Friday, January 14, 2011

Off to rough start...

Well, it hasn't been pretty, folks. We caught some sort of bug/germ/flu thing-y and have been passing it back and forth for a solid week now. It started last Saturday with JD, and by Monday I was ready to take all three kiddos in to the doctor, but when I called to make them an appointment, the receptionist told me the office was closed until Wednesday. Wanna guess why? All the doctors went to watch Auburn play in the National Championship game- duh! That's important right? To close your practice and leave your patients with nothing more than a 1800 nurse line. Since no one was gravely ill, a trip to Urgent Care or the ER wasn't really warranted, so we just sucked it up. By Wednesday, everyone seemed to be doing better, but here it is Friday, and we all still have an ugly little cough, and Sophie has started running a fever again. Ugh! I just want my kiddos all better!!!

The highlight of the week was probably the 4 of us trudging through Walgreens (which was plastered with CDC signs warning of flu pandemic breaking out in Alabama), buying cold medicine, a new thermometer, ice cream and Valentine's peeps, sniffling and coughing, to the sounds of Don't Cry For Me Argentina playing on the sound system. I was so out of it, I wasn't even singing along- now that says
a lot about how sick I was!

I haven't really accomplished much on my list yet, but I still have high hopes for the month, so I haven't given up yet on that. I guess we'll see where I'm at this time next week.

I did find a great article of new year's resolutions for your small business:

1. Dare to be different.

Be daring and take steps to ensure your company and your products stand out from the crowd. Look at what you did well in 2010 and what you could have been different. Take bold steps to help your brand stand out in 2011.

2. Have a clear purpose.

Make sure you go into the New Year with a clear and compelling mission and ask if you were living it in 2010. Make sure everyone on your team knows what it is, what business you’re in and what is expected of them. Look for creative ways to bring it to life with your team.

3. Listen and have something compelling to say.

Make a commitment to be a better listener in 2011. Commit to listen and then formulate your response. Actively seek your team’s input and feedback for new ideas. Listen to your consumers and understand what makes them tick. Listen to what they have to say and build a relevant and compelling conversation with them. Remember, if you’re not interesting or relevant, people will ignore you.

4. Pick a fight.

When you’ve got an opponent to beat, it increases your motivation to win, so choose an enemy to fight and rally your team around this battle. Make the enemy a competitor, a trend or an element of your internal culture, and put it up on the wall so your team can find motivation and focus in it.

5. Set a big goal.

Set at least one wild and audacious goal for 2011 -- something you’ve never tried before. Outline the goal, share it with your team and challenge them to play their part in achieving it. Make sure you celebrate the small victories and successes along the journey.

6. Inspire your team.

There’s nothing more important than your people, and there’s nothing more engaging than a team who feels acknowledged. Inspire them with your own attention and regular updates on the business. Also bring in relevant speakers and articles to keep them challenged.

7. Laugh a lot.

One of the best motivators for your team is a great work environment, and one of the best elements of a vibrant team environment is laughter. Next year do small things that make your employees smile. Along with laughter and a light-hearted environment, small gestures or events can make a big difference. And the benefits won’t just stop with your team -- they will show through everything that your brand does.

8. Plan the plan.

Commit to setting time aside to plan your year next year ahead. Set two days aside at the end of November every year to plan for the following year. Then take a day out every quarter to review how you’re doing against the plan and revise it where necessary. Every brand needs a plan. Make a commitment to write one.

9. Make friends.

Chart a “circle of love” and identify brands with similar values that you’d like to partner with in 2011. Assign someone to explore potential relationships and collaborations. You’ll be surprised by the results, even just the initial conversations you’ll have about your own brand.

10. Show your appreciation.

Do what your mother told you! Thanking people goes a long way to create valued and appreciated fans -- internally and externally. This year, find new ways to show you appreciate your team, your customers and your partners, in ways that truly make a difference in their lives. You’ll be surprised and delighted by the results.

I like all of these except #4. I think that deserves a post all its own, so I'll have to do that next week, I have some thoughts rattling around in my head about competitors and competition in general, oh, and depending on the seller's reply, maybe even a funny post about scrabble tiles... we'll see, lol.

Good night world, send get well vibes my way please!!!

1 comment:

hoosiergirl said...

I just love your blog!