A Startup Guide to New Year’s Resolutions (and How to Actually Live Up to Them)

First and foremost, we wish all of our partners and clients a very happy, healthy and successful 2020.  We did not only enter a new year, we entered a brand new decennium. While “normal” people are all together purchasing gym subscriptions, switching to vegan diets and working behind standing desks because sitting is the new smoking, us entrepreneurs should take a moment to reflect and look forward too. After all, establishing proper goals can be crucial for long-term, entrepreneurial success. The largest problem with New Year’s resolutions, however, is that 80% of them fail by February already, according to U.S. News. Time to turn that around. We put together some ideas to consider when preparing your 2020 resolutions in a successful manner.

1.Reflect on Last Year’s Resolutions
Chances are you have a document with 2019’s resolutions or goals in some lost corner of your Google Drive, which was last edited in January 2019. Take a moment to go through this document. Did you achieve what you wanted to achieve? If not, what went wrong? Critically look at how the goals were formulated and adjust if necessary. It might be an idea to alter them according to the classic SMART principle. Meaning that a goal you put on paper should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. 

2. The Eternal Power of Feedback
Remember that tacky saying that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? Actively ask and listen to feedback as part of the reflection process. Your coworkers and partners probably know a lot more about you and your working style than you initially suspect, and therewith represent a valuable source of insights on how to improve. Stay open, calm and analytical.

3. Communication Remains Key
You are probably aware that communication plays a crucial role in any organization, also in your startup. In almost all cases, it can be improved in one way or another. Generally speaking, there are four types of communication to be distinguished, being verbal, non-verbal, written and visual (videos, charts, website, content etc.). For all four categories, be clear and concise. Sharing your thoughts, intentions and plans efficiently and effectively with others, is a fundamental part of growing your business, attracting new talent and clients and enabling innovation.

4. Get Active in the Community
Amsterdam’s startup community is flourishing. There are tons of relevant events which you could not only sign up to, but actually attend.

Spread your knowledge, learn something new and grow your network. Talk to the people in your co-working space, go to entrepreneurial speed dating breakfasts and pay it forward. The reason the Amsterdam startup ecosystem is so strong, is because of its entrepreneurial spirits that keep it alive. Contributing to that might be extremely rewarding.

5. Get Active in the Office
Remember we dedicated a blogpost to staying healthy in the office? You might want to read it again if you are looking to lose those extra Christmas pounds. In a nutshell, consider introducing walking meetings, ditching the elevator for the stairs, BYOL (bring your own lunch), drinking your cappuccino sugarless and drinking lots of water.

6. Think About the Exit
Although there is plenty of advice to be found about getting started (thik lean startup) and unlocking growth, thinking about potential exits should not be underrated either. From day one you should have an idea of what your options are, so that you won’t confuse an offer your can’t refuse with one where money is being left on the table. We will dedicate an article about exit strategies in the near future to help you out with this one.

7. Spend Less Time in the Office
When was the last time you took a holiday or simply time to relax? Although it is very easy to spend 60 hours a week behind your desk on making your business thrive, it is not always the most effective way. In order to guarantee that you will be able to keep up with business, it is essential to create a healthy work-life balance. To illustrate, research has shown time and again that the six-hour workday boosts productivity and is beneficial for relationships between team members. Quality over quantity.

What characterizes your 2020 resolutions?

About Amstel Lab

Amstel Lab partners with startups and scaleups to commercialize your business. On the back of our experience, we have developed the unique Amstel Lab method: a tailor-made approach to maximize success. We test your markets, refine your product, innovate your commercial approach and execute your strategies. Any good idea is worth seeing through. 

Want to learn more? Contact us through [email protected]