The beginning of July. Halfway through the year. I like to take this week and look back at what I have accomplished so far this year and adjust my goals for the year. Why do I like to do this now? Other than it is half-way through the year, this is the week of July 4, Independence Day here in the United States. It is a day meant for celebration – picnics, fireworks and gratitude. I like celebrating where I started and where I am. I like celebrating that I am able to work both independently as an entrepreneur and interdependently with so many wonderful people.
How do I take this look back? I ask myself a series of questions, and I have asked my private clients to answer the same questions for their businesses. I look at the questions taking two forms: concrete and introspective. First the concrete questions:
1. What was my revenue for the first six months?
2. What were my expenses for the same period?
3. What was my profit?
The second series of questions take more thought since I cannot find their answers easily on a spreadsheet.
1. What were my biggest accomplishments these past six months?
2. What were some of the lessons I learned during this time?
3. What were the weak points? What could be improved?
4. What opportunities did I miss?
5. What marketing worked? What else created my wins?
6. How can I use this information going forward for the rest of the year?
At this point, I will go back and look at my goals and see how I need to adjust them. Do my existing goals look too easy? Do they stretch me enough? I will update them so I have broader, bigger goals for the rest of the year.
I hope you will take the time to do this exercise. If you started the year with written goals that stretched you some, I hope you are surprised and thrilled to see that you need to be stretched some more. What can you do to stretch yourself for the rest of the year? Please share some of what you learned below or on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.
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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.
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