Time to reflect, release and refine - a guide for renewing your strategy
A breather to make new
It is powerful now to make time for reflection. Especially for entrepreneurs who are driven to inspire and co-create positive change, so often focused on the future.
Changes are changing, as they ever do.
You may be finding yourself busily swept up with business momentum into the new chapter of this year, racing to wrap up and achieve the next thing, or retreating into much-needed relaxation with loved ones. Or often, all of this all at once!
However, I encourage you to take a breather, look back and around you, before diving into new goals.
Try these 5 basic steps to help you navigate your transition into the next quarter, and making the most of reflection, release and refining your strategy...
1. own your achievements and learnings
Review all the great things you have done this year - in business and in other important aspects of your life. Note how you have grown and felt with these achievements, what you have learnt and unlearnt.
For instance, do you enjoy a sense of accomplishment or closure, or perhaps tend to just move onto the next thing? You may need to give yourself more credit and satisfaction along the way, to fuel your motivation and clear your slate for next goals. Now is a great time to celebrate your wins!
Also note which achievements align with your goals and vision, as this helps you refine your strategy moving forward. Write it all down, and ideally share your ahas with your allies and supporters!
2. Add it up
Reality check. Look at your data.
Assess how you have tracked towards your goals, so you can be clear about what has worked well and what not so much. Measure your marketing by conversion rates as well as the 'vanity metrics' of lists and likes. Track your money coming in, what you were selling, and analyse factors like messaging, branding and timing.
Trace impact, outcomes and what has been keeping you busy. The list of things you can track is endless, so choose what is most important and doable for where you are at.*
To simplify and amplify is so important (and simplification is so hot right now), so it’s wise to do more of what works! You might choose to let go of activities that aren't serving you, or certainly use the data to inform new ways to improve how you tackle them.
If you are not yet systematic about tracking, now is ideal to pull together your key numbers and insights into one spreadsheet, so you can analyse and see trends.
3. Look around afresh
Re-examine who you seek to serve, and the environment in which you operate.
What has changed? What new trends do you detect and hear others shouting about? What are your ideal clients now seeking, attending to and buying? How have collaborators and competitors shifted tack or disrupted the status quo? How many new opportunities do you identify to fill a need, to partner and grow, and to evolve your business?
Map out your new SWOT analysis, and the most significant newness you forecast over the next 12 months. Highlight the most aligned opportunities and threats for your re-strategising, and list all your exciting ideas that don't fit where you are at right now. You can always revisit these when the time is right!
3. Let go
Identify what is not serving you and your strategy, and take steps to eliminate it. This could be many things - certain offerings or services that you don't love or benefit enough from, less-than-ideal people you are working with, and consider too your own attitudes or behaviours...
You might find this release challenging or awkward, if you feel great attachment or that you *should* really be doing this thing. Get some support. Savvy objective insights into your business will be invaluable to help you clarify what to let go of, and how.
I certainly struggle with this step, as habitually I feel like I should be able to achieve EVERYTHING with enough wits and gumption, and so battle a sense of loss or failure at letting go.
However, I know that we face choices at every moment about what we prioritise and our boundaries. Discernment is essential for our success and wellbeing.
Revisit your goals for this year, and how they fit your purpose and vision. Are these goals essential for creating the impact you are striving for, and how can they be refined? Do they inspire or alarm you? What do success and closure look like for each goal?
Power yourself up for the next chapter. Write down, visualise and feel what achieving each goal will be like. Map out your strategy for the medium and long-term, and make it easier to deliver and more impactful to measure by chunking down your planning into 12, 3 and month blocks. Upgrade your systems to help you to do and reflect more simply.*
5. Connect and grow (+ repeat)
Creating your business can be quite the rabbit hole, and you may feel isolated or weary of your own messages.
Support and accountability will make reviewing and renewing your strategy much more meaningful, and help you actually step up to the big decisions and the changes. Personally, I'm soooooo grateful to be working with a coach, mastermind and accountability groups, as well as my supportive partner, to help enrich this process!
And now is timely to take stock and renew your strategy towards an awesome fresh year and beyond, it's invaluable to also make regular times to continue to reflect, release and refine your path.