What follows is the opinion of Morgan from Gift Pinpoint and no one else!
New Years is the classic time to make promises for the upcoming year. What are some good promises to make for your company?
Before we answer that, we must remember one very important point: most New Years resolutions are broken immediately after they’re made. Or they last just days or weeks before they’re broken. So perhaps this exercise is pointless?
Well, we would argue that, in the grand tradition of President Truman: “planning is essential… but plans are useless.” Even if they’re broken, it’s still a powerful exercise to articulate to yourself your objectives and your methods for going about achieving them.
So, without further ado, here are some excellent New Years resolutions for your startup:
1.) Focus, focus, focus. That is one of the top Startup killers. And if you’re not going to focus, you may as well give up, get a job in a big bureaucracy, and spend $10 to give your idea to Quirky (my new favorite website).
2.) That annoying problem you’ve been procrastinating dealing with? Now is the time.
3.) That annoying SEED of a problem — that little thing that isn’t quite a problem but your gut tells you that it will be one day — yes, now is the time to deal with it.
4.) The second most common startup killer — after the lack of focus/obsession — is problems within the team. Go to your team members and have an open talk with each other about the problems or potential problems.
5.) You know how you’ve been focusing on building a product? Yeah, enough of that. Time to start thinking about how to get clients to give you money.
6.) No complaining, no whining — instead, only problem fixing. It’s hard to avoid complaining, I know, I know. But someone needs to be the adult around here. May as well be you!
7.) Problem fixing often — usually, if it is a non-trivial problem — requires doing something painful. You will suffer the pain, in order to fix the problem. Don’t avoid it.
8.) And you’ll do it all with a smile. Life is too short to not enjoy it.
9.) You’ll think about all your other options, what you could be doing with your life, with your time. If something else excites you more–go do it. If you’re not a crazed obsessed madman, then, you probably won’t succeed at your own Startup. So you may as well do something else.
10.) Be honest with yourself as to your own objectives. Do you want to make a lot of money? Or have a “lifestyle” business? Or just an excuse to travel? Or revolutionize the world? Or cure poverty? Being honest with yourself is strikingly hard. But it’s the first step towards figuring out the winning strategy for yourself.
An overall pattern behind my advice is this: a lot of success is merely surviving. (Remember Woody Allen: “99% of success is just showing up.”)
Said differently, the most important requisite to being successful is not making mistakes. The advice above focuses on the most common mistakes I see. Therefore, I’d recommend, focusing on figuring out how to avoid mistakes first and foremost.