With a new year often comes new goals. I did not say resolutions, but goals. I hear people making new years resolutions but always seem to break them. You will see the typical ones on the television, radio and Internet for the next month. You know the ones I am speaking about. Special offers from corporate gyms to lose weight, maybe some health organizations encouraging you to stop smoking and there is even reminders to improve your financial standing.
God knows gyms will be overcrowded this week and maybe even this month. It will decline come February.
While all those are important, it is the messages we have come to expect when December turns into January. So, as most of us enjoy a day filled, with friends, family and football, I put together these top 10 achievable business goals for 2013.
1. Invest in Your Current Network
There are many people around us who we come in contact with, but often do not speak to for long periods of time. Drop them a note, an email, or text. Let someone know you are thinking about them. I take my own advice, so as I was writing this blog, I saw an old friend, a journalist online and have not spoken to him in a while. We are started talking on Facebook and I came to learn that he is moving to Guatemala. Now that I know this, I can add a new destination to take my camera and see a friend.
2. Clean Up Your email Inbox(es) and keep them clean
I do not know about you, but my inbox is often like a messy room. Between work and home, it seems I get more email than ever. I do keep all of my emails so at this time of year, I work hard to reduce the number in my inbox, answer everything I can in a given day and then file those which I want to save for future reference.
3. Learn (at least) three new things
Being an early adapter of technology, this is not a problem for me. If you are not learning, then you are getting rusty. Make it a point to always be learning. It will make you more valuable person in the office and more interesting out of it,
4. Step out of your comfort zone
Easy to say, harder to do. Over time I have done this in small ways (learning to be a better speaker) and much larger ones (quitting my job with the Dodgers and moving half way around the world). Both have improved my business skills — from giving presentations, teaching, to learning new experiences and understanding different cultures. Pick your own jump off point.
5. Invest in LinkedIn
I cannot say enough of this networking platform. Its Facebook for business so you lose much of the irrelevant content people post on other platforms. I also now train people at work to use it and I myself recently learned how to better use the functionality of LinkedIn. Until about a month ago, I had yet to import my personal contacts from email into my LinkedIn account. These were already business contacts in my database but I added them on LinkedIn as well. Those folks were not doing much good sitting passively in my computer database. Now when I post blogs like this on LinkedIn, chances are they will see it and possibly interact with me based on the content I produce.
6. Be persistent
It’s a tougher world than it was five years ago. When you want something, never give up going for it. No matter what people put in front of you. Enough said.
7. Look for mentors or become one
I have been lucky enough to have a few good mentors, who have been there to listen when I needed it and to provide feedback. We need more mentors like we need more good leaders today. Look for someone willing to listen and advise you or, better yet, be one to someone who can use your guidance.
8. Build or refine your portfolio
Having a god resume is not enough today. You also need to build a visual portfolio. This is part of what I teach at Long Beach State in the graduate program in sports management, but I also adhere to it personally. Each quarter during the year, I produce 10 slides of what I have achieved. It keeps my work recent and relevant.
9. Expand your business network
Information and business contacts are the name of the game in business. What are you going to do this year, differently, to expand your business network. Attend more business releated events? Approach a speaker after a conference and exchange business cards, ask to meet someone who’ve wanted to approach for a while or maybe go on an informational interview. All of the above, I say.
10. Write down your 2013 goals
Forcing yourself to actually write down what you want to achieve can help measure where you are going and how to get there. I did it last night, as an exercise with my kids. I didn’t tell them to do it. I did it myself as well. Some of my goals were business, some personal. I vow to look at this list once a month during the coming year.
Happy new year.