Another year is almost over and I’m looking forward to spending extra time with my family. It has been another rollercoaster year, where so many things have happened. Some were unexpected and exciting, such as my hosting of Hack-It-On. Others were bitter-sweet, such as my departure from FIN.
After all that has happened I believe that I have grown wiser than I was at the start of the year. I am now more humble and less impulsive. I am also more determined and focused. In order to continue improving myself, I set out 5, achievable, start up new year resolutions. I believe they will help me, and you, do better in business and life.
1. Become a healthier me.
Too many times did I spend time on meaningless tasks. This often left me without enough time for other activities. One of the first things to suffer was my health. The more stressed I got, the less willing I was to exercise and live a healthier lifestyle. This inevitably led to even more stress.
I, therefore, put this up as the first of my start up new year resolutions. If entrepreneurs don’t take care of their own health, no one else will. I will start easy; with a daily 30-minute walk and limit myself to one caffeinated drink per day. This alone will make me destress and I will be more able to take the right decisions.
2. Revisit my business plan(s).
It is common to write a business plan, use it for a short time and then forget about it. Doing this is wrong, because when you write a great business plan, it can act as a guide to making the right decisions. Even when all the targets are off, the SWOT analysis no longer makes sense, and your marketing plan did not work out, there is always something valuable in your plan. This could be as simple as your company mission.
I must admit that I too sometimes feel like the business plan is no longer relevant. Rather than update it, I discard it. In the coming year, one of my start up new year resolutions will be to update my business plans every 6 months. This will allow me to be prepared to tackle unexpected events and keep the direction of the business in mind with every decision.
3. Aim to become more sustainable.
Running a start up requires so much of my time that the thought of business sustainability doesn’t generally cross my mind. It is small businesses which are key to creating a sustainable community, but this opportunity is often overlooked. The bigger shame is that becoming sustainable can easily be done in small steps.
In the new year, the prime area of sustainability I wish to dedicate myself to is reaching out to my community. Every four months I will encourage the team at TFE together with our friends and families to volunteer a day’s work to a meaningful cause. In this way, our community will benefit, even if a little bit, by the existence of The Fun Entrepreneur.
4. Get more customers to give me feedback.
There is a saying which says, “if things are going well, don’t fix them”. As Andrew Grove might put it, just because you think things are going well, doesn’t mean they are. Grove led Intel to become one of the greatest chip makers. His story could have been very different if he didn’t listen and react quicker to his customers.
With this in mind, my 4th start up new year resolution revolves around customers. This year I want to elicit feedback from more of my dormant customers. I want to shape my business to really suit their expectations so that they won’t go looking at my competitors for a better experience.
5. Reaching success through the written word.
There are many things I know I want to learn. This year is the year I fly a plane and write basic code. It is relatively easy to learn something you know you want to learn. It is far harder to learn something you didn’t even know existed. The only way to even learn about these skills, resources or techniques, is through research. The best research was and always will be, books.
I have a number of books that have been gathering dust waiting for me to read them. This is the year that I read them. I commit to less obnoxious TV time and more reading time. The last of my start up new year resolutions is to read one book a month. 12 months in a year. 12 business insights I could learn from.
What are your start up new year resolutions? Commit to them today by writing them in the comments section below. I look forward to reading them.