Every Day is the Best Day By Malaya Dantzler-Bryan Some say that leaders are born and not made. I believe that the innate quality to lead resides in all of us, but it needs to be practiced and refined. Being a great leader doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience. Founder of PayPal and Tesla, Elon Musk, once said, “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” You don’t have to be a great orator or outspoken tech giant to be a great leader. The first step towards being a great leader is admitting that you can do better.
The second step is identifying how you can improve both yourself and your business, and finally the third step involves planning to improve and following through. As we move into the new year we all make resolutions. This is the perfect time for small business leaders to take stock of where they are, what they could do better, and start doing it. The great poet Ralph Waldo Emerson directed, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” As leaders and small business owners we must realize that it is important to have lofty goals, but we must also remember that sometimes a small victory is just as important as the end goal. New year’s resolutions start with the best intentions. My business is going to increase profits by 50% this year or I’m going to move into a bigger office building. Sadly, these goals are often abandoned by the middle of February because we haven’t seen the progress that we dreamed of. December comes around and we are in the same place as we were a year ago. So how do we get out of the cycle of hope, failure, and disappointment?
We look to Emerson. Every day is the best day of the year. Sure, set yearly goals. It’s a perfect place to start. This is what will drive you personally as well as professionally. But to accomplish this we need a plan. As leaders, we must recognize the fault in not creating milestones towards our achievements. We must think about what we’ve done, and how we can be better. Some of this may seem daunting for sure. I recommend setting a maximum of five resolutions for your business this year. Be creative, but realistic. Here are five goals to get you started, and I must admit that I will be working on these myself.
1. Improve Your Digital Presence Make at least one social media post per day if you don’t already. Take time to create an email marketing list and update your website. If your business doesn’t have an online marketing plan, it’s time to create one.
2. Charge What You are Worth This one is hard for me. My passion is helping small businesses grow, so when I see someone in need of assistance my first instinct is to give them everything I have because I want them to succeed. However, sometimes in doing this I’m not putting the business first. While providing great customer service is a key to your business’ success, keep in mind that it is a business, and you should not short change yourself. It may be time to reevaluate your business’ market and raise your rates to accommodate the value that you bring to the table.
3. Delegate More Do you find yourself doing all the work because you think your employees can’t handle it? Or maybe you enjoy wearing every hat in the company. If you have staff it may be time to delegate some of your responsibilities. As small business owners, we are all used to working 80-hour weeks. But what would happen if you delegated some of your tasks to employees and focused more on being the CEO of your company and focusing on the big picture?
4. Prioritize Work/Life Balance This goes hand in hand with Resolution Number 3. Be sure to take time for yourself and family to avoid burnout. This is a professional and personal resolution. Plan to go to the gym more, spend time with friends and family, and get eight hours of sleep a night. You will feel fresh and energized in your personal life which will lead to a refreshed professional life where ideas will flow. You will find that you can accomplish more personally and professionally with the right balance.
5. Set Aside Time to Prepare for Each Day Going back to Emerson, treat each day as an opportunity to succeed. Begin each morning by planning your day. For example: set aside an hour to check emails, an hour to return calls, make a social media post at 1:00, and so forth. Make a plan and stick to it. This will help you stay organized so that you can accomplish all your goals. Each new year brings hope for a better tomorrow. As leaders, we recognize where we need to make improvements and take action. By making resolutions, having daily goals, and successful planning you will be basking in your success come next Christmas instead of looking back on a less than productive year. I look forward to tackling these resolutions myself and am excited to begin the new year. As we say goodbye to 2018, I will leave you with another quote from my favorite poet Ralph Waldo-Emerson, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Malaya Dantzler Bryan is an expert in small business development with over twenty years experience in assisting small and disadvantaged businesses. Her passion for helping “the underdog” led her to open her own business where she champions the rights of small businesses across the state of Florida. Small Business Contracting Source, Inc. www.sbcsinc.com