It’s the time of year when everyone resolves to make changes for the better, but nearly one-quarter of all resolutions are broken in the first week alone. Within six months, more than half of us will have given up. So what’s the point?
As an entrepreneur, there is no shortage of things you must do or improve. Most days become a blur as your best-laid plans get pushed aside for the crisis du jour. That’s why this year, I’m focusing on five things I will not do:
1. Things someone else can do. It’s easy to do things I’ve been doing for a long time just because I can or I’m good at it. Leaders needs to focus on strategy and performance, as well as building the business. It's simply not cost-effective for me to do stuff an administrative person or account manager can be doing. Delegating frees me up to grow my business and grow my people.
2. Second-guess my instincts. I don’t have an MBA nor am I one of Silicon Valley’s serial entrepreneurs, but I’ve built my company into a market leader with great people, hard work and a lot of intuition. Sometimes, when the inertia of daily business overwhelms me, I lose sight of my internal compass. Inevitably, the second-guessing costs time and money. My goal is to trust my intuition because it is almost always spot-on.
3. Worry about my competition. I like to think of my company like a little sports car: as a smaller, efficient competitor. I have to be more agile than everyone else, quicker to respond, faster to find the right resource. If I spend too much time looking around to see what my competitors are doing, I’ll get blind-sided.That split-second can be costly. In 2013, I will focus on the horizon and provide the best quality and service we can. I won’t expend energy watching everyone else on the track.
4. Waste time chasing clients my company doesn’t need. In the past, I’ve chewed my nails to the quick trying to keep some nickel-and-diming clients -- to the detriment of fabulous companies who understood the value of our services. This year, I’m going to be more selective -- yes, I’ll say “picky” -- and stop wasting time on those clients that drive my employees into the ground. Instead, I’m going to focus on clients we love working with.
5. Neglect my health and family. I’m still going to eat chocolate in the afternoons and most nights I will check email after dinner, but I haven’t forgotten the reason I started my own company: my family. Even though two of my three children are now in college, I will not spend even more time working. I will have spontaneous dinner dates with my husband and carve out time every day to exercise -- go for a walk or do some yoga. And there’s always time for more chocolate.
What will you say no to this year?