5 Business Habits to Dump in 2016

5 Business Habits to Dump in 2016


By Suzanne Grove

Every year around this time a concept emerges from the exhilarating, exhausting, and beautifully-decorated fog of the holiday season: The New Year’s Resolution. These words shout at us from the front pages of magazine racks at the grocery store checkout. Our friends and family make bold declarations on social media about the changes they plan to make. Radio and television hosts run special segments on willpower and the latest inventions designed to make you more fit, happy, and wealthy for the New Year.

Unfortunately, the focus too often remains solely on revamping your personal life. After the hustle and excitement of the holidays, your business life might also need a makeover. So, rather than slumping back to the office with sugar plum memories dancing in your head, follow the four tips below to dump old work habits and bring about a more invigorating and successful 2016.

  1. Dump: Spreading yourself too thin.

Do for 2016: Focus your time and energy on your passions and activities that utilize your talents.  While you might be tempted to volunteer for five different organizations, emcee a few charity events, attend every fundraiser, and serve on multiple boards, you will build a much stronger professional profile if you’re able to give your best effort to each activity.

  1. Dump: Self-Defeating Beliefs

Do for 2016: Make confidence with a measured amount of realism your new mantra. It’s easy to take on a pessimistic attitude when you’re bogged down with work in the middle of the winter. But negativity and heading into new projects with doubts and self-defeating talk never makes the situation better.

  1. Dump: Thinking in terms of “always” and “never”

Do for 2016: Embrace new ideas and re-examine old habits. All professionals strive to reach a comfortable and familiar groove in their work lives, but you can easily become stagnant if you refuse to shake things up now and then. Stop and take the time to analyze your partnerships, marketing, finances, and the basic processes essential to your business. If you always go in one direction or always turn down certain ideas, take some time to delve deeper into why you operate this way.

4. Dump: Approval-seeking

    Do for 2016: Learn you can make choices that are best for you, your business, and your professional life without needing the approval of everyone around you. Everyone desires to be liked and to earn approval—it’s a common topic in psychological study. But this doesn’t mean you should bend against your instincts or business acumen to make others like you. Sure your business partners or lenders might need to sign off on certain business plans, but don’t be afraid to stand up for your ideas when they come up against opposition.



Entrepreneurial Insight

Entrepreneurial Insight

How to Burn the Midnight Oil
(Without Getting Burned)

When new entrepreneurs make the initial decision to start a company, they often envision working fewer hours and experiencing a more leisurely schedule—one that allows them to tailor their work life around their personal life and not the other way around.

But, in most cases, not too much time passes before these individuals discover the workload involved with any startup will require burning the midnight oil. In fact, most studies estimate the majority of entrepreneurs will have no less than a 60-hour work week, a conservative number compared to the 80-hour weeks of many famous entrepreneurs.

If you want to put your best foot forward as a new business owner, you can’t afford to just dip your toes in to get a feel for the temperature: you have to plunge yourself in full force. After all, these are your dreams you’re working to make come true. In addition, depending on the size of your company, you might have a lot of people depending on you.

So, how do you prevent burning out before you even get the chance to light your industry on fire with your new business? Read the tips below to get a handle on how to achieve a balance that will keep your work life and personal life running smoothly.


  • Don’t be afraid to shut down at night. While it might seem alluring to knock a few more items off your “To-Do” list right before you go to sleep, this will only do more harm than good in the long run. The problem with this habit is two-fold. First, if you’re groggy and exhausted, you simply won’t be contributing your best work. Second, you’re harming your body and mind when you fail to get enough sleep. You won’t only be setting yourself up for failure that night when you email the wrong person or insert the wrong set of calculations in a project—you’ll most likely also need a pot of coffee just to make it through the whole next work day. Turn off your devices and realize that by hitting the hay, you’re taking the first steps to a more productive tomorrow.


  • Focus on your best working times. Everyone has a different entrepreneurial style. This not only includes how you manage your clients and motivate your employees, but also the times at which you work to your fullest potential. Some business men and women successfully pack in a full cardio routine, eat on a protein-packed breakfast, and put in two hours of work before the rest of us even hit snooze on our alarm clocks. It’s OK if that schedule works best for them. But if, no matter how hard you try, you just aren’t a morning person, don’t beat yourself up. Sure, you will still have to conform to the norms of 9-5 business hours and take a few early-morning meetings, but, when you don’t have those appointments, focus your time and energy on the hours that work best for you. Tackle your most important projects at the time when you’re the most alert and passionate about your work.


  • Schedule time for yourself. Write personal time into your calendar. Whether it takes the click of a mouse or the stroke of a pen, do it. And don’t hit delete or erase unless absolutely necessary. It’s easy to forget about the basics like a date night with your significant other or a much-needed night on the couch with popcorn and a queue of your favorite TV series on Netflix. And while it may first appear like a waste of time, it’s not. In fact, everyone needs that personal time to physically and mentally recharge. Without it, you will be unhappy at work, and that will reflect in all aspects of your business.


  • Stay in-tune with your body. Staying physically strong can also help you stay mentally sharp as an entrepreneur. The body and mind communicate with one another continually. This is why making sure to get exercise and eat right are key. Exercise will not only keep you healthy, but also serves as a great way to eliminate stress from the job. Eating the right foods can do the same. Getting sick might be inevitable, but by staying in-tune with your body and listening to its signals that you’re overworked will help you lose less days at the office. And when you do become sick don’t always force yourself to suit up and go to the office—you risk making others sick and will slow your recovery time.

Workforce Assessment

Working Together to Provide Resources for Recruitment and Training

Debi Balog
Workforce Development Director

As an employer, you know that to remain competitive in today’s market, upgrading the skills of your workforce is an ongoing process and critical to your business success. With funding for training decreasing significantly and the cost of employee recruitment rising, “going it alone” can be costly and a major undertaking for one company.

In an effort to provide quality training and recruitment programs at an affordable cost, JARI is asking you to complete a workforce assessment to help identify training priorities and recruitment needs.

Your input is key to planning and offering relevant programs. Please return the assessment to Suzanne via email at or by fax at (814) 535-8677 by January 4, 2015. Company specific information is confidential; results will be compiled in a summary format.

If you have any questions, please contact Debi Balog at (814) 262-8366 or . Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the assessment.

Click here for the assessment.

Upcoming Vision 2025 Public Visioning Sessions

Upcoming Vision 2025
Public Visioning Sessions

Strong Sense of

5:30pm; 01/19/2016
JWFI Training Room
84 Iron St.

Vibrant and Open Local
5:30pm; 01/21/2016
Feeder Canal Building
647 Main St.

5:30pm; 01/26/2015
JAHA Heritage Discovery Center
201 6th Ave

Morning Session:
10:00am; 01/28/2015
JAHA Heritage Discovery Center
201 6th Ave