Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year’s Day: Making Resolutions for the Coming Year

Harvey Mackay’s December 30th weekly column titled “How to stay young as the years go by” had lots of good advice, perhaps to me the most important being “Keep only cheerful, positive friends.”

The following morning my business partner and I were reviewing 2008, and we realized that this was the year we had taken control of our own destinies. We had stopped waiting for people to say yes to us and instead had said yes to ourselves. My novel MRS. LIEUTENANT was published in April and her children’s picture book TOO MANY VISITORS FOR ONE LITTLE HOUSE is due out any moment. And we had started other endeavors as well.

This morning, as I reflected on the coming year, I thought of Mackay’s advice, my conversation with my business partner, and a conversation last Saturday night at a Hanukkah party. I had been talking about how Twitter can be used for business purposes, and one person just dismissed the idea out of hand. Yet another person there, an M.D., jumped up and right then hired me to come to her office Monday to get her started on Twitter.

When I went to the office Monday I first met some resistance from her assistant. I realized that her assistant was concerned that I was taking over her role as the computer expert in the office. But I’m not a computer expert. I was there to use my marketing expertise to help her boss. And by the end of the two plus hours, both boss and assistant seemed on board.

And they were definitely on board when I subsequently shared the info with them that the New York Israeli Consulate had held a “press conference” on Twitter. What’s a press conference on Twitter? It’s a way to bypass the often-biased media channels and take the info straight to the people. Twitter users asked questions in 140 characters and got answers in 140 characters. And afterwards these conversations were “enlarged” from Twitter language (for example, changing 4 to for) and put on the consulate’s blog.

I thought this was a genius idea, and apparently the doctor’s assistant thought I was “brilliant for recognizing the power of Twitter.” (The truth is that Twitter combines my two expertise areas of communication and marketing – so I’m definitely open to its power.)

And this new media, this technology, is available to all of us as we begin 2009. Only yesterday I had an epiphany about a do-gooder project that I want to undertake but could never do in the traditional way. I suddenly realized I could use all the new technology/marketing I’ve learned in the last year to do this project.

I immediately registered a domain name (after checking with my business partner as to which of three names was the best for this project) and I hope to be off and running in days. My husband isn’t convinced my plan will work, but I’m taking the chance. Because if it does work, I’ll be accomplishing something for lots of people. And that’s worth a try.

Stay tuned for a progress report on the above project. And for all of you, I wish you a year of saying yes to yourself and a year of being open to new ideas and new technology and of surrounding yourself with “cheerful, positive friends.” (Oh yes, and good health for all.)

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