Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Every year, I’m surprised by how many people don’t make them. I love making New Year’s Resolutions, and I even have a strategy for keeping them. Mostly, my strategy involves making sure I keep my resolutions visible in my office and check in monthly to see how I’m doing in terms of making progress with those resolutions…and I could talk today about how to make resolutions you’ll keep. But instead, today I want to talk about the most powerful resolutions that can not only transform your business, but multiply your profits within 2012.
Resolution #1: This Year I Will Think Of My Business As A Business.
You wouldn’t believe how many times clients come to me for our second meeting, after doing their “homework,” only to tell me they’re shocked to discover that they never really thought of their business as a real business.
To be successful, you must have a plan- it doesn’t have to be a big, formal business plan that a bank would require to give you a loan (unless you’re seeking venture capital or loans), but you do want to plan the future of your business and start looking at how you’re going to get there. Believe it or not, once you change the way you look at your business, you’ll be much more likely to take success actions that will increase your profits.
Resolution #2: This Year I Will Improve My Time Management.
One of the biggest factors that sucks away your profitability is poor time management. You can so easily fritter away a day thinking you’re being active and productive, only to get to the end of the day and realize you haven’t really accomplished anything.
To increase your profitability, make every working minute count. Remember that every second you’re spending on Facebook “noodling” around, you’re essentially stealing from your business. You wouldn’t want an employee doing that to you…so don’t do that to yourself.
Resolution #3: This Year I Will Invest In My Business.
For many entrepreneurs, one of the hardest things to do is to invest in your business. Especially if your business has suffered during the recession, even more so if you’ve been “taken” by so-called business coaches and gurus who don’t really have much actual business experience, you’ll find it difficult to part with your hard-earned money, even if it could really help your business to grow.
This kind of fear is understandable. But if you want your business to grow, you do have to invest money back into the business. Invest in an improved web site, work with a business consultant who can give you the direction you need to get your business growing, invest in a new marketing campaign, a PR campaign, or something, but also make sure you know the likely results of whatever you’re investing in. There are no guarantees, but good research can give you a solid sense of how well you’re betting. If you put money into something, know what it is and how it’s going to help grow your business, and then take action.
Resolution #4: This Year I Will Stop Worrying About Motivation and Take Action.
Many entrepreneurs get so caught up in trying to get motivated that they spend most of their time learning from others and attending webinars and teleseminars and live events in the hopes of finding that one thing that will motivate them that they never take the next step to action. In fact, do you know how many people buy books and products and never read or use them? Fully 85% (or more!) of the people who buy personal growth and business books (including e-books and products) never even open them up!
This year, commit to finding your true fervor, that which you love doing and get excited about, so that you can stop worrying about “getting motivated” and just start doing.
Resolution #5: This Year I Will Trust Myself and Relax.
So many micro-entrepreneurs think they have to be doing everything to grow their businesses. What I mean is, I talk to people every day who receive five, ten, or twenty (or more!) business e-mails every week, and think they have to do everything that’s been recommended to them. They get one e-mail saying, “You should have a viral video,” and they scramble to get that set up. They get another e-mail saying, “You should speak from the stage!” and scramble to start doing that. They get yet another e-mail saying, “You need to be invested in social media!” and think they need to figure all that out. Next, an e-mail comes talking about blogs, articles marketing, e-zines, podcasting, internet radio shows, public relations….
It’s overwhelming. It’s too much. And it’s okay for you to relax a little bit and take a step back to think about what’s best for you, your business, and your target market.
When all else fails, trust yourself. It took me ages to trust myself and to listen to my gut instincts, but when I did, that’s when my confidence as a thought leader and as an expert really grew.
So this year, relax, stop trying to do everything, and trust yourself to know what’s best for you and for your business.
This time of year isn’t just about making resolutions that stick, it’s about making resolutions that can kick your business out of a rut and into profitability. And that’s what your 2012 should be all about. Happy New Year!