If you are like most entrepreneurs, there are many things you learned about your business this year. Today is a good time to take stock and put those lessons in writing so you can use them later.
Nothing works unless you do.
One of the biggest lessons I learned this year is that when it comes to my business, nothing works unless I do. I am a planner. I wholeheartedly believe that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When I look back at my plans for the year, I see that I started the year with great enthusiasm. I had a plan, it was a SMART plan, and sometimes I worked that plan. Over the course of the past 12 months, I have had many successes and many failures in my business.
What I learned that was key, is that nothing worked when I did not work. The things in my plan that I worked on, and worked on consistently, happened. Those things were started, worked on, and completed. There were other things, big, bold, and audacious things that I ignore or didn’t give the effort needed. When it came to those things, I was a failure. The things I didn’t work on didn’t happen.
Time is fixed and finite.
I am excellent at creating plans, some of them are even SMART plans. What I am not good at is having 27 hour days. My days are 24 hours long. Yet, on occasion, I put 27 hours worth of items on my to-do lists. This means at the end of one day and the beginning of the next, I was disappointed with my progress. I was disappointed because everything on the list was not getting done each day. This means that projects were not getting completed and I was not operating at my best.
How those lessons impact the future.
1. Make the plan and work the plan
Now that I clearly see and understand these lessons, it impacts my future. From this point forward, I am going to work more strategically. This means when I start a project I am going to diligently follow that plan. Never again will I be disappointed at the end of a month, the end of a quarter or the end of the year. When my plan calls for me to do something, I am simply going to do it.
2. Not everything worth doing can be done by me.
Going forward with my business, I will make sure more things do not make my to-do list. There are many great ideas and projects that come to my mind each day. Not every one of those has to or can be done each day. I will discipline myself more so that my to-do lists are organized by priority and by the time needed. It is not sufficient to make a plan and add tasks to a daily to-do list.
3. Pay attention to time requirements.
Instead, items on the to-do list must be placed where there is time to do them. This means if a task tasks an hour to complete, it cannot be placed on the to-do list if there are only 30 minutes available on a certain day. Either the things already on that day have to be moved, or this new one hour task needs to be moved. It is not rocket science. It is not emotion. It is simple math.
The biggest lessons I learned in my business this year is that I do not get the results when I do not put out the work required and things take time. Take a moment now to look at your business. What lessons did you learn? How will you use those lessons in the future?