Dear <<First Name>>,
Happy New Year from a beautifully sunny and frosty Bristol.
How was your break? Did you find time to rest and reflect in amongst all the busy-ness of the festive season? Christmas can be a tough time as well as a joyous one, so we hope you found some moments of peace.
Sonja found her peace by sea swimming most days and I’ve been doing a lot of walking with my dog. That’s how I clear my head. Not as invigorating as swimming in near zero temperatures, but it’s what works for me. What works for you?
We’ve been giving some time to thinking about what works for us both personally, and for the business, so that we can make 2017 our best year yet. There’s an exercise we learnt from Chris Brogan that we’d like to share with you.
Three powerful words for you and your business
Which three words will help you define your direction and stay on track this year?
I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions, they don’t really work for me. But we both love this exercise to kick off the start of the year. It’s brilliantly, deceptively simple but its effects can be profound. It’ll get you to think hard about what matters most to you in life as well as business, and help you make some smart strategic decisions.
It doesn’t involve giving anything up, or making promises that are hard to keep. The three words exercise will shape the actions you take today, and can help you create content throughout the year that will build the business you want to run. It’s powerful stuff - so listen up!
Choose three words for your success in 2017
Pick any three words that you can use to guide you forward to success in the coming year. Write these words down every day. Keep them posted on your monitor. Make a phone wallpaper. Whatever is going to keep those words present? Schedule a recurring 5 minute daily appointment that simply gives you a moment to reflect on the three words you’ve chosen for greatness and success. (Read the full exercise and explanation from Chris Brogan here.)
Here are our three – whittled down from an original list of 10. We’d love to hear yours.
We’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years learning and experimenting with different ideas, formats, and projects. It’s been fascinating and rewarding, but now it’s time to take stock. This year we want to consolidate all our thinking and work, get the best bits into super sleek shape and simplify what we offer.
Systemise means building sound business processes that better support us and our people. Doing this will make life easier, the business more profitable, and free up time to do more of what we love most.
What would make the biggest difference to the way you run your business? If you can find the word that captures what’s holding you back, you’re part of the way to unblocking it.
This year we want to spend as much time as possible in our element – doing what we love most, and what we’re best at. It means playing to our strengths, giving ourselves the best chances to thrive in a happy business.
Element also means being out in the elements. We want to get out more in 2017. More walking, more swimming, more time spent in the great outdoors as part of our business routine, not just at weekends or on holidays. We’re planning on introducing walks into our soon-to-launch Pub School Club to share the outdoor love - it would be wonderful if you could join us sometime this year.
There’s a sound business reason for this, as well as a pleasurable one. We both do our best big thinking when we’re away from screens. Walking and fresh air fuels creativity and clarity – our businesses and content need both of these to thrive.
Building a healthy business is important – there’s only two of us so we need to stay fit. But whether you’re a one man band or part of a team, we reckon thinking of ways that prioritise your well-being are worth throwing into your mix for 2017.
Your voice is what differentiates your business from everyone else's. It's what attracts people to you, and helps you connect with them. What you say and how you say it matters, and it’s where we help people most.
Voice means being bolder, and sharing what you really think. Ditch the fear, and trust that the right people will connect with you. It’s an opportunity for insane honesty, and real humanity. It’s the liberating confidence to be yourself.
To find your business voice you first need to get clearer on your perspective and on the challenges that your customers are facing. To do this you need the time to think, listen and reflect.
In 2017 we’re going to do this for ourselves, and make it a real focus for how we help you too.
Take action for your business
The power of this exercise lies in putting the words into action. For example ‘systemise’ has already prompted calls to our IT guy and the bank, to get the business running more efficiently. ‘Element’ has blocked out time throughout the year for big walks and reflection space, and a plan to get you to join us! ‘Voice’ has sharpened one of our key services, and got us to talk about how we can best support each other in writing and speaking throughout 2017. It’s given us permission to go for more creative content - if focusing on voice is important you want to let that voice sing.
Words are powerful - make them work for you!
What does a successful business look like for you? Which 3 words will help you achieve that in 2017? Hit reply and let us know.
And if you're up for taking some brave bold steps to get your voice out there in 2017 and inspiration to do your best and clearest thinking, stick with us on the journey.
A very Happy New Year to you.
Sonja & Sharon
PS - Wondering how to kick off your content efforts this year? Read our New Year post: Get the purpose of your content crystal clear.
The best New Year content
First Pub School of the New Year is now open for business. Just 1 place left, starting 24th January! Come and get your content sorted in the best pub in Bristol >> Pub School details here