New year, new you? Instead, how about new year, better you?
If you’re a millennial struggling to piece together a concise list of business resolutions to start 2017 off right, you’re not alone. It can be difficult early in your career to see past the immediate moment and plan for a future that seems distant.
But don’t let the fear of getting it wrong stop you in your tracks. Play to your strengths, but also recognize and work to overcome your weaknesses. With an actionable set of resolutions, you can stay sharp as a millennial entrepreneur and make choices that enable your business to flourish.
Here are some New Year’s resolutions to help give you the upper hand in 2017:
Does tax season give you the chills?
Recent studies indicate that millennials fear taxes more than any other demographic. It’s surprising in a way, because there are typically fewer complications attached to the taxes of young people, whose income tends to be lower.
Still, you’ve most likely heard horror stories about the IRS, and maybe you get skittish at the thought of piles of paperwork. Perhaps you’ve skated along so far by passing your finances on to your parents’ CPA or hoping the irritating numbers will magically disappear.
But think of it this way: Getting organized will save you time and money. And as you already know, time is money. Prove the baby boomers wrong by putting in some effort and sacrificing Netflix time for a serious review of your hard-earned money.
It makes sense to get a strong hold on the ins and outs of taxes. Besides, you’ll sleep easier knowing nothing foreseeable will impede your professional progress. Consider using an online bookkeeping service like Bench Accounting and invoicing software like WaveApps. Invest a little money to save yourself from headache-inducing frustration. You’ve got enough on your plate already.
Stop Trying to Do Everything
Ever heard the phrase, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself”? Well, here’s my advice…
Throw that concept out the window.
If you try to micromanage every aspect of your business, chances are you’ll end up falling short along the way. It’s not easy to give up a portion of your control, especially for a first-time entrepreneur, but you need to remind yourself how businesses are run in the big leagues—delegation.
When you try to do it all, you operate under the mistaken belief that you have endless time to personally devote to every minor task, even though you’d be better served to focus on what you do best.
Instead of just “getting it done” yourself because you theoretically can, put your trust in others you’re confident can take on a task and complete it to your expectations. Keep in mind that thanks to freelancing services like Upwork, there are countless professionals you can reach out to, and who can get the job done, and done correctly.
Be honest with yourself about where you should place your attention in 2017. Delegate wherever you can, and watch your stress decrease. It’s a win-win scenario that allows you to maximize your productivity.
Expand Your Reach
Being a successful entrepreneur requires putting on so many different hats throughout the day. Likewise, the responsibilities of growing your business aren’t confined to deskwork. In fact, I challenge you to put more emphasis on the efforts that require getting out of the office and forming relationships in person.
What does this look like? Resolve to reconnect with old classmates or past coworkers, attend alumni events or local mixers, and make a conscious effort to find and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Remember the importance of networking. You never know who you’ll meet. Often, all it takes is one chance encounter to get ideas spinning and partnerships developing. However, serendipity can’t serve you unless you put yourself out there.
A great example of this is reaching out to that professor who inspired you during your college years. Now that you’ve graduated, it can be invaluable to seek advice and potential collaboration from former professors.
The leaders you once aspired to emulate are now fellow industry colleagues. They’ll likely respect you for your attempt at reaching out, and may even open the door for a business relationship. After all, they’re already familiar with your work.
Armed with these resolutions, 2017 is sure to be your year. Make it one for the books by getting a handle on the nastier side of finances, delegating where you can, and opening yourself up to opportunity. In no time at all, you will be well on your way to becoming your own best asset.