"Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working on the present toward the future." Denis Waitley.

If I look back at the past, I only see the positive influences that are directing me to the future. A fall in the park as a seven year old, taught me to be strong and that everything heals. A teacher in fifth grade that had me in tears because she dared to give me a A- on an essay, only to have to change the mark to an A once I brought it to the Head Masters attention, taught me to stand up for what you believe in. My Year 8 crush who never even noticed that I existed, taught me that not everyone is on the same page. Crashing my boyfriends new car when I was 20 years old into the garage wall while trying to park it, taught me to not sweat the small stuff.

Last week, someone changing my plans because they had plans of their own, taught me that at the end of the day, everyone is responsible for their own actions.

It seems that we never stop learning lessons in life, no matter how hard some of these lessons are to learn.

"When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." John M Richardson

It's only the second day of the last half of the year, and already the year is passing before my very eyes. I wish it would slow down and let me catch up at times, but unfortunately, no-one can make time stand still.

As most small  business owners, I would like to be "more" than I was in the last 12 months. What that means is that I would like to be better at everything. From personal relationships to my business expansion and my leadership capabilities.

My dream, I have realised, is not what I thought it was. I thought it was to build a big business and be successful. But no, my real dream is to make a mark on the world. To be able to say that I have achieved something. That I was here for a reason. To give some purpose to breathing in the air that I breath and sharing the experiences I share. How that looks will unfold I guess in the next couple of years or perhaps over my entire lifetime. I would like to look back and see that I have accomplished something that few people have in some shape or form. To be unique in some way that sets my life apart from others. Perhaps to have made a difference to people's lives: employees, clients, industry, people I mentor.

To do that, it takes great vision and strong leadership capabilities. It also requires me to be a better person: more flexible, more compassionate and more giving of my time.

"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time." Abraham Lincoln.

Putting the steps in place to realise my goals starts right now. Not tomorrow. Not yesterday. Today. It means that I have to have a complete business plan in place shared with every single member of my team. I need to allow them to give feedback and to listen to what they have to say about the direction of the business.

I need a sales plan in place that is both realistic and achievable, while allowing those who play a role in this area to be suitably remunerated.

The company's marketing strategy needs to be put on steriods. Out of the comfort zone that we exist in and into the sphere of the unknown and sometimes untouched. It needs to be pumped up and allowed to win at every single contest.

I was reading a great book last night on leadership and it became apparent that there can never be too much focus on your people. Invest in every area of your employees development and together it will create someone who is happy with what they do and their "lot" in life.

"May the dreams of your past be the reality of your future."

Your future is tied up in the learnings of your past. Waking up and shaking off the past influences you have and creating your own world of "happiness" will lighten your load immediately. Put yourself first and foremost and work on your insecurities, fears and anything that holds you back from being a better version of yourself. By putting yourself first, that does not mean being selfish and self-centred - it means injecting "you" with basics you need to be more successful, healthier and open minded.

My thoughts for this lovely Monday!
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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