Every year since late 2010 I have picked a word for the New Year as a beacon to guide me through the coming 12 months. The word is usually based on what I’ve experienced in the past year, as well as what I am looking to be, do, feel and stand for in the next.
2011 was discipline. 2012 was leap, and 2013 was refine. 2014’s word was “own.”
For 2015, I’m choosing “balanced profitability.”
Yes, it’s more of a phrase than a word, but it’s oh-so-fitting for where I am looking to go right now.
Simply put: balance as in work-life balance, and profitability as in cut more expenses and bring in more revenue.
Here’s what it means to me:
First, balance wasn’t even in my vocabulary for the first 5 years of me being in business. I’d heard the cheeky saying “balance is for ballerinas” and pretty much agreed.
In truth, I was in an unhappy marriage and was happily spending all of my time escaping that situation with work. I was knocking it out of the park and making really good money–while avoiding dealing with many of my relationship issues–and that for me was enough.
Fast forward to this past winter, when I finally left that marriage and moved out. I then promptly fell in love, and my sweetie and I began spending a TON of time together. Honestly, it made me panicky. I was taking time away from my business, and after devoting so much time to it, it made me very nervous.
My friends saw it differently, praising me for allowing more fun into my life for once.
I realized this was a BIG lesson for me.
I now see that this relationship was “sent” to me to teach me how to have a life AND a business.
I am still learning, and that’s why this coming year I want to get even better at this “balance” thing.
As for profitability, this is something you strive for all the time as a business owner, of course. But a mentor of mine recently remarked that “growth sucks cash,” and I have to agree.
There’s a dance that goes on between continuing to grow, and keeping a healthy profit margin.
I already have several measures in place to ensure that healthy margin is there in 2015 and beyond, and I’ll continue to work at it.
That’s what’s going to guide me in 2015. How about you? I’d love for you to share with me in the comments below.
Photo credit: Bryanfranklin.com