It’s that time of year when you step back and take a good, hard look at yourself—and at your company. How were you successful over the past year? What could have been done better? And, most importantly, what can you do differently over the coming 12 months? We asked 15 successful entrepreneurs from a wide variety of businesses—from women’s boxing apparel to a magazine about startup wins and struggles—to share their resolutions with us.
Question: As an entrepreneur, what’s your resolution for the New Year?
Give back to the community
I have quite a few New Year’s resolutions for 2017. I'd like to give something back to the community and work with not-for-profit organizations, helping them with their digital marketing strategies. On a more personal note, I'd like to become more of a mentor to those thinking about starting up their own businesses—maybe speaking at more events and sharing my experiences of starting Curated Digital. I am also determined to start learning some new skills every month to help me develop professionally and personally.
Seek out great role models
As the founding executive, our team will be growing from 15 to closer to 25, and my role will be shifting. I resolve to listen more, talk less, and seek out role models of executives who inspire their teams to do their best work. I am totally focused on finding mentors to help me through this latest organizational transition.
Don’t let other people define success
Nobody wrote the book to my company's journey, so when observers compare our successes to another company's, or when they try to decide what qualifies as a success or failure in our company's journey, it’s not productive. What matters is how our customer connects to us, invests in us, and our relationship with them—nothing more, nothing less. By giving 100 percent of our energy to solely our customer, everything else—no matter how challenging things are, or how many business issues come up at once—seems to work out, and that is because our customers are our wind and our compass.
Find people to help my business grow
My goal for 2017 is to be more purposeful about growing my business. I want to learn more about finances, marketing, sales, and building a team, so I've hired a coach. It's like getting a custom MBA and working with The Profit—all to myself. And I want more speaking engagements, so I now have an agent.
Stay more connected
I am connecting to what is at my core, what fuels me, and fires me up. When I'm connected, it’s easier to make those decisions that will drive my business. Knowing my ‘why’ also helps me stay engaged and motivated when I bump up against barriers—key for a thriving business.
Study how others overcome challenges
I've spent almost all of my time over the past few years creating medDigital, so it feels like I've forgotten how to do anything apart from building a business. So in the new year, I'm hoping to attend more WeWork sessions run by different people in different industries, to see what challenges they face and how they overcome them. And maybe I'll learn something new to help open up those dusty places in the corner of my brain.
Work my connections
In 2017, I want to take advantage of my network more. I often reach out to people who I have no connection to, as opposed to looking within my own circle. This is because if something fails, then I'd rather upset someone that I don't know. I feel like we often underestimate the power of our network. You just have to go for it because while you might miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take, it's a whole lot easier to hit a layup than a three pointer.
Take on something ambitious
For an early 2017 launch, we're developing and building from scratch our first truly online course for thought leaders to leverage. Inside our coworking office, I met a talented ‘online course coach’ (awesome title), and we're learning the new in-and-outs of a successful course process! It's an ambitious undertaking and I’m happy to have the support of colleagues and friends. We hope to generate significant revenue and thus shift the overall direction of the company. Stay tuned...
Learn from rejection
For an entrepreneur, rejection is the ultimate soul-cleansing exercise. My New Year's resolution is to embrace rejections as a motivator for personal and organizational growth, improvement, and perseverance. If a vision for innovation cannot withstand and overcome rejection and skepticism, it is not a vision worth striving for.
Learn from every experience
2017 will surely bring its share of surprises. The road will most certainly be paved with failures and successes, but it is my objective to make each experience a meaningful one. I believe that being an entrepreneur is a continuous learning process.
Achieve my long-term goal
Finish my book, Masters of the Formula. That's my priority. And the second is to ramp up social media pertaining to both my book and my blog, The Ordinary Genius Project. In 2017, there will be more videos and podcasts.
Pursue my passion project
To be on a film set as much as I can—including my first feature, Meltdown. I set this lofty goal when I moved to Portland and have made a lot of movies. Amazing. Can't wait for 2017!
Stay grounded in the here and now
I turned 40 this year. Life expectancy notwithstanding, I aspire to roadmap the next four decades using the experiences of the past, while staying grounded in the here and now. Also, I hope to continue spouting existential philosophy until my daughters tell me to shut up!
Keep looking forward
My resolution is to take everything I learned over the past 10-plus years as a female founder and late-life entrepreneur and translate that energy and wisdom into moving forward and not looking back.
Don’t make resolutions—except this one
My resolution is to not need to make resolutions. My work is all about guiding people towards what they already know, which is that they are everything they're trying so hard to be. But I guess if I could have one resolution, it would be to inspire people to get a tattoo that reads ‘Reminder: Chill The F*ck Out.’ Yeah, that would be good.