It seems like the sentiment generally is that 2009 has to be a better year than 2008.

I get that. It would be hard to deny that the end of the Bush years has been pretty rough. Whether that’s a surprise or not I don’t know. Mismanage anything long enough and it has a tendency to blow up.

Personally, 2008 wasn’t so bad. But I am looking forward to 2009 just the same. Not sure I’m going to change much. My strategy: keep learning, keep trying new things, share what little I know, stay as helpful as possible, stay honest.

There are some people I’m looking forward to working with in 2009.

One is my broker. He did a really good job through the meltdown but feels he could have done better. So, instead of sitting around, he’s been working his tail off (there’s been more than a few 7 day weeks) for the past few months to devise an ever better way of doing his job. Give him credit, he’s involved his clients through the entire process. Did your broker do that?

I’m looking forward to working with my clients. They have big potential. Each is facing similar challenges in getting there – basic stuff like getting really good at planning, execution and leadership. If they can hang in there, what they’re about to achieve is going to make them very happy.

I’m looking forward to the Longtail team getting our act together in 2009. Longtail is the web-publishing/Search Optimization and Marketing business I’m a partner in. Selling search optimization is the easiest service I’ve ever sold. 98% of businesses STILL have no clue about the powers of having a strong on-line presence. However, Longtail has opportunities well beyond being a service provider that are very, very exciting. If we can just stay focused.

Ever notice how advice is always for other people??!!!

I won’t be working with them but I wish all the best to a couple of past clients. The path you’re on scares the hell out of me but I’d still like to see you succeed. Hopefully it will work out.

Finally, I’ve got some close friends, family and people I care deeply about who all have incredible potential. 2009 is going to be a year of change for many. I’m here if it helps.

So, all the best for 2009. No question, it will be challenging. But I’m also pretty sure it will be full of opportunity. Just like every year. If I can help, let me know. Jim