3 mistakes I made in 2021

There are many planning methods across the new 12 months—setting a (*3*), as an illustration, or figuring out a phrase as your mantra for the 12 months. Creator Tim Ferriss suggests one thing barely extra labor intensive: a calendar review of the prior 12 months in order to determine actions (or individuals) that had been the supply of disproportionate ache or pleasure.

It’s a good suggestion, however amid the eggnog and reward wrapping, who really takes the a number of hours required to meticulously comb by means of the final 12 months’s detritus? I did, and listed here are three mistakes I found I made, which I’ll be studying from as I set my objectives for 2022.

Table of Contents


1. Doing Issues the Similar Means as Everybody Else

It’s solely in the previous couple of many years that govt teaching has turn into a extensively understood idea—and it’s much more current that it’s been considered as a instrument to assist profitable leaders develop, somewhat than as “remedial assist” solely for underperformers.

So it’s no marvel that many coaches have clustered round a standard framework for the way we ship our companies. Why make it tougher on ourselves by having to elucidate the idea and the methodology, too? Till just lately, like many coaches, I’d construction my engagements in six-month blocks, assembly each two weeks.

However in 2021, I got here to appreciate two issues: First, many purchasers really need extra time in between classes in order to execute what we’ve mentioned; and second, I additionally most well-liked assembly on a month-to-month foundation, somewhat than biweekly, as a result of extra issues had occurred that shoppers wished to speak about, and due to this fact dialog flowed much more successfully. Transferring ahead, my coaching engagements will meet month-to-month—as a result of I imagine it’s the very best for my shoppers and for me.

As you overview your calendar for the previous 12 months, it’s helpful to ask your self two questions: Are there cases in which you’re doing issues the identical method as everybody else? And in that case, are you making a acutely aware alternative or simply working out of behavior? Now could be the time to query not simply what we’re doing, however how.

2. No Margin

This previous September, I launched a brand new e-book, The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World. I wished to offer it an excellent promotional push, however in retrospect, I went a bit overboard. For the latter half of the 12 months, my calendar often had 8, 9, and even 10 conferences per day. It’s no marvel I felt confused: I needed to strategize about probably the most primary of actions, like when I’d have the ability to take a toilet break.

For many of us, there’ll be “clutch occasions” when we have to focus intently on work—e-book launches, or tax season for accountants, and the like. Just a few weeks would most likely be acceptable—however it actually shouldn’t final a whole half 12 months.

I’ve come to appreciate, it’s important to set clear boundaries as a result of emergencies, or time-sensitive points (like a shopper needing to speak to you that day), will inevitably come up. You probably have 10 conferences that day, even a small disruption can throw your complete system into chaos, so it’s important to construct in margins. For 2022, I’ve dedicated to having a agency restrict of not more than 5 scheduled conferences per day. I might find yourself taking extra conferences if the necessity arises, however no less than I’ll have the area in my calendar to permit for it.


3. Nebulous Conversations

Reviewing my year-end calendar, I recognized a number of corporations with whom I’d had protracted discussions that went nowhere. I pursued all as a result of, had these conversations coalesced, the consequence might have been profitable: a six-figure contract, or an fairness stake. However the leaders didn’t appear to know what they wished, so we swirled endlessly. Earlier in my profession, it most likely would have been price my effort and time to pursue, regardless—because you by no means know the place it’ll find yourself, and it could possibly be thrilling, or a studying expertise.

However as you advance professionally, it’s vital to acknowledge that you’ve got much less time to waste and you may’t afford to endlessly “see how issues play out.” Sooner or later, I’ll be extra cautious to protect in opposition to these amorphous chats that appear to carry promise however find yourself simply as hazy as they started. With a purpose to decide early on if it’s a match, I’ll try and make the opposite get together do a bit extra of the upfront work of explaining exactly what they’re in search of.

There have been loads of highlights for me in 2021—whether or not it was one thing “large” {and professional}, like having The Lengthy Sport hit the bestseller checklist, or one thing small and private, like month-to-month haircuts with my pal Ron. However as with many issues, we will usually study probably the most from analyzing our failures, and the locations the place we fell quick.

Making the time to comb by means of our calendars on the finish of the 12 months is—let’s be sincere—a trouble. However a couple of hours’ price of study can present invaluable perception into the place we expertise friction—and the place, by means of small changes, we will make the largest enhancements in our lives transferring ahead.