I’m sitting here reflecting on the past year and how much the world has changed. How much my world has changed.
This past year has been an incredible year of learning and such an amazing opportunity for business growth and development — more growth than I could have ever imagined in such a short period of time.
I’ve been encouraged, watching so many people grow in the wake of this crisis. While some people shrunk down and hid away, many people stood up tall and faced the challenges with courage. That doesn’t mean you didn’t experience fear. That’s what makes you so brave. You stood up and faced the challenges despite feeling fear.
I know some of you will say, “What choice did I have?” The truth is we all had a choice. Some chose to make complete career changes as they witnessed the shutdowns looming. In my opinion, that was incredibly brave. Sadly, some chose to give up and hope someone would come along and save them. But some chose to put more time and effort than they ever had into planning for business growth. And it paid off.
What Choices Have You Made When Planning for Business Growth?
The choice they made to keep business growth and development a top priority kept them afloat. After all, the choices we make are what define us in the long run.
I can’t say I’ve always made the right choices. If you’ve ever heard the story of the bankruptcy surrounding one of my businesses, then you’d know already I’m just as capable as anyone else of making poor choices with business growth strategies. However, while the choices I made during a dark time in my life may have defined that short period, they haven’t defined my entire life story.
I’m going to say it again, the world has changed so much in the last year. Are you satisfied with the choices you made in planning for business growth and development?
If your answer is yes, then that’s great. Take a look at what you’ve done and keep working to improve on it. I learned that from my mentor Earl Hadden. “Well, that worked out well,” he’s always said. “What can I do to improve upon it?”
However, if you’re not satisfied with the choices you’ve made this past year, then make new choices and start planning for business growth. It’s not too late. So often, people think they’re stuck with the choices they’ve made, and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
You can always start over again. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. If the next thing doesn’t work, then try something else. And if that thing doesn’t work, THEN TRY SOMETHING ELSE! That’s all there is to it. Never stop trying and never stop developing new strategies for business growth.
Surround Yourself with People Who’ll Encourage Business Growth and Development
Part of being successful in making changes and applying those new strategies is to be sure you have the right people around you. I remember eight years ago, telling someone I thought was a friend that I was changing careers after more than twenty-five years in the printing industry.
When I told him I was becoming a speaker and coach on sales and marketing. He asked me, “Why would people listen to you after you’ve just had a business go bankrupt?”
That certainly was an interesting question. And while it did sting a bit, I made sure to not let it invade my psyche. I had little control over the recession of 2008 and the devastating impact it had on the printing industry.
Yes, there were better choices I could’ve made during those final years of the business’s existence and better business growth strategies I could’ve implemented. However, there were also things we did with that business that were amazing, and I’m still proud of how I approached its closing.
Needless to say, that friendship soon ended. Those are not the kinds of people I want in my life. A friend that offers a reality check is one thing. However, straight up discouragement with a side of insults is never welcome.
Instead, I keep myself surrounded with people who are living what Tony Robbins refers to as CANI — Constant and Never-Ending Improvement. Those who believe, like Tony, that we’re always doing one of two things: We’re either growing or we’re dying.
My one and only intention is to never stop growing. And that’s been my biggest focus this past year as I’ve continued planning for business growth and development.
Be Willing to Adapt Your Business Growth Strategies
In March of 2020, I had a live, in-person event scheduled with speaker and trainer Steve Taubman. We had the space booked, tickets sold, and a lot of time invested in the creation of the material we’d be presenting. The most interesting part is that the topic for the day was ‘mindset in a business environment.’
The in-person event was not to be that day. The governor of North Carolina gave stay-at-home orders, and Steve and I realized we had a choice. We could send everyone their money back and pray for the best or adapt and put on an amazing virtual event.
We chose to adapt and put on an amazing event. Was there a hiccup or two? You better believe there was! Doing an event virtually was brand new to me, as it was to many other speakers and trainers around the world. However, we pulled it off and received glowing marks as a result.
Since that day, I’ve put on 12 of my own virtual events. Some were even two-day long events with multiple speakers presenting from different locations around the state. I’m extremely pleased with the choice I made in March of 2020 to keep pressing forward with the mindset of business growth.
Look Ahead and Keep Planning for Growth
If things continue trending the way they are, then it looks like over the next few of months, the world will begin to open up on a more regular basis. Businesses will begin to operate at a higher capacity again. More people will get back to work. Life will slowly get back to normal.
I do have a concern. My concern is that people will become complacent. Not about washing their hands and cleaning surfaces. No, my concern is that people will forget how much effort they’ve put into keeping their businesses relevant and planning new strategies for business growth during the shutdown.
I’m concerned people will forget all the lessons they’ve learned over this past year and simply go back to how they were operating their businesses prior to the pandemic. As human beings, many people have “built in forgetters.” We all do. Especially if what we’re trying to forget is uncomfortable.
However, I’m suggesting you make a conscious decision not to forget. Choose to take stock of everything you did to keep your business alive. Remember the business growth strategies you chose to keep pushing forward. Write down all the steps you implemented that either kept you moving forward or at the very least kept your business from completely crashing and burning.
“This past year has been an incredible year of learning and such an amazing opportunity for business growth and development — more growth than I could have ever imagined in such a short period of time.”Joe Novara, Business Breakthrough Coach
Some businesses managed to have their best year ever during the pandemic. I was honored to be the coach to four of those businesses. Three of them women owned.
Why were my clients so successful? Because they never, ever quit! They had a plan for business growth and development. The plan was tweaked and even rearranged when needed, but they stayed the course.
Maybe you had a child at home, and you had to be the teacher, parent and bread winner all at the same time. Maybe you became overwhelmed by all the negative news and let your business slide over the past year. Maybe you saw this as an opportunity to take a break and wait for things to rebalance again. Or maybe you really did have a good year in your business.
Whatever your situation is, this is your time. Start planning your renewed debut now. What business growth strategy will you implement to get your business in front of the right people in the coming months?
What will you do to begin getting people engaged?
- Surround yourself with the right people.
- Ask questions.
- Make changes to your business growth strategies when necessary.
And in the words of Jim Rohn:
“Never give up, and always keep the big picture in mind. If you can mirror your work ethic after an ant’s, nature’s most diligent creature, you’ll be surprised by all the things you accomplish.”