Entrepreneurs are the masters of to-do lists, calendars and organization. We set goals in our sleep and evaluate our successes and failures daily. So it comes as no surprise that as we embark on the new year, entrepreneurs everywhere are reflecting on 2013 and developing actionable resolutions in an effort to take 2014 by storm and make strides in our professional and personal lives. Need a little inspiration? We've reached out to a few entrepreneurs to find out what they've set out to establish in the year ahead.
Erica Bell, co-founder of Hukkster: My New Year's resolution for 2014 is to be present. While running an early-stage startup, I'm constantly multi-tasking, whether I'm in a meeting, attending a networking event or grabbing dinner with friends, my wheels are constantly spinning about the endless tasks at hand. I am going to make a concerted effort to live in the moment and take advantage of the great opportunities I have to meet new, inspiring people and enjoy quality time with the family and friends who have supported me throughout this journey.
Theodore Summe, founder of Discoverly: My New Year's resolution is "to do less with more purpose." I don't mean to work less, but it's easy as an entrepreneur to try to do too much. My team has designed our product in a very thoughtful way and I want to bring that same amount of care to everything I do at Discoverly.
Christianne Amodio, co-founder of Revelry House: Our 2014 success is all about team building. My resolution is to remember that I can't do it all, recruit talented team members whose skill sets are alternative to mine and learn everything I can from them.
Katie Finnegan, co-founder of Hukkster: In 2014, I am working on finding time weekly to separate myself from the day-to-day nitty gritty, be it time outside running along the West Side Highway or just a few hours a weekend where I can clear my head and think strategically. I need to continuously remind myself that this 'me' time is nearly just as important as the day-to-day tasks at hand as it will help to push the business forward and allow us to push boundaries.
Pooja Badlani, co-founder of Rank & Style: We launched in 2013, so life has been a mix of very exciting and very hectic. My New Year's resolution for 2014 is to celebrate our small successes more! It's so easy to get caught up in our ambitious goals, move on to the next thing and ignore special milestones. I want to try to celebrate my team, our progress and the hard work we put into each initiative. Celebrating achievements makes it all worth it and helps inspire everyone to stay motivated and focused.
Jillian Bremer, founder of Sweet & Spark: My 2014 New Year's resolution is to embrace the natural ebbs and flows and celebrate entrepreneurialism as a flexible lifestyle instead of resenting the fact that it never turns completely off.
Kathryn Minshew, founder of The Muse: My 2014 resolution is to take over the world. Just kidding! But I do think this is the year it becomes critical for us to scale geographically to meet user demand, and our ability to successfully do that will put us on the level of the biggest players in our space. In 2014, I hope to find a better balance between focusing on my team and helping others outside of it, and bring some incredible leadership talent in to help us scale internally.
Justin McLeod, founder of Hinge: My new year's resolution is to look at my phone less often. Right now I look at my phone so often I have to power it down or even physically leave it at home to not be a zombie when I'm out with friends or family. Plus I find I'm way more effective, efficient and creative as an entrepreneur when I'm not constantly distracted by every call, message, voicemail or alert. So for Christmas, I just bought myself a leather slip-cover that forces me to consciously and deliberately slide my phone out every time I want to use it -- which I'm hoping will deter my constant glancing. Perhaps a funny resolution to come from someone who develops a mobile app, but when you think about it, Hinge is actually about getting people to connect offline. So here's to more "real connections" in 2014.
Gregarious Narain, co-founder of Chute: I resolve to become a better communicator. For startups, great communication is a matter of life or death. While communication is always on my list, this year it's the first thing. I need to become the best communicator I can. In the end, I need to be able to communicate our purpose and value to our customers without fail; our vision, strategy and frustrations to my colleagues; and my love and gratitude to my family.
Find a Better Work-Life Balance
Jon Alagem, founder of Trendabl: My 2014 New Year's resolution is all about balance. When you're an entrepreneur and run your own business, you sometimes forget about everything else and time flies right by. My resolution is to make more time for my family and friends, cook more, visit new places and go to the gym ... although I can guarantee that last one still won't happen.