“If a businessman is to conduct his affairs properly and with great profit, he must periodically take an accounting and correct any deficiencies.”
The month before each Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) is known as the month of reckoning. During this time, every Jewish person is required to make an accurate “accounting of their soul” in regard to everything that occurred in their life over the previous year. This responsibility applies to Jewish people of every stripe—from adults to students, and everyone in between—including building owners and roofers.
More specifically, each person must each take stock of both good qualities and deficiencies in the service of G-d and in their interactions with other people. It also requires deciding the steps needed to move forward.
Whether or not one celebrates Rosh Hashanah, it is important to “take stock” of our lives from time to time. What does this look like? The initial step is to examine our own behaviour, fully and honestly. This is never easy. No one is perfect, and we may not like everything we see. It is even harder still, to set out on a new course and begin to shift our behaviours for the better. Our sages assure us that this preparation is worthwhile and merits a good and sweet year for us, materially and spiritually.
Another important step in the process of taking stock is to look at our lives today, asking if we are satisfied and determining if last years’ plan has led to the best results. We can challenge ourselves to think about what obstacles stood in the way of achieving success. These questions will naturally lead to a comprehensive review and update, as well as consideration of who should be involved in strategizing for the future—perhaps a spouse, other family member(s), business partner, doctor, lawyer, or financial advisor.
The Importance of Planning
Once we have explored what happened over the past year and consulted with any trusted advisors, we can create a vision for the future. The important thing is to drill down and be as specific as possible. Narrowing down broader questions can more clearly define our future direction and clarify goals and objectives. The following questions may be helpful when creating a plan, whether in preparation for Rosh Hashanah or at any time:
What Does Life Look Like Today?
This question can be answered using broad strokes, thinking about what are our priorities, values, and beliefs—and then asking ourselves more specific questions to determine whether our way of life aligns with those priorities, values, and beliefs. These questions may include:
- How do I allocate my time between work, family, faith community, volunteer activities, and leisure?
- How is my general health? Am I taking care of my body and mind so that I am strong, resilient against stressors, and capable of enjoying the good things in my life?
- Am I being financially responsible?
- Am I showing enough gratitude to others for all they do for me personally, professionally, and to the Divine [as my faith demands]?
- What are the strengths that help me move forward, and what are the weaknesses that hold me back?
- Where have I let myself or others down, and what lessons have I learned?
What is The Vision for Five or Ten years from Now?
This may sound like a generic question one might be asked in an interview, but it is still a good question. This point is that we can visualize where we want to end up and start outlining the steps that connect the dots from where we are to where we want to be. Action is everything!
Building a personal or professional roadmap can be complicated, but it provides us with focus and the ability to channel our energies on a clear path forward.
Bringing it Back to Business
How does this work for contractors? In general, contractors need to establish basic timelines and factor in available resources when planning for both the day-to-day events and for the big picture. For example, how is the business’ order book at present versus three to four months from now? Is it reasonable to take on bigger jobs now, or does this need to wait until more personnel is brought on board and trained? Are there sufficient funds to expand the business, or is it necessary to first secure financing?
When we at Elite “take stock,” we review our successes and challenges from years past so that we can continually improve our ability to deliver the best products and services. We strive to conduct ourselves with the utmost integrity, in line with our values and beliefs. We appreciate our loyal employees and are extremely grateful for our strong client relationships.
The last couple of years have presented a myriad of twists and turns in business and in the marketplace. We have worked through the many unexpected challenges by keeping strong lines of communication open with our suppliers and customers. We will continue to navigate the unknown by staying aligned with our business and moral values and regularly taking stock along the way.
Planning Now for a Better Tomorrow
What’s the best way to prepare for the Jewish New Year of 5783? No matter how strong and active a person’s religious faith is, taking stock is a valuable practice at any time, and can be done as often as one wishes. What’s important is understanding and learning from past actions [or inactions] making it possible to lay the groundwork for a better tomorrow.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson
We at Elite Roofing Wish You and Your Families the Warmest Wishes this Holiday Season. “Shana Tova U’Metuka”—Have a good and sweet year!