Be A Boss: 7 Strategies to Take Your Business and Brand To The Next Level in 2018
As we bask in the holiday season and, quite frankly, spazz out over another full trip around the sun so quickly, many of us as entrepreneurs are also taking an account of what we’ve done in 2017.
For some of us, we are completing a good touchdown celebration in the proverbial end zone, while others of us are hanging our heads in shame at another (almost) 365 gone by without having achieved our goals.
One thing is for certain, by utilizing the last few weeks of the year to reflect on and evaluate your progress, regardless of the outcome, you are in position to set yourself up for success in the upcoming year.
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“Wait, aren’t we already at the end of the year? You want me to think about the end of NEXT year, already?”
Yes. By being aware of where you are today, you’re either inspired about what you can accomplish over the next year, or you’re MAD (motivated and determined) by what you didn’t accomplish this year. Either way, by propelling yourself to the finish line, it becomes more simple to work your way back to the start, and actually see how you will progress through the steps. Ask yourself: What’s my year end goal?
“Isn’t it enough to set my goal?”
No. Think of your goal as your destination. Now, think of your objectives as the steps to reach said destination. These two are often used together, and interchangeably, but they are different. After determining your goal, it’s beneficial to set up smaller steps, or check-ins, that help to measure your progress toward said goal. If your goal is to wind up in Florida, and you’re in California, your objectives would detail how you are making that trip (by car or perhaps by plane), and potentially, the check-in points you’re making along the way (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, or Louisiana perhaps). Ask yourself: What are the steps to my ultimate win? Are they clear enough for someone else to understand?
“Aren’t you gonna motivate me?”
Well, yes. But as an entrepreneur, there are going to be days where you “just don’t feel like it”. You’re going to question everything you ever thought about being a boss babe and want to cash it all in for a cubicle by the bathroom (LOL)…if only for a second. It’s in those moments, that it is important to already know your primary motivators. What are you doing it all for? Unsure? Grab a pen and paper and make a list of 50 things that would impact your life. Here are some things to consider while building your list: a) What do you want? b) What do you need? c) What do you need more time for? d) Who deserves more of your time? e) What is something weighing on you?
Once you have completed your list, go through and strike out 25 items, leaving the most important ones there. Then go through and strike out 15. Then strike out 5. If you can, strike out 2 more. Then, you will be staring at the 3 most important things in your life to achieve, shift, change or attend to. These are the things that will wake you up in the morning, or keep you up late at night, to achieve them by reaching your goals. Ask yourself: What do I REALLY want for my life?
“But I keep it all in my head!”
And that’s where it’s likely to stay. Many people go through life without setting goals. It’s safe to say that they aren’t entrepreneurs. But while many of us have mastered the art of setting goals, and even S.M.A.R.T. goals, there still exists a percentage among us that negate the power of writing down the plan. Literally, write down the various tasks that it will take to meet your outlined objectives. The destination means nothing without the steps. Ask yourself: What will it take to execute this plan?
“I’d rather just hope for the best.”
It would be ideal if your road from California to Florida was smooth, or the air wasn’t choppy, but anyone who has been on the road has experienced a bumpy stretch, just as frequent flyers have experienced turbulence. The fact of the matter is that after a certain point, you just come to expect some unpleasantries during your journey. And what happens when your expectant? You’re also prepared. When you anticipate potential roadblocks, you will set up contingency plans and become aware of certain possibilities to keep moving forward despite any difficulty. This is not to be confused with being negative. It’s called being proactive and aware. Ask yourself: What challenges am I most likely to face while working toward my goal?
“This is where I struggle most.”
And you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs cite not knowing what to do, regularly, as a hinderance to their productivity, and consistency. Remember step 4? Well, here’s where you make writing it all down actually mean something. After writing the tasks that are necessary, in order to complete objectives and reach your goal, you can create daily to-do lists, by pulling regularly from your larger game plan. Did you make note of our favorite Project Management System? We shared how we keep our tasks in order and get them done. Remember the analogy about eating an elephant one bite at a time? We’ll overlook the fact that no one wants to eat an elephant though. Ask yourself: Am I willing to follow my own directions?
This is a place that we all could use some work. As hardworking, get it done, find a way or make a way bosses, we often find ourselves moving from task to task, objective to objective and goal to goal without pausing to celebrate our work and our successes. This is important for 2 reasons: a) some of you actually operate better when you are rewarded/celebrated and b) even if you don’t thrive off of recognition, per se, you DESERVE it. Conversely, some of us may do a little too much celebrating, or reward ourselves more frequently than we work. Make sure the celebration fits the completed task. Ask yourself: How can I treat myself after this win?
As you complete your year end business (and life) inventory, ask yourself which of these areas you can use some work, and commit to going through each one to strategically set yourself up for the next level. Hey, and when you’re done, grab a glass of wine (or a bowl of ice cream) and kick your feet up. Completing these things for yourself, will be more than enough reason to celebrate.