by: Cary Christian
December is unique from a business perspective. It represents the holiday
season of the year, beginning with Thanksgiving, building in intensity
towards Christmas, then closing with the old year going out with a bang and
another twelve months of opportunities being provided.
For some of you, this season may represent your busiest month of the year.
For others, most of you who operate solely on the web, December represents a
considerable slowdown. There are a lot of products and services people just
have no interest in during the holidays.
Either way, December should be a month of introspection. It's a time to look
at your year, see what you've accomplished, and understand why you might
have failed in some endeavors.
Of course, there's nothing magical about the last month of the year from the
standpoint of analyzing your business, but the general nature of the
holidays and the impending beginning of a new year puts most people in a
favorable mindset for rumination. So let's go with that feeling.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Take a look at last year's new years resolutions and business goals if you
still have them around. How did you do? Did you accomplish what you said you
wanted to accomplish a year ago? Did you even try?
Most people make resolutions and quickly forget about them, usually by
January 3rd or 4th! Business plans are often more carefully monitored, but
not often enough. Frequently, they die the same death as the New Year's
Now I don't want to make this an article on New Year's resolutions. I
believe you should be resolving and planning all year long, adjusting as you
go along. Instead, I want to urge you to spend quality time this month
really considering where you've come from and where you want to go.
Are you happy with what you and your company are doing? Are you satisfied
with your products, services and the way you deliver them? Are you bored
with the subject matter of your business?
Take some time to dream BIG this month. Imagine where you'd be right now if
you could do anything you wanted to do. Imagine what your business would
need to be like for you to be totally satisfied. Create the image in your
mind and focus on it intently.
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO GET THERE?
Once you have the image, and don't move on until you DO have the image
you're satisfied with, ask yourself what it would take to make it your
Be brutally honest with this. Your answers might be alarming. Perhaps you
have to shut down your current business and rebuild a new one from the
ground up. Maybe you need to go back to college or some other type of school
to gain more specialized knowledge. Or maybe you could train yourself to do
what you want to do.
Most people severely underestimate what they are capable of. In today's
world, if someone wants to be a lawyer, they know they are in for a rough
few years of education preparing for and attending law school. Do you
realize that only a couple of hundred years ago, most lawyers were
self-taught? They studied the law and court cases on their own and taught
themselves how to be a practitioner of the law.
You might be saying that the law just wasn't as complex back then as it is
now, and that's true to a great degree. But if you study the roots of our
own legal system, English common law, you'll find that there was a
tremendous body of law to be learned even back then.
The question is, if they could learn to become lawyers on their own back
then, why can't you learn to become any type of businessman or woman you
want today? You're just as bright and you have far more resources available
to you now than they had then.
It's a question of desire. If you want to learn to do something, be
something, or how to take your business to the next level, you are more than
capable of doing so. It just requires desire, commitment, and a willingness
to sacrifice some of your free time to make it happen.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
You've got your image, you understand you're capable of creating what you
imagine, now you must decide to take action. Use the month of December to
decide what you're going to do to set the wheels in motion.
If you figure all this out early enough, get started in December! Don't wait
for the new year. Enroll in a college class. Buy and read some good books on
topics that will help you understand how to implement your dreams. Spend
some time researching on the Internet. Learn what you need to know to
progress one step at a time toward your goal, and do something every day no
matter how small.
If you perform this introspective exercise and determine you're right where
you want to be, congratulations! You're very rare indeed. For the rest of
you: don't settle for living your life at a level that is less than what
you're capable of. There is truly no greater waste.
Copyright (c) 2002