A young man dressed in business suit and tie wears a homemade jetpack and flying goggles raises his arms in the afternoon sun while running to take off into the air on an outcropping above the surf in Montana de Oro State Park, California. This young entrepreneur is ready to take his new business to new heights.

2019 New Year’s Resolutions: 12 entrepreneurial ways to help change the world in 12 months

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

By Jamie Kraft, Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center

As you kick off the new year with new goals, many of which center around losing weight, saving money, or being nice to others, you might also consider strengthening your entrepreneurial mindset. These 12 approaches, based on research in the marketplace by Dr. Michael Morris, et al., will help you to achieve that goal. Try addressing a new one each month.

1. Identify new opportunities

Every big problem is an opportunity…scan your environment, be observant, become an ethnographer and look for pain points. The new year could lead to new endeavors if you keep your eyes open.

2. Pursue new opportunities

Many opportunities may present themselves throughout the year, but knowing which may be most attractive will save a lot of time and heartache. Employ consistent rules of thumb to determine which path to pursue. Most importantly, move…do not allow paralysis to keep you from a successful and rewarding endeavor. As Nike said, “Just Do It!”

3. Be more creative

Learn new toolsets and approaches in order to develop unique, novel, non-obvious solutions to problems in the marketplace, solutions that are both useful and possible. This can lead to breakthrough discoveries.

4. Create value somewhere

Find ways to add value in the marketplace through the launch of new products, services or models. Somebody else will if you don’t, so why shouldn’t it be you?

5. Sell a vision

Inspire a group of followers and empower those followers to aid you in making your vision a reality. As Margaret Mead said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

6. Be more tenacious and resilient

Look to strengthen techniques that will allow you to persevere in the face of obstacles as well as recover from setbacks. Visualizing success, focusing on quick wins and mindfulness breathing can all be utilized for improvement in this area.

7. Think like a guerrilla

Take innovative and unconventional approaches to messaging and marketing. In point, learn to do more with less. Use buzz to create energy in the market, tap underutilized resources you own and leverage opinion leaders.

8. Be more resourceful

Really strong entrepreneurs find ways to avoid paying for things – they borrow, they barter, they use reciprocity. Think about how you might access resources you don’t necessarily own or control – it may allow you to go much further than you thought possible.

9. Find ways to reduce risk

Whether in your daily life or career, adopting tactics to mitigate risk and lessen its impact can make you a much more entrepreneurial individual and reduce exposure to unplanned events in the marketplace. As an example, look to reduce your fixed costs, be more efficient with working capital, and find ways to use little bets advantageously.

10. Improve your self-efficacy

Work on building your self-confidence by spending time reflecting on past events and asking what you learned through failure, find ways to better manage expectations, and when all else fails…confidence pose!

11. Focus, but be prepared to adapt

It’s important to identify a beachhead and move forward. Spreading resources too thin can lead to death by a thousand paper cuts. That said, as you move forward be attuned to doors opening around you. There’s no need to throw good money after bad or chase sunk costs. Often times your first idea is wrong. Remain flexible and be prepared to pivot.

12. Network more

Develop new relationships and further strengthen those that you have. With a deeper network and wider social circle, you’ll expand opportunities to find mentors, role models and advisors while building a broader resource base.

Good luck! Of course, one can cover all of these by pursuing the University of Florida’s Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship, where mastery of the competencies above is addressed in a 1-year graduate program. Through a deep, rigorous set of courses and experiential leaning activities, you’ll learn to get out of the building, add value and change the world!


Learn more about UF’s Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program by requesting information about how it can help you build your entrepreneurial skills.