I always take the first week or two of a New Year and digest the year past. 2013 Was a year of getting organised and taking control, not only for me, but so many people I’ve spoken to. For me, I took time to streamline the business; our processes, services and how we can deliver the best value, both efficiently and profitably. For some it was about sorting out their emotions, or personal life, others have been organising at home or their education… regardless of where one needed to regain control, I have no doubt that it was a demanding year for most. But as I sit on the cusp of a new year with unknown potential, I feel more prepared and equipped. There is something magical about getting through some important “to-do’s”, a sense of accomplishment, as if things seem clearer. 2013 Was certainly not just another year! it was fast, dynamic and alive.
As an entrepreneur, wife and mother, I also took time to organise my commitments. It’s a farce that owning your own business means you have control over your own life. It has to be a conscious decision. You have to define your boundaries. A good friend told me about a course he completed on time management … he said “you need to allocate specific time to specific tasks, not only your appointments, but also those mundane tasks you regularly have to do, such as doing a backup, diarise them in your calendar.” He allocates time to sit with sales staff to discuss their project status and they need to make sure they have all their ducks in a row, because they can’t just knock on his door whenever they remember another question. It sounds harsh, but if we don’t put these parameters in place it’s like reading the same line in a novel 7 times because someone always interrupts you before you can start the next one. By the end of last year I was getting quite good at it, in fact it got easier to get through chunks of my “to-do” list. I simply allocated time in my calendar to do things that needed to get done.
Last year, when people would ask me how it was going; I would tell them that I was slowing things down so I could manage all the demands in my day. It was a conscious focus I adopted from the start… only to find at the end of the year when I took a look at my revenue … to my surprise, my turnover had increased by no less than 50%! That realisation had quite an impact on me, as I’m sure you can imagine.
So it is with gratitude that I say good bye to 2013 and its lessons; and with enthusiasm, decisiveness and expectation I step into 2014. I am not stepping into this year simply hoping for the best, waiting to see what it will bring. No, no, no! I am planning for a year of blessings, of growth and challenges. The key word here being PLAN! By planning and preparing for the year ahead, I am more likely to make conscious steps toward my end goal. It’s going to be like playing a good game of chess, not only is winning great, but each step of the game is a reward in itself.
So, what’s your take on 2014?