Lessons in Perspective – Past, Present, and Yet to Come

In Charles Dickens’ famous novel, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The experience is transformative for Scrooge and is a lesson for all about the value of perspective and balancing the elements of past, present, and future.

Dickens’ timeless tale, first published in 1843, remains highly relevant today. As you transition from this year to the next, take steps to review and prepare for the financial health of your business in the coming year.


Take time to reflect, with gratitude, on the events of the past year. Regardless of what you’ve encountered – and whether you count your experiences as successes or failures – they’ve caused you to grow, learn, find fresh solutions, nurture new relationships, know yourself and your business more intimately, reinforce what works, and discover what you might need to change. The past contributes to who we are and to the vision and activities that define our work.

As you reflect on the past year, ask:

  • What did I do well and what contributed to those achievements and successes?
  • What areas need improvement and why?
  • Did I have written goals for my business, including revenue and profit? If not, why not?
  • If so, how did I perform against those goals?


Celebrate the successes. No matter how small, we’ve all experienced successes this year, and there’s no time like the present to celebrate them. Find a way to mark each success along the way, as they happen. This practice can help you become more aware of the forward progress you’ve made. Live more in the moment and experience fully what life has to offer today.

December is a perfect time for reviewing the past year and preparing for the next one. It’s also a wise use of a business owner’s time – in the present – to evaluate and plan. Planning today empowers you to start out the new year with a solid strategy for the future, built on data and experience from the past, armed with confidence that knowledge and preparation impart. Consider the following:

  • What are your financial goals for 2023? Are they written down?
  • What are your non-financial goals for your business?
    • Employee initiatives such as hiring, retention incentives, training
    • Cultural initiatives such as increased employee engagement, greater diversity, more authenticity

Now is also a great time to consider personal goals, which could include selfcare, more time off to do those things you love, or more time with family and friends in the new year.


Stay on track for growth. When you step into the next year, continue to clarify and refine your vision for yourself and your business and stick to the path that will manifest that vision. Apply the lessons learned from the past, celebrate present wins, and implement changes that may be needed. Keep an attitude of gratitude – take time to move through the next year with eyes, heart, and mind open to those NOW experiences that make life rich and real.

I’m here to help. I’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you in 2023 to take a big-picture approach to your business. My expertise lies not only in helping business owners understand the financial aspects of their companies, but also in helping to decipher overall growth goals and develop a strategy for achieving them.

Thank you for your business and friendship, for the wisdom we’ve gained and the successes we’ve realized together this year. At this moment I celebrate, with a grateful heart, the incredible people and many blessings in my life. And I look forward to being part of your journey in 2023, the great experiences we’ll share, and growth we’ll achieve.

Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Written by

Rick Arthur is a CFO whose expertise is built on Financial Intelligence and 35 years in senior financial roles. Coupled with a CEO’s perspective and the experience of building his own $20 million company, he brings a unique depth of insight into business from the top down. Wired to get to know people, Rick works hand-in-hand with business owners of intentional, growth-oriented companies, solidifying relationships as a trusted advisor and confidant to his clients. He leverages his experience to help business owners gain traction and stay laser-focused on the company’s vision, cash flow, and profitability – all while creating big picture solutions for strategic planning, growth and sustainable success.