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DECEMBER INTROSPECTION
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 resolution.

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 reality.

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.


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