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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 4
Issue 12

What Did You Accomplish in 2007?

“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life."

Christiane Northrup

Now that it’s the end of another year, have you looked back at what you achieved this year? Did you meet your goals? Did you get the new clients you targeted? Did your revenue increase by the percentage projected? Did you improve your margins like you planned? Did you leave the office earlier like you promised your spouse?

These questions help to determine if the year was a success. Or do they? Sometimes we are just too goal oriented. We cannot see the forest for the trees. Let’s give ourselves a gift for the holidays. Be grateful for what we did accomplish. As business owners, we are often so driven that we are on to the next thing before we take stock of what we just achieved. We are never quite satisfied because we either don’t meet all the business goals we set, or we met them and are immediately on to new ones. Satisfaction continually eludes us.

Years ago when I was a sales executive, I received my first “Sales Person of the Month” plaque. Congratulations came from everywhere: colleagues, sales managers and the home office. However, the acknowledgment was for the past month and the current month’s pipeline for new prospects was low. How could I feel excited about the past, I might be in trouble this month. One of my colleagues told me that I needed to feel good about my successes. In sales there are a lot of ups and downs and if I didn’t appreciate a great month when I had one, I would never feel content. I have remembered those words and they have inspired me for years.

The idea that gratitude brings more positive energy to you is now more widely accepted. Let’s look at some ways you can be grateful in your businesses:

  • Thank your customers/clients for their business. Let them know you appreciate them. Several newscasts close with something like: “We know you have a lot of choices for the news, thank you for choosing us.” Your customers have a lot of options, too. Let them know that you are glad they selected your business over the competition. Notes, specials and customer loyalty programs can go a long way toward achieving that objective.
  • Let behind-the-scenes players know you value their contributions. Employees, vendors and associates like to be recognized and feel appreciated, too. Many of these people go above and beyond their required roles. Acknowledge their efforts. Let them know you notice and value their service. Bonuses, gift certificates and thank-you notes are effective for that purpose.
  • Pat yourself on the back. You have worked hard this year. Challenges and roadblocks were spread along the path to your goals. Give yourself credit for how you handled each one. Stop and look at your success at each step of the way. You never go directly from A-Z. Pause at each intersection and feel a sense of accomplishment. It will keep you motivated to get through the next challenge.
If you accept the failures and appreciate the accomplishments, you will have a more fulfilling business and life. Keep setting goals and work hard to get where you want to go. Just remember that the journey is just as significant as the destination. Be grateful and remember: Next year, you get to try again to accomplish what you weren’t able to do this year.

Please accept my sincere wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

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