2020: Perfect Vison or Hindsight Clarity
2020 has many meanings; including the new year and new decade. Entrepreneurs should begin 2020 by having 20/20 vision: perfect vision into their business and where they want to go and 20/20 hindsight: clarity on what they have done in the past and how they can learn from it.
It is human nature to reflect back on the past, both good and bad and it is no different as a business owner. Reflection is good if it is done with the right frame of mind. If you think of reflection as looking in the rear view mirror, you will look at things a bit differently. Remember that looking in the rear view mirror is a quick look back, once, maybe twice. Do not dwell on the past.
Why do you look in the rear view mirror? You do it to see what is behind you to avoid hitting something. If you think of your periodic business reflection in this way, you can use what you have done in order to avoid making a mistake going forward. Looking at things with a critical eye on how to avoid them in the future is similar to avoiding something when driving.
Reflect on how your business performed by making a list of the top 3 things that you and your team did to improve the business in the areas of Operations, Finances, Team and Brand. These are top line items, not the day to day results. The reason to focus from the top down is to set your company vision. Without a clear message and proper alignment to move forward as an organization, you will have a much harder time meeting your overall goals as well as department level goals.
Take one last look at the overall picture to bring your vision into focus: Ask yourself:
What were the surprises or unknown factors that had an impact (good or bad) on your business; should you have known and anticipated these things?
What factors that impacted your business were within your control or not in your control?
What steps could have been taken or should have been taken earlier to change the outcomes? How did these factors have an impact on your business results?
Now that you have done a little reflecting, look forward and use your answers to set your vision and make changes going forward. Ask yourself, how will what you have learned impact the company in the current year? Be critical, take the time to observe the current situation and surroundings.
There will always be things in your way or line of vision. Being alert and paying attention to details helps eliminate the likelihood of an accident or misstep, both while driving and in running your business. Use your perfect vision to set the course for the new year and refine your visions based on what you have done in the past. As a visual person, I find it helpful to write things down, take time away, come back and review, revise what you have already written down and write some more. By writing everything down, it seems a bit more real and clear once it is on paper.
Seeing what is ahead and knowing where you want to go based on your past and your future vision, allows you to move forward with fewer missteps and more confidence.
Hit the gas and go!