I’m not going to lie, 2009 hasn’t started off on the best note. I’ve had a cough for two weeks straight, who knows when I’ll be able to dig my car out of its parking spot and there seems to always be more snow in the forecast. Of course, there is also the matter of the economy. I have a few options, just as you all do. I could cry into my matzo ball soup, or I could forage forward and do my best to make 2009 the best that it can be. I’m going with the second option, and I’d like all of you readers to join me. I am not going to say that 2009 is going to be easy, but I am going to say that success is still as much of an option as it was last year. In every issue, Chicago Agent strives to bring you all the tools necessary to further your career. It is our goal this year, more than ever before, to help the strong survive. Not everyone has the stomach for an industry like ours, and many will leave to find a career that is easier. This just means that there is more business for the rest of us, who aren’t afraid of a challenge. Then, when the market picks back up, those that stayed strong and stuck out the tough times are the ones that will reap the plentiful rewards. In our first issue for the year, we’ve asked Realtors and builders to explain how they are preparing for 2009. Our sources explain a variety of ways that they organize their businesses to find success in the upcoming year, and we hope that you will follow their advice, and let us know if you have additional suggestions. We always want to hear from you, and now we’ve made this task easier by jumping onto Facebook and also setting up a Twitter account. Everywhere you turn, Chicago Agent will have a presence. On the cover, you will find Sherine Azzam, who landed the coveted spot by winning a drawing that took place at our Fall New Construction Event. Little did we know that Azzam was actually a perfect source for this story, because she recently left her job as a professor to become a Realtor. She began her career at a time when many were leaving, and she doesn’t appear to be giving up anytime soon. If you would like the chance to appear on our cover, then be sure to attend our Spring New Construction Event coming up in March! The thing to remember is, your sinuses will always clear up, the snow will always melt and the market will always come back. We work in a cyclical industry, which means relief is on the way! Also, with a new president taking office, things will have to change, and why shouldn’t they get better? With this in mind, make 2009 a positive one and continue to work hard. When the market comes back, we want our readers to be the ones to benefit. Happy New Year!