Who doesn’t like a clean slate? I love January, because it always feels like you can start over or get an opportunity to begin a new chapter. Everyone needs that now and then. There are also times when a fresh start is bestowed on you. I’m sure there are many people out there who feel like they may not have wanted a fresh start but there it was starring them in the face. The last few years have forced a fresh start or two. Through the recession, some people were displaced and either went back to school or maybe started a new career. I am working on a women’s conference with Shelley Davis Mielock and we invited a wonderful woman named Marlo Scott who was downsized from the publishing industry in New York. She has ties to the Midwest, so you know she must be one tough cookie. Well, she took her newfound forced freedom and started a little bake and wine shop. Seriously? It’s so great and she appropriately named it Sweet Revenge. Take that publishing industry! The Horizon Conference is Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Kellogg Center. I highly encourage you to take this opportunity to learn a thing or two from experts who want to help you move to the next level of your business life — no matter where you are today. Check out all the details at www.horizonmichigan.com. I can’t wait to hear how Marlo took her Midwest determination and ended up on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine. There are stories like this one all over the place. As a former reporter myself, Robin Miner-Swartz’s story has a special place in my heart. I left the industry years ago because I wanted to, but it is interesting to think about what she may have been processing when she realized that being a reporter and what that means was changing forever. When I was in school, I was taught that reporters have a very important responsibility. They are watchdogs for the people. They investigate … look for discrepancies … follow leads and write to inform the masses. It’s a serious business. What has been happening in the last few years has been … well, shall we say less structured. The news isn’t as newsy as it once was. I know you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, there is a huge shift in a once proud profession. Although the journalism industry has seen some hard knocks, Robin Miner-Swartz has not. She has taken the many lessons learned through the industry that I once said allows you; “to be an expert in different industries every day.” I’m sure she has many fond memories of her time on the “beat,” but has taken her talents and decided to make new and exciting things happen in Mid-Michigan. It’s inspiring. She is a woman who isn’t afraid to look around the corner and welcome a fresh start. There are so many things I want to accomplish this year. I thought that when I reached this age I would be more focused on what my children would accomplish than what I wanted to do. It isn’t exactly the case. Although I’m hyper focused on their successes, I also have a healthy list of items I would like to accomplish or even try for the first time. I think it just goes to show you can always be in a state of learning and growing for as long as you live. I guess that means that you can dictate your own fresh start at any time. I hope that 2012 is full of new ideas and opportunities. I do want to invite all of you to one of my favorite events. As a child of the 80s, the CAWLM 80s Flashback Fundraiser will be happening on Saturday, March 24 this year at the University Club. This is the second annual event and will benefit the REACH Studio Art Center. We’re super excited to help this citywide gem get a fresh start. They are helping so many people that they need to expand. That’s great and with a little help from those who love the 80s like I do, hopefully they’ll get some much-needed resources to make that happen. Whether you’re making a fresh start or trying to achieve that New Year’s Resolution, I hope your dreams come true. Don’t stop believin’! (Couldn’t help but throw in a reference from the 80s…and, if you don’t know it, I encourage you to look it up). 2012, here we come.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.