Photo: Omikuji, or traditional New Year's fortunes, at Atago Shrine, Tokyo. Visitors tie their omikuji to pine trees or wire displays like these in the hope that their wishes for the new year will come true.

Successful entrepreneurs are known for setting goals – often audacious ones – and going to the ends of the earth to achieve them (sometimes even further). More often than not, entrepreneurs know how to motivate people. At Rakuten, we foster a culture of entrepreneurship. In fact, our company was founded 20 years ago to help entrepreneurs succeed in running their retail businesses online.

So, perhaps it is no surprise that many of our employees are themselves entrepreneurs. We reached out to a few founders that have joined Rakuten over the years to see what their key goals are for 2017. We hope you will find them as motivating as we do.

Adrian Diaconu, founder of Alpha Direct Services: Be unique and let the world know!

It is critical to be unique and our business is one-of-a-kind. This year, we will show the world what makes Rakuten so special and unique as we build our ecosystem in Europe. I plan to be at the front, shouting louder than anyone about our unique brand.

James B Gambrell, Chairman at Fits.me: Maximize potential for collaboration

For me, 2017 is about ensuring that every single part of Fits.me works to engage with as many departments of Rakuten globally to create the most powerful intra-organizational partnerships. I have always believed that although Fits.me was small in comparison to some of Rakuten’s other acquisitions, the company had a unique potential to help connect many dots across Rakuten as its potential for collaboration crossed over from just e-commerce (Ichiba) to fashion (Brand Avenue), artificial intelligence (RIT), search (Big Data), B2B marketing (Rakuten Marketing) and more. So my goal for the year is to shift from what these Rakuten divisions can do for Fits.me to what Fits.me can do for these Rakuten divisions.

Mark Haviland, Managing Director of Rakuten Marketing Europe: Be an all-out brand ambassador

This year, I am going to do more to get out there and shout about the Rakuten Brand! It’s our 20th anniversary, we have an amazing promotion platform to build on, and some exciting investments and businesses to focus on. It’s going to be a great year!

Olivier Mathiot, co-founder of PriceMinister: Be everything to our customers!

There is a saying that you can’t be all things to all people. I disagree. We aim to be everything to our customers, from individual sellers to small local merchants to larger retailers. We will offer our customers and members the entire service spectrum, bolstered by our increasing brand recognition and partnership with Barcelona FC. Go Barca!!

Jules Pieri, founder of The Grommet: Invest, invest, invest in employees

Our team has grown very rapidly, and when you grow you have less time to spend training and supporting your employees. We focused on this in 2016 and will take it deeper this year. Our employees are worth it!

Jacinto Roca, founder of Wuaki.tv: Spend more time improving the product… and less in meetings

Spend more time improving the product… and less in meetings. Period!

Stuart Simms, CEO at Fits.me: Become the market leader

This year our resolution is to simplify the fashion shopping experience globally, so there is less confusion, better choices, a more personalized experience. We’ll focus on increasing awareness of Fits.Me as a business, as a product, an innovator and a partner to the apparel retail world. We aim to become the market leader in our field, to create a mass of interest from retailers, consumers and media.