I find the start of a new year is always both time for reflection upon the year that just passed and time to think about the year ahead. Looking back at 2013, our business has made a lot of progress by expanding, moving to a new location and working toward full occupancy in our new space. Many challenges and bumps in the road had to be overcome but, I think the entire process has provided many valuable lessons learned and a wealth of experience we can leverage as we continue to grow and expand. Looking forward to 2014 I can honestly say that all expectations are that this will be our best year yet as we are focused on building the business rather than relocating.

The favorite part of my job here at TheCodeFactory is meeting with entrepreneurs who are truly passionate about what they do. I recently sat down and had a great chat with an experienced entrepreneur that has achieved a great deal of success. We chatted about a number of topics and one that really resonated with me was the importance of a mental “reset” when you are starting a business. One of my favorite analogies for starting a business comes from Robert Herjavec’s book “Driven” where he likens starting a business to a boxing match. This is basically numerous rounds of intense physical activity and pain followed by a short break to recharge.

It is that short break between rounds that I wanted to highlight. In that spirit of: “Good entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes but, great entrepreneurs learn from other people’s mistakes”. As an entrepreneur that has made a lot of mistakes I thought a nice gift to anyone that might care to listen is a small bit of advice. One of the most important things you can do for yourself when starting a business is to make sure you get a good mental reset on occasion. Taking the time get away from the day to day every once in a while is essential.

There is no hard and fast rule on the frequency or duration of your reset but, I would suggest that roughly quarterly for a long weekend to a week would be ideal. Christmas, summer holidays and somewhere in between seem like good benchmarks. It is also nice if you have a third place to go to … somewhere that is neither home nor work but, “away”. Turn off, tune out and relax. If you burn out then you are going to slow down a lot.

Starting a business is more like a series of intervals that you sprint than a marathon with a constant pace so a mental reset is essential to success.  Wishing everyone health, happiness and prosperity for 2014.

– Ian Graham