We're officially past the threshold of when most New Year's resolutions have fallen by the wayside. If this is true for you, you're far from alone. There are plenty of theories and statistics about why some 91 percent of Americans who set resolutions never accomplish them.

What does make resolutions work, however, is this: a sustainable source of motivation.

Articulating what consistently motivates you is the first step to success. I polled other entrepreneurs in my own area -- wine and data -- and asked what keeps them motivated. 

1. Surround yourself in positivity.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road but in a highly social and interpersonal industry like wine and hospitality, we tend to feed off other people's energy especially when it's positive.

"I try to surround myself with positive people," said Lara Crystal, co-founder of Minibar Delivery. "We specifically try and hire people with good attitudes because it's infinitely more motivating to be surrounded by people with a good outlook on life."

Courtney Quattrini, Head of Global Communications at Vivino, underscores the impact of positivity on productivity, regardless of where that positivity comes from. "Whether it's in the office, on my commute or watching the Golden Globes, there is an overwhelming sense of unity to just get things done this year," Quattrini said.

Surrounding yourself with positive people and feeding off their positive attitudes, both in- and outside of our work environments, yields benefits in our home and professional lives.

2. You have no reason not to do it.

The time is ripe for innovation to shake up the wine and data space more than ever before, and entrepreneurs are fueled by the opportunity to disrupt long-held systems of distribution and communication.

Jacob Moynihan, founder and CEO of Merchant23, knows that he is on the brink of a great idea (selling alcohol directly to the trade) that is combined with the right timing, team, and funding.

"The only thing that could get in our way is simply us choosing not to dig in and do it," he said. "Knowing that it would be a slap in the face to every entrepreneur ever to not seize this incredible opportunity we have right now, that's what motivates me."

See your business within the bigger picture of entrepreneurial journeys. Disrupt and innovate on behalf of your community.

3. Tap into the community writ large.

Data-oriented innovations in wine are happening in "communities" defined as immediate colleagues as well as regions and countries overall. For Andrés Bonet-Merten of Global Data Consulting, based in Madrid, introducing the latest technology and innovation to the wine world, and particularly to wineries, motivates him for the new era of data for the Spanish wine industry.

Olivia Schonewise, Director of Marketing at Merchant23, shares a similar community-writ-large sentiment. "Every day another family winery or local wine shop has to close down," she said. "Knowing that we have the ability to prevent that from happening, the ability to genuinely change people's livelihoods [is] incredibly motivating for myself and our team."

Just as we disrupt and innovate on behalf of our entrepreneurial community, as entrepreneurs we also disrupt and innovate in order to keep our broader communities vibrant and alive.

4. Keep up with the pace of change.

The rapid pace of technological change both motivates and challenges. For companies like Wine-Searcher.com and Minibar Delivery, the motivation involves connecting product to consumer in increasingly easier and more convenient ways. "Smart technology creates a meeting place for buyers and sellers, making finding wine as enjoyable as drinking it," said Martin Brown, founder and CEO of Wine-Searcher. "It is easy to stay motivated when the internet is an integral part of more and more of our lives."

Seek inspiration well outside your area of expertise. In wine and data, we can be inspired by models in healthcare and retail, such as wearable technology and last-mile delivery solutions. Then come back to connect the dots to your business objectives.

5. Make space for new heroes.

Establishing the viability of a new business is one thing; scaling that business is something else. It takes a different set of heroes with a different set of skills.

That's why Ian Griffith, VP of eCommerce at Beverage Media Group, is inspired this year by the goal of restructuring the company: less emphasis on who does the work opens the door for a number of people to come up with the best result.

"While we love our heroes, they rarely build systems that can scale, and they tend to burn out," Griffith said. "Ironically this transition to a process-led approach may take an heroic effort, but once we're there the heroes can take a break."

Make room for a different style of hero, especially in growth phases, and channel their "outsider" ideas for fresh inspiration to reach your next phase.

Published on: Jan 19, 2018