Most entrepreneurs and business owners are focused on the future: how to create more clients, increase revenue, improve the brand, achieve the mission etc...
That's not the direction we're headed in today...
While it's important to plan ahead and ensure the ship stays on course, after surving 1000 days with a new business, in order to ensure another successful 3 years, we actually want to look back not forward.
This means reviewing the past 3 years and analysing the good, the bad and the ugly, and the lessons learned from those experiences. Let's take a closer look at what I mean.
A difficult type of experience to review because it involves our vulnerability and accepting how vulnerable we can be. These include situations where you have felt embarassment like a public talk gone wrong or uncomfortable, when making a tough decision to let someone go.
Which experiences made you nauseous and why?
Have you thought about them and accepted them for what they were?
Your business is still alive and so are you. Accept it and move on.
Nobody wants to make mistakes, least of all entrepreneurs who are taking big risks to make things happen. We don't enjoy losing our capital, best employee or top client. We don't like losing, period.
A seasoned businessman knows however, that mistakes will be made and a wise businessman would tell you to collect mistakes, and learn from each single one.
What mistakes or failures have occured in the last 3 years? Why?
Why do you consider them a failure?
What part did you play in it?
What was your response and was it the "right move"?
How will you react when the situation comes up in the future?
The amazing success that you achieved, thanks to your drive and determination. Well done.
Let me ask you, how much time have you spent thinking about your wins?
If you're like most ambitions entrepreneurs, you celebrated with a fist shake or a "YES!" and then dived into the mission or to-do-list and began working on the next step. Am I right?
Often the most ignored of the 3 experiences, it's imperative we recognise and celebrate our successes. Every "win" in a new enterprise is a milestone and celebrating it builds confidence, momentum and lifts moral for you the founder, and your team. Don't ignore it.
Analyse each success, big and small. What truly created them and how great was the impact?
What have you learned? How can you create more impact?
Did you celebrate those achievements / with your team?
Schedule the time once a quarter to do this exercise. Go through the good, the bad and the ugly, first alone, and then with your team.
There may not be action steps to take accordingly, and that's ok.
Conclude with lessons learned and if you do need to pivot, put in the steps to make it happen.