The end of the year is an overwhelming mix of celebration, nostalgia, and the exciting but semi-ominous threat of the looming year. As bottles pop in the background and babies dance into the new year, you can’t help but look back over the previous 365 days and appraise how things went. Were you as successful as you had hoped? What resolutions did you even set? Have you stuck to them? The typical (and usually empty) promises of ‘eating better’ are a valiant attempt, but this year we thought we’d provide something a little more useful to our entrepreneurial friends looking to set better business resolutions in 2019 with the help of some of the savviest in the business.
The Forbes 30 Under 30 list was released last month, and as always was an interesting reading experience for the average human going through the list. You start with feelings of encouragement – these young and thriving minds will inspire your semi-young and kind of thriving mind to do amazing things too! However, in the next moment you’re hunched over in feelings of shame, all too aware of how subpar your own activities have been. But don’t worry, there’s another upswing, when you see familiar faces that you’re proud of and are reminded of their story, and how capable you yourself are at not only what you do, but all the things you haven’t done yet, and one day will. We got in touch with some of our friends on this year’s 30 Under 30 list and got their best tips for entrepreneurs looking to set resolutions in 2019 for their new businesses, new ideas, or new goals.
Braden Handley, Cofounder of inkbox, the Toronto-based semi-permanent tattoo innovators who worked on amazing collaborations and reached a million Instagram followers in 2018.
- In 2019 we’ll see more brands stand for something and if entrepreneurs want to be successful at this they need to make people the priority. That means you need to heavily invest in employees’ futures, lead with compassionate directness and foster curiosity throughout your entire workforce.
Cameron Dearsley and Darren Fung, Cofounders of Drop, the oh-so-clever loyalty app that’s giving out millions in cash rewards everyday and raised $27 million this year.
- Fostering curiosity within your organization needs to be paired with the enablement of learning. Focus on building a culture where your team feels empowered to learn, but also to teach others what they learn. Provide your team the tools that they need to satisfy their curiosities.
Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Lake, Cofounders of Bridgit, the management software that is making the lives of those in the construction industry so much easier.
- If you’re a young founder who’s starting a company today or are going into 2019 with big goals, my advice is don’t leave for tomorrow what can be done today. This has been so important to our success at Bridgit, that it’s made its way into our core values. Things move so quickly in a new business, you need to spend time on things that will deliver value, because there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to work on projects the next day. Set yourself daily objectives, and deliver against them — you won’t get everything right on the first try, but you have to accomplish what you can today, and accept that some things can be perfected later.
Emilie Cushman, Founder of Kira Talent, the cloud-based platform that works to make the admissions process bias free and fair.
- If you are a B2B company, don’t start off the year thinking about how you’re going to raise your next round. Instead, go through the exercise of thinking “if we had to make the business work on the cash we have today, how would we do it”. If you are going into another raise this year, figure out how to raise the least amount of money possible so that you focus all of your energy on making a sustainable company that can grow without being reliant on outside capital.
- Reflect on how your work environment energizes you. This past year we moved offices and I can’t tell you how much productivity increased simply by moving into a new space that people wanted to come to. Regardless, if moving is not an option, how might you change up or re-organize your office or personal work desk to foster productivity and happiness?
- Start on the right foot by making a plan of how you’re going to take care of yourself this year. As entrepreneurs we want to do everything. Instead of picking the 10 things you “want” to do to achieve the perfect enviable lifestyle, pick the 1 thing you KNOW you can do, and do that consistently (ex: instead of working out 5 times per week and meal prepping and drinking 10 glasses of water per day, maybe just focus on having 1-2 less cups of coffee per day, or focus on getting more than 6 hours of sleep per night).
Mike Murchison and David Hariri of Ada Support, the AI-powered chatbot that will help answer all your customers’ questions.
- 2019 will be a year of even higher customer service expectations. Now is a great time to audit how often you’re speaking with your customers, and how long they’re having to wait to get in touch with you. Upping the quality of your customer service in 2019 stands to give you the product feedback, sales enablement, and customer referrals you need to exceed your year-end number.
Dani Roche, Founder of Kastor & Pollux, the coolest experiential agency in the biz with a flawless eye for design.
- Growing up, I thought that “knowledge is power” was just a cliche. But let me tell you: the more you know – regardless of if it’s relevant to your industry or field – will inform the ways you think and process information and hone in on your craft. For the past few years, I’ve pushed myself to ask hard questions and delve into new realms that always intimidated me. Being a better conversationalist has helped me build relationships, win new work, and broaden the scope of my practice to encompass things that I never thought was possible. In 2019, I challenge you to broaden your horizons, explore uncharted territory, and make a couple of mistakes along the way.
Keep these pearls of wisdom in mind when replacing the ‘eat better’, ‘exercise more’ resolutions you set this year.