As entrepreneurs, we're (hopefully) always looking for ways to improve. From trying innovative strategies to hiring new talent, we know that there's always room to make our work bigger, better, and bolder. But sometimes, the most effective way to make change is by looking within.
With a new year just around the corner, it's the perfect time to start thinking about the changes we'd like to make to improve ourselves and thus, our work. Below are five resolutions I'll be making in 2019, in order to be the best entrepreneur Ican be.
1. Read More
Reading is one of many great ways to learn about the world, and learning about the world is a great way to become a better leader. When you understand different industries, different cultures, and different ways of thinking, you are more equipped to keep growing and expanding your business.
Remember that "reading" isn't just sitting in an armchair with a book for three hours. "Reading" also includes news articles, poems and zines. Can't get yourself to sit still for that long? Try audiobooks.
2. Learn a New Skill
Learning new things keeps your mind sharp. Plus, not only can you apply new skills at work, but tackling them will give you more confidence in taking on workplace challenges, like a new strategy or an unforeseen obstacle.
Consider making your new skill one that an employee or co-worker can help you with. This is a great way to bond with them, and partake in a little role reversal, where they're the leader. Ask a graphic designer to teach you some Photoshop basics, or see if an engineer has time to talk you through a new coding language. Doing this will give you a better understanding of said employees' day-to-day, which will likely improve your relationship and communication.
3. Prioritize Sustainability
You probably started a business because you wanted to improve the world. In 2018, one of the most important improvements we should all be looking to make is our environmental impact. There are environmental implications for everything we do, from where we shop to what we eat.
If you are truly committed to making the world a better place, try implementing changes at work that will reduce your carbon footprint. Limit the amount of trash cans in the office, and invest in recycling bins (if you haven't already). Keep reusable cutlery in the office kitchen; if that's out of your budget, at least remove plastic cutlery and encourage employees to bring their own from home. Think about it: your employees spend at least 25 percent of their week at work. Making these practices commonplace will encourage them to adopt them at home, and demonstrate to everyone that you're dedicated to a more sustainable future.
4. Redefine "Me Time"
The meaning of "me time" has become misconstrued over the last few years. The most common misconceptions are that "me time" looks like the same for everyone, and that "me time" is only needed every once in a while.
"Me time" should be taken daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Daily, "me time" for me might include enjoying a glass of wine or some good sushi. Monthly, my "me time" consist of visiting a museum, whether at home in New York or in a city I'm traveling to. Changing up your "me time" ensures that it doesn't simply become another part of your routine, and really serves as a restorative period before you return to work.
5. Slow Down
For many, a key tenet of entrepreneurship is being "on" all the time. This can manifest in everything from answering work e-mails at 10 p.m. to pseudo-jogging to meetings (yes, I catch myself doing this). In 2019, I'm vowing to slow down and turn off more often.
The best way to do this is to plan ahead. If you know you have a deadline approaching, make sure things are in order ahead of time. Have a vacation coming up? Set up an out-of-office e-mail so that you can rest assured people know you're not online, and there's no need for you to be checking your phone every five seconds. Allowing yourself to keep a healthy distance from your job and not let it consume you will keep you more clear-headed during office hours, and help you avoid resenting your work.