As we roll merrily into 2015 (gasp!), I’ve been reflecting back on the past year quite a bit. When I look at my learning lessons, it’s surprisingly easy for me to make a solid list of New Year’s resolutions. These include:
Say "no" more. A few years back, when I consciously decided not to grow my creative agency further, many of my business associates were puzzled. It seemed natural to me; I wanted to invest in a greater contribution to the small business world, through my writing and speaking. As a result of that choice, here I am, with a newly published book on the market! Now, as my public persona grows, I need to remember that my family and personal wellbeing are of the utmost importance and, as a byproduct, I can’t accept every single invitation I get.
Clients come first. It’s incredibly tempting to be whisked away by media opportunities and big company budgets but, ultimately, it’s the people who got me here that deserve my prompt attention. These golden few often say that they don’t want to "bother me" as I juggle competing priorities. That’s incredibly sweet but, even so, I feel like I need to do a better job at showing them that I’m here to support them…and that they’re never ever "in my way."
Listen closely to feedback. Like comment cards in a suggestion box, the comments I get on my blog posts and reviews I get on my book are incredible opportunities to grow. As I create new content, I want to focus on what readers want and need, rather than what I think they “should” know. Now that there is sufficient demand, it’s time to supply.
Redefine my own “-est.” I’m constantly telling entrepreneurs to focus on their “-est”s (e.g. “fastest,” “cheapest,” “friendliest”) instead of their “-er”s (e.g. “faster,” “cheaper,” “friendlier”). While it sounds simple, it’s not always easy to identify what you are uniquely the best at…and, yet, it’s the only way to compete in a crowded marketplace. As my sphere has broadened, my “-est”s must expand as well. I need to hone in on what I’m here to do (in the big picture) and what makes me the absolute best person to do it.
Make goals that start with the heart. I’ve hit a lot of milestones this year and, as I look forward, I realize it’s time to set some new goals. Too often, we start from a quantitative place (i.e. expectations and accomplishments) rather than having a qualitative focus (i.e. values and meaning). Knowing what we truly want–the underlying root–allows us to focus on the journey instead of the destination. The result is less anxiety and more fulfillment. To that end, I’m starting 2015 with goals that tap into my innate desire to help others in conjunction with my love of laughter. There’s simply no reason for the two to be mutually exclusive.
So, I’m curious…what have you got in store for the year ahead?