Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fad junkies

I have a friend who seems to spend all of her time at seminars. She owns a business but I'm not sure when she actually has time to run it! Each time I speak with her she has changed her business model (again), on the advice of yet another guru who she heard at a seminar.

While I am a proponent of continuous learning for some it can be dangerous. The power of learning new things is actually applying them. It is my belief that there are even greater lessons to be learned when you apply knowledge. To simply run from one seminar to another is a waste of time and money and I am sure that the purported gurus would agree.

So, is my friend addicted to learning? Possibly, but I think the true problem is fear. I have witnessed her inability to make a decision for fear of making a mistake. Her answer? Continue to run around and allow others to make the decisions for her. The result of her actions (or inaction) is that her business hasn't really changed or grown in 5 years.

I challenge you to act on one piece of advice or knowledge. Apply it to your business, refine it, learn from it. Don't make the mistake of running from one fad to another. Let me know how it changes your business.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

I don't know about you but I'm really glad that the holidays are behind us. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the celebration of Christmas and many of the holiday festivities but it can be exhausting! So, here we are in 2007 and off to a new start.

This month represents a fresh start, and for many - new beginnings. Very few people approach the new year without wanting to make it even better than the last. Even those who had a great year strive to improve when a new year dawns.

It is for this reason that so many people make New Year's Resolutions. Gyms and churches are filled in January, but the crowds thin out before the month is over. Some people will give up on their resolutions before the week is out.

I love resolutions. I typically don't make them at New Year but instead I set goals weekly, monthly and throughout the year. I am always working to improve some aspect of myself and or my business, and trust me there's much work to do!

I have found that it's not enough to want something, you have to plan for your success. I write down my goals and then break it up into action items. Some goals may take all year to reach, while others may only take one month. I celebrate the milestones along the way and re-evaluate periodically to make sure the goals still make sense.

For example, last year I had a goal of running my third marathon. However, I found myself consumed with my new business, stressed, overwhelmed and worn down from overtraining. Realizing that the goal was not right for where I was in my life, I had to postpone it. I was disappointed but got over it and actually used the loss to improve my workout routine.

Goals should not be things that torture us but should be motivators. Your goals should align with where you are in life and what is realistic to achieve. As you contemplate this new year, by all means make a few resolutions! Just ensure that your resolutions are meaningful and achievable. Also keep in mind that changes don't come overnight. Plan the steps that you will need to take to reach your goals. Along the way, you may have to readjust, but it's okay. Life is a journey filled with twists and turns. Be open to new pathways as you pursue your dreams.

I wish you all a fulfilling year!