How Much Did You Learn

I’ve been talking a lot about the importance of having a vision for your business. Have I convinced you yet?  In this post I want to give you another suggestion to get ready for your 2013 planning. Before I tell you though, I want to remind you to make sure you reflect on what you’re celebrating. What goals did you set for 2012 that you can check off? Unfortunately, too often we’re just thinking about the things that didn’t happen. Let’s definitely give ourselves a pat on the back for our accomplishments.

So, here’s the other thing that can shed light how you might want to do things differently next year (actually you can start with this right away):

Ask yourself what you’ve learned this year. Then ask yourself how long it took you to learn this particular thing. Could you have learned this faster? Did you get trapped in the perfectionist trap or perhaps the procrastination trap because you had some fear that the thing you started learning might not pan out.

One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur is the ability and willingness to experiment, try something new, do something different, see if it works or not and move on to the next experiment. Trial and error – it’s really the only way to find out what works by taking it out in the world.

For example you may need to learn new ways of marketing your product or service. You could work on and plan for this new way for several months to get it where it’s comfortable to bring it to light. Or you could jump in with acceptable ways that may not quite feel comfortable and allow the feedback you get to tell you if it works. A bit scary but the sooner you get the feedback the better. You can tweak it or throw it out and move on to the next thing.

Ask yourself, how much did I learn this year. If you have a hard time thinking of what that is you’ve not experimented enough and it probably will reflect directly on the results you’ve gotten.

As you get ready to plan for 2013 what areas in your business do you want to improve? Think of as many ideas (this is fun to do with someone else) you can try to improve those areas. Create your plan and the quicker you implement it the quicker you’ll get your feedback from the real world out there.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to How Much Did You Learn

  1. Sometimes I think, “well, is there anything you can’t learn faster?” Of course, sometimes it’s hard to answer that question, but I think the general answer is – as you stated – you couldn’t have learned it faster unless you’d tried it out faster.

    Thanks for the great post and insights!

  2. Thanks for reminding us to reflect on all that we DID accomplish in 2012, Ellen! We sometimes get too wrapped up in the “unchecked” items on our lists instead of celebrating all that was checked and the lessons learned along the way.

    I think my biggest learning in 2012 has been realizing my “why” in business. It’s helping me be more clear about the services I provide and who I want to work with (and can best help).

    I’m still learning and growing and appreciate your Insights!

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