One Month into the New Year - How is it going for you? What are you doing differently?

We are into the second month of a new year, how is it going? Are those new year’s resolutions just a faded memory? Are you still doing the same things you did last year. Have you even taken a closer look at what you did last year? We can all admit that it’s been a pretty rough ride for most business owners, regardless of the size of your business, big or small. The ups of the past year felt like climbing Mount Everest and the downs felt like we lost our footing and entered into a freefall. So, let’s take the lessons of 2009 and apply them with greater anticipation to the remaining months of 2010?

If your are a small business owner, like me, you probably don’t have an army of workers or volunteers that are going to give you valuable feedback or even give you a big pat on the back for a job well done, even in the most difficult of situations. One problem with the small business owner is that often we are far too critical of the job that we have done and the little voice in our head – that sounds like a choir on Christmas eve – keeps telling us about what we wanted to do but did not do. That choir can really wreck havoc with your confidence and the positive attitude that is so important to any business, particulary if you’re just starting out like “Go Green Go”. So before we start, let me say that if you have stayed in business this past year – you have done a great job even if nobody has told you so!

The only way we know if we have been successful this past year is to take a look at what we have accomplished. Don’t be hesitant – you probably did a lot more than you think. Let’s try to dig up some of the positive things that you did last year. Let’s turn your desires for success into a solid belief that you will achieve your desires in 2010. This is called confidence – without this one element in your game plan – you’ll feel like a sinking ship without a lifeboat.

It’s already February, but don’t worry it’s never too late to take a closer look at your company.

So here are some basic questions to ask yourself about 2009. After you answer the questions for 2009, review the questions once more use them as a guide for what you would like to accomplish for 2010.

• What new relationships did you develop through the year? Personally, I think that this is the most important aspect of any business – people, people, people – how you treat them is of utmost importance.

• What goals did you accomplish? Did you have any goals or were you flying by the seat of your pants? If not, this could be a good place to start.

• What are you grateful about? If you have an attitude of gratitude – it will serve you well. Even in the worst of circumstances – we need to find something that we are grateful for and if we take a minute and look around we can usually find something that we are grateful for.

• Did you receive an award or were you recognized for any particular accomplishment? Nothing is too small.

• What did you do to make yourself or your company better?

• Did you have any new marketing ideas? – Did they work?

• Probably the most important question – What did you learn this year about your company or yourself.

So, here are some basic questions for you to ponder as you review the past year. Some questions may be very easy for you to answer while others may require much more time and thought. Don’t get bogged down on the negative and what you didn’t do – your enthusiasm will take a vacation if you allow yourself to go this route. Instead focus on the positive aspects of the past year. When you finish with 2009, look forward to the remaining months of 2010 and use this use these same questions as a guideline to give you something to focus on in the coming year. You don’t need to wait until the end of a year to take a look at yourself or your business. You could use these questions on a monthly basis to give you that added boost to continue in your journey. Regardless of where you want your business to go, how successful you want to be, the goals you want to reach always remember that the JOY is in the JOURNEY.

About the author

Susan Jenkins is the founder of Go Green Go, a T-shirt business that promotes eco-friendly activities, such as walking, hiking, biking, sailing, etc. To learn more, visit


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