I find the start to a new year invigorating and exciting. I feel like I’ve got a fresh new notebook and a really great, fine tipped pen, and I’m ready to write my future. Before I start composing 2012’s story, this year, I really want to take the time to reflect on the story of 2011. In the wise words of Ferris Bueller:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.
When I stop and look around at 2011, three words help do define it: Transformation, Gratitude, and Social.
I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the last year transformational and life changing. From protests and revolutions to a royal wedding and the death of arguably the greatest innovator of our time, the global landscape has changed. But now back to me ;). In 2011, my life, both personally and career-wise, was transformed.
In 2011, met and started an amazing relationship with a wonderful man, and he and his two children have changed my life and my home (there are barbies and lego everywhere). Being with them has helped me remember the importance of family and love, and has started me on a journey to even greater personal change over the next couple of years.
In 2011, I finally shrugged off years of thinking that one day I’d start my own business, and just did it! Pam Ross Consulting launched in September of 2011, and has transformed the way I work and live. I have amazing clients that I love working with, and I’m excited to act as a catalyst for change in their organizations, helping them to build engagement and cultural performance so that they can deliver what I call “The Great Canadian Customer Experience”.
These two changes in my life have altered not only what I do, but how I see myself. I have been able to recognize my strengths and am more confident and happy about what I do and who I am.
2011 was a year of GRATITUDE.
When I think of the change I have gone through in the past year, I know I couldn’t have done it without amazing support. I am so grateful for my family and friends, both long-term and new. I am inspired and filled with gratitude on a daily basis.
When I first announced that I was going to leave my job and start my own business, I was certain that people would warn me to think twice, that they would remind me of the terrible economy we were in, and that those close to me would worry about me. I was blown away by the positive response from every single person I told. In fact, even my mother (who is a legendary worrier) said “It’s about time! You’re going to be great!”
Since then, every time I’ve needed help, from a brainstorm session, to proof-reading, to design help, to an open ear to listen, it has been there, without question. I am so grateful to so many people. I hope how much their support means to me already, but there will be more blog posts in the future, just to thank some of them publicly.
2011 was a year of SOCIAL.
I started blogging in 2009, when I was going through a personal crisis and needed a way to share my story. I found it cathartic and energizing. Later, I began blogging about business and leadership, and I joined Twitter as a way to research and learn.
I realized very quickly that Social Media is good for a lot more than research.
2011 was the year that I trapped hold of Social Media with both hands and held on tight for an awesome ride. From the first time I sent a tweet during #Leadershipchat and was answered by influential leaders around the world, to joining the #usguys group of marketing, digital media, and business gurus, to making strong connections IRL (in real life) with people I’ve met through twitter, I have realized the truly social nature of social media. The network that I’ve built through twitter has become an extra layer of support. At any given time, I know there are people to chat with who have gone through or are experiencing what I’m going through. I know that there are people across the world who are willing to lend a hand when I need it. I can have virtual coffee with a tribe of savvy thought-leaders and start my day on a positive note.
I have seen my network of tweeters support each other through tough times, band together for social good causes, and have offline conversations about business and life. On a daily basis, I am amazed and inspired by the power of Social Media and the benefits it has brought to my life and my business.
My social networking hasn’t stopped at twitter, though. When I started my business, I made a plan to meet with different people every day for 6 weeks, and I did. Some of them were people I knew from the past, but hadn’t seen in a while. Some were people I’d met through twitter. Some were people I met at events or friends of friends. It has been amazing to hear people’s stories and build a network of specialists in a wide variety of fields. I look forward to continuing to build relationships with those I have met and to meet new leaders in 2012.
All in all, 2012 has been a rockin’ year! I’m inspired by the change I’ve undergone, and look forward to it continuing.
So now it’s your turn. Stop and look around. What was the best part of your 2011? What words define the past year for you? I’d love to hear your story!
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