By Erin Halper
It’s time to reflect, regroup and recharge for the upcoming year. Sweeping New Year’s resolutions are on the minds of business owners everywhere. The challenge is knowing which ones are worth it … and making them stick.
I spoke with a group of successful entrepreneurs1 to get their take on resolutions that work. This is what they said:
1. Connect your network
“As a consultant, I care about creating trust and staying top of mind with contacts. Connecting people regularly while solving a problem for them fills both. And, frankly, I get excited when I know that two people will be a great match and I can help facilitate that.
“I write down the types of clients, networks or people my contacts are looking to engage with and each month I connect at least two people that I think need to meet. It’s a low-touch, high-reward, fun resolution I’m keeping in 2022.”
2. Commit to strategic journaling
Team coach and consultant Alison Coward suggests that business owners adopt the habit of journaling each week around a specific set of questions:
- What happened?
- What did I do?
- What did I learn?
- How am I feeling?
- What am I thinking about?
The founder of Bracket Creative said that weekly journaling has transformed her business.
“I have much greater clarity on my strategic direction, and also more insight into what gives me energy or drains me. It’s enabled me to reshape my business around the work that I thrive on and where I can make the most impact, and delegate or outsource what I don’t.”
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3. Invest in a mentor
Wealth strategist Mina Black knows a thing or two about investing for the future. She has advice on a wise investment business owners can make in 2022: “Nothing has benefited my business more than investing in a mentor.”
The owner of In the Black Financial Wellness said mentors help business owners see the bigger picture.
“My mentor helped me to recognize and appreciate my strengths, and identify actions that weren’t benefiting me or my company. They can point out things you may be overlooking as you grow your business.”
4. Define goals to streamline tasks
If tightening up business operations is a goal for 2022, revenue growth adviser Sheela Gonsalves recommends to start by taking inventory of goals and responsibilities:
“When I hired a virtual assistant, I had to think about everything I was trying to do on my own that was consuming my time and pulling resources away from business development and marketing. The investment I made allowed me to reflect on my worth, and theirs.”
The owner of Prism Brand Advisory said it’s important to stay process-driven and organized:
“Assigning a task or project to another person will be much easier. As a result, you can scale your business and take breaks whenever necessary. Bottom line: you either think big—or stay small.”
5. Rethink ‘Manic Mondays’
It took Rosie Kosinski relatively little time to revolutionize her work experience by putting a curated spin on a popular scheduling blueprint.
“I adapted a model in which most of the meetings and events take place on Monday and Tuesday, with these tapering off during the course of the week, replaced by creative, work and deliverables time. I’ve adjusted this to suit my rhythm and, in turn, it has affected every aspect of my work.”
The “Brand Queen” and owner of Shattered Pencil Studios adopted her new schedule incrementally over the course of a year.
“It has given me more predictable deadlines, made time-blocking more effective, and increased productivity. It has also been curated to accommodate a healthier lifestyle with more breathing room, which feeds my brain and morale.”
Erin Halper is the founder and CEO of The Upside, a community where top independent consultants join forces to advance their businesses. Prior to launching The Upside in 2017, Erin built a 7-year independent consulting career providing marketing expertise to her private equity, real estate investor and hedge fund clients.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias
The entrepreneurs in this article are members of The Upside.↩
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