Tag: goals

Resolutions

Many look to the new year as a time of renewal and change. We make resolutions to be more positive, healthier, to save more, to work on those aspects of ourselves we would like to change, and companies take advantage of this. How many commercials have you heard or watched about getting into shape or cooking healthier meals, losing weight? It’s common knowledge that we look to the new year as a time to resolve to work on ourselves. However, it is also common knowledge that by the end of the January, those gym memberships aren’t being used as frequently and that diet has long since lost its luster. Why do we do this to ourselves?

When we fail to plan, we are planning to fail

Often, it is due to lack of planning. As a friend says, “When we fail to plan, we are planning to fail.” This is key not only to us as individuals, but especially as a business, for us to be able to see success in the long run. Running a successful business is an endurance run, and there will be times when things run smoothly and times when tough decisions need to be made. There will be incredibly frustrating times and incredibly exciting times. But if you don’t have a plan for your business, these times may seem scary and unpredictable. The times when things are running smoothly, you may be waiting for the other shoe to drop and unable to enjoy the ride for what it is. Frequently, unfortunately when we are in this state, we will pull back from activities. While there may be many reasons we rely on when others inquire, it should be noted that when changes are made to downsize your efforts, it sends red flags to others that your business may be faltering.

The great thing about planning is it can be done at any time because we do it all the time. From the household budget to trips we want to take; we are always planning something so why not plan for your business and how you want it to operate?

While it is widely accepted that new year’s resolutions are short term and high turnover, allowing this mindset to follow into your business can be fatal. Owning a business is not for the faint of heart, and to be running your own business, you need to be strong and resilient, but you also need to make intelligent decisions for long term success. When creating a plan, you can prepare for when your business goes through lean times but more importantly, know and appreciate the times when things are going well. By planning, you can make more informed decisions and be more secure in those decisions.

This new year is special because it is not only another year the earth has gone around the sun, but it is also a new decade. This is an exciting time, and many are looking to take the lessons learned from the past year and past ten years and put the knowledge learned into action. This can indeed be a period of great change and growth but only if we allow it to be so. We wish you all the success you allow yourself in 2020! Happy New Year!

Reflections

All marketing takes time, I tell clients it will easily take 3-6 months to see a change, and even then, it may be a small change but small changes lead to big things. We had a client reach out last week, impressed by what we had accomplished for her on one of her accounts. It was an incredible high for me, because she could see a difference. But unfortunately, that high did not last nearly as long as the lows. It’s interesting, isn’t it? This got me thinking, in business, and in life, sometimes our highest highs are outweighed by our lowest lows.

This time of year, is a time when many of us reflect over what happened throughout the past year, myself included. Reflecting back, I can absolutely tell you my lowest low of the past year. But my highest high…that is not as easily determined. It isn’t that I did not have any highs this year, I did. Those times were when I reached goals for myself, my business, and my clients. But that low, it sticks with me. And at times, it haunts me.

I want to go into year three like a three-year-old in a Batman t-shirt

Next week, Symbiotic Marketing turns 3. This is a huge milestone for many businesses because according to the Small Business Association (SBA) only about half of small businesses reach the five-year mark. It’s a scary statistic but I believe in what we are doing and believe we will reach that goal. I want to go into year three like a three-year-old in a Batman t-shirt, confident in what has been built and ready to learn more. But how can that happen if I allow my lowest low to continue to haunt me?

While there may be a whole host of reasons why businesses fail in the first five years, I believe it comes down to the owner’s confidence in what has been built and the ability to learn from mistakes. As a business owner, and as an individual, mistakes are going to happen. It is what we do with them that matters. There’s an anagram that I love, FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. Because that is what we are doing and that was certainly what the first three years in business has been for me, learning opportunities.

 

Symbiotic Marketing has changed and adapted from what it was when I first started it to today. The business has grown as I have grown. But that could not have happened if I had allowed the lows in the last three years to question what this business means, not only to myself, but to those who we have been able to help in that time.

Small steps lead to big things

Reflecting back, I can now say that it is more difficult for me to determine the business’s highest high this year because we were able to reach many goals but rather than celebrating them to their fullest, I treated them as check-marks on a to-do list. As opposed to the lowest low, which continues to be at the forefront of my mind. I look at it as a learning opportunity, to do better, to be better. As, one of my favorite authors, Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” But it takes time. If you are also reflecting and the negatives of the past year outweigh the positives, ask yourself if you are giving the positives the power they deserve and remember that small steps lead to big things.

One final note, Symbiotic Marketing would not be where it is today without you, all our supporters, from clients to family and friends. Thank you for sharing in our dream of helping small businesses find their voice and flourish. We couldn’t be here without you. We wish you a happy and prosperous 2020 and look forward to what the new year and new decade brings.

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Chambersburg, PA