Small Business Advice:
"Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer, with never a thought of sorrow; the old goes out, but the glad young year comes merrily in tomorrow." ~Emily Miller
It is so hard to believe that 2013 is already upon us. Time just seems to be going faster and faster, as it feels like we just celebrated New Year’s 2012! It has become apparent to me how important it is to really learn how to live each moment to the fullest because our time is limited.
I have a very good friend who was doing well, and then, in less than four weeks’ time, we lost her to cancer. Losing her so suddenly taught me again just how important it is to appreciate and enjoy each moment I have with my loved ones because you never know how much time you have. This experience inspired my number one resolution this year: to live each moment as fully as I possibly can.
It seems we all make resolutions this time of year, but few – including myself – end up keeping them. I think one of the reasons resolutions fail so often is that the person either does not really want the outcome or they lack the passion needed to keep the fire burning once the novelty wears off. A second reason is that they do not have a clear plan of action for achieving the goal.
Just think how many people make resolutions to lose 10 pounds. I have made this one in years past. We start out great and join a fitness center – this is exactly why gyms do so well with new memberships at the first of the year. However, the passion for losing weight and staying fit quickly wanes if we do not have goals or benchmarks along the way to help us measure our progress.
My goal this year is to learn how to live in the moment. Meditation is the only thing I know of that allows my mind to slow down enough that I am able to appreciate the moment longer without being interrupted by my thoughts, so I am going to establish a plan of meditating each morning and evening. To help me keep this schedule, I will have a chart on my refrigerator that I can check off each day.
This is my plan for keeping my 2013 resolution, but the important point here is not what I am doing, but that you must set benchmarks to keep yourself on the path to achieving your goal. Having something – or someone – to hold you accountable really helps.
This year, every entrepreneur should make a resolution to increase their business’s profitability. As the economy slowly makes progress, it will be critical to ensure you are generating adequate levels of profits to remain viable and the funds necessary for future growth.
Employee retention is another area to concentrate on in 2013. The poor economic conditions of recent years have significantly reduced the opportunities for new employment and advancement. However, as the economy improves, opportunities will begin to increase and many of your staff members may start looking for new jobs again. You will need to have a plan in place to identify your critical staff and ensure that they are happy and well-compensated so they stay out of the job hunt.
Finally, it is important that you resolve to achieve more balance in your life. You are so much more than your job or your business. Having balance between your personal and professional life helps you make better decisions and makes you a much stronger manager for your staff.
Now go out and make some great resolutions for your life and business in 2013. Remember, having a viable plan in place is key to achieving your goals.
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Jerry Osteryoung is a consultant to businesses - he has directly assisted over 3,000 firms. He is the Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship (Emeritus) and Professor of Finance (Emeritus) at Florida State University. He was the founding Executive Director of The Jim Moran Institute and served in that position from 1995 through 2008. His newest book co-authored with Tim O'Brien, "If You Have Employees, You Really Need This Book," is an Amazon.com bestseller. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
You can do this!