Here’s a sobering thought. This week heralds the end of the third quarter of the year. From next week, we are into the fourth and final quarter of the year. Are you going to achieve your goals this year? Or are you already writing this year off, and hoping that next year will be better? The next three months are critical to the success of your business.

Procrastinators vs planners

After 11 years of coaching, I have noticed a distinctive trend at this time of year. This is the time where it is clear as daylight who is serious about taking their business to the next level and who is simply paying lip service to the notion. This is the time of year that separates those who hope to have a successful 2020 from those who will actually have a successful 2020. The final quarter is when procrastination is at its peak. Everyone seems to be winding down earlier and earlier each year. It’s the time of year when new projects are put on hold. “We’ll do it next year”. “Please call me in January”. In all my years of coaching, I can categorically say that not one single potential client who postponed the start of their coaching programme to January, actually started.

You can’t afford to slack off now, because here’s what happens…

By the time everyone is back at work in January, more than half the month has already passed. You then play catch up and touch base with your clients, employees, suppliers and before you know it, January is gone. In February, you start planning. It takes a couple of weeks to get plans in place, plans approved, and to get going on executing the plans. Inevitably, many plans result in the need for new systems or processes, restructuring, or hiring of new staff. By the time you actually settle down, your first quarter is reduced to one month at best.

The same business owners and leaders who find themselves in that position are the ones who suffer from “last quarter inertia”. No projects are started in November and December, and everyone is just doing what’s necessary to get through the year. Effectively, they are trying to fit a 12 month plan and budget into 8 months! And then they wonder why they never get traction, momentum and don’t build on the year before.

There’s no time like the present…

We all know that “diet starts Monday” never happens. Nor does “Growing my business starts in January”. Some of my most productive and successful clients have started their coaching programmes this time of the year. We use this time to do benchmarks, conduct workshops and alignments on culture and values, do assessments and provide feedback so the December break can be used as a time of reflection. Before they go on leave at the end of the year, their plans are ready, systems are in place and resources are lined up so they can hit the ground running when they get back in January. And there’s nothing like a great start to the year to take the pressure off the rest of the year and keep you motivated to achieve your business goals.

As the year end starts drawing closer, now is not the time to wind down… a race is won with a last burst of energy and a sprint to the finish. Now is the time to accelerate and give your business one last push.

So what will it be? Are you the procrastinator or the planner? Are you going to have a great 2020, or are you just hoping to have a great 2020?

Contact me and let’s gear you up for success next year!

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