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Wyoming Business Tips for Jan. 9-Jan. 15


January 10, 2011 — January 10, 2011 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Amy Lea, Wyoming Entrepreneur Procurement Technical Assistance Center program manager

"Maybe I've got a touch of the winter blues, but it's been a tough couple years for my business.  It's just that running my business has been feeling so much like work lately when it used to be fun. Any ideas?" Mike, Casper

January is the perfect time for a little introspection.

You probably considered personal changes you'd like to make in 2011 -- eating healthier, exercising and spending more time with family are all popular New Year's resolutions.  But the trouble with resolutions is that they tend to be things we should do, not things we are passionate about.  So this year, instead of resolutions, create a "bucket" list for your business.

First, ask yourself: Is your business still on your bucket list? Getting out of bed each morning thanking your lucky stars is an easy question to answer.  However, if you opened a restaurant 10 years ago because you love to cook, but these days you are putting in long hours resolving challenging employee issues, negotiating with vendors and doing paperwork rather than creating inspiring tasting menus, you may need to look a little deeper.

If you've learned all you can from your venture, developing an exit strategy and moving on will open a bright, wide-open space in your life for new adventures.

If your business is still deeply meaningful, but is just no fun anymore, try coming up with at least three business-related things you've always wanted to do -- your business bucket list.  It's amazing how the audacious act of taking pencil to paper can transform something from a crazy idea into a possibility. Here are three ideas to get you started:

-- Meet one of your business heroes. It's not as impossible as you might think. Book a flight to a conference where he/she will be speaking, plan a vacation in a community where their book tour has a stop, or work with others to invite them to speak in Wyoming.

-- Attend a conference or industry event that has always appealed to you, such as the 2011 GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo Feb. 22-24, in Evanston.

-- Pay it forward by inviting a young person who is interested in your industry to shadow you for a day or a week and create a summer internship for them.  Their enthusiasm will be contagious.

For more information about starting international marketing, contact a local Wyoming Entrepreneur office. A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/ .

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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