While most people set “resolutions” at the start of a new year, most people don’t realize that every day is the start of the rest of the year. Why not take a moment at the start of each quarter of the year and take stock and resolve to do something better. That second part is important, because if you only realize the problem and do nothing to change, then your outcomes will be the same. If you aren’t pleased with what those outcomes are now, then you will continue to be frustrated.
The start of that process is an honest self-evaluation. This isn’t meant to be a negative exercise, but one that gives you a realistic view of who you are, what you do and where you are going.
Following are three topics you should address each quarter (or even monthly) to give you that “30,000-foot-view” of yourself and your business.
If you run a boarding stable or farm, how were your financials the first quarter? (You should have those financials done now.) If you don’t know, then mark that on your resolution list: Keep better financials. You can’t get better if you don’t know where you have been and where you are, especially financially. And if your financials are not good—if you are breaking even or losing money—you probably won’t be able to stay in business in the long term.
Next look at your time management skills and execution. Are there things you want or need to do that you “don’t have time” to get done? Mark that on your resolution list: Invest in time management. Your time is the most important resource you have. If your time management is better, then you can focus your time on the jobs and duties that can make you (or save you) the most money.
What about your personal life? Are you working 12-hour days, seven days a week? Are you burning out? Do your family and friends get upset that you never have time for them? Work-life balance is important for your business. When you finally step back from this type of “overworked” situation, you might just be so tired that you throw up your hands and just get out of the horse business. It is better to adjust your work-life balance than to throw away something that is so important to you.
Think about what your ideal day would be (and be honest…you haven’t won the lottery and still have to work in and on your business). Then try to achieve that ideal day. We want to increase our industry and share our passion for horses, and becoming a workaholic doesn’t do ourselves, or our business, any good in the long run.