Give yourself an end of year review

By Robert Gerrish, founder of Flying Solo and author of The 1 -minute Commute

As small business owners, we rarely pause and celebrate our wins, preferring instead to keep our head down and do the work. This is shoddy behaviour on our part and frankly it’s a ‘feel good’ opportunity that we’re choosing to ignore.

So let’s change things!

As we near the end of the year, how would you like a performance report to turn up on your desk? Would you devour it or get the dog to eat it? Here’s a way to produce one quickly and effectively that can help you prepare for the year ahead.

For me, one of the many joys of going it alone is not having anyone looking over my shoulder.  And I’ve been flying solo long enough to know therein lies a problem.

We need a bit of over-the-shoulder peering every now and then to help keep our standards up to scratch, even if it comes from our own perspective. In my solo coaching business, I hold people accountable for their actions, which helps them to become keen self-assessors.

For the next few minutes, please allow me to be your coach.

What follows are four areas to help you construct a mini end-of-year report. Give it a go and see how you fare:

1. How have things run for you this year?

With a mark out of ten for each, rate your:

Satisfaction with the strength of your client relationships

  • Happiness with the flow of ideal clients
  • Skill at communicating with others
  • Capacity to handle pressure and overwhelm
  • Ability to stay focused on priorities

Do give each one some serious consideration. In some you’ll do well, in others less so. Be honest, but don’t be overly hard on yourself. No-one is perfect!

2. What have been your emotive milestones?

These next 3 questions invite some introspection and reflection and in my experience are a great way to really pause and consider how you’re feeling right now. If you have staff in your business, it may be good to invite their response to these too as a separate exercise.

Q. What are you happiest about?

What are you happiest about in your work and life at this moment? Go ahead, take a break from reading and write down the first things that come to mind.

Q. What are you most excited about?

Hmm. Happiness. Excitement. Both good, but quite differing sensations. So what’s exciting you right now in your business journey?

Pause and jot some notes down.  The final question . . .

Q. What are you most proud of?

Come on, no-one’s looking over your shoulder. It’s just the two of us. Don’t be bashful.

What are you most proud of in the work you do and the life you lead?

3. What areas need improvement?

List five aspects of your work and life that you’d like to bolster in the year ahead.

4. Who would benefit from reading your end-of-year report?

FInally, take a moment to consider who deserves to hear about how your year has gone. For many small businesses, it’s our nearest and dearest - our families, partners and good friends. These are the people who’ve listened to us banging on about business all year. Isn’t it time we kept them abreast of how we’re feeling and where we’re headed? 

It’s called sharing, and it’s that time of year!

Robert Gerrish is the founder of Flying Solo and author of The 1 - Minute Commute published by Pan Macmillan. Read more of his work at


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