How To Evaluate Your Business Year 2013 For A Winning 2014

What Did You Do Right? What Did You Do Less-Right?
What’s Up For 2014?

take stock of your business year

Re-Solutions, That’s what.

In November, I wrote about creating a strong sense of purpose for your business. Now, with the 2013 year-end approaching rapidly and many of us beginning to think ahead to 2014, I’m marking some time to focus on what it means to take stock and how that propels us forward. Reviewing and evaluating our year as small business owners, where we started out, what the initial challenges and goals were, how we tackled them and where we ended up presents us with tremendous amounts of information if we’re willing to take a peek into the Pandora’s Box of scrutiny.

Take stock of what you’ve accomplished over the span of the year. And I mean really take stock and register your accomplishments. Promise yourself you won’t just shrug and say “oh, that wasn’t much” or “That didn’t count”. Don’t take your own efforts for granted. People tend to diminish the importance or value of the things that come easily to them. They also tend to forget what they’ve already checked off their list once it’s been checked. I’d like to suggest that you look closely. Zero in to uncover where you’ve been in order to be able to create a game-plan for moving forward. I’m not talking about the drill-down of analytics, conversions or bottom lines. I’m concentrating on something a little more subtle perhaps. And personal. A look at the wider picture, how you’ve spent your time, your actions, your choices and prioritizing – and most importantly  …..what you have learned in these last 12 months.

Pat yourself on the back, give yourself some kudos, a little self-love and appreciate where you’ve come from and how you’ve succeeded. It will uncover where you can capitalize on your own strengths and abilities to make the most of them in the future. It will also help you to discover where your growth edges lie. Looking at what you do well, what you’ve done so far is a great starting point for choosing where to go next and make improvements.

All-Right. (word futzing intended)

The year is ending and people around you are inventing self-pressure to do better next year. Let’s go with excitement and motivation instead.

I don’t like the word “resolution” because it always seems doomed to fail. So I’ll take a mis-remembered reframe from my yoga teacher, Denise Zaverdas, of Montecito Yoga. I had it in my mind as “Re-Solution”, but as it turns out, that’s not especially yogic and not the reframe Denise created which is “re-SOULution”. But that’s pretty cool in this context too. Either way works for me and they can go hand in hand.  I’ll add to that the concept of “intention”. I think that gets you much closer in touch with your driving forces, where your pitfalls and hazards lie so you can begin to move forward successfully.

Once you’ve given yourself credit for what you’ve done, ask:

~ What can I continue to learn about and how can I do that more effectively?
~ What did I overlook this year?
~ What got stuck in the ‘it’s a good idea not yet executed pile’?
~ Why did it get stuck?
~ What would I like to explore and embark upon next?

Revisiting the items on our list of uncompleted to-do’s, re-evaluating those to encourage an awareness of what your intentions are for the coming year is important and will prove useful as the months ahead begin to unfold.

From there, start creating new lists. Record your thoughts at this stage of the game so you’ll have something tangible to refer to later on.

Perhaps you’ve been pushing hard non-stop, juggling and balancing. You’ve observed your mentors, colleagues and competitors, read countless articles, bookmarked those you didn’t have time to read, written your own, archived, collected and created inspiration for the future. And simply been doing doing doing with very little time to slow down, take stock, regard where you are and make an assessment, allow for some sinking in and percolating. Slow down for a moment or two.

While you’re at less than full speed ahead, revisit your past efforts. Look at the details of the scenarios that stand out. What worked best? What disappointed you? Pay attention to it all.

From there, begin to consider those Re-Solutions.

And then, bite off what you can chew. Don’t bog yourself down with requiring that you achieve the masterpiece right out of the chute. It’s better to assess what your needs are and create a phase list if there’s a lot. What can I handle right now? What will stretch my current abilities in a do-able way? Go for that as something you can execute and finish. If it’s an ongoing item pick something you can sustain.  Do it really well. And then, what’s next?

Find fresh approaches and the inspiration to lead you towards the intentions that will allow for the giant steps you are about to take.

Photo: Gina Fiedel

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    By: Gina Fiedel

    Gina Fiedel is the co-founder/owner of Fat Eyes Web Development. After a successful career as an artist and transitioning into electronic media in the early 90’s, she then founded Fat Eyes in 1998 to bring those skills to the web with her husband, Doug Anderson. Being engaged in business has created gratifying opportunities for communication and new inroads towards making a contribution that counts. You can learn more about Gina on the Fat Eyes Who Are We? page and Gina Fiedel Story.

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