January brings with it the excitement of planning for the new year. People all around the world are discussing their new year resolutions and goals for things like weight loss, better health and even happiness. Lists, charts and plans are filled with ways to create the perfect resolution and stick to it.
As an entrepreneur, it is just as vital to consider the steps to take for your business in the new year. Reflect on what you want/need to do to ensure continued business growth and success.
During our coaching process, we encourage clients to turn career stories and accomplishment statements into S.M.A.R.T. statements. As a business owner, this same principle can apply to setting your 2017 goals.
When thinking of your goals, keep the S.M.A.R.T. approach in mind. Set goals that are:
Running the day-to-day operations of a business can sometimes overshadow our goals for the year. It is easy to forget what our purpose is. This is where goal-setting and a positive attitude will help you on your path to success.
Visualize a more positive and brilliant future for your company. What does success look like to you? Hoping to win industry awards, publish a book, or simply generate more clients and revenue? What do you need to do today to set you and your company on the path to achieving this future?
With clear, measurable goals in play you become accountable for the steps you take each day, each month, and each year. Create a monthly, quarterly, annual, and even five-year plan. What do you hope to accomplish in these time frames? What steps do you need to take to achieve them?
Write goals down to stay on track. Each month, review and evaluate your goals. Are you on track? If not, consider revising and updating your goal setting plan to ensure success. There is always room to take a step back, slow down, and re-write your plan. Remember, the road to success is rarely linear!
If you are on track with your goals, give yourself a pat-on-the-back and know that you are positively guiding your business to new levels of growth and success.
As business owners, we are the back-bone of business success. Set realistic goals for yourself and your company. Trust that with clearly defined goals about your future and a positive belief that you will achieve your dreams, you will not fail.
Aim high and hit your mark on the world by believing in yourself and your company. Walk confidently in the direction of your dreams and face the fear of failure head-on with S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. Make this the year your business prospers. Embrace the journey of success!
— Skye Berry-Burke is the co-founder of CareerPreneur Partners and Owner/Founder of Skye Is The Limit Resume & Career Solutions. Reach out to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org with any business questions!
It’s been almost 10 years since I became a mom and a business owner, back to back. I tried my best to prepare, but each role involved a lot of “learn as you go”. One of my biggest challenges personally was finding a way to meet the needs of both of these high-demand tasks, simultaneously.
When things got tough – and trust me, they often did – I told myself I needed to find a better way to achieve balance. I wanted to be a loving, caring mother while also performing as a kick-butt career professional. I felt that with some time and effort I could reach an exact stability. Yet striving for perfection held me back.
After several years of precarious efforts I stumbled across an article by a mompreneur that said something along the lines of:
Raising kids while managing your own business is like standing on the beach near the ocean watching the waves roll in. You want to be in there riding every wave of opportunity, but sometimes you have to sit patiently on the shore to attend to the things that need you the most. Waves will continue to roll in; when the timing is right, jump back in.
This analogy hit home for me. It rang true. I didn’t have to chase and ride every, single wave. It was ok to let some waves roll by as I tended to the things that mattered ‘on shore’. There would be more waves; more opportunities.
With this in mind, I was able to let go of the relentless pursuit to ‘do it all’ and find that elusive perfect balance. I could ride the waves of highs and lows at a pace that worked for me, doing my best not to lose sight of the shore (the things that mattered most…my anchor).
Truthfully, balance is different for everyone and it doesn’t exist in any one perfect form. Some of my fellow colleagues agree.
Sharon Graham, the Executive Director of Career Professionals of Canada shares that: “I am most successful when I “blend” my entrepreneurial life with my personal life. I am doing what I love and so the lines between work and personal life are blurred.”
Maureen McCann of Promotion Career Solutions agrees that she doesn’t balance. She also blends. In her post Don’t Balance. Blend! she recommends that we “stop trying to balance a myriad of unconnected goals from different areas of life, whether they involve family, finances, fitness, career, or love. Instead, blend your goals into one incredibly fulfilling and rewarding life.”
The strategies needed to succeed in both work and life will certainly vary person to person, but to help ease stress Sharon recommends regular work breaks to spend time with the people in your life. In addition she shares her personal strategy for keeping things well-blended: “I purposely schedule ‘tea time’ at the end of the day, just to relax and take a breather. When I feel happy and healthy, I find that I am vastly more productive. Blending work and life allows me to best meet the needs of my family and my community of practitioners.”
Janet Barclay, the founder of Organized Assistant, shares a similar strategy: “I manage work/life balance by stopping work at 5 pm every day and closing my office door. On weekends I often find myself at my computer by default, so I need to plan personal activities such as family visits, lunch with friends, or mini photography expeditions to keep that from happening. I also started a personal blog to combine my passion for my work with my leisure activities.”
Finally, Maureen reminds us all that we aren’t alone in this process: “People want to help you. It’s true. If given the opportunity to help someone close to you, you would, wouldn’t you? Maureen further stresses that if we need change, or want change, it is up to us to make that happen: “It’s your job to make yourself happy. No one will do it for you – not your spouse, your kids, your best friend, or your boss. It’s you, just you.”
With these thoughts in mind, lessen your burdens and stop trying to reach a level of perfection that might not be attainable. Instead, employ strategies to support goals and happiness that are in better harmony with your unique life and work situation. Don’t be shy to take the reins and make decisions that work best for YOU, asking for helping along the way.
If the water is stormy today and you aren’t getting the results you want or need, step back to the shore. There will be calmer waters soon. Watch for that well-timed wave …and jump in.
— Adrienne Tom is an entrepreneur, mompreneur, and careerpreneur. She owns and operates Career Impressions and is the co-founder of CareerPreneur Partners.