This week, with just six business days left in the fiscal year, I wanted to expand a little bit on a phrase that our sales manager used in our Location Meeting just last Monday. If you do not remember, what he closed our meeting with was the axiom, “We are judged by what we finish, not what we start.”
I do not think there is a much more apt way to sum up the way we finish a year, finish a quarter, finish a week, or even finish a day than by that bit of wisdom. It is a constant occurrence both in the workplace and in our personal lives to start a project but lose focus as time goes on. How many of us have odd jobs around the house that we wanted to get to but haven’t? Home improvements? Fitness goals? New Year’s Resolutions? When I was a kid growing up, my father had a long list of household chores that seemed to continue to pile up. He even physically had a list on our refrigerator. He seemed to spend more time coming up with the things to fix than actually fixing them. Needless to say, handiwork was not a skill he had to be proud of. He did have a cousin, however, who was incredibly good with his hands and was an engineer with the Air Force, working on military planes for over 20 years. Whenever he asked my father when he would finish these projects listed on the refrigerator, my father would reply, “When I get around to it.” One year, my cousin gave my dad a card for his birthday that he titled “Around To It” and did so every year afterward, physically creating a symbol for the mental block that stopped my father from getting to his projects.
How many of us have created goals for ourselves out into the future, but also delay in completing the daily tasks that are required in order to achieve them? Are we ever going to get around to them? When will that be? Tomorrow? Next week? Next quarter? Nike once used advertisements that proclaimed: “Yesterday you said tomorrow,” which speaks to the same human urge to delay. Whether you term it procrastination, lack of drive, comfort with the status quo, etc., it is still one of the leading causes of unfinished business. Many of us have the skills but simply don’t take all of the steps!
If your goal this year was President’s Club or Winner’s Circle then you have six days to complete it. If your goal is Winner’s Circle or President’s Club for next year, then you only have six days to get yourself ready to achieve it. If your goal is to make more money than you made last year, do better than you have done before, or work towards a position that you do not currently have, then every day should be a step in that direction. The first step may be the toughest, but the last step is the one that many fewer people actually take because they stop along the way. We have six steps left to finish out FY16 and build our momentum to a fever pace entering FY17. Let this email serve as me giving you your “around to it” so that you can get going on what you have been delaying.