“September… stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favourite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”
September often feels like a new start. Not quite the New Year/new me/new beginning of January 1st (jam packed with totally unattainable diet and fitness-based resolutions) but a definite opportunity to take renewed action in our lives and to kick-start the engine again after an extended summer break.
It’s reminiscent of a new term at a new school, with new uniforms, fresh stationery and organised school bags (without long lost bananas that have become host to brand new life forms)… and it’s not just the ‘back to school’ feeling that signals change; September marks the start of Autumn and a transition into cooler, shorter days. These periods of transition are a great time to stop for a moment and reflect on the year to date. What has been successful in 2019 so far? What really didn’t work out as you had anticipated? What would you have done differently? What goals have you met? Which goals are you still working towards (and are you on track to meet them in a timely manner)? Perhaps the goalposts have changed and you need to adjust your plans accordingly? Businesses aren’t static entities – they grow and change constantly, though progress isn’t always a straight line. By taking time out to re-assess and re-evaluate your business goals regularly throughout the year, you can make sure that you are still working towards the ‘ideal business’ that works for you and fits in with your unique needs; you don’t have to have a 100-strong workforce, to be regularly invoicing 6-figures per month, or to have won an armful of shiny business awards in the first 9 months of 2019 for it to have been a success – it’s all relative and ultimately, as long as your business is turning over enough to sustain your financial needs (or is working towards it!) then you are on the right track.
Think of September as an annual check in. Buy the new stationary, the notepads and #AllThePens. Take a moment to think about both the positives and negatives of the year so far and try to build on the good stuff for the last few months of the year. That being said, it’s important to pace yourself so the chances of burning out from an unsustainable energy surge are minimised. Understand what is manageable and set achievable and realistic goals for the final quarter of 2019 and be sure to acknowledge both the little successes as well as the big wins – trust me, running a business is a challenge and every positive deserves to be celebrated!
Just remember, keep those business goals;
*Specific – no hugely non-specific ‘I want world peace’ type goals without providing a little more detail.
*Measurable – make sure that your goal is easy to measure so that you can tell whether you are on track to meet it, or not!
*Achievable – though aiming for consistent 7-figure turnover weeks might be your ultimate aim, it might not be an achievable goal for you at the moment if you don’t have the marketing budget and business systems and processes in place to support that at the moment.
*Realistic – again, building your next office on the moon may be a wonderful dream, but how likely is that to actually happen before Christmas?
*Timely – give yourself a deadline to either achieve your business goal or to review again; quarterly reviews work really well, from my experience!
September is a valuable month within our businesses. Let’s make it count!