How This Entrepreneur Forms His New Year’s Resolutions

By Rick Bell Monday, January 6, 2014

Like many entrepreneurs, I can’t relax and just let the world go by. I have to be proactive and form important New Year’s resolutions.

If I’m on a beach, I’m thinking about how much sand costs. If I’m at a concert, I’m calculating the ticket sales. If I encounter something that really strikes me as new and cool and unique, I’m thinking about how to promote it and make it into a business. So what, you ask, do I do on New Year’s Eve?

I’ve been known to be a pretty entertaining party guy, but I can’t remember the last time I went out on NYE. First, the odds of getting into some sort of mess rise dramatically on NYE.

But don’t think I bring in the New Year with a dull THUD! No way! On the contrary! It’s one of the most creative and exciting nights of my year!

First, during the day of the 31st I prepare. I pull financial statements and check registers from my personal and business accounts. I re-read my company’s web site, and take screen shots of pages I want to change. I check my brokerage account to remind myself which stocks I own. If I’ve got some big winners, I’ll sell a loser or two, liberating some money from the system. Finally, on my way home from the office, I stop by my local purveyor of spirits and purchase something special. It may be a craft beer from Dogfish Head or a bottle of expensive wine from Napa, but it’s something special, not my usual before-dinner cocktail.

As the evening begins, my wife prepares a great meal. I eat sparingly, but have dessert for a change. Then I go to my office, which everybody now calls a man cave, and the fun begins!

First, I bring up my financial statements from 12/31 of last year and review the numbers. (It’s on an Excel file, of course) Then, I fill in the final current year’s numbers and account for changes in assets and liabilities. I compare the difference in the two years and then I fill in a third set of numbers. It’s what I want to achieve by next 12/31.

That brings me to strategy time. I review (mentally, like Einstein did with Quantum theory) a variety of possibilities to make next year better. I ask myself which expenses are really a waste of money that I can cut back on and what sources of income I can enhance with some investment and effort. Then I make a list of all the good ideas, and the crazy ones, for evaluation later.

Soon after passing the halfway mark on the special bottle of booze I’m working on, I pull out the screen shots of my company’s web site and make notes on the pages where I feel we could improve the client’s experience of forming a new company or maintaining an existing company. Lots of changes have happened due to these annual examinations of my web site.

Finally, I make a list of each of my employees and make notes next to each person to remind me of their positive characteristics and aspirations for their future. I jot down ways I can influence positive change in their lives. Then I scan it onto my desktop so I can access it immediately when I need it later.

Finally, usually after 11:00 p.m., I turn the TV on the see the ball drop. I don’t know why. It’s no big thrill. I just do it like everybody else. Usually, I’m asleep soon into the New Year, if not before, with a lot of exciting things to begin doing, starting first thing in the morning.

On New Year’s Day, I just love getting up, brewing up a latte, and getting back to work!

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