NASE Monthly E-Newsletter for Small Business Owners | Self Informed January-2022


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SelfInformed - January 2022

In this issue, read about a new year and a better you, make the change human resources and 2022's wild legislative agenda.

New Year, Better Me

As a small company owner, you bring a tremendous amount of value to the table. Getting a business up and running is a significant undertaking. Undoubtedly, you need a great deal of focus and commitment to grow and become successful.

Sometimes, business owners become so preoccupied with operating your company that they forget about themselves. But, as your company expands, you should as well.

2022 is just starting, making now the best time to focus on realigning the goals, habits, and actions that will characterize the new year. Personal development is the process of becoming a stronger, more confident, and productive person in one’s own life.

How you view and perceive yourself, communicate with people, engage with the environment, envision your future, and your potential contribute to a better you.

Therefore, achieving several levels of success requires you to build a lifestyle that supports personal growth and professional progress.

When you prioritize personal growth, both your own and your employees, you encourage a more active workspace and employee productivity that drives future profitability.

Start 2022 Right
Nearly every entrepreneur faced challenges in 2021. But whether we are trying to keep a business running or dealing with day-to-day challenges, it is tempting to put our personal needs on the back burner. Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Start this year right by taking care of yourself, so you have more energy and availability to care for the consumers, vendors, and clients that rely on you.

Self-improvement may help entrepreneurs even more than others because acquiring new skills and learning for your business is part of the job. If you are hesitant to change or do not have a great hunger for information, this post is also for you.

Business success is directly related to your state of mind, well-being, experience, and competence. Everything you do, including how you operate your business, reflects who you are and what you know. As you develop as an individual, your business will profit since everything you learn converts to better business success.

It would help if you always search for ways to accelerate your personal growth because it will carry over into the business and everyone else who works for you. When you find and begin to use self-improvement to your benefit, it is as if you have discovered a hidden treasure. Not every business owner strives to improve themselves and their operations constantly. Many business owners disregard this issue entirely.

Set the Right Goals
Assume that you are now physically inactive, that you do not exercise, and that you consume whatever is put in front of you. Let us assume you decide to start exercising consistently, meditating daily, and eating a healthy diet. What will happen to your work if you start doing those things and become a healthier person in general?

You would have additional energy to get more done for the business, more motivation, and a clearer mind. All these changes would pump the same vigor into your business and lead it to function more smoothly while inspiring your whole team to develop themselves.

It may not be evident initially, but there is a significant spillover to your business when you make positive adjustments in your personal life. Good energy attracts more positive energy and can propel your business forward.

Complacent entrepreneurs create a formula for disaster. Remember, if a company is not expanding, it is most likely on its way down. A business is constantly in motion, either on its way up or down.

When it is evident to others that you are continually striving to improve yourself in your personal and professional life, you are setting an excellent example for your whole team. Many business owners fail at this aspect of leadership.

People watch how you behave, and the behaviors you instill in your team automatically translate to superior business procedures. Your colleagues follow your example, and if they notice that you possess characteristics that they would like to possess themselves, they will also embrace growth.

New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners
Personal development will appear different for each person. For some, these goals could be pursuing educational goals like learning a foreign language, improving a skill, or acquiring a degree. Other objectives are more conceptual, such as enhancing interpersonal connections or building self-confidence.

Business objectives tend to be black-and-white. For example, increasing profits by 1% by the next quarter is a clear business goal. However, the ultimate product may appear hazy and impossible to quantify personal growth and development.

Therefore, it is critical to incorporate professional and personal development into practical, quantifiable objectives to achieve realistically. The idea is to discover a method to link personal goals to quantifiable activities.

First, create strategies and systems that encourage you to practice the new skill. For example, you could eliminate timewasters like group meetings or other unproductive activities that did not work last year.

Then, you can make a personal goal more practical by encouraging workers to keep track of how much time they “waste.” After tracking the results, aim to reduce the time-wasting activities over the following weeks.

When setting your New Year’s resolutions, choose your priorities thoughtfully and strive for realistic, achievable goals. Although many self-improvement goals have intangible results, remember that their impacts can drive substantial business growth.

Whatever New Year’s resolutions you choose, the best thing you can do is stick with them. Personal development and small business growth take time, but they are worth the effort. Continue toward your goals, even if you do not notice results straight away.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas
If you haven’t already, make some New Year’s resolutions. Consider the resolution ideas for 2022 below if you operate a small business. These minor changes can have a significant influence on your productivity.

  • Take a vacation — Entrepreneurs are renowned for working excessively long hours and never taking a vacation. If this describes you, create a New Year’s resolution to prioritize self-care this year. You might start small by taking regular lunch breaks and then progress to more significant rewards like a massage, golf break, or a solo vacation.
  • Delegate more — When small business owners try to oversee every area of their operation, they can get exhausted rapidly. As your company expands, you will require assistance to keep things operating smoothly and effectively. Attempt to delegate more tasks to your staff this year.
  • Learn a new skill — The start of a new year is an excellent opportunity to learn something new. Learn a different skill and try to keep with it. Make 2022 the year you learn a new language, join a book club, or sharpen your business skills.

Consider making a strategy for avoiding burnout this year before diving deeply into work in 2022. Many entrepreneurs put in long hours. Not only is burnout terrible for you, but also for your company. Setting clear limits, understanding when to take a break, and learning to seek help are excellent methods to avoid burnout.

Stay Motivated All Year
Staying motivated to accomplish your New Year’s resolution can be most of the battle. As many as 88% of us fail to keep our resolutions and see them through until the end. Luckily, there are tactics to improve your chances of sticking to your goals this year. 

  • Make your goal specific — An ambiguous goal is a recipe for failure. If you want to stay on target, get specific. For example, if you want to read more, strive to include 2 hours of reading into your week and increase gradually.
  • Set deadlines — However small or large your goal is, set a realistic deadline to achieve your goal. A detailed plan can help outline step-by-step actions you need to take to achieve your goal.
  • Keep a journal — By writing down your successes and drawbacks, you can keep track of your progress. These notes can help motivate you to continue down the right path if you hit a setback.
  • Create a support system — Having the right people on your side to support you throughout the year can help you stick with your New Year’s resolutions. Other individuals who share your interests and goals can keep you accountable for your actions and keep you motivated if you fall back into old habits.

Most importantly, avoid making past mistakes. For example, if you choose the exact resolution each year and fail, it is time to try a different strategy. Making your resolution more specific and quantifiable or taking the time to write out a detailed plan could make the difference between success and failure.

Final Thoughts
The yearly practice of making resolutions does not have to be an annual letdown. Sometimes, the differentiator is as simple as selecting the correct objective and technique for accomplishing your goals.

Finally, remember to be gentle and forgiving to yourself and rejoice in all advances you make along the way. The ultimate objective is not the most critical element in this journey. Sometimes, your experiences on your way to the finish line are the most valuable.

January 2022 Member Spotlight

Antisha D. Walley is an NASE member from Kyle, Texas and is the President of Make the Change, LLC. Make the Change is a woman owned, service-disabled veteran owned, and minority owned human resources consultancy. Their services include professional development training and consulting on full cycle recruiting, compensation strategy, and employee relations.

When and why did you join the NASE?
I joined the NASE in March of 2021 to learn from the knowledge and experiences of other entrepreneurs and to reap the benefits NASE offers like grant opportunities and free publicity for my business.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
While in the Air Force as a meteorologist, I noticed that, as additional duties separate from my primary responsibilities, I enjoyed helping create flexible schedules, writing standard operating procedures, and identifying inconsistencies in training documents. Later I realized these were all human resources related tasks, so I began the pursuit of a business degree which led to me earning a Master’s in Business with concentration in human resources.

When and why did you start your business?
With each HR role I have held from Employee Relations Advisor to Human Resources Director, I found it challenging but rewarding. I also found that when working for businesses, as an HR representative you often are forced to move forward with decisions you don’t agree with. I knew that as a consultant I would be making the decisions for my own business and providing recommendations to other businesses, but I would not be forced to make decisions I did not agree with. That inspired me to open my own Human Resources consultancy in January of 2020.

How do you market your business?
I have a website, Facebook and Instagram business pages, and I use LinkedIn regularly to share my professional knowledge and values, often promoting Make the Change (MTC) as well.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
My biggest challenge has been increasing clients and securing funding for MTC. As a federal contractor, competition is fierce, so I teamed up with a company who has 20 years of acquisitions experience and they have not only mentored me, but helped me become a subcontractor on a lucrative contract. I have applied for grants to secure funding and recently launched a crowdfunding campaign that had two donors the same day. I can’t say that I have completely overcome the challenges but I am definitely working through them.

Do you have any employees?
I currently employ 1 part time employee who started as an intern a few months ago and 1 Proposal and Grant Writing Consultant. Working with an intern and being someone who myself spent years trying to secure employment has inspired me to launch an HR training and employment center. The focus of the employment center is to aid those who have been unable to secure employment in the Human Resources field because they don’t have direct HR experience. I hope to add additional consultants and trainers to mentor and train the next generation of HR professionals who are currently struggling to find the right fit. My goal is to hire, train, and develop 4 HR career hopefuls by 2023, and as many as I can in upcoming years to do the tremendous HR work that is so greatly needed worldwide.

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
Like most entrepreneurs and business owners, my workdays vary quite a bit. About 40 percent of my day is working on the subcontract I am responsible for, with 20 percent being spent working on tasks for another client, and the remaining time spent on business development for MTC and networking with people interested in my HR training and employment center. I rarely ever work less than 10 hours per day and often work 20 hours or more on the weekends.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
The best thing about being self employed is the freedom I have to attend all of my daughter’s and God son’s athletic events and being able to travel home to be with my family in Mississippi as often as I desire.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
The best compliment I ever received was at a time when people didn’t really trust human resources, that “my honesty and transparency combined with my field knowledge, tactfulness, and commitment to equality in the workplace is a game changer for businesses, employees, and the perception of HR.” That compliment came from an employee after I had to discipline them. That’s why my LinkedIn profile reads “Antisha Walley, Human Resources Game Changer.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
Show up, speak up and stand out. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you. Show up to the conferences and webinars for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups. Speak up when you have questions or when you have useful knowledge or resources to share. Stand out using differentiation and/or innovation in your product or service, and by offering creative solutions to your customers’ problems. All of these things help build your network which is critical to an entrepreneur’s success.

Any other information you would like to share?
There are many ways to become successful as an entrepreneur but remember to define success for yourself and don’t let someone else define it for you. I have found I am much happier reaching goals I’ve set for myself instead of those set by someone else.

2022 Starts with a Wild Legislative Agenda

The year is 2022, the month is January. And things are wild.

Suffice it to say, the start of 2022 has the makings of a great political thriller: high stakes legislation (voting rights, Build Back Better, US Competitiveness targeting China), political intrigue (Senators Manchin and Sinema), and a boogie man (Covid-19 Omicron variant), set against a mid-term election that will most likely flip the US House of Representatives and turbo charge the political environment leading up to 2024 Presidential campaign.

By January 17, most of the legislative storyline was put to bed. The voting rights legislation failed in the US Senate, Build Back Better was officially dead, and for unknown reasons, the House is currently struggling with how to advance a wildly popular, bipartisan bill that aims and strengthening the US’s intellectual property position against China. And the Covid-19 boogie man, continues to rage, causing continued upheaval to businesses and families.

In looking past January, here are a few things that the NASE advocacy team is watching:

  • Challenging tax filing season. The IRS announced this month that they will begin accepting 2021 returns, two weeks earlier than previously announced to help try and alleviate any tax filing crunches. The IRS continues to express concern over the impact of Covid-19 on its workforce, increased responsibilities and at the same time, dealing with lack of resources, primarily budgetary.
  • Legislation in support of the self-employed. In looking for a silver lining from the Covid-19 pandemic, the recognition and inclusion of the self-employed in many of the federal assistance programs was a welcome acknowledgement of the powerful role the millions of self-employed play in our economy. We will continue to work with Congress to memorialize the self-employed in many of those programs, for example, unemployment insurance. 
  • Impact of a possible foreign policy crisis between Ukraine and Russia. While not a direct correlation for the self-employed, big, global events have a way of taking all of the oxygen out of the room and in this case, a conflict between Ukraine and Russia would have an immediate chilling impact on US public policy. 
We continue to look forward to the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the NASE community and will report back on our efforts.

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