This post is sponsored in collaboration with AT&T and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. New Year’s resolutions for entrepreneurs often revolve around a word or a number. Sometimes, it’s both. Often, entreprenuers think that by focusing on their “word for the year,” they’re going to achieve all their goals and hit those magic financial numbers.
Say goodbye to the word.
Before I go too deep into the why, let me introduce you to my neice! Isn’t it amazing how looking at a child, especially a baby, makes you see everything so clearly? It’s the same when I look at my own children. I know what I want to show them, how I want them to see me, and all the reasons why that’s the most important thing in the world to me. I see the big picture, and how all the the pieces fit together. It’s not even something I have to think about.
My neice is the youngest girl in the family. I want to inspire her and the rest of our young girls to embrace their digitally-infused childhoods and pursue entrepreneural endeavors at young ages. I want to teach them to give, and not just receive. They need to know about girl power. I want them to embrace their Latino culture. Part of that, is valuing people over things. I hope to teach them a strong work ethic, while still appreciating that family and community comes first.
Do you think I could accurately define my entire role or goals as an aunt or mother in one word? Of course not! Neither can an entrepreneur.
Imagine for a moment that this is your year. It’s the year you’re going hire employees, open a new location, or maybe even get VC funding. You walk into your most important meeting, ever. It’s the one that’s going to change your business. Expecting to be questioned about your goals, you’ve prepared. You have a plan, and you’re ready to lay it out for whoever might help you along. Instead, you’re confronted with one intitial question; “what do you want?”
That’s not the question you had prepared for. Not sure how to respond, you declare, “I want to conquer! There’s an awkward silence. In an attempt to break the silence, you start pitching, talking about all your elaborate plans. Again, you’re asked, “what do you want?”
No matter how powerful your word, it can’t truly define your purpose. It won’t explain your mission. It doesn’t tell what you want to be known for or why it matters to your business.
New Year’s resolutions for entrepreneurs should be approached differently than one’s personal resolutions. Eating a healthier diet, buying a house, moving, getting a new job, or learning something new are common personal goals. They’re all wonderful, and a single word might be sufficient to pave the way. As an entrepreneur, you always have to look at the big picture. In fact, that big picture needs to be clear to your clients, associates, and anyone you might interact with professionally. That doesn’t mean the details aren’t important. However, they’re just components, not the base structure.
One of the reasons people like to choose a “word for the year” is because it helps them focus. I won’t deny that the big picture can be overwhelming, at times. If you are a fan of the the-word-approach, try picking a new word each month that fits into your mission statement for the year. You can break down your purpose and use a new word each month that aligns with your plans. All of this should lead back to your mission and purpose for the year. They don’t need to be replicates of your overall business mission statement and purpose, just what you want this year to be about.
Personally, I’m doing everything I can this year to increase some of my technical skills in areas that will allow me to work less, while yeilding even greater results. Spending time with friends, family, and involved in my community is a big part of my overall goals.
AT&T fielded a research study to explore the role of technology in U.S. Latinos’ pursuit of their goals and aspirations across various aspects of their lives.
say technology plays a big role in keeping socially and culturally connected
say technology enables them to stay connected to their Hispanic identity
Feel more empowered through technology
believe technology is key to the empowerment of the Latino community in the U.S.
AT&T is also fueling a conversation about how people can use technology and mobility for the greater good.
My son Pedro is learning how to play the guitar. Although he’s taking a class in school, he’s learned more through independent efforts, using online videos and learning tools! As a Christmas present to the family, he played a song he taught himself. It was the first time the extended family had heard him play. How has online learning empowered you or someone you know?
I became a Bilingual Wish Grantor!
Last summer, Pedro and I were the volunteer Coaches for my triplets’ soccer team, which included two of their cousins and many of their friends! It was the most amazing time, and what inspired me to spend more time working in my community, with my family. I also worked on a campaign that promoted voluteerism. While working on that campaign, I found my own dream volunteer position. This year, I’ll be working in my local community with the Make A Wish Foundation, as a Bilingual Wish Grantor in the San Francisco Bay Area!
New Year’s goals for entrepreneurs can put us under a lot of pressure. Stay your path. Create goals that are well-rounded and compliment your values. Incorporate good-will into your purpose. Many of the most successful businesses give a lot to the communities they serve. That’s not a coincidence.
Many of us have either learned modern technology as it began to evolve, or were born into it as it was catching momentum. However, our youngest and our oldest members of society do not have the same advantage. It’s up to as as entrepreneurs to provide not only a great user experience, but the support and education, so everyone can access the same benefits.