"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man." ~Benjamin Franklin
The older I get – "better," as some would say – the years seem to pass faster and faster, and it is always so hard for me to believe that another year is behind us. However, no matter what your age or occupation, the New Year presents a wonderful opportunity to begin anew.
New Year's resolutions are a great way to kick off a new year, and this year, I would like to share a few of my hopes and resolutions for every business owner:
I hope each of you continues to show growth and improvement in profitability during 2012.
As the unemployment rate continues to fall and more people return to gainful employment, the economy will continue to improve.
Every business owner should make a commitment this year to ensuring that each employee feels like an appreciated and valued member of your team.
Consider reading a new business book every month. If you do not have time to read, an audible edition works just as well. This is an alternative I often use.
Make a commitment to replacing marginal workers with the best staff you can find. As part of this resolution, recognize that the sooner you remove a poor employee from among your ranks, the better your business's morale will be.
Start developing plans for an exit strategy knowing that you will not be at the helm of your business forever. The sooner you have a concrete plan in place, the more content both you and your spouse will be.
Make a commitment this year to having better balance among work, family and spiritual pursuits. After all, no one on their deathbed ever wished they had worked more. Life is just too short not to enjoy more of it.
Consider getting involved with a non-profit organization beyond just providing monetary support. Go out and help however you can. Many non-profits are on thin ice and need so much guidance. Helping others will make you a better leader and a better person.
Eat right and exercise every day to ensure you stay healthy this year. I promise you, the better care you take of your body, the better you will feel and the more productive you will be.
Finally, do your best to reduce your stress level by eliminating as many interruptions in your day as you can. Nothing kills your productivity or increases your stress level more than dealing with interruption after interruption.
Depending on your business's individual circumstances, you may not be able to apply all these resolutions, but please consider making a commitment to at least three of them. Identify monthly goals and track your achievements to help invigorate yourself as the year progresses.
You can do this!