The New Year is a time of diet oaths, savings pledges, and the hope that this is actually the year to break a bad habit or two. New Years is a time to look at what works and what doesn’t, and attempt to purge habits that hurt us and the people around us. But what if, in addition to promising you will exercise more, you took stock of your professional habits as well?
As the world focuses on hope and the idea of a renewed energy and fresh start, this is also a time to think about your biggest business habits and choose what to keep and what to leave behind.
Start with the things you can see.
Sometimes as franchises grow, the branding can get a little helter-skelter. A great new idea comes in, followed by a concept location that looks completely different from the others. Two years later, the branding colors, logo, and design are changed yet again. In this scenario, the result isn’t necessarily better branding, but three different designs that probably don’t connect in the eyes of the consumer. Franchising is all about continuity, so this year, start prioritizing branding uniformity. Stop tweaking in the never ending search for perfection, and start systemizing. In a franchise, branding consistency is perfection.
Let go of the losses, but keep the education.
I have some bad news: If you own a business, at some point you are going to fail. Hard. You will forget something, neglect something, or fail to see something crucial that has the potential to haunt you until the end of your days. The one and only way to exorcise these failures is to face them, understand where you went wrong, and turn them from plagues to benefactors. How? Stop obsessing over failures and turn them into the greatest prize in life—education. Beating yourself up and ruminating over mistakes gets you nowhere, and you’re likely to repeat the same blunders again and again. If you instead examine your shortcomings with the same eye as a gemologist looking for diamonds in the dirt, you’re going to find opportunities for growth. Ditch the guilt, take the education.
Let go of the need to be everything to everyone, and strengthen your faith in people.
Whether you are the head of a massive franchise fleet or just starting out, one of the golden rules of business that some franchisees never let themselves learn is when to delegate. A lot of people think delegation is mostly about decreasing their workload, which is true, but not the entire story of why delegation is necessary. If you don’t delegate, your business can never grow, and sometimes growth is essential to survival. If you have a hard time delegating, it’s probably because you think other people won’t do the task as well as you do, and you’re right. The thing is, they’ll never learn how to do something as well as you—or even better—if you don’t give them the chance. This year, abandon the impulse to do it all and increase your will to have faith in people. After all, where would you be now if no one ever took a chance on you?
Purge bad relationships, and nourish amazing ones.
Sometimes it’s hard to cut ties in business, but chains to a toxic partnership can ruin your business—and your overall well being. If you have been stuck with someone who just can’t seem to get along, do a cost benefit analysis that goes beyond the financials. Is this bad relationship poisoning your company? How is it affecting morale across the board? Sometimes value is about more than dollars. If you are in business with a truly toxic person, whether it’s the person who cleans the windows or your twin brother and business partner, take a moment to imagine what your business would look like without them in it. If you do what it takes to set yourself free from toxic relationships in your business, everyone will benefit, and so will the bottom line. Even if the choice seems to cost in the short run, your company will benefit by leaps and bounds in the long run. Toxic energy is a quick and widespread contaminate, and no business can function optimally around it for long.
Get rid of sleepless nights, keep your sanity and health.
If you’ve been burning the midnight oil to “get it done,” now is the time to recognize that slowly killing yourself is no way to run a business. Sure, sometimes we all have to buckle down and pull an all-nighter, but regularly failing to take care of basic physical needs isn’t a long haul strategy with any hope of success. If you often skip meals and neglect a good night’s sleep, if you never exercise, or if you can’t remember the last time you looked at a vegetable, it’s time for an intervention. Business owners aren’t required to be paragons of health, but if you are the primary lifeblood of your business and your health is poor, how can your business thrive? Sacrificing your own well being because you’re working ends up undoing all the work you have done. This is the year to start treating yourself with more respect so that you have more good energy to give.
Kyle Zagrodzky is president of OsteoStrong, the health and wellness system with a focus on stronger bones, improved strength, and better balance in less than 10 minutes a week using scientifically proven and patented osteogenic loading technology. OsteoStrong introduced a new era in modern wellness and anti-aging in 2011 and has since helped thousands of clients between ages 8 and 98 improve strength, balance, endurance, and bone density. In 2014, the brand signed commitments with nine regional developers to launch 500 new locations across America. Today, the OsteoStrong brand is staying true to its growth towards a brand with global reach with the addition of more franchise sales and new regional developers.