With a full month of the new year now behind us, it may be time for a quick check. Are we on track with some of our 2013 goals and plans? Do we need to reset them or course-correct to get back on track?
StatisticBrain cites a study from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania that says that, while 45% of the population typically makes New Year’s Resolutions, only about 8% of the population actually achieves them. What’s more, it appears that there is an age correlation (the older you get, the less likely you are to achieve your resolutions) and, of course, the time correlation (resolutions weakening as months go by, with the 1st month being the most significant drop).
So, if you’ve started to fall off the wagon, here’s just a friendly reminder to do a goal-check this weekend. I’ve mentioned before that I subscribe to David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology of weekly, monthly, annual reviews of goals set at different horizon levels. What’s your process for reviewing your goals (personal or work-related)?
On to the news for your weekend reading.
1) Caine Monroy – An 11-year-old kid who, bored with being alone in his father’s shop, created an entire arcade out of cardboard. And, created a movement of sorts, actually. This TED video is about his lessons as an entrepreneur. The lessons themselves are not new. What’s fantastic is the innovativeness and never-give-up attitude of this kid – something we could all learn from.
[I'm just so impressed with this little guy that I'm sticking with just him in this segment for this week. I watched an 11-minute video in late-2012 through Dan Pink's blog and am very glad he is now getting more attention.]
2) Economy Fundamentals – Things are looking up, surely, based on the first month’s data on jobs and key metrics. Additionally, foreclosures are down. This is more a US-centric view, of course. Globally, things are still pretty dismal.
3) Bold Predictions About Software – Marc Andreesen, the tech guru known for his “software will eat the world” mantra, made a couple of bold predictions recently. a) Retail will die, long live eCommerce and b) The future of Enterprise businesses will depend on a tidal wave of ongoing trends – this is a long interview, filled with many, many ideas – but, read it through carefully a couple of times as there are many nuggets.
4) The Crunchies Awards – No, nothing to do with the hair accessory popularized by Hillary Clinton. These are the annual TechCrunch awards for best startups, etc. And, in all fairness, Andreesen’s predictions are highly-valued: he’s won best “Venture Capitalist” 2 years in a row. Some good tech startups in the various award categories here – worth a look-through.
Tips, Tools, Resources:
5) Buying a Business – While there is a LOT that goes into a business-buying decision, and the required due diligence will vary by industry, business size, etc., this is a good basic how-to.
6) Making Financial Decisions – Speaking of buying businesses, beyond just the stats and facts, there are behavioral and cognitive biases that get in the way of making good decisions. Here are just 6 ways our brains make bad financial decisions. I intend to write a lot more on this whole topic shortly.
7) What a Business Can Learn From Airports – You read that right. Seth Godin has some interesting ideas for us here. As much as I hate airports, I have to admit that there are some good points here.
8) Why Small Businesses Fail – Another one from Seth Godin this week. Mostly about marketing, of course, but, in his usual style, he cuts to the heart of the matter.
9) Small Business Insurance – As a work-in-progress Financial Advisor, I find this one area that a lot of self-employed people tend to either gloss over or assume they cannot really afford. While this Yahoo Finance article on small business insurance evaluation is more of a starting point, it provides some good reminders and checkpoints.
10) On Creating a Good Strategy – A cool, short Harvard Business Review video on a much-discussed and much-misunderstood aspect of business.
Happy Reading. If any of these articles resonate with you, or you would like to add your own thoughts, please do so in the comments section below.