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It’s hard to believe we’re almost through the first month of the New Year, the traditional time for resolutions.

But while many people are making resolutions that may soon be broken, I’ve decided instead to concentrate on reflections.

As I’ve been reflecting on the past year while planning for the coming one, I’ve been asking myself these five questions:

  1. Why am I doing what I’m doing professionally?
  2. Who are my customers? Whom do I serve?
  3. How do my customers benefit?
  4. What has brought me success in the past? Am I still doing those things?
  5. Do I still understand my customers’ priorities and am I adding value to meet them?

These are very pertinent questions, whether you run your own business or whether you’re an employee of someone else’s.

Our customers don’t really care if we’ve resolved to stop eating sugar or go to the gym more often.  They do care about their bottom line, as well as the intrinsic value we bring to their organizations. Our customers may not actually be asking us these questions, but they’ll certainly recognize the signs if we’re not looking for the answers.

“Know thyself” is an ancient Greek adage. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and relates to all aspects of our lives. And it comes from reflection.

How can we even begin to align our action plans with our objectives if we don’t know who we are and why we’re here?

Reflecting on these five questions is the first step toward knowing yourself professionally, and thus articulating your professional strategy for the coming years. Or you may have other questions more appropriate to your situation.

The point is: You have to ask yourself to know yourself.

 

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