By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
As we head into the "holiday week" (Seemingly nobody in my circle - or Albuquerque - plans to be working next week) I'm doing my annual evaluation - the good,the bad, the ugly. And, you know what? Despite the economy, global warming, and the usual general stupidity of the human race...I had a good year. Partly because I looked at the bad and the ugly and tried to learn lessons or to let go. Things about which I could do nothing, I did my best to let go - quit obsessing; stop reading ignorant, hateful comments on blogs and Facebook (the dark, depressing side of social media)..and so on and so forth. I'm not saying ignore the bad and ugly, simply put in context (and to work for you.)
Certainly, life as a sole proprietor was difficult this year. But then it's always hard - for any type of business. Nobody said life has to be fair, and it isn't. I paid the bills and had some fun - what more can I ask?
I re-focused on the type of work (and clients) I enjoy. Product development. Business strategy. Translating technology into real-world products. Integrated offline/online marketing plans. Stopped trying to cover all the bases - which is confusing to potential clients and frustrating for me. (Yes, I took some of my own advice!) I realized (yet again, Duh point #1 to me) that I have to work just as hard (and tie my brain into just a big a knots) for a $2,000 gig as I do for a $20,000. I simply can't make my business model work with lots of small Marketing 101 projects (If I get blank looks when I talk about emarketing basics such as don't send unrequested emails and don't load your web site with flash at the expense of content - that's not a good prospect for me.)
My long-time, repeat clients continue to be both fun and educational. I'm lucky that I don't have to chase cold biz or buzz (see above about re-focusing. Duh point #2 to me.) It really is all about relationships (and that doesn't happen with cold calls or email blasts...hello? 5wPR? Are you reading?)
My friends and I are all healthy and active, both physically and intellectually. We don't always agree but we sure enjoy discussing! We took some wonderful road trips around our beautiful state. Enjoyed simply being together, and are making more low/no-cost, high-fun plans for 2010. (January snowshoeing for one thing.)
My Civitan Club raised and donated much-needed money to worthy groups such as Roadrunner Food Bank...and had fun doing it. (We'll be there tomorrow for our monthly volunteer gig, sorting, sacking, stacking.)
I got better at simply taking time. (Well, most of the time...;-) The more I hurry, the more I multi-task - the more I stress and screw up. As Thoreau said, "Life is too short to be in a hurry."
It's also too short to not have fun, even (especially) "at work"...(I did mention that "fun" element, didn't I?)
So, how was your year? Any takeaways you'd like to share? Duh points?