How has it been for you?

What kind of a year has it been for you? It’s nearly over. Has it been good to you and for you? If you look back to December 2016, thinking about a year forward, in all honesty, if you’ve not created what you had hoped for a year ago, why is that? Were your expectations too high, or did you not apply yourself? If you met your goals, what enabled you to do so? Could they have been more aggressive? If you surpassed your goals, were they too easy? What enabled you to do so well?

Now to be clear this is purely a private, self-diagnosis. So you should be totally honest. Because a year from now you should be doing the same thing!

Don’t use others’ metrics. You don’t have to outperform others. What you do need to do is sustain the lifestyle of your choice and meet or surpass the goals that you set for yourself.

We often become distracted. Entrepreneurial business owners can easily follow a variety of ideas because they’re interesting, but not necessarily helpful. (I am guilty of this.) Sometimes we’re forced to fight fires, and become engaged in the purely short-term and the tactical but it shouldn’t allow us to deviate from our goals.

I’m not suggesting that we stay with our foot on the accelerator all year. There will be resting, refuelling, and developing. But I am suggesting that we take stock of the overall progress of our journey. We may have made great time while going to the wrong place!

Honestly explore where you’ve made the most progress and for the coming year replicate it in those areas where you haven’t, and eliminate those habits which have impeded you. Here are my suggestions for what you may want pay most attention to:

• To whom are you listening? Do you have a formal or informal coach who can help you reach new levels, or are you held back by friends and colleagues?

• Do you have an abundance mentality or are you obsessed with scarcity?

• How much discretionary time are you allowing yourself? Do you have time to work on your business and not in it? Do you feel refreshed and energised, or overworked and exhausted most of the time?

• Is your net worth increasing? Have you reduced your indebtedness?

• Do you invest in your personal development?

Life is short. Take stock of where you are and evaluate your progress.

I am constantly surprised, for example, by how few people genuinely plan and budget for their personal development. Let me explain…..

I consider myself blessed. It is a privilege to do what I love and love what I do. So few people get to live that way, not because they can’t, but because they choose not to.

So I never lose sight of what a privilege it is to not only be given the natural abilities I have, but to be given the opportunity to put those abilities to good use. But the greatest privilege of all is the opportunity to live life in order to enlighten and develop oneself. To become the best one can and to be gifted with the awareness to see that truth.

And to be given the opportunity to share my knowledge with others, so they too can lead far more successful lives.

But privilege comes with significant responsibility: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked”. We are all responsible for being the best version of who we can be to serve others.

If I’m not improving who I am, what gives me the right to challenge others to do the same?

There are many people who think they’re qualified to help others live more successfully because they’ve acquired some skills, tools and resources and have a certificate hanging on their wall. There are others who do all they can to elevate their own consciousness. They invest in a coach, they invest in mentors, and they invest in improving themselves.

I know what I shall be including in my plan for next year. Do you?

Noel Guilford, Principal at Guilford Accounting
Noel Guilford is the principal of Guilford Accounting a small business accountancy practice specialising in advising owner-managed businesses on current accounting, finance, and tax matters. You can reach him via email at noel@guilfordaccounting.co.uk or by phone at 01244 660866. He is the author of the 'Figure it out - an entrepreneurs guide to understanding your business numbers' which you can obtain by visiting guilfordaccounting.co.uk.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ His latest book, How to Build a Successful Business' will be published in 2018.

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