Fresh starts can be exhilarating— or paralyzing—depending on your perspective.

When it comes to diet and exercise, I live for 6 a.m./Monday/January 1, when optimism is still high that I will come through with all my good intentions (one hour of cardio, 30 minutes of strength training, stretch, eat more protein and vegetables, avoid added sugars, go to bed at a reasonable hour). Typically, my success rate for the aforementioned list hovers around 50 percent, but that doesn’t stop me from waking up to a new day/week/year invigorated by the possibility that, for once, I will not stray from good habits.

Writing, on the other hand, is an entirely different experience. When I have an article due, there is no greater nemesis than the blank page. I despise the blinking cursor that stands on its lonesome. It mocks my struggle. I strive to submit something so well crafted that it reads effortlessly, but trust me, the process is ugly. I’m sure all of our columnists and feature writers would agree: organizing thoughts into something coherent that also (hopefully) has some insight and wit can be daunting. For me, it’s not until I’m about three-quarters of the way through my assignment that I can start to relax and feel at all positive about it.
Of course, given my career, this exercise comes up over and over again, so I need to find a way to reframe my relationship with the white screen of despair. (Hello, New Year’s resolution!) Surely, as a professional in the floral industry, you’ve had times when your job has felt monotonous and wearisome, particularly if you’ve lost count of the number of Valentine’s Days you’ve worked.

If you, like me, are in a rut, this issue is for you. We’ve assembled several ideas to inspire you to turn over a new leaf in 2018. For instance, sales and customer service expert Tim Huckabee continues his candid explanations for why many florists’ businesses never seem to grow (p. 28), which includes a critique of the tired designs that have stuck around for years (or decades). If you need help coming up with something fresh, check out By Design (p. 20), Growing with Joseph (p. 24), or How To With Heather (p. 30). Additionally, Michelle Brisebois’ feature on new trends in fashion and interior design (p. X) might also rouse your creativity. If hiring is on the agenda in the near future, be sure to check out Ryan O’Neil’s advice for onboarding new team members (p. 22). He offers a thorough training guide that turns fresh faces into productive, motivated team leaders who delight your customer and (bonus!) lighten your load. Have your marketing results plateaued? In Ask the SEO (p. 32), publisher Ryan Freeman shares solutions to reach and influence a broader audience.

We hope the new year brings you health, happiness, and much success. Cheers!

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Katie Hendrick
Katie Hendrick is the editor-in-chief of Canadian Florist.
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