2014 is here and many of us are in full swing trying to form new habits and break old ones. While I have a few personal resolutions for the New Year, as a business owner, entrepreneur and an official “Gen Y Planner,” I plan to make 2014 a big year.
Below are a few of my business resolutions for 2014:
1. Trust the process (and document it).
Having recently founded Workable Wealth, I find myself randomly responding to e-mails, doing one-off social media posts, typing out or piecing together engagement e-mails from previously written ones and so on. Creating and implementing a process behind my actions is a goal for the New Year. With 10 years in the industry, I know the benefits having a documented protocol can have on my time and capacity. 2014 will be a year to systematize and streamline.
2. Get out from behind the link sharing and connect with people.
I'm a big fan and user of social media in my practice. I love the value it adds to my business and how it enables me to share a message. One of my favorite parts about it though is the connections I'm able to make with other people because of it. Sure, it's great that I can share my blog posts and other Gen Y-related articles, but being able to engage in conversation, cross-promote other businesses and planners and ultimately build relationships is better for me professionally and personally than just pushing links out there.
3. Forgive myself.
There are times in 2013 when I should have been working on Workable Wealth and wasn't. There are times that I should have spent with family and was instead working. There are e-mails I never got around to responding to, people I didn't call back and an opportunities that I lost. These things will likely happen again in 2014. However, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. The energy and time wasted on the “should've, would've, could'ves” is energy that's best allocated taking stock of mistakes I may have made, identifying what can be changed for the future and moving forward with progress.
4. Focus on the whys and hows
I'm a follower of the lifetime learning model. I understand that I don't know what I don't know and therefore approach each situation as a learning opportunity. Asking why and how are two questions that uncover many of those lessons. Whether I'm following the acronym WAIT (why am I talking?) in a client meeting to ensure I'm being an active listener or understanding the how and why behind another adviser's solution to a cash flow, investment or insurance planning question, these are opportunities for me to engage in learning. Not to mention that it's the why (why is this important to me?) and how (how will I reach this?) behind each of my personal and professional goals that gets me invested in reaching them.
5. Continue to be a valuable contributor to my mastermind group.
If you don't already have a mastermind or study group you're a part of, I highly recommend joining one or forming one of your own. My mastermind group is composed of six Gen Y financial Planners from across the country who have also launched their own companies in recent years. This group has proved invaluable in sharing ideas, resources, processes and insight into technology, hiring, marketing, client management and more. I'm grateful for the insight they've given me and will remain an active contributor and advocate for their businesses in the New Year as well.
Mary Beth Storjohann is the founder of Workable Wealth, a financial planning firm for Gen Y, by Gen Y. You can find her on Twitter at @marybstorj