10 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Entrepreneurs in Their 20s Dominate 2015

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2015: It’s a new year and as good a time as any to set some new goals for yourself. For entrepreneurs, those goals will probably be business and lifestyle-oriented. But what kind of goals will actually make you more successful this year?

Here are 10 resolutions that could help any entrepreneur dominate 2015.

Don’t even think about goals — just do it.

In the time it takes you to even think about and list your goals, someone out there is several steps ahead because they’ve already started just doing theirs. Some even say that making resolutions is a waste of time because most people fail at them anyway, but we can never be short of new goals to make ourselves better as long as we’re actually doing them. If it’s worth doing, don’t think, just do it — take a harsh note from hard-ass entrepreneur Dan Peña:

“ … You can accomplish almost anything through clear, absolute and laser beam focus … Just f*cking do it.’ Don’t think about it. Don’t ask so many questions. Don’t Google it, don’t spreadsheet it, don’t Wikipedia it. Just f*cking do it!

Don’t make this year about the money.

Anyone who has made themselves into a successful millionaire did so by never actually focusing on the money. Steve Sims is the private concierge to the elite who pay him crazy amounts of money to put together even crazier experiences — trips to space, exploring the Titanic underwater, making you a real-life James Bond — and if there’s one thing he’d tell you to focus on this year, it would be hard work.

“People put too much emphasis on money. People say you have to value the dollar — you have to value the work! You have to know what it takes to get some work. If someone does something really easy and they make a million dollars, well good luck to him. But you’ve got to value the guy that’s slugging away, cleaning that hill or cleaning up those bins or washing those tanks, or just whatever it is getting his hands dirty. You’ve got to value hard work.“

Spend your money on smarter things.

For people who live high-stress lives (which is basically everyone who works to survive and make something of themselves), it’d be smart to spend your money on things like taking care of yourself, eating healthy and reducing stress by “buying happiness.” Yes, studies show that you can actually buy happiness in the form of fun experiences that create happy memories that last longer than any object ever could. When you can look back on a year full of great memories, that’s how you know it was money well spent (after saving some of course).

Go to bed earlier.

There’s no point in waking up at the crack of dawn if you didn’t sleep well the night before. To make make sure you can wake up early and make everyday this year more productive than the last, try going to sleep earlier. Entrepreneur and fitness coach Ameer Rosic suggests going to bed at 10 p.m. every night.

“Sleep controls everything, controls the energy, controls our will power, controls our concentration, controls everything about who we are. My actual pyramid of optimal health is sleep. Please make that a priority — get to bed at 10 o’clock. The whole idea of ‘I burned the midnight oil, I only get three hours of sleep,’ is terrible. I’m going to burst your bubble: You’re going to be very sick very soon. All your drive, all your fire will be burnt out, and where is your company going to go? Down the drain. Respect your body. The healthier body you have, the healthier mind you have; the healthier mind you have, the better your company is. So respect yourself first. Go to bed at 10 p.m. — that’s number one.“

Take more risks this year.

Make a resolution to have more courage to take great leaps. This year, you should take more risks, fail often and learn as much as you can — by year’s end, you might find that you’ve accomplished more than you ever thought possible. Don’t ever put yourself in the position of regretting taking half measures and losing out on all the big opportunities. Former drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross knows that to reach the top of that mountain of success, you can’t be afraid to fall down the slope a few times.

The only person that hasn’t lost, he never played. If you played a game, you’re going to lose. One of my teachers told me that a long time ago. He said, ‘Listen, Rick, the only person that’s never lost — trust me — he never played.’ Michael Jordan, they say the greatest basketball player of all time, check his loss record — he lost a lot of games, but he still came up on top.”

Be more generous and thankful this year.

A huge part of making your own success is to be thankful, gracious and generous. Especially when you are close to having nothing for yourself, giving to others in any way you can is actually one of the best ways to elevate your status — you never know who you can help and how that person might thank you. Bio-hacker Dave Asprey knows a thing or two about how being a good person makes you a good entrepreneur.

“… if you’re not thankful for the things you’ve got, and you are holding a grudge, you will suck as an entrepreneur compared to what you can do when you stop holding grudges and you realize that almost nothing that happens is about you. It’s not personal; you just take it personally … that’s the trick to being a good entrepreneur, and honestly a good human being … ”

Try not to be such a workaholic.

But isn’t hard work the only key to survival and success? Yes, but say you do become a successful millionaire — you look back and you might realize you sacrificed your youth and time with family and loved ones, none of which any amount of money can buy back. Ameer Rosic, a former drug dealer who transformed himself into an inspirational entrepreneur, knows a little about this, so listen to his advice:

“The whole idea of just working everyday, doing the same thing, that’s like suicide for me. So go out there, enjoy life! It’s not about making money, it’s not about creating big companies. Life is so short; we have so little time on this beautiful planet … Forget about the hustle and grind for one second and enjoy life to it’s full entity. Have fun with your friends, have fun with your family, enjoy the experiences, because it’s experiences that truly bring happiness into our world.

Set even higher goals for yourself.

Even if they sound absolutely impossible, you have your entire life to meet them, so why not start now? Some people might set realistic goals for themselves each year that they know they have a high chance of meeting — so they meet them, then what? The best things in life are the hardest to attain, so always set goals that are just out of reach. Entrepreneur and business guru Dan Peña spent his life creating impossible amounts of wealth only to find in the end that he should have gone higher.

“ … People ask if I have my life to live over again what I’d change. Number one, I would have set higher goals. Higher goals because I’ve fulfilled 90 percent of what I’ve said I’d fulfill, but I would have set higher goals.”

Take care of yourself.

It might be the one goal most people fail at reaching every year, and that’s why it’s the most important. The high-stress and workaholic lifestyle most self-employed entrepreneurs live takes a high toll on your mental and physical health. Sometimes the stress is so great, it makes what you are working towards cost too high a price to even be worth it — if you are going to push an engine beyond what it’s capable of, you have to maintain and tune it often if you don’t want it to completely break down. Former Googler and entrepreneur Ellen Huerta is an expert on combatting a stressful work life.

“I do think that there’s part of the startup culture that’s like ‘sacrifice everything’ including your well being, your health, and just like throw it all out on the line. I worry about that because I really think that your well being is incredibly important, like getting sleep and eating good food and having alone time, time to think, time to reflect, like having solitude, all of that I think is really important and fuels creativity … So my advice is take care of yourself, don’t let the stress of it kill you, and don’t feed off the stress.”

Just survive.

Sometimes it’s the smallest of things that anyone could want. Of course everyone wants to make every year more successful than the last, but realistically, anyone who lives “the struggle” would really just be happy to make it to the next year alive, healthy and in better shape than last year, if it can be helped. To all the small-time entrepreneurs, self-made success seekers and everyone else who survives by hard work alone, I salute you and wish you the very best.

Have a great, productive and fortune-filled year!

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