The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect and celebrate some wins. Each year I look back and find a trend that helped me grow- I call them Lessons Learned. My last few year’s Lessons Learned were:
- 2015- The awareness to look for people’s superpower and get me and those around me “doing only what they do best.”
- 2016- Patience for others as I don’t know what they’re going through. As I paid attention to others, observed that 80%+ of people we meet are going through some significant challenge either directly or through a close family member. Have patience with others.
- 2017- The power of acting in spite of how you feel. We teach this, but I learned it in a big way in 2017. As David Sandler said, "You don't have to like it, you just have to do it."
- My 2018 lesson learned is- The Value of Compounding.
An amazing thing happens when you improve something a little bit a time and stick with it. It has been said that if you improve something by 1% every day by the end of the year, you will live improved it by 37X! That’s the value of compounding when you get slightly better…constantly. Success stacks on itself and compounds over time producing a greater result.
In our business, we instituted a meeting every Friday at 2 PM called CANI- Constant And Never Ending Improvement. It’s a 90-minute meeting focused on developing structure and working on the business to improve it in some way.
In the meeting, we don’t talk about what we’re going to do; we do it. It’s dedicated blocked time to get better, improve a process, create efficiency or make something more manageable. By doing this over the past year or so, we have developed so many practical improvements to our business. Many of these efficiencies directly benefit our clients.
Here’s a quick list of what we have managed to do and small 90-minute chunks but consistently done throughout the year:
• Migrated from Webex to Zoom and improved our engagement with online clients.
• Moved all files to a shared Google Drive folder to make it easier to find docs.
• Moved our phone system to RingCentral that saved money and allowed us to answer calls from any location.
• Created a process to use Linkedin to get more referrals.
• Made an excellent PDF to give to people before talks to groups and associations.
• Segmented our database by industry so we can speak to groups in our marketing about things they care about.
• Held two successful webinars that drove nearly 200 new contacts to our CRM.
• Updated our website.
• Successfully made a transition from one person to another in a critical role to our business.
• Hired someone dedicated to doing proactive prospecting for our business that resulted in 50 new opportunities in 3 months.
• Hired someone to be entirely dedicated to Client Success.
• Developed an automated process to quickly get appointments on our calendar without the back in forth- saving 4 hours a week of admin time.
• Implemented a new CRM and email automation program called Infusionsoft that has helped us communicate even better with our clients and prospects.
• Cataloged 275 sessions we can teach to make it easier to prepare for training sessions.
• Implemented a Quarterly Value Review with key clients to ensure we’re fulfilling on our promise.
• Implemented a chat feature on our website (still tweaking that).
• Massively simplified our proposal generating process and standardized on services.
• Replaced our bottled water and pod coffee system to help reduce consumer waste while saving $2500 a year.
• Improved our client onboarding process.
• Built a process that resulted in 1500+ touch calls to past clients.
• Implemented bulk assessment pricing that helped our clients, reduced # of transactions and increased sales.
• Updated our entrance hallway with colorful quotes from our clients.
• Created a webpage to make it easier for clients to post their lessons learned.
That's a BIG LIST with BIGGER results! So, I'm leaving 2018 with "Compound Interest" as my #1 lesson learned. Compound interest works personally as well (think health), but I'll save that for another day. Maybe my 2019 lesson learned will be...brevity!
What valuable lesson did you learn in 2018?
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