Five Tips to Rock the Fourth Quarter
By: Disree Mattox
September is always a month of reflection and preparation for me as for many other business owners. The fourth quarter has a way of reminding you just how much you haven’t checked off your list while simultaneously making you exceptionally eager to plan for an even bigger and better new year. And that’s exactly how September goes for me. Every. Single. Year.
If you’re intentional about how you spend your fourth quarter you can surely increase your year end profits. Without a doubt, you’ll be able to set yourself up for an amazingly productive and profitable new year. Last year around this time, my mastermind sisters or business besties, as they’re more often called these days, set out to end our year with a bang and meticulously plan 2016. The work we did in preparation for the new year gave me more clarity about my businesses and my future than ever before. After a successful and far less stressful 2016 than years past, I’m excited to sit down to plan out 2017 and spend this last quarter setting my business up to really kill it.
Here are 5 tips to ensure you have a productive and profitable Q4!
Review the goals you set for your business at the beginning of the year. Let me warn you that this part of the exercise requires that you be gracious with yourself. We all set ambitious goals. That is just the heart of an entrepreneur and/or career driven person. Sometimes we don’t accomplish everything we set out to do. That’s ok. There’s no deadline on success. In reviewing your goals celebrate yourself for the goals you achieved. Then ask yourself if those achieved goals actually moved the needle in your business. Take note of that answer because it will help guide your goal setting for the next year.
Determine what you can get done now. Of the goals that you haven’t yet accomplished, which do you still care about? Maybe you’re saying to yourself “All goals matter.” That may have been true in Q1, but the 4th quarter has a way of removing your rose colored glasses. You become far more clear about what is really important and what was a tad bit extra. And extra just doesn’t count when your ultimate goal for Q4 is always to end the year on a high note. At this point, some things on your list are just no longer worth your cares. Once you determine which of those unrealized goals and unfinished tasks still matter to you, prioritize them based on the impact they will have on your business. Now determine what you can realistically set in motion this week that will increase your year end productivity and profits and ensure that 2017 starts off on the right foot.
Analyze how your work made you FEEL in 2016. I know this may seem trivial because work is not supposed to be about feelings. But believe me, it is. At the end of 2015, one of my mastermind sisters/business besties sent me a rather unconventional gift - a feelings assessment. I’m not a feelings person AT ALL. I thought she wasn’t either, but somehow she had made the connection between work and feelings and thought I could benefit from it. The assessment required me to declare how I wanted to feel in various aspects of my life. In doing that, I learned a lot about myself. I learned how my feelings in my business life affected my personal life. And how my feelings in my personal life affected my business life. I was able to see everything I needed and wanted to change in order to really love 2016. It didn’t happen overnight. I didn’t instantly walk into 2016 with all these newly unearthed feelings decent and in order. But I can say walking into Q4, all is well in my worlds thanks to that task. So, how did your work make you feel in 2016? How do you want to change that for the better in 2017?
Pick ONE overarching goal for the the next year. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in the past is underestimating the time investment each goal will require. To be completely honest, I thought I did a great job of drilling down my goals for 2016 so that I could get it all done. Let’s just say, my Q1 goals turned into my 2016 goals and I’m still only halfway through the list. It was a short list, but an intense list. So this step is a big one in making sure your next year is exceptional. Before deciding on your one overarching goal, I suggest that you pick a theme for the year. What do you want your year to be all about? When the year is over what do you hope to have gained for your business? Let that guide your theme and let your theme guide your overarching goal.
Break that one big goal into specific tasks assigned to each of the four quarters. Every single task you put on your list should move the needle on that goal and be in line with your theme. Nothing else matters. Each quarter’s tasks should result in a predictable amount of income/profit. You will be able to gauge the progress of your year by the sum total of your completed tasks/goal + profit. Be relentless in working toward this goal. By picking just one goal you have the power to really focus on the details of the goal and the elements required to achieve it. Revel in that power.
Actually do the work. You may think this goes without saying, but a lot of what doesn’t get done is because we didn’t do it. Post your quarterly goals in your workspace so that you can see them every single day. Keeping those goals and assignments in front of you will remind you of what needs to be done and prevent you from adding anything to that list that doesn’t enhance the results of your achieved goals. Focus is of the utmost importance if you want to have a truly successful year. Be fluid, yet focused.
Plan. Focus. Execute. Reward. Repeat.
Desiree Mattox - The Glam ScientistCosmetic Chemist, Beauty Brand Strategist www.callmedesi.com (coming soon)
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