New Year's resolutions change and evolve as the year moves along. As people try to transition away from old habits and replace them with new ones, they need proper expectations. These transitions don't happen overnight. Many experts recommend setting smaller goals as part of a regular pattern in which you work on change over an extended period of time.
Entrepreneurs often make their own resolutions as well. They think about the areas of their work that have come up short in the prior year, and they proceed to make changes. There are key bad habits entrepreneurs can fall into that don't do their business any favors. For example, working too much is truly bad for your health, and it's something many entrepreneurs struggle with. Are you committing one of these bad habits that you should ditch in 2015?
1. Taking on too many roles
The chances of you being an incredible manager, SEO guru, digital marketer, HR manager, and executive assistant all at once are slim to none. In the very early stages of a startup, when you truly can't afford to hire or outsource for every position, everyone wears multiple hats. However, you will need to hire professionals for each position as soon as possible. Until then, you will struggle to do all those jobs well. People aren't as good at multitasking as they think.
You've finally given up doing everything yourself--or have you? Micromanaging is one of the worst habits of ineffective managers, as it can lead to a heavy amount of stress and even self-destruction. It's not just annoying, but shows your employees you don't trust them (or think they're stupid). It also ultimately comes back to you doing everything, which is just not acceptable. If you need help to stop, hire a consultant.
3. Not taking one day off per week
There will be the rare exceptions when you work more than seven days straight, but that shouldn't be the norm. Humans, including entrepreneurs, need to give their mind and body a break in order to recharge. If you work nonstop, you're not producing your best work, and everyone from your employees to your customers will suffer.
4. Only chasing the money
Why are you working in the first place? It can't be only for money. At least part of the reason must be passion. Once your startup finally makes a profit (it can take years), it's easy to get caught up in the money game. Some figure out that they have potentially limitless earning potential--as long as they keep chugging away. Figure out how much your time is worth, how much money you reasonably want to make each year, and a feasible number of hours to work each week based on those things.
5. Depending too much on friends
It sounded like a great idea to hire your buddies when you first started, but they're probably not the best choices for each position. You need to hire the most qualified applicants and move forward on the basis of what's best for the company if you want to still be around in five years (and that is, of course, not guaranteed either). This doesn't mean you have to hire people you can't stand, but it does mean there's no room for hiring friends.
6. Not separating work and personal life
This is somewhat related to not taking a day off. It is very easy for entrepreneurs to commit an offense in this area. How many of you don't see checking your work email before going to bed as "working"? This actually has a strong impact on your sleeping habits and therefore your overall effectiveness at work. Most sleep experts recommend no interaction with electronic devices for two to three hours before going to bed.
All of this can be a huge challenge for some entrepreneurs to tackle, but you need to closely examine your on/off switch when it comes to work. This might mean not syncing your work email to your personal phone (or disabling it at certain times of the day).
There are plenty of good habits to nurture, but those bad ones tend to sneak in. If you want to grow your business, and yourself, in 2015, it's time to take a critical look at what isn't working for you. As an entrepreneur, it's natural to think of your startup as your baby and dote on it. However, spend too much time, energy, and attention on any one thing and all else will suffer for it. Keep in mind, making such changes does not happen overnight. Be reasonable in your expectations, and don't be surprised if you struggle. Just keep fighting.