August is my annual time of reflection on what I have accomplished over the past 12 months, in addition to what I want to experience over the course of the next year. Yes, I have my monthly and quarterly assessments, but August is my big one. Not sure why.
It’s not the first of the year or the beginning of spring. Maybe I still can relate to the kiddos starting their new year at school or maybe it’s the noticeable change in the weather that comes here in Colorado. Hot summer days turn to a hint of cooler days in August, and I start to turn inward for the fall and winter. Or maybe it’s because I quit my full-time job in August and started my full-time coaching business that same month. Yeah, that feels about right.
In what ways do you take the time to reflect on your past 12 months and what you want your next 12 months to look like?
Apparently, it doesn’t matter when in the sense of what time of year, as long as it happens. As a solo entrepreneur, it’s critical to our overall well-being, our personal well-being, our business’s well-being, and our family’s well-being, to take inventory of where we have been and where we want to go.
That assessment starts with you. As the head honcho, you get to decide what area of your business to put resources — mainly money, time, and effort, which will give you the best foot forward for the next 12 months and one of those areas happens to be YOU!
When you hear the phrase, “investing in your business,” the “go to” investments are hiring a team or maybe putting money into branding and website building. Those are both great investments; however YOU are your own greatest asset. So, how do you choose where to put your money when it comes to investing in you? Well, I have some considerations….
What’s the big picture?
If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re a self-aware entrepreneur that can take off the “day to day” hat and see what the overall picture is from time to time. This is one of those times. What support do you need to keep the big picture BIG and moving along? What support, accountability, and/or inspiration were you lacking in the last 12 months, that if you had, would make all the difference in the next 12 months?
Align your investment in yourself with yourself: What are your top 5 values? For you? For your business? Are they the same or different? How do they mesh with your vision of yourself in your business? Once you answer those questions you can invest in what specifically supports those values. Decision making made easy.
More than ever, communication is uber important. Communication is a talent. It’s the number one way to build relationships, increase opportunities, and improve your personal confidence. Who wouldn’t want more of that? Speaking, whether it’s one-on-one or to a group, is fundamental to any relationship including your business.
In what ways can you cultivate an improved communication style? You could participate in a public speaking class/seminar, Toastmasters, or have colleagues or family members call you out on your accustomed behaviors. For example, often saying “um” and “so” when presenting a public speech.
Think about it. As your business grows, expands, downsizes, realigns, or whatever comes down the pike, you will always have YOU to rely on when you choose to and when you need to. No one can take that from you. So nurture that and watch all areas of your life — including your business — grow, expand, and thrive.
Investing in YOU will be one of the most rewarding returns on your capital because it sustains the foundation the rest of your life is built on. When the foundation is strong, you can build anything.