In business it can be hard sometimes to see what you are achieving. The most obvious measures of success relate to financial performance – sales, profitability, units sold or number of customers acquired – and the often unspoken expectation that these will increase year on year.
When you are employed, your performance is often measured in other ways as well; most appraisal schemes have an element of measuring performance across a range of criteria which could include:
– Your improving technical ability or skill
– The contribution you make to business strategy
– The reduction of absenteeism amongst your team
– Your department’s delivery of service excellence
– Your leadership ability etc.
When you are self-employed no-one else appraises your performance across a range of criteria. You are left to appraise yourself! And where do self-employed often place most of their attention? On the finances of course! Selling stuff in a profitable way is at the heart of successful business. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that anyone should take their eye off their finances as that could be a fatal error. What I am suggesting is that we take a more holistic view of the performance of our business and our achievements so that we acknowledge the whole picture, not just one part of it.
Why is this important? Think what happens if your achievements over a particular period of time don’t relate to improving financial performance? Most businesses experience occasional dips in sales – if this happened to you and you only focused on the performance of your business in terms of its financial performance at that time, what effect could that have on your confidence, belief, passion and motivation? Surely you could end up quite demoralized?
If you take a step back and look at everything that you’ve achieved in your business across a period of time, you are sure to find successes, achievements, moments to be proud of and highlights to shout about! Even if this has been one of your quietest trading periods there will still be plenty to acknowledge as a success. The effect of taking stock of your successes puts you in a much better frame of mind to work strategically at manoeuvring your business back towards better sales and improved profitability.
If over recent months you’ve been having a tough time with sales, cash flow or customer acquisition, take a few minutes now to take stock of your successes over the past 6 months. What have you achieved? What have you learnt? What can you do better than you could before? What have you done that puts you in a strong place to build the business you want?
Being able to take a more holistic view of the business that you are at the heart of can be hard, or even impossible! That is why some people choose to work with a mentor or coach. Benefiting from third party feedback & and impartial, unemotional view can have a profound effect, resulting in a rejuvenated mindset and new focus and determination to succeed.
List your successes now & pin them on the wall where you can see them every day and affirm that ‘yes!‘you are a successful person!