Best wishes to all in the EWI community for a most bountiful New Year! As an organization, we made unprecedented strides in 2013. We established exciting new programs (including Grow My Business, our Writers Circle, and many others); brought on highly-motivated additions to our board and staff; developed key partnerships in the greater community; opened new facilities; received prestigious awards and grants, organizationally and for our students and alumnae; and drew considerable public recognition for our achievements. However, it would be way out of character for E.W.I. to rest on its laurels.
Accordingly, 2014 will feature major new initiatives, which you will be hearing about shortly. EWI never sleeps; in the words of our founder, onward and upward.But on this first day of the New Year, let’s focus on what each of us as individuals can do in 2014 to move further along the path toward empowerment and entrepreneurial success. Yes, I suppose I’m talking about New Year’s Resolutions, but with a different focus. Let’s put aside grand, general goals like lose weight and get in shape; get my family and relationships in a better place; become a successful businesswoman; gross $100,000 in sales; or even become the hottest music act on the East Coast (I guess that one didn’t quite work out for yours truly). There’s nothing wrong with this type of resolution in theory; but that’s what they are: general theories. They don’t provide us with a practical roadmap for daily life. They may be admirable visions (or in my case, fantasy). However, as Woody Allen once said: “reality sucks, but it’s the only place you can get a good steak.”
I’ve already set forth a number of time-tested, concrete steps we can take that will lead to real progress toward empowered entrepreneurship. Take a look at my previous blogposts (archived at ewint.org) for a refresher. Some will be more appropriate for each of you than others, depending upon your particular business. Many of you will have come up with better suggestions – please feel free to post them at this site.
Going forward in the New Year, here’s the key: take it one day at a time, but do something every day. Each day, go to sleep knowing you have done something – no matter how small – to advance your business career. It certainly doesn’t hurt to reduce this to writing – write down your daily goal when you wake up; cross it off your list and /or write it down at day’s end; the format doesn’t matter, but developing this daily habit of making progress does. This will inevitably strengthen your business bit by bit, and also continually add to your self-confidence – trust me, as one who no longer sets generalized goals, but makes sure I do something to empower myself and my business
Think about it: Writing a novel seems like a daunting task, but writing a page takes little time, especially when it involves your passion. Do this daily, and voila: you have a 365-page book! Acquiring 50 new customers for your sales business sounds like an awful lot; but sending out a group e-mail; distributing a flier; taking a marketing seminar; attending a networking event; meeting a colleague for brainstorming over coffee; sending thank-you notes to existing customers; deciding on a new discount, bonus, or giveaway promotion; trying out a new or revised product for sale – all these will eventually land you those new prospects, and increase your business knowledge and savvy as well.
And again: you don’t have to do this alone. We are a community of like-minded people, pledged to support each other. We’ve all been where you are, in one way or another, and sharing and learning from that common experience is the most important thing we can do. Take it one day at a time and rely on each other, and we can’t help but make 2014 a year to remember for all of us.
Best wishes and keep the faith,
By Howard Feinstein, Author of Fire on the Bayou: True Tales From The Civil Rights Batt , Empowered Women International Board Member
A bi-weekly blog for the E.W.I. community, passing along news, events, articles of interest, and tips on growing your business. We are all on this journey together, and no one — certainly not yours truly — has all the answers. Accordingly, I hope you will contribute your ideas and experiences to this forum as well, c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.