do I measure and track that? Or maybe that's just like a theme for my chalkboard. So maybe instead of a mantra, it's kind of this theme of, Okay, I'm tracking all this stuff, but I'm doubling down on personal branding.

Unknown Speaker 46:35
Sure. Well, I

Emily Thompson 46:36
think I think that just plays into all of the things that you are tracking. So you know, speaking in general, like if you were to say yes to a speaking gig that was, you know, getting you to go talk about payment processors, or whatever, like, that doesn't belong on a chalkboard where it's themed on personal branding and helping people be who they are. So I do think that's just a really good theme. But I also and I think it's just bringing that into all the things that you're tracking. And God, we can certainly brainstorm this, I like this idea. Content upgrades out your ass basically.

Kathleen Shannon 47:11
So we could be tracking content upgrades, or Yeah, and making so this is something that you could do on a chalkboard is make a checklist. So we have our pillars of content that we're always hitting on every time we record a podcast. And so it's everything from boss mindset to boss tools and tactics, to habits and routines. Basically, we could write out every single topic that we're always talking on, and have a list that says content upgrades, and then check it off as those are created. And then is this visual reminder of these goals that we have?

Emily Thompson 47:50
Yeah, I

think so. I think that's exactly how we do it. And I think something else that we I want to track is saying no to things like bringing that into what it is that you and I are tracking because again, me doing the blog post around saying five or saying no to five things was brought on by the fact of that I needed to say no to five things because

Kathleen Shannon 48:12
well, you already said you're no you said your five knows we're

Emily Thompson 48:15
not allowed to say any more notes. So

Kathleen Shannon 48:17
funny. I have to mention this because there is this oh mastermind retreat that I really wanted to go to with you. It's a mastermind group that we're in with Tara Gentilly. And there's a physical get together later this fall. And I knew that you were saying five knows that week. So I waited until right after you finished your fifth No, no, you

Emily Thompson 48:39
did on Friday, it was the last day of my nose, right? I think I told you that I had said my five nose, you were like, good, because I really wanted to ask you about this thing. But I didn't want to until you were done. And I was just like, good. That makes me happy. But I would have I would have said yes to that regardless. Um, so no, but I think that it would be really good for us to really get into that mindset of you know, we are sort of the creators of our own destiny, like we can say no to things, we have the control to do that. By tracking it that way we are, we're less driven to say yes to everyone and given more of an okay to say no to things.

Kathleen Shannon 49:22
So we get a lot of questions about the chalkboard, like how does it actually work? And I always respond by asking the person have you physically created your chalkboard yet, or whatever it is that you're we use the term chalkboard. Just another disclaimer, we use the word chalkboard method to really describe any sort of method for tracking any sort of big visual method for tracking. So people will say Okay, I get it, I get it, but how does it actually work? Okay, but have you actually created your chalkboard? So that's like the first question a lot of times they're like, no, like, it's not enough to just understand the concept. You have to actually do it. Another question that I get a lot is, it's not working. I mean, for as many people create their chalkboard, they're like, Oh my god, it worked within a week. I'm a believer. But there's some people that are like, okay, I did it, and it's not working, what's going on. So that's right, tell them to get more specific about their goals. I think that if it's not working, you have to get a little bit more clarity around what it is that you want. So you can do the work to make the asks for what you want. And I've had people ask me, What if it's working too well, and I made 10 spots, and they got filled within a week, which can happen also. And I think that's an indicator that you need to raise your prices, or narrow in a little bit more on the specific projects and work that you want to be doing.

Emily Thompson 50:47
Something I want to point out really quick is I think it always works. Bait like I don't think there's like a nonworking job or if it's not working, you're not paying attention to it, which means you're not doing the work that's going to make it work. I think that you know, if it's working too well, then it's working also to tell you that you need to adjust something in your business, if you're not filling up the spots. And it's telling you you don't need to have that many spots, or you need to be changing what you're selling or how you're selling it. You get no matter what you do. The chalkboard method is working. It's also only working as hard as you are.

Kathleen Shannon 51:19
Okay, so here's what I want to challenge us to do. I want us to create our chalkboards this week. Yes. And I want our blog posts at being boss club, because you guys we're writing articles every single day to correspond with the theme of the week or kind of around the topics of our podcasts. We have contributors, and then Emily and I are both writing ourselves. I'm even uploading my periscopes to our website. So we've got some video content on there as well. But I want to challenge us this week at being boss club to share our chalkboards love to show what those are. And so Emily, you and I might have to get together on the side and do a little goal setting and decide what those goals are. If we're tracking some of the same things, though, it might be kind of interesting. If we were to independently make goals for our share business and our shared brand,

Emily Thompson 52:14
we're gonna bring them together they're gonna be the exact same anyway Kathleen.

Unknown Speaker 52:20
But agree No, right.

Kathleen Shannon 52:22
It might it just might be interesting to see you know what our goals are. So let's share our chalkboards. And then again if you want to learn more about chalk boarding or if you need more step by step guidance on how to create your goals and to start tracking them and start attracting more of what you want. We are offering an online course at being bossed clubs slash chalkboard. And you can find out more and sign up there and we'll also have some freebies for you as well if you're interested but can't quite commit to a course right now.

Emily Thompson 52:55
Hey, their bosses Kathleen and I get what's ailing you? If you're like many of the cool bosses we've met on our journey, you're probably feeling like no one gets what you do. You're probably really wanting to grow your clan of cool creative bosses. Or maybe you just love being boss so much that you're hurting for more content from us being boss ladies. Well, you've got it to being boss clubhouses where we are cultivating a tribe of seriously rad bosses and it is currently open for new members. And there's a trove of creative bosses waiting just inside to meet you. Our community in the clubhouse makes Kathleen and I seriously happy chats, debates giggles and more her going down on the daily in our exclusive slack group. And beyond slack we're sharing so much with our members. Every month we're hosting a book club, getting on live with our bosses for a q&a call and releasing secrets seriously candid episodes available only to the cool cats that joined the clubhouse. If this gets you jazzed up, we hope you'll check out what we have going on. Head on over to being balls club slash clubhouse to learn more. Registration is open for a limited time, so be sure to check it out. We hope to see you there.

Kathleen Shannon 54:09
Thank you for listening to being boss. Please be sure to visit our website at being boss club where you can find Show Notes for this episode. Listen to past episodes and discover more of our content that will help you be boss in work and life. Did you like this episode,

please share it with a friend and show some love by leaving a rating and review on iTunes.

Emily Thompson 54:29
Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week. Kathleen

Unknown Speaker 54:57
have a voice

Kathleen Shannon 55:01
Whenever I get in trouble as a kid Kathleen right, there's always like this.

Unknown Speaker 55:07
Kathleen that's really close.

Kathleen Shannon 55:09
Put your clothes on capitolina

Unknown Speaker 55:13
Well, Kathleen

Kathleen Shannon 55:14
is gonna like start over.

Unknown Speaker 55:16
No Keep going, keep going.

Kathleen Shannon 55:19
Okay, so Jay recommended using poster board but I had a chalkboard in front of my face. So use what I have I have a chalkboard that I was taking all these photos God, me find a way

Emily Thompson 55:34
don't make this harder than it has to be calculated.

We've got this

Kathleen Shannon 55:38
like 80 episodes in I'm all sudden scared of talking on a podcast

right just breathe out

Emily Thompson 55:44
three is my main voice intimidating. You