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Taking your brand to the next level in 2012

I always get so excited around this time of year. I am filled with such gratitude as I reflect on the year that has just passed! Its like looking at a beautiful painting with such awe inspiring contrast. Every year has its deep deep shadows and its nearly exploding highlights. Each year has its own blistering vibrance and tack sharp detail that can evoke such a wide gammit of emotions! With running a business of my own its almost like being able to observe the beauty of two perfectly imperfect masterpieces that I have created in the most recent of 365 days.

With that being said, this time of year is also the time to reflect and take note of the years “failures” and successes. And over the last few months I have been doing just that, addressing the highs and lows of my personal business and life, and tweeking my plans and strategies going into 2012. With my planning I have come across 10 keys that I will be using to ensure the New Year will be raising the bar in a big way, not only in my business but in the businesses in which I assist as well.

If your an Entreprenuer or Business owner of sorts I think these tips and strategies will help you make a big bang in 2012 as well.

  1. Set Goals!

Alright I know this one is a bit obvious, but you would be suprised at how many people fail to set Real Measurable Goals that actually have a chance at being obtained. Most everyone sets goals going into the New Year, but most are so vague that they are often lost by the end of January.

  • Make sure you Goal has a specific deadline and details so that you can evaluate progress as you move into the year.
  • Find ways to hold yourself accountable to your goals, or if your not that great at keeping yourself in check yet seek out a friend to take on the task.
  • Be flexible. At times there are going to be things that may take priority over your goal (ex. Health bills come up when your working on building your savings). Don’t beat yourself up over things you cant change. Simply re-evaluate your goal and current situation and go from there
  • Reward yourself when youve made large strides toward the completion of your goal. Recognition feels good, even when its from yourself.

2.  Socialize

  • If you run or own a business I hope you are utilizing the wonderful social media tools we have at our disposal these days. We are blessed with so much FREE marketing its a wonder why everyone hasn’t jumped in to take full advantage of it yet.
  • Don’t forget to socialize with others in your same field/industry. Of course its important to connect and communicate with your current and potential clients, but when connecting with a wider peer group in your industry it opens an array of new doors you may have never thought possible.
  • Here’s a brief list of the most popular Social Media platforms that I would suggest going into 2012
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

3.  Network

  • Where as my last tip was more focused on online socializing, this is more so on in person networking. having an online presence is extremely important these days, but nothing beats a warm smile and a friendly handshake to build a solid professional relationship.
  • Get out there and build powerful relationships in your field with peers and potential clients.
  • Attend Networking Groups, Fundraisers, and other meetups in your area (Or out of your area if your looking to expand) and share your gift with others.

4.  Plan Ahead

  • This is huge, often times we get so busy with the hectic schedule coming up over the next few weeks or months that we forget to work on the big picture. Then what happens is we work our way through the busy months and when we lift our head its a empty calendar that we have to create from scratch all over again.
  • With my position I’m  a man of MANY hats, I run all aspects of my Studio as well as consult and assist with a Charity and a Coaching/Speaking business of a great friend of mine Jon Vroman. Just the other day Jon and I were laughing at the fact that a decent amount of the work we are doing right now, wont even yield a return until 2013 or beyond. That’s one of the many things I love about Jon is he see’s things at an aerial view and sees the full picture, and because of that he has the comfort of not having to worry if the business is going to be running next year.
  • Plan ahead, because as they say “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”.

5.  Bring value to those around you

  • Its amazing how many businesses are all about take take take. This is the kind of mentality that will loose clients and followers in a heart beat.
  • Part of my job is to work on developing a following for particular brands. To come up with strategies to gain raving fans and build a loyal following. The easiest way to do this is add an insane amount of value to peoples lives. And here’s the magic words… do it for free!
  • I’ll illustrate this idea with an example from earlier this year. With my design and creative position I invest in training programs for the year so that I can keep up with latest trends and technology, as well as of course continue to learn in new and exciting areas. For the last couple years I have been using an excellent training program that I was very pleased with and have renewed each year, until around September when I found a new training group that not only offers similar training for a yearly rate like the previous but also has 4 or 5 weekly FREE podcast and training sessions on various topics that relate to what I do. Needless to say I’ve switched over to the new training program, and here’s the kicker… It costs a considerable amount more then the last training. However I am extremely happy with not only the content that I pay for, but also the content that I have access to for free!

6.  Embrace New Ideas and Trends

  • One of the wonders of today is how fast everything is changing. Think about the internet, which has only been around for about 20 years! Just a few years ago we were using dial up (makes me cringe to say those words haha). Now days were surfing the web at lightning speeds, just about everyone nowadays has the internet in there CELL PHONE!!
  • Far to often we find ourselves avoiding change, where as instead we should be embracing new ideas and trends. This is something I did in 2011 with facebook fan pages. Who knew that you could make money by designing a page for facebook and then post related content on the page! I would have missed out on this extraordinary opportunity if I hadn’t been open to new ideas.

7.  Stay on top of your Health

  • This is a big one that I am attacking going into 2012. Just 5 months ago I was living in Virginia Beach eating delicious organic foods and being aware of what I was putting into my body. Unfortunately Ive let that slip a bit moving back to Michigan. Just today I had Taco Bell for lunch and if you’ve ever been on a detox diet and went back to eating fast food or anything like that then you know the effects improper food has on your body.
  • Its very difficult to reach your goals if your energy and health goes out the window.
  • Eat Healthy, Exercise, and get enough sleep to restore your levels to run on all cylinders the next day.

8.  Create your success

  • Be Proactive in your approach to the New Year. You cant sit there and expect success to fall in your lap. A topic that Ive spoke on before is “The Law of Attraction”, and how the idea that if you just want something hard enough it will magically happen or appear. Bull Sh*t! You can practice your wishful thinking all you want, but your still going to have to go out and create the success your looking for. My point is dont sit around waiting for your success to bump into you at the market, go out there and grab that success by the balls and make it your… I digress.

9.  Challenge yourself

  • This is at the top of my list of things that keep me up at night when thinking about 2012! I am so excited about the challenges that I have already put in place going into 2012 as well as those that will come up along the way.
  • Take time to push yourself out of your comfort zone this year. Take that big leap in your business that you have been afraid of. Go get that client you have been telling everyone you will talk to one day. Learn that new skill. Whatever it may be just push yourself past your comfort level and watch yourself grow.

10.  Live Life and Love Life

  • Live life to it absolute fullest!
  • We were built to be able to experience all that this world has to offer, take advantage of it! Live your life at full volume!
  • Love the life you were blessed with!
  • No matter what your situation, understand that you live an extraordinary life. Embrace the adversity that comes into your life and just know that its making your story unique to you!

I hope this helps as you move into the New Year.

Happy New Year

~Nick Mayo

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