I love Labor Day as it serves as the bookend to the summer. Even as an adult, summer feels like a temporary, vacationee, let-loose existence. Labor Day brings an end to that. And with that end, a new beginning emerges. The fall.

As you hunker down to celebrate the end of summer and you steel yourself to prepare for the fall run into winter, consider taking a step back to think about how you can put yourself in a better position for success. Small business startups are a series of sprints and for most of us, we start a new spring post Labor Day.

1. Set 3 Meaningful and Achievable Goals to reach before Christmas. I would love to see a mix of business and personal here. The goals should have a significant impact on you. Maybe you want to lose 10 lbs. Maybe you want to raise money for your startup. Maybe you want to learn to play the piano. (By-the-way, these are all under serious consideration for me!) Write them down then share them with someone for some accountability. Once shared they are now out there for all to comment on.

2. Find a way to get out of your head once a week. It does not matter what this is, just that it is not what you do all day. I play ice hockey every Sunday night. For those 2 hours (including dressing, undressing and the beer), I am not the INC writer or the Managing Director of The Startup Factory or Dad or husband to Patty. For those 2 hours I am doing something just for me. It has to be every week with no exception.

3. Surround yourself with good people. There are not nice people that we come in contact with every day. Some of these people are serious actors in our lives. These people take our energy away from us without giving any in return. They literally suck. Move away from these people. More importantly, identify and actively move closer to people who give more than they get. If you can just change the good vs. bad quotient just a little bit in the good direction, you will see differences in your work life and home life. This simple but profound pursuit has helped me many times.

All of these tasks are elements of making a proactive decision to invest heavily in you. Do it.

Published on: Sep 3, 2015