Why it is important to conduct a personal, year-end inventory
Most entrepreneurs are prone to action. That’s not to say they aren’t also analytical because obviously they have to be. In fact, success comes at the point where effective analysis meets effective action. If there is too much analysis and too little action, you end up with nothing. Too much action without sufficient analysis and you end up with nothing in your bank account.
But I find that this time of year lends itself to another kind of analysis for me. I tend to get a little introspective. What was my role in my disappointments and successes this year? In the heat of battle, it is often easiest to see how circumstances or other people were responsible for your problems. In “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” this is the first principle that Dale Carnegie covers. It is human nature to attribute mistakes to forces outside of your control. From an intellectual perspective, however, I think we all know that is not true.
And, believe it or not, that is actually good news. If we are simply victims, there is not much we can do about our futures. The fact that we have a significant role in our current and future circumstances holds the promise that we can do something to make it better.
Only you can analyze your role in determining where your secure destruction company or career currently stands. Did you study the literature or were you too busy putting out fires? Did you invest in your training and education or did you rely on the fact that you knew it all? Did you seriously invest in customer training and education or did you leave them to be poached by competitors?
The good news is that no matter how you evaluate your role in your firm’s success up until now, we are about to enter a new year. The reason to evaluate your role is not to beat yourself up but rather to determine how you can improve things. The point is, you cannot move in the right direction without doing the analysis first.
December 18, 2012