October is the New January!


Is your business ready for 2014?

by Tammy Hawk–Bridges

 

This has been a wonderful, or should I say a very purposeful,  year for my business. It has grown at a very steady pace.

In October of 2012 I made some decisions to transition my offerings and do more of the things that I wanted to do versus the things I was just doing for money.  When I first made the decision to make some changes, my mindset was: “Okay, when the New Year starts, I’m going to put my plan into place.”

But then I had a thought: “Why wait? Who says all new things have to wait for the beginning of the year?” I then thought, “I’ll design the structure of my plan and start my new ideas now, and then when 2013 comes I will be ready to rock it.”

“Rock it” is exactly what I did! I designed a structured plan, I drew a timeline, and I carried it out. A plan that created a business that gave me the freedom I needed to make better choices—happier choices. The plan that helped me build a lifestyle business.

Sure there were setbacks. Yes, there were days I doubted my ability and myself. Yes, there were days I didn’t want to get out of bed.

However, despite all the obstacles, I stayed inside the plan, focused, and looked straight ahead. The next day would be better, faith in my ability would be restored, and the world didn’t end after all.

So how did all these wonderful things happen for my business? I don’t have any super secrets to success. As a matter of fact, I didn’t do anything that anyone can’t do.

It’s simple—I just had a plan.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I wrote it out, I decided when I would take each step and I carried it out. When setbacks happened, I would reposition and push ahead anyway.

This year, I started planning for 2014 in September. I am ready for the New Year and can’t wait to see what it brings.

What about you? 2014 is a mere few months away. What do you want to do differently? Do you want to expand? Perhaps go in a brand new direction?

If we want to create change in our businesses or perhaps play a better or bigger game, we have to have a plan.

Waiting and hoping isn’t a plan.

I want to quote one of my heroes, Seth Godin:

“A plan involves steps that are largely under your influence and control. A plan involves the hard and dreary and difficult work of a thousand brave steps, of doing things that might not work, of connecting and caring and bringing generosity when we don’t think we have any more to bring. When your plan works, take a bow. You earned it.”

However, as I am advocating the importance of having a plan and creating a business on purpose by design, there is also something else to consider. You need to consider that change may interfere. You have to consider that in your journey you may change course, and you must be open to that. This is how we learn. This is how we find clarity.

Many times I counsel with entrepreneurs, and they’re paralyzed by indecision. They think that if they wait until they come up with the perfect plan, they will be taking less of a risk. This is completely false.

Clarity is not a thought process—it’s an action process. You can have a plan that is solid as steel, but it won’t give you immunity to failure.

Only inside the journey will you find the answers—you must be moving. Standing still doesn’t make you safe—it only prolongs success.

It took me two businesses to find my purpose, and one could not have existed without the other. It took a very painful failure to find success.

However, the irony is that failure gave me the knowledge and experience that I needed to help others—the knowledge that led me to my purpose.

The new year is around the corner; start thinking about how you can mold your success. Whatever you do, just don’t stand still.

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