Let the past and its bad habits be done with.
We are all creatures of habit. Most of us get up at the same time every day and go to sleep at the same time every night. We tend to do the same things the same way we did them before. As a business owner you’ve developed processes to deal with situations that occur frequently. How do you know when the processes in place aren’t working or could be improved? Do you have a process in place to reassess the way you do things?
The topic or re-evaluation is on my mind at the moment as I’m currently taking stock of the past year. I’m looking at things I’ve done well and things done not so well in an effort to improve my business in the coming year. My recent decision to change This Week In SEO to This Month In SEO is a first step along those lines.
When is it a good time to reassess how you do things?
- At specific intervals – You might decide to take stock every six months of every year
- After a successful or failed project – The end of a project can be a good time to evaluate not only that specific project, but business in general
- When you feel like you need to – Not necessarily the best method, but the one that usually chooses me
The most common approach is to re-evaluate where you are on a consistent basis at a set time. Year end might be a good time and likely how New Year’s resolutions came to be. When you decide to assess things is less important than making sure you do assess where you are from time to time.
Chances are there is some aspect of your business you’re taking for granted and a period of reflection can help identify what it might be. A look inside can also help when it comes to taking your business in a new direction should it need a new direction.
Can Taking a Step Back be the Best Way To Move Forward?
Sometimes the shortest distance between two points isn’t a straight line.
Imagine you’re working for a company and making $20/hr. It’s not a bad salary, but you want more. Unfortunately there’s really no place to move up in your company and at best you’ll gain the occasional cost of living increase while waiting and hoping for the possibility that some opportunity will find it’s way to you.
What if instead you left that job for another that paid $15/hr, but had a much greater upside? Less money today so you could earn significantly more tomorrow.
While guest posting last week, Pat brought up the idea of stepping outside your comfort zone. The habits we all have are our comfort zone. Our habits are safe, because we did them yesterday and know what to expect from them today. Safe maintains the status quo. Safe is not remarkable.
Giving up your comfort zone to take a chance on the unknown can feel like a step back. It can also be exhilarating. Is it you? Depends on where you are and how happy you are to be there.
I plan on spending some time this month as the year winds down evaluating where I’ve been, thinking about where I want to go, and deciding if what I’ve been doing will get me there.
When was the last time you took a long look at the way you do business? Is everything running smoothly or could it stand a little improvement. When was the last time you re-evaluated how you do things?
The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do.
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How about when you’re employed full time, and making more than you reasonably should, but the situation moves from unpleasant to untenable? That would be a good time for me. The economy is roaring out here, the company I work for has been unable to hire dozens of people at great pay. Anyone with a book on C# can get a decent job. I think I’d be better off consulting, if I could fnid enough customers to pay the bills.
A thought for your own re-evaluation: you’ve mentioned the idea of doing book reviews, and your last post was a description of how you go about writing your week in seo column. If content is king, quality writing is more important now than 20 years ago by far.
Get a partner. Before you know it you’ll be reevaluating each other pretty much constantly.
@Forrest – So why aren’t you starting to find customers? Pick up a few here or there and start to save. At some point you’ll have enough saved to take a chance of going it on your own. I’ll fill you in on some of the things I’m thinking for myself when I get a few moments.
Interesting idea about moving towards more writing topics. It’s something I have thought about.
@David – Very funny. Should I be thankful I’m single?
Moving a step back. This sentence should be reflected on all of us,especially for the newbies. There will many a times that you suffer information overload so as advised by Steven, take a step back and get your perspective before moving on again. If need be, take a piece of paper and write down your next step. Cheers.
Very true Mark. It’s easy to get caught up in the information overload and lose sight of the big picture. I like to take time every so often to pull back and think about where I’ve been, where I am, and where I want to go. That way I can help make sure I’m taking in the information that will propel me forward.
“…How about when you’re employed full time, and making more than you reasonably should…” – I was searching for a job like that…:)
Sounds like good work if you can get. Even better would be working only when you feel like it, but still making more than you reasonably would if you were working full time.
I would like to add that understanding economics in your particular trade is an absolute necessary evaluation while considering new opportunity.
Great point Benne. I’ll also add that you have to consider your own economics as well. For instance two people might see a new opportunity differently depending on how much money they currently have saved and how much they need to spend to maintain their lifestyle. One person might be single while another might have a family to support.