Happy New Year! Three Ways to Start the Year off Right

During the holidays and the New Year, I find myself (like many others) reflecting on the past year and what’s next for the New Year. Often times, this is when people start to make new year resolutions – start working out, lose 15 pounds, start a new business, etc. But should we wait for the beginning of year to make a firm decision to start something? How do we move forward with new ideas? Here are three ways to start the year off right and keep it going!


1)     Resolutions Can Be Made Anytime Of the Year

Realize we can start resolutions at any time. Don’t wait until the beginning of the year to reflect on starting something new. The biggest things we need to do are make the definitive decision we are going to start something, put a plan together, and execute on it. Over the years, I’ve worked with several entrepreneurs in coaching them with starting their businesses. I have also started a few of my own. As the requests for me to do more coaching and speaking continued to increase, I decided to formalize things through my online brand. I made a plan to develop my web content, blog content, marketing strategy, and then launched it all within 30 days. Don’t let fear stop or delay you. As NIKE says, Just Do It! Here are some tips on how we can move forward on our new goals.

                  i.      Identify the resources you need to accomplish your goals

                 ii.      Put together a timeline and work plan with deadlines and action items

                  iii.      Set intermediate milestones you need to accomplish while working towards your goal

                iv.      Share your goals with others (accountability partners are great)

             v.      Celebrate along the way!


2)     Happy Days: Gratitude Goes a Long Way

Really take a moment to think about all the good things that has happened this year: work-related, family, friends, whatever it may be. When we start to be thankful for things in our lives, we shift our mindset and our decision-making. We are better able to deal with adversity and problem-solve (or as I like to call it, solution-finding)

Remember that although we have faced many challenges, as most entrepreneurs do, we also have had an amazing year. As I reflected on this year, I had several national speaking engagements at SXSW, ESSENCE, and FOCUS100 (the largest and most diverse tech conference in the country). I was featured in INC Magazine, FORTUNE, Huffington Post, Black Enterprise, and ESSENCE to name a few. I closed an investment round of about $500,000.

I have met some phenomenal entrepreneurs that continue to inspire me and encourage me. It’s also nice to continue to grow a network of people who empathize with this journey of entrepreneurship and can support one another (personally and professionally). My dad has been able to attend a few of my awards ceremonies – I have to say, the happiness in his eyes and the pride in his face makes absolutely EVERYTHING I do worthwhile.

After writing about this list of wins, I felt better and you may notice the same. Also when operating from a place of positive thinking, we are more productive, creative, and better able to come up with solutions. An attitude of gratitude will take us places.


3)     Learn Lessons

There are a lot of ups and downs in entrepreneurship. Moments of #winning and moments of lessons. I say lessons (instead of losing or failures) because as long as you keep learning, you’ll always come out better than you started. Henry Ford once said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” Entrepreneurship is not easy, especially since we are usually building the plane while flying it. However, with every supposed failure comes an opportunity to learn something, become better, and move forward. Embrace the mistakes! Never give up! Move forward in your destiny! Make this a great year.