The end of the year is a terrific time to stop and take stock of your accomplishments as well as the things that didn’t quite go according to plan. Even if your budget year doesn’t follow the calendar year, you can still benefit from using this theme of the season to:

  • Reflect and rejoice on successes
  • Give thanks to valued customers and clients
  • Express appreciation to your employees
  • Think about how to meet your remaining goals

My year-end reflection goes a bit deeper than reviewing balance sheets and goal-setting lists. When you’re an entrepreneur, your job is more than a job, it’s pretty much your whole life. So, in addition to asking yourself what made the business a success this year, also ask yourself:

  • What made me happy?
  • What made me feel stressed?
  • When did I feel most successful?
  • When did I feel most challenged (good or bad)?

Why? What’s The Point Of All This Reflection?

The point in taking time to reflect is not to get wrapped up in the success of the business itself, but also take stock of how you were affected by the business’ success or challenges this year. You could have a totally successful business on paper but be stressed out and unhappy. At that point, it would be a good idea to ask yourself if it was worth it and what you can do to change things in the future so you don’t feel that way again. As an entrepreneur you have this prerogative.

Also, like anything you take the time to review, you can glean a lot of useful information from the practice! What you do with that information can transform the way you do business and run your life! It’s similar to learning from our mistakes (and successes!). The information is only useful if you do something with it… plan for the future.

Using Reflection To Look Forward

Reflection is very similar to reviewing business goals. But it goes deeper than that by forcing you to contemplate not just the facts, but how goals were achieved or missed, how the activities affected staff, customers, and yourself, and whether the investment or trade-offs were worth it. It’s a softer or more organic way of looking at the business because it combines the emotional with the factual. By looking at business activities and outcomes in this manner you can better prepare yourself and the business for growth and future success.

Here’s a prompt to get you started:

Close your eyes and wave a magic wand, pretend you are exactly one year ahead. It’s the end of 2019. What would have happened in 2019 to make it a great year? What changes would have to happen? What does your income look like? What does your schedule look like? Do you have people working for you? What do they do? What aspects of your business would you focus on if you only had to work on the things that you love, that truly fascinate and fulfill you? What would you never do again if you knew it would get done and get done well with absolutely no input from you?

Take some time to free write and journal your thoughts and responses to these questions and more, then come back to it throughout 2019 to stay on track. Use it when you develop goals for the business, yourself, or particular employees, at mid-year check-ins, or at this time next year! Join our private Facebook group, The Wealthy Entrepreneur, to access a free download that can help!

Check Back For More Tips On Building Success Later This Month

As we move through December, we’ll come back to this topic of learning from the past to build future success. Future blog posts will cover outsourcing, automation, streamlining, and bringing in more income!

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the many tools available at The Marketing Shop! In addition to our Facebook group where you can connect with other entrepreneurs (and get that free download!), we’re also offering a free content marketing webinar, our exclusive Business Owners’ Toolbox, and a brand-new 12-week program called Jumpstart Your Revenue in 90 Days. This is all in addition to our regular content marketing services!

Together, we can make 2019 your best year yet!

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