Entrepreneurship is alive and well in the United States: approximately 30% of the workforce is comprised of self-employed Americans and the workers they hire. But that doesn’t mean entrepreneurship is easy.
You may have heard that “8 out of 10 new businesses fail.” The good news is, that statistic is little more than an urban legend. The actual figure is more like about half.
Setting goals for the New Year, and taking the steps to attain them, can put your new business in the better half or help your established business thrive in the New Year.
- Decide to Network
Networking in your community, both in your business and with others, can mean that you know who to call if you need a new roof, a new server, or a new employee. Waiting until we have a need to network is not as effective. You cannot network in every way unless you are a professional networker, but considering doing at least two of these:
- Join an online community of professionals in your chosen field
- Join your local chamber of commerce
- Join a service club, such as Rotary or Optimist International
- If you have a local or regional professional network in your field, join them
- Get involved in a local political activity, that fits your views but doesn’t contradict what you do with your business
- Improve Your Education
2017 doesn’t have to be the year you go back to school to improve your education. Reading an hour a day in your field can make you an expert in an area. Attending a workshop can enhance your knowledge. Following related blogs can provide insight.
Make the commitment to be a lifelong learner, but for 2017 make the goal to read one book per month.
- Commit to being a Listener
In life, we can choose to listen to others or not, but when we really commit to listening we make the road easier to walk.
In whatever your field, chances are that there are others who have experienced pitfalls and successes, and you can learn from those experiences to enhance your own.
In your work experience, chances are that others have given hints (maybe even not-so-subtly) of ways that you could improve your professionalism.
As you network, educate, and share your idea with others, if you are willing to listen, you can improve your “elevator pitch.”
Your grandma may have wisely said, “God gave your two ears and one mouth,” so listen up in 2017.
- Revise Your Vision
You certainly don’t need to act on every piece of advice, as you probably already know. Revision is about finding the line between your humility and your integrity—willing to learn and revise, but also to hold your own footing.
Set the goal to improve your vision in 2017, such as setting short and long-term targets on paper.
- Practice Self-Care
Most New Year’s resolutions include things like weight loss and exercise. While those are fine goals, they notoriously fail. Instead, make a firm decision (the definition of a resolution) to improve your self-care in 2017.
Just as the preacher’s child has a bad rep when it comes to morality, and doctors are infamous for neglecting their own health, entrepreneurs might tend to neglect to take care of themselves while taking care of business (and everyone else).
Even if it’s as simple as drinking more water, taking a twenty-minute walk each day or getting that medical check-up you’ve been neglecting, resolve to make 2017 the year you do not forget to take care of yourself.
Happy New Year!