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2010 End of Year Review

From: Jack
Sent on: Monday, December 27, 2010 4:52 PM
Fellow DC Spotters,

As 2010 comes to a close, I hope that everybody is not only setting your sights on new opportunities in 2011 but that you're also reviewing your accomplishments, missteps, and financial reports from 2010. Looking back as a Meetup group, I admit that we've struggled to find an new identity and a niche among the DC entrepreneur groups since I've stepped in as the organizer.

Luckily, we've found a new direction for DC Spotters as a peer mentoring, peer coaching organization. Whereas there are other groups that host educational events and networking opportunities, DC Spotters is now focused on knowledge sharing through discussion groups and case studies. We're going to begin helping business owners set personal and business goals but, more importantly, holding them accountable. Yes, peer pressure can be beneficial too. The rationale is simply that every business owner - regardless of industry - deals with the same core issues (e.g. tax, legal, accounting, operations, strategy, personnel, etc.).

As a reminder, this Meetup Group is only as useful as the contributions you make - whether it's attending a meeting, participating in the discussion forum, or submitting personal reflections. I know that some of the suggested exercises (forthcoming) will seem silly but the reality is that you may know know as much about your business or your big idea until you've tried articulating it in writing.

End of Year Review

On a blank piece of paper, start writing down the significant happenings of the past year. You might jot down the names of people, places, events, projects, books ? whatever comes to mind. I usually look at my calendar to jog my memory. (?Oh, right, in May I went to that crazy yoga boot camp in Mexico ? forgot about that.?) Just write things down without worrying about their significance. Keep writing until you?ve filled up the page.

Now, with a highlighter or different colored pen, identify the items that stand out for you. You can circle them, underline, or highlight in various colors. You might notice that you give more attention to some items than others. (?Gee, I?m noticing that I?m using a very tiny black font to describe designing the curriculum for new partner training that consumed four months of my life, but on the other hand I?ve drawn flowers and pretty rainbows around the entry about planning the new product launch party.?)

For the rest of this exercise, please read the remainder of this NY Times Article.

Looking at 2011

With the help of a fellow Spotter, Douglas (@Coach_Douglas), here's another exercise that we'd like for everybody to share (see upcoming posting).

1. What is your Vision for your business?

What's a Vision? A vision defines the desired or intended future state of an organization or enterprise in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction. Vision is a long term view, sometimes describing how the organization would like the world in which it operates to be. For example a charity working with the poor might have a vision statement which read "A world without poverty." This differs from goals which are more tactical in nature and more likely to be quantified.

2. How Committed Are you?

Explaining your commitment can be difficult to articulate. It's not enough to say "I'm very committed" or "I'll do everything I can" because statements like this are inherently meaningless. Instead, identify quantifiable investments (e.g. financial capital, how many hours per week, other resources). Alternatively, identify the consequences if you fail to achieve your vision. Your acknowledgment of these consequences help you realize the level of commitment necessary to achieve this vision.

3. What must you do in the next 90 days?

Identify specific steps that you help you achieve the vision you listed in Question 1.

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