Make 2012 your best year ever, with these 9 powerful business ideas and professional development tips!
1. Show them what you know
In business, anyone can claim to be an expert. Look at the profile of any businessperson on a social network, even the most inept ones, and you will see them claiming to be anything from an expert or thought leader to a guru or ninja!
Use your blog, newsletter or social media accounts to demonstrate what you know. This is one of the finest ways to attract the interest of genuine, prospective clients. I get email inquiries for my services via this blog daily, with almost all of them telling me that the reason they want me to work with them, is they value my approach to marketing and business development. How do they know what my approach is? They see it here on the blog.
You know you are great at what you do. Your clients know it too.
Now, show the rest of your marketplace and blow the lid off your potential!
2. Walk more
Something almost magical happens when we walk. Not only do we get some extremely valuable health benefits, it seems to have a massive impact on how we feel. I have already written about this in detail here.
However, I really want to share the following video with you. It’s from Dr Mike Evans, and is all about the many medical and fitness benefits of walking, even for just 30 minutes a day.
If you can’t see the video, you can watch it here.
3. Fire any clients that make you unhappy
You can not run a successful business, working with people who make you miserable or pay you late or speak to you like you’re a fool. This is one of the first things I work on with new clients and the difference it makes to their businesses and quality of life, is enormous. Seth Godin said this was a key reason for his success.
4. Start blogging
If you already have a blog, start taking blogging seriously. Blogging is the single most powerful marketing tool I have ever found. Every day, thousands of business owners read this blog and share it with their friends. In 2011, this site generated over £145,000 for my business in client fees, sales and consulting work. If you are not sure where to start, relax. I have another blog, dedicated to it and all the information is free. Click here.
5. Become super selective who you listen to
There are many different voices you can tune into these days. Some will make you healthier happier and wealthier. Some will do the opposite. Listen to people with the knowledge and experience to help you.
6. Be yourself
The single most valuable lesson I have learned from my 25 years in marketing, is this: Be yourself.
The world is filled to bursting point with people, who simply copy what others say or do. For a 16 year old child who has little confidence and wants to avoid standing out, this is an effective strategy until they grow up. For a business owner seeking to gain visibility, it’s total insanity. I call this process embracing your inner freak. You can read all about it here.
7. Understand that there is often, more than one truth
You can make the coming year (and years), a lot less stressful with this basic mindset adjustment.
One of the reasons people get so frustrated, is that they know they are right, yet the other person simply doesn’t get their point or the other person is wrong and won’t admit it!
Here’s an alternative approach, which may make your future a lot less stressful and make YOU a lot more attractive to others. It’s about understanding that often, in business and in life generally, there is more than one truth.
For example, I love the taste of oranges. You may dislike them with a passion. If a third person asked each of us what oranges taste like, we would give completely opposite answers, yet both of us would be telling the truth, or to be more exact, we would be telling our truth. When you get your head around this concept and learn to respect the opinions of others, you will be amazed what it does for you in just about every area of your life.
8. Go deeper
One of the most common mistakes people make with their marketing, is that they build large, shallow networks online. In other words, they may have hundreds or thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends yet find it’s of little real benefit to their business.
I suggest you try a different approach. I suggest you focus on building a deeper relationship, with a far smaller, more focused group. Why? Because if you focus on attracting just 10 passionate advocates, they will each bring you another 10. That 10 will then do the same and before you know it, you will have a massively more targeted network. It’s all about shifting the focus from building numbers, to building quality.
I explain how it works in detail, in this post.
9. Answer this powerful question
There is a question, which every business owner should answer and then get to work on. The question is this:
“If my business were perfect in every way, what would it look like?”
A few things to consider, may include:
- How many hours would you work?
- What would you earn?
- Which causes would your business support?
- Where would you work?
- What kind of clients or customers, would you work with?
- What kind of systems would you have in place?
- What would you charge?
- What would your business’ image be?
- Which business specialists would you hire as consultants?
- How many people, if any, would you employ?
- What would be your unique twist, the thing that set you apart from the competition?
One of the reasons many business owners fail to grow a business that inspires them, is that they never took the time to decide what THEIR ideal business looked like. Getting clear on exactly what you want, makes it a lot easier to achieve. Its easy to take a wrong turn, when you’re not sure what your destination is!
Finally, I hope the next 12 months are the best ever for you, your family and your business. Thank you for your support over the past year!