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My Z Scale New Year’s Resolutions

| December 31, 2011 2 Comments More

Happy New YaerWell it’s that time of year again, December 31, a great day to look back over the past year and look forward to the next. It’s also a time for many of us to make promises, deals and plans with and for ourselves.

Many people find it easy to dismiss New Year’s resolutions as a pure waste of time, after all lots of them are unrealistic and simply don’t get kept. I think when it comes to resolutions; I’m more of a glass half-full kind of person. Sure, most of us won’t lose 40lbs, quit smoking, move to a nicer house and become millionaires… but maybe some of us will achieve some of these things.

According to Wikipedia, recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. I’m not a math whiz but 12% is better than 0%!

For all of us to make these ambitious plans and lists on New Year’s Eve is of course wildly arbitrary. Why December 31, why not May 14 or August 23? I guess the short answer is Pope Gregory XII and a signed decree from 1582 but I’ll leave this to folks better versed in history. Personally, I pretty much accept the arbitrary nature of December 31 and move on to the actual resolutions.

This past year I did see a couple of my resolutions met. I moved Ztrains.com to this new CMS (Content Management System) format and I did get my new online store opened (even if opened only very recently, just under the New Year wire). Ok, I could have done better, done more. Well, today is the perfect day not to kick myself for what I didn’t get done but to look forward to what I want to do. It’s the one day a year that a mulligan is a globally accepted practice, we get a do-over on our resolutions!

Happy New Year

So what are some of my resolutions for the New Year? Not surprisingly, most of these resolutions revolve around my work in Z scale.

1) Procrastinate less, keep to schedules: Hate to admit it out here in the open but I’m guilty of taking on too many projects and then turning these projects in to a maze of tiny details that burn my time. In model railroading, details are critical for good layouts, websites, products, etc. I’ll never ignore the details, I’ve just got to manage them in a better way.

2) Continue to evolve Ztrains.com and my JCubbin.com websites: I’m convinced that without evolution and without offering people new and exciting options, any online business runs the risk of becoming stale.

We began this new version of Ztrains.com in January of 2011, and here on the last day of December 2011 I see I’ve written 54 online articles, or just a little better than one a week on average. Not bad, but I’d like to do better.

3) Create new accessories, on a regular basis, for our store: This is one area I’ve fallen short in this year and look to change in 2012.

4) Look at the business model of Ztrains.com: I think most people would agree it’s a tough economy, this is true on both sides of the LCD screen… for web visitors and web publishers. In order to continue to grow and to provide useful material to the scale, it has to make sense for everyone. While going to some kind of a limited paid model (something I’ve previously written about) may not be the most popular idea in the world, we need to fuel the business in order to keep it running. Online video, a premium section, select downloadable articles, etc. We have lots of ideas to look at in 2012.

We’ve seen at least one well established model railroad magazine close their doors at the end of 2011, it came as something of a wake-up call for some, myself included. In a difficult economy, we need to always be looking forward!

5) Get more people involved in Z scale: This includes not just individual users, but companies that do business in model railroading while ignoring Z scale. There are plenty of products out there that are used by Z scalers, but the companies that produce or sell these products aren’t actively involved in Z scale.

I’m going to be making many, many phone calls soon… “It’s that Z scale guy again” will be something I’ll be hearing a lot of, I’m sure, in 2012! That’s ok, I’m nothing if not persistent!

Well there are just a few of my Z scale resolutions for 2012. I get passionate about these ideas because at the end of the day, I think Z scale model railroading is an amazing hobby and I’d like more people to see Z scale as I do.

No doubt about it, I’m ready for the New Year!

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