Each year, the celebration of the start of a new calendar year occurs worldwide. At that time it is not hard to find a gathering of people in every community and neighborhood around the world. Even if you choose to stay home with family (like I did this year) you can tune in to watch the first celebration on the island of Kirabati and continue watching as cities around the world from Tokyo to Paris to New York celebrate. And if you can stay awake until midnight, you will likely see, or at least hear, fireworks right outside your door. There is something about getting a fresh start each year that leads to human delight and festivity.
Fresh starts are motivating and provide an opportunity to let go of our past problems and challenges – if even for a short while – and focus on the future. Temporal events, that is, those that are time/calendar-based, are some of the most common. The new year is clearly defined, and we develop rituals around these events, such as eating certain foods for good luck, setting goals or resolutions and spending time with people we love or enjoy. Many of us choose to take time to reflect on the past year and consider what we might do to make the next one even better.
Cognitive scientists have found that a fresh start can take many forms – from significant events like the start of a new year or your birthday to life transitions like retirement and graduations to remembering a significant event. Sadly, not all fresh starts are positive events, but even those can provide an opportunity. These events, even the sad ones, often allow us to have a new beginning about which we can be optimistic about the future (which, by the way, my research has shown is an important skill for entrepreneurial success). Fresh starts are usually motivating and, if we employ them to their fullest, we can utilize them to help us review and improve and build new and better systems, rituals, routines and for our life and for our businesses. In fact, fresh starts are a perfect place to find new opportunities.
As a social scientist, educator, and entrepreneur I have spent most of my career studying how and why some people are able to recognize and act on opportunities that others miss and helping people build skills that put them solidly into the first category. Entrepreneurial mindset competencies – the ability to recognize opportunities, the willingness to take action and the resilience to execute past failure – has been the subject of my most recent books, my podcast, The En Factor, and the education and training programsI offer. While entrepreneurial mindset has been the focus of research for many decades, it has only been in the past few years that I have begun to share my work more widely beyond my university classrooms and the academy.
This new year, 2023, is a pivotal one for my work and our team. For many years, I have been blessed with a wonderful university platform for my work at the University of Tampa and this spring I will be on sabbatical so that I can continue my research and work with students and business leaders around the world sharing the message of an entrepreneurial mindset. I have also been blessed over the years with a fabulous team of students and technical experts who have helped me produce my work on a shoestring. Many of them have literally or practically donated their time to the effort. For this I am beyond grateful. However, this year it is time to level up. And I am super excited for our plans for the year and for the new team that has come on board to fill in the gaps left by wonderful team members who moved on with their own fresh start after graduation.
This year we will be focused on keeping what is working and adding new and richer content so that we can even better inspire entrepreneurs. We will be sharing a new and improved web presence, partnering with our entrepreneurs and other educators and offering a new online educational program that will take your entrepreneurial mindset skill building to a new level. We will be sharing more about our plans and programs during the coming weeks.
To stay on top of all of our new changes and the opportunities for you to enhance your entrepreneurial mindset, please visit my website at drrebeccawhite.com and sign up for updates and to learn about all of the new features we will be offering. I promise we won’t spam your email.