Crisp air, changing leaves, colorful trees, sweatshirts, and football. And my birthday (and my husband’s and my son’s)!!  All reasons to celebrate my favorite season. (No, I didn’t mention the “flavor” – not a fan, call me crazy!)

It’s also the time of year that I start to look at my plan for next year. December is just so full, fitting in a strategic plan review just doesn’t happen. And January – well – that’s for resolution failure, not a good time to try to plan while you are starving, you just don’t make good decisions when you are hangry! Plus, fall is it’s the start of my personal new year, so it’s fitting.

It’s often said those that “do” don’t take the time to “do” it for themselves – and that is so true! So I’m going to post my progress in updating my plans and give you a glimpse into my process. My wish is that other independent consultants can benefit from my work.

Out with the old.

I can organize and streamline just about anything business related – except for my office space! That’s where I called in Laura from Victoria’s Organizers to help me sort through the layers of clutter and create a space that works for my work.

Four full contractor trash bags, 2 tubs and a box to my lovely assistant to scan, and 2 trips to Goodwill later…I have a space that is functional for me even if not textbook organized (and I can see the floor!).

I highly recommend calling in a pro to help, even if you think you’re pretty good (as in all other things – the pro is a pro for a reason). She was able to work within my style and needs (i.e. organized chaos). I still have some homework to get done before our next session, but I’m already working in a much more functional layout.

You may not need to rearrange furniture each year, but the declutter and toss clears the path for new work and thinking. Give it a try!

In with the new

With functional space to work in, now it’s time to look ahead. The nice thing about being an independent consultant is that I get to determine (to some extent) what I work on and how I spend my time.

What is it I want to do?
What do I really enjoy working on that I’m also really good at?

(Change the “I” to we for your department/organization and this will work for any setting)

With dry-erase marker in hand, I’ve outlined a list of the kinds of tasks and projects I enjoy and have the skillset to complete. I’ve also identified a couple of opportunities to get some additional training so I can do some things even better. I’ll be looking for an Excel “beyond-expert” class if anyone knows of any!

Looking for commonalities I found a few themes in what I like doing: “growth, decisions, concept, and manage.” Building to growth and bringing concepts to clarity are part of helping a organization evolve while decision making and managing are crucial to sustaining an organization.

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Whiteboard filled, I’ve taken a step back and narrowed it down to a pretty simple concept:

I thrive when I’m helping solve problems to evolve or sustain organizations.

A little rewriting and (a lot of) wordsmithing and I’ll have a mission statement!

Next, I’m going to work on identifying strategies to bring in not only new clients (which, of course, is important), but also new challenges and problems that need solved. Stay tuned for the steps I’m taking to create these strategies and results of this work and what I’ll be up to next week.

Until then…

Cheers!

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