3 little words

I came across Chris Brogan doing this a few years ago. http://www.chrisbrogan.com/my-3-words-2014/

I’ve been doing it ever since. My words are my theme, my overriding reason, my ideas of how things will turn out.

Last year my words were Epic Adventures! I threw myself into the year with great plans for big epic adventures I would take! The biggest was a Cross Canada Odyssey with the Kids. I would, of course, meet up with people, do workshops, sell books and, oh, by the way, research rural coworking spaces.

That one didn’t work out. I did do the research, but from home and at a couple of great and relevant conferences that I went to instead. Not quite epic, but adventurous none the less.

File it under ‘reach for the stars and get the moon’.

2013 was a year of change; of transition; of moving from being the owner of a bookkeeping business to being a business strategist. I wish that the chiming of a new year meant that the tribulations of the old year were automatically over.

Change always takes longer than we think it will. But, like a hatching bird, the time it takes is necessary for the feathers to dry before the chick is ready to leave the shell. ‘Helping’ the bird only hurts it. It’s all part of the process, right?

My words for 2014

ECOLOGY

This is one of my values, too. It is about highest and best use. It’s about reduce, reuse, recycle. It’s about making our environment help us rather than hinder us.

I choose this word on several levels.

The home/permaculture level because there is a part of me that loves the whole homesteading thing – in fact I did it for 10 years, complete with chickens, milking goats, pigs and meat rabbits. I picked up a carton of coffee cream last week that is good until Feb 14 – that’s over a month and a half! for a carton of coffee cream! Why? How? A carton of coffee cream in the dairy section. Ingredients: milk, cream, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, carrageenan, dextrose. When Michal Pollan says eat food, not too much, mostly vegetables, he admits that’s very difficult to do. Things like this cream is why it’s so hard. I’m harping on this because it’s an example of why I feel a need to do more ourselves.

I’m also thinking about ecosystems. I see. think and work most comfortably at an ecosystem level. I will continue to work on building entrepreneurial ecosystems.

BUILD

Nilofer Merchant talks about air sandwich in her blog post here http://nilofermerchant.com/2013/12/16/how-to-tackle-the-new-thing/

…the gap between strategy and execution is a persistent one. It happens in organizations, it happens in our lives. In my 1st book (do you know about it? Published in 2010, it’s called The New How), I describe this gap as an “Air Sandwich” – the persistent void between the big idea and the execution. I called it the Air Sandwich because all the stuff that matters — the thing that makes it complete — is missing. To fill it is about making the necessary tradeoffs, making tough decisions, and aligning resources.

I have several very cool projects I need and want to take through that air sandwich.  They have been languishing there for far too long. I want to focus this year on building on these existing ideas.

OUTWARD

This past year has had me pretty inward-focused. Transitions start from the inside. Like a vine-ripened tomato, it happens inside before you see it on the outside.

This past year’s transition has been hard financially, so I haven’t participated in community events as much as I would like. I want to do fun things like this. https://www.facebook.com/events/416558458472982/438145019647659/ One thing I did learn this year is that it is possible to participate without money, with some effort. Focus outwards and participating in life!

The common advice is to build a big list, provide tons of value to deepen your relationship and then sell by providing great value in the ways your tribe is asking for. I have resisted! and resisted. I think I’m more comfortable with the idea of helping a few people who are close to me, then a few more, then a few more. In other words, starting close and building outward.

Some people at this point in their careers have helped 1000’s of people. I may have, but I’m more interested in the 100 or so I have helped over the past almost 20 years by working very closely with them.

I’m building outward.

My 3 words for 2014. What are yours?

 

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WHY

I believe that small business will save the world.

It’s small business owners that support the local arts, sports and culture.  It’s small business owners who work with local government to make sure the water is clean, the electricity is flowing, the streets are safe and clean, and the community is the best it can be.

I believe I can help small business owners craft their businesses to be easier, so they will have the time and resources to make their communities better.

Everything else in your business comes from your WHY.  What work you do, with whom you work, how much you charge, even what paper you use (or don’t).   It all comes from deeply understanding your WHY.  Start with your WHY.

Here is a great TED video of the bottom-line importance of your WHY.

Here’s a great worksheet from Lance Secretan to help you drill down to your WHY.

http://www.secretan.com/Why-Be-Do-Worksheet.pdf

What’s your WHY?