Coincidentally, the beginning of October marks 3 major anniversaries for me: my wedding, our move to Martha’s Vineyard & the launch of my copywriting & marketing business, Writing Roads. My overwhelming reaction to all three of these milestones is: I’m married to the right person, I live in the best place, I can’t get enough of my work (people, I’m an addict).
Anniversaries make me think about the past, via evaluation, and the future, via ‘what’s next?’ I’m going to go ahead and guess that you don’t want the run downs on the marriage and the Vineyard, so let’s talk business.
I’ve created some lists, huge surprise. I take my own mini-audit because I have to know where I’ve been in order to move forward and grow. I even, gulp, go through this process with a trusted colleague or mentor – keeps me honest and on track.
- What did I do well this year?
- What did I do not quite as well? (Listen, there’s no need to be mean…)
- What did I learn from the mistakes I made?
- What did I learn to do?
- What did I learn not to do?
- Any surprises?
- What was my favorite event, lesson, client, project?
What’s Next? (and, yes, this is a blatant nod to The West Wing)
The goal here is to use the evaluation to move forward, of course.
- How can I ensure that the things I did right last year become an inherent part of my business?
- How can I make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again?
- Where and how can I put all that I’ve learned into practice?
- Goals: short term, long term, easily reached, pie-in-the-sky?
- What is my vision for my business over the next year.
I post my ‘What’s Next?’ list where I can see it…and I use it at the following year’s anniversary as an evaluation measurement tool. This is actually a really gratifying process because it allows me to see all that I’ve accomplished, and it let’s me really think about what I want. If I ate sugar, I would also have cake present during these proceedings, because after all, every year completed is a cause for celebration. I’ll settle for a party hat and some applause.
What is your evaluation and projection plan, schedule, process? We’d all love to hear…