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5 Things You Can Do to End Your Year on a High Note

We’re rapidly approaching year end. Thank goodness! I’m quite ready to put this year behind me. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to work extra hard this year to offset the sluggishness of the economy.

There are signs of hope and optimism on the horizon now. One of the things that surprised me to learn in my economics class was that personal expectations had as much to do with the economy as the actual economic indicators. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy, a Pygmalion effect, of sorts.

When people are hopeful and happy, they spend more and the economy improves. When people are fearful and worried, they slow their spending and the economy declines.

Some of the pundits are now reporting statistics that indicate the tide is turning. The number of people losing their jobs is declining. The real estate market seems to have bottomed out, sales are on the rise (slightly) and mortgages are getting funded.

Clearly we’re not out of the woods yet. Still, I’m expecting the general economic climate to be better in 2010 than it has been this year. I’ve heard, as you probably have, that the recovery could be slow and unsteady, yet, there is talk of a recovery and that’s a good thing.

Here are some things you can do to end your year on a high note and position yourself to start 2010 off with a bang!

1.  Dream bigger
Don’t allow your mind and heart be dragged down by the negative energy and talk around you.  Be open to the miraculous (yes, I did use the “M” word). Expect good to happen.  You’ve heard the question, “If you knew you would not fail, what would you do?” Then do it!

2.  Delight your customers in new ways
Find out what issues and challenges your customers (and prospects) are experiencing and create new ways to service them.

3. Partner with colleagues to pursue bigger projects
It’s a challenge sometimes for small firms to land really large deals from big companies because they are perceived as ‘not quite ready for prime time’.  Join forces and your capabilities increase along with your revenue potential.

4. Refer business to someone else
When you give to someone else, it creates a vacuum and they want to give back.  While you shouldn’t give referrals JUST so someone gives you a referral back, giving referrals routinely will set you up to be the recipient  more often than not.

5. Make a written plan
People who have their goals written down earn ten times more than people who only have vaguely defined goals.  They are also happier in life and feel more fulfilled.  Planning requires you to take stock of your assets and how to best leverage them for increased profitability.

When you implement these ideas, you’ll be well on your way to increased prosperity!

Your Secret Weapon for Business Growth 

I read a story about growing corn (go figure) and immediately saw implications for business owners growing their enterprise.

It’s called “The Good Corn”. The author is unknown.

There was a farmer who grew award-winning corn.  Each year, he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year, a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

“How can you afford to share you best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir”, said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field.  If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn.  If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

That farmer is very much aware of the connectedness of life.  His corn (business) cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn (business) also improves.

So it is in other dimensions. Those who chose to be at peace must help their neighbors to be at peace.  Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches.  And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this:  if we are to grow good corn (succeed in business) we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

What does this mean for you?

1. Help your colleagues be more efficient.
When they are freed up from mundane, non-productive tasks, they will have more time and energy to collaborate with you and develop programs or services you can offer your combined clients.

2.  Partner with your ‘neighbors’ for products & services
While your neighbor sells the same ‘corn’ as you, s/he might also produce and sell things you don’t…and vice versa.  Some coach colleagues of mine who have expertise in different areas, have taken those skills and developed a really compelling program that people are signing up for in droves.  By combining their talent, they were able to capitalize on something that the market is really hungry for that neither would have been able to do alone.

3.  Hold fast to the Law of Abundance
Believe that there is an abundance of opportunities, an abundance of prospects and an abundance of ways you can help people. The key is finding where those three things intersect.

We can all grow and share our special brand of great corn. Have faith, work strategically and partner for success.

NAWBO, Loretta & Emerald Harvest Consulting

This video was shot in 2008 at the NAWBO Convention in Phoenix.

It surfaced on the internet today, a little over one year from it’s creation.

Here’s the description they posted.

“This enthusiastic business coach has made her mark on her community of women business owner as she is also the newly elected President of the NAWBO Phoenix, Arizona Chapter.”

Your Declaration of Independence – from the Economy!

As I prepared to write this article, I thought of a very popular karaoke song by Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive. (I wanted to sing it at the karaoke bar at the Sheraton in Chicago last week, but apparently someone else had just sung it before I arrived. (I ended up singing You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.)

In any event, we will survive!  So here’s one step you can take.  Like our forefathers, it’s time to claim your independence from the economy.  So heed these abbreviated and adapted words.  (Words in italics, mine.)

When in the course of business events, it becomes necessary for entrepreneurs to dissolve the constrictive economic band which has connected them to one another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation…

The economy has plundered our bank accounts, ravaged our peace of mind, burnt our financial institutions, and destroyed the lives of our people…

It has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless foreign countries whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the business community of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Enterprises, solemnly publish and declare,

That these united businesses are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent entities, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to any belief in scarcity and that all connection between them and the State of Fear, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent minds and spirits, they have full Power to conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent businesses may of right do.

We will survive!  You’ve probably heard the expression, “If it is to be, it’s up to me”. So don’t sit back passively waiting for things to improve.  Get out there and make something happen!

Happy Independence Day!