Five New Year's Resolutions You Can't Afford Not to Make

Offer Value, Learn Something and Wake Up Earlier

By Published on .

Tom Martin Tom Martin
With 2009 shaping up to be a banner year, agencies everywhere need to strap in for what is sure to be a rough ride. Below are five resolutions that if made and kept, should calm the seas of change.

In 2009 you will:

  1. Give more than you take. Value is the name of the game, and he who consistently delivers the best value will likely win. Like the baker's dozen, make sure you give your clients, your employees and your co-workers more value than they give you and you'll surely keep all three very happy.

  2. Be all you can be. It's not just a great advertising slogan; it's a smart life lesson. If there was ever a year where big brand companies will consider smaller agencies far from Madison Avenue, 2009 likely will be that year. Put a few stretch targets on your new-business list and then have something really smart or insightful to say should you get them on the phone.

  3. Be an early bird because they truly do get the worm. I'm writing this at 6:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve because I can. It is quiet. The phone isn't ringing, e-mail isn't coming in and, other than East Coast Twitter traffic, no one is trying to talk to me. So I can concentrate. I've studied a lot of very successful people and guess what? They are all early birds. Try it this year and see if it doesn't make you at least more productive if not more successful.

  4. Treat you right. A recent article on President-elect Obama noted that he's actually increased his workouts since being elected. Why? Because he understands what you should understand: It's hard to be brilliant when you're out of shape. Advertising is a tough, stress filled business. To maintain maximum performance, maintain maximum health.

  5. Spend an hour a day learning. It's really not that hard. Brew your own coffee instead of standing in line at Starbucks. Invest in a smart phone and read great marketing blogs via a mobile Google Reader while you're waiting for a meeting to start. Or just get up an hour earlier and scan any of the resources I mentioned in my last post.
And while not a resolution per se, another great piece of learning I've acquired over the years: Write down and post your goals. It is funny how making a goal public commits you to actually doing it. Write yours down, post them above your computer monitor, and then e-mail them to your inner circle with a note that says, "I am going to do this." You still may fail to accomplish everything you set out to do, but I bet you'll accomplish a lot more than if you just kept those goals secret.

Got a few good resolutions that we should add here? Let me know via the comments section.

Have a safe New Year's Eve and a successful 2009.

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Tom Martin is president of Zehnder Communications, with offices in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. He can be reached at
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