Well Fitzgerald, Which Is It?
I have a confession to make and I’m not necessarily proud of it. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions!
Now that’s not so bad, as many folks I know don’t make them either.
But the admission I really hate to reveal is that I don’t set goals either! I mean I don’t write down one or more things I plan to accomplish by the close of the coming year to which I can proudly point when the next 12 months have passed.
I know that’s a “sin” of omission that must make serious business women cringe and wonder if they can trust a vintage business woman to whom they’ve looked for wisdom, guidance, insight and direction. I mean it’s simply unheard of for women serious about building a successful business to not write down goals, with steps as how to achieve them. So I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell anyone!
Now having confessed to such a transgression; I have qualms about answering the question, “Fitzgerald which is it?” For the truth is I’m winding down for the simple purpose of gearing up for what I believe will be a very exciting year!
Winding Down. . .
It’s vitally important to put an end cap on our time frames. If not, then we’ll never know that we are finished with one thing and ready to go onto the next. So when coming to the end of the last 12 months, I spend time doing next to nothing. Nothing in the way of business-related stuff. I tend to become domestic. I cook. I organize. I look at what I can throw out and what needs to stay for another whirl around the sun. I try to spend time with family at the time of year when doing so is expected.
But my winding down time is not all fun and games; or in my case domestic. My mind is thinking about the coming year from a business perspective. Interestingly, I find that winding down and focusing on things other than business, goals, plans, etc. actually helps me mentally plan and be more creative than if I set out to be creative!
I read a lot. I’m amazed at the hours I spend reading everything from politics to inspiration to business concepts to Christian postings by Oswald Chambers and Os Hillman (TGIF – Today God Is First), an expert in workplace ministry. I find that as I read, ideas for our AWI business relaunch make their way to consciousness. Thus notes are scattered across my desk, kitchen table and counter top with the heading “2019 Ideas for Consideration”. Looking at the abundant array of note pads you might think I haven’t a clue what is what or where what is. As long as no one touches a pile; I can find that one brilliant idea that pops back into my head, without breaking a sweat or stewing because I might not be able to find where it rests among all the scraps of paper. Definitely a native skill!
Gearing Up. . .
There’s something about winding down at the end of the year that makes gearing up even more exciting. Although I don’t do the usual and customary resolutions or goal-setting exercises; I do contemplate what I want the year to hold. It looks something like this. . .
Start With the End In Mind!
I may not write a set of goals & post them on the wall where I work; but I have an idea of what I want to accomplish when the slate clears at 12:01 a.m. January 1.
The truth is I’m a big picture gal! It’s why my title is Chief Visionary Officer. I’m always looking at the whole cloth because from the whole cloth will come the pieces that make up the garment we call a successful business. And putting them together much as I did when I was chief cook, bottle washer and champion seamstress; results in a finished garment that is exactly what was envisioned when the cloth was one big piece on the table of life!
If I was writing this to give you advice, I would say the following:
- “Start with the end in mind!“
- In other words, know where you want to go, why you want to get there and what you want it to look like when you do,
- Without the end in mind; you won’t know what pieces will make up the finished piece,
- Then if you’re into goals; write where you want to end up,
- Post it so you’ll see it often,
- And determine what you need to have on your cutting board to get there!
So if you’re looking for some advice; just read over the above and apply it to your New Year’s resolutions or the latest goal-setting exercise!
Know Before You Go and Take Someone With You. . .
The know before you go is in the paragraph above. Except for the following wisdom which is to research your ideas and know all you need to know so that you don’t trip over false starts and pursue empty promises. You won’t have all the answers, but you’ll be better equipped for the journey if you have some knowledge and expertise about that which you want to accomplish in the end!
And finally, take someone with you. I’m fortunate to have Jen Sakowski as my AWI partner. While I’m the big picture woman; she’s the highly organized-bit by bit-detail oriented genius who makes sense of my this is where I want us to be when we know we have arrived! Without her, the big picture would be just that – a whole piece of cloth – uncut and unfinished!
One last thing for the last blog post of 2018; exercise caution when choosing a companion for the journey. She may not be a business partner in a legal sense; but she ought be someone who compliments you, your vision, personality and skill set. She ought be a woman of integrity who shares much the same values you do. And your relationship ought be build on openness and honesty. Otherwise the journey will be rough and bumpy and the 2 of you may not make it together to the end of the line.
Okay, So Out With The Old and In With the New!
When I sat to write, I hadn’t a clue what I was going to say about “gearing up or winding down”. Now I realize that the subject could be a series closing the old and opening to the new. So if you don’t mind I think I’ll complete the rapid-fire thoughts skipping from synapse to synapse when we convene next Friday, January 4, 2019.
My my time flies when we’re having fun, building a business, enjoying each other’s company and gaining wisdom as we go. . .
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
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