It's January. You know what that means. You are deluged by television commercials, encouraging you to join a gym. You read newspaper advertisements for vacations so you can "get your groove back" like Stella. On the radio, you listen to financial consultants explaining how you can stay on budget. And talk show guests include professional closet organizers, telling you to throw out those "dungarees" from 1972. It's the beginning of the year, and at no other time do you feel more fat, tired, broke, messy or out-of-style. That's why you make resolutions. So you can be better: thinner, rested, rich, organized, and fashionable.
Resolutions. We all know they were made to be broken. The key to living the good life is to create your own definition of success. In marketing, we refer to this process as your vision statement. It is your purpose, your essence. Once you know what you want out of life, you can go after it. Likewise, once you know what you want your business to be, you can create it. The trick is to make your personal and marketing resolutions reasonable, and by that, I mean attainable.
If you dream up unrealistic goals, albeit personal or business, you will get dissatisfied and give-up because you will never reach them. However, if you list all of the things that you will need to do to accomplish your goals, you will feel more in control and more motivated. You will be able to stick to your plan.
So this new year, in marketing matters, think out your dreams. Write down your goals. Be patient with yourself. Don't feel guilty if you veer off track. If you are too critical of yourself, you will never feel you are worth the effort. And you are.
May 2001 be a new year of patience with yourself-and your business endeavors. Best wishes.
If you would like to learn about some creative marketing techniques, my class in "How to Market and Promote Your Business" at Hofstra's School of Continuing Education (www.hofstra.edu/continuinglearner) will begin on Monday, February 26. The catalog is available. An Open House will be held in the student union on Tuesday, January 16th at 6:00 p.m. For recommended reading, check out my book review column at www.liwomen.com.