Every business owner goes through the year thinking that next year is is going to be better than this year. It is the eternal optimist in every business person who ever owned and operated a business. But I believe that we can and do contribute to our own success by following a few key concepts. First, make a list of the things you want to accomplish personally and professional each year. Secondly, exhibit the confidence that you had when you started the business for all to observe and, thirdly, always follow through on the things you said you would do, including accomplishing your “to do’ list.
I am not a believer in resolutions for the new year, however I am a believer in defining goals for yourself, personally and professionally. There is a big difference between the two. As a business owner you want to continue to grow, both personally and professionally. Part of that growing comes through you setting goals to achieve each year. This ‘to do’ list may contain items that are personal, like running a marathon or learning to ballroom dance. It may also contain items that are business related, like growing the business 10% in 2012 or becoming active in your local community. Either way you are growing yourself and expanding your abilities to manage and operate your business. I recommend that you create two lists one that is personal and the other professional. The reason is that I believe that we, as business owners sometimes lose our identity as individuals and our identity becomes that of the business. At that point you lose prospective on both fronts.
Exhibiting confidence is one way to help others around you believe that you can accomplish the impossible and maybe grow the business 10 % in a down economy. The confidence that you exhibit will rub off on others. As the leader of the business you need to demonstrate that you can accomplish what you set out to do. That’s why your list each year helps you maintain the belief and confidence that all leaders exhibit. Setting goals is not new, but doing for it the reason discussed is perhaps a new view of an old concept.
Lastly, follow through on what you say. It is easy to get side tracked especially when it’s about you, “your business always comes first, no matter what.” It can easily happen, but keep that list of “to do’s” in a place that you will look at on a daily basis, to remind you of the things that are important to you. When times get tough remind yourself of the goals that you set at the beginning of the year and reaffirm the commitment to accomplish those goals on the “to do” list. It will help you enjoy the work you do and make you feel better about everything around you.