Happy New Year! I hope you all had time to spend with your families and loved ones over the holidays. And I hope Santa was good to you also! So, did you all make your New Year’s resolutions, or are you like me and just planned to enjoy the day with family and food and not worry about work?

Yeah, you can sit down and plan out the year with all of your goals neatly lined up, but the problem is if you don’t follow through, then it’s a lot of talk and no action. It would be great if we had a crystal ball to tell us what the future holds and then plan accordingly, but that’s just not the real world. Do you buy lottery tickets in the hope that you will be the one who wins the big jackpot? I admit that I purchase lottery tickets, but do I plan on winning? Well, it’s a hope and a dream—so I don’t spend much on tickets.

Are you running your business the same way, hoping to hit that one big jackpot or that one big job to take you over the top? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming to hit it big—we all do that. The challenge is, how do you get to a place in life monetarily where you can maintain a stable income as a business owner? Each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses; so know your strengths and capitalize on those. When it comes to your weak areas, network with professionals to make your business stronger. (An accountant is one person I recommend getting acquainted with for sure.)

Talk to peers who have had success in the areas that you could improve on, and join one of the flooring associations such as the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA), International Certified Flooring Installers Association (CFI), Flooring Contractors Association (FCICA) or the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA). These and other associations are all about assisting their members be successful in their business with training and educational opportunities, and they all participate in industry conventions.

If you want an opportunity to meet up with all of the associations and manufacturers in one place and network with your peers, look no further than Las Vegas this month for The International Surface Event (TISE), set for Jan. 22-25 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. TISE is a great place to kick-start the year, giving you a chance to regroup and get energized for what’s ahead.

I’ll be at TISE speaking on a couple of topics. The first session is Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 4 to 5 p.m. The session topic is “A Conversation with Jon Namba.” Katie Thompson, the senior content and project manager for Informa, wanted to do something different this year. So no PowerPoint, no specific topic—it’s going to be driven by whatever the attendees want to discuss. This will be totally unscripted and we will have a one-on-one conversation with whatever subject matters come up, so this should be interesting.

Also on Jan. 22, from 1 to 2 p.m., my colleague Mike Chmielecki will be moderating a roundtable on moisture mitigation. The session will cover the different moisture tests and what they measure, why moisture issues are so prevalent in the industry, and what conversation to have with customers to prepare them for potential moisture issues. So be sure to attend and come away learning something new.

My second seminar will be on Thursday, Jan. 24, from 8 to 9 a.m. The topic for this seminar will be “Wood Floor Repairs.” We’ll have classroom time to discuss the different types of corrective procedures and will be on the show floor from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. the same day, at the Design and Installation Showcase Hub (DISH) stage, for the actual hands-on portion. So if you’re able to make it to the event, be sure to stop by and say hi.