A Fresh Start

A New Year is here and like a freshly-fallen snowfall, it’s not been trampled, shoveled or push aside–yet.  Like a blank canvas, this is an opportunity for you to create your own painting with colors and designs unique to you.

It’s also the time for endless resolutions, hopes and anticipation for what the next 12 months will bring.

Same for your business.

While wrapping up on 2016’s details and closing the books on yet another year, we can now turn our attention to 2017.  A time to plan, develop and implement strategies focused on revenue growth and customer satisfaction.  Not only for small businesses, but larger ones as well.  And not for just for-profit organizations, but non-profits too.

Think back to all you did and accomplished last year and, as you do, also note all of the clutter we’ve developed in our personal and professional lives.  While we may feel as though we’ve made significant progress, clutter can still make you feel somewhat burdened.

For example, as a small business owner, one has the tendency of focusing on being “in the business” versus “thinking about the business”.  The former is focused on operational details daily while the latter allows you to think about the bigger picture, including your vision, objectives and developing strategies more in alignment with longer-term priorities for your business.

However, by focusing on details prevents entrepreneurs from really determining what brings value to their business, customers and potential clients.

De-cluttering enables you to simplify and focus on priorities which are truly most important.

And it’s liberating.

Many times, we feel as though we’re constantly doing “busy work” which, at times, seems endless.  This can actually decrease productivity because you’re focused on “just getting it done” and off your checklist but, in reality, you’re not necessarily thinking about the big picture–just what needs to be done today and now.

For example, I spent some time during the Holiday season thinking about my business and realized how much I was getting bogged down.  While I had an excellent year, I looked at my office and realized I wasn’t feeling as focused and productive–although, I was.

As I started reflecting and with the New Year on the horizon, I truly wanted to feel more focused with the various tasks at-hand.  Subsequent to the Holiday festivities and during some downtime, I evaluated my business processes, including my office space, and realized too much going on there.

Therefore, I enlisted the services of a KonMari-trained consultant (http://tidyingup.com/), Cindy Fletcher, to help me through the de-cluttering process.  According to Fletcher, “It can help you focus on what’s important.”

People are drawn to the philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and optimistic. Belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being discarded, if they no longer spark joy.

While we think we are giving our attention to what’s important, in reality, we may not be.  She continues, “You may think you are focused or concentrating on the important things, but the physical clutter is impeding the process and you can’t escape the clutter.”

When it comes to both your personal and professional lives, Fletcher encourages people to be creative and clear about the “big rocks” and once you do, it will help propel you to greater business success–however you define it.

When people say they want to start fresh, I thought I knew what needed to be done–but, I didn’t.  She took me through a fairly-simple, straight-forward process:

  • De-clutter by category,
  • Had me remove everything from my office,
  • And before anything was brought back, Fletcher pointed out it needed to have one of two purposes:  1)  have a particular purpose or utility (for example, keeping business documents, or  2) bring me joy and peace (personal things, if necessary).

As I went through the process, it was clear to to me what I should keep and dispose.  In fact, she didn’t tell me to get rid of anything (you come to that conclusion), but Fletcher’s role was to encourage and support me throughout the process.

When we were done, I felt much more liberated, focused and quite frankly, more clear-minded and I believe this will continue to drive overall business and personal success this upcoming year.

And as we enter 2017, my hope for you is the same.  If you’re interested in reaching Cindy Fletcher, you can email her directly at: cynthiamfletcher61@comcast.net.

Here’s to a healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year!