For most people with kids, summer can be a bit of a crazy time. Say hello to the Law family, where the word summer itself is defined as one wild ride. The problem of course is that our kids are out of school. So what do you do? Can you say VBS? AKA Vacation Bible School. Our summer started with a couple weeks of VBS for the kids. Summer is also a time to go on vacation! My vacation consisted of a short cruise to Cozumel Mexico with my wife and two daughters. Let me just say that we had a blast and my girls are now cruise fans! Summertime also means that it is easier for others to come and see you. Our summer enjoyed many family and friends visiting us in Florida. July 14th and 15th was our first annual FSMC Summer event. The following weeks were frequented by my brother’s family from Maryland. And just like that, summer was over. Poof! Or was it? In today’s post I’ll share the biggest blessing of summer break – reflecting, rethinking, and refreshing!
Reflecting on the Past
There’s nothing like relaxing on a beach and hearing the sound of the waves gently lap ashore. While I love vegging out, I always try to steal away a few minutes as a time of reflection. This is a time where I just think back about all that has happened in the last year. There are no notebooks, pens, or pencils here. This is just a quiet spot where I’ll go back through all the good and bad things that have happened over the year. As I closed my eyes, I remembered phone conversations, clients, emails, and the various people I met during the year. Obviously, a whirlwind of emotions passed by as I thought of the high and low times in our efforts to grow. While the good times outweigh the bad times, reflecting is truly a tough process because one is forced to look at both the good things that happened and also the frustrating ones. While some people don’t believe in looking back, reflection is one of my core values. After all, how can we get better if we don’t stop to take an honest look at ourselves?
Rethinking the Vision
It was much easier to think about our vision when it only included Sarah and myself. Our growth over the last twelve months have made things more complicated though. While everyone loves to talk about growth, the truth is growth has its own set of challenges. After reflecting on the past, I’ve realized that there’s a lot more at stake. There’s new consultants learning our business model. There’s new clients seeking growth. Every customer in their own different way have expectations and are pulling on our business to deliver. More than ever I realize that it isn’t just about us. If we are to continue to help others, we have to keep getting better. Better doesn’t mean we’re not proud of our accomplishments. Far from that! We’ve seen some great success stories this year. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in what we’re doing as a company. No, doing better simply means that we’ve taken an account of various aspects of the company and we’re on a mission to improve. It’s called innovation and it is a principle of Four Step Marketing. It sounds quite lofty when you read it, but what it really means is we’ll be working our butts off to improve. It means new websites, new marketing demos, writing ebooks, improved package proposals, improved training, and focusing on clarity.
Refreshing the Passion
I know, sometimes it all sounds like a bunch of blah blah blah – all this reflecting and rethinking. Some of you will yawn and close this page thinking you know how the post will end. Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs don’t get it. You’re probably expecting me to say something like, “You’ve gotta have passion or you won’t make it.” No duh! Obviously, you’ve got to have passion to win in business, but passion in of itself isn’t enough. Unfortunately, all of the reflecting and rethinking in the world won’t give you enough passion to make it. Most new business owners are already full of passion and talk a great talk. Frankly, their passion runs out as soon as things get tough. As I sit here writing this post, I’ve got a to-do list a mile long. It will take some six to eight months to roll out the items I’ve reflected and rethought this summer. We’ll probably finish everything just in time for next summer’s vacation when I’ll reimagine my business all over again.
It might sound crazy, but the secret to getting things done, isn’t just passion. Passion will get you to the starting line but it won’t keep you running. Why? Because the bumps on the journey can make you forget why you started. This past summer, I’ve spent a lot of time refreshing my passion. I pictured business owners in desperate need of learning the Four Step Marketing process. I pictured new consultants vacationing with me after landing six figure consulting gigs. I closed my eyes and thought of nonprofit organizations full of hope and financial stability because of our help. Refreshing your passion means remembering the WHY! Why did you become an entrepreneur? Why do you want to innovate? When you find the why, you have to keep it in front of you and stir it up continually.