2013 was a rough one for us. We took on massive tasks, work too many hours, neglected important relationships and pioneered and moved forward with a naïve disregard for some very obvious basics that should have been I’m place.
We confused “doing more” with “getting better”.
During the holiday I took some time to consider what exactly took place in 2013, what I can learn and so improve in 2014. (This is a very sensible personal and business exercise to go through as soon as you can).
We kicked off our 2014 working year on Monday morning with meetings to chat about what the team sees ahead for 2014 and what we can do and improve etc.
What I realised was that without acknowledging honestly and admitting sincerely that things did not go according to plan, there is no space for improvement.
We could have accepted a tough 2013 as being part of this “wild start-up journey”. We could have accepted that things “are not always as easy as they seem” and simply continue doing what we were doing in the past. But as the cliché says “you will get the same results if you do the same things”. So taking a moment to say, “things were not as it should be” or “we made mistakes” or “this is wrong” allows you to open a space where you can start to look for things to change.
Before you create this space for improvement to take place, you are bound to stay the same, face the same problems and make the same mistakes.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think this will ever become easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing this. There will always be problems/challenges, but this is how we grow, learn and become better. The key is to not learn that same lessons over and over. Do something, make new mistakes and learn new lessons.
Be open to see the times when you have messed up (even just to yourself) and so allow yourself to learn from those mistakes and grow and become better.
Here are some practical tips to help you go through this process:
- list everything that made 2013 a great year.
- list everything that made 2013 a tough year.
- write one reason why you are grateful for what you have listed in 1
- write one lesson for each thing you listed in 2
- decide on one action you can take for each lesson learnt to not repeat the same mistake
This is a real life example application of the above list:
- We grew the teams of all three businesses we (Christine and I) are involved with.
- We took on massive projects and worked crazy hours to meet our own and project deadlines (specifically related to the re-launch of The Pretty Blog)
- We get to work with wonderful people and do greater things than what we can do by ourselves.
- We are people working together. Do not neglect the people and elevate the work higher than the person. People are more important than work.
- Have personal meetings to discuss goals, progress, ideas and suggestions with everyone we work with.
I hope this helps you to gain all you can from 2013 and make 2014 a year like no other!