“Entrepreneurs are notorious for trying to do everything. We’re constantly chasing shiny objects and attempting to keep up with the latest strategy or tactic. Instead of doing a bunch of things mediocre (at best), I want to focus on the projects/offers that have the greatest ROI for both my time and resources and spend my energy there.” — Grant Baldwin, Founder of The Speaker Lab“I will only work on SMART goals that I’ve set and confirmed will make a BIG impact in my business and life in 2018. No more getting distracted by shiny objects or working on projects I know are better left on the back burner.” — John Lee Dumas, Author of The Freedom Journal: Accomplish Your #1 Goal in 100 Days
“I’ve declared 2018 to be my “year of optimization.” It’ll be the first time in six years that I’m not either writing or launching a book, so I’m going to evaluate all of my business lines and income streams (professional speaking, executive coaching, online courses, etc.) and go deep on analyzing how I can improve them, both from the perspective of user experience and the sales/marketing funnel.” — Dorie Clark, Author, Entrepreneurial You (Harvard Business Review Press)
“Adding complexity to a year where we grew shy of 300%, this year I became a dad! This meant (now more than ever) I needed an extra pair of hands to keep up. I’m always looking for tools that will give me back my time and help me the super human when I need to be. FancyHands, the virtual assistant service, has a SMS feature. You can simply text them to help complete a task, like scheduling a meeting, calling ahead to order dinner, organizing a hair cut that fits in to my schedule, or to calling the airline to add an infant to the flight. My favorite is getting them to do a call while I’m on another call. At home, I use Alfred, an in home service that visits once or twice a week, with the same effect. Every weekend we get fresh supplies so we just relax on Friday. If it’s a long day or week at work, I know they’ve got my back. Parent entrepreneurs, please build more tools like these!” — Ben Young, CEO of Nudge Analytics
“Stay Scrappy. Go back to the basics, use data to evaluate why and how you’re achieving the big goals for your business, how can you become more efficient with different people, tools or processes?” — Nick Cicero, Founder and CEO of Delmondo
Connect With People Vs. Collecting People
This should go without saying, but I think we all — business leaders, entrepreneurs, marketers — need to remember that in an age of deep societal and geo-political differences, kindness wins, always. Whether that be asking our team members, “How are you feeling?” or “How can I help you?” or helping our customer-facing teams extend acts of kindness where they can or simply extending a smile as you walk past another person, kindness ought to be a given, not an act. Be kind through 2018 and always.” — Michael Barber, Founder, barber&hewitt
“As marketers, we have a habit of constantly wanting more — more traffic, more subscribers, more listeners, readers, and leads. But this can feel like digging a hole in dry sand: We’re working so hard for something that ultimately doesn’t stick and never compounds in its return. Far better, I think, is to focus on better serving existing audience. As a podcaster, that means my listeners and email subscribers. For you, maybe that’s your blog readers or existing customers. We all like to say we understand that keeping existing customers is more valuable, but then we optimize for net-new. What if we stopped focusing on reach and care more about resonance? Perhaps the rest would follow.” — Jay Acunzo, Creator & Host, “Unthinkable”
“To be more thoughtful with the relationships that matter most to me. In the past, I really spread out with a lot of acquaintances in business and personal. 2018 is a year that I want to invest in the relationships the can either make the biggest impact in business or that I enjoy personally.” — John Hall, Co-founder of Influence & Co. and Author of Top of Mind
“My resolution for 2018 is to not be so pragmatic. As marketers we sometimes lose touch with the fact that we are marketing to people, not numbers. In a world full of bots and canned messages, authentic human connections matter more than ever.” — Anne Gherini, VP of Marketing, Affinity
“I really want to focus on building the foundation for our company culture. When it comes to developing our communication norms and embodying our external mission internally, I think it’s so important to develop those habits early. We’re a super user-focused media company for Gen Z, so I think sometimes we can get caught up in building and forget about who’s making the sauce. It’s definitely a fine balance, but one doesn’t work without the other.” — Kiki Von Glinow, CEO & Co-Founder, Toast Media Group
“I resolve to host office hours for women and minority-founded businesses every week. This not only speaks to our mission at Trail Mix Ventures (we think diverse investing is smart business for us, and great for our LPs) to invest with purpose, it speaks to our belief that the consumer internet eco-system has been homogeneous for too long.” — Soraya Darabi, Founder of Trail Mix Ventures
“In 2018 I am committed to giving back to the entrepreneurial community. For the last 12 years I have been focused on teaching digital marketing and growing Vertical Measures, but now I’d like to spend a chunk of my time helping other entrepreneurs grow their business from an owner’s point of view. I have started 4 different businesses over the past 30 years. Three of them have succeeded. I plan to help others grow by telling them what works… and what doesn’t, no matter what kind of business they operate. Right now this will be mostly through my speaking efforts, but I am considering some digital channels as well.” — Arnie Kuenn, CEO of Vertical Measures and co-author of Content Marketing Works
“As an introvert, I’m more comfortable with the written word than making a video for the world to see. But I’ve realized that if I want to make my greatest impact, I need to be able to connect with my audience through video. It speeds up the know, like, and trust factor and creates authority positioning. So despite my fears, you’ll be seeing me do more video in 2018!” — Selena Soo, Creator of Impacting Millions
“It is clear that the world is increasingly going visual in its engagement with content in the social world. My marketing resolution for 2018, therefore, is to take a visual-first approach to content creation and publication and invest more time in the production of static visuals and videos to help both better educate and engage with my audience. While written content like this blog post is not going to disappear, its potential engagement in social media as is is limited by its content medium. Taking a visual-first approach unleashes the potential for engagement across all social networks.” — Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social
“No one wants to read the internet anymore. Everyone wants to watch it. In 2018 Cisco predicts video may make up 84% of internet traffic. I’m getting more serious about learning and communicating through video with people and companies I respect. I’m more focused on helping companies create and utilize good video not only for marketing but for training, customer service and recruiting. When I use social media for myself or for my company I’m going to rely more on video even to post casually and answer questions on twitter and LinkedIn. I’m going to focus more on Facebook Live and YouTube Optimization.” — Eve Mayer, CMO of SplashMedia.com
“I started creating short, snack-able videos in 2017. I’m doubling down in 2018 with short videos, some personalized for the recipient and some for mass consumption on topics pertaining to digital sales transformation.” — Bernie Borges, CMO at Vengreso
“I used to be a book reader. Then Facebook happened. It derailed me for a few years. The 2016 election made me start to loathe some aspects of social media. The part I didn’t loathe… often just made me anxious. In 2017, I made a concerted effort to spend less time on social media, and more time reading books that fed both my mind and soul. In 2018, I’m recommitting to FSMP (Fewer Screens More Pages) because I rediscovered the simple joy of slowing down, and being a little more intentional with my “free” time. “ — Ann Handley, Writer, Speaker, Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs
“Do more work away from the computer. As a consultant, most of my projects require writing as either the deliverable or as part of the preparation process for a speaking gig, coaching call etc. By the end of the year, I’m burnt out as a writer. To better balance my time in front of the computer writing and being in front of customers in person either speaking, teaching or training, I need to spend more time on landing projects with a clear offline component.” — Brian Honigman, Marketing Consultant at Honigman Media
“In a world getting noisier and more confusing daily, simplicity is a huge endeavor crossing personal and professional lines. The best place to start with this is my mobile phone. I’ve taken on this new behavior that combines KonMari with Deep Work. Part of this is cleaning out every app you no longer use. I’ve gone from hundreds of apps to only 10 on my phone. That being said, it also means only opening your device when absolutely necessary. Most of my attention is now focused on what is in front of me, people to people conversations and not what’s on my screen.” — Geoffrey Colon, Sr. Marketing Communications Designer at Microsoft and Author of Disruptive Marketing
“It’s a critical tip I scored from an incredible life coach I worked with last year: Craft a professional mission statement. Companies have practiced this for years and it’s high time sole proprietors followed suite: just three or four carefully constructed sentences could bring a razor-sharp focus to your business and a panoramic lens to your operating principles. As my coach put it, “feel like you could tattoo it on you and smile”. Think of it as a crucial extension of your personal brand. And revise and evolve it every year!” — Aarti Virani, Arts & Culture Writer; Contributing Editor, Vogue India
“My resolution for 2018 is to be more present in each moment. To focus on what’s in front of me, instead of thinking about what I need to do next. I want to be more intentional about listening to what isn’t said. Meaning noticing the person who isn’t speaking up and asking their opinion. My professional goal for the company is to start thinking like a media company in the way we produce content. How can we make crave-able content? Content that’s entertaining while engaging.” — Jessika Phillips, President, NOW Marketing Group.
“I want to be more deliberate with my time and attention in 2018, and more generous with the opportunities that come my way. After years of saying yes to everything, I’m in a place where I can choose quality over quantity. If an opportunity doesn’t bring me joy or feel like a perfect fit this year, I want to share the wealth and pass it along to someone else in my amazing network.” — Lindsay Champion, Food and Wellness Director at PureWow and Author
“Working for yourself requires a lot of persistence, hustling, and passion, and it can be easy to forget that you have to know when to say ‘when.’ My resolution is to find the perfect balance of passion and of patience, to put things out into the world and wait for what’s meant to be to find it’s way back. I also want to make sure I’m doing work that makes me happy and, in doing so, get better at saying “no.” I think as women in the workplace, “no” can be one of the hardest words to say, especially when it comes to passing up on a work opportunity.” — Helaina Hovitz, Editor, Journalist, Content and Social Media Strategist, and Author of After 9/11.
“Manage my time more intentionally by blocking off an hour every Sunday to allocate time during the week to specific tasks.” — Camille Ricketts, Head of Content and Marketing, First Round Capital.
“I’ve written over 300 articles for over 20 major publications, I’ve spoken at a TEDx event and numerous other industry events, and I’m ultra-active on social media, but nothing has built my personal brand like publishing my first book. A book is a business card on steroids. It changes the entire relationship with clients, peers, event organizers, and other audiences. Now that my audience has shifted since I wrote my first book, I need a new book to attract my new audience and establish credibility with them, and this is the year I’m going to make it happen.” — Josh Steimle, Founder, Influencer Inc
“In 2018 one of our big marketing resolutions is to double down on our paid content inside our online store and in our social media academy. When we created our 12-month 2018 content plan, we started first with our paying members and the content they will receive and then we worked from there. We find that many entrepreneurs are just focused on the next course or launch and we think differently about that. We want to continue to provide so much value that our clients and members continue to become raving fans and our biggest supporters!” — Katie Lance, Founder of Katie Lance Consulting, Keynote Speaker and Author of #GetSocialSmart
“I would like to focus on building my digital brand and doing one thing every day that enhances my digital identity, visibility, and credibility. I continue to develop content that conveys my mission to enhance my identity. I will leverage Facebook Ads and SEO to increase my visibility. Finally, I will prioritize case studies and testimonial to build credibility. By focusing on these three digital branding tactics, I plan to take my brand to the next level. Watch out!” — Juntae DeLane, CEO of Digital DeLane Founder of Digital Branding Institute
Disclaimer: This article first appeared on inc.com and was written by Melanie Deziel.