Sunday, October 19, 2008

We're Doin' Fine in '09!

A note from for Monday October 20 2008

Welcome to yet another brand spanking new week with which we all get to play.

I almost fell over yesterday. I was shopping in Costco for the usual stuff that I need in bulk, and while musing over a package of batteries big enough to light the block, the sounds of Christmas music wafted through the store. I was stunned. We are not even at Halloween yet and the retailers have started their onslaught already.

I got to thinking, why on earth would they be whisking folks into the Christmas buying mode two and a bit months before the holiday? It all became very clear as I thought about the projected state of the economy. Stores order Christmas stuff back at the beginning of the year when the economy appeared pretty good, and with the recent turn, it looks like they are beginning to panic and are getting it out as early as possible.

What does this mean? It means that there are going to be some amazing bargains to be had for those who are ready to take advantage. The usual bloated holiday stuff is going to be at more reasonable pricing levels. Good time to take the opportunity to retain some of your dollars and get some great deals.

Our friend Philip gets us off to another great start this week as he ponders the turn off the year coming up. His advice is worth noting.

Also, check out how our friends over at Daily Insight are doing to get their week off to a fine start.

We're Doin' Fine in '09!
By Philip Humbert

Every year Mary and I select a slogan or motto for the year. This year it's been "We're GREAT in '08!" For next year we've chosen, "We're Doin' Fine in '09!" I know, many people dismiss this as silliness, but I disagree.

From Socrates to Tony Robbins, many people have observed that "we become what we think about all day long." To a large degree--not entirely, but to a large degree--we DO create our world with our thoughts. I've had ample opportunity to prove that to myself these past weeks.

Many times a day, sometimes it seems like ALL day, I have the opportunity to see our new puppy as "cute" and "creative" and "exploring his world" or in dramatically less positive ways. He chews stuff! He bites! He fights with the cat! Now, objectively, all of the above are true. The key is that I get to choose the ones I focus on.

If I focus on his "cuteness" he becomes cuddly and charming. If I focus on his energy and playfulness, my day is enriched and I laugh and we play and it's wonderful.

If I focus on the chewing and barking, the squeals from the cat and his mistakes...well, you can imagine what happens to my blood pressure. So, which picture of our new puppy is more accurate? Is he a cutie or a devil? IT'S ENTIRELY UP TO ME! (I know, those who are hopelessly addicted to "facts," will say he's a perfectly normal puppy, but what do they know about living with him?)

The reality is that I get to decide where to focus my thoughts, my attention and my attitudes. And so it is for each of us, all day long, every single day.

Is the financial situation on Wall Street (and on Main Street) good or bad? Yes, it is. Many are anxious, fearful, and of course, millions are showing a loss on their investments. But millions of others see this as "the buying opportunity of a lifetime!" Is it good or bad? Yes, and to a large degree--not entirely, but to a large degree--you get to decide!

And so it will be with your success in 2009. I'm spending lots of time with my clients looking at what worked and what didn't work in 2008, and designing strategies to move forward in 2009. I'm convince NOW is the time to design and "blueprint" the reality you want for the year ahead.

First, decide you WILL "do fine in '09!" Know, deep in your heart that you will adapt and adjust, you'll dance with whatever life throws your way, and you will triumph in '09! Sure, there will be clouds and maybe even rain. Occasionally, storms and even hurricanes strike, but through it all, you will "Do Fine in '09!"

Second, decide what "fine" looks like. Will you increase sales, or sell the business, go back to school or move to Montana? Will you adopt a child or retire? How about learning to skydive? What exactly does "doing fine" mean for you and your family? Make a list and be specific.

Third, decide on a strategy. Whether you are buying real estate or learning French or starting a business, you'll need a plan. You'll need to know how much time, money, and help you'll need. You'll need a calendar to plot dates and you'll need a chart to list your benchmarks. How will you know you're on schedule and "doin' FINE" unless you have a plan?

Fourth, decide on key partners. As the Beatles sang years ago, "We get by with a little help from our friends." No matter what "Doin' Fine in '09" looks like, you'll need support from friends and family. You may need financing. You may need a business partner, or someone to teach you. "No man (or woman) is an island." Never be a Lone Ranger! Almost everything goes better "with a little help from our friends."

Fifth, decide on a coach. All peak performers work with a coach, whether the challenge is in athletics or business, whether parenting skills or retirement planning. Sometimes the best coaches are family members or friends but more often the best coach is a professional. Get someone with the training and expertise to keep you on track, focused and productive. I have a coach because I'm serious about my goals and I KNOW that I do better with a coach. I suspect the people who will truly Do Fine in '09 will be those who work with a coach.

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