New Year? Learn To Tie Your Shoelaces

Jan 5, 2015 | By Kevin Oakley

A whole new year is here! A fresh start with nothing but huge opportunity in front of you. Surely there is no time to waste, and BIG new goals need to be both set and acted upon in BIG ways. I mean, you already learned all of the lessons from the previous years… don’t waste time rehashing what you already know.

Start with a bang – right?

OR, you could begin by learning how to tie your shoes – again. John Wooden was the head coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team from 1964 to 1975, and he won 10 national titles. He was also the first person to be inducted into the basketball hall of fame as both a coach and a player. So when each new season came around, many people are surprised to learn that he always started by teaching his players how to tie their shoes.

It served real purpose too. Improperly worn shoes could encourage unnecessary sloppiness of play, injuries, and ultimately could cost the team their ultimate goal – winning. You see even when a star junior player returned for the following season, he was not exempt. In fact, he would fully embrace this review of the most basic of fundamentals – because he knew how it had positively impacted his previous season.


Of course, you still should set your goals and plan to win your own “national title” this year

But I think it would be wise to also consider your shoelaces when your first practice begins.You’ll prevent tripping on them later in the year (how embarrassing!). As a VP of sales and marketing, this meant I would do the following to begin each year:

  • Review the total budget for the year and the % of each category. What was most efficient at producing leads? The least efficient? Did I know why? What did I want to test and improve on that had the best opportunity for a positive impact?
  • Review – in depth – ALL forms of advertising and marketing currently in use. This is time consuming, but once the year gets going even the best of us will shortcut, and not dive in as deep as we need to. You’ll find old creative, outdated copy, and some cobwebs that need dusted off.
  • Create clear goals for your key metrics: Cost per lead, Cost per sale, conversion ratios on traffic, leads, appointments, sales, etc.
  • What can be shot? What is being done just because it has “always been done that way?” You need to free up time and resources for what is working best in today’s market and to stay fresh. Create a “stop doing list.”

What does “going back to the basics” mean to you and your company? Share it with others in the comments below!

Make it your best year ever!

Kevin Oakley
Managing Partner

Kevin Oakley

Meet Kevin

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