So 2010 is fast approaching and instead of listing resolutions, it seems like a good time to reflect on the past year and to decide how to build on those lessons learned.
I have always been an admirer of Edward Deming whose philosophies of Total Quality Management and continuous improvement have been “role models” for my own business.
So here are three lessons I learned during 2009 that will help me next year as I continue to grow my business and grow professionally.
1. It’s all in the Attitude…
Yes, the economy is challenging, and we face negative news reports every day, but I am so fortunate to associate with fantastically optimistic, enthusiastic people: my clients, my students, fellow Chamber members and professional peers. Their energy is incredibly motivating and I believe a self-fulfilling prophecy — these are the bright-eyed, forward thinking people who will continue to succeed.
2. It’s all about Service….
The word may be overused, but the act of service is not used enough. Polite phone manners, returning phone calls in a timely manner, a pleasant office demeanor, fulfilling promises, staying within budget, paying attention to detail, correcting errors, being accountable and following a project through from beginning to end just scratch the surface of what great client service is all about. I have always been proud of the great client service my firm provides, but I plan to focus on that even more as a top priority.
As for community service, even though time is short and it might not pay in dollars, the rewards are great, and helping others adds such a meaningful dimension. I have watched others around me give and do so much — they are my inspiration for 2010!
3. Lifelong learning is the key…
Continuing to learn new skills, reading as much as possible, being open to new ideas — all of these have helped me tremendously. In 2009 alone, I achieved a new certification (Certified Public Relations Professional, CPRP), attended about 20 workshops on social media, and was trained in several areas of new technology. I also read at least 150 books, fiction and non-fiction, that added to my ongoing education. The result? All of this has kept me incredibly motivated, excited by my career and its potential, and most important, able to help my clients by being as knowledgeable as possible in the areas that matter to them. I learned that there is so much more to learn, and I am looking forward to my never ending education.
Have I only learned three lessons this year? No, there were many more, but these were important to share. Most of all, I am grateful for those who teach me, keeping me motivated and inspired: family, clients, students, peers and community leaders — thank you!
Looking forward to your feedback !