How Far Have You Come This Year?

2016 review

18th December 2016

Gavin Preston

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Wow. What a crazy year 2016 has been.

The political and economic landscapes have taken some “interesting” turns in the UK and the US this year with more bubbling away across Europe. Your business may have achieved the targets set or you may have fallen short of those targets.

You may have a strong pipeline of work with a healthy cash buffer in the bank account or you may be experiencing very tight cash-flow.

I have spoken to many business owners over the last six weeks and I am seeing some businesses doing very well and some struggling. For those which are struggling with declining revenues and profits and very tight cash-flow I have noticed that the majority of business owners in that position have their heads down pushing harder, doing everything they can to keep the cash coming in to meet the obligations of the cash going out.

But here is the interesting observation:

When a new (more profitable) strategy has been suggested to them they have dismissed it in favour of doing more of what they are doing now. It is as if they are so overwhelmed with the current situation that there is not the time or mental energy to entertain any alternative possible ways forward.

I believe the challenges we are sent in life and in business are the very things that shape us; allow us to learn and grow into more effective business leaders and to change /upgrade our offerings to the market place so that they are more relevant to the needs of our market place.

As tough as they may seem at the time, the challenges are good for us.

So as 2016 draws to a close, in any rare moments of peace in between Christmas and the New Year please think back through your year and list all of the things you and your business have achieved during 2016.

When you are climbing the mountain of success if it is really important to pause and admire the view and see how far you have come. Be grateful for what you do have in your business, your team, your customers, your suppliers, the opportunities opening up for you. Be grateful for your health, your family, your friends and the fact that the sun will come up tomorrow.

If you have made a wrong call at times during the year, if you dealt with the challenges thrown at you in a way that was not you at your best….stop giving yourself a hard time. You are human. Instead, forgive yourself.

We overestimate how much we can achieve in one year but underestimate how much we can achieve in three years. What about believing your 2016 is putting your in a better position to prosper in 2017 and 2018?

Yes, there are economic uncertainties facing UK business in 2017 and 2018. However I believe that businesses in the UK are going to get to the point that sitting on the fence and adopting the ‘wait and see’ attitude regarding Brexit is going to be giving them too many splinters in their backside. Painful.

As we do not have a crystal ball regarding the impact of the Brexit negotiations we have to jump off the fence and make a move. From what I remember of my school lessons in physics it takes less energy to change the course of a moving body than to get that body moving from a standstill.

I love the sporting come-back stories when all of the odds are apparently stacked against the team or the individual, see the extra challenge of achieving victory as all ‘part of the game’. They thrive on the challenge and rise to it. It calls the very best of them. They love it. As humans we are pre-programmed to not only survive but to learn, grow and thrive.

So my final message as you reflect over the festive period is Love. Love your team for all they have contributed. Love the opportunities that the changing business landscape will provide and go out and look for them. Love your family and most of all, Love yourself for what you have achieved this year.

Be grateful
Forgive
Love

Wishing you and your family all the very best over the festive period and a successful and healthy 2017.

p.s. If you want to get out of the blocks quicker than many others in January and give yourself the gift of a strong start to 2017 then you will benefit from a webinar I am running at 7pm on Thursday 29th December: “Your Growth Roadmap: 12 steps to Doubling Your SME Business”. To reserve your place click here

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