The most important thing you can do to succeed next year

The most important thing you can do to succeed next year

14 years ago, three tech entrepreneurs, Joe Gebbia, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Brian Chesky lost their jobs and needed to make ends meet. They were consistently late on their rent, when an idea struck their minds.

They realised that if San Francisco was too expensive for them, then chances are it’s too expensive for others too, especially tourists and travellers. 

That’s when they decided to launch a simple online platform called Airbed and breakfast to rent out an air mattress in their apartment in high-rent San Francisco.

Guests were offered an air mattress in their living room, free breakfast, free WIFI, and a promise of networking with friendly people. All this for a much lower price than a hotel in San Francisco.

And they were VERY SUCCESSFUL.

When the great recession hit later that same year, suddenly the need for short-term, low-commitment living quarters exploded exponentially. By March 2009, the site had over 10,000 users and 2,500 listings, and big-name investments started flying in not long after.

Later on, they changed their name to “Airbnb,” and the rest is history.

Lesson to be learnt

The recession comes with a lot of fear and holding back by a lot of people, but on the other hand it presents a GREAT opportunity to succeed!

What comes out clearly in the Airbnb success story is that some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.

And more often than not, if you are having an issue with something, it’s likely that you are not alone. There are probably millions of people out there to benefit from a solution. 

By being proactive about that solution, you are at a much higher place to succeed.

How to be more proactive

As we say goodbye to 2022, it has become clearer and clearer that we are headed for an economic downturn.

If we go by the books, then the most important thing you can do to succeed next year is simple, it’s to be proactive.

Here are some of the ways to do so:

1. Contact the right people

You know the saying, your network is your net worth…

It’s 100% true!

You have everything to gain from the connections around you. Information, knowledge, business…

And, you have absolutely nothing to lose by trying to contact the right people and expand your networks.

So, as we head into the new year, it’s time to start strategising on how to get to the right people.

The good news is that there’s a lot of software out there that can help you to target the right people, and your right audience.

For the last couple of months, for example, we have been using Linked Helper and it has so far proven worthwhile. We’ve been able to reach people we wouldn’t ordinarily have had conversations with. This has helped us get more people knowing about us.

You can also find directories with contacts suitable for you, don’t be afraid to reach out and to make that call!

2. Networking

Networking is not just about attending the events. It’s so much more than that.

There are so many other ways to network, including using social media.

What most people fail to realise is that networking is more about what happens after initial contact.

It’s about following up, engaging with the people you have met, and making real meaningful connections.

It’s about finding ways to help one another achieve results in the small business world.

I often say that the secret to networking is in 1-2-1s. Don’t be afraid to shoot your shot whenever you meet someone who you think could be of help.

And never pass up on an opportunity to network. If you look closely, every single person you meet has something great to offer.

3. Marketing

Marketing is the single most important tool that a business needs to sustain itself and grow.

And the best part of marketing is that it’s not just one thing. There’s a lot to it!

If you want to succeed in the coming year, you may need to start brainstorming on new ways to market your product or service.

What I like most about marketing is that it’s impossible to exhaust all its forms. 

Every day is a learning experience. As you try and sometimes fail, you become a pro at knowing what works.

“In business, to be successful, you only need to be right once. It doesn’t really matter how many times you fail.”

4. Step out of your comfort zone

“I have realised; it is during the times I am far outside my element that I experience myself the most.”

Very few good things come out of the comfort zone. There is so much untapped potential when you remain in a state of ‘convenience.’

If you want to succeed in the coming year, it may be time to do the very things that scare you.

For some, that could be something as simple as speaking publicly. And for others, it could be much more complex.

Whatever the case, now is the time to put yourself out there without holding back.

And before you know it, you’ll start to see the results.

5. Don’t be guided by fear

In the last couple of months, and dare I say years,  there has been a lot of negative news on TV.

If it isn’t the pandemic and the wars, then it’s news about an economic recession.

If you pay attention to the news, you can easily get demotivated.

Even the biggest of companies like Amazon and Facebook have had no choice but to lay off workers because truth be told, there’s a global recession coming.

But if there’s anything I have learnt, it’s that this is the period to make bold moves. It’s the time to go after calculated risks and not be held back by all the negativity spreading around.

If it helps, try to limit the amount of news that you consume. Surround yourself with people who are proactive, rather than reactive.

Whatever you do, don’t let the news get to you. Don’t allow the fear to become a part of you.


In conclusion, 2023 can be your greatest year yet with one simple mechanism: Proactivity.

Steven Covey’s “The 7 habits of highly effective people” has a very powerful excerpt on proactivity.

“Reactive people are often affected by their physical environment. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude. Proactive people carry their own weather with them. They are value driven; and if their value is to produce good quality work, it isn’t a function of whether the weather is conducive or not.”

As we head into an unpredictable economic climate, I encourage you to carry your own weather with you.

Here are the 5 ways that you can stay proactive:

  1. Contact the right people
  2. Networking
  3. Marketing
  4. Step out of your comfort zone
  5. Don’t be guided by fear

If you would like help in becoming more proactive, get in touch. Outside ideas are on a mission to help people and businesses grow. We have a range of support that can help you.


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