New Year “Stickability”.

If I achieved every New Year’s Resolution I made I would be a different man today - probably slimmer and fitter for a start. What is it about making promises to ourselves and then reneging on them once it becomes too hard? Not having the “stickability” to complete on promises to ourselves must be a flaw in all of us from birth. Or maybe not, after all, we all learned how to walk despite the number of times we fell. As babies we don’t make resolutions to learn how to walk, no matter how much it hurts. So maybe it’s the making of the resolution and the significance that we put into the promise that stops us. Fear of failing is a strong emotional reason to not make a resolution in the first place. If you don’t make a resolution then there is zero chance of failure, right?

The recent GEM report into enterprise throughout the countries of the world found that the fear of failure was higher among UK entrepreneurs than their counterparts in the US - and worse still in the report, Northern Ireland was the highest region in the UK. Fear of potentially failing can stop a person from starting a business and stopping a business from growing. Making a declaration about what you are going to do and that you are going to succeed many sound counter intuitive to a fear of failure, but it’s the only antidote to the situation. Authentically declaring what you are going to do in your business can galvanise staff into action and customers will respond to you differently. While it may feel like arrogance or recklessness, it will occur to others as decisiveness and positive leadership – traits that are always attractive.  

Making that declaration or resolution requires courage, confronting the well-practised fear that you will fail and look foolish. I understand that fear but do it anyway. 2017 is gone and 2018 is now on the horizon. 2018 will also come and go, so don’t take yourself too seriously and do it anyway. How are you going to grow that business of yours? When are you going to start that business idea of yours? In Dungannon we are lucky that we are surrounded by a culture of entrepreneurship and failing is regarded as just a way of learning for the next time. A wise business man from Donaghmore once told me that we all make decisions that we regret. Its only a mistake when we know it’s the wrong decision and do nothing about it.  

So, for what it’s worth, my New Year’s Resolution this year is to make a meaningful difference to the people of Zambia. I don’t know what that difference will be or what it will look like, but there it is – the cat is out of the bag now! Oh, and maybe loose an inch of my waist -  but I’m not sure about the “stickability” around that one.

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