A few weeks into 2018, it has become clear to us (just like every other year) that some new years resolutions are more realistic than others. Even with the best of intentions, these goals are great only if they're kept -- a task that can prove easier said than done, especially if one aims to completely transform themselves personally or professionally. Sticking to this evolutionary process is just as hard, but doubly important for entrepreneurs. One must be accountable for mastering their own destiny, which requires taking the steps required to end up at the desired finish line. It is usually best if your new years goals are objectives you're particularly passionate about -- the greatest recipe for turning resolutions into habit and routine require a lot of enthusiasm, ambition and consistency. Here are a few goals on the top of District Maven's resolution list that we're determined to keep in 2018:
set a schedule and stick to it
When the work continues to pile on, finishing work for the day when originally intended becomes a challenge. Determine your schedule for the day and ensure that one given task doesn’t consume too much of your time. There is nothing wrong with starting a project and coming back to it (as long as it is completed by the given due date!)
make time for non-work tasks
It may seem hard to believe, but that oil change and dentist appointment you’ve been putting off are equally as important as getting your work done. When planning your schedule for the week, try writing a separate list of important personal tasks that need to be tackled and keep it in a visible space. The more you’re reminded of it, the easier it is to stay accountable to it.
While we’re not typically fans of the “set it and forget it” method, there is nothing wrong with saving yourself a few minutes by automating easy everyday tasks. (The time really adds up, trust us!) An easy example: utilizing a social media scheduling service like HootSuite or Planoly will not only help streamline your productivity, these platforms also offer beneficial insights you may not have received otherwise.
invest in personal growth
After a profitable year, it can be especially tempting to take money earned and spend it frivolously on something wanted, not necessarily needed. Entrepreneurs need to do everything in their power to fight this urge, instead reinvesting company dollars in activities that ultimately lead to professional growth. Whether that means signing up for a class or buying new software, it is key to invest in purchases that deliver lasting ROI.
follow up on cold leads
Just because lines of communication between you and a potential customer slowed down last year doesn’t mean that all hope is lost this year. New years signify new beginnings and therefore, a new opportunity to follow up on cold leads. Who knows — getting back in touch with you may just be on the top of their resolution list, as well. Making the first move to circle back can be all the difference in sealing the deal fizzling out for good.
use competition as an incentive to build a better community
We’re firm believers in competition in the work place, but it must be harnessed correctly. Take the emotion out of competition and let it drive you to critically look at what your target demographic is currently lacking. Competitors should absolutely foster drive — but real success if found when that ambition is channeled into building a better community rather than just edging out the next guy. Providing tangible value is the most effective way to win, every time.
redefine personal and professional processes
Just because something worked previously doesn’t mean it will always be the best mode of operation. Likewise, just because something makes sense to you as the business owner doesn’t mean it will clearly translate for someone else, whether that be an employee, client or otherwise. Being proactive in redefining professional processes helps entrepreneurs stay focused on the forest rather than the trees. Remember, all business is based on a transaction — is yours fool proof?
don’t be afraid to take a step back and critically analyze
We confess: one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur is to admit you were wrong — but it is also one of the best things a business owner can do. Instead of spinning wheels and wasting time with an idea, concept or client that clearly isn’t working choose to take a step back instead. Having some mental and emotional distance from the situation will create a great amount of clarity, eventually making the correct path seem almost obvious. (And preventing one from investing time into fruitless endeavors!)
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