With the new year just a few days away, it's time to think about our plans for the next 12 months. I took a look at my list and pulled six that I thought would be good for everyone.
1) Be funnier. This applies to my family, my work life, and this blog... Life is more enjoyable when you can make others laugh. So I promise to try to make my wife, my daughter, my employees, my vendors, my clients and you laugh more in 2008.
2) Treat your staff well. You can't do it with your food, but no one says you can't have fun at work. Plan some outings -- during company time - when you and your team go play. Bring some ice cream to the office on a hot summer day and take a short break with the staff. Plan a surprise management meeting for you and your key employees, offsite at a great resort. Invite their spouses if you're feeling really generous. Have fun with them and they'll return the favor.
3) Find a brand new source of profit. Even if it's small, anytime you can add to your bottom line, you're better off. It may be adding some new products, it may be just adding Google Ads or some affiliate links on your website. Or it could be that you hire staff in a new department and develop a new service line. Whatever your plan, grow your business.
4) Write a book. Ok, that was a joke, and an attempt at working more on my first resolution.
5) Give back. Nothing is more fulfilling than giving back. You can do it through your company or on your own, but give time, money and ideas to others and you'll find huge rewards. If you can get your staff involved, you'll find new ways to make a big difference. Consider donating one work day of you and your staff's time to Habitat for Humanity or another worthy organization where you can do some fun manual labor.
6) Delegate, don't abdicate. Spend this year giving jobs to others, but know that you'll always have to be responsible for their work. If you hire well and manage carefully, you can keep your hands in the business but have time for different pursuits.
Have a wonderful New Year!