Business Like It's 1999...Not.

It's that time of year, like many, when I use the quieter holiday season to sneak away and do a little business planning.  It's hard to believe how the world has changed since the 90's when I started my business by making cold calls, paying ridiculous amounts of money on flyers, and placing Yellow Page ads (in the phone book). I even closed big project deals with a hand shake! Times have changed. Now that it's the end of the year, I'm faced again with the task of setting business goals for 2014. I must admit, the impulse that drives me to the next level is usually based on my gut reaction. But, like any business owner, especially one like me who must be ahead of the game, planning is necessary.  I don't like the traditional route of self-help books and seminars, since it's usually just common sense that needs to be adapted to your business. I've heard enough of those conversations around my dinner table growing up. I've always had an entrepreneurial mind-set which I credit to growing up surrounded by creative, free-spirited family and close friends, many of whom were successful in business.  All those casual conversations fascinated me and all those people, successful or not, inspired me to have my own business. I learned at a young age that entrepreneurs have a common thread. We are the ones who jump first, think second. We've learned to trust our instinct.

I want to share a few blogs that I've been following for several years that continue to inspire me and spur me on to continuous improvement in my business.

Garance Doré: She had me at bonjour. I'm so enamoured by her easy-going attitude and style. I ordered several of her fashion drawings for my studio, which inspire me to sketch for my work. I especially love her witty short videos Pardon My French - modern and chic. Because of her, you will definitely see more sketches and videos on my blog this year. http://www.garancedore.fr/en/

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 3.22.39 PMphoto: Garance Doré

Nowness: This site oozes culture and feeds the creative core in me. You must be openminded. http://www.nowness.com

Elin Kling: Fashion stylist and magazine publisher extraordinaire! She's edgy and reminds me to not be afraid to think beyond what is expected. http://www.elin-kling.com

UnknownPhoto: Elin Kling

Vicente Wolf: He's earned his stripes and is an authority in design. When I was mentored by Vicente, one piece of advice he gave which will stick with me forever is,  "you will alway stay fresh and current if you look within yourself for inspiration."   Be inspired by others, but don't be a copy-cat. I believe that wholeheartedly. http://www.vicentewolf.com

vw-at-work1photo: Vicente Wolf

Here's to the bottle of wine, or two I will consume in the name of business planning. Here's to 2014!