It's that time of year again and you're likely just finishing up your business and professional plans for 2016. The New Year is like Christmas for entrepreneurs. It signifies a new and fresh start and an additional 365 days of possibilities. But before you get too pumped about the New Year here are 4 things you should consider leaving in 2015:
Going hard 100 percent of the time
We all know the saying: Go hard or go home. Entrepreneurs are notorious for allowing their work to consume much, if not all of, their lives. And to be honest, rightfully so. As an entrepreneur you're only eating what you kill but is it really worth killing yourself in the process?
Aside from all of the health benefits from leading a more balanced life, in 2016 cutting back can actually make you more productive. Putting limits in place forces you to choose which parts of your master plan really matter and will make the most impact in getting you to where you want to go. Having limits also force you to delegate or get creative with how and whom you delegate to, especially if cash is an issue.
Networking for Networkings Sake
So we discussed using your time more wisely and this certainly applies to the black hole that can be networking. Professional networking can be tricky. One day you can find your self at an event or conference and have utterly no idea why you're there and how it may benefit your goals. 2016 is the year of networking smarter not harder and putting quality over quantity. This means you don't have to be at every event and the events you do put on your schedule you better believe you're making the most of it.
Outside of events its always, always, always best to get a warm introduction from someone in your network that you have cultivated a relationship with. Key phrase here is "cultivated a relationship with." You're dead in the water if you develop fake relationships in order to simply get to a contact that 2 or 3 degrees removed from you. Not only that your reputation will surely suffer.
If you don't leave behind anything else on this list please leave the overconfidence in 2015. With entrepreneurship and it's perceived "lifestyle" being so popular as of late many budding entrepreneurs are taking the overconfidence that they project on social media into the real world. Big mistake. The worst thing you can do with serious business contacts you are trying to cultivate is come across farther than you actually are. This is not to say don't give yourself any credit for your accomplishments, just make sure you keep it in perspective.
Regardless of what level you're at there will always be someone more successful. That's why in 2016 working on, and appreciating, where you're at and what you have accomplished should be at the top of the list. Otherwise, you'll risk losing credibility and likely rubbing some folks the wrong way. Protip: Make sure you have a solid plan for your business to accompany your new confidence level.
Being an expert
The sister to overconfidence is the self-proclaimed expert. We've seen enough of this in 2015 so set yourself apart in 2016 by leaving this trend in the past. Listen, everyone can't be an expert and that's ok. What everyone can do though is share their authentic experiences in hopes that it gives perspective and guidance to someone else. Anyone can do this and you don't have to call yourself an expert while doing it.
Also, and this should go without saying but I'll say it anyway because I think some folks in 2015 may have missed the memo: Just because you have a passion on a particular subject or topic doesn't make you an expert. Never forget it takes 10,000 hours to master your craft.