For Barbados, 2018 was a kind of “wait and see” year but 2019 must be a year in which we are proactive as a nation and in our businesses. So, I’m not waiting until 2019 to start planning for the year.
At the end of every year, it’s always good to reflect and see what went right in your business and what provided you with learning opportunities during the year; the successes you can build on, maybe with a little tweaking; the learning experiences you can use to change your approach and try different strategies.
One of my favourite business books is Built to Last- Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. One of the successful habits they noticed in these visionary companies was their strategy of trying a lot of stuff to see what would work. We can learn from them. This month, I tried a new workshop for people wanting to write and publish a book and it was a great success. Next, I will try an online version for those people outside of Barbados who expressed an interest in accessing the training.
So how can you make 2019 the best year ever? Here are some suggestions:
1. Change your tune.
Rather than moan and groan about your current situation and the situation in the country, begin to anticipate growth and expansion for your business, declare it and get excited about it. The spoken word has amazing power to create reality.
2. Write down what you want to achieve – otherwise known as vision casting or goal setting.
I once read an article called Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead in which the author was suggesting that rather than setting goals, we should create systems so that when we follow the systems, we will achieve our goals. I am persuaded that creating systems works but I also believe in first writing down what we are trying to achieve. While the spoken word is important, putting things in writing gives it added weight.
3. Put things in place practically.
Next, you have to put systems and structures in place to accommodate what you are anticipating. For example, if as a nation we are seeking to increase entrepreneurship, we need to provide the training, facilities and support to encourage entrepreneurs. I am happy to see that we have already started to do that, but it needs to be an ongoing process and we need innovative ways to teach entrepreneurs and we need to offer new types of programmes. I would like to see more training provided in non-traditional areas such as coding and App development and I would like to see more women being trained in these areas.
In your business, you also need to put things in place first. If you are proactively going after new opportunities, especially overseas, then you need to have the facilities in place to receive the revenue from these ventures. That may mean applying for a US dollar account to receive your foreign earned income or, for smaller businesses, setting up a PayPal (or some other) account to receive money online and with the right debit card in place to get your money out.
4. Don’t dwell on past failures.
Similar to my first point about changing your tune, don’t waste your time lamenting or focusing on past failures. Accept them, learn from them and move on.
5. There is abundance in the earth. You just have to access it.
There is abundance in the earth; you just need to access a portion of it. Don’t believe me? In 2017, Amazon made $3 billion in profit and Apple made $48 billion in net income. I didn’t say revenue, I said net income. There is abundance in the earth. What can you do to access your share?
6. Begin to elevate and upgrade your business.
If you want to see results you have to up your game. We all do! Every great sportsman does not become great by sleeping in late every morning and turning up to practise once in a while. In the same way, you have to work on your business and yourself. Improve your skills and knowledge by investing in training for you and your staff. Increase your visibility (without spending a ton of money) by speaking at events and writing blogs or posts to provide solutions and information so that you and your business become top of mind. Upgrade your packaging, your delivery and your service.
7. Give Back.
In a recent article, I shared the results of research that said lack of reading leads to reduced volunteerism. Read more and (according to that research) you will have a greater desire to volunteer. Volunteering to help a good cause is not only satisfying, but it pays off. Much of my volunteer work has led to me receiving paid assignments or has opened doors for me to speak and sell books or has connected me with other volunteers who send work or opportunities my way. It’s the law of reciprocity.
So make 2019 your best year ever. I guarantee you that when you begin to put these principles into practice, you will see results. All the best for 2019!
Donna Every is an author, international speaker and trainer. She was the Barbados Ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (2014-2016) and is the Barbados Facilitator for the WINC Acceleration Program. She has just released her eleventh book, Vaucluse, which is available on all Amazon stores, at Pages and the Museum or contact her to order your copy.
Contact her at [email protected]