The great philosopher Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, it is a good time to take a few moments to reflect on all of the wonderful things that have happened and the new challenges that face you and your business.
I have been blessed in my life to have wonderful mentors challenge me to become not just a better businessman but, more importantly, a better person. Running a successful advisory business constantly presents difficult challenges. I am not a philsopher, and what I am writing about are struggles that I face as well: not taking enough time to reflect on and learn from my successes and failures. So let’s reflect on 2015 as we look to plan for an amazing 2016.
I am a big fan of historical movies, and one of my favorites is 300. I know it is rather intense, but the lessons from it are great. Marcus Aurelius, the Spartan king, was faced with overwhelming odds to defeat the world’s largest enemy. But before the great battle that shaped Marcus’s ethos were the teachers and mentors who influenced him. As a teenager, Marcus was taught by Socrates and was constantly being pushed to find the deeper meaning in life and become more aware of his surroundings and events.
We can apply these life principles to our practice through some questions that I would encourage you to ask yourself, to prime the pump as you prepare to write down your 2016 goals. As you reflect on the following questions, make sure to write down all of your thoughts and share them with a colleague or mentor.
1. What do you stand for? Purpose based on principles is everything. Without it, we are nothing. When you know what you really value, you can make conscious decisions based upon a foundational value system. Leaders of great teams have an unswerving commitment to what they believe in. This consistency will inspire confidence and trust in those who follow you. You need not just your employees, but also your clients to see and understand this.