Larry Brauner

More Critical Success Factors

This time last year I posted on my blog 10 Simple Success Strategies for 2008. My strategies for 2009 are net very simple, or in any case, they’re not easy.

We were already aware that the mortgage crisis would badly hurt American home owners and the real estate industry, but few people realized that the crisis would quickly snowball into a major global recession.

While I stand by last years recommendations and believe that they are valid today, I feel that I need to add new critical success factors to the mix for 2009.

  1. Be flexible. What worked in the past may no longer work in the present economy. You may have to make some tough personal or business choices going forward.
  2. Focus on your finances. Spend less. Earn more, even if it’s difficult, and even if you have to compromise and do something that’s less than perfect for you. Pay down your credit cards, even if you have to sell some belongings. That’s the advice Dave Ramsey gives in his excellent book, The Total Money Makeover.
  3. Be cautious and use common sense. I hate to sound like a broken phonograph record, but while it is important to earn more, don’t fall prey to someone else’s hedge against recession. Before you invest substantial time or money, read Home Based Businesses Don’t Work and The Darker Side of Funded Proposals.
  4. Persevere. I noticed this year how many people failed to follow through on important plans and prematurely abandoned their blogs and social media projects they had started. Perhaps in some of the cases they should have done more soul searching beforehand, but on the whole I think people get frustrated and quit before their work has a chance to bear fruit. If you think you might lack motivation or need encouragement, create a support system for yourself or work closely with a mentor to whom you can be accountable.
  5. Reach out multiple ways. Network with people online and offline using online business and social networking sites and your local Small Business Association, Chamber of Commerce or BNI. Besides my new social networking site and other Ning social networking sites, I strongly recommend Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn. Connect to me at all these sites and let me know how I might be able to help you. It might be useful to you to visit Social Networking vs. Advertising, especially if you have never before seen that post.
  6. Develop expertise that will serve you now and in the future. In The 80/20 Rule I wrote, “Expertise is a valuable asset when it comes to personal branding. As an expert you can teach and mentor others and differentiate yourself from your competition.” I went on to explain that with a medium amount of reading, studying and experimentation, you can learn more about a subject than 80% of other people.
  7. Smile and laugh as much as you can. Laughter is good for you and for the people around you.
  8. Prepare not only for the recession, but also for afterward. These tough economic times won’t last forever. Think how you might be able to position yourself down the road to profit from the many new possibilities which will emerge in a couple of years.
  9. Keep the faith. No matter how hard life gets, don’t give up hope. Persist as best you can and be ready to start over. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.
  10. Subscribe to my blog if you’re not yet a subscriber. I have a lot planned, and we can face 2009 together.

Now it’s your turn to share your ideas. Please feel free to comment.

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16 Responses to “10 Not Simple Success Strategies for 2009”

  1. Karen Kay on December 7th, 2008 8:29 pm

    Hi Larry!

    Great ideas and you are right! But I disagree that all are NOT simple… for instance, it’s easy to smile, and it’s easy to subscribe to your blog!

    The rest? Yah they take some work, but still, good advice.

    Thanks as usual for a wonderful post!


  2. Marc Lessard on December 7th, 2008 9:19 pm


    I can see that you are a fine gentleman. I beleive that we all have it in us to succeed but that most don’t tote the line and end up on the wayside. Most times these situations arise due to external negativity which we all face on a day to day basis.

    Like you said keep the faith and follow the path, if you fall get back up and keep going. You will never get anywhere if you quit.

    It is most important to note that, in my case as is in most everyone’s, it is important to consider what has transpired in the past in order for us to be able to have opportunities that we currently are afforded. Spiritually speaking we need to ask our one true leader to help us and He will be generous. Live in the super natural and your life will change tremendously, mine did!

    You always have a friend by your side, don’t be afraid to talk to Him and ask for what you need to help make His kingdom prosperous.

    Finally, keep your nose to the grindstone and you will prevail. God bless us all and this fine country we live in today.

  3. Susan Parr on December 7th, 2008 9:25 pm

    Hi Larry,

    Great tips. I agree now is the best time to start making plans for the new year and then developing a strategy to make it happen in which case, your tips will come in handy.

    Have a great day,


  4. Corby Fine on December 7th, 2008 10:15 pm

    Your point about reaching out in multiple ways is both good and bad. Good because in the world of social media and marketing it is important to be everywhere. Be everywhere your targets are, your potential customers, your next networking opportunity…

    The challenge becomes managing all these touch points. I have already begun to have challenges in managing my life online. Mixing it in with the “real world”, family and full time employment easily get in the way, so I must pick and choose my online destinations. The obvious ones (Twitter, LinkedIn, and my blog) are easy. Beyond that…time is the obstacle.

    Thanks for the great reading!


  5. Jeffrey D. on December 7th, 2008 11:04 pm


    You are far much more than a fine gentleman. You are a straight talker that cares about people’s well being. I am grateful to have met an individual like yourself. Thank you for GIVING to people the knowledge and support that you have learned throughout your many years of experience! Once again, this is priceless information. What you have given away will all come back to you in the end!


  6. Morgan Mandel on December 7th, 2008 11:34 pm

    You’re right. It is tough sometimes to keep going, especially with a day job I wish I could quit but can’t. I spend weeknights and weekends catching up trying to build my brand. I keep feeling I’m falling behind and barely standing ground.

    Morgan Mandel
    Morgan Mandel Blog

  7. Trace Cohen on December 8th, 2008 11:20 am

    Great list of ways to achieve success in the upcoming year. I especially like the 80/20 Rule, because it can be applied on so many different levels. If you know more on a subject then 80% of everyone, you are already well on your way to branding yourself and potentially becoming a thought leader. And above all, SMILE, people love people with positive attitudes, it’s contagious.

  8. Rechnungen on December 9th, 2008 6:01 am

    I like the idea you mention in #7, you should smile and laugh. That’s one of the best solutions to our problems.

  9. Debbie Morgan on December 9th, 2008 3:32 pm

    Hi Larry!

    Thanks for these tips but most of all thanks for #5, “reach out multiple ways”, and for the offer for help. I may take you up on it in the new year when I start my blog.


  10. I.C. Jackson on December 9th, 2008 5:36 pm

    Great post, Larry.

    I think that the tips you offer should be a part of everyone’s lifestyle. Then we wouldn’t be facing the global financial crises that we are currently experiencing.

    And #10 was so pertinent that the President should hold a press conference. If everyone in the country subscribed to this blog, America would be a better place.

    Let’s do it! Yes, we can!


  11. Roffi on December 13th, 2008 12:54 pm

    This is a very well written blog post. I will of course subscribe to your RSS feed. Thank you!

  12. Dali Burgado on December 16th, 2008 4:31 pm

    Hi Larry,

    Great post!

    Being accountable is a biggie! To this end, I’m a big fan of “accountability partnerships” and mastermind groups.

    Awesome job here.

    Happy Holidays!
    Dali Burgado

  13. Steve on September 30th, 2009 4:08 pm

    Larry, I love this post, because it’s getting me ready for 2010! You may also want to check out the latest post at the Advanced Life Skills blog, which talks about finishing super strong for 2009 :)

  14. Larry Brauner on September 30th, 2009 4:40 pm

    My approach Steve for 2010 will be very different.

    For example, while I still believe that social media and social networking sites are for nearly everybody, I now believe that social marketing is for a select few marketing oriented individuals with great inner motivation.

    While I might still make the same recommendations, I observed this year that #4 Persevere and #6 Develop Expertise were beyond the reach of the vast majority of people including some of my close friends.

    By the way, #9 Keep the Faith served me very well personally this year. When I wrote this article, I expected challenges in 2009, but I did not expect then that five weeks later I would be handed a severance package and walking papers. I’m happy to say that I never let it depress me. I took it as an opportunity to chart a new and better course for my career.

  15. Steve Prive on May 4th, 2010 12:30 am

    I like the your #7 strategy! As this also keeps people young and alive! Should the Strategy for 2010 out?

  16. Larry Brauner on May 4th, 2010 5:04 pm

    Don’t understand what you are asking, Steve.

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