January is not only the month of New Year’s resolutions, but one filled with awareness movements. For example, Dryanuary encourages people to give up alcohol for an entire month for a happier and healthier long-term relationship with booze; while Veganuary want people to try veganism to reduce the suffering of animals, help the planet and improve personal health.
For business owners open to trying something new this year, why not look at giving up some bad habits and adopting a different way of working?
If you make the following changes, you may find yourself living a happier professional life in 2019, which can lead to increased success for your business.
Focus and prioritise
Do you suffer from FOMO syndrome – fear of missing out? If you find yourself taking every opportunity you get, or wanting to do everything at once to improve your business, then you’ll likely fail. Richard Branson once said that “opportunities are like buses – there’s always another one coming.”
Take time to analyse the potential of each opportunity or change you are thinking of making so you can focus and prioritise on what will have the biggest positive impact for the least effort.
Have an abundance mentality
Stephen Covey talks about the scarcity mindset in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It is when people feel there isn’t enough to go around, whether that be money, knowledge, credit or power.
Successful people tend to be fundamentally positive, optimistic, giving and dedicated with an abundance mentality.
In smaller businesses especially, it can be hard to let go when you were once doing all of the doing yourself. Delegating in the first place is a challenge as you train yourself to trust your employees and accept that others with more specialist skills can probably do a better job than you in most cases.
But if you micromanage and analyse inferior details, like typos in emails, you’ll breed resentment among your workforce.
Too present vs. not present enough
A lot of business owners start out their entrepreneurial journey as workaholics, but as your business and support team grows, you have to give yourself a break. Overworking yourself will lead to mistakes and also set a bad example to employees who think staying late every night and working all weekend is expected.
Similarly, if you’re still very much an active Managing Director, for instance, who plays a vital role in the running of the business, you can’t be seen to be out of the office all the time playing golf or lunching. Especially if you waltz in and out as you please giving orders and criticising everyone. You’ll soon lose the respect of your employees.
Change your attitude to money
Knowing your numbers is crucial in business, and making money is of course the main objective in most cases. However, this shouldn’t be your only focus. With both your staff and products or services, for example, you should be aiming for quality and value for money. It’s not always the most cost-effective decision to hire the cheapest contractor or use the most affordable materials.
Likewise, you cannot expect there to be a tangible and measurable return on investment for every pound you spend – not at first, anyway. Be willing to take some calculated risks to help your business grow.
If you recognise any of these bad habits in yourself and want to make the change, then write them down as goals somewhere you will see them every day. This will help you to make a conscious effort to be a better business owner.