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A New Year’s wish for you

By Bob Johnson, NAID CEO

It is normal to feel a renewed sense of ambition and optimism at the start of a new year. I know I do. And, from all appearances, it seems pretty universal.

Marketers certainly think so, especially those offering products or services designed to turn our lives around. For instance, it’s no accident that physical fitness and weight loss programs own the infomercial airwaves. And, it’s no coincidence gym memberships skyrocket in January every year. Sure, it doesn’t hurt that the holidays may have added a few pounds but that’s just icing on the cake. At the heart of it, is the fact that the new year represents a chance for a fresh start.

I often consider myself lucky to work with so many good business people. In general, I find them to be generous, fair, action-oriented risk-takers who, while fiscally conservative, are more than willing to help anyone as long as that person is willing to help themselves. They also tend to have the capacity to see things as they are and not as they wish them to be. They are able to assess their personal strengths and weaknesses honestly as well as those of their businesses.

This capacity to be compassionately honest with oneself may be the single most critical ingredient to being a successful business person and it is rare among humans. Personally, I find it refreshing to work with so many for whom this trait is required. You see those who lack this capacity don’t last very long in our business (or any other business for that matter).

I started this entry by noting the renewed sense of ambition and optimism that I and many others feel this time of year. For me, this time of year also leads to a lot of introspection and self-evaluation. I suspect that’s the same for most of you.

My New Year’s wish for you is that you take your capacity to be sincerely honest with yourself, combined with the sense of ambition and renewal that naturally comes with the first of the year, and commit to make one or two small changes for the better.

There are few things taken less seriously than the infamous New Year’s resolution. To declare something as such is almost a guarantee that nothing will change long term, for most people anyway. But, you are not “most people.” Your success as a business person has already proven that.