5 Things Entrepreneurs Should Do To Start The New Year Strong
Start the new year strong! I hope your 2016 was a prosperous year for your business. Regardless if it was a growth year or a static year for you, I think it’s key to your long-term success to spend intentional time reflecting on this past year and plan for the coming year and beyond.
Here are 5 things every entrepreneur should do now to start the new year off strong.
One of the most common mistakes I see my business coaching client entrepreneurs make is to run so fast that they never stop to reflect on their wins and losses from the previous year. They spend so much time doing what has to be done next that they don’t think long-term. It’s what Michael Gerber in the book The E-myth Revisited called getting stuck working IN your business, rather than ON your business.
Every year around my birthday I hold a personal “Annual Strategic Planning retreat” where I set aside a day to set my next year’s personal and business goals (my birthday is in October, for you make a date in the fourth quarter of the year). I usually do this in a place away from my norm so that I spur my out-of-the-box creativity to solve new challenges and come up with new ways to inspire my team in the year ahead. I update/revise and finalize these during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Each quarter of the year I compare my year-to-date progress with my goals for the year (you’ll see these Quarterly Reviews on my Master Calendar Template you can download for FREE here). Don’t confuse this habit with any business strategic planning sessions you hold with your team.
ACTION: Put at least 4 hours on the calendar in the next two weeks to get away by yourself to reflect on last year and, if you haven’t done so already, make a long-term plan for 2017. Use my [Year End Assessment Tool] and just translate it to business goals.
Write down 90-day goals, every quarter (and write down the results)
Entrepreneurs are dreamers. If you’re like me, you likely have more projects floating around in your head than you could ever execute. As you start your new year, write down your first quarter (90-day) goals in January, and revisit them and repeat every three months. I’m a big fan of making a plan on a page. A plan on a page is literally one page, so that you will focus in on the most important goals you want to achieve and get everything else out of the way.
ACTION: Build your Plan on a Page: On the top half of the page, draw three columns, one for one month goals, one for three month goals, and one for six month goals. On the bottom half of the page, write a task list for those things needing to happen in order to achieve each goal and the responsible party and deadline date. Perhaps, starting with your 6 month goals and then reverse-engineer those steps/tasks needed to be achieved each month leading up to that 6 month deadline would be of help. I think you’ll find this simple strategy that fits on one page will help you focus and iterate every quarter as opposed to making a few daunting annual goals that never get fully shaped.
Create a personal health plan
Many entrepreneurs spend so much time on the health of their business that they forget about their own health. Are you allowing margin in your life to workout regularly? Do you know what food (fuel) you’re putting in your body? Are you running on fumes or are you healthy? Don’t forget about your physical, emotional, spiritual health. It all works together, and it’s all really important. Check out this [blog post of mine] that includes some helpful apps to motivate you and help you track your progress.
ACTION: Write out a personal health plan to keep you on track. Include exercise and nutrition. And, don’t forget to monitor your sleep with the [Sleep Cycle App by Northcube AB].
Hire a Business Coach or join a Mastermind Group
Who is your guide through life’s curveballs? Who do you go to when you don’t know what the right next move for your business is. Get a coach or find a group of peers. The most effective entrepreneurs I know have a coach that helps guide them through the good days and the bad.
ACTION: Check out my [Business Consulting page]; I have an opening for a business client right now. Or, if you’d prefer working with me and a group of your entrepreneur peers, submit an application immediately [here] to join my forming [Mastermind Group] before enrollment closes.
One of the characteristics that life-long learners have in common is that they are always reading. We are scrolling the news RSS feed each morning, reading a novel to keep our imagination working, or are reading a business book to help us be a better leader. I read a minimum of one book a month. Start by trying for one book per quarter and see if you can gain momentum. Cut back on the amount of time you are spending watching TV and you may find some extra time to bone-up on your reading.
ACTION: Make an intentional reading list in January, and stick to it. Need ideas? Start by perusing my [Recommended Reading found here].
These are 5 things I think every entrepreneur should do to have their best year yet. What would you add to the list?
One of my missions in life is to move and inspire people to take action in their own personal development and business building. It is my honor and privilege to serve you in this way. I make it an absolute MUST that I inspire each and every one of you to STEP UP and live the life of your dreams, NOW, and not settle for less than you can be, do, have, say or believe.
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