I'm willing to bet we all just drunkenly slur something that resembles the tune while the fireworks thankfully drown us out.
But in my entirely-sober state of writing this post, I looked up the lyrics and origin.
I learned that the song is widely used to signify other situations than the coming of a new year, symbolizing other "endings/new beginnings" -- including farewells, funerals, graduations, the end of a party, the election of a new government, the last lowering of a Union Jack as a British colony achieves independence, in the Royal Navy, and even as a signal that a retail store is about to close for the day. (That last one is pretty awesome.)
The song rings true this New Year's Eve, as I reflect on the lessons learned from my professional endeavors of 2014. But in the spirit of new beginnings, I wanted to share 7 of my resolutions for 2015, as I dive head-first into the full launch of Cintell.
The first four resolutions are professional goals to help make the venture a success in our first year of business. The latter three are more personal: 1. Be Customer-Centric.
This is not only our mantra and tagline at Cintell, it's my #1 resolution for 2015. What our team is building will put the customer (and all their juicy insight) at the very center of your business to guide stronger decision-making. To this end, I plan to practice what I preach. This means building with our users in mind, adapting quickly to feedback, and allowing data collected to guide decision-making (rather than assumptions.)
2. Collect More Emails.
As 2015 is a year of growth and user acquisition following our beta launch, we need to be focused heavily on email marketing and email acquisition. This sounds easy! But it translates to incorporating compelling calls to action early and often throughout all of Cintell's forthcoming marketing. That reminds me... have you joined our beta announcement list yet?
3. Test More. Measure More. Optimize More. Repeat.
The exciting part of a start-up is beginning with a blank canvas. The terrifying part of a start-up is beginning with a blank canvas. Funny how that works out. In 2015 our team is laser-focused on testing and measuring as much as possible to optimize efforts such as user acquisition and engagement. Similar to the Lean UX approach we need to put a stake in the ground first, and calibrate our efforts later.
4. Get the Village Involved
We all know it takes a village to raise a child. Well, this startup is my baby. And I'm fortunate to know some of the smartest, most badass marketing and entrepreneurship experts in my career to-date. It's been inspiring to bring our ideas to them and hear both their validation and their candid feedback to strengthen our vision. In 2015 a top resolution for us is to continue to sanity-check our assumptions and direction. Thanks in advance, village.
3 personal resolutions for 2015:
5. Allow Myself to Make Mistakes
We are our own worst critics. In 2015 I'll mess up. More than once. But for every time I do, there's a lesson to be learned. And before we get all Kumbaya in this post, this lesson comes from experience. Beating yourself up is part of the game; do it quickly, accept responsibility, note what you can do to fix/avoid it, then shake it off like Taylor Swift and move the f*ck on.
6. Write More. Write Better!
This one is self-explanatory for my profession, as marketing is driven by compelling, empathetic content. "The key to being a better writer is to be a more productive one. More simply: the key to being a better writer is to write." - Ann Handley. So, write I will. Luckily, whether you choose to read is your decision.
7. Focus on Self-Improvement, Every Day
This one is inspired in part by Cintell's CEO, Apparao, who is focused heavily on creating an environment that supports self-betterment and improvement. He believes each member of our team should constantly be investing in learning how to do what we do better, faster, and stronger. That's not only critical to achieving the lofty goals we've set for the business in 2015, it's how we're going to continue to elevate our own careers. And it's one of the many reasons I am fortunate to work with him every day.
Happy New Year to you! May 2015 bring you adventure, fulfillment, and growth.