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Forget Resolutions: 7 Business Things You DON’T Have to Do in the New Year!

Call me a rebel… or  a Scrooge… or a Grinch if you must, but I am so happy all this holiday nonsense is finally over.  And as I sit here trying to come up with a blog for the new year, the word “resolution” keeps popping into my head and I absolutely REFUSE to give you marketing or business resolutions for the new year.  You’re under enough pressure, I’m not going to give you a long list of more things you already know you should do.

So… no resolution talk here, I promise. Instead, for the new year, let’s vow to not make a single resolution; no diets, exercise programs (ok, I’ll admit this one is self-serving – hoping to ward off the “New Year Resolutioners” who invade my gym for a few weeks this time every year), no vows to spend more time with the kids, or call our mother more often, no promising to read, write, or volunteer more or spend

small business new year resolutions

less… Forget all that!

Resolutions are all about feeling bad for what we didn’t do last year,  making more unrealistic goals for ourselves (“I’m going to lose 20 lbs this month”) and then feeling like total losers and failures – AGAIN, when we don’t live up to them.  I say “No more pressure, we have enough!”  So instead of giving you  a bunch of Marketing Resolutions and telling you what you should do, I’m going give you a list of things you don’t have to do! There! How’s that for rebellion? Bet you’re thinking I’m not such a Scrooge now are you?

So here is my list of 7 things you don’t have to do in the new year!

  1. You don’t have to do everything yourself anymore. That’s right.  This is the year you bite the bullet and hire help. Hire an accountant, a bookkeeper, a salesperson, an assistant, or whatever it is you need that will allow you more time to focus on the things you really want to focus on!
  2. You don’t have to work with anybody and everybody with a checkbook. You have a successful business; you’ve made it this far because you provide a valuable product or service. You are too good to work with people who don’t value you and who try to nickel and dime you at every turn.  So the next time you are tempted by someone you know is going to be a big ole pain in the butt, politely refer them to your competition, explaining that you feel they’d be a better fit.
  3. You don’t have to be everything to everybody. Your business is special. You provide something unique to a select group of people that no one else can deliver in quite the same way.  Your job is to find that niche. And when you find it you will become confident enough    to say “no” when asked to do something outside of your scope, capabilities or comfort zone.  You do what you do better than anyone else and you don’t need to pretend to be more than what you are. Stay true to your mission.
  4. You don’t have to work every single night and weekend. I realized this sometime in the past couple of months, taking time off is key to my mental well being and sanity – and it makes me more productive. Really, you don’t have to work so many hours. All the work will get done (see #1 again), I promise!
  5. You don’t have to follow the crowd. Just because all your friends are on Facebook, doesn’t mean it’s right for your business. Just because your competitors do things a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to. It’s your business – your baby, your dream. Do it however the hell you want!   Dare to be bold. Dare to stand out. Dare to be unique!
  6. You don’t have to make excuses for where you are in your life or your business.  As human beings we all grew at different rates, the same is true of your business. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you know you are doing everything in your power and using every tool and resource available to you, there is no need to feel bad about where you are. We grow at different rates and as long as you are on track toward achieving your goals you are just fine.
  7. You don’t have to take advice from anyone you don’t want to! Everybody has advice, have you noticed that? I was in the gym recently and a guy who I’ve never seen lift a single weight was telling me how I should be lifting weights. When advice is given consider the source:  is it someone you respect?   Is their business the type of business you’d like to emulate?   If not, ignore them and look for people you do respect!

So, how does that feel? A whole list of things you DON’T have to do in the new year! What a relief, right? Running a business is hard work, don’t be too hard on yourself, have fun with it and have the best year ever!!!
 Have something to add? I’d love to hear from you! Please click here to leave your comments.


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4 Responses

  1. Wow! What a fantastic list. I love these concepts of getting rid of the toxicity in your business and bringing in the authenticity. These are great reminders of things we can do to stay in love with what we do (or reclaim that love if we’ve been buried under the junk!) These can definitely be more about 2012 Revolutions rather than 2012 Resolutions! 🙂

    1. Carolyn


      Wow, very well said. Love your comment. “Getting rid of the toxicity and bringing in the authenticity”… love that – and “2012 Revolutions…” brilliant. I wish I had written those things! 🙂

      Thanks so much for the kind words – I appreciate you reading the post and for taking the time to comment. Best of luck to you in 2012… – Carolyn

  2. Numbers 1 and 4 are the doozies for me, personally.

    I really like the concept behind point #1 – You Don’t Have To Do Everything Yourself, but putting it into practice can prove a little difficult. I must say, however, towards the latter part of 2011 I was able to establish some productive relationships through Biznik (which I decided to join solely because you did and I saw your successful business blogging there, too, Carolyn), that helped me find like-minded resources who I was able to hire out some of my work to.

    I also have 2 established resources – one in San Francisco and one in Virginia – who I can count on to do top notch work on tasks that I may not always have time for. That’s the key, in my opinion — finding someone who is competent, professional and reliable — and then using the time that is saved through them to either work on expanding my business, fostering current relationships or to slow down a bit and add some margin to my life.

    Point #4 goes hand-in-hand with #1, as you mentioned. I have found over the last few years that it takes a lot of work to make a conscience effort to not work. Each night and weekend, in addition to the “regular” hours we put in, can often times be precious moments where my customer service and commitment shines; for me, a large chunk of my client base is people who focus on their web presence work during the evenings and on weekends.

    So an end-goal for me is to get to the point where 5, 6 or 7 other professional people are gainfully employed by my business and I am able to morph into the true role of a business owner – having more available time that is flexible enough to decide where I’ll focus it – business development, marketing, relationship building, technical advances. Or perhaps even time at home or on a cruise or engaging in personal development.

    Great post, thanks for the 7 don’t-have-to-do list!

    1. Carolyn

      Hi Scott,

      Like you, I recently hired someone to help me – a Marketing Associate/Assistant who has made an amazing difference in my business. Not only does it free up my time to focus on growing my business, but it allows me to have things get done that I absolutely hated doing, and therefore neglected in my business. I think the trick is to carve out a budget and hire a contractor to work within your means and resources. And of course the more help I get and the more my business grows, the bigger that budget for outside help becomes.

      Thank you for the thoughtful comment – and for reading my blog, I appreciate your support. Have a wonderful 2012!

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