Grow Yourself -- and Your Company -- With These 4 New Year's Resolutions
Growth comes in many shapes and sizes. To you, it might mean growing your team by bringing more developers on board, boosting revenue by overhauling your sales process or growing your interpersonal skills via emotional intelligence training. But there’s no need to choose between business and personal growth. These four New Year’s resolutions can help you grow in both directions.
1. Take a load off.
With entrepreneurs like Grant Cardone claiming that you need to work 14-hour days to earn a million dollars, work-life balance can seem like a pipe dream. While overwork might help your business in the short term, it won’t benefit you or your company in the long run. Overwork can lead to burnout, health problems and team dysfunction.
One of the best ways to lighten your load and strengthen your company in the process is through delegation. Payroll platform OnPay found that nearly half of small business owners and managers do their own accounting and finance work. Every minute you spend counting beans is one you can’t devote to leader-level priorities like product innovation, or personal ones, like self-care.
2. Upgrade your culture.
Not all growth can be measured in minutes, money or number of heads. Growing a company also means making it a better place to work. Although your company’s culture is unique, your cultural goal is not, i.e. ensuring your work environment encourages everyone on the team to thrive, both personally and professionally.
Start with engagement. According to Gallup, seven in 10 American and Canadian employees aren't engaged at work. Rather than ask your teammates whether they’re engaged -- a question they may not feel comfortable answering honestly -- ask how you can make them feel more excited to come to work. Approaching your culture on the level of individual preferences helps you understand what motivates each person. Not only does that make you a better manager, but it also gives workers a sense of ownership in your company. Rich, inclusive cultures are built around individual contributors, not company leaders.
3. Learn something outside your specialty.
When an entrepreneur disrupts an industry, it’s because he or she combined business and industry-specific insights in a new way. Yet just 9 percent of small business owners have a bachelor’s degree in business, time-tracking tool TSheets reports, and only 3 percent hold a master’s or doctoral-level degree.
If you’re a techie by trade, don’t spend so much time building your software development skills that you fall behind in general ones like sales and marketing. Even if you’re a physician who outsources everything your practice needs except a medical expert, you still have a team to manage.
Fortunately, brushing up on your business skills doesn’t require formal education. Carve out time at the start or end of every workday to read relevant guides. Ask a member of your team to show you the ropes. If you need the accountability of a class, take a free one online. Join a mastermind group or an executive networking organization in your area to learn from others's experiences and gain new perspectives.
4. Become a mentee -- and a mentor.
Innovation Growth Lab, a global consortium of entrepreneurs, claims that small business owners can increase short-run profits by an average of 20 percent by working with an experienced mentor. By helping you spot and shore up your own "unknown unknowns," mentorship gives your business a boost.
When choosing a mentor, find someone as different from you as possible. Although it can be uncomfortable, growing your business is a matter of gaining new perspectives. If you’re an American male with a background in marketing, what about a woman tech entrepreneur who grew up in a different country? Just as importantly, be a mentor to someone else. Maximize the benefits to your business by taking an employee under your wing. Not only will mentorship grow his or her skills, but a Robert Half study found that 99 percent of surveyed CFOs said being a mentor also benefited them.