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10 Ways To Improve Your Business (and Life!)

New Year Chapter One

Happy New Year! Even though many people say “I don’t make New Year’s resolutions“, I have have never known a business owner who wasn’t at least slightly interested in and willing to shake things up in the new year to improve their business. I too am pursuing a new avenue in my business this year – everybody’s doing it!

This year. Why not last year? Why not next year? That’s the thing – in the new year we all feel revved up and ready to take on the world. Regardless of your specific business goals, here are 10 ways to take your business (and life!) up a notch this year:

Read

I know that reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. My husband and I have a joke in our house where we re-enact the scene in Seinfeld’s Bizarro Jerry episode when Jerry tells Elaine: I read. …and Elaine replies: Books, Jerry.

Here’s the thing about reading regardless of your age, interests, and abilities: reading will improve your life. I have never (ever) encountered someone who has committed to reading a book per month or a magazine per week or a newspaper per day who didn’t take things up a notch in their life. You learn things, become more informed, become more aware, and your wheels start turning with ideas and inspiration. You don’t have to read Tolstoy or business specific journals (although you’re welcome to). You just need to read regularly and see what happens for yourself. I kept track of everything I read in 2016 as a way to keep myself going. Check out this blog post to see my top 5 recommendations based on everything I read last year.

Write

Stay with me! If you are not wild about reading you are FOR SURE not wild about writing. Creating content for your business – blog posts, articles, social media posts, lead magnets, videos, online courses – can and will reshape your business this year if you commit to it. Interested in expanding your reach this year? Content is a path for doing this. Not interested in expanding your reach? That’s fine, but then you must be planning to sell more to your existing reach – and content can help you do that.

On the personal side of writing, if you even half-try to journal every day you will not believe some of the changes that can show up in your life. Give it a whirl this year!

Meditate

If you poo poo reading and writing, you for sure are hating this suggestion to meditate. If that’s you, then I recommend you start your reading this year with the book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story. This book illustrates perfectly how meditation can help you take things up a notch in work and your personal life. Note: You don’t have to meditate for hours on end and take a pilgrimage to India (unless you want to). Just 10 minutes of meditation a day can work wonders.

Connect

This is hard for me – I would prefer to not connect and do not-connecting really, really well. But when you connect – exchange information and ideas with other PEOPLE ideally IN PERSON, amazing things begin to happen. If the idea of this makes you weak in the knees, just start by showing up with no expectations – that’s what I do. If you just show up and you are open to opportunity for growth the rest will fall into place.

Reconnect

If you don’t like to connect then you have likely lost connection with many people over time. It’s easy to do these days because we have less time and it’s very easy to live life with technology doing much of our heavy lifting. But when you lose connection to people you lose connection to new experiences and opportunities. Commit to reconnecting with one person, place, or thing each week this year. Write about it, see what happens.

Disconnect

As important as it is to connect and reconnect, it’s equally if not more important to disconnect from things on a regular basis. Do you check your email at night and on weekends because you’re in the business of actually saving the world from meteors crashing into earth or because you have developed a bad habit of constantly being connected to technology? Do you answer emails at all hours because your clients really truly and actually need you to or because you have lost sight of creating boundaries in your business completely? Strategic Coach refers to this concept as Free Days and they have countless examples on their website of the amazing things that can happen in a business in life when a business owner commits to them.

Say YES

I mentioned earlier that I kept track of all the books I read last year. One of the first books I read in 2016 was Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person. Like 10% Happier, this is another case study of how doing something can have a profound effect on business and life. It’s not really a case study, by the way. It’s a fun read by Shonda Rhimes who is really a most excellent – and hilarious – writer and frankly anyone interested in a better year should check it out.

Say NO

You may already know that the only way to get to saying YES is saying NO to the time-wasting, soul sucking, askhole opportunities crap that is put in front of us every day. If you are going to take it up a notch in business and in life this year, get ready to say NO way more than you say YES. There is a quick read titled The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness that is a great resource for this concept.

Create a crystal clear vision in your mind

Walt Disney once said: If you can dream it, you can do it. He proved that big time with the Walt Disney empire. If you dig into the history of Disney you discover that there was no pie in the sky throwing ideas around dreaming going on here. Walt Disney had a very specific vision for what he wanted to accomplish and he set out and did just that. You can too. But you have to get serious about documenting exactly what you want to achieve and you MUST do the next thing on this list because – and I am going to go woo woo on you now – the Universe will give you exactly what you ask for.

Take action every day – even when it’s hard

It all comes down to this, friends. We can talk about things to do to make this year great for hour, days, weeks, months, years. But if you do not take action every day – even when it’s hard – you will be in the same spot in your business and life next year. I saved this tip for last but it truly is the most important secret sauce of all.

So why is this post on a marketing blog, you ask? Easy. Because all the marketing in the world will not do much for a stagnant business. I can’t help a business that doesn’t have anything going on in it. But when a business is firing on all cylinders it’s nearly impossible NOT to be successful in the marketing of it. Ready to make this year the best year yet in your business (and life)? Then in the words of trademarked words of Nike:

Just Do It Nike slogan

 

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