In episode 394, Jules Grasekamp teaches us how to create a roadmap for success, based on lessons she learned during 10 years of building a baking business.
We cover information about what we want our business to look like in 3,5, 10 years, be confident that knowing that what your business looks like will help you know what your life will look like, remember it is possible to dream big and why you need to make SMART goals to achieving goals.
Write Blog Posts that Rank on Google’s 1st Page
RankIQ is an AI-powered SEO tool built just for bloggers. It tells you what to put inside your post and title, so you can write perfectly optimized content in half the time. RankIQ contains a hand-picked library with the lowest competition, high traffic keywords for every niche.
Bio Jules, a dessert blogger from Scotland, started her own bakery at age 16 and she ran that for 10 years before selling up and moving to Canada. After a few years of working as a business coach, Jules realized she missed working with food, so she purchased a camera to share her recipes on her blog – Bonni Bakery. Now Jules shares accessible recipes using real and simple ingredients to help people create professional quality desserts in their own kitchens.
- Roadmapping helps you figure out your end goal first and then work backwards to get steps, milestones and targets in place.
- Creating a roadmap can help unlock a plan from inside you to give you clarity.
- Look at the bigger picture of your life and decide what you want in your personal and professional life then walk it back.
- Don’t let others put limits on yourself – you will achieve more if you dream big.
- Surround yourself with people who want to dream big and have big goals.
- 3 stages – End goal <-> Goals (milestones) <-> Tasks (bite sized)
- The plan is the hard part.
- Use SMART goal mentality.
- Reassess your plan and pivot as necessary.
Click for full script.
EBT394 – Jules Grasekamp
Intro: Food bloggers. Hi, how are you today? Thank you so much for tuning in to the Eat Blog Talk podcast. This is the place for food bloggers to get information and inspiration to accelerate your blog’s growth and ultimately help you to achieve your freedom, whether that’s financial, personal, or professional.
I’m Megan Porta, and I’ve been a food blogger for over 12 years. I understand how isolating food blogging can be at times. I’m on a mission to motivate, inspire, and most importantly, let each and every food blogger, including you, know that you are heard and supported.
If you are a longtime listener of this podcast, you know how much I love the topic of planning and creating a roadmap for your business and your life. Jules comes to this episode with a new perspective on just this. I love this conversation. She has so much to share about creating a successful roadmap for your business that you can actually achieve those dreams that you have. She qualified for Mediavine in one year after setting that goal for herself, and she used this exact roadmap for making sure that happened. Enjoy this episode. It is number 394 and it is sponsored by RankIQ.
Sponsor: Hey, there we are putting together an AMA episode. AMA stands for Ask Me Anything, coming up here on the Eat Blog Talk podcast, and we would love your help with this project. Submit questions that you would like for me to answer in episode number 400 that will be published on April 10th. Ask me anything about myself, productivity, planning, food blogging, any of those topics that I talk a lot about. I will do my very best to get an answer for you. Send me an email at [email protected] with AMA as the subject line and ask away.
Megan Porta: Jules Grasekamp is a dessert blogger from Scotland. She started her own bakery at age 16, and she ran that for 10 years before selling and moving to Canada. After a few years of working as a business coach, she realized she missed working with food, so she purchased a camera to share her recipes on her blog, Bonnie Bakery. Now Jules shares her accessible recipes using real and simple ingredients to help people create professional quality desserts in their own kitchens. Hello, Jules. Thank you so much for joining me. How are you today?
Jules Grasekamp: I’m good, thank you. I’m really excited to be here.
Megan Porta: Me too. I love this topic so much, but before we get into it, what fun fact do you have to share with us?
Jules Grasekamp: So my fun fact is that I have actually lived and worked in five different countries.
Megan Porta: Whoa. Okay. Which counties?
Jules Grasekamp: So I’m from Scotland, as you can probably tell from my accent.
Megan Porta: Love your accent.
Jules Grasekamp: But I’ve also lived in Florida, in the US, in Dubai, in the UAE. Canada, which is where I met my husband. Then I am currently living in Germany.
Megan Porta: Oh my goodness. So fun. So you are a worldly human. I love it.
Jules Grasekamp: I grind a lot. So does my cat. My cat comes with me everywhere.
Megan Porta: Oh, really? Aw. We’ve always wondered about that. We have a cat and we like to travel, so we’re always hesitant to take our cat anywhere because we’re afraid we’re gonna lose him. But has that ever been a concern for you?
Jules Grasekamp: I think it depends on the cat.
Megan Porta: Yeah, I think so too. Our cat is an explorer. He loves going outside, so I feel like he needs to stay here, unfortunately. So cool. So if I visit Scotland, what are some things that I absolutely need to see?
Jules Grasekamp: Oh gosh. It’s just a really beautiful country to begin with. So what I like about it is that there’s city, and then within 10 minutes you can be in what feels like complete wilderness. So everything’s just beautiful and so nearby. Yu can have 12 different kinds of experiences in one day, which is really nice. So I would say if you go somewhere like Edinburgh, which is really beautiful and historic, you can see a lot of the real history of Scotland, and then some of the really beautiful landscapes as well, all within that area. So definitely Edinburgh.
Megan Porta: Oh, okay. So I definitely need to go, tell me this.
Jules Grasekamp: Definitely. You’ll love it.
Megan Porta: Okay. All right. Gonna make it happen now. Super excited to talk about the topic you’re here to chat about today, Jules, which is creating a roadmap for success in your blogging business. This is something I absolutely love talking about. I could go on for hours and hours. So tell us how you came up with this roadmap. I know that you qualified for Mediavine in just under a year following this roadmap. So I’d love to hear that story before we dig into your steps.
Jules Grasekamp: Sure. So I actually started out running a bakery. I ran a baking business for 10 years, which I started when I was still in high school. So the steps that I’m gonna talk about today are really just things that I learned from those 10 years in business, which I then later on applied to my blog. So it’s from just tried and true, trial and error, figuring out as I go kind of thing that I’ve come up with those steps.
Megan Porta: Yeah. Okay. You started a bakery when you were in high school?
Jules Grasekamp: Yeah.
Megan Porta: What? That’s amazing.
Jules Grasekamp: Oh, thank you. Yeah, it started small, obviously I started just selling cupcakes out of my locker in school, while the other kids were selling cigarettes. You can tell I was not one of the cool kids. Yeah, I started doing that and then I left, I finished high school a year early and I went off to university to study business. Then while I was there, I just kinda kept the company going and I started doing weddings and corporate events and developed my skills. Then when I graduated from university, I opened my first store, like my first physical bakery. Yeah I worked on that for 10 years and went through all these different changes and ups and downs before I eventually decided to give it all up and move to Canada. So that’s kinda where my business background has come from.
Megan Porta: That is the coolest story leading up to blogging, I think that I’ve ever heard. That’s so cool. Cupcakes at the locker to bloggers.
Jules Grasekamp: Yeah, it’s a bit of a weird one.
Megan Porta: Yeah. No, it’s amazing. Okay, so you have learned a lot just by trial and error and experience. So we want to learn from you. Do you want to just talk through your steps? I know you have a few steps for this roadmap that you’ve created, so do you just wanna dig into step one?
Jules Grasekamp: Absolutely. I will just say as well to explain, sometimes I talk about working with clients, so I’ve done business coaching alongside with this over the years, so that’s why I’m talking about what works for different clients, that’s why. It’s not the cake clients. So the roadmapping is basically, it’s a form of strategy. It’s a form of planning strategy for businesses focuses on working backwards from your end goal. So like a lot of bloggers, they’re really focused on starting and launching and growing their blogs, but there’s no real strategy in place. So a lot of the time it’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. People often approach their blogs or their businesses with a what’s next mentality. So they’ll cross one thing off their list and be like, okay, I’ve done that, so what should I do next? They just keep going through their whole business that way. Which is fine, it can work. But if you wanna create something really special and have some serious growth in your blog, then that’s where road mapping comes into play. So it makes you figure out your end goal first, where you want your business to be and what you want that to look like. Then you work backwards from there to make a step by step strategy of different milestones and targets so that you know exactly how to get there. Which can be super overwhelming. If you’re trying to think about what that big goal should be, it seems really far away. But once you’ve broken it down into steps, you can see how achievable they are and from working with clients on that, a lot of them, once they have this roadmap, it just unlocks something in your mind and it just makes achieving those goals seem easy. Because that’s the hardest part is coming up with what the strategy is. Then once you have the plan, you just have to follow it step by step.
Megan Porta: This is something that I’ve found food bloggers struggle with. So for my mastermind members, I offer planning calls and we go through this and I ask them to think ahead three years ahead and then one year ahead. Almost every single person that does that has a hard time with it. They’re like I don’t know. I don’t know what I want in three years. How am I supposed to know that? So what do you recommend? Do you recommend that people think about what they want in their business, what they want in their personal lives or both?
Jules Grasekamp: It has to be a bit of everything. It’s funny you say that about the people struggling with it because I’ve found that as well. It’s often when you ask people, what is your goal? Where do you want this to go? They don’t know or they don’t have an answer for it. But it has to be. You have to think about what you want your business to look like, but also what do you want your life to look like? It’s no good saying I want my business to be this size, but then you have no time to spend with your kids, or everything in your life has to come into play when you’re designing what you want that to look like if it’s important to you, for example, to have time to spend with your kids, then you work that into your business goals. You say, okay, I want to be realistically able to have this business running where I only have to put in 20 hours a week, if that’s one of your goals. So it’s about taking the bigger picture of your whole life and figuring out what would my business have to look like to make that a reality? So it’s important, it has to be the whole picture. Otherwise you’re just gonna be miserable if you don’t take everything into consideration. But a lot of people there, you ask them, where do you want this to go? Either they haven’t thought about it or like you say, they maybe don’t have a real answer. So they’ll say something vague. Oh, I just wanna grow it as big as I can. Or a lot of people will play it safe. It’s a small goal that’s not really reaching their potential. It’s not because they don’t have the imagination to dream bigger, it’s because I think sometimes we feel like it’s obnoxious to dream big. Do you know what I mean?
Megan Porta: I totally know what you mean. It’s like you’re ashamed of it or embarrassed of it. Oh I’ll never get that. Why would I go that big?
Jules Grasekamp: Yeah. Or it’s like we listen to the limits that other people put on us. Or we think it’s safer to not want to get ahead of ourselves. That’s not gonna work because you’re never gonna achieve more than what you set out to do. If you set a goal, you’re never going to accidentally achieve more than you meant to. That’s just not how it works.
Megan Porta: Oh gosh, that’s, yeah, that’s good. I feel like a lot of us have parents who are from a generation where there’s a lot of limited thinking and limited beliefs. I do for sure. I just have learned not to share my big goals with my parents because it deflates me and it brings me back to that playing safe place that you were talking about. So what do you think about the need for surrounding yourself with people who also think big?
Jules Grasekamp: Oh, definitely. It makes all the difference in the world. First of all, the fact that we should even feel ashamed of what we’re trying to achieve is silly in the first place. But like you said, I think there’s definitely a generational element there. But also some people just, I don’t know, I guess they don’t want you to stand out or do anything different. A lot of people want you to just conform to the norm of what everyone else is doing, and that’s not gonna help you to get where you need to be. You need to be able to be proud and confident about what you’re trying to do. Because If you’re not confident in it, if you can’t even stand up and say, Hey, this is what I’m doing, then how are you going to make it happen if you can’t even say it. So I think it’s important to be able to have some, at least some people around you that get it and understand it. Whether that’s a friend or a coach or a fellow business owner and fellow bloggers, you need to be able to say it out loud.
Megan Porta: There’s so much power in saying it out loud to somebody else or writing it down, or both. I’ve noticed when I go through those calls that I was talking about, that people really seem to feel empowered and more confident after they’ve said, oh, I want to make it, and then they give me a number or something, like something really specific that is a big dream or big goal. They feel empowered by that. So I think it is really important to find someone that you can trust and just say it to them.
Jules Grasekamp: Absolutely. Yeah. It makes a big difference.
Megan Porta: So we’ve figured out what our big goals are way down the road. Then you talked about working backwards and picking guideposts or milestones. So talk about that a little bit.
Jules Grasekamp: Exactly. So the way I see it, there are three kinds of stages with the roadmap mapping. There’s the angle, which is what we just talked about, and then there’s. Goals and tasks, and each one is what needs to happen to make the next one a reality. So the end game is where you ultimately want to go. The goals would be, like you said, milestones along the way and your target. So if you have a goal, for example, like if we took the Mediavine one that we just mentioned. If your ultimate goal is to get onto Mediavine, then you would break that down into smaller milestones of, okay, if I wanna have 50K sessions by this time next year, I need to have 30,000 by this time, or 10,000 by this time. You break that down into smaller chunks. They can be like annual or quarterly or monthly or weekly goals, whatever you work best with. They are gonna be constantly reassessed and adjusted as you go because nothing’s ever kinda set in stone, right? Things change and stuff happens. So those will be your kind of milestones that you’re aiming for. Rather than aiming for, I need to get to 50,000, you’re focusing on the first 5,000 or the first 10,000. Then once you’ve got those targets and milestones or goals, whatever you wanna call them, then you’re gonna break those down into tasks, which are the bite sized, achievable tasks that are gonna make up your daily action plan. If you’re aiming for that first 10,000 sessions, for example, you would look at, okay, what needs to happen to make that smaller goal of reality? Whether that’s working on your SEO or consistently posting two recipes a week, or trying to show up more on social media, you figure out what goes into making that a reality and what needs to happen in order to accomplish that target. Then you can start planning those tasks out. So if you’re saying, okay, by March I want to have posted six new recipes, and you can break that down into a monthly goal and a weekly goal. It’s basically just a lot of breaking things down into bite-size chunks because those smaller, more achievable targets are gonna be something that you can work on every single day. Everyone that you cross off is gonna bring you closer to that goal.
Megan Porta: The bite size goals that you’re talking about are so much less overwhelming than that big goal, right? When you think of, if you have, I don’t know, 10,000 page views a month now, and you think of getting to 50,000, that seems really daunting, I think. So going backwards, like you’re talking and getting to the smallest thing that you can do, the action that you can take today, that’s achievable. You can do that and it all builds up to create that bigger goal. I love that so much.
Jules Grasekamp: Absolutely. That’s like I say, it just makes something click in your mind when you have, instead of this big, daunting thing you’re trying to achieve, you just have, okay, today I have these lists of tasks to do. If you just do that every single day, the hard part is making the plan. Once you have the plan, all you have to do is follow it, and then it just all seems so much easier and so much more achievable.
Megan Porta: Oh, the hard part is making the plan. That is so true. We resist that so much, don’t we? I talk to bloggers all the time and they’re like, I don’t have time, or I don’t wanna make the time to sit down and make the plan. But if you can get past that, you’ve gotten the hard stuff out of the way.
Jules Grasekamp: Definitely. It’s crazy to me because if you don’t know where you’re trying to go and you don’t have a plan of how you’re gonna get there, how do you ever expect to get there? You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map. So it’s the same thing with your business. You need to have a plan of how you’re gonna get there, otherwise you really are just hoping that it’s gonna happen.
Megan Porta: It’s so true. It’s like the old road trip analogy where you’re like, I have to get somewhere. We’re going somewhere, we’re getting in the RV and we’re going somewhere. But if you don’t know where you’re going, then you’re just gonna drive around the United States endlessly and never get anywhere. You have to know where you’re going if you wanna get there.
Jules Grasekamp: Exactly.
Sponsor: Hello there. Jumping in for a quick break to talk about RankIQ. I love this keyword research tool and you’ve heard me talk about how much it has helped to grow my traffic on my food blog. I will tell you about one of the reasons I love this tool so much, which is how fast I can publish a post compared to my pre RankIQ days. Why is it faster you might be wondering? I don’t do as much searching on the front end of deciding on a keyword, so I dig into the writing portion really quickly and with laser focus.
Next, I dive into each post with confidence because each keyword has been handpicked by the creator of the tool himself. With other tools, I approach each keyword tentatively because I really don’t know how each one will perform or whether it’s going to produce a good crop of traffic for me. And last, the RankIQ optimizer is the best optimizer out there, in my opinion. It provides very specific recommendations about content to include inside each post. This makes the writing process go really smoothly as the optimizer acts as my guide leading the way to a comprehensively written post. Go to Rankiq.com to sign up and check it out for yourself. Now back to the episode.
Megan Porta: Okay, so once we have the milestones mapped out and action steps, what would be the next step?
Jules Grasekamp: So the next thing is when you’re doing those tasks, you wanna make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success there. So I love using the smart goal mentality. I know that you had a guest that spoke about this recently. I just absolutely love talking about smart goals. They’re just, it makes the difference. So for the people that are listening, right? I bet that most of you have a to-do list. But how many people have a task or more than one task on that list that has been sitting there for months?
Megan Porta: Yes, I do.
Jules Grasekamp: But I guarantee you it’s not because you’re not good at executing tasks, it’ll be because you haven’t set the task list effectively. So it’s not a task that you’re able to check off easily and so I encourage people to think that every single task that they put on their list should be written as if you’re writing it for an employee or a VA. Because if someone else couldn’t come in and read this and know exactly what they have to do, then how can you expect yourself to be able to do it? Do you know what I mean?
Megan Porta: Yes.
Jules Grasekamp: So when that’s why I like to use the smart goals because that’s what it stands for, for those that don’t know, it’s the smart goals are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-based. There’s different versions, but that’s one that I like. That means, for example, every single task, if you’re looking at specific, every single task has to be specific enough that you or a VA or an employee can look at that and know exactly what you’re aiming for. So if you put something like, get my finances in order. That’s not specific enough. You need to have something that’s okay, I need to download the bookkeeping app and put in my invoices or whatever. They would be smaller, broken down tasks that are super specific. They have to be measurable. So it needs to be something that you can look at and know at what point you can actually tick that thing off your list. I think so many tasks are a general thing where if you don’t know when you would be able to tick it off, it’s not measurable. It’s not something like, okay, now I have done this task, or now I have accomplished this thing. So you’re never gonna be able to cross that off. Which ties into the actionable part, which is making sure that it’s something that you can actually do. Again, coming to an example for you, so if you were to say start a podcast, you’re never gonna cross that off your list. Starting a podcast is not something you’re gonna cross off your list. But you can break it down into an actionable task like, write down topic ideas for a first podcast episode, right? That’s something that you can actually do and you know when you can tick that off your list. In that vein, they also have to be realistic, which is the next one. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t aim big, like we were talking about earlier. You want to have big goals, but they need to be something that you can realistically achieve in a time period. It needs to be something that’s simple enough that you can do it in a day or in an hour or whatever time frame you’ve set. Which again is time based. So every single task on your list should have a deadline on it, always. Every single task. If you don’t say, this needs to be done by Wednesday, then Wednesday’s gonna roll around and it won’t be done, and you can put it off because there’s no strict deadline on it. So making the deadlines, and importantly, sticking to the deadlines and keeping those promises to yourself. If you make every single task that’s on your list all of these things, it’s gonna make it so much easier for you to actually follow through with them. Because if even one of these isn’t there, it gives you a reason not to do it. So that’s why I love working with smart goals so much. I just think it’s such an important part of making sure that those tasks are gonna get done.
Megan Porta: I think we should all go through our to-do list today and do that. I think that would help. I have a few things that have been on there for far too long, and if I just thought through it. For me it’s the, like I do too much big picture, like you said, start a podcast. But that can actually be broken down into 90 different things. So I should be putting those tasks on my to-do list instead of the big overarching dreams.
Jules Grasekamp: Absolutely. That’s where that feeds back into the road mapping because you can break that down into, like you said, 90 different tasks. But then you come back to that plan and you can sit down at the start of whatever period you want, whether it’s quarterly or monthly, or weekly, and then you can actually schedule those tasks into where they fit into your plan. I like to do it once a month. At the start of every month, I look at what is on the plan this month to be able to get closer to that target that I’m currently working on. Then that gets broken down and broken down into these tiny little smart goals. Then I can schedule them out on a weekly basis. So I can say, okay, on week one I’m gonna tackle these things and plan those all out. Then at the start of that week, I will break them down even further. It’s just a lot of breaking things down, basically. Just break it down as far as you possibly can. At the start of every week, then I’ll break it down and say, I’m gonna do this task on Monday, this task on Tuesday, and just set those deadlines and those timelines. It makes everything so much easier. Then you wake up every day and you know exactly what you have to do that day. There’s no kind of, oh, how am I going to work on my blog today? Or how am I going to get closer? Because you’ve already got the plan. You just wake up and you follow the tasks. They’re all small, easy tasks. It’s not like some big, daunting thing that you have to try and figure out for 10 minutes before you can even get started. They’re all easy tasks because you’ve made it easy for yourself.
Megan Porta: Right. You’ve put the thought into it in advance so that you can achieve all of these tasks. What do you do when you just have to scrap a week? Let’s say you’re sick or something happens. I know for me in the past I’ve been in times where I just get overwhelmed by that and I’m like, oh, I’m so behind now. So now what do I do?
Jules Grasekamp: That’s why I mentioned earlier that it’s important that you are constantly reassessing where you’re at because life happens, right? You can make the perfect plan and it’s never going to go perfectly according to plan. But the important thing is that you are constantly reassessing and pivoting. So if something comes along that kind of throws you off track, whether it’s like you say you get sick, or maybe your goal changes slightly even, that can happen too. That’s fine. The important thing is that you continue to make that plan. So don’t just go, oh, the plan is scrapped, so I’m just gonna give up on it now.
Megan Porta: I’m out. Walking away.
Jules Grasekamp: I know what it’s easy to do though. It’s so easy. I often do that whenever I’m trying to eat healthy. If I eat one bad thing in the day, then I’m like, oh, the whole day is just gone, so I might as well stuff my face.
Megan Porta: Isn’t that funny? I do the same. Or if I don’t get up and work out right away and I’ll just be like I’m not gonna walk either. I’m not gonna eat healthy. Everything is out the window.
Jules Grasekamp: You just write off the whole day. Yeah. So it’s important not to do that with this. If you know in advance that there are going to be things that come up, then you are not gonna be so hard on yourself. You need to be aware that things are gonna change and give yourself some grace there. Just know that when it happens, just go, okay, I just need to sit down and rejig everything and remake my plan. Which is fine. Because plans are not meant to be set in stone. Your strategy and your end goal, obviously your end goal, you wanna be constantly working towards that, but the way that you get there, that can be changed on a regular basis and that’s okay.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love this. Okay. What kind of, along those lines, what if we have discipline issues or there’s something in our character, or in our habits that hold us back from actually achieving our goals? How do you recommend getting through that?
Jules Grasekamp: So I think a big part of being successful with anything really, but since we’re talking about blogs, with your blog, is being really real with yourself and being honest with yourself. If you’re able to take a really good look at yourself and recognize what your weak spots are, then they’re not really weak spots anymore. There are opportunities for improvement, right? So if you know that you struggle with time management, for example, then you can actually plan in advance and figure out how that’s going to impact your plan and what you can do now to support yourself better in that area. So I know sometimes I have trouble staying focused. So rather than just deal with that on a daily basis, I started using the Pomodoro technique, which works so well for me. That’s something that I know in advance that I have to set. So that’s the one where you sit and you do 25 minutes of work and then the timer goes off and you take a five minute break and you just kinda do your whole day that way. So I know that I struggle with focus, so I can look at that and be really honest and be like, okay, Jules, you know that you’re not good at just staying focused on something. So what can you do to rectify that now? What can you be proactive about to make sure that’s not gonna impact your plan too badly? So I think it’s just critically analyzing what is gonna hold you back and trying to do something about it before it becomes an issue.
Megan Porta: That was so well said. Just being aware, right? Then also having grace with yourself.
Jules Grasekamp: Absolutely.
Megan Porta: When you do encounter those, I loved what you said about instead of seeing them as weak spots, seeing them as opportunities. That’s such a cool way to see that.
Jules Grasekamp: Yeah. We’re all human. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and you just have to keep that in mind. You have to be easy on yourself and just help support yourself. Like again, like you would an employee. If you had an employee who struggled with something, you would try and support them. But often we don’t view ourselves that way. We just expect better from ourselves without any support, and that’s just not gonna work. It’s not fair to us.
Megan Porta: We have to remind ourselves constantly that we’re human. You are a human too, just like everyone else.
Jules Grasekamp: Definitely.
Megan Porta: So how do you recommend tracking all of this? So do you write it down or do you have a whiteboard, or do you just keep it in your head, or how do you do that?
Jules Grasekamp: So I’m a really big nerd for tools and software. I’m a big fan, I’ve been using Asana for years. I know a lot of fellow bloggers also use Asana or they use Trello. Ultimately, it’s gonna be whatever works for you. I’m not a pen and paper kind of person. I’m definitely a digital person, but I know a lot of people like to use pen and paper. It confuses me endlessly. I don’t know. That would just drive me mad. But the important thing is figuring out what works for you and setting up a system there. Whether that is writing on a piece of paper or whether it’s using a tool or something, just making sure that wherever you like to plan, that you have the whole thing down. So if you’re making, for example, the bigger picture goals, making sure that you’re writing that down. Then I like to actually physically draw out sometimes or map out on the computer, I always picture it like a board game, so you’ve got your end goal. It’s the end of the game where you’re trying to get to. Then all the little squares in between are like the stepping stones that you’re trying to take. So I plan it out like where on the board game would this goal be and where would that fit in? You’re working backwards and picturing what that would look like so that always what the next step is going to be. But going back to your question, it’s just about making sure that you’re writing it down in a way that works for you. Because if you’re trying to force yourself to use a tool, like I say I use Asana, someone listening might be like, okay, she uses Asana. I’m gonna go and try Asana. If that’s not what works for you, you’re never gonna stick to it. So it’s about finding what you resonate with and how you work best and how your brain works best, and using that tool or method to track it as best you can. That means making sure that you’re writing down those milestones, making sure that you’re writing out those goals, and then writing down those individual tasks. I think there’s so much power in being able to cross a task off your list. I still think it’s the best feeling in the world. I don’t know about you.
Megan Porta: Yes. Oh my gosh, yes. I love that feeling. It’s interesting how planning can actually be a distraction for some people. Like what you were saying about Asana. Oh, maybe I’ll try Trello, maybe I’ll try Airtable, whatever. That can be a distraction from actually getting stuff done, which is counterintuitive. Your planning is actually getting in the way of meeting your goals.
Jules Grasekamp: But that’s why I think it’s important that you schedule time to do this, right? Rather than just trying to do it whenever you feel like it. If you schedule a time and say, okay, at the start of every quarter, at the start of every month, I’m gonna sit down, I’m gonna take two or three hours to just plan out what’s gonna be done in this month. And then you do all the planning and you have set a scheduled time to do it. Then it’s done and you don’t have to be messing around with it every day and changing your mind and going back. You can actually just schedule that time in and know that is your planning time. Then it’s less likely to become a distraction, I think.
Megan Porta: What do you recommend for people who get stuck in the planning mode? So they love planning. They’ve got everything mapped out in their Asana and to-do list and everything, but they don’t actually take action. What do you think the hold up there would be?
Jules Grasekamp: I think that’s really common and I know that I’ve definitely struggled with that in the past as well. What I would say is plan out your daily tasks with starting with something that you’re excited about. You can also plan those things that you enjoy. If you enjoy the planning process and that’s something that you get stuck into, make that a part of the plan if that gets you going for the day, but then make sure that you are planning out the parts that you actually enjoy to get you going in the morning. I read recently, I just started reading Atomic Habits. I don’t know if you’ve read that.
Megan Porta: Oh, I love that book. It’s one of my favorites ever.
Jules Grasekamp: I’ve not finished it yet, but I just read the chapter about habit stacking, which I think would be really helpful for someone in this situation. So what he says there is, it’s about attaching habits onto one another. So if okay, once I’ve finished this particular task as soon as I’m finished that is the trigger to begin this next one or this habit or task. I think that can be really helpful as well to kinda keep the flow going. Because if you have it set up almost like when you’re doing super sets in the gym, right? If okay, as soon as that task is done, I’m gonna go straight into this one. You have that already planned out in advance, it’ll help you to throw it more like a flow rather than you do a task and then you stop and take a break and then you go and do something else and you get distracted. So yeah, maybe trying something like the habit stacking, I highly recommend that book. Like I say, I’m not finished, but there’s a lot in there about just making yourself do the things.
Megan Porta: Yeah. I always say it’s life changing and that sounds dramatic, but it’s so true.
Jules Grasekamp: Absolutely.
Megan Porta: I’ve read it a few times and I feel like it just can change your business, but it can also change your life and both can bleed into the other, especially as a blogger when you work from home all the time. So I think every person listening to this podcast right now should read Atomic Habits. It is so worth your time.
Jules Grasekamp: Definitely. It’s a game changer.
Megan Porta: It is a game changer. All right. Is there anything we’ve missed that you feel like we should cover? I feel like this is such a good map that you’ve laid out for us, Jules, but I wanna make sure we have covered it all.
Jules Grasekamp: I think the only other thing I’d want to say is, a lot of people say that they can’t start and run their dream businesses because they think they don’t have the knowledge or the skills, or they don’t have what it takes. But that’s just not true. The difference between the people who start successful businesses or blogs and the ones that don’t, it’s not some secret ingredient, is just that they went out there and they did it, and you absolutely can too. If you just decide that you’re gonna do it, make this plan and take action, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t accomplish those big dreams within the timeframe that you want to.
Megan Porta: I love it and keep dreaming big.
Jules Grasekamp: Definitely.
Megan Porta: Don’t let others’ opinions about your business or your life stop you from dreaming big. I think that’s maybe the most important thing of all.
Jules Grasekamp: Absolutely. If people don’t have someone that they can tell their big dreams to, just DM me. Message me. I will listen to your dreams and your goals.
Megan Porta: Same. I love it. I love hearing big dreams. Awesome. This has been so fun. I could literally talk to you for hours and hours about this, but I suppose I should let you go about your day, Jules. Thank you so much for joining me and for delivering all of this value to food bloggers today.
Jules Grasekamp: Thank you for having me. It’s been really fun.
Megan Porta: Yes, agreed. Do you have either a favorite quote or words of inspiration to share with us?
Jules Grasekamp: I do. My all time favorite quote is actually from Walt Disney and he says, the world is a magical place. Choose your own adventure. Which I love because it’s about just deciding what your path is gonna look like.
Megan Porta: Oh, that’s so great. I love it. We’ll put together show notes for you, Jules. So if you wanna go look at those, head to eatblogtalk.com/boniBakery. Tell everyone where they can find you. So your blog, social media, and all of those good things.
Jules Grasekamp: Sure. So my blog is bonibakery.com. That’s B O N I. Bakery. I’m the same on Instagram, B O N I_ Bakery. I actually have an underscore in there. I need to change that at some point but Boni_Bakery, and I’m that on Instagram and Facebook.
Megan Porta: Thank you so much for being here and thank you for listening today, food bloggers. I will see you in the next episode.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Eat Blog Talk. Don’t forget to head to forum.eatblogtalk.com to join our free discussion forum and connect with and learn from like-minded peers. I will see you next time.
💥 Join the free EBT community, where you will connect with food bloggers, gain confidence and clarity as a food blogger so you don’t feel so overwhelmed by ALL THE THINGS!
Want to achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible? Stop by Eat Blog Talk to get the details on our Mastermind program. This transformative 12-month experience will help you accomplish more than you would be able to in 5+ years when forging ahead alone.
Click the button below to learn what a mastermind program is, what your commitment is and what Eat Blog Talk’s commitment to you is.
✍️ Reach out to connect with Heather Eberle, a copywriter for food bloggers. As much as you enjoy your business, maybe writing or marketing isn’t your cup of tea. Maybe you’d rather spend more time in the kitchen and less time on your laptop. Heather is here to clear your plate!