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9 Rules to Live By in 2013

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I’m planning to make 2013 my best year yet.

I hope you are too!

Here are some key ideas for you to adopt this year.

Live by these rules and you’ll be more successful, be more positive and have more fun!

1.  I will think big and ignore people who tell me that I will fail.

I will think entrepreneurially in this fast-changing world.

I’ll try to look for out-of-the-box and unusual approaches to solve my problems and challenges.

I will not listen to anyone who tells me I will fail.

Naysayers will probably stay right where they are, but I’ll  move forward and succeed.

I resolve to stay away from negative people and situations whenever I can.

2.  I will spend more time with my top donors outside the office.

I recognize that my top donors are the key to my organization’s success.

These are the donors that will take my organization to new heights. I will pay lots of attention to them.

During 2013 I will personally visit at least 10 major donors each month.

I will listen and learn their vision. I realize it’s important to listen and not talk too much during these visits.

I’ll develop my listening skills and practice keeping my mouth shut.

3.  I will invest in my development career this year.

I know that my own personal skill set is my most important asset.

I will strive to continually learn this year by investing time and money thoughtfully on my education and professional development.

I understand that fundraising is changing dramatically and that I need to learn everything I can to keep up.

I will study and learn the current trends in fundraising donor behavior, marketing and social media.

I’ll make it a priority to attend conferences when I can.  And I”ll definitely read the leading blogs and newsletters regularly.

15333350_s4.  I resolve to expand my professional skill set outside fundraising.

I know that a well-rounded person is more successful personally and professionally.

I will expand my skills and tackle some new areas and interests.

These might include learning accounting and finance, attending leadership or personal development training, joining Toastmasters to brush up my speaking skills, taking a storytelling course—whatever.

I’ll pursue something interesting and fun.

I also resolve to read at least one book a month in business, marketing, current trends or social media.

5.  I will create a professional support group for myself.

I know that fundraising can be a lonely business.

I will create a group of like-minded professional friends who can counsel and advise me, commiserate in tough times and celebrate successes.

And I’ll do the same for them.

Knowing that friends are some of the greatest gifts in the world, I resolve to get together with them monthly.

In addition, I resolve to seek out opportunities to get together with my peers and expand friendships in the field.

And I resolve to become more active in my AFP chapter.

6.  I will stay optimistic and positive.

I know that there is plenty of money out there for my cause.

if I thought otherwise I would not be able to get out of bed every morning.

I will keep a positive attitude. I realize that everything starts with attitude and energy and I will keep mine positive.

I will look at possibilities instead of challenges and focus on the good and not the bad.

I will also strive to see the best in people.

7.  I will take wonderful care of myself.

I know that I am far more effective when I am rested and balanced.

I will make personal time an important priority.

I will not let the urgency of my cause overwhelm my life.

I know that there will always be something else I could do each day.

I nevertheless resolve to take my vacation, enjoy my family and nurture myself so that I have the energy and passion to do my work.

I resolve to cut my computer off at night and on the weekends. (!!)

9254432_s8.  I will celebrate my successes.

I know that success breeds success.

I will take time to celebrate the next time I close a big gift, secure a major appointment or achieve a victory.

I won’t rush off to the next thing on my to-do list.

Instead, I’ll gather friends or staff together and be happy about this achievement.

9.  I will have as much fun as possible this year.

I know that when I’m having fun I draw people to me—and to my cause.

I will enjoy myself and try my best to turn meetings, events and causes into a joyful celebration of what is possible in the world.

Since people want to join my cause when I am smiling and expansive, I will let my heart soar and let myself be happy when I can.

These are some of my resolutions. What are yours? Leave a comment and tell me!

Have a fabulous New Year!

And let’s make it happen!

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  • sking

    With so many blogs and newsletters out there its easy to get information overload, so if you were to pick just a few blogs and newsletters to read, which ones would you choose.

  • Megan

    This is really, really good, Gail. I also 2nd Sking’s comment asking what other blogs/newsletters we should be following. #4 is something I want to focus on this year.

  • Kelly Voss

    Spot on Gail! I would add one more – to take 20 minutes, regardless of the work on my plate, to get outside the office and exercise. A brisk walk three times a week is going to get your blood pumping and your brain will feel more refreshed. Fundraisers have a lot of stress and just a tiny bit of cardio goes such a long way.

  • Betsy

    Thank you Gail! You always have the best, most concise, and most compelling advice that really boosts motivation and energy. Every post is excellent advice wrapped up in a fun, quick read. I really appreciate you.

  • Edie

    Wonderful advice, Gail. I so appreciate you and look forward to your weekly messages.

  • gailperry

    Edie, thank you SO much! : )

  • gailperry

    Betsy, I have the best readers in the world too, you know that?

  • gailperry

    Oh Kelly – what a wonderful wonderful addition to the list. Thanks a million and love the cardio!

  • gailperry

    OK, here are the top blogs I think you should be following: ( read these all the time)

    Kivi Leroux Millers’s http://www.Nonprofitmarketingguide.com

    The Agitator http://www.theagitator.net

    Jeff Brooks “Future Fundraising Now” http://www.futurefundraisingnow.com

    Tom Ahern’s newsletter

    Chronicle of Philanthropy Daily digests

    Seth Godin (not fundraising but brilliant strategist)

    Sandy Rees “Get Fully Funded”

    There are some other ones but these are my fav’s.

  • Neo Park

    Thanks for your great advice! Let’s celebrate all together on 2013!