3 Guiding Principles for 2011

Now that the Christmas decorations are all put away and the champagne bottle is empty, it’s time to get serious about 2011.

I have a number of big goals this year and some exciting things in store for you. I’m not going to get specific about that here just yet, but you will start seeing the fruits of my efforts soon enough. (Oh, and if you want to be the first to know what I’ve got up my sleeve, sign up for free marketing tips from us. You won’t be disappointed. )

In addition to setting goals for the year, I have determined three guiding principles to help me get to where I’m headed. I wouldn’t call these resolutions, but more like reminders to help me stay on track and achieve my goals. In a lot of ways, this mirrors Chris Brogan’s three words idea.

I have other principles that are important to me personally, but theses are three things that will be guiding my efforts in my business this year. I wanted to share them with you because I think these reminders might help you as well.

Without further adieu, here are my three business principles for 2011:

1. Be intentional.

If you’re anything like me, it’s far too easy to get sucked into the many distractions of life, especially when there are so many things demanding your attention — emails, phone calls, text messages, family, friends, co-workers, clients….and the list goes on and on.

And, let’s not forget the bottomless pit of the internet. Reading one status update, blog post or tweet quickly turns into 20, 30 and 40 minutes of lost time.

Because I’ve got so many things in store for this year, it’s critically important that I maintain laser-sharp focus. This means avoiding time-sucking distractions and completing my tasks with my overall purpose and strategy in mind. It means scheduling my time and learning to be more efficient.

2. Be Balanced.

Although it’s possible that there’s no such thing as true balance, here’s what it means to me — taking care of myself, my family AND my business. When too much energy gets focused in one of those areas, the others tend to suffer.

I’ve done this before. I’ve spun my wheels so hard and fast that I end up completely exhausted, or even sick. This year, I’m taking care of myself first. That means training for my third half marathon and sticking with my workout regimen ALL YEAR. It means getting enough sleep every night. It means spending quality time with family and friends. It means saying no to some things, so I can say yes to the things that really matter.

By doing all of this, it means I will be fresher for my work here with you. It means I will write better blog posts, offer better products and services and ultimately, help more businesses and people succeed. Does that sound okay to you?

3. Be myself.

I spend a lot of time reading blogs, books and other materials to stay on top of marketing and social media trends. However, in doing so, it can be easy to be swayed in a million different directions.I want to make sure that I use the information, but apply it in a way that makes sense for me.

I believe it’s critically important to stay true to myself. In other words, I want to stick to what makes me and my business special and unique. Instead of worrying about what the next guy is doing, I will be focusing on efforts that make sense for me and my business. And, in developing my strategies this year, I want to make sure that they have my fingerprints on them.

What about you?

What are your guiding principles for this year? How do these tie in to your goals?

Image credit: Nina Matthews Photography

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Laura Click

Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

10 replies on “3 Guiding Principles for 2011”

Very nice 🙂 One of mine I’m carrying forward from last year is making sure to listen more to what people actual do rather than what they say they will do or what they intended to do. That can be a big challenge with so many colleagues enabling and complimenting the excuses of others, but defining those bright lines between the doers and the don’ters is the first step to a path to getting it done.

Here’s to a productive 2011 😉

Well put, Christian. That’s fantastic advice. It parallels a great I article by Liz Strauss this morning – she encouraged readers to quit saying “I’m trying to do X” and replace it with “I do X”. (Here’s the article if you’re interested: http://myescapevelocity.com/if-you-want-to-get-paid-dont-help-do)

People are filled with good intentions, but so few actually follow through. You’re smart to watch the doers. 😉

I hope you have a fantastic 2011! Best wishes on all of your endeavors this year!

All great principles, Laura. I’d like to add to “Be Measured”, particularly in our professional lives, and particularly when it comes to assessing a situation. Too many times people quickly jump to conclusions about an issue or news item, and we all know that all the facts aren’t collected or presented. Considering the anticipated roller coaster ride from Congress, I encourage people to think and be very measured in their thought process in forming opinions. Thanks!

An excellent addition, Susan! I think we could all benefit from this advice. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in today. I hope you have an awesome 2011!


It seems like we all have great ideas to start the New Year, and then we fade. My principle for 2011 is to focus on ONE TASK AT A TIME! I have all these great ideas, and then I am overwhelmed and don’t do any of them to the best of my ability. So, this year is all about finishing a task before I move on. Thanks for the great information and have a fabulous 2011!

You’re so right on this one. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by having too many ideas. I think that’s part of my be intentional mantra – pick one thing and do it right before implementing something else.

Maybe we all just need to hold each other accountable, eh?

Thanks for stopping by, Courtenay – Happy New Year!

My three biggest guiding principles that I hope to build on this year are:
1. Be Honest: This principle might be better described as don’t be so blunt. I have a problem with being brutally honest about what I think and sometimes it can be a good quality and sometimes it has me putting my foot in my mouth. It kind of reminds me of the “They have pills for rudeness?” scene from the movie P.S. I Love You

2. Use Stress Wisely: For years, I worked in corporate HR and it drained the life out of me. I came home literally to put my baby to bed. Of course I have stress in my life but if a client doesn’t fit well with me, I don’t take or continue the work. Life is too short or too long depending on your point of view to be miserable day in and day out. I refuse to work my life away, and I think that adds value to my clients because it allows me to give them my best energy.

3. Remove the Fear: It is easy to get sucked into fads, like you said Laura. It’s also easy to get set in your ways, and get stuck in a rut. I’ve been working a lot the past few months to remove what I’ve come to call being “paralyzed by fear of success”. I’m a perpetual researcher- I’ll read for days rather than take action on something and I’ve caught myself not doing certain things for fear of failing to succeed. It’s easy for me to push my clients to succeed but it’s easy for me to stay in my cocoon of safety and hold myself back too.

Thanks for a great post Laura. It really got me thinking.

Excellent thoughts here, Erica! I hope you stick to your guns and follow through with these this year. If you do, there will be no stopping you!

I love #3 – I think we all get paralyzed by fear. But we have to rip the bandaid off and, to quote Nike, just do it. A million good ideas are worth nothing if they stay in your head or in a notebook. Ideas aren’t hard. Action is hard.

And, I’m so with you on #2 – I have a philosophy that I work with “people I enjoy and businesses I believe in”. Like you said, life is too short to work with people who don’t respect you and your time.

Here’s to an awesome 2011, Erica!

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