The start of a new year is one of my favorite times for a variety of reasons. One, the craziness of the holidays is behind us and we can get back to a regular routine, which includes spending money and eating in a normal fashion. Two, it is the time when I see the most hope in the world. For a couple of months, people seem to believe anything is possible. They focus on goals, they’re still motivated about their new resolutions, and they look for more ways to improve themselves.
Businesses are no different. Ideally, the results of last year are nothing more than a binder on the shelf now. They are done. Hope abounds that this will be a better, more prosperous year. It is human nature. No matter if we had a great 2013 or a poor one, we want to do better in 2014. At least that’s my experience with the people around me, including the ones I coach. As I was taught and I say quite often, “Always appreciative, never satisfied.”
So why does this feeling wane for many of us? Why will less than 10% of all goals and resolutions for this year be met? What happens to our drive and ambition to accomplish the great things we were meant for? In my experience, one very short phrase sums up all of the reasons… It…happens.
It takes on many different forms. Family. The economy. Health. All the demands on your time. It can be catastrophic or minor. It is all the distractions, diversions, speed bumps, obstacles, negative thoughts, etc., that are in the way of achieving your dream or goal. It is the many justifications we all give for not accomplishing something. And It will always be there, but we don’t have to let It stop us.
Placing blame for failure elsewhere is much easier than looking in the mirror and realizing we just allowed ourselves to not accomplish something. Most of the time, our failure to follow through has more to do with our own mindset, effort and perseverance than situations outside our control. If we do a good job of goal setting in the first place, there will be very few reasons not achieve our target.
“Luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation.”
John Maxwell says, “Luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation.” I see businesses that always seem to be in the right place at the right time, yet still fail miserably because they refused to prepare for that success. They didn’t get help early on to handle the growth. No processes or procedures were put in place to assure control was maintained, and the opportunity was wasted. Yet the people responsible will normally blame the market or a competitor (who took advantage of the situation by doing the right preparation).
The reverse can also be true. I have seen companies prepare like mad, putting all kinds of systems in place. They attempt to control everything by becoming process machines. They end up with too much help and not enough business, or their systems are so rigid, they cannot take advantage of opportunities that vary even slightly from what they are set up for.
They can only watch as a competitor takes the opportunity and runs with it, and then blame a lack of time or proper information. Another opportunity wasted. So as we move through 2014, I hope you are ready for all the Its that are going to jump at you and try to drag you backwards. I hope you are prepared for the opportunities in front of you. I hope that you have the right people in your circle giving you advice and listening to your ideas. And most importantly, I hope you have hope. The world has enough negativity in it; try spreading some hope around and showing people what it is like to enjoy life and make a positive impact. This year will move pretty quickly so make every moment count. And finally, if you are not satisfied with the direction things are headed or need a push to get past the Its, let us know. We would be happy to help.