I love this interim week as the current year comes to a close, and the excitement of the New Year is just slightly ahead.
It’s a refreshing week. Even though it’s short, and it’s filled with all types of family holly jollies, I can bet that you as a business owner are sitting down, journal in hand, ready to think through the past year, and what’s to come in the year ahead.
It’s an important task to do, and I don’t need to reiterate why. We all recognize that reflecting on how far we have come helps us celebrate the small victories when they often feel like they’re hiding. It also sets us up with a new outlook on the year ahead, and keeps us honest to continued growth.
Instead, I want to give you 3 things that you should be reflecting on from your year past, and how to set yourself up to change or improve these things in the year ahead.
Did You Earn Enough?
This one seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised that there are still too many entrepreneurs out there who think they need to be sacrificing their livelihood for the growth of their business. There’s too many business owners out there who are still taking pay cuts, or worse – not paying themselves at all – because their business isn’t set up properly to support paying them what they need.
So the first question you need to ask yourself – Did you earn what you wanted to earn this past year? If the answer is yes, congratulations. How can you challenge your limits this upcoming year and increase that number? If you’re earning what you “need” – how can you make it what you “want?”
If you didn’t earn enough, this is a chance to really lay out the foundation and examine why. Is it because of a lack of knowledge? You might not understand how to move money through your business, and that’s perfectly fine – we all started somewhere. Do you have too much debt that you don’t know how to get out from under? Or is your business just simply not intaking enough to have enough output for you?
This is the most important fact to consider first, because if we don’t pay ourselves what we need to from our business, we run the risk of entrepreneurial poverty and burnout. Remember — the pilot has to eat first to fly the plane to safety, when there’s only one sandwich left on board. You’re the pilot in your business. Take care of yourself so that the business can continue to be there to serve others.
Some of the easy things to implement in this next year that can help you earn more:
- Implement the Profit First system to managing your money.
- Increase the prices of your services to support paying yourself and then, your staff.
- Delegate some of the low-level tasks to a staff member, to free up more of your time to spend reinvesting into sales and marketing tactics to grow your business.
Did You Work Too Much?
I love asking the CEO’s that we mentor this question because it really exposes the internal workings of the business. If your answer is, “Yes,” to this question, then we’ve got some changes to make. If your answer is, “No,” – again, congratulations. You’re ahead of 90% of most small business owners.
The problem with asking this question is that most entrepreneurs don’t know what “too much” looks like for them. Those that are in the trenches in their business will understand that “too much” looks like missing kids activities, not making it home in time for dinner with the family, and feeling like they just can’t get out of the rut of opening and closing their business every single day.
It’s the ones who have some staff hired that really get caught in the trap of “too much.” If you have staff members but you still find yourself doing a lot of those things, these are the things you need to focus on in the year ahead. Removing yourself from your business isn’t for every entrepreneur – some want to stay involved in their businesses, and that’s totally fine – but there’s a balance between doing tasks that have low and high ROI in exchange for your time. As you level up your CEO skills and abilities, we want to focus on making sure you’re only exchanging your time for high ROI tasks.
Some things you can look at this year:
- Are you doing jobs that you could offhand to a staff member with the proper set of instructions and still get the same results?
- Are you reinvesting your time into things that will actually grow your business, or distracting yourself with your to-do list?
- Are you spending enough time with your family, picking up a hobby or two, and learning to be a human being outside of your business?
Is Your Business Where You Need It To Be?
The last honest question to ask yourself – Are you truly where you want to be?
I remember asking myself this question when I was planning out what my Perfect Day needed to look like, long ago. The answer was two-fold: On one hand, I knew there were these things that I wanted. On the other hand, I didn’t truly believe that I would ever get there.
All I needed was an outside objective perspective to say to me, “Of course you can do those things. Here’s the steps on how we make it happen, and here’s what you need to do.”
If your business isn’t where you want it to be, it doesn’t mean that you can never get there, and it also doesn’t mean that it has to take an exceptionally long time. The easiest (and fastest) way to make the progress you want, is to hire a mentor. A business mentor has been where you’re desiring to go, and has already worked through the problems, mistakes, and expenses that arise along the way. They are there to offer perspective, and insight. Two things that are hard to find when you’re in the thick of it.
Enjoy this interim week as you look back on all the things you have accomplished, and the road ahead you have yet to travel. We truly believe the greatest journey is that of an entrepreneur.
To book a call with our mentor team, just click here.
And if you’re not ready to start with a business mentor, you can always join The CEO Clubhouse for all kinds of free resources, tips, tricks, webinars, and strategies that will help you grow your business. Just request in, and our team will add you in immediately.