Make 2018 a success! #3 | “We win, Gracie!”

A huge Earth-killing asteroid is hurtling towards the planet. Bruce Willis (of course) and a rag-tag team of drilling experts are sent up to drill down into it, plant a nuke and get out before the asteroid is blown up. Things go terribly wrong so Bruce stays behind to manually detonate the bomb leaving his daughter Gracie back on earth. His last words are, “we win, Gracie.”

The mission is a success but it came at great cost.

Next week we’ll be getting to the meat of the plan for 2018 but first we need to ask you a big question. When you break for Christmas 2018 and reflect on the year, what does success in your organisation look and feel like? When you sit down this Christmas what criteria will you use to assess if 2017 has been a successful year? Is your benchmark financial – turning over more money or making a bigger profit? Is your criteria based on the amount of projects signed off or new clients you’ve won? Have you grown your staff team? Or is your criteria less tangible than that? How do you measure success?

You see, there’s no point in creating a strategy to grow your organisation next year if you don’t think through what success looks and feels like for you. Like last week it’s a deeply personal question and one that only you can answer. Have you got investors, a board or supporters that need answering to? If so – do they measure success in the same way that you do? If not – then maybe a conversation needs to be had.

There’s one final question I want to ask and it’s this: what price are you willing to pay to achieve the success you want?

Any measure of success will come at a cost – nothing great was ever achieved without hard work, determination and some measure of sacrifice. But the cost has to be weighed against your own values, ethos and the value you place on what it means to be successful (however you define it).

So what will being successful cost you and are you willing to pay it? Will it cost you financially as you take a lower wage in order to keep more money in the business or invest your own finances into it? Are you willing to sacrifice some family and leisure time to dedicate time to the businesses? Will you bring investors in to the business who will create oversight and a degree of financial stability but require a piece of the business?

It needs to be stressed that none of these things are, in and of themselves, bad. Far from it. All of us that run our own businesses have had to make sacrifices – and have done so willingly. And it is right that we do so. But it’s vital to get the balance right so you can look back at your successes with pride rather than a sense of regret.

So your homework for this week is simple – be honest with yourself. Are you paying too high a price for your successes or have you got the balance right? As 2018 looms with all the speed of a hurtling asteroid, be very clear about what success looks and feels like and what price you’re willing to pay to get there.

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