In football, if you’re behind in the fourth quarter, you have to rally your team, buckle down and, sometimes, go for the Hail Mary. That’s because, when that countdown clock hits zero, the final score is the final score. Win or lose.
The fourth quarter in business isn’t the same game at all. Sure, of course you want to finish the year strong and you can pull out all the stops for an amazing holiday season, but you aren’t looking for a winning score on December 31. You are looking for a pattern of continuous improvement and growth that will carry you into the next year, the next five years and beyond.
So today, rather than look at the fourth quarter of the year as the “end,” we want you to check in with yourself, evaluate your goals, consider what you can do with the time that’s left in 2021 and really start building that foundation for 2022. If you are setting 90-day goals, you have plenty of time to hit some awesome milestones in January to start the year strong.
Where do you start? First of all, head into that proverbial locker room to clear your head. Take yourself out to breakfast, silence your phone and take the time to evaluate the big picture of your business. Schedule a time to meet with yourself. Lock the office door. Leave early and sit at the park. Whatever works for you, you need that time away from your day-to-day and, yes, your email, to find honesty and perspective.
Ask yourself the big, important questions, even if you inherently know the answers. What goals did you set for 2021? How are those goals coming? What were your strengths? What went really well? Where did you fall short? What challenges is your business facing right now? How has that impacted your progress? What can you change moving forward?
Once you have those answers in front of you, think about the last 90 days and the next 90 days. What have you done that has really worked in the last three months? Could you build off of that success for the next three months? What goals can you reimagine for today’s challenges and opportunities?
The importance of asking yourself these questions is not just to plan out the next 90 days and get ready to jump into 2022, but also to practice building a more strategic mindset. You have to get off the dance floor. You have to get out of the weeds. You have to see the forest. Whatever idiom you want to use – it’s important. Taking a step back to see your progress and make honest, data-driven decisions is how you’ll build a successful future. If you need help reaching that point, The Growth Coach is here: https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.