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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
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"Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose that you resolved to effect."

-- William Shakespeare
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TEN RESOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE YOUR FIRM'S PERFORMANCE
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As you launch into this new year, consider these resolutions. Taking action on any of these could transform your enterprise and your life.

1. Resolve to delegate more.

Business owners and professionals just don't delegate. Often you'll say, "no one can do the job as well as I can." With today's vast electronic networks, we now have the ability to link up with the best people in the world. Some may be contractors for you, some could be employees, some might be strategic alliances. Stop trying to do everything.

Superb results come not from a single individual, but rather from teams of individuals, all working within their own distinct areas of expertise toward a shared goal or vision. You've heard of the 80-20 rule -- 80% of your meaningful results come from only 20% of your activities. Each time you delegate some of your less productive activities, you multiply your effectiveness.

2. Resolve to expand your comfort zone.

Each of us has our own personal comfort zone. Some would call it "a rut." Staying in your comfort zone can be very limiting. The world passes us by as we stagnate. If we are not learning, trying new things and growing, our jobs and businesses may be deteriorating. Make a list of 50 things that, if you really were successful in doing them, you would be a better person or a better company.

Things like give a speech (oh no!), write and publish an article, start an exercise program, meditate daily, teach a class, feed a homeless person, volunteer, climb a mountain, learn to play a new musical instrument, sign up for a dance class, try for that promotion, and so on.

Then, from your list, choose one or two that you are willing to do
within the next 90 days. Schedule those one or two new activities, then go for it. Afterward, choose one or two more and do it again. Make personal and professional growth a lifelong habit.

3. Resolve to get better clients.

Most businesses take on any client who steps up with the money. Consider the cost to you for dealing with the people you serve. Have you ever noticed that some people make you feel good just to be around them? These are the people who give you energy when they are near you. On the other hand, there are probably others you can think of who drain all the life out of you. Which clients would you rather have? You can surround yourself with people who are pleasant, easy to deal with, interesting and, oh yes, profitable. Get better clients. You deserve it.

4. Resolve to get organized.

Too much going on? . . . . Not enough time? . . . . Sound familiar? How would you like to have more time for what YOU want to do? Resolve this year to plan your days, reduce interruptions, clean off your desk, say "No," make lists. The benefits of getting more organized include being more effective at your work, having more positive control of your workstyle, saving time and money, improving your professional image with clients, bosses, etc. and taking control of the stress.

5. Resolve to be a rainmaker.

I've seen many people who sat around waiting for rain. They would wait by the phone, hoping a prospective client would call or come to the business. Others, including some of the most successful, took positive action to "make it rain." These are the ones who made calls, ran ads, and got out of the office to make their own contacts. Through their activity, these business professionals created opportunities for new business. More clients, more revenue, better client relationships and happier employees are just a few of the advantages you'll realize when you take business-building action for your enterprise.

6. Resolve to cleanup loose ends.

We all have messes in our lives. Messes are incomplete tasks, disorder, disarray, or conflicts that distract you and cause you to lose energy, break your concentration and reduce self-esteem. Messes can include cluttered desks, relationships gone awry, physical well-being, finances, incomplete agreements and legal issues. Every time you eliminate a loose end, you boost your confidence, increase concentration, and feel a surge in energy. For the coming year, target a mess a month.

7. Resolve to focus on your strengths.

Conventional wisdom says we should work on improving our weaknesses. What a terrible waste of time, talent and opportunity! Highly successful entrepreneurs, as well as top scientists, artists, athletes and entertainers throughout history have achieved greatness by focusing on their areas of strength. Everybody has a natural aptitude in some areas. No matter how hard you try, it is unlikely you will ever be more than average in areas where you do not have an aptitude.

Working on your weaknesses undermines your self-esteem since you will focus mostly on your deficiencies. Developing your natural talents is rewarding and motivating, allowing you to continually realize higher and higher levels of ability, achievement and success. This year, experience the immense satisfaction that comes with being superb at something.

8. Resolve to take more free time.

Free time isn't a reward for working hard; it's necessary for optimum performance and productivity. We need free time, away from the business, to rejuvenate ourselves. When you are aggressive about getting rest and relaxation, regularly and frequently, you'll see increased creativity and productivity. The more free time you take, the more creativity and productivity you will experience. To make breakthroughs in income, productivity and creativity, significantly increase the amount of free time away from your business.

9. Resolve to develop stronger business relationships.

Your economic future is dependent on other people's future. Your success in your enterprise is based on the extent that you help other people to succeed in their lives. Ask every person you encounter what he or she wants to have accomplished three years from now. Focus on finding ways to help others in achieving their goals. By adding value to their preferred future, you not only deepen your relationship; you also create huge opportunities for yourself.

10. Resolve to get in better shape.

Take a hike. Or a jog, swim, or bike ride. With few exceptions, those who are consistently successful have lots of energy. They have the stamina and the energy to be creative, to tirelessly serve their clients, to put in the extra effort when necessary and to go the extra mile for their employees.

The bottom line is that regular, strenuous exercise is good for business, because it's good for you. You can increase your well-being, jump-start your days, boost your confidence, turbocharge your creativity, and knock down stress by exercising consistently.

And that's not all. Think of exercise as your gift to yourself and to your loved ones. A gift of longer life, more energy, happier disposition, increased creativity and reduced pain. You can increase your well-being, jump-start your days, boost your confidence, turbocharge your creativity, and knock down stress by exercising consistently.

Start by exercising your free will. Commit to any of these ten Resolutions and make this a great year!

By Gary Lockwood who is helping business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Get his free BizSuccess newsletter at http://www.bizsuccess.com.

Copyright (c) 2003 BizSuccess
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COACHING CALL TO ACTION
TEN RESOLUTIONS TO IMPROVE YOUR FIRM'S PERFORMANCE

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Happy New Year!

Gary's advice sounds simple, eh? Resolutions are a great way to get started. To continue the momentum, create a daily action pack -- a group of actions that you take each day (at least 5 days a week) that, if completed, give you a near certainty of accomplishing your goals. To find out more, send an e-mail to andrea@coachandrea.com with Daily Action Pack in the subject line.

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