By now I'm sure you've started to feel the pressure to start planning your shiny New Year. But, before you start your goal setting and vision board session, make sure you take time to do a little reflection on 2015 and the year you've had. Did you learn things from your experiences this year? Grab some pen and paper and take an hour or two to reflect on the questions below.
Personally, 2015 felt like my most challenging, fearless and rewarding year yet. It was filled with a lot of trial and error, uncertainty, rewards and achievements. But that's what everyone calls a good success story right? A few failures equal great achievements. I have learned some amazing lessons this year (1) Always trust my gut. (2). Be present for every moment. (3). Smile and be kind. While it may have taken me all year to accept some of these lessons, I know that I'll never forget them.
Anywho, here are some questions to help you review 2015:
Thank you 2015!
1. What were your goals for 2015? What was on your vision board?
2. What were your biggest accomplishment sin 2015?
3. What were your lowest moments in 2015?
4. What did you learn about yourself (and/or your business) in 2015?
5. What was your favorite moment of the year?
Now, before you start that vision board and get happy with the scissors and magazines, ask yourself these questions and write down the answers.
Hello There 2016!
1. What do you want to accomplish in 2016? (Make sure you mix it up with small ones, big ones, and a few to the moon goals.)
2. What do you want your life and/or business to feel like in 2016?
3. What bad habits will you stop in 2016?
4. What investments, personal and/or business, will you make in 2016?
5. How will you reward yourself for success in 2016?
Now, go ahead and follow the Goal Digging Rules for 2016:
1. Decide what you want.
2, Write it down.
3. Work on it everyday.
4. Pop champagne (or however you choose to reward yourself) for your achievements.
Give Your Brand the Good Life!
Your brand is never too small or large to make a difference in the community. Remember, giving back is not just about donating money, but investing and advocating for a cause while donating your time and talent. When you give back to something a cause you are passionate about customers will appreciate it. Your small donations of time, money and knowledge can completely change your return on investment for giving back.
A 2010 study by Cone Communications revealed that:
Still not convinced? Here are three major ways brand’s benefit from giving to charitable causes.
1. Builds a respectable reputation in the community.If you’re a small business owner or a professional climbing the corporate ladder, I’m sure you’re well versed in the pains of your surrounding community. By identifying those needs and inquiring at local organizations on what they need help with, you create valuable relationships that can be of great value to you in the future. When businesses help each other, it creates a community that will support and speak goodwill on each other’s behalf. Giving back improves your brand’s image to the public and most importantly your image to those community members. Moreover, it’s important for the community that you are surrounded by feel as though you are invested in them, businesses that connect with their community establish a truly genuine connection that customers don’t forget.
2. Create connections and networking opportunitiesPhilanthropic organizations often hold the key to some of your community’s most powerful leaders. These connections can be an invaluable resource as an entrepreneur or professional. By giving back, you develop a mutual trust and respect for each other’s values with the organizations leaders which can factor into an essential part of business—your network determining your net worth. By connecting on just a few community volunteer efforts, you connect your brand with hundreds of positive members in that community, which can be a more cost-effective way of promoting your brand that some traditional marketing routes.
3. Clients love itWhen businesses help others, people inherently want to support their company in return. It gives a feel good moment and humanizes your brand by stamping what values you stand for. Today, clients want to now how you engage with your community. Building that relationship with a genuine connection to your community will make clients want to contribute on your behalf.
Think about how you feel when you purchase a pair of Tom’s or Warby Parker glasses. You know you are contributing to a cause and that makes you feel even more satisfied with your purchase. BuildiClients promote their opinions publicly, and when that opinion is favorable and shows the positive contributions to your community it automatically boosts your new client reach.
Whether you’re a business owner or a professional, it’s important to emphasize your belief in good social responsibility and values. It drives social engagement and buy-in for your brand. And while it’s evident that philanthropic efforts are essential for large businesses, it has an even greater return on investment for small businesses and their brands.
So, pick a cause that will affect something you love and you will indirectly encourage more customers to trust your brand because they believe in your values.
Remember, Give your Brand the Good Life!
(as originally published on www.empirelifemag.com)