Repeat after me. This year, I resolve to...
7. Lose excess weight.
Most of your customer service headaches typically originate from a small number of "problem customers." Fire them and focus your attention on servicing your best customers instead. The same applies for your "problem employees."
6. Get organized and improve time management.
Hiring an office manager or executive assistant to help with filing expense reports, scheduling meetings, and doing other routine tasks is an incredibly cost-effective way to free up time to allow you to focus on the strategic things that only you can do.
5. Quit smoking.
The vast majority of your marketing budget is wasted on programs and efforts that have no impact whatsoever on your bottom line. Valuable time and capital are going up in smoke! Double down on what's working and dump the rest.
4. Be a better person.
Enact a system of core values for your company. Drive adoption of those values across your organization by living up to them yourself.
3. Get a better education.
Email the smartest and most accomplished people in your industry and offer to buy them a coffee or breakfast. This works remarkably well because successful people generally want to share their stories with others. In your meetings, learn how they became so successful and ask for advice on challenges you're facing. I meet a minimum of five new people every month using this simple tactic.
2. Spend more time with family.
As you expand from a one-man show to a growing business, invest in making yourself less critical to the day-to-day operations of the company by hiring experienced managers or a COO to run the business for you. Your family will thank you for it!
1. Help others in the community.
Your most valuable contribution to the community is in the creation of meaningful job opportunities so people can learn new skills, advance their careers, and earn wages that enable them to live their lives. With unemployment rate in the U.S. still at 7.3 percent and a dysfunctional federal government, the nation is counting on you to create more jobs now than ever.
New Years is all about the kiss, right? I hope this year, at midnight you kiss goodbye to everything that's holding you and your business from achieving true awesomeness, and vow to change for the better. Here's to continued business growth, customer satisfaction, and a happy 2014!