America goes back to work this week after two weeks of Holidays, family, friends, and travel. Not everyone took the past 10 days to two weeks off, however a significant amount did and a major amount of the rest scaled back in business activities. So in essence, the country goes back this week and the question for all of us is—are we ready?
The new Congress gets sworn in and takes office this week—are they up to the task of moving us forward? Most businesses have assessed 2014 and are ready to hit 2015 hard. Many, many of us made New Year resolutions. The euphoria of a New Year, despite facing a potentially rough winter, is here. Are we ready?
Some will hit the ground running, because they prepared for the New Year and targeted this week to begin to make things happen. Others will begin the process of analysis, goal setting and planning. Others like retailers will count the money from the Holidays, take inventory and regroup. In which group do you fall?
When you finish your goal setting and documented plan to achieve those goals, what is next?
- COMMIT to the plan. I mean truly commit to the plan. Conjure up all the resources and mindset you need to truly commit to the plan. Do not dabble—go all in!
- You need to start/IMPLEMENT immediately—do not procrastinate—it’s a good plan, so go for it, even if it is a mediocre plan, go for it. Working your plan moves you forward, taking action, activity—moving forward. As has been said, “people do not plan to fail, they fail to plan.”
- FOCUS on the plan—stay focused—daily. Whatever we focus on, we make happen. The focus tied to your commitment will ensure realization of the plan.
- Keep the plan VISIBLE. Some post a copy on their bathroom mirrors, some post it in their office, some keep a copy in their cars, others on their to do list. It only matters that you—keep it visible!
- DISCIPLINE is critical. Discipline yourself to stay the course and work the plan. This does not mean the plan is etched in stone. It means you work the plan, analyze the results often, scorecard the plan (what was the expectation, what were the results, if it did work stay the course; if it did not work—why, what were the reasons, reset and go after it again). Stay disciplined—avoid going off on tangents.
- EXECUTE the plan—implement the strategies one at a time or several at a time and DO the actions, steps, items you documented to achieve the strategies. Dot the I’s, Cross the T’s. If you are not the person that focuses on these details, surround yourself with those that do.
- REVIEW the plan often, daily/weekly, whatever works best for you. But review it! I know a very successful business owner that rises at 5 a.m. every day and reviews his plan—EVERY DAY!
- Perhaps the most important initiative is having an ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER. Most small business owners, unless their spouse is holding them accountable, have no one holding them accountable. This accountability partner could be a spouse, a business peer, a business coach, a financial advisor, etc. But whoever that person is, they have to meet with you regularly, to discuss your goals and plans. To challenge you on your results in relationship to the plan. To be a cheerleader when you succeed and tell you what you need to hear, when you are not executing and/or achieving your goals. This person’s job is to motivate you, keep you motivated, challenge you to go beyond, and hold you accountable for your results.
Are You Ready for 2015?