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A New Year’s Message for Entrepreneurs: Your Next Chapter

January 1, 2014

Business advice for women entrepreneurs and small business owners

a new chapter

It’s the beginning of another new year, a new business year, another chapter in life. A few years ago I read a book where the author started every new chapter at either the end of a significant life event or the beginning of one. Each chapter was filled with significant details and lessons learned. The book was written from hindsight when the author realized the significance and nature of events only by looking back and with a long range perspective.

The interesting realization that occurs every New Year’s Day is finding ourselves straddled between the ending of something good, bad, productive or unsatisfactory and the dawn of hope, discovery and the unknown. Looking back we can witness the high and low points of the past year, the times when we could have been more, examples of when we were at our best, and typically a restlessness about what lies ahead. As women entrepreneurs we experience this not only in our personal lives, but as the leaders of our companies too.

Reflection before action is wise in every circumstance in life and business. Every day can easily roll into another one, each year compounding the effects of good or poor decision making unless we take a moment or longer to stop, evaluate and anticipate our future. The outlook we project can be similar to what we have just experienced if we are coming off a good year or it can be completely different if we are leaving an unpleasant year. No year is ever the same. Every chapter in our life and business is different.

Today’s New Years post is for you to conduct a quick exercise where you look back over the last five years – taking each year by itself – and giving it a title. Maybe a chapter will be entitled “Best Revenue Year Yet,” “Changing Direction Hurt Sales,” “Met the Most Significant Person” or “Restlessness Propelled Me to Change.” What have your chapters looked like lately? Are you happy with what they are titled? What lessons did you learn to either repeat or never do again? Well today is the day to write down the name of this new 2014 chapter not in hindsight but in anticipation and with purpose.

Every year we have the gift of reinventing ourselves and our companies to be different than they’ve ever been. It is so important to take the time to look back, analyze and realize where you are; and then to start writing the next chapter for your life with insight and commitment.

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