I always know when the 4th quarter is approaching because that’s when we my inbox gets inundated with the same question…
“What should we be doing differently to finish the year strong?”
My reply is always the same…
“The things you need to do to finish the year strong are the exact same things you should have been doing all year long. The only difference is that time is no longer an ally…it’s an adversary.”
With the 4th and final quarter barreling its way down the calendar …time is running out for you to hit your sales quota, to close any gaps in your performance, to redeem yourself… and to finish what you started at the beginning of the year.
If for whatever reason you find yourself currently below target…with your back against the wall, and you absolutely, positively need to crush it in the 4th quarter, then follow my lead as finishing the year strong is your right, responsibility as well as an opportunity you simply cannot afford to let slip by.
Should you choose not to, I assure you — you’ll come to regret that decision…as nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.
You must recognize a few things about the importance of seizing this opportunity to crush your 4th quarter goals and finish the year strong.
1. The 4th quarter will have little value to you from a productivity standpoint if you do not deliberately pounce on it with the intent to finish strong. In a very real sense, this is a use it or lose it…now or never proposition.
2. Your loss is someone else’s gain as someone with more courage, conviction and intelligence then you will find a way to step up their game…hit their target and make the kind of progress you only wished for.
The importance of how you execute the 4th and final quarter of the year cannot be overstated…because if you’re able to dig deep and do what it takes to finish the year strong…it naturally follows that you are building momentum and setting yourself up for a fast start to the new year.
What follows is your seven-point check list…seven rock solid strategies for finishing the year strong!
STRATEGY #1 ASSESS YOUR PERFORMANCE
I long ago discovered a critical business discipline that has allowed me…and my clients to continually grow, improve and prosper month after month, quarter after quarter…and year after year.
In fact, it’s been so effective in driving my own personal productivity that its enabled me to increase my income…and hit my performance goals for 38 consecutive quarters (over 9 years).
What is it? It’s called an After Action Review (AAR), and it’s all about measuring and reflecting upon your year-to-date performance…reviewing what you did right as well wrong and determining the corrective actions you need to make before the 4th quarter arrives.
STRATEGY #2 GET SERIOUS
With a finite period of time breathing down your neck…you have no choice but to get serious, set crystal clear goals, raise the bar, step up your game and embrace a take-no-prisoners attitude.
The moment you decide to get serious, to raise your standards, and commit to finishing the 4th quarter with a bang… is the moment everything changes in your life to include the direction and trajectory of your life.
STRATEGY #3 REFUSE TO DIE
Those with the character to do what it takes to finish the year strong, tend not to allow the indignity of a poor year-to-date performance to keep them down.
Every great achievement and comeback in history has been the result of the choices, the determinations, and the creations of the human will.
When you are down or below target other people will write you off. Do not let them define you — maintain your dignity, commit to the goal of finishing the year strong, and refuse to die.
STRATEGY #4 START SAYING NO
Consisting of two letters and one syllable…the word “No” is the most powerful word in your vocabulary as well as a complete sentence.
It’s the easiest word for setting a limit, holding firm to boundaries, and being clear about what you will or will not do during the 4th quarter.
Saying “No” is the most strategic decision you can make as it simplifies your life, focuses your attention and accelerates your effectiveness — guaranteeing a strong finish to the year.
Strategy #5 DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY OR DO DIFFERENT THINGS
A strong 4th quarter is dependent upon extraordinary execution skills. The better you execute, the better you perform, and the stronger you finish. It’s that simple.
Expecting to get better results from the same old behavior will only succeed in perpetuating more pain and digging a deeper hole. It will NOT get you to a superior level of performance.
Therefore, finishing the year strong necessitates new and better execution skills. In short, things need to change, and when faced with a need for change — YOU ONLY HAVE TWO OPTIONS, you can either do different things or you can do things differently.
Getting the right answer — quickly — will be the key to a successful and strong 4th quarter finish.
SPEED THINGS UP
Speed is a massive competitive advantage that you must utilize with great authority, speed is a demonstration of commitment, competence and clarity of purpose, and speeding things up is the key to rapid, ongoing, and transformational results.
You will achieve true greatness and finish the year strong only after you develop a sense of urgency about what you are doing — urgency to the extent that getting results and achieving your goals is a matter of life or death.
STRATEGY #7 BE RELENTLESS
Your success in crushing your goals and finishing the year strong is forever linked to your heart…your will…your steadfast commitment to your goals.
Finishing the year strong necessitates that you fight on with undying, relentless determination. And, by choosing to be relentless, you are demonstrating no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace, nor are you softening or yielding in determination.
The rewards for those who are unyielding in their pursuit of a strong finish far exceed the pain that must precede the victory.
ARE YOU READY TO FINISH STRONG?
I’m going to take the liberty of being blunt right now…
The 4th quarter is rapidly approaching, and there’s no point in pretending that finishing the year strong is anything less than the savviest move you can make right now.
And while there are plenty of excuses, there’s no good reason for you to procrastinate, to say the timing is not right…or that it’s not worth putting in the effort.
Gary Ryan Blair is creator of the 100 Day Challenge…a radical approach to goal achievement that shows you how to 10X your goals by applying the strategies of growth hacking.
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