You absolutely cannot wait until 2022 is over to start planning 2023. I know, there’s a lot going on. You’re thinking about the holidays and you’re trying to get deals done before everyone pops on their Out of Office messages. I know that, especially because we’re in a market of uncertainty, and let’s “make hay while the sun shines” so you’ll be tempted to put off your planning until January.
No one ever knows what’s going to happen next year. (Hello, us in 2019.) Some years, it just feels like we’re going into the next year with some pre-packed fear that things can only get worse. It would be a mistake to let that fear take the lead.
Instead, that means you have to be super intentional and mindful about how you’re going to hit your numbers. The same way you plan for the next day, you need to plan for the next year.
And when does that start? Not on January 1st.
January 1st is when you implement, not when you start to plan. If there was one mistake I made earlier in my career, it was underestimating the time it would take me to plan, the effort planning truly requires, and the incredible putting a plan into effect can have on your business and your life when you make it a priority.
But how do you think about next year while you’re still closing out this year?
Here’s how I do it:
Review what you did this year
How did you hit the numbers you hit? Take a few minutes to literally look back at your schedule, week by week.
- What events did you go to?
- How much time did you dedicate to lead generation?
- What habits did you build into your calendar?
- What were the most impactful meetings you took?
If you’re tracking your leads and marketing as well as you should be, you’ll be able to see what was a success and what seemed like a waste of time. Going into 2023, keep what worked, get rid of anything that didn’t. Each year is an experiment, a way to gather information. Use the intelligence you now have about your business to grow stronger next year.
Plan to do more of what worked next year
When I say do more of what worked, I don’t necessarily mean you personally. I mean build the systems that will allow you to leverage automation and outsourcing to get the results you want.
The biggest mistake would be to think that you yourself have to work harder. (Because, honestly, didn’t you max yourself out this year?)
You are not THE machine. You are THE engineer.
What are you going to use to leverage your brilliance and brand next year?
- A new hire or coach?
- A new software?
Set your target and the path to stay on track
Look at where you want to be next year and aim your business toward it. That means aiming your goals, your quarters, your weeks and days. Focus within your locus of control. Then make sure you also set up your accountability system.
- How will you keep yourself on track?
- How will you keep your goals top of mind?
- Who will make sure you stay the course?
A little confession: this is the first year I actually did all this. It started with getting it together in 2021, so that I was limber, warmed up, and crouched at the start line when the starter pistol of 2022 shot off. The difference has been exponential.
So how do you balance it with all you have to do in 2022? Believe that it’s just as important, because it is, then make the room.
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