Recently I came across an image saying  “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do” which prompted me to ponder the changes I need to do as we enter into another new year, to ensure my relationship with my business is still one of mutual joy and fulfilment.

At this time most of us often think about what our new years resolutions are on a personal level (and how many we’ll break!), and I think it’s no different when you run your own business.   Sure, you can drag out the old business plan, dust it off and make a few tweaks but that’s not really what I’m talking about.

For me it’s about re-evaluating goals in the interest of self-development, shaking it up a bit and getting out of my comfort zone to see what kind of new results I can produce and keeping my enthusiasm for what I do “fresh”.  

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt as a small business owner, it’s the fact that you’ve got to be pretty adaptable, for no matter how much you plot and plan there’s always the unexpected elements of surprise.

So, here’s my business resolutions and some tips you may find useful:

Let more of the outside world in – As a WAHM it’s so easy to let cyberspace be the only space you occupy most of your professional time, especially now that’s it so social. The irony is when you’re not online you start to become anti-social in real life, speaking in 140 characters or less or worse still, a predominantly geeky tech language that most of the general population don’t understand or can relate to.  TIP:  Step out into the real world and interact more with local every day business people of all sorts to stay in touch with what’s really going on in the trenches – offline.

Just Relax – Just do nothing and zone out when necessary.  I don’t always have to be “on” ie helping, learning, sharing, connecting. TIP:  Think of it this way – it’ll all still be there tomorrow! 😉

Learn to go offline or switch off more – Endless hours online is no longer maintainable, realistic or healthy. I’m never going to know everything all the time and be everything to everybody and that’s okTIP:  I find when I force myself to switch off from work/online for periods “digital detox” I always came back far more refreshed, eager and productive so give it a try ie weekends, after 6pm etc and make that part of your routine.

Make life appointments – This is a concept that I came across via the lovely Michelle Dale of virtualassistant-live and thought was quirky, yet so necessary. My desk diary (yes I still prefer the old fashioned kind as I find nothing more satisfactory than a big red cross or tick on tasks done!) is simply overstuffed with my life’s daily commitments both personal and professional. TIP:  Schedule out blocks of time every week as your “life appointments” (non-negoatiable!) that are only about you ie not doing anything for anyone else. This could be a coffee with a friend, a walk, a hobby, shopping etc

Make my health a top priority – Both physical and mental as it’s not possible to also have a healthy business if you don’t look after yourself.  TIP:  Plain and simple. You know what you need to do!

Get rid of the guilt already! – Ever taken on a client that intuition told you wasn’t a good idea and it didn’t turn out well? Funny how we sometimes forget the very reason we started our own business was so that we could exercise the right to choose who we work with and what we do! TIP:  Listen and trust your inner voice. If it doesn’t fit your professional goals or priorities, or makes you feel uncomfortable or compromised in any way,  then it’s not going to happen. It’s your right remember?

Make work less work – Steve Jobs said it best all those years ago in his inspirational speech (video below).
TIP:  “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

What are your business resolutions and which ones do you think will be the hardest to stick to?

Alex
Free Smileys & Emoticons at Clip Art Of.com

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