How I have finally managed to get better results from year to year for the past 5 years!
We want to get to this stage! Everything often happens after a bitter failure, an unexpected meeting, the loss of someone or something that we took for granted. Who has never lived such a story? Who hasn’t been there in one way or another?
For several years now, I have realized that to have different results, I had to do things differently. Improve the process, the way of doing things.
To get something you’ve never had, you have to be ready to do something you’ve never done!
Easy to say, but to put into practice, it is quite another thing.
Here is how I do it and I hope it can give you some ideas on where to start or to continue the work you have already started.
A good retrospective
The first time you do this exercise, you will need to take stock of what has worked well and what has not worked well in recent years. I would say that max. 5 years is enough to have a good overview.
I’m not talking about numbers specifically; focus your review on the processes that have taken place in recent years. How you operated to obtain this or that result and what were the results obtained. Too often, we focus on the monetary side. But this one comes at the very end of the equation, not at the beginning, and it is the main mistake that people make. You have to focus on improving the process, and the $$$ will follow.
It is very likely that if the monetary entries stagnate or are not regular, it is that your way of doing things is not perfect. There are gaps at various levels, and it is up to you to identify and improve them.
For example, I am a specialized recruiter “headhunter.” and as the market of recruitment changed enormously since the recession of 2008, I had to find new ways of recruiting to fill the ever-growing needs of my customers. This exercise allowed me to visualize what I have been doing for many years and, which worked well until then, but which was no longer valid today. Life changes very quickly and sometimes abruptly. We are fortunate to be human beings, therefore, with an increased capacity for adaptability.
You will also need to take the time to read and learn about new procedures and ways of doing things for people who work in the same field as you or, who you know, have gone through the same process as you before. You will be surprised the ideas it will bring you, and, most likely like me, will discover that you already knew it but that you had never made the link.
For my part, I read and follow several authors via Medium.com, and I also use Blinkist. I find a lot of inspiration, motivation and questioning ideas that help me to challenge my processes constantly.
My wife is also an excellent, if not the best, source of questioning at all levels. She is the best positioned! She has been around me for several years and has been working with me for over 3 years now. She sees how I operate and hears the mistakes I make while working. I admit that it is sometimes difficult for me, being somewhat stubborn and very conservative in my way of doing things, but it was the most direct source to help me progress.
So I invite you to use all the resources you have at your fingertips. Even you can register to be able to see what you are doing and which could be improved.
This research will help you understand if this is just a small part of your process that you need to adjust or change.
By the way, there is no better time than “NOW” to start your questioning. It will take as long as it takes, and you will have to persevere until you have the answers. Otherwise, none of this will be worth doing. For my part, I mainly take the holiday season for this annual retrospective. So 2–3 weeks if necessary. But I have to find the best way to improve, that’s all.
Don’t lose your focus. Always stay aligned with your main purpose and do it. For example, my main job goal was to help people improve their living conditions while making a good living on the other side. By improving my way of doing things from year to year, I can help more people, employers, and it also benefits me. It’s win-win across the board for me.
Hal Elrod once wrote: “Where you are is the result of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.”
I would add “… and whatever you choose to do.”
Now your study is finished, you need to eliminate what is no longer working and improve what should be. You have the answers you want, or at least some of them, which will allow you to make some changes. Even if after a few weeks, you realize that it does not work better than before or are not comfortable in this new way of doing things, go back, that’s all. This process is one of trial and error until you find the best way to increase your efficiency.
Simple, never stop questioning yourself. As often as you feel the need. And don’t stop your wheel from spinning too. Do not stop moving forward, even if at reduced speed during your questioning. Otherwise, restarting a wheel when stopped is much harder than when it is in movement. Even minimal.
I leave you with some of my most inspiring readings in the past few months:
- Unlimited Power — Tony Robbins
- The Virgin Way — Richard Branson
- 12 rules for Life — Jordan B. Peterson
- My morning routine — Benjamin Spall & Michael Xander
- The 7 habits of highly effective people — Stephen R. Covey
- The 5-second rule — Mel Robbins
- Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story — Arnold Schwarzenegger