Five Things to Do Before December 31st

Five Things to Do Before December 31st

We're just a few short days away from 2017!!!


I don't know about you, but I'm ready for 2016 to wrap up and to BRING IT ON for 2017. My guess is you are ready to, too.

But before you countdown and clink glasses at 12:00am January 1, 2017 to celebrate the new year, here are five things to do before first. They won't take long, and they are simple ways to not only look back at this year but to get your head and your heart ready for the next.

1. Writing exercise: What did I learn?


When you think about 2016, what did you learn about yourself? Your career? Your habits? Your relationships? Your finances? Your health? Make a list of all the learnings you had. Let your mind go and just jot down anything that comes to mind. I bet it's more than you realize! Once you write it down, reflect back to what happened to lead to this learning. What got you to that point? What did you learn about yourself, where you are right now in life, that you didn't know before? It's important to pinpoint the specifics, because this awareness will help you on your journey forward.

2. Say thank you.


Think about this past year and everyone who helped you along the way, or just did something nice for you. Maybe you have a colleague who always treated you to coffee (like I had!) or perhaps a friend was there for you during a difficult time, and really listened. Whatever or whoever it was, think about how you can thank them. A simple handwritten note or card goes a long way, especially this day and age when everyone is glued to their phone! Whenever I receive a card or handwritten note, I am always so nicely surprised. Make a list of who needs to be thanked, buy some notecards, and get writing!

3. Say goodbye...


To things and people who don't make you happy or add to your life in some way - and vice-versa. If you can't say goodbye, think about creating a healthy distance from them. Life is too short to be in bad company, in a negative place, or with habits that only hurt you or others. Plus, the more these negative people, influences, or habits take up space in your life, the less space you have for the better, positive things and people that will bring your more joy and happiness. Our lives can only hold room for so much, so really consider what's being held in yours.

4. Get excited! And write it down!


The new year is around the corner. New opportunities. New goals. New adventures. Allow yourself to drift into a happy place thinking about all the awesomeness this new year may bring. Maybe it will bring a new relationship, a new direction in your career, or newfound courage to go after something you've been thinking about. Once you get excited, allow your mindset to shift into this positive place. Write down your "What I want in 2017" list and don't hold back. As you can see, I'm a firm believer in writing things down! Last year I wrote down that I wanted to become a Huffington Post writer, and just a few weeks into 2016 I did it!

5. Decide your priorities and goals for the new year.


So maybe you want to drop 10 lbs., go on three dates a week, and get promoted by March. It's great to have goals, but make sure they are realistic and won't drive you further from them before you get in the groove. The best way to achieve your goals is by taking small, measurable steps. Typically, when we try to do it all, or take too big of a step, we end up getting not very far. Decide what your top priorities are. Write them down, and then decide what action items you will take and when you will take them, to help you get there. Consider enlisting in support - like a friend, coworker, therapist or coach - depending on your specific goals. Remember that success is never really done on one’s own, and it is totally, 100% OK to ask for help!

Alright, now that you have those five quick tips - go for it! 

Sarah Bogdanski
Personal Development
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Sarah Bogdanski is an NYU Certified Coach who helps ambitious women in their 20s and 30s stop merely surviving and step into their true power. Sarah challenges her clients to ... Click for full bio

Advisors: How to Prepare Before Calling an Agency

Advisors: How to Prepare Before Calling an Agency

Written by: 

You’ve read my other posts:

Related: Should You Work with a Marketing or PR Agency, or Neither?

Related: There's No Point in Paying for Outside Advice If You Have No Intention of Listening to It

And you’re finally ready to talk to a marketing or PR agency.

Or are you?

I’m amazed how many prospects contact an agency without any advance preparation whatsoever. It’s not just that they don’t know what services the agency offers. The real issue is, they can’t even explain why they’re calling in the first place.

You might be raising an eyebrow at my suggestion that you actually need to prepare before calling a vendor. Don’t. I want to help you maximize your time, and potential investment.

Here’s why: The best way to use a vendor’s time during an initial call is to conduct a mini-discovery session. At FiComm, we will ask: What is your vision for your business? How do your services address your market’s needs? Where are you headed as a company? What will get you to the next level? What marketing obstacles do you face? That information shapes our remarks, ensuring that everything we say will be directly relevant to you.

Many advisors find those initial conversations enormously valuable in their own right. They help clarify their thinking. But others feel put on the spot. They freeze. They respond in standard brochure-speak: “We were founded in 1984, we have four advisors, we serve 200 households with an average account size of $400,000.”

Or they say, “We were hoping you would tell us the answers to those questions.”

Well, that’s helpful.

Imagine you’re meeting a potential wealth management client for the first time. They have $700,000 in a brokerage account, $400,000 in a retirement account, two kids, a dog and a house in L.A. Great. You start by asking their goals for themselves, their money, and their family.

Puzzled, they tilt their heads and say, “We were hoping you would tell us.”

See what I mean? How can you possibly come up with a solution for clients who can’t even articulate their goals, or speak to their financial pain points?

The same is true for us vendors. Before we can help you, we need to know where your business is going and how you think marketing can help you get there. The answers don’t have to be “right” (and we’ll help you get there), but it you come prepared to participate, our conversations can be very fruitful. If you don’t—well, it’s hard to deliver value for you. We know we’ll constantly have to prove ourselves and remind you why you hired us.

“But, Megan,” some advisors say, “we’re not ready for that. We’re just trying to understand the basics. How will we learn if you don’t tell us?”

If you’re calling an agency just to get a general marketing education, then that’s what you’ll get—general information, most of it irrelevant to you, and lacking the specifics you’re really looking for.

So, don’t call an agency to be your marketing tutor. Instead, read. Advisors have never had better access to self-help insights and information—through trade pubs, custodian relationships, blogs, podcasts, other advisors and industry pundits. Be curious. Be inquisitive. If you hear something on a podcast that intrigues you, follow the host back to LinkedIn. Read what they write there. Email your questions. Attend a webinar. Be an active participant at industry events.

At some point, you’ll understand the basics. You’ll have identified your own issues. And narrowed down your questions. Then, finally, you’ll be ready to call an agency.

Instead of saying, “Tell us what we need,” you’ll say, “We need help with this.

Megan Carpenter
Marketing
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Megan is CEO & Co-Founder at FiComm Partners, LLC. Her team develops winning communications strategies for entrepreneurs in the independent advisory community, and busines ... Click for full bio