How to Make 2015 a Winning Year

This blog’s focus is how to find, organize, enter and win sweepstakes, contests and giveaways. I also post tips, tricks and occasionally rant about the promotions industry. At the end of 2010, I shared a bit of my personal life to explain the long pauses in between posts that year. The next two years, I thought it would be nice to post an annual review and last year I missed it all together.

LOOKING BACK TO MOVE FORWARD

I thought it was time to revive the annual tradition I had started, give you a glimpse ‘behind the curtain’ to see the wizard. I enjoy sharing my journey as it’s not all prizes and glory. Winning is what gets many of us through the rough days. Dreaming about a prize or opening our mailbox to find a package is what puts a smile on our faces and a jump in our step, as life occasionally knocks us around.

If you are new to me, or want to review, here are my last three annual posts:

Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 1

Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 2

Where Have All the Blog Posts Gone? Part 3

Now that you are caught up, here’s what happened in 2013, 2014 and what my goals are for 2015.

2013

As I would normally post about the previous year in January, and I was still sorting myself out from my move, I never got around to my annual review. The toughest year of my career was 2013. I had the slowest year as an entrepreneur since I registered my first business in 1994 and I couldn’t find a job or contract.

The divorce wasn’t finalized, nor was our separation, when 2013 began. As Craig (my now ex-husband) was planning to bring his fiancee over for a visit for several weeks, I planned to make myself scarce. What started out as an escape, turned into one of the best adventures I ever had. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones that attended one of my workshops on The Contest Queen’s Secrets to Winning Sweepstakes Tour. (photo album & blog posts) While I was on tour, our separation was finalized and soon after I moved out.

Between job hunting, the tour and traveling, I never finished my book or blogged as often as I wanted.

2014

Even though my divorce was finalized January 2014, I spent the first part of the year catching up on my corporate financials and dealing with my lawyer. I am hoping the last of the legalities will be finished this year as I feel they take my energy away from both my business and my hobby.

To focus on the positive, at the beginning of the year I created a virtual vision board on Pinterest. I didn’t meet all of my goals, but I made progress on some and others materialized in ways I couldn’t fathom.

  • I started a new digital marketing agency, Idea Majesty.
  • I went back to night school and got my Web Optimization Analysis certification from Seneca College.
  • I began attending Toastmasters meetings again. I didn’t get either of my bronze level certifications, but I am now only one speech away from my Advanced Leadership Bronze and two speeches away from my Advanced Communicator Bronze.
  • I attended four sweepstakes conventions and two blog conferences. Attending the blogging conferences were the best decision I made as I learned a lot, made fantastic connections and have new plans for Contest Queen in 2015.
  • I didn’t attend an event hosted by Robert Ohotto as he didn’t hold any. However, I am now his Community Manager. I am currently working with Twitter and that role may expand to include other platforms in the new year. I do not see myself attending his first event in 2015, and I hope I can attend the next one he holds.
  • The emotion of the whole divorce process took its toll and I lost a big prize. On December 31st 2013, I won a book publishing package. A perfect win as I had wanted to finish How To Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More! I thought this prize was just the incentive I needed. Between putting my energies elsewhere, and struggling with the end of my marriage, I couldn’t meet the publishing deadline.
  • I never did start a regular meditation or yoga practice and mid-year my health began to lag. I started seeing a naturopath. My energy is coming back and I plan to be at 100% in 2015.
  • Business slowly returned and December 2014 was my busiest month all year!

2015

Here is what I am planning to do to make 2015 a winning year, and in the process I hope to help you become a big winner too.

  • I plan to finish writing the last chapter of How To Win Cash, Cars, Trips & More! the first week of January. Then editing, layout and printing.
  • We have already started redesigning ContestQueen.com. Stay tuned for the launch along with a pre-sale announcement for my book.
  • As Facebook is changing its algorithm (again), my focus to connect with the contest community and teach will shift to this blog (far more frequent posts than 2014!) and my newsletter along with Google+, YouTube videos and either/or Google Hangouts and webinars.
  • Business is growing and I am continuing to work with Branding & Buzzing and Alokozay Tea. Stay tuned for promotions from both companies. I am excited to see what new companies I will work with in 2015.
  • As for my health: I plan to continue working with a naturopath. I bought a juicer after watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and look forward to starting a regular yoga practice again in the spring.
  • After all is said and done, my first priority will always be my daughter, Nicole, especially as she is scheduled for back surgery in February. The healing process is long and may pull me away from work at times. All your prayers are greatly appreciated.

CONTESTING

As you may have guessed from this post, I have not had a regular entering schedule the past few years, although 2014 was far better that 2013. One of the main keys to consistently winning is to consistently enter. We’ll see if that is something I can get back to in 2015, or not …

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE

Here are two quotes from Robert’s podcasts, which I have posted across my desk so I can see them every day.

“Every day and in every way I am aligning more and more with the fullest expression of my highest potential as per my soul contract and destiny in this lifetime.”

“All events, people, and experiences in my life are bringing out the best in me and serving the fullest expression of my purpose.”

May they help you reach all your goals.

ON A FINAL NOTE

I know many of you like to track your wins. Here is the link to my annual Track Your Wins 2015 spreadsheet.

GOOD LUCK IN 2015!

2015-12-26T17:47:46+00:00 January 1st, 2015|General|15 Comments

About the Author:

Carolyn
Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways along with working with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.

15 Comments

  1. jeff January 1, 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    I love your site and the videos of you on youtube. I hope in 2015 you could do some more sweeps videos. Happy New year and best of luck to you in 2015

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      Yes! More videos are planned for 2015!! (After I finish my book 😉 LOL)

  2. MaryJo Tsitouris January 1, 2015 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    I love getting all of your great advice, but something I am unsure of is how to pay it forward. What are your tips on when you win something? How do you keep the good “karma” points flowing? Thanks for all you do to help us win great prizes!! 😉

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 6, 2015 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      I’ll write a blog post on this!!

  3. Linda Clineman January 2, 2015 at 6:14 am - Reply

    “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” — Neil Gaiman

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 2, 2015 at 11:00 am - Reply

      Thank you Linda! I hope I do all those things 🙂

  4. Christina Zawadiwsky January 2, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

    2013 and 2014 were very difficult years for me (medically) and I’m trying to move out of that phase in 2015 (like you, time-absorption is an issue). Wishing you magic and joy and wonder this year in 2015, Carolyn!

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 2, 2015 at 3:02 pm - Reply

      I remember reading your Facebook posts and comments. I hope 2015 is a stellar year for you too!

  5. Nicole January 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Best Wishes for 2015! Thoughts & Prayers to you & Nicole for a wonderful and healing year.

  6. Jerry January 3, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Carolyn:
    I just finished reading your comments for December 11, 2011 to now. I wasn’t aware that you have gone through so much in the last 3 years. Here is the good news for you, you have already come through the worst part of your life and from here you have no where to go but up!
    I think life is like this, you have your ups and downs. I just read a quote today, “Your problem is not your problem, your problem is how you react to it!”
    I have been a fan of yours for many years and I love your optimism. I see nothing but good things happening to you in the future.

    Best of Luck!

    Jerry

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 4, 2015 at 12:23 am - Reply

      Thanks Jerry. It’s actually 5 very tough years! But I agree, no where to go but UP 🙂 A few hurdles for 2015, but I see this year being a banner year.

  7. Teresa Miller (the better half of Ron Miller) January 6, 2015 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Happy New Year! I hope this year is your best yet!
    I hope all goes well w/ Nicole, prayers for you guys!
    Maybe you will get to do another trip and visit w/ all the
    serious sweepers hint, hint!

    • carolyn
      carolyn January 7, 2015 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      I’d love to visit again. We’ll see how this year turns out 🙂

  8. Natasha G. January 7, 2015 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Carolyn, you are a super strong and intelligent woman.I’m a marketing student in Toronto. I got into contesting recently with some success. I’m looking forward to reading your book and future blog posts!

    Best,

    Natasha

  9. Sharon Ashmore January 10, 2015 at 6:46 am - Reply

    Love your newsletter, articles and great/useful information. It was great getting to know you during your tour of the US. Thanks for all your hard work and sharing with us. Happy New Year!

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