This is an incredible time of year. The week between Christmas and New Year's is filled with anticipation, memories, and reflection. If you're in the Midwest like we are, you have a love-hate relationship with the snow. It's a beautiful covering of the ground that you still have to go out and shovel, like we did last night after watching Monday Night Football and the Bears clinching the NFC North. That reminds me one of my all-time favorite sayings, ” The grass may be greener on the other side, but you still have to mow it”. And trust me… the snow is never whiter, unless you have a dog… RIP Harley.
For some of you it's time to relax. I remember the old corporate days, with this was chill week. Half the office was empty and if you are the low man on the totem pole, you could spend time cleaning up messes and have a few extended conversations with friends. As a small business owner this is really busy time, where people are trying to finish up all their projects before they have to leave for vacation.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you who read this blog, for your continued interest in spreading the word. The kudos and feedback that you've given me over the course of this year have helped direct its content, and given me the strength, energy and purpose to forge ahead. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I have had writing it. And by now if you have not figured it out, I was not an English Major but Electronic Technician in college… but just like a “Where's Waldo” game, some people read it and laugh, and then play find the gaff.
Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy
So this brings me to my three points… Reflection, Anticipation, and Memories…
For the few of you who are playing “Where's Waldo”, I am treating reflection as what I've learned this year… and hopefully you've learned a few things along the way as well. Probably the greatest thing that I think we all have to get used to is… if you thought things happen fast last year, just wait till next year. Every time you log into Facebook Twitter or LinkedIn, the interface was different, the menus had changed, and new features just appeared that you had no clue were coming or desire to see. That will only accelerate next year. I've also learned just how important all of this social networking and relationship marketing can be an asset… but also a challenge. We all have to continue to learn and adapt to change or be left behind, and believe me… I have worked long and hard this year to stay ahead of the curve, but the car I'm driving… still wants to veer off the side of the road.
I am really looking forward all the new cool things that are coming… The iPhone 5 with 4G access… New iPad with cameras, updated software with cool new features, and who knows what? I never grow tired of all the cool new things that I have to learn and adapt to. Some of you are calling me crazy right now but we'll discuss that later. I'm also interested in all the people I will get a chance to teach through classes, webinars and speeches. I've learned over the years that the more you teach, give back, and engage with people, the more you learn and expand your perspective on the future and the possibilities. Three years ago I taught in the class that,” someday you'll be able to walk up to an airplane gate and pull out your iPhone and your boarding pass will be right there for you… No more paper ”. By the end of next year, you'll be able to walk into almost any store, or Starbucks, and you will be able to either get coupons that you can use upon checkout, or they will have their systems figure out what you want before you walk up to the counter and order. If it scares you it should… But there's no going back – the information age has taken on a whole new meaning.
In the close to 40 blogs I have done over the course of the year, there have been some memorable moments… I have taught numerous classes, and webinars and given speeches in cities like Chicago, St Louis and culminating with a speech to Pooper Scoopers in San Diego. I blogged about finding new business and how to fire a client. I also had the chance to talk about my passions Golf, Music, Community Service, Teaching, Social Networking, Face to Face Networking, Family, Friends and more. The one topic that seemed to get the most attention and comments was the struggles of our dog Harley. He was adopted a few years ago and was known as our Labradork. His struggle to survive bad hips and the trips to the vet for this treatment after treatment… and it was felt (and commented on) by many (especially those who lost pets or family during that time). There were many stories of friend or family tragedies and traumas (at least as many lost loved ones as success stories).
The bottom line is memories are about the people (and pets) that add value to our lives… and in return, the people and lives we touch through our time, talents and treasures. Whether your year is ending like a roller coaster ride that is coming back to the start or one that is climbing to the first big drop, you can take solace in the fact you have touched lives, and others have touched you.
We have a sign in our kitchen that says… “Vive Bene, Spesso L'Amore, Di Risata Molto” when translated from Italian (my nickname as a teenager was Guinea Sausage – thanks to Steve Wymore…) is “Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often”.
THANK YOU – Again..
To all the people who have trusted me for years… or the hundreds of new ones I have just met… My thanks and here is wishing you the best in the coming year… “Vive Bene, Spresso L'Amore, Di Ristata Molto”!
Bonus Video of the Week.
As a musician, I often equate an instrument to an artist. This video shows just how much technology has changed. If I had mentioned an IPad band last year at this time you would have looked like a deer in the headlights. Is this talent? Yes… Just channeled a little different that all of us who sat through years of lessons… P.S. I was kicked out of my first group guitar lesson class and hustled to my first private teach who was a Teaching Captain at West Point Military Academy… G Chord – HARD… C Chord – HARD…