The calendar has a strange effect on us; it’s the time of year now when people are contemplative, thinking back on the past and envisioning what they want to see in their future. I’m glad we take the time each year to do this; if you haven’t taken that pause for yourself, I recommend it highly!
Being thoughtful and intentional in what you do
I’ve found that taking a step back and looking at my business (and life) from a 40,000’ view helps me to keep perspective on what’s important, what is going well, and what I want. I’ll share with you how I’m reviewing the past year and examining my strengths, and how I plan to maximize what I love to do in the new year. Looking back, I’m going to start with the positives, as I love the energy that being thankful gives to me and my business!
Focus on becoming a nexus, rather than “networking”
In the past 12 months, I focused on networking in a different way, and it’s been an amazing experience. Instead of worrying about the number of people I met, I have formed some wonderful new friendships. Moving to a new place (as I did three years ago) is a good way to force one’s self to meet new people; this past year, I became more active in a number of organizations, from the Chamber of Commerce to networking groups.
In all the organizations and groups I work with, I now see myself as a nexus for connecting people to one another. I feel great joy when I hear that two people I introduced to one another “hit it off” and had a great meeting or conversation. I’m hopeful that this will help both of them to meet their goals and move forward in their respective businesses and careers.
Taking time to work on the business, rather than in the business
Looking at my calendar, I also notice that I took more time to focus on learning and being coached, to become a better business owner and leader. This is important for me because it’s also something that I focus on with my clients. I ask them to take a step backwards from the day-to-day fires they put out and manage, and to raise their vision from the immediate to the future. What are their goals for the next 12 months? How are they going to reach them, step-by-step?
I’m a member of an amazing coaching program and the time I take, each day and each week, to focus on my goals is always time well spent. I feel the same way as I work with my clients. As we create their vision for the future, I can support this vision and their goals with marketing strategies to help them reach their goals. Without a strategy, there is no direction for where they want to go and what they want to achieve.
Working in my “zone of genius”
I’m most productive, happy, and serve my clients best when I’m in what Gay Hendricks calls my “zone of genius.” That’s where I’m helping them with their strategy (business and marketing), as well as moving them forward with tactics and content that magnifies their strengths. I’ve created successful blog programs, for example, and helped them clarify their messages so they can attract new clients and customers.
I love helping them to create content (typically the written word or videos) that speaks to their excellence. Good marketing is telling, or showing, how you solve problems and can help your client or customer; bad marketing is trying to sell something.
How to address my weaknesses
Of course, for all the good in the past year there are also my not-so-good moments. For example, as much as I love technology and depend on it as a marketer, I know that spending time on tech issues is not my strength (and not time well spent). I’m pleased to have found a company that will help me with these issues moving forward, so that I can continue to help my clients be the best they can be with their own technology!
I also learned how to better allocate my time; I was not being intentional in how I spent my day. Now I am more organized, thanks to changing my calendar. This means that I devote enough time to my clients each day and week, and I have the time to stay on top of new marketing technology and developments in the various industries I follow.
I hope these thoughts inspire you to look back on the past year and to be grateful for what you have received, and to consider ways to address your needs as you move forward. If you have any questions about creating a strategy to do this, please contact me and let’s talk!