It’s hard to believe that it’s already December. Where did this past year go? I don’t know about you, but it seems like it flew by faster than any other year I can remember. I think for me it had to do with our spring being late, and summer never really showing up. Or maybe it’s just because our time is becoming more and more precious, and we’re trying to fit more into each day than ever before. Whatever the case, the days flew by, the weeks disappeared, and the months vanished before our eyes.
With that said, December is a great time to stop for a moment and reflect on the year that is quickly coming to an end; to stop and recognize successes before January 1st rolls around and the cycle starts all over again. We often get so caught-up in “what’s next”, that we don’t take the time to enjoy the spoils of our hard work.
It’s also important to stop and look at the big picture; to figure out what was the single most critical factor in your past year’s insurance marketing success. Conversely, it’s equally important to recognize what factors and activities didn’t have much impact at all. What did you or your team spend time and energy on that didn’t contribute to your success whatsoever? By doing this simple exercise, your vision of what should be at the top of your to-do list for 2014, and what should be on your “not-to-do list” should become obvious.
When I look back on 2013, my critical success factor, the one thing that stands out above everything else, the one thing that made the biggest difference, was renewing relationships. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true for many of you as well. While we may think about our successes as things that we’ve accomplished as individuals, it’s more likely the case that they would not have happened without the help of others. Recognizing this fact makes creating my 2014 plan much easier.
In today’s fast-paced digital world it’s important to recognize that building and maintaining meaningful relationships is much more than just glad-handing or participating in social media; it’s showing up, providing value, and staying true to your promise. So while my plan will be well organized and leverage technology when appropriate, it will also include a lot of face-to-face conversations and one-to-one communications that are real. I’ll also ask the question of whether or not the task at hand is truly providing value and enhancing my relationships, or is it just going through the motions because it’s something that I’m “supposed to do”?
So with that said, I encourage you to take the time to reflect on 2013 and celebrate a successful year. I also suggest you to take the time to think about what your success factors were in 2013, and what will matter most to your personal and professional success in 2014.
To end with, remember this: while each new year brings with it higher expectations and loftier goals, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to do more, it just means you need to do more of what matters most.
Have a great 2014