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5 Stages of Growth To Bring In The New Year With A Bang, A Buck, And A Brand New Attitude

With the New Year upon us, it’s time for all Business Owners to put new, effective plans in place for 2013.

Letting go is something humans are challenged by. Perhaps you lost a business and are wondering if you’ll ever run another business again, or your business has been threatened by the economy, and you’re doing everything possible to hold on. Or maybe business is booming for you, and you are looking forward to even more growth in the New Year.

Whatever your situation, understanding the 5 Stages of Growth can help move you and your current or future business forward!

Here are some tips to get the New Year in clear focus, with all arrows pointing to “GO!”

I came up with 5 Stages of Growth while working through some recent personal upsets. It reminded me that problems arise when we hold on to sinking ships, get sidetracked, overpromise what we can deliver, or simply fail to put the right systems and processes in place to successfully run our businesses.

That’s all about to change. By understanding The 5 Stages of Growth, you’ll be able to reflect, let go of past disappointments, avoid the bartering trap and put your efforts toward focusing, understand the role of frustration in growth, and be confident enough to take action.

Here is a chart to help you better understand The 5 Stages of Growth.

INTERPRETATION:

STAGE 1: REFLECTION

We often reflect by sweeping poor decisions under the rug. But, to truly grow, we will use Stage 1 of Growth: Reflection to our advantage and LEARN from our mistakes. As part of your reflective process:

* Review your end-of-the-year “Track and Measure” reports. What areas did you exceed your goals? Where did you fall short? In the areas where you fell short, what could you have done differently? The data and observations will help you move forward into 2013, and will help you put together more effective, solid plans.

* Take a look back at the beginning of last year. What were your short-term goals? Were you successful in reaching them? How about your long-term goals? Were you able to stay focused, or did you get pulled off track. What can you do differently next year to help stay focused?

STAGE 2: LETTING GO

* Letting go often goes hand-in-hand with anger. Anger can rear its ugly head in different ways. Maybe you’re angry with your team, your situation, or even yourself. Well, it’s time to practice a little detachment, and to let go of any anger you are holding inside. Channel that energy into something positive. To start:

* Growth involves increasing your customer base. Review any profiles you did of existing customers, and also evaluate any surveys you got back from potential ones. (If you didn’t profile or survey customers, this would be a good time to start.) What did you learn about your customers? What can you do to strengthen customer relations based on their responses? Can your new ideas be put into an ongoing campaign?

STAGE 3: BARTERING

Temptation in Stage 3 of Growth is bartering. The temptation here is to make silent deals. “If you overlook all those mistakes, Oh Great One, I will do this or that or the other.” Sound familiar? Instead, for Stage 3 of your Growth:

* Own up to your mistakes and grow from them. Remember that many a “mistake” throughout history led to some amazing inventions! Wishing something didn’t happen doesn’t make it go away, so instead, FOCUS on what needs to be done to move forward. This takes the begging and guesswork out of the equation and helps you focus on what needs to get done.

* Look back on 2012. What are you most proud of? What do you know needs addressing? This is a time to let go of guilt and accept change and renewal with anticipation.

STAGE 4: FRUSTRATION

What? Did you think The 5 Stages of Growth wouldn’t involve a little sweat? Frustration is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it is simply an indicator that change is or needs to take place! Frustration therefore is a good thing. In this stage:

* Evaluate: have your goals or vision changed? What will you keep as a goal moving forward, and what will you revise? Have you planned your goals clearly enough to identify milestones? How will you celebrate when those milestones are reached? Yes! Plan celebrations, too!

STAGE 5: ACTION

Action is our 5th Stage of Growth. To take positive action:

* Put together a 90-day plan for the 4 quarters in the New Year. Either plan out the whole year now, or plan each quarter and build on the success of one to create the next. Break down big goals into smaller parts, and then apply an action toward the greater goal in each quarter.

* Remember you are not alone. Be sure to include your team members in decision-making. Once you’ve revisited your vision and mission, make sure everyone is clear about each, so everyone is on the same page where your company’s vision and mission are concerned.

* Give yourself a gift that pays itself forward. This could be an investment in your business, or a business coach that can help you put effective strategies and processes in place, or other positive steps toward personal and professional growth.

Don’t wait. The time to begin growing is now!