This has been a REALLY tough year for many businesses and business people. “I can’t wait till this year is over” is something a great many of us feel right now. It is entirely normal and indeed healthy to expect that with a new year comes new opportunities and indeed new hope. Perhaps now it is only right for us to pat ourselves on the back: for still being here, for still surviving, for still wanting, for still believed and for still SUCCEEDING….I have always believed that mountains are there to be climbed and next year may present itself as another or a different peak to scale….Christmas is a good time to take stock, to remind yourself why it is, you do what you do, and where it is you need to go. It is a time to prepare mentally and physically, to recharge those batteries – and to reignite your desire to succeed. The world in which we now operate is one of constant flux – information and opportunity travels at such a speed, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is impossible to keep up. While the tools of doing business are in some cases unrecognisable from those we used only a few years ago – it is my absolute belief that the rules remain intact. Let me explain, here are my 5 KEYS to a Successful New Business Year #1. Engage with People Engaging with people is the fundamental first step towards creating person to person relationships. Relationships equal more in business; way too much talk now focuses on the venue, tool or technology – when really these are all secondary to the simple act of SAYING HELLO…. So whether it is making a face to face introduction, picking up the phone, asking a question, leaving a comment on a blog or RTing a tweet – remember the real power lies in DOING rather than the talking about it. #2. Start to Truly Listen Listening is probably our most powerful sense, yet so few of us use it well. We often pretend to listen rather than actually listen. Listening requires effort and concentration but it is worth its weight in gold. Think about it! Through listening we can HEAR what our customers want, where our markets are, where opportunities exist for us, how we can innovate and ultimately how you can be successful. #3. Realise Together We Are Always Greater All of mankind greatest achievements have come from us working together. From leaving Africa, to building the pyramids and putting a man on the moon, these achievements serve to constantly remind us – that together we will always be greater than the sum of our parts. Technologies serve to create new exponential opportunities for us to realise our collective potential. All we need to do to get there is reach out to one another. #4. Become a Real Leader Celebrity culture now infests our weaker minds; it’s like a drug that threatens to deceive the masses. A lack of genuine leaders has created a gap in a market where people are desperate for something to follow. The real power of influence is in what you do with it, not in how much you can eat. If bestowed with leadership, become a real leader rather than just another leadership abuser, because they are ten a penny. #5. Develop a New Vision With all that’s being watched, said and read about the current doom and gloom, you may think that I am losing my marbles – when I say it is really a time of plenty, but hold on! Our realisation that old ways no longer work leads to an inevitable conclusion – new ways will have to be found and someone will be required to find them…. Now is a time of creation, it is a time of innovation and it is a time for vision. To see new ways is to first think in new ways…. You will start to change the world as soon as you start to CHANGE your perception of it. What are your New Year’s Business Resolutions?