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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyReview and Learn from Your Past Successes and Challenges
By Victoria Munro

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If you’re like most small business owners, you might be overlooking an important resource right at your fingertips.

Entrepreneurs, especially those who are passionate about what they do, often live life on a fast track—after all, there’s a lot to do and much of it is up to you. It can be tough to take time out, step back, and reflect on, analyze and learn from recent events.

In our Make-it-Fly® Alumni Boards, members start the meeting by sharing their biggest successes, challenges and how they fared with their 30-day goals during the previous month. We notice that successes and challenges are often linked to each other.

Though you likely aren’t looking for more projects to fill up your days, much can be learned by stopping on a regular basis to study and learn from the past. I recommend setting time aside to assess your past month and ask yourself the questions below.

My Biggest Success(es):
Note: Looking at this can be really encouraging!

  What was the key cause of this success?
  What did I do, or not do, that contributed to this success?
  What new insights did this reveal that could be useful in the future?
  How can I repeat this success, perhaps in other areas?

My Biggest Challenge(s):
Note: Challenges could be viewed as ‘failures.’ However, seeing them as valuable learning tools to be used as stepping stones to future success is more fitting. In his recent book, The Slight Edge, author Jeff Olson quotes Thomas J. Watson, Sr. (founder of IBM) as saying “The formula for success is quite simple: double your rate of failure.” Olson then adds, “If you go through life with the philosophy that ‘failure is not an option’ then you’ll never have any good opportunities to learn.”

  What can I do, or avoid doing, in the future to prevent this from recurring?
  What can I learn from this?

Profit from Lessons Learned:

  In light of the above, and with my long-range goal in mind, what realistic goal will I set for the next 30 days?

Note: As entrepreneurs working for ourselves, it’s easy to set goals and then later rationalize why we didn’t achieve them. Increase your chances of success by asking someone else to hold you accountable to do what you’ve committed to do. Tell him or her to take this seriously and accept no excuses.

Don’t miss out on this simple yet valuable resource. Plan to take time on a regular basis to reflect and learn from your past successes and challenges.

(430 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

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About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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