I’m not going to lie. 2011 has been a terrible year. I’m thankful it’s nearly over.

But 2012? It’s shaping up to be a good year. A really good year.

Sure, we’ve hit the double dip recession and the economy doesn’t look like it’ll rebound until 2013. But it’s still going to be a good year.

Why? Because we’ve gotten lean and mean, we’ve figured out what our vision is and what we want to accomplish, and we spent this year setting the foundation for growth.

Following are five tips on doing the same so your 2012 shapes up to be excellent.

  1. What is your vision? When I started Arment Dietrich, I didn’t really know what I wanted to achieve. I knew I wanted to grow a public relations firm focused on real business results, but that’s not really a vision. Through Spin Sucks (our blog) and the forthcoming Spin Sucks Pro, I realized what I really want to do is change the perception of the PR and marketing industries. It’s a big, big vision and it may never be accomplished in my lifetime, but everything we do leads us to that vision.
  2. What do you want to accomplish? This is different than your vision because it’s more immediate. Where do you see yourself at the end of 2012? Do you see it as a successful year? What has to happen for you to feel like it was successful? Write those things down. For instance, I knew I wanted to write a book that had a publish date that coincides with the full, public launch of Spin Sucks Pro. Success is very measurable because either I’ll have a book or I won’t (I will – in May).
  3. Set the foundation. A lot of the things you’ll need to do to move toward the vision and to accomplish what you’ve written down will require a foundation. Perhaps it’s developing a content strategy or creating a community on one of the social networks or writing a book proposal or developing a new product or service that will be sold later in the year. Whatever you decide, the foundation needs to be built. And, if you’re like me, it may take one crummy year to get it where you need it so you have many years of success. This is a marathon so keep that in mind as you’re building.
  4. Get lean and mean. This was a really interesting exercise we went through this year. We cut everything we could think to cut. And then we cut some more. Just because you have an office lease or contracts on equipment or bank loans does not mean you can’t renegotiate terms or get out early. We spent a good portion of the year getting as lean as we could by doing some of these things in order to make cash king in 2012.
  5. Maintain your optimism. It’s easy to get down, especially when we keep hearing about how terrible the economy is. But if you maintain your optimism, it’s amazing how things tend to work out. The power of positive thinking definitely applies. Keep your vision posted on the wall in front of you so you can see it all the time. And, when you get down, look at that vision and think about how great things will be when you achieve those lifelong goals.

It’s not going to be easy, but I guarantee if you do these five things, you’ll beat the economy and flourish while your competitors flounder.

This first appeared on Al Smith’s blog, The Care Movement

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich