Year in Review

December 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment


I like to pause at this time to look over the past year and into the coming year.

As you look back over your year, ask your self these questions:


What surprised me most in my business?

How my business boomed this year. Usually, when people mention the recession word, business owners look for ways to slash spending which means outside services like bookkeeping are one of the first to go. But not this time. Business owners realized that if they were going to make it through they had better hunker down, with good data, and spend their time effectively.

What was the best thing I did?
I traveled. I took a trip to Iceland and England to attend TEDGlobal, in Oxford; I spent a week with my family on the Bras D’Or Lakes; I went to the Celebrating Communities Conference in Truro and I flew to Toronto to celebrate my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. I got clarity, new ideas, different perspectives, met amazing people and realized, you know, this is a pretty good world we live in.

What mistakes have I learned from?
Leadership has the responsibility of nurturing and supporting the people around me. This doesn’t come naturally to me so I am asking for help and trying to ally with others who can fulfill that role.

Listening is important to make sure that what I am hearing is what the other person is saying. We all see the world in a different way and perceive it through our own lens. I stumbled a couple of times from not having clear communication and expectations with other people.

What is my most proud accomplishment?
That I have taken several visions to completion and that I am bringing several others along. I turned thought into a tangible. Wow.

What did I not accomplish that I hoped I would?
I had hoped I would have several people here in the office working by now. I’m hopeful that I will by early in January.

Looking back, what was the theme of my year?
Going Places
By that I mean travel as well as learning and stepping out of my comfort zone.

As you look ahead, ask yourself these questions:

Where would I like to be in a year from now? ( I don’t necessarily mean geographically)
I’d like to have Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd. in 2 locations with 6 staff.
I’d like the Business Owners Success Club to have 600 on-line members making clear progress on their businesses every month.
I’d like to have taken 4 trips during the year, including a cross-Canada odyssey with my family.

What big thing can I accomplish next year?
I want to take the kids across Canada by Travel Trailer. That means getting my businesses to the point where I don’t have to be here. That means delivering value from where ever I am.

I’ve noticed that I have to focus beyond where I am so that I can overcome the fear and just deliver. I find fear rears its head and stalls projects just before completion as I begin to second guess myself and begin to worry about what other people will think. I’m hoping that by focusing on something bigger, I will be able to just deliver all that I can.

What can I get rid of to make room for better things?
I’d like to say fear, but that isn’t realistic. I can say that I will get rid of the hesitation that fear brings. Seth Godin has a great video about that here.

Which of my strengths can I highlight this year?
My strengths are Futuristic, Learner, Input, Maximizer, Strategic: I work best when I’m gathering information and figuring out the best way to use it. I’ve gathered lots of information and now I want to focus on turning it around and putting it back out there.

What would I like the theme for this year to be?
My theme will be Deliver

This is a great exercise to inspire yourself to keep moving forward. We tend to over estimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in 10 years. By doing this exercise every year, I am finding that I am accomplishing more every year while directing my 10 year plans better.

How about you…

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The Three Success Factors

I have worked closely with 100’s of business owners and I have seen too many struggle. I have seen what works and what doesn't.

It takes 3 things to succeed:
1. Hard work - and I know you do that already.
2. Knowledge - domain knowledge: you've got that and continue to learn; and business knowledge: this is where everyone focuses and it's easy to find
3. Mindset - This is the killer app. This is what makes or breaks small business owners.

We work on Mindset here at the Business Owners Success Club: how you think about yourself and your business.

When you focus on a business that gives you what you need to live a Good Life and gives others what they need to solve a problem, everything else falls into place and you have a successful business.

Using that as a framework we work on one aspect of business every month. February is "Your Place in Your Community" month.

In March we will open the doors to our online community. Stay Tuned.

Sign up here to play along.

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