Chris Brogan has a practice he's used since 2006, that of distilling his goals for the new year into three or four words. Seems like a good one to follow, so I'm giving it a try this year.
My four goal words for 2009 are:
At 211 degress water is hot. And while it would burn you if you stepped in a shower, its uses are somewhat limited. But turn it up one more degree to 212 and you can change the world. At 212 degrees water is not just hot, but boiling, and boiling water can power a locomotive or generate electricity.
That extra degree makes all the difference. Think about the difference between 1st and 2nd place in a 100 meter dash or a NASCAR race. Usually, it's less than a second. The little bit of extra effort can take you from good to great and be the key differentiator.
The extra degree requires determination, perseverance and focus, but the rewards can be well worth it, in business and in life.
This word naturally follows the first, because steam is vaporized water and that's the first step in the process of distillation which, in my use of the term, stands for purification, concentration, filter and focus.
This year I want to focus on two key things in my business life:
The two are not mutually exclusive, and not necessarily in that order. The first is more a personal brand, but my aim is for that to lend credence to the corporate brand. With the addition of social media marketing consulting responsibilities, my role at Bizzuka is changing anyway and it's my hope I can reciprocally leverage one to help the other.
I toyed with the idea of using the word "discard" here instead, but that sounded too negative. Still, for these goals to be attained, anything that detracts will have to be discarded. Some triage will obviously be needed and I'm working on what that entails now.
This is a tripartate goal, to:
- Help others grow in their use of the Internet, especially social media, as a marketing tool.
- Build a network of professional colleagues with whom I can share ideas and experiences.
- Continue my own professional growth. If I stop growing, no way can I help anyone else.
One thing I constantly struggle with is turning the focus away from "me" and concentrating it on "you." (Even this post has a "me" bent to it. Hopefully, it will be the first of comparatively few.)
I do understand that you don't care that I know unless you know that I care. In 2009, I want to filter everything through a "how is this going to help the community" lens.
To that end, the Social Media Handyman blog over at Active Rain and my posts at MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog will be focused more on how-to, while this one will continue a focus on opinion and op-ed.
Author Joe Queenan, in his sardonic book, Balsamic Dreams: A Short But Self-Important History of the Baby Boomer Generation, suggests that we boomers talk a lot about doing stuff, but never actually get around to it. I know that's true of me. If I had a nickel for every idea I intended to do something with but never did, while I wouldn't be rich, the pickle jar in the kitchen would certainly be full.
In 2009, I don't want to look back over a slew of ideas that lay like discarded fast food bags along the roadside. It's time to either "fish or cut bait." Yet, I can't do everything and that's where the process of distillation comes in.
There you have it – Degree. Distill. Develop. Do. – my four goal words for 2009. Thanks, Chris, for the inspiration.
Now, what about you? What words could you associate with your goals this year?