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Why don’t Bill Gates and other successful people make New Year’s resolutions? Here’s what they do instead

Bill Gates, Tim Ferris and other successful people don’t make New Year’s resolutions – they ditched resolutions in favour of strategies to help them stay focused in the year ahead!  Here is a quick review of the new year strategies of some of the world’s top Thought Leaders to greatly increase your chances of Scaling Up your business substantially in 2019.

Bill Gates: Founder of Microsoft

Bill Gates recently outlined his “end-of-year assessment”.  He reflects on

  • “What was I excited about?” and
  • “What could I have done better?”.

He also asks himself other other questions about his life such as

  • “Did I devote enough time to my family?”
  • “Did I learn enough new things?” and
  • “Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones?”

See the entire article here – 2 minute read.

Siimon Reynolds: Co-Founder Photon Group

Siimon does a short exercise.  Allocate just 10 minutes to ask yourself the following two questions:

  1. What are the top 3 areas of my business where I most have to lift my standards?
  2. In each area, what’s the one best way of doing it?

This exercise works amazingly well because it increases your clarity enormously, but doesn’t overwhelm you with a huge To Do List (that often never gets done). The exercise also provides you with a small handful of action points you can initiate that will actually make a difference to your business success this year.

Tim Ferris: Readers of Fortune Magazine recently selected his show as their top business podcast. It has now surpassed 300M downloads.

Tim Ferris no longer sets New Year’s resolutions. Instead he found “past year reviews” (PYR) more informed, valuable, and actionable than “half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions”.

  • Grab a notepad and create two columns: POSITIVE and NEGATIVE.  Go through your calendar from the last year, looking at every week. For each week, jot down on the pad any people or activities or commitments that triggered peak positive or negative emotions for that month. Put them in their respective columns.
  • Once you’ve gone through the past year, look at your notepad list and ask, “What 20% of each column produced the most reliable or powerful peaks?”
  • Armed with this information, relabel the “negative” column so it reads “Not-to-do-list.” Keep this list where you can see it to remind you of the people and things that make you miserable.
  • Next, review the items in the “positive” column and schedule more of those events in the new year. Get set booking events with friends and pre-paying for activities and commitments that you know will work.
  • “Get the positive things on the calendar ASAP,” he wrote, lest they get crowded out by noise and distraction. “It’s not real until it’s in the calendar.”

Jonathan Herps: Certified Scaling Up/Gazelles Business Growth Adviser

One of the key mistakes that I find with leadership teams is that they are not setting goals that are connected to the big dreams of the business, or indeed their life.

I believe that there are 14 Questions that you need to answer to reach your Goals.  I work with my clients to cover off these questions in Annual and Quarterly Planning meetings to ensure they have their strategy and priorities clear for the year(s) ahead.

1. What is our core purpose?
2. What are our core values?
3. What is our 10-30 year goal?
4. Where do we want to be in 3 years time?
5. What will be our key capabilities in 3 years?
6. What will we be known for in 3 years?
7. Where do we want to be at the end of this year?
8. What is our Number 1 Priority to achieve this year?
9. What is our critical number to measure this achievement in the next 12 months?
10. What is our #1 goal for the next 90 days?
11. What is our critical number to measure this achievement in the next 90 days?
12. What are the top 3 things we need to do in the next 30 days?
13. What the top priorities for this week?
14. What should I do today?

You won’t be able to answer all or perhaps many of these questions initially.  As my coaching colleague Shannon Susko says you need to “Gut It Out” to answer these questions initially – as you work on the questions over time you will achieve the results you strive for.

Want to learn more? Read our White Paper.

Read my White Paper “Scaling Up – How to recognise the Valleys of Death and break through the inevitable barriers to growth”.  Click the link below to download your guide.

Download “Break through the barriers to Growth” White Paper.

Does this sound like you?

  • Are you a CEO who just looked at your financial numbers for 2018 and are frustrated with the lack of growth and profit?
  • Are you working harder than ever and not seeing the results you were hoping for?
  • Are you frustrated with your team … Do they lack accountability?  Do you find it hard to instil … discipline, accountability, and alignment throughout your company … Do you find it difficult to attract & keep the right people?

I know that feeling … I used to be there and it sucks. But guess what? There is a way to get out of this craziness and start enjoying your company again!

I am a retired CEO with 35+ years’ business and leadership experience in Australia and Internationally.  I’m a business growth expert who helps CEO’s implement a proven, easy-to-use strategic framework delivers impact by bringing a proven framework complete with practical disciplines and the most effective tools and best practices that have already helped thousands of mid-sized businesses scale faster, more profitably and with less effort!

My clients are CEOs, predominantly in Australia, with $5-100 million in revenue who have achieved success, and are used to getting results (most would admit they are obsessed with it!), but feel like they’ve hit a wall in their business.

  • They’re unsure how to get to that next level of success and freedom.
  • They want to predictably move the needle when it comes to growth, financial results, or improving quality of life.
  • They know there must be a better way to get there … and are open to learning what that is.

When they work with me clients will typically achieve:

  • 2 x increase in cash flow
  • 3 x increase in profitability
  • Achieve your goals 3 x faster
  • Increased valuation relative to competitors
  • Spend more time working ON your business, rather than IN your business

Think of it this way. An athlete can only improve so much on their own. Beyond that point, they need a coach to help them break through the plateaus and see measurable improvement. Why should it be any different for CEO’s?

Want to Learn More?

If you’re seriously interested in growing your business, I think that we can really help. I’d love to schedule some time to connect. Feel free to book some time in my calendar that works well for you.

Book a 25 minute Discovery Call

If you would like to gain a deeper overview of the Scaling Up methodology and tools, I’d be happy to organise a 90 minute Strategy Session with you and your leadership team.

Book a 90 minute Strategy Session

Attend a Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop

Learn how to accelerate profitable growth using a time tested and results-driven methodology. Next Workshop is at Parramatta (Sydney) on Wednesday, 20th February 2019 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. Click the link below for more details.

Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop

I hope you have enjoyed these insights. Interested in hearing more?  Call me on 0408 748980 or email me at jherps@hgadvisers.com.

Have a great week, and stay growth-focused!

Best wishes,
Jonathan Herps



Jonathan Herps

Author Jonathan Herps

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