If you’re like most entrepreneurs, this time of year you’re not only thinking of the holidays. You’re also dreaming about all you’ll accomplish in the New Year. In this post I get into how to start 2017 with a bang so you can turn those dreams into reality.
Does the thought of writing a business plan fill your heart with dread? If so, you're not alone. In fact, in this article and video published right here on PatrickBetDavid.com, Patrick shares about how he used to feel about business plans. That all changed once he discovered a new way of business planning that not only increases effectiveness of business planning, but also reduces overwhelm.
What I love about Patrick's approach is that his business plan covers the following six areas:
- Personal Development
As you can see, only one of the six is specifically focused on business, and yet every one of these areas of life impact business. For example, if you're in poor health, that impacts your energy level, which impacts your business. Family problems impact your business as well. Because of this, this holistic approach to business planning can help you start 2017 with a bang in a far greater way than a focus on business alone.
Another great thing about this is that Patrick provides a way to get the habits and goals you want to focus on in each of these areas on a single page so that you can review it every day. He even provides a free PDF worksheet that you can use for your own one-page business plan. To get more details and to grab your free PDF, be sure to check out the article below.
As part of the one-page business plan you'll create, you'll focus on relationships with family. You can include other people that are important to you in that planning as well. And as much as you want to nurture relationships with those that matter most to you, you may also have some people that you need to either remove from your life, or reduce their access to you.
Among other things, this article published on Addicted2Success states:
You are a product of your environment, surround yourself with the best and you will become better. Once you let go of negative people, the positive ones appear. Just like you might have developed limiting beliefs from your environment as a child, the same happens with the environment you are in when you are an adult.
Do you have people that zap your energy, shoot down your ideas, or in some other way sabotage your happiness and business success? If so, take steps to remove them from your life. You don't necessarily have to make a big announcement that they're toxic and you're no longer going to have anything to do with them. In fact, that may be a bad idea. But you can be proactive in establishing firm boundaries and limiting time with those people.
You can even do this in subtle ways. For instance, I had some people that matter to me that were filling my Facebook news feed with negativity, so I unfollowed them. We are still "friends" on Facebook, but unless I go out of my way to see their posts, I don't see them. That gave me a break from their negativity without damaging the relationship long term.
By the way, while you're removing toxic people from your life, make a point of developing relationships with great friends.
Sleep is an important aspect of a productive life and business, and if you're like many people, you hit snooze at least once before getting out of bed.
This video published on Business Insider explains why hitting snooze is a bad idea. It gives the example of people who know they don't have to get up until 8:00 a.m., but set their alarm for 7:30. When the alarm goes off at 7:30, they know they don't really have to get up then. They know they have three chances to hit snooze before actually getting up. The problem with this approach is that hitting snooze actually cuts down on the total amount of sleep you get, which of course impacts productivity.
Set Your Alarm for When You MUST Get Up
The recommendation is to set the alarm for the time you MUST get up. If you do that, you'll know that hitting snooze isn't an option. You'll force yourself to get up as soon as the alarm goes off. The huge plus is that you'll actually get the full amount of sleep you need, rather than having it interrupted multiple times the last half hour.
By the way, if you are afraid that you won't get up when the alarm goes off, place your alarm across the room so that you have to get all the way out of bed to turn it off.
I actually had a good friend that had a very hard time waking up in the morning. The problem was so big he put his alarm clock in a locked box, and put the key to the box in a tree in a nearby park. To turn his alarm off, he literally had to get up, get in his car, drive to the park, and retrieve the key. He then drove back home, opened the box, and turned off the alarm. By the time he did all that, he was awake enough to stay awake.
Hopefully you wake up easy enough to not have to go to such extreme measures. But determine to do whatever it takes to start 2017 with a bang, even if that means putting your alarm clock in a locked box, with the key far away.
An added benefit of having your alarm across the room is that you'll be less likely to get sucked into checking email or Facebook when you should be sleeping.
In the article and video How to Improve Your Work Ethic, one of the tips Patrick gives is to subscribe to the "now mentality." That's really great advice.
But why do you procrastinate? The article A leading expert says procrastination has almost nothing to do with will power provides insight. It does a great job of explaining the psychology of procrastination. So if you struggle with procrastination, be sure to check it out.
Routines may seem dull and boring, but what you accomplish as a result of routines is incredibly exciting. This article published on Addicted2Success provides the following four hacks for creating a productive morning routine.
- Start your tomorrow tonight
- Get up to something you genuinely enjoy doing (guilt free)
- Make your morning routine the default option
- Take it easy by aligning your tasks with your natural rhythms
I especially love the second point, because if you fill your morning routine with things you hate, you'll be unlikely to stick with your routine.
If you need some inspiration for what to do as part of your morning routine, check out these tips from top entrepreneurs.
Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"Sure, I'd be happy to!" If you've ever said that when you weren't truly happy, you know what a trap those words entail. Or sometimes you're happy the moment you say them, but later not so much. Regardless of what has occurred as a result of saying yes too often, learning to say no is a powerful way to start 2017 with a bang.
An important thing to keep in mind is that every time you say yes to one thing, by default you're saying no to something else. Every hour I spend fulfilling a commitment is one less hour I have for something else. Sometimes yes opens up a whole world of opportunities and other times it slams the most important door shut. The key is evaluating each opportunity prior to making a commitment, and determining what you'll have to say no to as a result.
How to Know When to Say No
For example, when I was recently asked to edit a book for someone, saying yes to the hours that would take meant saying no to some online training I wanted to complete. Since it was a project that I believe in, and since the income from it was a good return on my time investment, yes was the right answer. I enjoyed the project, and the completed book was a dream come true for my client. Other times I've said yes left me frustrated and drained.
While it's impossible to make the right choice 100% of the time, with careful consideration, you'll make the right decision more often than not. One helpful tip is that unless something is a true emergency, ask for a few days, a week, or even more before responding. That removes the sense of urgency and helps you make the decision with not just your heart, but your mind as well.
Here's another great tip provided here:
When confronted with new opportunities, ask yourself, “Is this going to drain me of energy? Will this opportunity support me on my vision?” If the answer is “no”, then your answer should be “no!”
By the way, it's also important to say no to yourself when needed.
One of the best ways to start 2017 with a bang is to plan to launch a product or service during the first quarter. If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of a launch, a plan will help. This article by Hernan Vazquez published right here on PatrickBetDavid.com provides the following steps to a successful launch.
- Create a timetable
- Get people excited about the launch
- Build a waiting list
- Communicate with your audience
- Make pre-launch and launch advertising material
- Push hard on launch date
It also provides an excellent list of launch best practices. For the full details, be sure to check out the entire article here:
With all the talk of how to start 2017 with a bang, if you're not careful, you may ended up working to the point of exhaustion. You may also fill your day with important things to the degree that you neglect vital things. For instance, you may work so much on your business that you don't exercise and eat right.
While having a strong work ethic is incredibly important, overworking yourself:
can cause serious health issues and ensure that you are rarely in a mindset for success.
The sad thing about this is that overwork often happens most from those focused on success, but if that focus on success impacts your health and relationships to such a degree that they fall apart, you won't have the right mindset for success.
What are your tips for preparing for a successful New Year? Share them in the comments below.