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01/22/2013

10 Ways To Ensure 2013 Is Your Year For Positive Change

If you�re ready to make 2013 the year opportunity knocks on your door, read on for a few of successful entrepreneur Vickie Milazzo�s suggested action steps:

1) Go boldly after your biggest goals. When is the last time you set a goal and truly went after it? Milazzo encourages people to identify their �Big Things� � those goals that connect to their passionate vision. Then choose one to schedule their day around.

Be your own number one fan. If you don�t announce your own achievements, you can bet that no one else is going to do it for you. With humility, make sure that you�re keeping your name, your accomplishments, and your skill set in front of everyone.

2) Don�t under-price yourself. You�d love to ask for more money but frankly, you�re afraid to. The economy still isn�t great so I�d better lie low, you reason. This just seems like common sense. But settling for less than you�re worth is a big mistake � even in the wake of the Great Recession. In my eyes and in the eyes of many other CEOs, job candidates actually lose credibility when they underprice themselves.

3) Make sure you stand out. Many people get stuck in ruts at work because they become viewed as commodities. Commodities are easy to obtain and easy to replace. And that�s certainly not how you want to be perceived at your job � whether you�re an employee, a leader, or an entrepreneur. Do everything you can to ensure that you aren�t seen as interchangeable or dispensable.

4) Network with big players. Generally, we tend to gravitate toward people who are similar to us: those who think similarly, who find similar things fun, and who are in similar walks of life. That�s fine when it comes to your friendships, but you need to aim higher when it comes to networking. More than 60% of people find jobs through networking, for example, and you can bet that most of them didn�t achieve this goal because they knew someone at the bottom of the pecking order.

5) Turn off cyberspace. There�s no greater blow to productivity than breaking your concentration to reply to an e-mail as soon as it hits your inbox. Remember, no award will be handed out at the end of the day for the person who responded to the most e-mails the fastest. If you�re doing nothing but responding to e-mail, you�re bouncing around like a pinball.

6) Break the feel-good addiction. In today�s world, we�re constantly sabotaged by nonproductive energy wasters. There are emails to read. Facebook statuses to update. Receipts to locate for that already-late expense report. Dishes to be washed. Files to be organized. And on, and on, and on. These are the easy, albeit often unproductive, tasks that make us feel good. They may not get you any closer to accomplishing your greater goals, but at least you�ve checked a couple of things off your to-do list.

�Unfortunately,� says Vickie Milazzo, �this addiction comes at a high price, because that cheap check-mark high is guaranteed to frustrate, overwhelm, and stress you out in the long term. By majoring in minor things, we never get to our big commitments. Breaking these addictions opens the door to achievement, because what you focus on is where you will yield results.�

7) Set aside sacred �momentum time.� Momentum time is precious time you are able to set aside for yourself each day, to work uninterrupted toward achieving your goals. To carve out time, examine every activity and decide how to eliminate it, delegate it, hire it out, or do it faster.

�If part of your day is rarely interrupted (such as early morning or late evening), reserve it for momentum time. Keep your momentum time sacred. Use phrases such as, �I�ll be available in one hour. What time after that works best?� Start your day with a two-hour uninterrupted chunk, and then gradually add more two-hour momentum sessions each day. Claim your momentum time and you�ll find those lost hours you�ve been looking for.�

8) Have confidence in your abilities. It�s highly unlikely that you�ll reach any goal you set for yourself if you don�t believe with your whole heart that achieving it is possible. Among other things, you won�t be confident enough to take calculated risks, if you don�t believe that the limitations in front of you are surmountable. Anytime you find yourself entertaining doubts or trying to limit what you think is possible, remind yourself of your past successes. Let them infuse you with pride and bolster your resolve.

�Believing you can do it�whatever �it� is�is 90 percent of the win,� assures Milazzo. �When I walked into my first meeting with a potential client, my legs were literally shaking. I forced myself to remember that this attorney needed specialized knowledge that only I�a critical care nurse�could give him. I walked out of that meeting with my first client. Plus, I learned that when you expand what you�re willing to believe about yourself, you can transform who you are and what your life looks like.�

9) Surround yourself with mentors. There are two ways to develop the skills, habits, and mindsets that you�ll need to achieve wicked success. The first is to go it alone and learn by trial and error in the school of hard knocks. The second (much smarter) path is to learn from others who have encountered and surmounted problems that are similar to your own. That being the case, surround yourself with as many mentors as possible and practice the skills they pass on to you.

10) Safeguard your momentum. Accept that you won�t please everyone. Someone is bound to be unhappy about the changes you make to focus on your big things. A friend might get upset because you can no longer meet for lunch on Wednesdays. Your spouse might complain because you won�t run his errands on a weekday.

�Bottom line, they�ll get over it,� says Milazzo. �Stop feeling guilty and stay true to your goals. Surround yourself with friends, family, and peers who support your vision. Discard all discouraging messages. These are your passions and goals, not anyone else�s.�

�You can�t snap your fingers and suddenly become successful,� admits Milazzo. �And the successful people you envy weren�t able to do that either. They worked for it. They set big goals. They didn�t settle for small-time achievements. Wicked success can be yours too, if you make the same big commitments.�

Vickie Milazzo is the author of the New York Times bestseller Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman. She shares the innovative success strategies that earned her a place on the Inc. magazine list of �Top 10 Entrepreneurs� and �Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies� in America. 



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