I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Personal branding  |  Best Practices

Shutterstock_courageWelcome to 2012.

What kind of year will it be for you?

Do you have the courage to make it a great year?
(It's up to you.)

You need courage to start a blog or video channel or Google+ to share your passion with the world. The passion is easy because you already have it. And the good news is there are many ways to create content to share your passion—by writing, doing videos, shooting photos, creating infographics, speaking. The tough part is the courage both to begin and to sustain the content creation effort.

You need courage to start your own business. Many people tell me it is “risky” to leave an employer and start something. But in my mind it is the complete opposite. The risk with a job is that you could be downsized. Or the company could be acquired. Or go under. Or get embroiled in scandal. I was sacked three times before I embarked on a business of my own because I couldn’t develop the courage otherwise. But you can.

CourageYou need courage to learn a new sport. It looks fun when you watch surfing or skiing or rock climbing from the sidelines, right? You've always wanted to try. But you know that you’ll feel like a dork in the beginning. It will take a commitment to get good enough to be comfortable and enjoy it.

It takes courage to lose weight or begin an exercise program (or both). It's easy to make a resolution and halfheartedly try to cut back for a few weeks. But making a sustained lifestyle commitment is really tough. I know - pizza and beer are tasty! (Especially together). But is this the year you have the courage to modify your diet and exercise for the long haul?

It takes courage to take up a musical instrument. The young 'uns seem to have no trouble learning quickly. But us old dogs?

Make 2012 a year of courage. Start the blog, begin playing the harmonica, establish a business, go back to school, learn to paint, get outdoors, get healthy, have fun.

Whatever you've wanted to do, this is your year.

Image: Shutterstock / Greg Epperson