At this time of the year, most people are feeling exhausted, and many are looking forward to the well-deserved break. This year like many others, we have seen so much happening around the World. Some good things, some not so good! We have seen country leadership changing hands where many thought it would be impossible without the help of The Angel of Death and even the “Trump” card has been played. Many of these historical events have consumed us, even shocked us, but as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus stated, “The only thing that is constant is change”.


When reflecting back on your year, have you made the changes you needed to make, to stand out, to grow, to develop yourself and your business?  The problem with many of us is that we are too scared to change; we fear it, just like a 5-year-old child would fear that monster in the closet. We constantly run the million “what ifs” through our heads, finding every reason why we should not change, making excuses and blaming others when things go wrong, often because we do make the needed change.


In the word of Socrates “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. What does this mean for you? Often I engage with people who feel stuck, they see no or little growth and start losing faith in themselves, their staff and their business.  On many occasions, I have even heard people stating "this is how we have done it for years", this is where Albert Einstein would step in shouting, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.


You may be questioning and asking what you need to change, here's my advice. 


1.    Start by being honest – “You are always one decision away from a totally different life”

Stop making excuses for why things are not where you wanted them to be. If you want to live with an “above the line” mentality you have to stop blaming others or making excuses and start making things happen. You may not be able to change the macro environment you operate in, i.e. politics, economy, policies, but you can adapt to make things work for you.


2.     Make the tough decisions – “Old ways won’t open new doors”

It’s often hard to change what you have been doing for years, but it’s insane not to if it’s not delivering results. Are your systems, processes and staff making the grade? Are you struggling to let go of certain actions, tasks, processes and people due to past legacy?


3.    Rate yourself – “You must be the change you wish to see in the World” (Mahatma Gandhi)

Have you put systems, process and people in place to achieve what you need to? Are you testing what is working in your business and what is not? If you keep losing money because people are not paying you, then maybe it’s time to change your payment terms or even your customer base. If you are not closing deals, find out why; is it the people you are selling to, are they the right customer segment? The sales team, sales process, or product, there could be a myriad of reasons but the only way to make the right change is to know what to change. 


4.    Listen – “Stop looking for happiness in the same places you lost it”

Do you know what your customers are saying about you? Are you asking them for feedback on your service, products, customer service and every other element of your business? So often we work on assumptions and in many cases, this can lead to a loss of sales, credibility and reputational damage.


5.    Give thanks – “It only takes one person to change your life” (Ruth Casey)

When times are tough we tend to spend so much energy focusing on the deal we did not close, on the staff who are not performing, on the clients who are not paying, that we forget to thank those who are.


6.    Take risks – “If you want to change, You have to be willing to be Uncomfortable”

We get into a comfort zone and don’t want to move out of it, the biggest problem and risk with this, is that your next big deal, your next moment of fame, your next breakthrough R&D idea may be just outside that comfort zone. So make a decision to take calculated risks and encourage and foster this spirit in your teams. 


7.    What’s the plan? – “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself” (Andy Warhol) 

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. All too often leaders do not have a solid plan and goals in place, resulting in chaos. If you don’t know where you are heading, how do you possibly expect your team and customers to know and support you? Set your goals and objectives, and make sure they are “fluid” enough for change when required, plan every step of the way.


As the year draws to an end, use this time to reflect on what you could do better, what you should continue to do and what you should stop doing. It is often difficult to look at your business objectively and with a bird's eye view, this is where the help of a business coach can be hugely beneficial. 


Now go out there and be a custodian of your brand, your business, your customers, your staff and yourself.


If you would like some advice on how to bring about the change needed, feel free to drop me a note on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Happy holidays!