They say time flies when you’re having fun. If that’s true, my2012 must have been an Animal House frat party because it not onlyflew by, the details are a little sketchy.

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If you’re like me, you’re still in denial about what the nextfew days holds: the lights that need to be strung outside, the roadrage-infused trip to the mall and the marauding horde of nieces andnephews scavenging through your refrigerator and pantry for fourdays, leaving a trail of destruction that includes at least oneirreparable family heirloom.

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To fill your mind with other things, you’re evaluating yourefforts in 2012 and prepping for 2013. And the question invariablyarises: “How are things different for you today than they were onthis day last year?”

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It’s a really good question because it points to the secret ofsuccess. If things are the same today as they were this time lastyear, it’s likely because you didn’t do anything different thisyear. It’s not the economy or the election or any other outsideforces; it’s you.

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Brian Tracy once taught his sales teams to get “brilliant on thebasics.” Let’s make that our charge for 2013.

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When you boil it all down, our business is three basics, doneconsistently and brilliantly: see lots of people every day; benice; ask them to buy.

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After 23 years I’m convinced this is indisputable. To argue thatour business is more than that is to deny reality. While it’s truethat we don’t live in a vacuum, and circumstances can affect thevolume of our business, they cannot completely dissolve ourbusiness. That’s one of the things I love about our business: Noone can put you out of business but you. But what keeps us fromdoing it consistently is allowing outside forces to influence howwe do them, or even whether we do them at all.

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Toward the end of this year’s football season, my 11-year-oldson lamented that he didn’t want to go to practice because hegenerally felt invisible all year. He had a point. It had been oneof those seasons. But his coach’s rule is “no practice, no play.” Iencouraged him to go to practice anyway. “We don’t know what willhappen when you go,” I admitted, “but we know exactly what willhappen if you don’t.”

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That night, a kid got hurt and another announced he would be outof town on game day. My son ended up making some real contributionsin that game, including a 30-yard run to set up a touchdown.

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If you want to end 2013 in a different place than you’re ending2012, commit to getting brilliant on the basics. We don’t know whatwill happen when you do, but we know exactly what will happen ifyou don’t.

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