This is the first time I am doing an annual review. It is inspired by my virtual mentor James Clear whose work I am a big fan of.
Life is a journey, so at times pause and check if you are moving in the right direction.
Being someone with a growth mindset I always like being busy. I am always looking for something new to learn and I am always looking for the next exciting thing.
I do have my long term and short term goals, and an annual review helps me to stay accountable to my goals and it also is a way to ensure that I don’t get distracted.
There is a famous quote from John C Maxwell…
Your life is the result of choices you make and every choice you make makes you. So choose wisely.
To begin with, I divide my time into three major areas – Personal, Professional, and Passion Projects.
A Review of The Personal :
My relationships –
I faced a tragedy this year. I lost my father who was ailing for a long time. It had been a very difficult time for him as he was mostly bed-ridden for the greater part of the year and needed physical support for even the smallest of his daily chores.
The hollowness that one experiences when you lose a loved one is hard to describe. It has to be one of the toughest moments in life when you see someone close to you suffer in pain and at the same time you want them to be with you. It is a difficult time and takes a lot of strength to hold onto hope, love, and want the best for them. I am yet to come to terms with the fact that he is not around anymore, and saying that I miss him is a big understatement.
Coming to the relationship I have with my wife and kids, I think I made a good attempt in maintaining and building a positive relationship.
The book by Gary Chapman – 5 Love Languages had a profound impact on me and I have tried to imbibe its learning in all of my personal relationships
Spending quality time with family is one of my primary values, so I went on four short vacations to Alibaug, Manas resort Igatpuri, Mahabaleshwar, Fazlani resort and The Resort Madh island. My intention of being an involved parent in the upbringing of my kids – aged 5 and 2 came into shape by spending more time with them. My wife and I initiated and were involved in the different activities my daughter took up over the year and witnessed many positive changes in her, as she learned new skills like singing, dancing, reading, writing and aerobics.
I always feel that I and my wife have hit a home run when it comes to our kids. We couldn’t have asked for better children than what we have. I realised the feeling of being with your kids and seeing them grow and prosper is one of the most satisfying and enriching experiences a parent could have.
My fitness goal is something I am really proud of.
I managed to reduce my weight from 93 kgs to 80 kgs and reduced my waistline by 3 inches.
I exercised daily, adopted a healthy lifestyle and stayed consistent with it and I haven’t ever felt as fit as I feel today.
In addition to this, I have been consistent with my MAG routine – Meditation, Affirmations, and Gratitude. This has changed me as a person. It has helped me stay in the present, stay calmer and view things and people with less bias and judgement.
A Review of The Professional :
This year I continued my 15+ years of B2B sales journey and managed to grow the business.
Things that went well in terms of the execution of my work as a salesperson are:
- Proactively researched my clients
- Planned large sales opportunities and executed the opportunities as per plan
- Filled sales opportunities template
- Co-presented solution presentation for large opportunities
- Gave a structure to Business Development activities
- Learnt more about the Technology which I am selling
I need to continue with what I did this year along with two additional things that need more attention in 2022. They are:
- Stakeholder mapping in large accounts
- Leveraging marketing for demand generation
Books I read and reread on B2B sales :
- Challenger Sales
- Large Account Management
- SPIN Selling
- Virtual Selling
- Getting to Yes
- How I raised myself from Failure to Success in Sales
Online courses that I attended:
- Social selling from LinkedIn
- Financial selling Executive conversation
- Insight selling
- Design Thinking Practitioner, co-creator
If you are a B2B sales professional, Reading and re-reading B2B sales books, taking online courses related to B2B sales should be a continuous process as it helps you remember the basics of B2B sales. It helps you build strategies which in turn increases the chances of doing the right things for winning deals.
A Review of The Passion Project :
As is evident from the name, a passion project is something I am passionate about. I love teaching, and content creation. It helps me be a better learner.
This year we took a few baby steps in content creation. Since October we managed to create sales content consistently and posted blogs every single week.
I conducted a training program and a webinar this year and I look forward to conducting more such events in 2022.
There are 3 parts to my passion project –
- B2B sales content creation
- Content distribution
- B2B sales consulting
This year my major focus was content creation. After a lot of experimentation, I have come to this conclusion:
Content creation –
Content creation is the most time-consuming activity and needs major time investments. It needs planning. It needs continuous muscle-building i.e practice and it is never-ending.
I will continue pursuing content creation seriously next year as I have made a significant investment in it. I just need more focus to speed things up.
This year for the first time I started working with other writers for content creation.
One realisation I had this year was that to scale my passion project I need to build a team of content creators or my passion project will just stay as a hobby.
I will streamline the content creation process in the year 2022 and then move on to having a full-fledged team for video creation, digital marketing and writing.
I want to scale up from writing individual blogs to having a whole suite of products and services up and running. This is my ultimate long-term goal.
Content distribution –
I will be pursuing a course in digital marketing to understand the most effective and optimum process of content distribution.
At some point, I will outsource content distribution once I set the process of it.
I haven’t thought about sales consulting yet. Maybe I will come to it when Content creation and content distribution is set as well as an oil machine.
Below is a list of insightful books I read apart from B2B sales books:
- Atomic Habit
- Quantum Memory Power
- How to Decide
- 168 hours
Sticking to two crucial habits has helped me achieve so much in a year and that habit is Time Logging and Planning.
Time Logging using a toggle app helps me to keep a track of how and where I spend my time. It helps me understand which activity consumes what amount of time and do course corrections wherever required.
I start my day by planning and organising my checklist on the Trello board and so far, it has only helped me positively. Without planning, my day doesn’t start. In addition to this, I also do Weekly and Quarterly planning and reviews. Planning and review have become a major part of my life. It gives me a lot of clarity, it de-stresses me, it helps me to set realistic expectations with myself and others.
There were several learnings and new insights that I gained during this year
I don’t like to use the word failure. I believe in this quote from Nelson Mandela…
” I never fail, I either learn or succeed”
There was one big sales lesson that I received while working on a deal, never depend on someone else to deliver your value prop to the client. One of my largest clients decided to go with the competition and one of the reasons behind that was I was dependent on someone else to lead that opportunity on my behalf.
I had to pay a huge price for it.
There were other lessons that I got while I was working on other sales opportunities this year and they were as follows :
- Stakeholder mapping in large accounts is important
- Never miss an opportunity to present
- If possible, hire a coach to help you with your large deals
Being open to learning is perhaps the best gift you can give to yourself. It helps you widen your thought power, your knowledge and capabilities.
If there is one takeaway for me, it is that focussing on one thing at a time is always better than multitasking. I found myself in a fix when I was trying to do everything by myself – creating content, writing, making videos, editing, marketing. Now that I have shifted my focus on one task at a time I can create more content at almost twice the speed. Such is the power of focus, which we must never forget. In addition to this, building a team is crucial for you to sustain and move ahead. My team of writers helped me in the passion project, my home team helped me navigate through difficult situations on the personal front and my professional life was better as I got the support of my colleagues and managers.
The process of creating content on B2B Sales has given me a lot of clarity about my profession. I can safely say that my profession feeds my passion project while the latter takes care of giving me insights and newer perspectives. This has helped me polish my B2B Sales skills and made me a better professional.
With these insights and reviews about the year 2021, I would conclude that it has been a good year. Doing an Annual Review has helped me gain clarity on my progress to take me ahead. It isn’t about how well I did when compared to anyone else, rather, how well I performed compared to myself the previous year. My personal aim in life is to be better than the previous day, previous week, previous month and the previous year. It is a work in progress that will never stop.
I love this famous anonymous quote I read somewhere…
‘If you are still searching for that one person who will change your life, look in the mirror.
On that note, here’s me wishing you a great 2022 full of happiness, good health, learning and growth!
Cheers… Happy New year!
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