2018 – Looking back to move forward.

2018 is officially in the books! It’s time to take stock of bright spots and disappointments and start planning for 2019.  Some people think this whole practice is a waste of time, but I find that taking time to stop and reflect on the past year is critically important to personal, professional and business growth.  
 
As business people, we’ve all heard the axiom, “you get what you measure”.   The reason is that that’s where the focus is.
 
Not wanting to confront the brutal facts generally isn’t a good policy either.  Hiding from the truth generally doesn’t get favorable results.  At some point, reality comes home to roost. 
 
As a business owner, here are some questions/challenges you may want to ponder.  
  • How is the year going to end? Is the business growing, flat or declining?
  • Have you increased the value of your business in the past year?
  • Is your leadership team driving growth, innovation, and value?
  • Have I become a better leader? Is my leadership style getting the best out of my team and are they excelling in their own growth?
  • Did you meet your personal goals in 2018?  Do you have a personal financial plan, and did you fund your retirement plan at a level that is creating financial certainty for you and your family?
 
I think it is good to look back at the past, but only for learning.  Don’t get stuck in blame and resentment about what didn’t happen that you wanted to, or what did happen that you didn’t want to.  Understand – and own – your role in the matter. Learn from it and move forward.  
 
The mind is a fascinating machine, but it has some glitches.  One of them is its inability to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time.  So if you are stuck in blame and resentment, you can’t be in a mode of creativity and problem-solving.  Let go of the blame.
 
Let’s move now to 2019… your tomorrow.  What is your plan to drive value in your business and your personal life for 2019?  This process can be overwhelming, but slow it down and simply ask the question:  “What is my vision for 2019, for my business and for me personally?” That critical question leads to the next step – not all of the steps – just the next one. What do you need to start doing to make that vision a reality?
 
We have found there are “value points” in your business and personal life. And when you focus on developing them and leveraging them, they will lead to tremendous success and happiness.  Some of those value points to ponder are…
  • Do you have a strategic growth plan with accountability for execution?
  • What’s your plan to add business value in 2019?
  • Is your leadership team driving growth and innovation?
  • Have you set personal goals as an owner for your growth, including professional, emotional, financial, and family goals?
  • Are you sensing a shift in your drive, moving from a mindset of success to a mindset of significance? Do you know what your next chapter looks like?
If you did not take advantage of some ‘allowed’ downtime to reflect, do it now. It’s not too late. It’s good for your soul, good for your health, and good for business.