Two Months Later: Where We Stand on Our Annual Goals

February 2016

TTPI_FB_shark1We’re periodically checking in on progress in meeting our New Year’s resolutions.

The other week Maureen announced her summer vacation plans and I took an entire weekend off of work. These might not sound like big deals, but when you own a company in growth mode, they are. And one reason they are a big deal this week is because I’ve been tasked with providing an update on our four corporate resolutions, and this is the only one that’s had real movement.

Here’s the quick update on each:

We Will Spend More Time Reflecting, Less Time Reacting. This was our way of saying we are going to create more downtime to step back, think, relax the brain and not just operate in hyper mode day in, day out. In other words, find a better ratio of work vs. life. To measure “success” we created very specific milestones: more “breathers” in project timelines; at least one weekend per month without doing work; and two to three vacations. So far, so good.

We Will Become a Bolder, Bigger Online Brand. This has to do with expanding our online presence and that includes some big, noticeable changes. We’re close to unveiling both, but not quite able to share yet. We anticipate checking off a lot of boxes around this goal in March.

We Will Keep Our Clients Happy. It’s crunch time for one of our clients, and we’re working hard to keep on schedule and get a lot of projects in play into their final content form. Other client projects are humming along on schedule. Measuring happiness can be difficult, so we monitor complaints, compliments and at the end of the year will do another client satisfaction survey to make sure we didn’t just imagine what happened earlier in the year. For now this seems to be going OK, but the next couple of months will be the true test.

We Will Be an Outstanding Protégé. Our mentorship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has been slow to get off the ground, but not for our lack of trying. We’re hoping things accelerate once we have our kickoff call next week.

Each quarter Maureen and I create goals to complete by the end of that quarter, and then develop timelines with weekly milestones to determine if we are on or off track. These are independent of the corporate goals outlined here. We’re now a sixth of the way into our resolutions and thus far, I’d say we’re doing OK. The true test comes next quarter, when everything ramps up and we somehow continue to find time to relax.

This reminds me of the quote from one of the sharks on “Beyond the Tank,” which follows entrepreneurs after they find an investor. In one episode, a woman didn’t like how much time she was spending on the business and essentially sold her product to another vendor so she could return to her former life as a stay-at-home mom. The shark made it clear: this woman was more product inventor than true entrepreneur. Some people go into business believing they will have more time at home, but often it’s the opposite. To provide outstanding service, it takes a lot of time on top of talent. We’re willing to put in the long hours so long as there’s a happy return (and an extra vacation day!).

—Anne