What will you stop doing in 2016 so you can grow?
I always get excited about a new year.
There are always new things to learn and new projects to kick off.
The new year provides us with a chance to start fresh and it can be met with feelings of hope and opportunity as we set new goals and resolutions.
But sometimes, a new year can spur feelings of doubt, concern, and uncertainty as we feel overwhelmed with all the plans, goals, and projects we have committed to.
Like many financial executives, you may be asking yourself where will you will find the time to take on anything else. You may feel you are already operating at max capacity and are close to a breaking point.
My challenge to you as we wrap up 2015 is to take the remaining few days to reflect not on what you will do, but what you will NOT do in 2016 so you can grow both personally and professionally.
A good place to start is to consider what activities no longer have a positive impact on your bottom line. And if you can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt these activities provide value, consider for a moment that they really don’t.
What activities should you stop doing once and for all?
What must you say no to?
Here is a short list of possible activities you might consider saying no to:
- A commoditized position built around your “great rates” and “amazing service”
- Your marketing and sales processes built around branches and broadcast
- Old product lines you are keeping around for a handful of accounts
- Unprofitable market segments and account holders
- The same old traditional, seasonal, marketing campaigns
- Cliche messaging and stock images
- The printed newsletter
- TV, radio, newspaper, or phone book ad buys
- Branch posters
- Community events and sponsorships
- Your glorified online brochure (aka your website)
- Social media channels
- Third party canned content providers
- Complicated onboarding processes
- Attending the same conference but gaining no new insights
- Pointless meetings and conference calls
- Worthless reports and vanity metrics
- Employees who are no longer a good fit
- Drinking too much
- Eating junk food
- Not getting enough sleep
- Not exercising
- Checking emails at home or on the weekend
If going through this exercise makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s good.
It means you are doing it right.
Find courage to make the tough decision
Making the tough decision to identify activities (or people) that no longer provide value and say no to them requires courage.
If you are one of the 70% of banks and credit unions who does not have a digital marketing plan, but are planning to focus more on digital marketing in 2016, you will have to say no to activities that no longer matter. You will have to say no to activities that provide no value to your bottom line.
You have no other option than to say no because it is impossible to take on new activities if you are already operating at max capacity and have a full plate.
By finding the courage to say no, you will clear up capacity to give you the resources including time, talent, and budget to focus on activities that make a positive impact on your bottom line allowing you to grow.
It would be great to connect on LinkedIn and learn what activities you will commit to stop doing in the new year so you will find the capacity to truly focus on the activities that will move the needle and help you grow in 2016.