Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
and Learn from Your Past Successes and Challenges
By Victoria Munro
If you’re like most small business
owners, you might be overlooking
an important resource right at your fingertips.
Entrepreneurs, especially those who are passionate
about what they do, often live life on a fast track—after
all, there’s a lot to do and much of it is up
to you. It can be tough to take time out, step back,
and reflect on, analyze and learn from recent events.
In our Make-it-Fly®
Alumni Boards, members start the meeting by sharing
their biggest successes, challenges and how they fared
with their 30-day goals during the previous month. We
notice that successes and challenges are often linked
to each other.
Though you likely aren’t looking for more projects
to fill up your days, much
can be learned by stopping on a regular basis to study
and learn from the past. I recommend setting
time aside to assess your past month and ask yourself
the questions below.
My Biggest Success(es):
Note: Looking at this
can be really encouraging!
||What was the key
cause of this success?
||What did I do, or not do, that
contributed to this success?
||What new insights did this reveal
that could be useful in the future?
||How can I repeat this success,
perhaps in other areas?
My Biggest Challenge(s):
Note: Challenges could
be viewed as ‘failures.’ However, seeing
them as valuable learning tools to be used as stepping
stones to future success is more fitting. In his recent
book, The Slight Edge, author Jeff Olson quotes
Thomas J. Watson, Sr. (founder of IBM) as saying “The
formula for success is quite simple: double your rate
of failure.” Olson then adds, “If you go
through life with the philosophy that ‘failure
is not an option’ then you’ll never have
any good opportunities to learn.”
||What can I do, or
avoid doing, in the future to prevent this from
||What can I learn from this?
Profit from Lessons Learned:
||In light of the above,
and with my long-range goal in mind, what realistic
goal will I set for the next 30 days?
Note: As entrepreneurs
working for ourselves, it’s easy to set goals
and then later rationalize why we didn’t achieve
them. Increase your chances of success by asking someone
else to hold you accountable to do what you’ve
committed to do. Tell him or her to take
this seriously and accept no excuses.
Don’t miss out on this simple yet valuable resource.
Plan to take time on a regular basis to reflect
and learn from your past successes and challenges.
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
with tips to help you with your business, sign up for
their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,”
and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get
More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics
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