It's that time of year when people start to plan for the New Year and setting goals for what is to come. As such I have seen Vision Board Parties, Goal Setting Webinars and the like floating around. But in my experience of building brands, none of these things work! Why? Because they are generally done in isolation and without any foundation. Normally I see the facilitators address the issue of planning as a solo subject. But before you can start planning you have to first take the time to step back and evaluate where you are right now. You have to do a Brand Audit. To achieve this you need to be prepared to ask the difficult questions and be honest about where your brand is right now. To gain any level of real success in 2019, first you need to be clear about what happened in 2018. Here are some key questions to address:
What worked in 2018? This is about establishing what really worked for your brand. Fro example; what worked financially i.e how many new clients did you acquire, what was the average deal value, what was your client retention ratio? What worked in terms of brand awareness i.e how many social media impressions did you get, Likes did you increase, engagement percentage, Google search volume? Did you win any awards or overcome any key challenges?
What did not work in 2018? Once you identify the good stuff, move onto what did not work. For example, did you have staff problems and high turnover? Were your teams productive and was each project effectively resourced? Did you hit a financial issue and what damage has that caused? If you're a personal brand, did you fail to get that promotion or have you faced endless challenges with key members of your team? List the things that failed or could have been executed better.
What have I learnt from both the highs and lows in 2018? This is the question that most people rarely address with honesty, because it takes real self evaluation, and also because too many prefer to remain a victim of their circumstances! But in every situation you have to move passed the negative and seek out the lessons. By asking the question; what did I learn? It turns hardship into life learning and becomes a tool for growth. So go back to your list under points 1 and 2 and next to each write what you learnt about you, about your brand and or about your company.
Who do I need to be, to get what I want? So you have goals for 2019, but if you keep being the same person you was in 2018, you simply won't achieve them. You need to change, adapt, reposition, move yourself forward to get what you want. So what is it about you that needs to change? If you look at the answers to 'what did I learn' you will see where change is needed. For example, do you need to be more disciplined with your money? Do you need to be more consistent with your sales calls? Do you need to be more focused on the single task at hand and stop drifting every time you get a new idea? Do you need to be dedicated to your fitness routine? Do you need to be more effective in the staff meetings and speak up allowing others to hear your ideas? Do you need to be honest when things are hard and seek help? What about you needs to change? Who do you need to be, in order to get what you want? It's a hard question, but it's a necessary one.
Why don't I have these things already? So you want to travel more in 2019, or you want to buy a house, or you want leave your company, start your own business, launch your own Youtube Chanel...WHY don't you have these things already? Here is where you need to go four layers deep, whatever you write down as the first answer, ask yourself the question again and go deeper, find the truth about what is really stopping you. Note....its never, ever money, because you don't need money to do anything, you need resources, people and vision. So strap money off your list (lol)...now go deep, find the truth about what's holding you back, because until you know your truth, you can't overcome it and you will never have what's on your list.
Consider this...a plan without an audit, is nothing more than a wish list. So stop planning and start analysing, or you might find next year you will be exactly where you are right now...#wishing for a better New Year.
Good luck with building your brand.