You may have already reviewed 2011 and set your goals and aspirations for 2012. If you have not already thought about how you operate WITHIN your business, here are some guidelines to help you focus on what is important for yourself as a business owner…
1. Happiness is not financially dependent
My personal favourite. I often hear the phrase “I will be happy when I have more money.” But when you ask people what is most important to them as business owners, other factors often appear above money on the list. A person’s happiness is not related to their financial wealth. Even if you believe making money “makes” you happy, be aware that happiness is a state, and can be achieved at any moment!
2. Look after your basic needs
Eat and sleep. Being tired or hungry can make many problems seem worse. Ample rest and sustenance is vital to a healthy mind. Physical exercise is good for the mind also. Regular exercise gives you energy, improves mood and relieves stress, anxiety and depression. It also forces you to be “away” from your business and allows for the curious mind to be imaginative and plan into the future.
3. Goal Setting
Don’t set your goals by what others think is important. Only you know what is best for your business. Break bigger goals into smaller steps and targets. Smaller steps are much easier to accomplish. They provide a gradual sense of success that motivates you to continue. Your business wasn’t built in a day, but some of it was!
4. Do what you love
Expert performers are nearly always made, not born. It’s practice that makes perfect. If you like something you are more likely to work hard at it to become very good at it. When it comes to choosing what you would like to do in your business, choose the things that you like. There is assistance for everything else.
5. Inject a laugh or two into your professional life
Even forced laughter can bring about a positive mood. And like yawning, laughter is contagious! Laughter has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on our coping skills. It also helps to build rapport and positive relationships. We often remember the little jokes and laughter shared at business meetings. Use them to re-enforce your business relationships.
6. Don’t let a little fear stand in your way
Business owners too often avoid doing things that they want to do or that are good for them because of fear. Avoiding activities or situations that are fear inducing only results in increased anxiety about that situation. Doing the things that we are a little anxious about forces them to become less frightening. You have the power!
7. Do business for yourself, not others
It is a competitive world out there. We can often feel pressured to do better than the people around us, rather than simply trying to improve our own business. I see many business owners getting so obsessed about competitors that they lose sight of the goals that they originally set for their own business. It’s important to stay individual and work towards your own success, rather than working towards outperforming others.
8. Work isn’t everything
Business owners who enjoy relaxation outside of their business are more likely to be more productive and engaged when they are at work. Also, multi-tasking is being encouraged as a myth. “To do two things at once, is to do neither.” So said Publilius Syrus, slave in the 1st century B.C. With the onslaught of technology and connectivity, we now work more, and work faster. Take a moment now to consider a “work-only” life, and then go schedule some down-time!
Doing something that helps others has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. This effects how you feel about your business and endorses a sense of personal achievement. It also allows you to give back to your community, whether privately using your skills, or professionally helping other businesses to find their feet. Remember others helped you when starting out.
10. Make mistakes
And make them well. Then learn from them and convert them into your personal lesson portfolio. The benefit of making mistakes is that you can then refer to your “mistake procedure manual” to avoid further problems. Very few businesses have grown out of perfection!
The point of this list is to merely bring focus to the aspects of business that many often put on the back burner. The back burner does not provide us with great energy, so maintain the tips above in the front burner this year, and your business will fire up and gain momentum in 2012!
AND FOR THIS YEAR:
Be hopeful. Think about your business positively. Worrying about past performance will surely hold you back. If something didn’t work last year, then change it, or scrap it. Nothing lasts forever, especially booms and busts. Welcome the changes, and plan for a positive future.
Remember your successes. When people get stressed they tend to go into ‘all or nothing’ thinking and search for evidence of how poorly they performed or how catastrophic a likely event might become. Focus on moments in 2011 where you were proud of yourself. If you haven’t already, write them down and “bank” them. They will gain “interest” and sustain you during the tougher days.
And most important of all, have some FUN! Here’s to you and your business in 2012.
Image: “2012 year in a row of years/Shutterstock“