7 Switch-It-Up Steps to Running a Successful Business and Living a Happy Life in 2011

by Michelle Salater on January 3, 2011


If you’re not sitting down, grab a piece of paper, a calendar, and a pen and take a seat. I’m going to walk you through a little exercise (don’t worry, it’s nothing strenuous) that will help you extract what you need to change in your life and your business in 2011 to be happy and successful.

Basically, this exercise is going to help you visualize your marketing strategy for 2011—clearer than you’ve ever seen it before—and implement your strategies in an effective manner.

See below for 7 Switch-It-Up Steps to finding happiness and running a successful business in 2011:

Step 1: Remember that piece of paper and pen I told you to grab earlier? This is the time to use it. Create a two column list on your sheet of paper and title one column “It worked!,” and the other column “That Didn’t Work.”

Step 2: Close your eyes and take a little trip down 2010 memory lane. What were the best moments in your business and how did you reach those moments? When were you happiest and what was going on with your business at that time? All of the actions you took that created these moments go under the “It worked!” column. Write them down—feel free to draw stick figures and pictures next to the actions you wrote down, if it helps.

My “It worked!” list consists of various business decisions and networking moments. In hopes of inspiring you to make great business decisions in 2011, here is just a small glimpse into what worked for my business this year (both big and small):

  • Joining Twitter: I was hesitant to join Twitter since I was primarily focused on connecting with others on Facebook and LinkedIn, but I decided to give Twitter a shot. I realized that it was an excellent networking platform and source for great information, videos, news, blogs, and articles.
  • Switching offices: Changing Sumèr’s work environment was an excellent decision. We expanded our office space, moved to a new location, and felt refreshed. For once, I felt as though there was a boundary between my personal life and my business life. It’s amazing how much of a difference changing office locations can make on business success and personal life. I think the notion of change really helped spark additional changes in my business and allowed the company to continue to grow and expand.
  • Launching the new and improved Copy Doodle: Copy Doodle is now one year old! I launched the new Copy Doodle in January 2010 and I’ve been thrilled with the success I’ve seen with it. Since redoing the blog in January, Copy Doodle ranked on Technorati’s 100 Best Small Business Blogs and Top 10 Authority Movers, and our post, Battle of the WordPress Themes was featured on Technorati’s Hottest Posts on Blogging. In addition, we’ve also been asked to guest post on several occasions, and contribute to webinars and teleseminars, thanks to our blog.

Step 3: Close your eyes again and take another trip down 2010 memory lane. The difference between this trip and the trip you took in Step 2 is that the weather becomes stormy and gray. What were the worst moments in your business and how did you reach those moments? When were you at your lowest and what was going on with your business at that time? You probably don’t want to go back to the dreary days when you made not-so-hot business decisions, but you must. In order to grow from our past mistakes, we must face them and challenge them head on in order to positively influence our decisions in the future.

All of the actions you took that created these moments go under the “That Didn’t Work” column. Write them down—feel free to draw stick figures and pictures next to the actions you wrote down, if it helps. All of the items you write down should focus on what didn’t work for your business.

Here’s what’s on my “That Didn’t Work” list:

  • Trying to wear too many hats: There were days this past year when I was so burnt out and rundown. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn for help. I realized that the main cause of this issue was the amount of responsibilities I had placed on myself. I was scared of delegating and wanted everything in my control. I realized this was going to be my demise. I’ve been taking the steps to delegate properly and already feel much better! I know that in 2011 I will continue to delegate and grow my business without burning myself out.
  • Keeping things the same: There were times when everything became so tedious that I was actually boring myself. I realized that if I was boring myself, I had to be boring my readers. It was time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.  As we were working on our 2011 marketing plan, we realized it was time to make some changes, which is why we decided to switch things up with the Sumèr’s Secrets ezine. The ezine now has a new format and the content has shifted. Instead of lengthy articles, we’re going to ask readers for their input so that we can provide subscribers the information they want to know when they want to know it.

Step 4: Look at the “It Worked!” decisions you made. Now, grab your calendar and mark on it the dates you will make similar decisions. For example, if one of your “It Worked!” decisions was hosting a webinar that brought in 50 people and had 15 of those people purchase your product or service, mark on your calendar when you will host your next webinar. When you mark a task onto your calendar that has proved successful in the past you have something positive to look forward to. The sight of the task on your calendar also works to encourage you to get the ball rolling instead of waiting until 2011 to get around to it.

Step 5: Look at your “That Didn’t Work” list and say the items on the list out loud, beginning with the phrase “In 2011, I will not (insert the problem)” and ending with the phrase “I will (insert the solution). For example, I would say “In 2011, I will not wear too many hats in my business. I will delegate. Now mark your solutions down and make it a point on your calendar or on your desk bulletin board to always look to those solutions.

What will you do differently for your business in 2011?

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If you like this post, you might also like:

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