Are you taking advantage of September Serenity and making a plan for your business to end the year well?
There’s a peaceful practice you can do this time of year that will help you play the long game in your business–it’s called September Serenity.
This time of year is truly special. Labor Day is like the final slowdance of summer before the lights go up and everyone is told it’s time to go home. It can even feel bittersweet, especially for small business owners. With the holiday season faintly on the horizon, we know it’s time to buckle up and do what we do best: work hard and end the year well.
But before you put your head down and dive in, for those business owners that are committed to playing the long game, you have to take a moment and devote time to practice September Serenity. (For those new to Brand Strong, the long game is the strategy that moves you out of being stuck in the day-to-day of your business and gets you to those bigger and better goals.)
Here’s how to put September Serenity into practice, right now. Schedule one day this month to devote to making a plan as you head into the busiest time of year (in both your business and personal lives). Once you’re ready, follow our step-by-step guide to putting it into practice. Take it and run with it:
1. Carve out three uninterrupted hours in your schedule.
It doesn’t matter when; what matters is that it’s consecutive: an early morning, a Sunday evening, a (very) long lunch. This means turn off the phone, disconnect the internet, hire the funniest babysitter on the block to entertain your kids—figure out how to create space for good, clear thinking.
2. Pull out a notebook and pen.
Now that you’ve made space, it’s time to dive in with pen on paper. Yup, we’re talking old school. Often your best thinking is done when you connect your thoughts to your writing in a tangible, handwritten way.
The first action you’ll take is to reflect. Think about October–December of last year and ask yourself these three questions:
- How did I feel?
- Where did I do a great job?
- Where did I fall short?
4. Think forward.
Your next step is to think ahead. Ask yourself these critical questions:
- How do you want to feel as you finish up 2015?
- What are the specific desired outcomes, or results, you want to achieve by the end of 2015 in your business ? (These are the “This has to happen by the end of the year for me to feel great about my year” kinds of things.)
- What is one goal you could set, which you’ve been putting off, but that would make a huge difference to your business? (These are the “I could do this if I really push myself” goals.)
4. Start a plan.
Step four had you write down the prerequisites you need to create a plan. You know how you want to feel as you round the corner into a new year, what you want to achieve by then, and what goals will push you that much further. Now it’s time to make a clear and concrete plan for getting there.
Planning is something you do all the time in your business (and shameless plug, we teach some amazing planning tools in our Brand Strong course). And no matter how you feel about your planning skills, a simple improvement is to plan further in advance, when there’s no pressure to cut corners. Here are your first steps:
- Look at those feelings and desired outcomes you noted for yourself.
- Write down the projects you need to complete in the next handful of months to finish the year the way you want to.
- Put these projects in the order they need to be tackled. Write at the top of the page the most important change you want to make to support the likelihood that you’ll follow through, finish these projects, and reach these goals.
6. Make it visible.
You will feel and practice September Serenity by following through. It’s not enough to write down what you’ve just uncovered—you have to hold yourself accountable. Take what you’ve written down and put it somewhere where it will be visible while you work.
And there you have it. Our guided business meditation to help you feel and make the most of September Serenity. And if anything gets in your way, channel George Costanza and yell, “Serenity now!”
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