9 Questions All Business Owners Should Ask to Prepare for a New Year
Do you realize how far you’ve come in 2021?
You might not. That’s typical of a hard worker.
Every day, you give your all. You’re constantly focused on the next challenge and the next opportunity.
You’re driven by what lies ahead, so you don’t waste time looking back.
But now, as 2021 draws to a close, I encourage you to give yourself time to see and celebrate the great strides you’ve made this year.
When we see our wins, we recognize our power.
We learn that we can dream bigger…we can try for more.
In the next couple weeks, set aside some time to ask yourself these nine questions:
1. What decision had the greatest positive impact on my career in 2021?
Your single best decision of 2020 could be something that directly boosted revenue. Or it could be something that simply put you in a better position to grow your business faster in the long run.
Maybe you learned a new skill. Maybe you mentored a promising employee who could advance to a leadership position and free you up to focus on the big picture. Maybe you worked on nurturing professional relationships that could develop into referral partnerships in 2022.
2. Why did it work and how can I double down in 2022?
Consider why your best decision had such a great impact.
Is it because you chose a strategy that leans into your strengths? Did it lead to a mindset shift that completely transformed your approach to leadership? Did it free you up from the day-to-day so you could focus on the big picture?
When you know why this decision was so impactful, you can make a plan to double down in the new year.
3. What decision negatively impacted my career?
I know, I know. It’s not fun to look back on our missteps. But understanding why a bad decision was a bad decision is key for turning a fumble into a Fresh Start.
So what was it? What was the big mistake of 2021?
4. Why didn’t that decision work and what would I do differently if I had it to do all over again?
This is the question that makes all the difference. Why didn’t this decision work?
Common answers are:
- I made the decision out of fear and avoidance.
- I tried to handle an area of weakness by myself instead of turning to my colleagues or team.
- I followed a hunch instead of looking at the numbers.
Your reason could be on this list or it might be something else. Whatever it is, take a moment to decide what you would do differently if you could do it all over again.
5. How did I grow in my mindset in 2021?
This is extremely important. Your mindset is the single most powerful tool at your disposal. As a business owner and leader, you must make developing a positive, growth-focused mindset your top priority.
So what changed in your mindset this year? Have you gotten better at finding the opportunity in the disaster? Have you expanded your view of what’s possible? Is it getting easier to approach each day with a spirit of appreciation?
6. How did that growth impact my career?
Notice how the shift in your mindset influenced your ability to grow your business and find joy in your work.
When you take time to reflect and note that connection, you’re able to double down on your commitment to developing a strong mindset as you move forward.
You begin to see the point. You realize what’s possible. You feel excited about personal growth.
7. What skills did I learn in 2021?
What can you do now that you couldn’t do a year ago?
It’s so easy to pick up new skills without ever stopping to see or appreciate what we’ve done. There is so much we have to learn to keep our businesses alive, especially in the early years. We get locked into this survival mindset.
But if you actually pause, step back, and realize how much you’ve grown in talent, knowledge, and insight over just 365 days…
…well, you realize that you’re more than capable of learning the skills you need to exceed your expectations in the next 365.
8. How have I put those skills to work?
Another reason it’s important to take inventory of new skills?
New skills open up new possibilities.
What new projects or ideas feel more accessible now that you’ve expanded your experience? How can you stretch yourself in these new skill sets?
9. How is where I am now different from where I was a year ago?
Now to zoom out and get that wide angle shot.
How do your life and career compare to December 2020? How is your business different? How is your team different?
How are you different?
When you consider all this, how do you feel about the year that lies ahead? Do you feel like you might be more capable than you thought… like you could afford to shoot a little higher?
It’s so important to take these moments to reflect and celebrate our wins.
If you don’t see how far you’ve come, you won’t see how far you can go.
And trust me…
…you can go as far as you want.
Further Resources on This Topic
Free Video Course: Personal Development for Business Success
Free Tool: SWOT Analysis