5 Resolutions for You and Your Business

It's that time of year. Everyone feels the need to start anew and begins penning resolutions for the New Year.

So I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon with a simple list of five suggestions that don't involve the words exercise or diet.

  1. Create your own economy. We've all been inundated with talks about the sputtering economy and imminent dangers of the looming fiscal cliff. Do yourself a favor and don't be distracted by the noise. You are in command of your own economy. Yes, overall things don't look good, but an individual can make an impact for him or herself in any economic environment. The worst think you can do is give in to the gloom. find new domain As Henry Ford once said, "Whether you think you can or you can't, you are usually right."
  2. Improve your skill set. If you are not moving forward, growing and learning, you are falling behind. This is a good time to commit to honing your skills. Take an online course. Read a good book in your area of interest. Attend a seminar or log in to a webinar. Go to a workshop. Anthony D'Angelo, Chief Visionary Officer of Collegiate Empowerment has said, "Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow."
  3. Break out of your comfort zone. One of my favorite quotes on breaking out and committing comes from Goethe. "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. The moment that one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred." Time to go for it.
  4. Anticipate your customers' needs. Yes we need to listen to customers and have them tell us what they want. But the most successful businesses have been able to figure out what their customers need. The list of successful products and services that consumers didn't even know they wanted but now can't live without is long and storied. The iPhone. FedX overnight express. Email. No one was asking for those, but once they became available, they quickly became indispensable. Find out what your customers need and give it to them.
  5. Join the conversation. The world is buzzing with two way conversations. If you don't join in, you'll be left behind. Twitter and Linked-in are becoming essential business tools. Blogs are valuable vehicles to share your thoughts and ideas. And it won't end there. Before the new year is over, there'll be new ways to facilitate the critical back and forth communication between customers and providers. Stay up to date. It's not an option if you want to make it in the increasingly wired world.

What are your resolutions for the new year? How are you going to improve yourself?