Putting the “New” Back In New Year’s Resolutions

res copyAlbert Einstein once said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Of all the smarty pants in the history of the world, he’s known as the biggest, so he would know about these things.

Einstein’s I.Q. could eat my I.Q. for lunch and still have room for dessert and then more lunch, which is why even though I’ve heard that quote over and over again and experienced its accuracy over and over again, I still sometimes find myself stuck in Dr. Al’s insanity cycle.

My business/marital partner and I have been doing some end-of-year evaluating and beginning-of-year planning for our business.

I’m not gonna lie, this year’s been a bit of a beast.

As part of the petering but persistent self-employed populace, we continue to be frustrated with repressive government regulation and a sagging economy. I recently heard on the news some White House official being optimistic because national commerce was up like .00742 and ½ percent in the fourth quarter. Since I’m no Einstein who would know why that should be encouraging, it still feels like we’re slogging through The Great Recession like a Hobbit trilogy. But, trying very very hard to resist pessimism and look to the future with hope, we’re trying to move forward and make plans for the New Year.

As we were discussing our future, we found ourselves reminiscing about our past. We talked about back when we lived in a one-bedroom basement apartment and our first baby slept in a crib in the closet. We only went to dollar movies, ate off of dollar menus and rode the free LTD around town for entertainment.

We had big dreams for our lives. We sacrificed, worked hard and took big risks to try and make them come true.

And they did.

Then why did living our dream seem so freakin’ hard lately? Because we got caught in the insanity cycle.

We ventured out into the business world almost twenty years ago and our methods have worked successfully for the most part. But the world has changed a lot in recent years and, while we’ve tried to evolve with the times, we’ve been apprehensive about giving up business practices and associations that worked well for so long. We just kept doing the same thing over and over again hoping the world around us would buck up and fix already.

We’d lost the moxie that helped us achieve our dreams in the first place.

In recent years we’d been offered new opportunities and declined. We’d been invited into new markets and refused.

Why?

We were scared.

Change is hard. Risk is . . . risky.

Our kids don’t sleep in closets anymore and I don’t think they’d take to that very well, though most of their closet contents are on the floor so there’s plenty of room in there.

We have more to lose now than we did back in the basement days, but in the wise words of another smarty pants, Ben Franklin, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” right?

It’s time to change it up, branch out and try something new, which seems only fitting when you’re making a list called New Year’s resolutions.

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