As 2015 draws to a close, I have been spending some time reflecting over the events of this past year. It's an annual activity that I both cherish and dread. Rehashing failures and shortcomings can be quite painful but revelling in the victories is quite glorious. Learning opportunities can be gleaned from both sides of that reflection coin. This year my musing almost always results in one common factor in my personal success: the power of positive association.
Success has as many different meanings as it does people who utter the word. For some, it is a certain amount of income. For others, it means opening new locations or hiring a highly motivated team. Still others define success as contributing a certain number of hours or money to a nonprofit, or salvaging a broken relationship, or parenting with a lot less anger and a lot more encouragement.
Whatever success means to you, seek the counsel of others who encompass and encourage those same principles in their own life and/or business. Ask for their suggestions and guidance in those areas where you struggle to make progress. Let them lift you up on your journey. Benefit from their experience. Spend as much time with them as possible, whether it's joining them for a coffee date or logging in to their latest webinar. Immerse yourself in their teachings and implement what you learn in a way that works for you.
Positive association need not come from just one source. In my own circle of friends, I do have a few people that provide me with inspiration, encouragement, accountability and advice. But I also turn to podcasts like Entrepreneur on Fire to gain experience and insight from others' entrepreneurial journeys. Consistently reading books like EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey or Master Key to Riches by Napoleon Hill keeps me engaged in the words from successful people both present and past. Daily devotionals like the First 5 app by Proverbs 31 Ministries start and end my days. All of these tools together help to keep my value system in the right place and my goals on track.
As you look forward to 2016 and the goals you have set for the next 12 months, I encourage you to also seek the power of positive association that will empower you to reach and surpass your goals. Surround yourself with the people and resources that support and encourage you, then watch your life and business soar.
April Keating, a military spouse entrepreneur and mom of two young boys, is the owner & founder of social media and email marketing firm Cre8ve Content Co. April is an expert with Constant Contact products and holds a Master Certification as a Solution Partner. She also is a member of the Washington, DC metro area Constant Contact Authorized Local Experts team. Click here to subscribe to April's monthly Cre8ve Chronicles newsletter.