This is the 14th article in a series about surviving as an independent magazine publisher. If you want to start at the beginning, check out the Introduction to The Ball Bearing and the Beach Ball.

The Ball Bearing and the Beach Ball

The Ball Bearing Asks:

Where Were You in 2000? Where are you 2009? Where Are You Going to Be in 2020?

You'll note that a number of mutual fund companies love to use the words "past performance is no guarantee of future success." All of us like to dream about the future...even ball bearings. In writing this column, I have started to realize that there are a number of folks that get it...that understand the power of focus. Back in 2000, I had two issues of my first magazine under my belt. Things were moving forward...and yet, when I think about what those issues look like compared to what I am doing now...well, let's just say things have changed.

We all start 2010, as we do with the same number of:

  • Years in the decade
  • Months in the year
  • Weeks in the month
  • Days in the week
  • Hours in the day
  • And of course, MINUTES in the HOUR...

Sure, this reads something right out of one of those "self-help" books...and you might be right. But it is so true. I look back on the start of the 2000's, I realize that I probably wasted as much time as most people (hey, Youtube didn't even exist in 2000...but I still found time to make up for that!) In fact, the one thing I've learned about running a ball-bearing business is that it is the small things that add up. If you take the time to actually speak to a subscriber and engage in more than just the "give me your credit card and address info" you'll start to understand the amazing power of your magazine.

On the horizon we've Apple's new iPad, or iTablet or i Don't Know What They Will Call It, But It's Coming. Remember, technology comes and goes - human nature stays the same. We ALL want something for is good...what's in it for me? Need I say more? Don't let technology blind you to universal truths. Apple will disrupt the magazine world, make no mistake. But smart publishers will realize they can capitalize on Apples' platform not try and compete with it.

So as we head into a new decade think about where you were...where you are now and where you'd like to be.
Michael Brooke is the publisher of Concrete Wave Magazine.