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Reflections & Lessons Learned Of 2016

By: Patty DeDominic

Whiteboard with text Lessons learned isolated on white background.


2016 has been a roller coaster of a year. With all the craziness that went down this year, from the presidential election to the Summer Olympics in Rio just to name a few, 2016 may stick out as being one of the oddest and most insane years in recent memory. But just like any other year, it had both its challenges and its milestones, and now that we’re in the final stretch of 2016, it’s time to reflect on this year and all the lessons that we learned. This applies not just to us to individuals but to businesses as well, particularly business owners.


For business owners, every year brings its triumphs and its disappointments. Every year means facing new challenges and reaching new milestones. In the beginning of the year you set new goals for you and your business that you wanted to meet but now that we’re reaching the end of the year, it’s time to reflect on these goals. Did you meet these goals? If so, how did you do it? And if not, why? What went wrong? How can you improve yourself and your business in order to meet them next year?


Just like business owners should ring in the new year with well-thought-out goals, set with deadlines and filled with aspiration and determination, business owners should celebrate the final months on the year by reflecting on how the year was for their business and for themselves as leaders of their business. What lessons were learned? What was accomplished and what has yet to be accomplished? What have any failures or mishaps taught you as a business owner? What are your strengths and weaknesses as a business owner? How can you sharpen your skills and strengths in order to do even better next year, and how can you improve in areas where you are not so strong? In short, what have you learned from 2016 so you can be an even better business leader, and help your business cover new ground and reach new heights, in 2017?


A good way to do these year-end reflections is to divide them up into two different sections. For January to June 2016, write down three different victories and celebrations, two key business challenges, and then the biggest lesson that you learned during that slot of time. Then do the same for July to December 2016. Then at the end, write down three different business goals for 2017. What are these goals, how do you plan on achieving them, when do you hope to achieve them, and who do these goals involve? Reflecting on the lessons you learned in 2016 means reaping and harvesting what you’ve sown, and looking forward to 2017 means thinking about how you will apply the harvests you invested in during 2016.


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