As the new year begins, we all have the chance to put a stake in the ground about our goals and objectives for the following 365 days. As entrepreneurs, it’s important to annually look at our businesses to be sure that the plans we had in place last year are still working for us this year.

But even more important in my view, we must make the decision to fully COMMIT to our vision, each year. Unlike when we know it’s time to make a strategic pivot which we discussed last week, sometimes we have great ideas and skip from one direction to another with each wind that blows.To commit, however, means to “concentrate, dedicate, devote, grind, hustle, persevere, pull out all the stops and be diligent”. And, as business owners, we generally know how to do those things pretty well, and if we decide to do it again this year, well, that’s how we do what we do.

It’s only part of the success journey though. The other part is to RELY. Rely means to: “believe in, have faith about, trust, expect, bank on, feel confident that things will come to pass” if your reliance is well placed. For me, I’ve learned that we entrepreneurs need to work like it depends on us, but trust that it really depends on God. After all the best plans in the world are developed, we still must rely on the divine order of things to see our vision manifest.

I found this out in my business, ComfortCake. A few years ago, I thought we had “hit it”; gotten the big break that we worked years for. But the timing wasn’t right then, and things were suddenly put on hold. Wow…talk about disappointed! But, sometimes windows are closed so that doors can open. We had to look for additional customers to diversify our revenue options. So we went after Walmart. If that other opportunity had manifested then, we wouldn’t be in the position we are in today–that is getting ready to ship our Gourmet Lemon Pound Cake Mix into 500 Walmarts next month. And, Walmart will be testing here in the Chicago area our newest line, Sweet Benefits™ Cakes – Red Velvet and Caramel squares- that have all the goodness of sugar without all the guilt. They are sugarless and delicious!

And what about that earlier opportunity? While I can’t go into details, suffice it to say that it is still a very real possibility! The timing is now more in line. So that “no” then really meant “not right now”, but stay tuned.

As you go into the New Year, look gratefully at the windows that may have closed for your business last year. Because now, doors can open in their place. When you COMMIT AND RELY, you will be prepared for the path ahead, even if you can only see clear enough to put one foot in front of the other. The detour that you have to take now may turn you down the road of prosperity that you might have missed! And yes, new paths can be challenging. But all challenges have lessons to make us stronger. They add strength training to your entrepreneurial workout.

The strategy of COMMIT and RELY comes from Jennifer Rothschild, author of Self Talk, Soul Talk. She really inspired me, and I’m glad to share this path with you. Take some time today to look at your entrepreneurial workout to see how you can COMMIT AND RELY as you plan for the year ahead. What three things can you do, change, or adjust to keep things going forward for your business? Write them down. Share them with your team. Ask your team for their three ideas. And soon, you’ll have lots of stakes to put in the ground to keep it fertile for your success.

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