Much is said about the spirit of Christmas (Elvis opined, Why can't every day be like Christmas / Why can't that feeling go on endlessly / For if everyday could be just like Christmas / What a wonderful world this would be). But when it comes to business, isn’t it actually the New Year’s spirit we should hold onto?
It’s exciting to turn the page to a new year, with all the hope and enthusiasm it brings. And while I join the chorus to wish you all a very happy and exceedingly prosperous year ahead, I’d like to point out that today, much of what the New Year represents is psychological. A new year is a state of mind – one we can revisit on a regular basis – no matter what the calendar says.
This is especially true for Solo PR Pros. As indies we set the tone for our businesses, and we can select our own touchstone dates, meaningful to us, throughout the year. Your birthday, the anniversary of your business opening, or the more traditional start of each new quarter can serve as goalposts to re-capture the New Year spirit and evaluate your priorities anew.
New Year – Anytime
Take a moment to think about the dates you’d like to regroup, and mark them on your calendar (I personally enjoy taking advantage of the March 4 homophone to consider how I’d like to march forth in the year ahead!). Then, inject New Year’s spirit into your new milestones throughout the year in some of the following ways:
Plan Downtime – Most people take some time off in December, which can result in a re-energized state come January. As we often discuss on this blog, the benefits of taking a break are imperative any time of year. If you wait until some downtime presents itself, you’ll be waiting forever! Plan a date and stick to it, and don’t hesitate to take multiple breaks during the year – your work will be the better for it.
Re-energize – Are you excited about the future of your business, your career, your life? You should be! This is the greatest gift of the independent career path – if what you’re doing isn’t working for you, you can change course. Take stock on a regular basis so you can clear out soul-sucking clients and dead-end initiatives, thereby making room to try new things.
Business Plan Adjustment – As we know, the days of putting together an annual plan and following it to the letter until December are long gone (can you believe there was a time when businesses actually did five year plans, and stuck to them?). Today, things change fast, quick, and in a hurry. Goal setting and New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be a one and done phenomena — at regular intervals throughout the year, it’s beneficial to measure, assess and re-strategize based on prevailing conditions.
Socialize – December usually brings with it increased human contact and connections that can be rejuvenating, but it doesn’t have to end with the holidays (nor should it). Just ask the Solo PR PRO Premium members who regularly alternate between working hard and playing hard in our private Facebook community – having an outlet for social support makes every day more enjoyable and improves the quality of your work. The indie life can be a lonely one only if you allow it to be – find people with whom you can vent, joke and brainstorm new ideas on a regular basis, and you’ll have a lot more fun!
Educate- Many of us start the year with the goal of learning something new. Personally, this is the most motivating factor for me in my career – the fast pace of our industry can be dizzying, but it’s also fascinating and never boring! Whether you’re able to join us in February at the Solo PR Summit, or you just make sure to read a mind-expanding book multiple times a year, keeping the knowledge flowing will help keep you interested and engaged.
Every day is the start of a new year, when you think about it. Don’t wait for external milestones to do what’s best for you and your business – find the New Year’s spirit at the times that work best for you. Are there any set times of the year you use to take stock and rejuvenate, and any special activities or other ideas you incorporate? Let us learn from you by sharing them in the comments!
Solo PR Summit News – Get Paid for Your Support!
A quick sidebar about the Solo PR Summit – can you believe it’s coming up in just six weeks?! Many in our community are spreading the word to help us sell the last remaining seats, and we’re excited to have found a way to say thanks. Just tell your friends and colleagues to list your name and/or email address in the “How did you hear about us?” field when they register for the Solo PR Summit, and for every paid attendee you refer we’ll give you a $10 eGift certificate from Amazon.com! There’s no limit to the amount you can earn – you’ll receive the combined amount (e.g., five referrals will earn you a $50 Amazon.com credit) on February 19, the first day of the event.
A benefit of this approach is, unlike many traditional affiliate programs, you don’t have to be a member or an attendee to participate. So even if you have a scheduling conflict and can’t make it to the event, you can still earn some virtual moola. With a phenomenal program featuring in-demand speakers, including Jason Falls, Shelly Kramer, Arik Hanson, Shonali Burke, Lauren Vargas and David Griner, we want to make sure everyone who could benefit from the 2014 Solo PR Summit hears about us – thanks to our community for helping make that happen!