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Looking back can be good or bad. It's good to remember what worked in your business in the past. And it's good to recall those things that did not work so well.
Looking back is your rear view mirror. It is your rudder that will help keep your sailboat on course.
Example: Fran is a great believer in social media as a tool to build a small business. For some time, she has been teaching many clients how to use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and others. She turned it into a viable small business of her own. Looking back, Fran could count many clients who greatly benefited from her expertise. She thought that all those clients were ready to take the next step. She devised a system that automated social media access for her clients. She now could place her clients on all sorts of social media. But clients resisted signing up for her new service. With little success, Fran finally realized that she was far ahead of the market curve. Her clients simply did not understand how her new automated service benefited them. She still offers the new automated service, but growth is slow. To prod signups, Fran is now taking an interim step--educating her small business clients into the benefits of automatically accessing many social media possibilities.
Example: Takisha is a hypnotherapist, seeing a client list that includes people with all sorts of problems. Physicians regularly refer people to her for help with pain management, grief, post-surgical adjustments, and the like. When a nutritionist friend suggested that they combine forces to offer sessions on controlling weight in people, Takisha turned down the opportunity. She thought it would lead her in a less-desirable direction. Months later, she realized her mistake--she missed an opportunity to grow her client base. The nutritionist who had approached Takisha had found another hypnotherapist, and, together, these two had established a booming new practice. They were holding regular paid private and group sessions for people who wanted to gain or lose weight, or simply to become educated on healthy eating.
Looking back, all of us can see the mistakes we've made. Sometimes, these can become clues to better manage our businesses.
Taking a look in the rear view mirror should never be a cause for regret. Whatever you see should be a learning experience.
Learn from your rear view mirror. When you see something that did not work very well, learn from it. And when you see you made a mistake, learn from it. Use your past to find the path to a brighter future.