Today (it's mid-November), I talked to a group of smart, eager kids in my niece Cassie's journalism class at Wayne Hills High School in New Jersey. It reminded me how random words or acts can change your life. When I was in high school back in the 1960s, my guidance counselor gave me a choice of three things I could be: a teacher, a nurse or a secretary. None appealed to me. Under pressure to say something, I remembered seeing women's names in newspaper bylines, and I blurted out, "I want to be a journalist." At journalism school, I was a broadcasting major and never took a business class (no one except biz majors cared much about business in the early '70s). And now, for more than 20 years, so much of my life has revolved around business.
So many of us end up in places we didn't intend to. And that's not a bad thing. This is a convenient (and traditional) time of year to examine our actions and figure out what we did right, what we did wrong, and what we need to change. All too frequently, however, we forget our epiphanies shortly after we have them, and another "same old, same old" year starts whizzing by. So let's at least try to remember our resolutions through Leap Day.
Since we operate in "magazine time" at Entrepreneur, we've already made our resolutions, and you can already see some of them in this issue. New this year is our relationship with SBTV, the first TV network on the Web devoted to entrepreneurs. Business owners can turn to SBTV (at www.sbtv.com) to find practical content from industry experts, and you can access it whenever you need it-24/7. Look for the "See It Now" boxes scattered throughout the issue, go to the URL provided, and you can learn more about what you just read in Entrepreneur.
Starting next month, we're adding a new "Tech" column, called "Connections," to regularly cover telephony issues vital to your business. In the "Be Your Own Boss" section, "Success Coach" author Romanus Wolter is going to share a monthly success tip for new entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur.com will also be offering even more up-to-the-minute articles on business trends and how-to guides for starting and running your business.
It's hard to predict anything in life, and the entrepreneurial realm tends to be even more volatile and packed with surprises. We will, as usual, keep you updated on everything you need to know to grow your businesses. We hope this will be a comeback year for the economy. And while that's good news, it also means you entrepreneurs will be confronted with new and different challenges. You'll need solutions, and we promise to provide them.
As I talked to those future journalists at my neice's high school, I thought about the circuitous path I've taken from my high school journalism class to 21-plus years with Entrepreneur. When I was in high school, women weren't editors of business magazines. Entrepreneurs weren't icons. And innovation came from Fortune 500 companies. None of this is true anymore. As you go forth into 2004 and think about how you're going to grow a bigger and better business this year, it may be helpful to look back at where you started. And remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."