How to steps to discard anything that no longer serves your business
Resolutions, although most of us seem to make them every New Year, rarely work because they are usually founded on a context of resistance.
“What you resist persists,” is how the old adage goes. Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist is most famous for using this line. Of course, Jung was referring to aspects of the self that, when denied, will have the tendency to linger in the personality.
In my experience, the adage has an actual physical effect in that if you are pushing up against something that is pushing up against you with equal force, the result is non-movement. Try pushing against the palm of a friend’s hand with your own and ask them to push against yours. What you will experience is that neither of your hands moves. As soon as one of you lets your hand go, the other’s moves freely.
Making a resoution
When we make a resolution to change something about ourselves, our habits or our lives in general, what we are often saying is that we do not accept that thing which we want to change. By not accepting it, we resist it. We make ourselves wrong for being in that situation, for making that mistake or for having that habit, etc. Change will be difficult at best because we are basically saying to ourselves that our imperfection is unacceptable and something must be wrong with us. Subconsciously we reason that taking the necessary actions to change our behaviors is futile.
This mental state keeps us suspended in the “trying” to change mode. Instead of doing, we convince ourselves that trying is enough.
In the beginning stages of a resolution we are excited and motivated, but then reality sets in, we remember how incompetent we believe we are and we go back to our old habits. Eventually we are back in the same place. Nothing has moved.
Change is very powerful
Change is very powerful when it is viewed from the standpoint of transformation rather than from resistance to the inescapable fact that we are not perfect. Transformation begins with embracing all of who we are, including the mistakes we have made. It is about shifting the form of something from a place of it no longer working to a condition in which our life is contributed to by it.
If you want to ensure that your New Year resolutions have a long-lasting impact, and that your goals have a chance of being fulfilled, you must first embrace those relevant aspects of your life that you want to transform.
Top 3 small business New Year resolutions to ensure yours will have a chance to survive and thrive:
1. Increase Sales or Revenue.
Before setting a goal to increase sales or revenue by a certain %, or creating a resolution to put aside laziness [for example] and make more calls to new customers, make sure you are at peace with how the current year’s numbers went for you and your business. Take a look at the sales and revenue your business generated. Acknowledge all your efforts, and your team’s efforts. Celebrate the triumphs, how you and the team got over hurdles. Create a chart about what worked and didn’t work regarding your strategies.
Embrace what didn’t work by noticing what you learned. Leverage what did work by creating the next best version of that strategy.
2. Improve Turnover.
A business’s most valuable asset is its people but most companies struggle with finding and keeping the right talent. Turnover is very costly, especially for a small business. Before you create a resolution to “hire better,” it’s critical that you examine your current hiring practices, and the quality of your staff. Talk to your employees and ask them to help you understand what has worked for them about being employed by your organization. Ask them to share with you what improvements they recommend.
Be generous in listening to them. Take it to heart. Seek professional counsel to help you design a powerful and effective hiring mechanism. Learn from the mistakes you have made and rejoice in them! Commit to building and nurturing a company culture that exudes your vision and values.
3. Cut Costs.
Obviously when you increase revenue and cut costs, the result is more profit. Businesses are in existence to create a profit. Again, before setting the goal of cutting costs, it is imperative that you embrace every aspect of how you are spending money in your business. You may have someone on your team that is responsible for managing the purchase of goods and services, but don’t allow yourself to “leave it up to them” to responsibly manage your spending. Only you can do that. Examine what is going on with every vendor relationship and be clear where the value lies with each purchase. Own your spending and learn from the mistakes that have been made.
By taking ownership of all the aspects of your business where you are committed to seeing improvements, and by learning from your mistakes and embracing them, you will have the opportunity to enter through the doorway to creating anew, to building upon a foundation of possibility instead of from a context of failure and imperfection.