Achieving Goals: Better Together Than Alone
As we wrap up 2020, did you accomplish what you set out to do? Did you achieve your personal and professional goals? This year of COVID has presented incredible challenges for all of us on a personal and professional level – abrupt changes in how we do our work, kids suddenly attending school from home, businesses being identified as non-essential, causing immediate shut downs.
Reflecting over the year, I can easily say that what I set out to accomplish personally and professionally did not play out as I planned or expected.
I remember graduating college, starting my first job in Milwaukee, and getting married shortly thereafter. Since then, my husband and I moved to Green Bay and raised three wonderful children who are all out of college and starting their own lives. As a fresh graduate, I could never have imagined I would be where I am today 30+ years later. Yet, the one thing that has remained constant for me is that I’ve always had goals I wanted to achieve, both personally and professionally. The path and end results may not be exactly how I imagined them, but we all change our goals as our lives change and evolve, and as uncontrollable circumstances present themselves. The important thing is that we are continually growing, learning, and building on our past experiences to set the course for the future.
As I look to 2021, I invite and challenge each of you to also evaluate what you are looking to improve on or accomplish...
Take a family vacation? (That was put on hold due to COVID!)
Learn a new skill?
Expand your network?
Grow your business?
Our team will be spending a day and a half in the next week focusing on our business and what our goals and plans are for the next several years. We spend most of our time helping our clients plan and execute – we sometimes lose sight of what we need to be doing for ourselves and our business. Just like you, we need to be intentional about setting aside the time!
In addition to focusing on the business, we focus on our personal areas of improvement. Last year we started using the book One Word That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. It’s a short read and brings focus and perspective into your life. Each of us chose our own personal word and we revisit how we are doing in fulfilling that focus bi-weekly at our team meetings. For 2020, my word was “present.” Not as in gifts, but as in being engaged in the moment, in what I am doing at that point in time – available, listening intently, focused on the person and/or activity at hand. Being all in. As life is busy for all of us with distractions, stressors, and the unexpected, uncontrollable things that get thrown at us, one thing that I’m not always very good at is being “present.” I’m always thinking of what’s next, or the million other things I need to do or get done. This year has tested my ability once again to focus on the present. Although I’ve made improvements, it is an ongoing challenge.
For 2021, I’ve chosen the word “breathe.” The past year is not one anyone of us will soon forget, but I think it has shown us that we need to “breathe.” Take in that which is in front of us. Slow down. Connect with our families and appreciate each day. I challenge you to find your one word for 2021 and focus on that and that alone, as it will impact all other goals you have. Put it on your screen saver, post it on your bathroom mirror, share it with your team and at home.
As we work with clients to improve their businesses, plan for exit/succession, and improve their leadership, the main focus is – what are your goals, what are you willing to invest to make them a reality, and are you doing it alone or bringing others alongside who can help you achieve those goals?
I’m often asked, “what is your ideal client?” Without question, the most successful businesses have leaders who recognize they don’t have all the answers and need help from others (inside and outside their organization) to achieve their goals. No single individual or firm can do everything well, but when we bring the expertise of a collaboration of advisors together, with the internal expertise of the business owner and their team, there are no limits to what can be accomplished.
As you look ahead to 2021, what are your personal and professional goals? What are the important decisions you need to make to achieve them? What investments are you willing to make? Do you have a plan including what, when, and by whom they will be executed?
Whether you’re growing your business, planning to exit your business, or just wanting to improve your personal and professional situation, it all starts with a plan. To make it real, it also requires accountability for execution. We are better together than we are alone!
Jayne McQuillan, CPA, MBA, is a strategic management consultant and the owner of Journey Consulting, LLC, in Green Bay