5 Key Questions To Unlock Next Year’s Potential
As we approach the end of a crazy year, I hope you and your business have overcome challenges and taken advantage of unique opportunities. This year stretched everyone. It seemed like every month threw a unique hurdle at us.
However, plenty of unique opportunities came as well. Online business thrived like never before. I saw many leaders take new risks amid the uncertainty, myself included. That’s something to be thankful for, as I prepare to feast and watch football.
The end of the year presents a chance to reflect on your business. Take a look at what worked, what didn’t, and clarify your goals for next year. I’ll give you five critical questions (originally by Peter Drucker) to ask going into 2021, and encourage you to work gratitude into your answers.
You can succeed even when the economy looks down, by recognizing the opportunities all around you. Follow that link to learn more!
Why Looking Back Helps Us Go Forward
Think of a rowboat. By facing backward, you propel yourself forward. This means you look back as you row. The perspective of the days gone by will give you clarity, direction, and power to move forward.
First, evaluate where you originally intended to go. Why? Because it clarifies your original values and goals. Remind yourself what you wanted out of 2020.
Second, reflect on where you ended up. Are you where you want to be in your business? If not, why? How much was due to circumstances, and how much was a lack of discipline or knowledge on your end?
Evaluating where you are compared to your original intent will clarify the holes in your game, and help you prepare better for future opportunities.
When we throw genuine gratitude into the mix, we become more grounded and joyful. Don’t you want to feel more emotionally and physically healthy? Wouldn’t it feel good, to be more connected to yourself and others? Do you want to cut down on stress? Intentional and consistent gratitude is the path. You might as well start today, of all days!
To continue revamping your mindset, take a listen to this podcast about “Disnifying” your business.
5 Crucial Questions For Your Business
Open up a notepad or grab your journal, because you should write down your answers to these. I’ll go through five questions, and give you a chance to answer them while practicing gratitude.
- What Is Your Mission?
This is the “why” driving everything you do, not “how.” Can you explain the reason your business exists, in a sentence or two? Maybe you have and can write it down without skipping a beat. Or perhaps it could take a while. Don’t take another step forward until you’ve clarified your “Why.”
My mission for this site goes like this: To help new entrepreneurs succeed in online business by sharing what the so-called “gurus” won’t tell them.
In ten years in marketing, I’ve seen plenty of people pretend they want to teach others … when what they really want is to make another sale. They get richer, while their students struggle.
This drives me to share inside information about how entrepreneurship really works. I want people to know the truth, even if it’s not the most pleasant thing to hear at the moment. It works much better in the long run.
Gratitude: Reflect on your innate talents and abilities. Give thanks for the strengths you have, as well as your unique perspective.
- Who Is Your Customer?
Sometimes we get things backward. We want to develop a product, idea, or skill before we get our customers straight. It seems like the intuitive approach, right? Develop something awesome, and then find people willing to buy it!
Logic and experience dictate, however, that you should first find people willing to buy products, and then develop products for them. The best entrepreneurs are not so obsessed with the next big idea; they’re obsessed with the people who buy them – their customers!
I discuss this principle in my free guide to developing and launching a successful product, called the M.I.L.K. It Method. I can’t think of a better resource for you to start the New Year.
Gratitude: Take a moment to think of your current customers, and/or your very first customer. Aren’t you thankful they said “Yes” to what you offered?
- What Does Your Customer Value?
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous question. When you know who your customer is, and what they actually value, you can offer products and services that truly help them. Regardless of what you actually provide, your goal is to bring value.
Do you know what your ideal customer really wants? If not, join a couple of Facebook groups or Reddit communities where your ideal customers spend time. Read about questions they ask or the problems they face. Before long, their pain points will come into focus, and you can start developing something viable for them.
Gratitude: Think about how this world is full of people who are really good at things you struggle with … but who struggle with things you’re really good at doing. Be thankful you’ll always have a market of people who need your help.
- What Are Your Results?
One year from now, how will you know whether 2021 was a success? You’ll want to know if you won or not.
I recommend both quantitative and qualitative goals. For example, you could look at how many customers you gain for quantitative, and then look at what those customers say about you for qualitative. This gives you a panoramic view of how you’re doing.
Gratitude: Write down some of your biggest accomplishments in 2020. What aligned with your original goals? What new things did you try? Identify why the successes came (hint: you probably had some help from a partner or mentor).
- What Is Your Plan?
Lastly, figure out the steps for achieving the desired results next year. It doesn’t have to be foolproof, in fact, I’m not sure a foolproof plan even exists.
Take a look at your values and goals, your customers, and your current resources. With the end results in mind, what should you do first? Stay firm on your mission and goals, but flexible on your methods.
Gratitude: They say in war, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Though your plan going into 2020 probably didn’t survive, you did. Give thanks for your health and material possessions, especially things you take for granted.
For more wisdom with online business, I recommend you check out my podcast. Get the edge you need going into 2021, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!