Winter is naturally a time of ‘taking stock’ and of reflection on the past year, a time to review. But why should we bother to think about the past, shouldn’t we just be looking forwards? I believe that there are two very good reasons for reflecting on what we have done:
Firstly, whilst we should not be constrained by our past, we need to understand it so that our futures can be more effective. George Santayana is credited with the famous quote: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We want to perform better each and every year; the last thing we want to do is make the same mistakes again…….we’d be falling into the trap so eloquently described by Einstein of keep on doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome.
Secondly, we need to look at our successes and make sure that time is taken to celebrate them. We spend so many hours thinking about what we need to do and what we haven’t done yet that we forget to mark what we have achieved. This is why within The Last Hurdle we have the Snoopy dance – what may appear a trivial little action necessitating some good office banter and ritual humiliation; it is our way of celebrating good news. We take the time to revel in our achievements.
But that is only half the story, having looked back and taken the time to review the past year it is equally important to look forward and plan for the next. We keep banging on about ‘You’ve got to have a plan Stan!’ because without a plan how can you hope to move forwards. Now is the ideal time to reassess your direction and make sure that you are driving the right way. It is also a chance to make sure that you are still doing the business you aimed to do when you began, are you still doing what you love and have a passion for?
Take some time over this winter to ask yourself those difficult questions and, even more importantly, to give honest replies. Another phrase that has become a mantra for us is that ‘People buy from people’, so if you can’t be passionate about what you’re doing – why should anyone else be? We spend too many hours at work not enjoy it so make sure you’re doing what you love.
The final thing is, having put the effort in to think about your business and develop a vision for the coming year, write it down. Mold your thoughts into a plan for the coming year (and longer) and re-visit it regularly to make sure you are still on track.
If you want some assistance in getting that plan on paper ask for a complimentary consultation with one of our business development specialists – we are here to help.