Well we come down to the last month of the year. 2009 was a hell of a year for a lot of people. Some people lost jobs, some lost businesses, some even lost homes. We ushered in a great new beginning with the swearing in of our new President Barack Obama in January and many people thought he was going to be the answer to everyone’s prayers. But as with all incoming presidents who inherit a big mess, he was hit hard by reality…WE were all hit by reality. All of the damage done will take years, decades to repair. So a lot of people will be grateful that 2009 is coming to a close.

Well, as bad as it all seems, I choose to focus on the positive. I too have had some extremely difficult times this year. But I look at everything as a learning experience that prepares me to survive the tough times. As many of you know, I’m launching Fearless Woman Magazine and an Internet TV station in January. I’m also launching Empower Me Institute as well. Regardless of how this economy is I am plugging ahead to make these launches successful. See, now is the time a lot of people would run and hide from the big bad economy. But as I told my audience on my teleconference the other week, it’s times like these that successful businesses are launched. Some of our greats (Proctor & Gamble, Sears, etc) have been launched during down economies.

See, this is not the time to run and hide. So you lost your job. Are you going to sit around and feel sorry for yourself, or worse, hold on to anger for a company that made a supposed business decision that was nothing personal? Are you diversifying your skills? A common mistake people tend to make is believe that they are so specialized they can’t be replaced. Guess what…NOT! Everyone is replaceable. I don’t care how skilled you are. No man or woman is immune. The best defense to coping with this situation is to diversify. Add new skills that are transferable and in demand now. I’m not saying go out and get a whole new degree. But you can get the skills you need to make you more marketable. Now is not the time to be complacent, afraid or paralyzed in your old ways. Things change, people change, situations change. You have to be prepared to change and flow with change.

So instead of waiting out the month of December hoping for better times in 2010, use this time to reflect. Decide what you want to accomplish and start laying the groundwork for it NOW. December should be a month of preparation. I know it may seem like the easiest thing to do may be to just sit and wait it out. Inaction is very detrimental. Don’t give up now. You’ve made it this far. Think of December as the testing ground. And in January, come out swinging.
Til next time.
Adrienne Graham

In life, we are called upon to make decisions. As an entrepreneur, decision-making is a daily part of life’s agenda. I speak to so many women on a weekly basis. Many want to chat about their experiences, some want to express fear about moving forward with an idea. Some want to just have someone to bounce ideas off. I welcome it all.

I have always been one to take risks and go against the grain. Sometimes to a fault. I went home to New York last week to attend another funeral (twice in two months).  While speaking with my various cousins, I was amazed at how some of us had excelled, and some of us had remained stagnant.  One cousin, Debbie, is older than I am.  She was commenting how she had never been out of the Bronx and that she knew there was a whole world out there but never made an attempt to step out beyond the borders of New York.  It made me sad.  Here she is, a grown woman and a grown child and two teen granddaughters, and she had never ventured out of her comfort zone.  I told her “Debbie, there’s a whole world out there.  Live your life.  Do something you never thought of doing before.  Go to Atlantic City.  Take a trip up the coast.  Go to Disney World.  ANYTHING!”.

My point in sharing this story is simple.  There IS a whole world out there.  The sky is the limit if you believe so.  You’re not happy in your current job? Do something about it.  Build your skills so you can explore other career options, companies or departments.  Corporate isn’t your thing?  Take a leap of faith and start a business.  Do something today that you never imagined yourself doing.  Whatever you do, don’t remain still.  When you’re still, you’re stagnant.  When you’re stagnant, your trapped.

I don’t know about you, but I am compiling my “Bucket List” and I’m going for broke.  I plan to do things to push my intellectual limits.  To stretch my skills.  To expand my horizons.  Not sure what you want to do, consult a coach.  So do your thing.  I know I’m doing mine.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

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