strategic consultant to:  

~ serial CEOs & CTOs in software, Internet, technology & digital media
~ experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices

We are at the next turning point, closing off the past year (2011) and looking forward to the next year (2012).  I wanted to re-post a version of my year-end reminder to myself and all of you, to take an hour of quiet time to review your year and learn what it has to tell you.

It is time to surge ahead into a new year, to take stock of our work, and make our plans for new actions. Caught as we are between the Western New Year and the Chinese New Year of the Dragon on January 23rd, we have a brief time to settle our old issues, clear the clutter, and embark on our new agendas and dreams.

Every year about this time, I sit quietly for an hour and review my calendar for the past year. This review does many things: it allows me an hour of reflection. It shows me what I thought might happen that did or did not come to pass: that prospect was the Big One (who never signed), or that conference presentation which I nearly declined brought me two long-term clients, or that unlikely referral source brought me a $200K client.

This review is a walk through lessons learned, and I have done it every year for as long as I can remember. From this information, I add to my wisdom of what to do next time. This wisdom, which we all carry, and which adds to itself like layers of silt-knowledge, is solidified into our sense memories, becoming an innate savvy.

Then I move on to my current prospects’ folder, and take a look at which ones will never become clients, and which ones need some attention. And I respond appropriately to each one on the long list — now, this week, when we are all awakening to what needs to be done.

And finally I review the current, after-holiday status of my current clients and make sure I am ready (and they are ready) to move forward.

During the holidays, if I have been righteous, I have cleaned up the administrivia that plagues all small businesses (closing or reviewing the year end books, re-organizing new and old files, updating software and security). This turn of the year is often the only quiet time to achieve this clean up.

And, if you happen to know your next adventure, you will have spent some time already preparing for its launch or next growth stage.

So, are you ready? Have you completed these tasks or your company’s equivalent tasks?

As I remember reading once some decades ago, “Life hits you with both barrels.” And if the New Year rushes off into new adventures, it is good to be ready.