Are you ready for a big New Year’s bash? Well, hold on for a minute, because there is something that you should be doing first!
For most people, the end of the year is a great time to make plans. As an entrepreneur, I agree, but it’s also the best time to take stock of everything that you went through in your business over the last 12 months. Analyzing all of your successes and setbacks can set you up for a successful year ahead!
People say that we learn from our failures, but we actually might learn more from our successes.
Whenever you reach a significant milestone with your business, it’s something to celebrate. But it would be best if you didn’t do it blindly. Instead, you should deeply examine what you did that got you to this point. Was it hard work? Dumb luck? A combination of both (It’s usually a combination if I’m perfectly honest).
By taking stock of your biggest successes at the end of December, you can create a similar roadmap going into the upcoming year. Make notes and break down the reasons you were successful. You want to keep modeling those behaviors and choices in the future!
Learning from our failures is the other side of the coin. Yes, we need to learn what works, but we also need to learn what doesn’t.
Have you ever thought back to something you did when you were a teenager and say, “Geez, I was so stupid! Why did I do such a dumb thing?” Well, the reason you aren’t STILL doing dumb things is that you learned from your mistakes. It’s the same thing when you’re an entrepreneur.
A newly-minted small business owner with little to no experience is going to make countless dumb mistakes, and someone like you or I is going to think, “Duh. That was an obvious stupid move.” But here’s the thing: the only reason we know it was a stupid move is that we likely did it ourselves when we were in their position. We needed to live through that failure to get to the point where we know better!
Obviously, reflecting on the times that you failed this year is going to be much more draining than remembering your successes. But it’s equally important. Taking stock at the end of the year of the lessons that you learned from your failures will allow you to avoid them (or at least mitigate them) in the future.
When it comes to entrepreneurial success, no one does it alone. Yes, you might be your own boss. Heck, you might be the only employee at your company. But still, going at it all by yourself won’t work if you’re looking to build a business from nothing.
I know for a fact that, if I didn’t have my family, I wouldn’t have found a 10th of the success I have today. Their support and love give me the fuel I need to go out and grow my businesses. They help me every single day, and it’s important to acknowledge that, both to them AND to myself.
I’m sure there are dozens of people in your life who help you daily in countless ways. This is the perfect time to remember them and think about how you can repay their kindness and support in the upcoming year. In other words, pay it forward! If someone cares about you, care about them right back. You never know how that kind of investment will pay off in the future!
Something you hear a lot about nowadays is burnout. There were several stories in the media a few months ago about “YouTube Burnout.” Content creators on YouTube were having trouble making new videos because they were burned out and exhausted. These weren’t little channels either; these were big players in the YouTube content creation game.
Some people said, “Pfft, what do YouTubers have to be burned out about?” but I totally got it. While these people are using YouTube as their platform, really, they are running their own businesses. They are entrepreneurs who are creating original content for their audience/customers. And as an entrepreneur myself, I felt a tremendous amount of sympathy for what they were going through.
As an entrepreneur, everything is on you. The success of your business depends on your ability to execute your vision. That kind of pressure can get to you, leading to burnout. It might even be worse when you’ve reached a certain level of success. By that point, you feel like you need to do more and more, simply to maintain your business’ current level of growth.
This potential for burnout is why it’s so important to take stock of your feelings at the year’s end. If you are feeling exhaustion on the horizon, you are going to need to make some changes. These might be small things to get annoying, repetitive tasks off your back, or significant structural changes in your business. You want to avoid burnout at all costs because if you reach that point, everything is going to freeze. It’s a struggle that all entrepreneurs must deal with, so heading it off at the pass at the beginning of the year is essential.
Everyone naturally reflects at the end of the year, but as entrepreneurs, we must take it a step further. Taking stock at the end of the year in December will ensure that you’re heading into the beginning of January with some perspective about what works, what doesn’t, and what you need to improve to reach the success you’ve always wanted. Please write it down, talk it over with someone, and give it some real thought in the shower. Trust me; it’s going to be time well spent!