When I mention 'evaluation' people cringe.
The word comes with SO much baggage - evaluation feels like a lot of work, like something we SHOULD do, and like something that will NOT be fun.
As teachers, we KNOW the power of evaluation, but in business it feels different, harder, and new.
So we avoid it...and as a result we miss out on using the MOST powerful tool you have in your business.
The thing of it is this: just like in teaching, evaluating does NOT have to be a lot of work, take a lot of time, feel like a root canal, or create misery.
The point of evaluation is NOT to beat yourself up - it's to take a snapshot of what's working, what's not, and decide what to do next.
So this week on TIB, I'm going to share a simple approach to using evaluation in your business, FOR you business, that will feel WAY less heavy, and will help you harness the power of evaluation, starting NOW.
Yes, it will work.
No, it's not going to hurt :)
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When I say evaluation to people, people cringe. Welcome, welcome, welcome to this episode of teachers of business, I figured I'd just jump right in with it. So if I say to you, you know, let's evaluate your business. Most of that time, it's a lot like when I go to parties and introduce myself as a math teacher, kind of people around the other way. Here's the thing about it, though, as a teacher, I was a former teacher, you know, this about me, you were possibly a former teacher, we know that evaluation is a really powerful tool, right? We know the power of simple, straightforward, not summative kinds of evaluation, but really formative evaluations, we know the power of them. And somehow, evaluating in the business context feels like, like, like carrying around a boulder, the size of Kentucky, it's like this heavy, horrible thing. It's like, I have to do a quarterly evaluation and all that take me all day, it's gonna take hours, I have to get all my numbers, I don't know where to find everything. Oh, it's so painful. But you know, evaluation really is the most powerful business tool we have just as powerful as it is in a classroom. Strong evaluation in a classroom is the difference between kids learning and kids soaring. It's a huge difference maker. And the same is true in your business. And just the way that evaluation can be quick and simple and informative. In a classroom, business evaluation can be the same. There is room in business for you know, summative evaluation, for the end of quarter things for the end of the year things for all the rest of it. But they don't all have to be like that. And most of them really don't have to be like that we can make this really simple. But when we don't we avoid it. And that sucks. Because when we avoid it, we miss out on all the good it can bring us. And it's really just, you know, we use it against ourselves as like a should I should be doing this, I'm going to beat myself up over it I, when I do this evaluation, nothing good is gonna come out of it. We use it against ourselves in a way that isn't really effective. It's one of the most important tools and mindsets that I teach clients is this idea that evaluation is powerful. It's rocket fuel, and it does not have to be like going for a root canal. It can be regular and often and simple and straightforward and constant. It can be those minute to minute kinds of things. So what we're going to talk about today, here on the podcast is is how to use evaluation a snapshot, right? We want to take a picture in time using evaluation of what's going on right now in your business. And that's it like evaluation doesn't have to be more than that. If you don't want it to be. Do you have to calculate your numbers and pay your taxes and that kind of stuff? Yeah. You know, once a year, does it help you if you know more about your numbers than that? Probably. But on a regular day to day, week to week kind of basis. evaluation can be a really powerful tool to help you decide what's what's next. where to spend your time, where not to what to prioritize what to put down the list. And so much of what I do as a coach with clients is literally evaluating with them. Like where we go, okay, what are the choices? What are the pros and cons? What are the options that you have for each one? What's the time you're going to take? And then and then making decisions from it? You know, how did this work? Why did it work? Why didn't it work? That kind of stuff. So what I want you to walk away from this episode of podcast with today is a couple of really simple questions that you can use right now as an ongoing formative, like in the moment kind of evaluation, because really using that once a week, once a day, like for the middle start middle and end of big projects can make your business entirely different. I hear this from clients all the time. I hear it from people in my Facebook group all the time I got a part of why I'm doing this episode right now is I got a message from my person in my Facebook group this week. And basically what she said is, you know, a couple of months ago when you were talking about evaluation, I was like, Okay, I'm going to start to do this. And she was like, and I've gotten really fast at it and it's made a huge difference. And I just wanted you to know what I was like oh see Power. Over the summer, I actually did a presentation for a networking group I'm in called poke it out powerhouse about evaluation, and how to make it simple. And I actually gave them kind of like a little evaluation menu on how to do it. And then we practiced it in a group, honestly, it's just something we practice, like, the more you practice, just like anything else, the better you get. So that being said, this is me making the case for evaluation, this is gonna be fairly short and sweet. I know that we are in the midst of holiday season, I know there is a lot going on as we wrapped towards the end of the year. This is the time to try to put this in right, you have both more time and less time in a weirdly screwy way. So here is what I think is fun to try in. By fun. I mean, like really useful. I don't just mean fun for the sake of fun, although evaluation can be fun. Because it is where we see all the good that's going on. Here's how it goes. Grab a pen and a piece of paper, grab your journal. However, wherever you want to put this, and you lead with what's working. So literally what's working in your business right now what is working today? You can the answer is, first of all, the first time I've asked people this nine times out of 10 they go nothing, Sly the lie, your brain is feeding you a lie. Things are working tiny things. It may not be the big things, but you know what you're showing up. That's a win that's working. You are writing posts, maybe it's working, you are meeting new people working, you are building things working, you're creating content, it's working, you are working on yourself that's working. There are lots of ways it can be working. Maybe you signed a new client and you've already forgotten about it, maybe you've met someone who's going to be really fun to work with maybe you started a collaboration, good God, I could go on and on and on, you can find at least 10 I guarantee it. If you can't find at least 10, call me send me an email, let's set up a same time to talk and I will help you find at least 10 I promise they are there. So make a list of things that are working. And then when you're done with that, make a list of things that are not working. Now here is the caveat. And I have said this before on the podcast when you do this, you may not have more things that are not working that are. So if you listed 10, things that are working, you get 10 that are not few listed three things that are working, you get three that are not so be careful. The point of this is not in any way shape, or form to drown yourself in, these are all the things I'm doing wrong, this is not beating yourself up, this is not killing yourself, because you are not doing all the things you should be. It's like literally what's not working the way I want right now. So it could be that you want to be signing more clients, it could be that you want to be meeting more new people. It could be a whole range of things. I do this all the time. And sometimes it's personal things that are working in business things that are not sometimes it's business things that are working and personal things that are not. I client recently said to me, like when you evaluate is it just business or just personal or what? And for me, like it's all mixed together? Because I really believe that if my life isn't working, my business can't and vice versa. So I have to interact and mingle them in that's different for everybody. And that's okay. Do it the way you want to do it. Sometimes I actually get really specific about what I'm evaluating. So it can be just like, how's it going today? But it can also be like, you know, how is my Facebook group working right now? Or you pick a specific project you're working on? How is this working right now? How is keeping track of inventory working and not working right now? Whatever it happens to be. So fix on a small point and evaluate it can be an amount of time. It can be a project, it can be an area of your business. It can be posting online, like how is my How is my marketing working and not working right now it doesn't matter. Pick something, evaluate that. And then the last question to ask yourself is what do I want to do differently? Like literally, what actions are you going to take? So if what was working is you are showing up and you're meeting new people and what's not working is you are not signing new clients. Then the action to take is to change what happens when you're meeting people so that you can sign clients from it. Like maybe you're meeting people and you're not inviting them to work with you. Maybe you're meeting people and the way you're explaining to them what you're doing isn't quite clear. Maybe you're meeting people, and they are people that like, you don't want anything to do it. Okay, so when you think about what you want to do differently, what do you want to do differently? Do you want to meet different people? Do you want to explain what you do differently? Do you want to invite them to work with you? more clearly? What do you want to do differently. And that's really it, like this whole podcast, probably going to take under 15 minutes, your evaluation. Same, doesn't need to take long. And I would say this, I encourage you, because this is such a powerful tool. I encourage clients to schedule it into their calendar, like I have time on my calendar held on Monday mornings. For a long, long time, it was Fridays. And then my Fridays got busy. And I and I, I'm not very good at evaluating at the end of the day, Friday, at the end of the day, Friday, my brain is mush, and I just want to be done. So I've stopped trying to ask myself that. And what I do instead is I do it about 10 o'clock on Monday morning, I've sat down, I've got my desk straight. I know what I'm doing for the week. And then I sit down I go, Okay, what worked last week, what didn't work last week, what do I want to do differently? And then I start my week from there, I make some decisions at the start of my week. And off I go, like I don't spend an hour on it. It's like a 15 minute thing, and I move on. I might use it midweek on a project. Like what's working right now in me selling my book, what's not? What do I want to do differently? Mostly? What's not working right now? What's working for me selling my books, I'm selling my book. I love it. I'm super proud of it. I'm happy to talk to people about it. What's not working for me right now is I don't talk about it enough. And so my answer to that is talk about it more like that came up in my evaluation this week. Oh, like, you know, I you sell stuff to people, you tell them that it exists. So it doesn't matter how you do it. It matters that you try it. Because just like anything else, this comes from practice, we get better at doing this when we practice doing it, period. So I invite you to try to evaluate this week, without making it a big deal. Without making it a summative assessment, make it formative. Make it quick, set yourself a timer. Don't hang out here, don't linger here. And please, please, please know that this is not the place to beat yourself up. This is not like, let me see how bad I am at this. This actually is the place to be like, Oh, look at all the stuff that's working. This is the place to build yourself up and remind yourself that more is good than you think. And then once you know all the good stuff, then you can make some decisions from that. We gloss over the things that are good. We fixate on the stuff that isn't. So this is your chance to swish. What word am I trying to make? shift that equation so that we are justice focused on what's working and what's not, if not more so. And then we can decide and take action, like your next action based on that. You are a monumentally good evaluator, you assessed like crazy as a teacher, you know how to assess, turn that towards your business without making it like a thing. And it will be the most powerful change you can make I promise. This is rocket fuel. This is like rocket fuel for your business. It makes a tremendous difference. And if you need help, and you want to do regular evaluation, but you know you were not going to be accountable for it come get coached, and coaching we evaluate every week. Like that is part of what I do with clients, it is part of how we look at your business. It is one of the most powerful things we do together, because it matters. And all of my clients know we started the call with what's working, they show up every week and bring that in the half the time. Like if they don't show up with that they open the first thing they do when they open their mouths is a hot guy meant to make a list of the things that are good right now to share with you. And I'll just have to do it on the fly. But we honor those things, and we work from them. So if you want to do more of honoring the things that are going well, and really using the evaluation to power your business, but you know, you won't do it on your own the joy of coaching, like that's why people hire coaches. It's one of the many reasons but it's one of the things I happen to be phenomenally good at. So if you would like help, I'm happy to talk to you about it at the very least set up a time to talk it's free the first call, and you can just say like, Hey, Sara, let's talk about this. Let's talk about what it would look like to work together. And if you say no, you say no, it's okay. So you can book a time to talk about working together at torpeycoaching.com you can go up to the top and find the spot versus book online or you can just send me an email or a message at Sara Torpey nope, that's not it. It's firstname.lastname@example.org and you can come in and join my Facebook group. If you are not already in there it is called Teachers in Business. Please, please, please, this is the kind of stuff we talk about. This is the kind of stuff we practice. This is what we do together and you belong with us. You are welcome. You are encouraged, you are invited, please, please join us. And if you have any questions, reach out. Have a great rest of your week. Happy almost end of the year. I'll see y'all next week.