*Most people eat greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day to symbolize the abundance of dollar bills and coins they want to come their way in the New Year.

It’s a superstition that I too have followed for many years. So I can attest that eating greens and black-eyed peas has its own, shall we say, effects. But a windfall of cash isn’t one that I have experienced. So this year I ate franks and beans and sweet potatoe pie leftover from Christmas on New Year’s Day.  I’ll live life on the edge and take my chances.

Christmas is the only time that I allow myself to eat sweet potato pie. But unless I eat a whole pie in a week, give some of it away or throw it out I end up eating pie into the new year, therefore sabatoging my own resolution to eat less pie. It’s strange how the stroke of a clock’s second-hand can change a person’s priorities. One minute you’re in the liquor store stocking up on spirits for the party. The next minute you’re swearing off excessive alcohol in the New Year. It’s the only time bi-polar behavior is considered normal.

Since that greens and black-eyed peas thing hasn’t worked out for me, I always spend the first day of the New Year doing that which I expect to bring me the success I seek. I knocked on doors in my neighborhood handing out flyers and business cards to promote my company. It was a good way to get my daily exercise while building my customer base.

Funny thing about going door-to-door; most people never would think of using it as a viable way to promote their business. Sure, some people will leave a flyer somewhere in the yard and hope that someone reads it before it blows away. But rarely do people actually knock on the door, wait for someone to answer it then promote their business face-to-face. Everybody is afraid of everybody! Yet direct marketing is the cheapest and one of the most effective ways to build trust and get customers. Remember when doctors and insurance salesmen made house calls? Even the milk man (they all were men back then) delivered to your door. As with anything, though, time brings change.

Everybody swears by internet marketing, and it certainly has its place. But just like superstitions, just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s better or most effective. While I plan to use the latest and greatest tools to market my business, I won’t forsake what I know works regardless of how many people are doing something else or what year it is.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements to Steffanie at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at youtube.com/steffanierivers.