2015 Resolution: Leave these 6 things in 2014 / by Kia Jarmon

2015 Resolution: Leave these 6 things in 2014

It's the end of the year—two days from the New Year to be exact. And in the spirit of resolutions, let's reflect on some things we should leave in the past. No, this won't entail any of those rhythmic slogans we post as Twitter and Facebook status updates to act like we will get our act together in the new year "new year, new me" or "getting lean in 2015". Think of me as your reflection in the mirror. There's a reason you didn't fulfill (insert goal) last year and I can’t believe its just laziness. Is it perhaps that you need to remove what has been holding you hostage and create a new set of thoughts, theory's and things to focus on? Maybe. So let's get rid of the old and prepare for the new.

Leave these six things in 2014.

1. I speak to so many people—entrepreneurs, CEOs, and individuals working a 9-5—who have been bamboozled into thinking they have to have more clients, have a larger bank account, or get multiple promotions in a year, all because they want to live up to someone else's standards. They say, I look at them and see (insert a big deal to you) and I wish I were them. I say, be careful looking at someone else's lawn, it may be greener because they are dealing with a different type of s&!t. Leave: Feelings of inadequacy.

2. Do you know what crackers taste like after the pack has been left open for days? Stale. Would you eat them? Probably not. So why are you hanging on to stale, not working for you relationships? You don't have an answer? Neither do i. It may not seem easy but start with writing down your hit list of those to dismiss. (Yep, I was a rapper in a former life). Leave: Unfulfilled relationships.

3. There seems to be this internal industry debate about being a brand vs not. Most may think being a brand is reserved for big businesses. But in my book, everyone can be a brand (or has the ability very quickly to become one with a post to social media or Google search), because very simply a brand is the sum of all experiences people have with you. The branding is what may vary. Case in point, I launched ChattanoogaPR.com and as I looked online to connect with colleagues, I found ones mugshot. The point isn't that they had a mugshot, I'm sure more than a few do, but it was the first search result. That immediately gave me pause in my outreach to that company owner. I will dedicate a later post to this topic but here's the bottom line for this one, you are a brand, either you one it, or it owns you. Leave: I’m not big enough to be a brand.

4. Hey you, come closer. I have a secret to tell you...social media isn't going away. I’m not an advocate of being on every platform or following every trend, but I do advise understanding the platform that can help you build your business and your personal resume. Indeed the landscape is changing and we may decide to not use them but going away, I think not. If you were wondering, LinkedIn and Google + are both great places to start. Leave: Trends that aren’t true.

5. I have a new baby and his daycare is pricey. I should start a gofundme. Um, no. This is not how this is supposed to work. I get that people need help but seriously there has to be more depth to it. Just because your bills are due is not a good enough reason to ask for money. People will lose trust in you when you become the one who cries wolf every time NES comes knocking. Build a community, do good work, get paid for said work. That's the formula. Oh, and I do believe that crowd funding can work and has been used to help restore businesses that have experienced hardships like burglary or sudden death of an owner but make it good. You only get one shot. Leave: Crowd funding just because.

6. I once met with a company who was considering changing their PR representation. I asked lots of questions to understand the company culture, dynamic of the previous agency relationship, expectations and so forth. They hinted at not being happy with the former agency and hadn't been for a while. Because that sounds kinda silly to me I asked "so why have you continued the relationship?" The answer is one I have heard more than a handful of times, "it's just the way it's always been done." The status quo will keep you stuck. Why are we so ok with staying there? Always be auditing or find an internal board of directors to help if you must, and make changes as you see them.

Did I give you enough to kick off your plate? Consider making these changes slowly but thoughtfully so that they will stick. After all, this isn’t the gym where you purchase the year-long membership but only go during January.

Cheers to a Happy New Year!