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The High Holy Days, of course, are a time for personal reflection. We consider our successes, and our failings, and commit ourselves to doing better before G-d, family and friends in the coming year. Yet it is also a good time to think about how we can do better in business, because business, after all, is nothing more than an interaction between people. When our businesses thrive, our communities thrive. Whether you’ve had a great year in business, or not, here are a few things to consider for the New Year:

  • Step outside your comfort zone – It’s easy to get caught up in our own success thinking that it will last forever. However, comfort in business can lead to complacency. That is why it’s critical to step outside your comfort zone to try something new. Are your skills up to speed? Should you go back to school? Are you current with the latest trends in digital marketing? Do you need to network more? By constantly refreshing and challenging ourselves, we can identify new opportunities and stay one-step ahead of the competition.
  • Work-life balance – When it’s your company, it’s 24/7. But are you giving your personal life enough attention? All entrepreneurs sacrifice, but we must be careful not to neglect other important aspects of our lives. Organize your work to allow for undivided time for family and personal pursuits – yes, that means sometimes turning off your mobile device! Your business can only be as healthy as your family and personal relationships
  • Congratulate yourself – Entrepreneurs are self-critical by nature, always striving to do more; to do better. However, before being too hard on yourself for failures in the past year, allow yourself a pat on the back for the things you did well. Acknowledge your hard work, and more importantly, that of your employees. Take the time to feel good about it and make sure your entire team feels a part of it. By starting on a positive note, you’ll be better positioned mentally and emotionally to address your mistakes and take corrective action in the New Year.
  • Make tzedakah part of your business – We all give to charity – whether at a community event, to our shul or for those in need. Yet can you make tzedakah part of your business? This doesn’t mean giving away all of your hard-earned profits. It means finding ways to make giving back part of your company’s core values. Take what you already do, and incorporate it into your business. Let customers and employees identify your good work with your company’s brand.
  • Study more – Learning is central to Judaism. Yet running a business can be all-consuming, leaving very little time for intellectual pursuits unrelated to your company. Whether it’s studying Torah, reading books about your favorite period of history or taking art classes – learning new things keeps your mind sharper and more productive and opens up new perspectives to apply to your business. When you see learning as a business objective, you’ll find the time for it.

{Joel Klein, CPBC, is a rabbi and creator/producer of BizTank, a “Shark Tank” style program designed for Jewish entrepreneurs and investors}

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