With 2010 behind us and 2011 up and running, everyone is looking to improve this year over last. For many of you, you might be looking to make 2011 your breakout year as you take your dream and make it a reality. It is possible, you just have to keep you mindset on the right path to success and that makes the sky the limit for what you can accomplish over the next 12 months.
#1 – This Is Not A Backup Plan
Your future is too important to treat your business as a backup plan. I hear far too many bloggers and small online business owners say, “It makes me some side cash and hopefully…one day…it will be full time.” One day never comes with that attitude…it will always be side income instead of your profession.
Owning your own business (online or not) is dependent on a correct mindset from the very beginning. Do I believe in working a 9-5 until you can replace the income with your blogging? Absolutely. I even suggest working both if you can pull it for as long as you can balance the needs of your lifestyle (before you have kids, etc.), but if you expect to make it big with the mindset of small…you are sorely mistaken. You have to jump into your life headfirst as if there was no other option. You want to be full-time with your dream and that is the goal from day one. Will it provide side income in the meantime? Yes it will, but you will spend the side income on stuff you don’t need with a bad business mindset instead of putting it where it belongs…back into your business for growth.
Start 2011 with the mindset that you are going to make it big in 2011. It is not if or hopefully…it is when and that is dependent upon you.
#2 – Form Efficient Working Habits
We waste a TON of time. It’s true. Even those of us that think we are incredibly efficient still waste a lot of time.
In 2011, you need to figure out how you can efficiently work to get the most out of every minute you are in front of that computer or networking. I personally use tools like Evernote, Google Calendars and scheduling posts to make sure I am running at full steam at all times. Just recently, I used my need for efficiency as an excuse with my wife to pick up an iPad. While my intentions were to just get an iPad, I actually found that my efficiency level increased during meetings and on the go as I had a way to get ideas down on paper easier and a way to edit plans/invoices and other documents during crucial meetings.
My efficient working habits are not going to be the same as yours in most cases but you need to find out how you can make the most out of the time you have. There are going to be things that come up to derail your plans, so having everything in place and planned will be crucial to your success in 2011.
#3 – Watch The Trends
If someone would have told you to ignore Digg 3 years ago, would you believe them? What if they told you Facebook was going to be more powerful than Google 2 years ago?
The web is still finding its way. Its users are still figuring out how they want to share and find information online. Ironically, 2010 marked the year of consumers (yes…your content is a consumable) going back to their roots of personally recommending products, services and other items through social media outlets like Facebook. How many people looking to buy a vacuum cleaner online hit up Facebook first to ask their friends what they are using before they searched Google? Online word of mouth is building up steam quickly, so capitalizing on that trend can bring you some serious growth by not wasting time on old, tired out methods.
However, just because it is the trend that is working today…that does not necessarily mean it will the the trend of tomorrow. It is up to you to watch out for the next Facebook or Twitter. Will there be another flood of social media like those two created? Probably not…but what if the next flood is something that is branded outside of social media?
In 2011, you need to watch the trends and test theories to see what works for your audience and your business. You never know…you could find a secret goldmine.
#4 – Stay Positive And Have Fun
2010 in many ways was the year of negativity and polarizing opinions. Personally, I stopped watching the news as it was just depressing. At the end of the day, we are all dealt the same hand of cards. It is up to us to make the most we can of this one life we have, and if we are going to live it miserable and negative…there isn’t much point.
Your success this year will completely depend on your outlook on life. Are there things going on in this world that you don’t agree with? Yes. Are there people in your life that just get on your nerves? Yes. Is that going to change? No…but you can change how you interact and look at the world. By staying positive and having fun with your life, you will attract other positive people and things. If you make the conscious decision to be negative and angry, you are going to attract nothing but negative and angry people or things.
If you only do one thing that will help your business this year…it should be to have fun with it. The rest will fall in line naturally.