Back in 2011, I spent a day with the NY Times Best-Selling Author, Robert G. Allen. I went to his home (which was the most opulent home I’ve ever seen with humans living in it!) with ten other entrepreneurs.
He began our day by wanting to hear about our businesses. He whipped out a blank form that he called “Your Money Funnel.” On his Smart Board he filled out each of our funnels as we told him how people find us and what products and services we offer.
It was eye-opening!
I’d previously had a vague overview of how I would attract clients and what my main offers were, but with the coaching and seeing everyone else’s funnels, I immediately saw where my gaps were. I was leaving so much money on the table and not serving all of my potential clients with the offers they wanted most. Ouch!
Then he asked a question that will forever change the way I do business.
“What’s your five-year funnel?”
Huh? I’m impressed that I have a one-year plan. Now you want five years out?
I knew I couldn’t whip it out on the fly. I wanted to sit and ponder. I decided I’d do it on the plane ride from San Diego to Oakland. My intention was that I would make it easy, include my Inner Business Expert in the conversation, and only write down things that felt super fun and exciting.
But let me tell you, this was soooo different than visualizing my life five or ten years out.
I was thinking very specifically about what I wanted to be offering and at what price points. On the screen of my mind I erased my current business model so I could create from a blank canvas. This was going to be laid out as my dream business.
If I had 100% confidence that I could create whatever the heck I wanted, what would I love to be doing?
I whipped out that plan in 30 minutes. I knew exactly how I would reach my ideal customers. I knew how the retreats, classes, coaching, and adventures I wanted to offer would look and feel. I got so pumped!
But the planning wasn’t over. Because I’m still mapping out new inspired ways for clients to find me and what new offers I want to create on a month-to-month basis… even though I plan out my marketing schedule a year in advance.
Sometimes I only have a vague idea of the new product or program I want to offer, but it still gets put on the calendar. For instance, I knew I wanted to do a new 30-day-long, low-end program this fall. At first I thought the topic would be about manifesting, and then as we rolled into September I got a strong nudge in a different direction.
Energetically I had reserved the space in my schedule for it even though I didn’t know all the details (and still don’t). I also have a vague idea of the upsell at the end of the program. I continue to move forward in the creation, knowing all the details will unfold as I take one baby step after another toward it.
If you want to start living the dream now, plan for a future that includes the most joyous way of doing business that you can imagine. Then get your bootay in gear with inspired action.
What’s your five-year funnel?