Top 2015 Trends and Tips to Watch

Posted: Dec 29, 2014

It’s that time of year again. Self-proclaimed gurus (many very well-meaning, some good, some bad and some in between) will scatter the Web with their predictions, assessments, and guesses about what we need to do to succeed in the coming 12 months.

What is more interesting to me, though, is the amount of merit that many otherwise healthy, non-professed gurus place in everyone else’s thoughts. And the relative lack of belief that these highly intelligent and experienced professionals have in their own assessments, conclusions and learnings.

So here are my own Top 5 Trends and Tips for 2015 Business Success in whatever field you may be in now, or in the future. Use it as a primer before reading others' lists. (After all, I have a long way to go before achieving Guru status! ;>)

  1. Trust Yourself 
    Many professionals will doubt their own expertise, skills or ability to get respect for their concepts, ideas and attributes, and will avoid countering others’ opinions, sharing new ideas, or spending any time trying to make a bigger difference in 2015. Don’t fall into this trap. Life is short and you have great value. When you hear a dumb idea, even if 99% of the room is afraid to state the obvious, be the 1%. The worst-case outcome is that your boss will ignore what you say. Others will possibly respect you for it though and turn to you afterward for guidance and leadership for the long haul.

  2. Help Prophets Find Their Way
    This is similar to #1 but takes a different angle. Prophets from afar will be sought out for many tasks that your internal staff or local or regional experts might have a way better shot of solving, either more creatively, more efficiently or in a more organic, sensible fashion that builds business value. This is a tough one we don’t have much control over. It happens every minute of every day. But don’t stand aside. Get involved, advise and help ensure the prophets get it right, even if you will never get any credit for keeping them on track. The option is backing off, and letting the prophets head into an expensive train wreck that you and the internal folks will get blamed for anyway.

  3. Turn Innovative into Impact
    Some innovators will get attention, millions of dollars of investment and publicity for creating solutions to problems that do not exist. Their concepts will often look cool, do amazing things, get people jazzed for a day or three. Learn from them, but in an inside-out way. What concept can we take from their whatchamacallit and put into a more realistic situation affecting millions or thousands or hundreds of humans? What true problem or challenge can we then potentially help solve to make life better for others, and earn a few bucks in the process?

  4. Find the Gap
    Other smart, good folks will see challenges and problems that do exist, but will not do enough basic research to see that the ship has sailed and the bandwagon is full. They may not even have interest in that topic, but read about trends in December 2014 and will choose to follow them. Get off the bandwagon. Do your initial research and prep work. Find the gap that no one else or that fewer people are seeing, but that is right in front of us. Choose something you have a passion for and pave a fresh path. If you really don’t believe in something, don’t waste your time or money on it, even if it is a “golden” opportunity. You won’t likely succeed. Or worse, you will succeed temporarily, but will be miserable.

  5. Lead and Learn
    Last but not least, empower others and create a winning team. Many try to go it alone, pretending to be confident experts in just about everything they think they should be saying and selling. But inside they fear people will find them out. That creates unnecessary stress and risks. So besides selling your strengths and not hiding under a basket, admit the areas you want to learn more about, and that you want to improve in. Find teammates who are the best in those areas and who you can learn from. Create the A-Team in whatever fields you are in, and lead your official or unofficial team forward to success and victories—both big and small. (Some context: Any president of the United States is not an expert in more than a few things. Does the president try to do everything? Not if that president is any good. So what makes you more important or special than the leader of the free world?)

Now that you’re ready to read the trends, tips and guru guidance, use your best judgement, experience and wisdom as a guide. I forecast that you’ll be on your way to better results, increased satisfaction and enjoyment for the next 365 days starting January 1, 2015.

John Senall is the principal and founder of Mobile First Media and Digital Healthcom Group—communications, marketing and digital consultancies that rely on teamwork, leadership, research, common sense and wise innovation to create and maintain success for clients and friends.