Posted by: Nancy | January 18, 2011

Looking both ways

At another threshold, I’m recalling one of my earliest lessons: Look both ways before you cross.

Looking back is the easy part. It’s a fact-based review, or at least, it should be. I can identify the facts about my business in this last year:

  • Eight active clients (two major), who I love (see my last post)
  • Met my goal on billable hours, stayed within my goal for administrative hours.
  • Met (barely) my goal for networking/marketing hours for my business
  • Delivered more than 120 hours  pro bono work for charitable organizations (not meetings or fun, actually delivering my professional services)
  • Saw my work for clients published in journals (medical, research, economics); wrote for local magazines, newspapers & blogs, contributed to an annual report; two articles published in an national online  professional trade journal; regular contributor to four blogs
  • Delivered blogs, white papers, speeches, articles, newsletters, executive presentations, social media content for clients
  • Organized 30+ events for clients
  • Tended my own professional development with a writer’s conference (previous year), a full-day professional seminar, webinars, regular local professional development sessions, lectures (TEDxKC, Linda Hall/UMKC etc), entrepreneurial development meetings, attended paid training programs (video, government contracting, Quickbooks)
  • Personal enrichment and service: Hosted a Taiwanese Graduate Study Exchange student and a Russian professional; participated in informal mentoring
  • Personal horizon-stretching: travel to Santa Fe, New York (previous year) and Sydney, Australia
  • Pushing my comfort level: networking, marketing myself and my business, selling…
  • Following my passions: active engagement with non-profit organizations supporting the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts;  SAGA — a support group for siblings of adults with Down Syndrome; NAWBO for women entrepreneurs; IABC for professional communicators; and Rotary, an international service organization
  • Survived a computer crash!
  • Exercise: Ran (sadly, I report my lowest annual mileage since 1994 — 300 miles) and biked (not enough miles to count) and a bit of yoga, swimming, walking and hiking.

I can count some pleasant successes in this, my second full year in business for myself.

And I can identify some new challenges — the looking ahead part:

  • Figure a better way to measure and manage my business pipeline
  • Get more effective at networking/marketing my business, or,
  • Figure a way to effectively scale my services, and
  • Exercise more!

There are many more areas for self-improvement (which should translate to business improvement, since I am my business) … but I will include just a couple more:

  • Every day, give my best effort to those who entrust me with their business
  • Give thanks, love and laughter every day to the people who are closest to me
  • Believe it:  Today is the best day ever

Bring on the new year!

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