This is actually late in the game to be planning for "tomorrow" or next year. We should have started this process several months ago. But, as many of you know, we were otherwise engaged several months ago (getting ready to put the old house on the market and preparing to move everything to Colorado, where we are now).That doesn't mean we weren't thinking about next year, and beyond.
My business is going into its 7th year as Windsor Media Enterprises. We've changed a great deal since opening our doors. Part of that change has been driven by our customers and clients, and by the online environment. We're an online business, primarily. We need to be current with new online tools and ideas. The other changes have been driven by our desire to create a lifestyle business, as opposed to a big business.
As Mary said yesterday in her blog post, we too focused on things like the work we like to do, with clients who appreciate us. We also focused on social media, not so much as a business tool, but as a connector - how is twitter, Facebook, blogs, and all the rest going to impact the people you meet - who then impact your business? How does that work? Do you know? Have you thought about it?
The New Year is creeping up on us and it's not going to be same-old, same-old. If you live in a world where that happens, it's your fault. Today's business success calls for true innovation. That means more than thinking out of the box - it means jumping out of the box. It means pursuing your true goals and passions. It means looking at what works and figuring out how to get it working better, harder, faster, easier for you. It means looking at what didn't work and not just throwing it out the window but contemplating why it didn't work. Don't repeat past mistakes.
The forward road holds surprises and some clouds, no doubt. While you can't prepare for the surprises (or can you?) you can be proactive about your business planning, your clients' needs, and your own needs, and maybe those surprises will be few and far between. As for the clouds, Dolly Parton says, "You can have a rainbow with the rain," so don't let the clouds deter you. When things go wrong, and they always do, work your way through it. Get help - we ladies often skip that step - we think we should go it alone, and that can spell your downfall. Help is out there, just ask.
A good friend and mentor of mine advises taking a retreat. A weekend away. Away from the usual distractions, all by yourself, where you can walk the beach, or hike in the moutains, or be one with nature, and think. Think about life, your life, and how you'd like it to be. Think about what innovation means to you. Think about the doors that opened this year - and the doors that closed. Be in the moment, with yourself. A retreat can provide clarity of thought - and it can uncover some deep, abiding truths - about you, about your life, and about how you really want to live that life.
It's not a secret. It's not jumping out of bed every day with a cheer. It's not even refusing to give up. It's life. Embrace it with all of its prickers. The rose is still there, somewhere. You'll find it if you take time to look for it. When you find it, treasure it. Touch the soft petals and enjoy the sweet fragrance. Make it part of your life.
Everything you do will flow from there.