3 powerful female leaders share their New Year’s resolutions for business success

Grow/Work /
New Year's resolutions for business success with a graphic of a women looking in the rearview mirror

It’s finally a New Year and we are not looking back. 2020 is in our rearview mirror and as serial entrepreneur, Jo Burston says, “the rearview mirror is a lot smaller than the windscreen for a reason.”

There is no better time of year in the business calendar than now. Twelve-whole-months of potential lay ahead, how will you make the most of each and every one?

To answer this question, we turned to the experts. Three powerful female business leaders, Jo Burston, CEO of Inspiring Rare Birds, Danielle Lewis, CEO of Scrunch, and our very own Amanda Kelly, Director of Freelancing Gems have bold plans for the year ahead and have shared with us their New Year’s resolutions for business success.

Here is what they told us. 

Tell us, Jo, with 2020 in our rear-view mirror, where are you heading in 2021?

“I always say that the rearview mirror is a lot smaller than the windscreen for a reason. – Jo Burston”

Jo: “I always say that the rearview mirror is a lot smaller than the windscreen for a reason. 2020 was about learning, adjusting and building resilience. 2021 is about seizing opportunities and finding the weak and open spots in the market to capitalise on, both professionally and personally. Personally, I feel optimistic and strong-minded and have identified some wonderful investment opportunities as a result of COVID-19.  I have spent time resetting future plans and already in execution mode. 

“For Rare Birds, we are heading into a very exciting phase of scaling the reach and impact we have worked hard to build the foundations for over the past 5 years. Our mentoring program is now established solidly in the SME, entrepreneur and now the corporate and government space. We have proven over and over the value of mentorship with impact data, case studies and success stories. Women who are growing professionally and personally as a result of our skilled team guiding the mentors and mentees.”

A profile photo of Danielle Lewis, CEO of Scrunch, sitting at a desk and smiling

And Danielle, where are you and the Scrunch team heading?

Danielle: “We’ve been in Influencer Marketing for the last decade and this year we are going deeper… better analytics, more education and responding to the rapidly moving social media landscape. 2020 kept things in a bit of a holding pattern so we are super excited to be launching a bunch of new features in response to the new world we are living in. And if we get lucky, we can’t wait to get people back together for a few epic events!”

Amanda, looking back at the 2020 sh*t show, what are you most excited to leave behind? 

Amanda: “When the clock struck 12:01 on January 2021 nothing miraculously changed the COVID situation or the state of play. 2020 taught us to be resilient and roll with the changes. This year is no different but I am determined to make 2021 my own.

Jo, what are you hoping to leave behind in 2020?

Jo: “My glass is always half full. There was no sh*t show. There are choices to be made for all of us as individuals. I recognise there were loss of life, casualties and loss of businesses. That makes me feel sad, however what makes me feel excited equally is the strength of human capability, compassion and generosity. Australia is superb at national generosity. Looking after each other. If I was to leave anything behind it would be the constant negativity from those with glass half empty mindsets and inability to grow from adversity.  And asking those people to focus good energy on what they can control – our opinions, desires, choices, and in a word, everything.”

Danielle, you share a similar sentiment to Jo. What’s staying behind in 2020 for you?

Danielle: “The bad vibes! I feel like we all got in the habit of talking about how crap 2020 was, when there was a great opportunity to be had. And that meant a lot of different things to different people, business changes (don’t use the word pivot!), job changes, life changes, a chance to rest… I am loving the renewed energy that 2021 has brought people, and I hope it carries through the year and we all take the bull by the horns!”

Statistically, most of us have already forgotten about our New Year resolutions by mid-January. What are your New Year’s resolutions for business success and how will you stick to them? 

Amanda shares her New Year's resolutions for business success while smiling at her frenchie Ladybug

Amanda: My New Year’s resolutions for business success are to do more yoga and keep an early morning routine walking my Frenchie, Ladybug. My word for the New Year is ‘Listen’; I’m making a start by adding more business and entrepreneurial audiobooks and podcasts to my playlists. For me, regular goal setting activities are important to keep me on track. I love the big annual goal-setting session, but monthly and quarterly are better. I love making a vision board to manifest my personal and professional goals.

Danielle: My New Year’s resolutions for business success are to swear more and drink more wine! READ: I plan on being more ‘me’ in business and letting our scrunch-personality shine through. We want to continue to provide amazing value to our awesome customers, and make sure we are more human and caring in the process. More than ever it’s so important to build strong, meaningful relationships and we plan on doing a lot more of that in 2021!

Jo: Rare Birds planned out our next 12 months in December 2020. We have a solid game plan for the year with clear, measurable goals and a super clear vision. We stick to achieving these with daily huddles, weekly meetings. monthly reporting and self-accountability. Enabling those in the team to be individual agents of change as well as strong A players for each other. I rely on sound judgement, rational thinking, consistent execution and commercial aptitude. The only way to get results is to do the work with smart, people who are makers and growers! 

For me personally, I have focused deeply on what matters to me the most and how I spend that – time. Saying no to things that don’t bring me personal fulfilment or value and saying yes, less often to those that do, and giving everything I have to those yes answers. Keeping energy for myself to grow and evolve. A question that provoked this thinking recently was ” Who are you?” Seems like a simple question, but it is not if you want to dig below the surface. I intend to spend my year learning more about who I am and how my purpose can change the lives of people I may never meet. That is truly exciting. I will also be taking regular breaks throughout the year to focus on investments outside of the business. 

2021 is going to be a year of firsts and new beginnings for many – what’s your advice to the woman starting her business this year? 

“…you will never regret taking the leap if you lead with passion and purpose.” – Amanda Kelly

Amanda: Take the leap! This time last year I was wondering if I should take the leap from corporate life to starting my business and you will never regret taking the leap if you lead with passion and purpose.

“Just do it! There is never a good time, life is imperfect, but it’s in the imperfection that you find the magic.” – Danielle Lewis

Danielle: Just do it! There is never a good time, life is imperfect, but it’s in the imperfection that you find the magic. No one’s first product is ever right the first time, you’ll make mistakes and learn… so you’d better start the process now.  

“Do the research. Passion is great, however, cash is king and businesses that generate cash quickly and consistently are going to win.” – Jo Burston

Jo: Make sure your business model is capable of making money. Do the research. Passion is great, however, cash is king and businesses that generate cash quickly and consistently are going to win. Also, look at how you are building wealth outside of your business. Not all eggs in one basket. That way there is a safety net either way if one of the other doesn’t work. Lastly, I would say that digital marketing should be a tool to sharpen. With the physical world more staccato and stagnant, more than ever online sales will be a focus. 

New Starts Now ladies, you just have to reach out and take what’s yours.

How to start a new business checklist

About the interviewees:

Jo Burston is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion and its impact on talent retention and business success. She is the CEO and Founder of Inspiring Rare Birds, offering world-class mentoring programs to small business and corporate organisations. 

Danielle Lewis is the Co-Founder & CEO of Scrunch, a global multi-channel Influencer Marketing Platform and Agency. Danielle and her team are proven game-changers in the Influencer Marketing world, taking on massive advertising campaigns, collaborating with the likes of Amazon, Deliveroo, NewsCorp, Publicis Mojo, Under Armour, Swarovski, Youfoodz and more.

Amanda Kelly is the Advertising & Partnerships Director at Freelancing Gems. She is a natural-born connector believes that everything in her career has led her to this moment where she is supporting women and diversity in the workplace at Freelancing Gems, finding her true driving purpose.