8 Ways to Prepare Yourself and Your Business for Success in 2016
This post originally appeared on the BrandBlasting Blog written by Michael Karp.
The beginning of each year is always a time of reflection for me.
I look back at what I have accomplished, what I utterly failed at, and the lessons I learned along the way.
But I’ve also realized that it’s important to look forwards as well.
What do I want to accomplish this year? Where do I want to be a year from now, both personally and professionally?
Ultimately, we all want to be successful. So this article is going to break down 8 ways to prepare yourself (personally) and your business (professionally) to be successful in 2016.
You will learn about:
- 2 techniques to skyrocket your mental state and productivity,
- 2 ways to improve your content marketing efforts,
- Some goal setting techniques,
- And more.
Let’s get started!
4 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Success in 2016
- Pick Up Meditation
Before you get all “new age hippy” on me, hear me out.
Meditation has done wonders for my mental state over the last 12 months as I’ve built my business.
Whenever I’ve been in a funk thinking negative thoughts and letting myself worry about useless things, sitting down to clear my head for 15 minutes has always turned my mental state around.
This has allowed me to push through setbacks in both my personal and professional life.
According to Live And Dare, here are just a few of the benefits of meditation:
- Less stress, fear, loneliness, and depression.
- Helps optimism, relaxation, and awareness.
- Improves your mood and emotional intelligence.
- Increases mental strength and focus.
- Better decision making and problem solving.
- Improves immune system and energy level.
- Reduces blood pressure.
Sounds good right?
And it only takes 5–15 minutes per day.
2) Do The Pomodoro Technique
Do you ever find yourself blasting through a few hours of work, only to find yourself exhausted and struggling to work for the next few hours?
You’ve managed to deplete most of your will power for the day in a single go (rather than using it up and replenishing it periodically throughout the day).
The Pomodoro Technique was developed to cure this.
It’s a time-management method where you work for a specified period of time, take a break to replenish your energy, then get back to work.
This keeps you focused throughout the day so you can do your best work.
Here’s how to do The Pomodoro Technique:
- Remove all distractions (email, phone, unnecessary browser tabs, manage colleague interruptions).
- Choose a focus task.
- Set the timer to 25 minutes.
- Work on the task until the timer rings.
- Take a 5 minute break.
- Every 4 sessions take a longer break, perhaps 15 or 20 minutes.
This is a good place to start, but you can adjust the time schedule to optimize for your personal work style and energy level once you’ve gotten used to it.
3) Develop Daily Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Goals
Right in step with The Pomodoro Technique, it’s important to develop small daily habits that help you reach your larger goals.
This involves everything from your personal hygiene, to your diet, to your work schedule, to your rest and relaxation schedule (don’t skip this!), and your social life.
All of these facets work in tandem to help you develop a well-adjusted lifestyle that’s optimized to help you reach your goals.
Here are some daily habits you might want to implement:
Go to sleep and wake up within a certain time-frame each night/day.
This is to make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep so you’re ready to tackle each day.
Eat a specific meal for breakfast each day. Not only is it the most important meal of the day, it’s also the time that you’re probably feeling most rushed.
You don’t want to have to sit there and think about what to have for breakfast each morning. Figure out a healthy meal you don’t mind eating every day and make sure it’s prepared for you to gobble down in the morning.
This will jumpstart your metabolism and energy level without wasting time.
Choose a set time to exercise every day.
It goes without saying that consistent exercise is important.
It may seem like making time to exercise takes away time that you could be working, but you have to see your body as a business investment.
You are your business.
Your body is your business.
Investing in your health is the same as investing in your business.
P.S. Try out yoga.
4) Read Articles That Will Help You Build the Mindsets You Want
Whenever I feel my mindset slipping (becoming more negative, not as excited about the future, etc) I have a private vault of articles I like to go back to and read.
These article help me reset my mindset and put me back on track.
Here are some excellent resources to help you keep your mindset and habits consistently strong:
- Warren Buffett’s “2 List” Strategy: How to Maximize Focus and Master Your Priorities
- Stop Trying to Be Happy
- Find What You Love and Let It Kill You
- The “Do Something” Principle
- Sisu: How to Develop Mental Toughness in the Face of Adversity
- How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the “2–Minute Rule”
- Diversify Your Identity
- How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World
- The Guide to Self-Discipline
4 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Success in 2016
1) Look Back at 2015 And See What Could Be Improved Upon
When trying to grow your business, sometimes the best place to start is what didn’t go so well in the past and what could be improved upon.
Could you establish processes to accomplish your goals more efficiently?
Could you buy a program that will save you time and money in the long run?
Are there strategies that didn’t work and ones that did? Can you optimize your processes around the ones that worked and remove the ones that didn’t?
Every failure is an opportunity for success. Look at your failures in 2015 and figure out how you can make them successes in 2016.
2) Establish an Editorial Calendar and Content Quality Guidelines
Content marketing is becoming a bigger and bigger part of many business’s marketing and lead generation strategies.
Unfortunately, lots of businesses publish content haphazardly because they’ve read certain statistics about why they should be blogging.
In reality, the marketers getting real results from their blogging are doing it with a set plan in mind.
They have established processes that help them create top-notch content that consistently builds the business.
For any business that’s blogging, I suggest establishing two things:
An editorial calendar
Quality guidelines for their content
An editorial calendar helps your team stay on track. Most likely, you’ll have separate writers and editors that each piece gets passed between.
To keep these folks on the same page, an editorial calendar helps you:
- Meet publish dates
- Come up with new content ideas
- Know who is supposed to do what and when
Quality guidelines make sure you’re publishing content with a minimum standard.
They also help you make sure you’re incorporating correct on-page SEO factors into your content.
3) Develop a Content Promotion Plan to Drive More Traffic
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Content is King!”
This is false.
Content promotion is King.
Without people to read your content, it is not a business asset. Promoting your content to get eyeballs onto it makes it a business asset.
There are tons of tactics you can use to promote your content. Use these two articles to find the tactics that work best in your industry:
Then put them into a plan that you execute every time you publish a piece of content.
4) Plan Out Specific Goals for Each Quarter
Planning by quarters is a great way to keep both short-term and long-term goals in order.
You should definitely set financial goals, but those are only end results based on the preliminary goals you set.
Here are other non-financial goals you should set:
- Website traffic goals
- Subscriber goals
- Content creation goals
- Product development goals
- New or upgraded services to implement
- Any other goals that will help you reach your financial ones
Looking at your finances is a great way to analyze growth, but it’s the other milestones you reach that ultimately affect how much money you make.
To Wrap It Up
We just broke down 8 ways to prepare yourself and your business for success in 2016:
- Pick up meditation
- Do the pomodoro technique
- Develop daily habits that will help you reach your goals
- Read articles that will help you build the mindsets you want
- Look back at 2015 and see what could be improved upon
- Establish an editorial calendar and content quality guidelines
- Develop a content promotion plan to drive more traffic
- Plan out specific goals for each quarter
Use these techniques and tactics to take your life and your business to the next level.