What I’ll do differently in 2021

Goals for the new year

Say what you will about 2020, it was definitely a learning experience. The end of the year is always a good time to reflect and plan for what’s next, and this crazy year is no exception. So, I was in a reflective mood anyway, and then John Hoda asked to interview me for his podcast. We talked about starting my business, mistakes made, and advice for any private investigators just starting out.

We had a lot to talk about, since I’ve been in business for more than 20 years, and it was great to look back and take stock of what worked, what didn’t, and–most importantly–what has sparked my passion through my career. But pandemics have a way of distracting us from what we love, and I’ve learned that I need to focus more on what makes me feel most connected and creative.

In the spirit of the new and hopefully better new year, I thought I’d start off with this list of what I’ll do differently in 2021:

I will network more – As I told John, an investigator is only as good as their network, but, unfortunately, I’ve let 2020 get in the way of staying in touch. And if any year has taught us the importance of connecting, this is the one. It’s time to stop waiting for in-person conferences to return or relying on just group meetings on Zoom. I want to be more like Kelly Paxton, who is one of the best when it comes to building and cultivating close connections. She makes a lasting impression and never fails to help others through her connections, so I resolve to pick up the phone more often in 2021 and to help others by making more introductions.

I will teach more – When I started creating courses for Illumeo, I realized that I had finally found the perfect way to incorporate my love of teaching into my business. The Illumeo team very patiently guided me through my first two courses, and then the pandemic hit. My business became even busier, I fretted over and grieved for family and friends, and I moved from Colorado to North Carolina. My conversation with John Hoda reminded me of how much I love teaching, though, and I resolve to create more courses in 2021.

I will provide more value to clients – In the podcast, John and I discussed how private investigators can increase business in two ways: We can add more clients, or we can do more for existing clients. I’d forgotten how some of my repeat clients have started asking for more. They have new needs and new questions, and they now consider me a trusted adviser. That’s a lot easier (and more fun) than finding and breaking in new clients, so, in 2021, I resolve to learn new investigative and fraud-fighting skills, have more informational conversations, and do more for my clients.

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Have a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year! What will you be doing differently in 2021?

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