10 Ways to Have a Great Business and a Great Life in 2010

Goals From A Small Business OwnerIn a recent AP-GFK poll, 72% of Americans said they’re optimistic about what 2010 will bring for the country. That’s a dramatic difference from their same poll answer where almost 75% of them thought 2009 was a bad year for the country.

Despite the recent earthquake tragedy in Haiti (and who knows what else the year will bring), I’ve noticed that people are generally much more hopeful this year. I know I am!

Here are some resolutions you can make, to have a great business and a great life in 2010:

1. I will first schedule for the year all activities that support my health and family (including workouts, doctor appointments, vacations, family events). Why? Because without these, I won’t be able to be productive in my business.

2. Each day, I will put appointments with enough time (and some extra built in) to complete my day’s top 2 business activities. I will work on these even before I check my email (thanks for this great idea from Tim Ferriss of the 4-Hour Work Week fame – it really works!). These will be my business priorities for the day. Once they are completed, I can work on other business activities.

3. By the middle of each day, I’ll make sure to take a moment and determine if I have helped someone today. If so, continue with my activities. If not, take action to help someone in need – anything from returning an email from someone who needs help, making a phone call to someone who suffered a recent setback, or even just giving a compliment to someone.

4. I will backup my files in the easiest way possible, automatically, by using Carbonite.

5. I will meet regularly with my trusted advisors. These advisors may include my business coach, accountant, publicist, and banker.  These folks are critical to the success of my life and business.

6. I will put aside a reserve of money, or get a line of credit, so I will never feel “desperate.” I know that clients can sense desperation, and I won’t attract them if I feel that way. Plus, if I am not desperate for the money, I won’t have to take on clients who will drain me.

7. Each day, I will put a 30-minute appointment on my calendar to learn something new. In today’s world, we all have to be learning constantly, just to keep up. Each time I realize I need more knowledge of something, I’ll put it in one of my 30-minute appointment slots.

8. I will include marketing and business development activities in my business activities. This means that I may be scheduling time for social media promotion, Website updates, customer contacts, etc.

9. I will develop a consistent way to stay in front of current and potential clients. I know that this is the best way to grow my business. I can do this in many ways – through a newsletter, a regular Send Out Cards program, scheduled meetings and more.

10. If something doesn’t feel right, I won’t do it. I need to trust my gut. It’s usually right.


Margie Zable Fisher Margie Zable Fisher is the President of Zable Fisher Public Relations, helping small businesses connect with clients and potential clients online and offline through Public Relations, Social Media and Marketing. She offers free, award-winning tips at Zable Fisher Public Relations.

23 Reactions
  1. Great article with very sound advice. Thank you for sharing this and passing it along for every business owner!

  2. Margie,

    I look forward to some followup posts throughout the year updating us on your progress. Looks like it should be a great year for you!

  3. Great article with some awesome advice. I especially like #7.

  4. Margie, thanks for this encouraging post. I fell off the wagon for email productivity, though, so thanks for helping me back on with Tim Ferriss’ advice (which I have read numerous times and followed for a short time!).

  5. Awesome tips! I can actually see how they can help me be happier in business and in life

  6. Thanks for the kind words, everybody.

    Also – TJ, email is one of my biggest challenges. Peggy Duncan, productivity expert, taught me to allow my inbox to only be one screen. Everything else should be in folders, as a to do, reading, etc. And I clean out my Send box, too. As I get hundreds of emails a day, this is tough, but I never feel truly organized until it’s done.

    I also had a great feng shui consultant come in a few months ago, and look over my house, especially since my office and my husband’s office are here. Lots of great stuff came out of that. Anita asked me to write a post on that, so I’ll probably put that on my list.

  7. This is part of sustainability. We do it for our environment; we need to do it for ourselves.

  8. Margie,

    I like your tip #7 very much: “Each day, I will put a 30-minute appointment on my calendar to learn something new.” Is this how you learned speed reading?

  9. Thanks for the great “to do” list!

  10. Excellent advice Margie. On your Sent folder, instead of cleaning it out, set it up to automatically archive (I’m using Outlook) or automatically delete in certain time blocks. I take care of my Sent folder because it represents items I took action on.

    I especially love #6. This entire post is well thought-out.

  11. Margie- Thanks for the 2010 “to do” outline. My top three would be: 1.Health & wellness/family first 2. Take time to accomplish my top 2 business activities (even before email) and 3. Talk with my mentors and advisors more frequently.

    Great post! Thanks

  12. I need to step out of my comfort zone and always see the good things in life…including spotting a good opportunity in business…thank you for the tips..simple yet something we need to be reminded of from time to time.

  13. Great article, with great advice. Thanks for sharing. I’m putting a lot of these to work ASAP!

  14. I recently started re-reading the 4-Hour Work Week for the second time and whilst it’s not for everyone, there’s a lot of positive things to take from it.

    2010 for me definitely means being more organised and structured in my online ventures and reaching out and networking more, simply the best way to learn and build a better business in my opinion.

  15. These are some great resolutions and a refreshingly optimistic way to look at 2010! I love that these resolutions include a combination of business and personal goals. Money is still tight for many people, so the sixth resolution may be a hard one to keep. In order to save money many businesses are looking for areas to cut costs and many are doing this by using flexible office space in lieu of long term leases.

    To help out, so that we can all have a great year – I wanted to let readers know about a sweeps that Regus, the global leader in flexible workplace solutions (and the company that I happen to work for), is helping Manhattan area businesses of all sizes by running the ‘Office Anywhere Sweepstakes’. Folks who enter the sweeps have the chance to win one year of fully furnished office space in New York City and access to private offices across the globe. To learn more and enter the sweeps visit http://www.regusnewyork.com. Good luck to those who enter! – Rebecca Tann, Vice President of Marketing for Regus

  16. Wow. That is an excellent list to live life by in general. When you look at it as a whole, it really boils down to being about balance; being sure to take care of yourself so you can be able to help others….

    My favorite point is the last one. Last year I made a few big moves that, while seeming to be logical thing to do at the time, did not feel right to me, and I will probably end up spending most of 2010 making up for them.

    Thanks for sharing!


  17. This goes toward my learning something for today. Nice collection and pretty doable. Thanks.

  18. Kristine, The Merry Bird Designs

    Food for organized thoughts!! a terrific share of tips.