4 Strategies That Will Help You End The Decade Strong And Build Momentum To Keep Going

I’ve been having some conversations with someone about some potential business opportunities that we could have together. As we’ve gone back and forth, there have been some things come up that I could get real excited about. There is great potential for us to work together and have it turn out very well for both of our companies. 

Yesterday I asked to set up a time we could get together to work out some of the details and get going. I was surprised by his response, but as I thought about it, I started to wonder how many other businesses do the same thing he’s doing.

When I asked for the meeting he informed me that he’s swamped right now with things he needs to wrap up before the end of the year. This, I can understand. But it was the next part of the conversation that has been on my mind since we talked. He told me that he’d rather wait until January to meet because their company basically looks at December as a write-off month. He said they all start to get in holiday mode and don’t do much before Christmas, and then as it gets closer to the 25th most of them start booking time off until the end of the year. For those that don’t take the time off, for the amount of work they do they may as well have taken the time off.

Is this how you approach December? I hope not! 

Why not use the next 27 days to finish this decade off strong and set up 2020 to be great? What you do this month can really determine how your next year goes. Now is the time to get focused and get a jump start on your competition to start the new year.

If you give the following four areas your best effort, you can end 2019 strong and get a great start on 2020

Focus

This is a habit you need to work on daily throughout the year. But as we get closer to the holiday season and the distractions around you increase, you’ll need to be even more disciplined to keep focused

How much time do you actually spend being focused and working? With so many distractions so close to you I can be difficult. Taking a quick look at your inbox can turn into an hour of reading and replying to emails. Looking at one of your social media accounts can turn into mindless scrolling. Phone calls, employees, texts… The list of distractions can go on and on. 

Identify the things that distract you and determine how you can prevent it from happening while you put all of your focus into your work for a specific amount of time. Turn off the phone. Close everything on your computer. Lock your door. Do whatever it is that you need to do so that you can completely focus for whatever amount of time you’ve scheduled.

You can start this today by determining your top three priorities for tomorrow. When you start your day tomorrow, your number one task is to complete the things you have identified as your top three priorities. Don’t look at your emails, texts, social media or anything else that will distract you until you accomplish your top three priorities.

Schedule

Fill up your January calendar now. With so many people wanting to put things off until January, they’re going to be swamped when it rolls around. People are more likely to set January appointments in December than they are in January when things get crazy.

Too many people are just on a day-by-day schedule. They put more time and effort into figuring out their vacation schedule than they do with their daily schedule. Don’t come into Monday and wonder, “what am I going to do this week?” Don’t come into any day without it already being set up and planned.

Someone should be able to take a look at your calendar, and what you are trying to achieve this year is obvious. You have the meetings, events, presentations, follow-up and prep-time scheduled to make you succeed. It’s not about scheduling every second of every day, but it is about moving forward with intent.

What are you doing next Tuesday that is building your business?

Build and Strengthen Relationships

This is a great time of year to make the emotional deposits into your most important personal and professional relationships

Simply taking the time to call someone or take them to lunch can mean a lot to your relationship. Do you or your company give gifts at Christmas? Send cards? 

Take some action today. What can you do today to strengthen a specific relationship?

Personal Growth and Development

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey identified Habit 7 as Sharpen the Saw. He said to “seek continuous improvement and renewal professionally and personally.”

As we approach the end of the year, now is a great time to give this some extra attention to help you to be ready for 2020! 

How you start 2020 will determine how you finish it. 

Schedule some time for reading, attending courses, working with a coach, or anything that is going to help you improve your personal growth and skill development.

Take a look at our Guided Tour and learn how our online coaching system can help you grow and succeed both personally and professionally as you transform your business.

In 27 days we begin a new year. Those 27 days are going to come and go regardless of what you do. Don’t waste them. Do the things that will amplify your business and your life and allow you to finish 2019 strong and to build the momentum you need to begin 2020 and make it great!


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Equal is Unfair

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I have my own personal thoughts and feelings when it comes to politics, but I usually don’t express them publicly too much because the debates that can arise from them can drive me crazy and there’s usually no way of coming out ahead. But Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins and Aaron Brook got me thinking about something I decided is worth spending some time reflecting on.  The authors share a number of ideas that I would tend to agree with and I can imagine could start some heated debates, but I’ll leave it to you to read the book and decide if you agree or disagree with their opinions.
Until six months ago I’ve lived my entire life in Alberta, Canada. In my mind it was the greatest province in the country for an entrepreneur. Not everything was perfect there but it was pretty dang good. But last year a new government was voted in and with many of the initiatives they have been implementing I feel they are anti-business and anti-entrepreneurship.
I was invited to a meeting with a number of other business owner and the new Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci. There have been many more hot topics since this meeting, but at the time the hot topic was the governments proposal to hike minimum wage to $15/hour (In 2015 it was raised from $10.20/hour to $11.20/hour). The frustration came from the minister’s ignorance to the facts. Not all businesses are highly profitable. Not all businesses have high profit margins. As business owners sat in that meeting and told the minister if minimum wage was to raise to $15/hour they would have to raise their prices he told us that a minimum wage increase would not raise prices. He also told us that a hike in minimum wage would not increase unemployment.  When I listen to the business owners state the opposite I tend to believe them, but we will have to wait and see the outcome.
Many of the business people at this meeting were restaurant owners who typically hire minimum wage workers. I have never been involved in the restaurant business, but today I found this on Reference.com
Profit margins are typically low for restaurants in general and especially for restaurants owned by individual franchisees. The average profit margin for the restaurant industry overall is 2.4 percent, as of 2013. The margin is down from 3.2 percent in 2009. The average franchised restaurant location makes a profit of less than $50,000 per year as of 2013. Opening a franchised restaurant with an established brand sometimes costs as much as $500,000.
Many who support such a hike argue against the “greedy business owners.” However, if I were a franchise owner that invested $500,000 to open by business and I was making less than $50,000 per year, such a significant minimum wage hike would be very tough to swallow.
Here are some ideas shared in Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality on this topic. Again, I’m not trying to create a debate here, these are just my thoughts. But it’s a good book to read if you are interested in this topic or any of the other inequality topics that seem to be on the rise.
  • A government mandated minimum wage prevents people from deciding for themselves what pay to accept. If a person cannot find an employer that will hire them at the minimum wage level, they are legally barred from accepting a lower paying job.
  • A raise in minimum wage will raise the pay of some workers but stop others from working all together.
  • The biggest victims of a minimum wage increase are the lowest skilled workers. When minimum wage increases, higher skilled workers will now compete for jobs that previously we too low paying.
  • It hurts businesses
    • Many will hire fewer employees. We already see many fast food restaurants automating their services to reduce the number of employees needed so that they can stay in business.
    • Many will reduce perks and benefits
    • Some will simply have to go out of business

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Have you read the book? Thoughts?

Fortune