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My kids played hooky from school today, it was going to be a big day. After tons and tons of anticipation, we watched the historic inauguration while their classmates studied english, math, and science up the street at the middle school. We sat glued to the television. We all listened. The kids gawked at the fancy helicopter as it banked away towards Texas with the Bush's aboard. I worried, hoped and wondered.
In President Obama's words, our challenges are "serious and many" and "starting today we must pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and begin rebuilding." The question is, will you? Do you have what it takes? Or, are you going to continue doing the same things this year as you did last. Are you going to wait until December to look back on '09 and ask yourself "what happened?"
As a nation we have our work cut-out for us. As a small business operator, or a sales person, the burden is larger for you than for most people. Many of our nations problems are associated with the economy, an economy that relies on the auto industry, the nations industry, your industry. The challenges you will face in '09 are numerous indeed. But, you will have less trouble overcoming these challenges if you get a plan together and stick to it.
First: All of your efforts in '09 must be strategic, organized and planned. Winging-it' is not going to work. Develop a game plan for the year, divide it into 12 smaller steps. Today, now, not tomorrow, sit down and write down (or use a computer) your goals for the year. How many units are you going to sell? How much money are you going to earn? How many Ups, Demo's and Write-Up's are going to be needed to reach your goals?
Next: Everyday, without fail, print your daily work plan (or create one with a pencil). Carry it around all day, everyday, do not wing-it, you will need this work plan if you are going to succeed. Like a professional quarterback that constantly refers to the playbook, you too will need to refer to your game-plan.
Finally: At the end of each day, everyday, review the work-plan you carried around all day. Did you do everything you needed to reach your goal? Did you take enough ups, make enough calls, do enough demos? How come? Are your goals unreasonable? During the month and year you may need to adjust your goals and objectives, this is OK.
Putting together a very basic plan and beginning to set goals and track activities is the first step to "picking yourself up and dusting yourself off." The first step is the most important, without the first step there cannot be a second, or third step. I worried as Obama spoke because so many people in our industry wing-it and work without a plan, a recipe for disaster. I hoped because the president himself may be just what this county needs to get our #$% in gear. I wondered because I have seen and listened to countless inspirational speakers in the past but watched hundreds and hundreds of salesman and dealers struggle to put into action the speakers advice. Don't let '09 expire the same way '08 did, horribly. Start today, do something, take control, the year has just begun. Everyone is watching. Your family, your boss, your country, they believe in you and trust that you will do the right thing in '09 - will you? Or will '09 end the same way '08 did, with one giant difference, '09 may be your last chance.
David Book is a partner at MyGoalTracking in Monterey CA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our award winning accountability software system can be seen here: http://www.mygoaltracking.com