An example of table setting is seen on display at a State Dinner preview event at the White House in Washington, November 24, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a State Dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later in the evening.    REUTERS/Jim Young   (UNITED STATES POLITICS FOOD)

An example of table setting is seen on display at a State Dinner preview event at the White House in Washington, November 24, 2009. U.S. President Barack Obama will hold a State Dinner in honor of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later in the ... evening. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES POLITICS FOOD)

Happy New Year! What Do You Resolve to Do Better?

By Features Business on Main

A look at what entrepreneurs are resolving to do better in their businesses, as well as their personal lives, when the new year rolls around.

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Passion, drive and focus are qualities that many successful entrepreneurs share. Not surprisingly, they also share similar New Year’s resolutions.

When we asked several entrepreneurs what their personal and professional goals were for 2012, their resolutions rang true for one another regardless of their industry. Some popular resolutions, captured below, included the following: Grow a business; pursue self-improvement; achieve better work-life balance.

Striving for knowledge, growth and work-life balance

“I have resolved to allocate some time for reading additional business literature,” says John J. Flynn, president and CEO of Fleet Advantage, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based truck leasing company. “I think there are a lot of good books that have been published since the 2008 economic meltdown, which may provide valuable insight and ideas that can be implemented to mitigate business risk and enhance profit and overall viability.”

Constant among entrepreneurs is the tug-of-war for work-life balance. For Flynn’s part, he says, “[I] will try to work from my home office one day per week to lessen distractions and interruptions and allow greater time for contemplation and creativity.”

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Finally, Flynn wants to focus on continued growth of his company at a rate of 50 to 70 percent, invest in emerging technologies, and better train his staff in the new year. He’s looking to “complete the process of making the entire Fleet Advantage trucking fleet the greenest in the nation, with every tractor running on clean diesel technology in 2012.”

Trying to turn a profit in 2012 … and take some time off

For John O'Malley, president of Planet Sun, a comprehensive sun care and UV-protection products company on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, the aim this year is to turn a profit at his four-year-old business. “That’s No. 1 for us,” says O’Malley, adding that he also wants to bring his products to the mainland U.S. “It’s really incumbent upon us — a matter of time and effort to get our products to the mainland,” he says. “The interest is there. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

Like most entrepreneurs, O’Malley is always striving. “It’s all about self-improvement,” he says. To that end, “another resolution would be to have the employees read at least four books on business, and four books on leadership. We are heavy here on education and training in those two areas,” O’Malley says.

O’Malley’s striving spills over to his personal life. “For me, to do at least one ultramarathon this coming year, that’s my No. 1 resolution,” he says — and, of course, “to be able to take off one day a week. I haven’t been able to leave the company. Life and business have been all and the same.”

Finding and filling a need in the market often drives entrepreneurs like Samer Hamadeh, CEO and founder of startup Zeel, a website that books appointments with top beauty and wellness providers. Hamadeh, also the founder of Vault.com, started Zeel because he couldn’t find a personal trainer. “My resolution is to work out with a trainer and get at-home massages to keep up with the energy requirement of being an entrepreneur,” he says.

Most of his daily resolutions revolve around his passion for his new business. Hamadeh wants “to stay very positive and be very energetic; to constantly remind employees and myself that some of the best companies in America were made in a downturn; to never give up; and to have tenacity and a little bit of foolishness.”

To help spread this passion to his employees, many of whom are only being paid in stock, Hamadeh says, “[I want us to] celebrate small wins as often as we can — every day, every week.”

His pie-in-the-sky goal for 2012? “It would be nice to have one of our companies sold. That would be luck.”

What are your resolutions for 2012? Share them with us below.

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