For entrepreneurs, a new year becomes a time to begin new habits, take different risks, and alter business directions in search for new & more successful outcomes. As important as business is, I have found that effort towards personal growth is equally, if not more important as the nurturing put towards the business itself. During this last week of the year, I have taken time reflect on habits I began, and new goals to launch for the new year. Here are three practices to put more efforts towards as we jump into 2018.
I began this around the middle of 2017. Each day I arrive to my office, I pull out a blue Moleskine notebook and write a page of my fears, goals, frustrations, ideas, rants, or whatever I was feeling at the time as I begin my day. It allows for personal vulnerability, expressing internal moods for yourself on a sheet of paper. I find it extremely valuable in the sense where I didn’t feel required to keep a poker face in times where I felt a lack of confidence. The key is to be honest and open with yourself, and write it all out. Bottom line, it’s difficult to start, run and operate a business. When you connect and are aware of your internal truths, you’ll find that this exercise leads to clarity & courage for yourself to face the day with full force.
This has become one of my favorite hobbies. It took some time and effort to make it enjoyable, but when I realized the power behind the simple act of reading, I couldn’t stop. As a business owner, clients come to you for your knowledge in the area of expertise that your company is centered around. That knowledge strengthens and grows with every book you consume. I don’t focus so much on doing design for my clients, as I do on educating them in the services I offer so that the longevity of the investment evolves to a greater outcome. And when reading, keep a notebook handy to jot down quotes, thoughts or instruction which then can be readily available in the next conversation you’re having with a client. I speak from experience that conversations have become far richer based on the information & knowledge I’ve received between two covers.
This may seem a vague idea, but what I mean is putting effort in growing your relationships. Coming from a business that received 95% of its clients from word-of-mouth, it’s important to be out there meeting, talking and learning from others. Join happy hours with colleagues to discuss ideas. Go to conferences & talks for your trade to keep on the pulse of whats going on in your industry. Post commonly on social media accounts to share what your business is doing and passionate about. Connecting is a job of its own, and its important to prioritize this even when work may be busy. The more opportunity created from being present and talking about the business, the greater the potential for expanding & evolving.
Self growth is important for entrepreneurs. To lead a business is a difficult task. Before you wake up to focus on your clients needs, take the time and put effort in yourself. It will inadvertently strengthen all the areas you touch, and will become much more productive and fruitful for your 2018. Happy New Year.