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Month of December 2001:
Goodbye, 2001.

What a year!

What a full, eventful year. My business stayed steady, I made new friends, locally and via the Internet; I was privileged to see many friends and relatives throughout the year; was able to get better acquainted with friends, relatives, colleagues, and clients; and my cat still loves me.

Networking. It's a key to my business growth. It's so important to take time to learn about others, communicate with them, and see what develops. Sometimes it's a referral, other times a strategic partnership comes into play, and occasionally there's a parting of the ways. Regardless, for most Internet small businesses, it's vital.

I'm grateful for the many Internet professionals who provide information that helps people like me grow, so I can in turn help my clients. I think particularly of Boogie Jack, Will and Mari Bontrager, Claudia Slate, Ralph Wilson, Mike Fortin, Bob McElwain, Hollis Thomases, BL Ochman, Tom Glander & Joe Robson (Newbie Club), John Papish, Hal Alpiar, The Learning Fountain, Adventive, and Patrick Crispin & Bob Rankin. There are many more.

Perhaps the most exciting thing for me on a personal and business level is to see many people stretch and grow as they begin to use (or expand) their potential. Most people have more than they ever use, but often it's necessary to trigger it via a combination of encouragement from others, education, hard work, and the understanding that they will make mistakes.

I've grown this year, and am chief among those who make mistakes. When I discover them, I fix what I can, and I move on. Nikki Giovanni said, "Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts." And Henry James said, "She had an unequaled gift... of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities." How did he know? Hey, I try.

The mistakes I dislike making are those that occur when I lose patience and/or unintentionally hurt someone. Of course I cringe when I make mistakes on my site or in an e-zine, etc., but sometimes my HQ (Humility Quotient) needs additional content, and it draws from my PQ (Pride Quotient).

The funniest mistakes are those I make when I'm alone. It's easy to laugh at myself when no one's watching. Like today. I ran a load of laundry, and used some spray to pre-clean spots on a sweater. When the laundry was finished, I checked the sweater. Spot was still there. "Hmmm," I thought, "this is the worst stain-remover I've ever had. No matter how deeply I spray it, it's not effective." I looked at the label to make sure I never bought the same brand again. Oops! It was carpet cleaner.

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