What 3 words will focus your 2016 efforts?

Welcome to 2016! For many of us the New Year brings promise and anticipation of opportunity. While I’m not a big believer in New Years resolutions, I do sit down each year and write out business and personal objectives and then break them out into smaller “to do” items. I then note those items in my calendar. It’s a remarkably simple system, and one that I’ve used since 1987. While I don’t have my notes from that year, I do have sheets dating from 1994, including a couple “10 years from now” vision sheets. I know it’s kind of crazy to actually have all of these in a folder, but it is absolutely remarkable to go back a review them annually to see how much can actually be accomplished when you engage this process.

Something that I have recently added is the idea of picking 3 words to guide the year. I learned this technique from Chris Brogan, and I love it! Rather then a resolution, it’s a theme for my objectives. For 2016, I’ve chosen the words share, leverage and celebrate.

3words Share: By nature I am a teacher. I love sharing knowledge with others, whether it’s in the classroom, the boardroom, on the podium, or at the keyboard writing. I’ll continue to share marketing insight through the spoken and written word as one of my themes for 2016, because sharing is at the heart of how I grow my actual paid income. My theory is that people buy from those they know, like and trust. Sharing is the gateway into that sequence. But the sharing theme will also expand into sharing more time with those I love, and energy and financial resources to support projects that I value –both personally and professionally.

Leverage: I’ve decided that 2016 is the year to stop trading time exclusively for money. There are only so many hours in the day, and there is only so much I can do personally. Leveraging will be about combining all parts of my business together to create income even when I’m not present. While I’ll certainly be maxing out the available hours to do what I love – speaking, writing, teaching and consulting, I intend to capitalize on being a marketing thought leader, and create several of my own courses. I figure after years of resisting the “teacher” label, I might as well just accept, and own it! But rather then trading my time for money exclusively speaking for a client or teaching a course, I’ll take the best of what I know and leverage the content. These courses will be aimed at business leaders, structured for the adult learner, and delivered in a format that works for that audience. In keeping with that focus, I’ll continue to drive the further growth of my list by sharing content. Last year the list grew by 80% while still maintaining unheard of loyalty at close to 50% opens. Leveraging the list and leveraging the marketing thought leader position will be a major focus for 2016.

Celebrate: I thought long and hard about the third word, since I wanted something that balanced both business and personal aspects. Celebrating is about achieving goals but also about savouring experiences. Celebrating is about knowing what you’re good at and accepting it. Celebrating is about being grateful, embracing the moment, and creating memories. As a theme, celebrate also goes beyond an individual focus, and allows you to celebrate others. I like that.

So here is where I toss it back to you. What will be your 3 words for 2016?

Leave a comment and share below, or email me directly. The process of thinking about them and selecting those words will guide tremendously both your business and personal efforts in the coming year.

If you liked this article, you might really enjoy my 5-Minute Marketing Sunday morning e-newsletter tips. It’s the insiders tribe where I teach business leaders to be more successful through innovative marketing. View archived copies and subscribe here.

Mary Charleson

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