You’ve carefully delved into the past year and found the positive moments. You celebrated your wins, embraced your favorite projects, and looked at what activities made you a nice profit. But now it’s time to step back and discover what did not work.
During this phase of your New Year evaluation, it’s important to remember that you aren’t judging yourself. What you’re judging are your projects. Just because a project failed that doesn’t make you a failure.
What projects flopped in the past year?
Did you try something new this year that didn’t work out? Maybe you tried Kindle publishing only to sell ten copies of your e-book. Maybe you launched a project that your community wasn’t enthusiastic about.
If a project failed, you need to identify it and consider why it failed. Maybe you didn’t market your new Kindle e-book enough. Maybe you didn’t listen to your community’s needs, and that’s why your project flopped. Acknowledging your failure is the first step to learning from it.
What did you invest time and money into that gave you the least return in profit?
Every project requires energy and attention from you. Are you nurturing projects that are sick and dying? These projects will often give you every little in return for all your effort. Maybe you have a blog you’re still trying to get traffic to after months or even years. Maybe you’re still updating your course on web design even though no one’s buying it.
Examine the projects that are siphoning time and money from your business. Is there another healthier branch of your business that you could invest your time and money into?
What tasks or projects did you find yourself dreading?
Most business owners have at least one or two tasks on their plate that they don’t enjoy. Perhaps you hate designing graphics for your blog or you dread coming up with fresh content for your podcast every week. Make a list of tasks you don’t enjoy. Look them over and ask yourself if you can drop or outsource some of these projects.
Are there people in your space that you feel unenthusiastic about?
Not every business partner or client will be a good fit for your business. Maybe you originally took on a client because you needed to pay the bills, but now you make enough that you don’t have to worry about that. Perhaps you’ve been business partners with another entrepreneur who’s now going in a different direction than you are.
No matter the relationship, it’s important that you take time to consider why you no longer enjoy working with this person and what you can do about it. It might be time to let that demanding client go so you can embrace one you’re enthusiastic about serving. It might be time to say goodbye to your business partner and find a new one to work with.
Keep in mind that you are more than your ideas. You are a human being on a quest for your dreams. If you approach this part of the evaluation with this in mind, then you’ll be able to learn as much from your failures as you have from your successes.