Contrary to Western traditions, I don’t believe in waiting for New Year’s Eve to make my “life changing” resolutions.
My philosophy is that if I see the need to change something and it is within my means to do so, I make the resolution on the spot to make it happen. No waiting for that once in a year moment.
It’s like getting to celebrate New Year’s Eve every day of the year. Pretty cool, huh?
Think about it: If we all lived to be a 100 and started making New Year’s resolutions at the age of 10, we all would get to make a resolution approximately 90 times in our lifetime.
Miraculous things have happened to people who made a one time monumental resolution (that they followed through with), but the treasure of a great life lies in the small resolutions they make and follow-through with on a day to day basis.
It might be a little too philosophical for the average person, but when I study historically “great” people, I find this to be true.
Another way of looking at it: A ship on open waters does not need to make drastic changes in the direction it is headed once the course is set, but it does need small adjusting every so often to successfully arrive at the intended destination.
My challenge to you is this: If you haven’t done so already, make this New Year’s Eve your last New Year’s resolution. And may that one be to make and to act upon new resolutions daily.
In my case, 2012 was the best year of my life – in my personal life as well as for my business. I made some major changes at the end of 2011 in regards to my business and the new direction I was taking it. It was quite challenging at first – but it turned out to be a really wise move.
In case you were not on my list at that time, I got rid of all search engine marketing services I had provided up until then and focused primarily on affiliate marketing. I also did a handful of my own product launches (guides, plugins, etc) – which is probably how you came to know me.
Either way, discontinuing to provide SEO services was – for me – a monumental decision at that time because that is where 80% of my income was coming from. No regrets though!
Big changes hit the SEO industry just a few months later (in 2012) – at which point I was SUPER happy that I followed my gut instincts and got away from providing services. Talk about perfect timing.
Since then, my main obsession – as I already noted – has been affiliate marketing – with SEO being my main marketing vehicle/source of traffic.
This move was especially rewarding in the sense that it gave me a LOT more flexibility and time freedom. I had periods where I worked like a maniac (I sometimes can’t help myself when I get into the “zone”) for a week or two, but for the most part I can’t say I worked more then a few hours a day (when I actually worked).
In fact, my wife and I had family members and friends visit us – here in Krabi, Thailand – at different times throughout the year. Meaning that while they were around, I didn’t do a whole lot more then check my emails once or twice a day – and that was for a total of over 6 weeks in 2012 alone.
I could have never separated myself to that degree back when I provided those SEO services. So again, getting away from providing services was a good move on my part.
And just for the record, that does not include all the time my wife and I take off to do cool things all across SE Asia. Like tanning on the beaches of Thailand, snorkeling the coral reefs of Bali, or going shopping in Malaysia, etc, etc.
Let me get back to my point though: I believe I set my business boat in the right direction last year, so all that I need to do this year (2013) is continually re-adjusting the sail.
If there was just one thing I would take away from 2012, it would be this: to focus most of my time on the few tasks that bring about the biggest results.
I am sure you have heard of the 80 / 20 rule. It basically says that 80% of the results will come from just 20% of the work being done. As basic a concept as it is, figuring out how it applies to business (and personal life) allows one to scale for massive improvements very quickly.
For my business this means that I sit down about once a month and look at what brought in the most income the month before, and once I figure that out, I resolve to focus 80% of my time on that and leave the 20% to the other tasks that are – really – secondary.
Naturally there are limits to everything – but it is a solid exercise I like to go through at least once a month.
Another (similar) exercise I have gone through a couple times in 2012 is this: writing down everything I am doing in my business right now. Once done, I go through the list again and put a check-mark next to everything that is proving to work, and put a line through everything that didn’t work. Once done, I resolve to stop doing the things that don’t work anymore, and commit to putting more energy and resources towards the things that do work.
These exercises might sound silly, but I DARE you to try them. Sometimes the best way to figure out what works is to figure out what doesn’t.
Having said that, I make it a habit to continually educate myself in the areas of my business that interest me (like affiliate marketing, SEO, etc) and always keep an open mind to trying new things/new approaches/new techniques. If they work, super. If not, I move on to try something else. Not everything will work, but imagine having a list of 20 – 100 things that have proven to work for you. Making money online becomes easier and easier.
Again though, it is important not to get sidetracked by new/shiny ways of doing things. It is critical that we scale what has already proven to work for us, while – on a small scale – we try out new things.
Aside from continuing to build my existing business, I will be venturing into some new territories in 2013 as well. One of them being a “how to get blogging” video series (planned for January some time) and I am contemplating to create a mastermind group to go with it. Ideas? Suggestions?
“How to become a blogger” wasn’t really an area I had much interest in teaching, but I have been getting an overwhelming amount of emails from people asking how they can get started (must be the tough economy? I don’t know), so I got some good stuff coming out soon.
I have also been getting a number of people asking for one-on-one coaching (beginners and experienced marketers alike), but I am not sure I am ready for that just yet. I have done some basic coaching in the past but aside from that it’s an area I have never given much thought. Let’s see what 2013 brings though.
There are dozens of other projects on my list as well but I will keep them for another time. This post is already a thousand words longer then I intended it to be so… I will stop typing now.
I hope you got some golden nuggets out of it and may 2013 be your best year yet!