With a new year breaking, people across the world are penning lists of resolutions, many of which won’t last a month. Entrepreneurs, though, have better than average tenacity, and their New Year’s resolutions shape their lives, the lives of their employees and the fate of their companies.
Here are my suggested Entrepreneur New Year’s resolutions and why they should be on your list.
DO THE TOUGH THINGS FIRST: Discipline is the key to every success, personal and organization-wide. Dedicate yourself as an entrepreneur to waking each morning, identifying the three things you don’t want to do but know you need to do, and get them done. This frees you to master simpler and more enjoyable tasks. Once you are comfortable with doing the tough things first, then engineer your corporate culture to do the same.
MEMORIZE THE SCOUT OATH AND LIVE BY ITS PRECEPTS: Corny as this may sound, the Boy Scout oath is a paragon of applicable virtue. Slightly modified, the oath is: “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” If you end each day knowing that you have lived up to this affirmation, then think about incorporating it throughout your organization.
HAVE A FORMAL, HEALTHY CORPORATE CULTURE: Culture is what guides us in most aspects of life. Outside office walls, our shared culture has lifted us from chaos, even sent members of our species to the moon (and soon to another planet). A great culture within the office has the same effect. Make it your mission to define what your company stands for, how it behaves, and then how to make every employee believe in and embrace that culture.
HAVE A NO-SWEARING POLICY: Stop cussing if you do. Rough language is demeaning to the listener, and there is no value in demeaning employees, customers, or investors. Once you have quit, make it corporate policy so your employees begin the journey of respecting one another’s dignity with every action.
PUT FAMILY FIRST: Family is a gift, one that deserves your attention and requires effort. Entrepreneurs live very busy lives, and too many damage their families by paying too little attention. Putting them first doesn’t mean abandoning your dreams and your business. It just means knowing what the right priority is.
BE A SERVANT LEADER: You serve your family. Serve your other family – your employees. They are the ones who answer the phones, design products, man trade show booths, and help your customers. Your job is to support them, and that means serving them (not micromanaging them). Give them what they need – be it budget, mentoring, outside expertise – to excel at their jobs and find value in their work.
Happy New Year, all you entrepreneurs. Make it the best yet.