Written by: Rachel Tindall, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
As 2020 draws to a close, many of us evaluate our goals from the beginning of this year. No one could have predicted a global pandemic. Taken into account with the uptick of social movements and the tumultuous election cycle, we’ve all had quite a ride this year.
These events have impacted us on a personal level, and for most of us, they’ve affected our business - not all for the worse. Many online-based businesses, especially service providers, haven’t faced the same set of challenges as brick and mortar businesses.
For some entrepreneurs, business boomed this year!
Whether it was a fantastic sales year or whether you just scraped by, you should congratulate yourself that you’re still in business. You’re still doing the best you can, and you’re still here.
"Success is subjective."
There’s so much messaging that promises to make you 6-figures in the next 6 months - some even sooner. While that’s an admirable goal and doable for some business types, it’s not the only way to succeed.
It feels a lot like the promise of 6 figures is the ultimate goal - the be-all and end-all. When we get there, we will have “made it.” But what about all the smaller achievements you accomplish to get to that big goal?
There’s more to success, and business for that matter, than simply making more money.
So, as we finish the year that’s felt like a decade, I’d like to propose we measure success a little differently.
Have we built personal & professional relationships?
Business is as much about networking and relationship building as it is about sales and marketing, if not more. Relationships make our business possible, and they allow us to reach the people who really need us. They allow us to be successful in new and exciting ways.
We need relationships both personally and professionally. If we’re lucky, sometimes they overlap, and our colleagues and teammates become friends. When we have to socially distance, we need to be even more intentional about fostering these relationships.
Consider these questions about your relationships as you reflect on the success of your year:
How can I connect with others on a professional level?
How can I connect with others on a personal level?
Why do I (or don’t I) enjoy talking to others about my business?
How can I communicate more meaningfully with my team?
How can I connect and communicate better with my clients?
Is our business model sustainable?
Our time is our most valuable resource, and as much as we would like it to be, it’s not infinite. Knowing this, it’s important to think about how we can stabilize and grow our businesses in ways that don’t require an increasing amount of time.
This is especially true of service-based businesses. We only have so many hours in a day and a week! Once that time is filled, there isn’t really another option to expand. Although providing services can be the bread and butter of our business, we need to make sure our business can still be successful without adding more. In other words, we need to work smarter, not longer and harder.
Consider these questions about business sustainability as you think about how successful your business has been this year:
Could I maintain this schedule for the next 5 years?
If not, what needs to change? If so, what’s working well?
How effectively am I able to manage my time?
If money wasn’t an object, how many of my daily tasks could I delegate? (And if I could make that investment, how would it positively impact my business?)
What tasks do I dread & what do I need to do to unload some of them to someone who would enjoy them and/or be better at them than I am?
Are our clients & customers happy?
At the end of the day, businesses help people. We fill a need we see around us, and we joyfully fill that need with a service or product that makes life easier for someone else. At its core, it’s not a complicated concept.
It makes sense then that when we are thinking about our own success, we need to consider whether our clients are getting what they want and need. They are, in fact, the heart of the business. They are why we do what we do, and there’s nothing quite like seeing a happy client or customer succeed in their dreams and goals because we shared knowledge that feels obvious to us.
The most important measure of success is our clients. Consider these questions about your clients & customers as you reflect on how successful you & your business have been this year:
What made my clients & customers satisfied this year?
How can I keep improving my services & products to make my clients’ & customers’ lives even better/easier?
What have my clients and customers been able to do this year because I helped them?
What have my clients told me about working with me?
Why are my services & products important to my clients & customers?
When you think of success, there will probably always be money involved - especially in the business world. After all, we all have to feed our families and have a safe place to sleep, right? Success isn’t always about the money, though. It’s also about relationships, sustainability, and how happy your clients and customers are with what you do.
At the end of the day, 6 figures is nice - and doable - but you can’t get there without other successes and victories along the way.
Rachel Tindall, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Rachel Tindall is a Writer and Writing Coach at Capturing Your Confidence. Her lifelong love of learning inspired her to pursue education in writing, as well as teaching. Throughout her years of teaching at the university and community college levels, she has developed a strong desire to continue to be the best learner and educator she can be – a coach. Rachel uses intentional motivation and empowerment to facilitate growth for driven writers and creatives on their journey to becoming unstoppable dream-getters. Building confidence in her colleagues and students is at the heart of all she does.