I normally do not do New Year’s Resolutions. I normally break them and I generally do not make it far into the year without forgetting what I promised to do or not do. But this year is different! Not because I am making promises that I know I am not going to keep, but because I have laid the groundwork to create lasting change. Long story short, over the past five years I have been through many changes (some good, some bad) in my law firm. It got to the point where I was really frustrated with my business as it existed.
wasn’t satisfied with the result that I was getting. I admit that was mostly my fault due to the choices that I made. I made a choice to put my family first and how I chose to do that meant that I made less money than I could have over the years. I do not regret the choices, but I do regret the results. So I have learned that my choices need to be based on my end game not my current game. I have preached that for a long time, but I have never really practiced it. So, I am not practicing what I preach. Easier said than done!
Every day brings new choices. - Martha Beck
There are long term goals that I want to achieve. I do not necessarily think short term, I look at things 3-5 years out. In order to make those goals, I need to lay the groundwork to make those things happen. I want to be debt free. I want to be the premier education source for small business owners. I want to work with other small business owners and help them reach their goals. These things do not happen overnight. More importantly, I have learned that I cannot achieve these things in my own cocoon. I will have to bring in professionals, establish relationships and look at things in ways that I would not normally consider. Why? Because the goals are big enough to include other people. I have made a choice that I am not going to do everything by myself. Regardless of the perception of how much money I seem to have or do not have. I am going to determine what I need to make those goals happen and bring in the people necessary to help me achieve those goals.
If you're presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything. - Katy Perry
It is not that I have not been confident in the past, it has been that I did not want to appear as boastful or come off as arrogant. It is not enough for you to know that you know what you are doing. Others have to believe that you know what you are doing. In 2015 I looked back on the work that I did for a company and realized that I had been selling myself short. I accomplished a lot for this company and no one would know it if I did not say anything. That is because I stayed mostly in the background where I felt most comfortable. But being in the background meant that others could take credit for my work without any fight from me. So, I have decided that I am not going to allow that anymore. Does that mean that I am going to go around shouting from the rooftops what things I have accomplished with clients? No, of course not. But it does mean that I am going to track and mark the work that I have done and ensure that my clients see the results.
How do you know if you are getting the results that you need? – Odin Zackman
I serve on the board of a nonprofit. At one of our committee meetings, our consultant asked a question . . . “How do you know if you are getting the result that you need?” That stuck with me. Most people probably did not notice what he was asking but I did. There are results and then there are needed results. Many times we do things for the sake of doing things. We get 100 likes on Facebook, have 1,000 people on our mailing list or increase sales by 10%. Those are results, good ones at that. But are they the results that we need? Are they the results that get you to where you want to go? If you do not know the answer to that problem than any results you get are not helping you toward your goal. What I have realized it is important to know what results I need from the choices that I make. If I hire a marketing person, I need to understand the results that I need to accomplish my goals. What is promised may not be what I need and therefore I need to be clear about my needs.
Lastly, I want to encourage any of you that are thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions to think past this year. Think about your business in the long term and set goals that allow 2016 to be a conduit to those goals. I am normally not into numerology and I do not think that there is a lot of significance in numbers. But somehow I feel that 2016 is going to require of all of us to focus on the possibilities. In the bible the number 16 represents God’s love and the ultimate sacrifice that he made for us. As you walk into 2016, go forward knowing that the choices about love and sacrifice will be the key to getting the result that you need!
Shahara Wright is an experienced and highly sought after business law attorney and business strategist. She is the author of From Entrepreneur to CEO and host of the CEO Collaboration Circle. Shahara founded The CEO Effect, LLC to work with small business owners who want to implement strategy to build capacity.
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