Startup Resolutions: Here’s What You’re NOT Chasing in 2019

Last weekend saw “the most depressing day of the year,” come and go. January 12th (in the UK it’s today, January 21st, known as #bluemonday) is statistically the day when most people give up on any New Year’s Resolutions they might have set.

But breaking your resolutions is totally okay in 2019 though; because this year kicked off a little differently than most. Apparently, no one made any resolutions.

Many took to Twitter to share “the energy I’m taking into 2019,” rather than making New Year’s Resolutions. Breaking from the norm, the start of this year was defined by people actively NOT trying to “fix themselves,” — by engaging in new pursuits or cultivating new habits — and instead focus on leaving behind the mindset that didn’t work and focus on the qualities they want to take forward.

Inspired by how much more sustainable goals are when don’t commit to something you don’t really care about we decided to follow suit and find out what your anti-resolutions were for 2019, so we asked EQ Community Voices members one question:

“What Are You NOT CHASING in 2019?”

We’re Not Chasing the Wrong Customers.

Sarah Schlafly, Co-founder of MultiPass and Mighty Cricket
Love the question!

I’m NOT chasing customers outside of my narrow, hyper-focused customer profiles.

Jeff Mazur, Executive Director, LaunchCode
FWIW, in 2019, I am not chasing non-believers in my mission.

There are plenty of gains to be made with the already converted.

Dustin McKissen, Founder & Managing Consultant, McKissen + Company
Clients for the sake of getting clients.

We want to work with organizations who are doing important things for their communities, their employees, and their customers.

We’re Not Chasing Every Opportunity.

Alex Cruz, CEO, PenPath
In 2019, I’m not chasing opportunities that distract my business from its core values. If you’re in technology, there are always new and exciting things happening. It’s easy for anyone to get caught up with new trends, but the most successful people I know are able to stay focused.

Douglas Hall, EVP Strategy & Execution, GenieCast
For 2019 our focus is to stop chasing general opportunities and rather chase ideal outcomes.

Understanding what our client personas need and how our products deliver on those needs affords us the ability to improve and scale our services to the right customers right now. Opportunities are endless but positive outcomes are in short demand. Fulfilling the needs of our clients takes top priority and certainly outweighs the need to chase unvetted opportunities.

Perry Drake, Assistant Teaching Professor & Director of Business Collaboration, College of Business Administration, University of Missouri – St. Louis
I am not chasing every opportunity that presents itself to me in 2019. I don’t have the bandwidth and want to ensure that what I do undertake for 2019, I do with perfection and complete satisfaction for me and all those involved. I have a hard time saying no to others and to myself. Just can’t do that this year. If the opportunity does not clearly align with my goals and vision, I will not be chasing it in 2019. Here is to a very successful and fruitful 2019.

Dixie Gillaspie, Co-founder, Return To Your Power
This year is my time to refuse to pursue anything I don’t really desire. Not going after anything I kind of want, or think I should want, or used to want. Only what I ABSOFRICKINGLUTELY have a burning desire for in this moment, at this age, for this time.

We’re Not Chasing Shallow Work.

Chris LeBeau, Consultant & Consensus Builder
Last year I read Cal Newport’s “Deep Work”. While I doubt many people would ever state they are against working deeply, when Newport defines what “shallow work” looks like: email, social media, notifications and other distractions I saw them everywhere in my typical day. I aim to leave more shallow work behind in 2019.

Philip Penrose, Co-founder, Return To Your Power
I love the via negative approach to life optimization! In 2018 I spent more time (than usual) scrolling endlessly on my devices. This year I will focus on being aware of mindlessly “scrolling” in order to reinforce healthy boundaries with technology.

Andrew Glantz, Founder and CEO, GiftAMeal
In 2019 I am not chasing social media marketing. Though social media is important, I instead want to refocus on clarifying our brand/story to increase our users’ sense of brand connection and feel like they have ownership in our growth and impact.

We’re Not Chasing Unnecessary Distractions.

Alon Gilboa, Co-Founder & CEO, Explority
I’m leaving behind unsustainable efforts. Since the beginning of 2019, I’ve focused on small steps repeated every day to develop long-term habits. A couple of weeks in and I’m already seeing major differences with less frustration.

Kathleen Bauer, Community Director, T-Rex
I’m trying to say ‘no’ more to social events that I otherwise feel obligated to attend. If I’m going to be lame and boring because I’m drained, who would want me there anyway? Here’s to hoping that extra time will be spent on more reading to arm myself with the knowledge and motivation to smash the patriarchy.

Dan Lauer, Founding Executive Director, UMSL Accelerate
For me, 2019… there is so much to-do, so much ecosystem, so many programs. What I want to do well in 2019 is prioritize, work in the gap… I want to do 1 or 2 things really well that move the needle. Busy for sake of Busy does not work for me anymore.

For UMSL… What do our students really need to move them farther faster? For Community, where can UMSL be a thought leader w largest ROI? Our desire is to be trusted guides.

For Waterbabies… with Toys’R’Us gone… it’s a red ocean fight for shelf space. I want to play a different game… not a new feature or style.. rather a theme. WATERBABIES LOVES CLEAN WATER. Provide $% to Clean Water.

Mary Louis Helbig, Executive Director, ITEN
Firstly, not focusing energy and discussion on what is wrong, instead putting that time and attention on getting things done! Secondly, working better and in new ways with ecosystem partners to support our tech innovation community and ensure STL remains competitive and relevant as a leading city for entrepreneurship.

We’re Not Chasing Unrealistic Expectations.

Darcella Craven, President (Chief Fear Conqueror) Veterans Business Resource Center
What I am not chasing: Expectations of others to be perfect, everywhere and always nice. I put a lot of pressure on myself to reach for goals that were not mine and were pretty arbitrary. About half way through the year I decided that wasn’t working and started to be judicious with my time and talent. I also adopted the mantra that “No is a complete sentence.”

What am I doing instead is living intentionally. Whether that is completing my dissertation and protecting my writing time, or gathering myself, if I begin to feel fear or unclear, or being ok with doing smaller task and rejoicing in my wins. This is my 2019 philosophy.

Gabriela Ramírez-Arellano, Business Counselor, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis
In 2019 I am leaving behind accepting less than what I want and waiting to be asked. I realize every time I accept less, it’s compounding and if I wait for others to see my worth, it may never happen.

Brian Dixon, COO, Capital Innovators
I am not chasing expectations, which can come in many forms including expectations of people, situations, goals and more. I think it is important to evolve and detach from how events in life play out while remaining focused on what you desire in the end.

If you can keep your energy focused on the end result visualizing it as if you already have it, without having any expectations on how it occurs, it will create a much smoother flow for how one navigates their day-to-day life. The universe creates amazing and unexpected twists and turns that can get you to your desires, but you must cherish the human experience along the way free from expectations.

We’re Not Chasing Lost Time.

Lakesha Mathis, Director, Inclusive Business Solutions, St. Louis Regional Chamber
Urgency and doubt. While somethings require immediate attention, responding in an urgent, rushed manner often limits our ability to effectively address the concern. And doubt because, what we believe, is what we receive. When we doubt ourselves, we give others the space to do the same. I am replacing those with pace and curiosity.

Andrew Davis, Podcaster, STL Community Cast
In 2019 I’m not chasing overly-ambitious short-term goals.

2018 threw me some curve balls that forced me to view and appreciate my time differently. So this year, my focus is on appreciation and patience.

We’re Not Chasing Conventional Ideas.

Melanie Igwe, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, Ilerasoft
What we are not chasing in 2019 is “conventional startup wisdom.”

We are at an inflection point where these tropes cannot help us.

Luke Babich, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Clever Real Estate

What I’m not chasing in 2018: “Startup Culture.” It’s easy for us to get lost in the cliches of startup culture: your startup need to be hip, fun and flexible — right?

Going into 2019, I don’t think so. If you choose where to work based on supply of free M&Ms and 11 AM start times, don’t choose Clever. Our startup has its own culture, and it doesn’t look like a Silicon Valley startup that drops tens of thousands on perks or fluff for the office. Our team chose to be a part of Clever because we value hard, meaningful, collaborative work and shared stakes for everyone who makes an impact on the business.

In 2019, we’re putting “startup culture” in the past, and doubling down on our startup’s culture.

Mentioned in this Article

Jonathan Allen is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of EQ. Formerly the President and Co-founder of Longneck & Thunderfoot (L&T), a brand publishing company incubated at the Columbia University Startup Lab in NYC, Jonathan moved to St. Louis in the summer of 2016 after receiving an Arch Grant.