Earlier this year I mentioned that I worked with a business coach to help me fine-tune my goals for 2016. While I've always been very self-motivated, I felt that I needed an outside perspective to help me identify opportunities where I didn't necessarily see them anymore and figure out what I needed to set aside to make room for new opportunities.
Fast forward to almost the end of the year and I'm proud to say this was, by far, my most successful business year. Why? Because I focused.
Each year that I've worked, either for a corporation or running my own business, I've developed a business plan for myself. I cannot sit still. I feel like there is so much to do, see, and experience, that I want to go see, do and experience. I want to learn new things, challenge myself, and meet new people. I want to tinker with problems, brainstorm solutions, and figure out ways to make things better or get the word out about something neat or important. My problem wasn't that I wasn't good at what I was doing, it was that I wanted to do too much in a short amount of time.
Andrea King Collier, my coach and friend, is a great listener and was able to hone in on this issue almost immediately. When I showed her my "goal" list in December, I'm pretty sure she thought I was nuts. We talked through each and every one of those goals and she reminded me that I didn't need to complete everything in one year and to choose my top five.
TOP 5 GOALS
Once we determined my top 5 goals for 2016, and shelve the rest for 2017 or 2018, it feels like my plate was empty. How could I only focus on 5, I thought? I'd get so bored and quickly! But Andrea persisted. By just focusing on those 5, I'd be able to actually complete them and hit it out of the park.
So whenever an opportunity for a new writing assignment came my way, or a new client wanted to work with me on marketing, communications or PR work, I went back to my 5 goals. Did this opportunity fit with any of those goals? If not, I declined the opportunity.
And, that, my friends, is how I ended up making this my best business year ever: by declining opportunities. Or, more accurately, the wrong opportunities.
I'm currently working on my goals for 2017 and while they're not quite yet finalized, my big goal for next year is to work on a book. It's been on my Goals List for years and I think I'm at a point in my life that I'm ready to embrace the project and process and see where it takes me. I'm going to be working with someone to help me through this process (because I strongly believe in surrounding myself with the best in the business and learn from them) and we begin in earnest the first week of January. Perfect.
As I look toward the last month of the year and wrapping up some client projects and writing assignments, I can't help but take a moment to think about all of the people who played a part in helping me get where I am today. I plan to reach out to them in December to thank them.
Sometimes this year feels like a blur because it went so fast, but it still felt great.
Did you meet the goals you set for yourself and your work this year? What do you feel you did well and what do you plan to do to improve in 2017?