Each year I pick one to three words that I plan on living by and using to guide my decisions for that year. The reason for this is, I believe each year is a new season for your life. Sure, it could be a continuation from the previous year, or previous several years.
However, if you want to grow, accomplish new things, change the status quo, modify your behaviors, etc. Creating a theme or a mantra to live by, allows you to challenge yourself, because you have already identified the changes you want to make.
About five years ago I decided to take the leap. No, not get married, but something just as close. A friend and I decided to go in to business for ourselves. So we started a business and ultimately left are good paying jobs to pursue this new business venture. If you want to read more about that venture and what I learned click here
The bottom line is, we ultimately both went back to working full-time jobs and our business has grown since that time. But when I went back to work then, I was on a mission. I wanted to make sure that when I decided to leave again that I would be ready. I knew I would eventually leave that full-time job, working for someone else. Again.
So I called the next year, and really that next stage of my life “Preparation”. That was the theme that I lived by for the next couple of years. Even though our little business is still running today, I wasn’t prepared as much as I thought I was. I knew that for me to eventually leap again, I would have to have better skills, more money, and be better prepared.
By declaring that my mission in my life at that time it helped me make decisions. It helped me to have a patience. It helped me to know where to spend my time. I knew in the back of my mind, that I would eventually do something other than what I was doing at that time and I wanted to make sure I was prepared for it when that opportunity presented itself again.
Company’s and businesses do it all of the time. You can call it core values, or a creed that they live by. Regardless of what it is called, when a company or business decides what it is and why it is important for them, it allows everyone in the organization to be able to make better and quicker decisions. Because what is important has already been decided. Now they just have to make decisions accordingly. And companies change these core values or creed as time goes on. What may have been important five years ago, may not be that important now.
As an individual person, the CEO of me. I have to do the same thing. I have to decide today what is going to be important for my business and my company this year and maybe even the next few years. They all go together. By making the decision today, you wont have to think about what is important tomorrow, you’ve already decided.
A few years ago, after the business venture. I decided that real estate and investing was the theme for a few years. It still is today, but a little different. When I decided that real estate investing was the theme, I set a goal. I had already owned real estate. But I wanted to increase my portfolio by ten over the next few years. That is what I did. For the next two years, I increased my portfolio by five. I saved all my money, I cut out all of the wasteful spending, because at that time the theme of my life was to invest in real estate.
Again, by making that decision, that theme for my life, prior to the next year, allowed me to decide and execute much easier, because I had already decided what was most important. Keep in mind, the real estate investments went right along with me eventually making a decision to do something different in my career. I knew if I had income coming in from real estate it would make my decision to do something different that much easier in the future.
You can now start to see how these themes come together and work with each other as you progress through each year. This evolution is how growth, change, and success accumulate.
Fast forward to last year. I knew 2017 was a going to be the year of change for me. Because of my commitments that I made and executed that I described above, it was now time to make that leap again. In addition to making that leap again, I decided to get married, move to a new state, 1000 miles away from where I currently lived. Also, buy a new business and leave a six figure plus good paying job and career to start making zero dollars in a new career.
The words I chose to make for my theme for 2017, were simple, but I needed them to help guide me each and every day as I was now doing something that I hadn’t done before.
The words were disrupt and interrupt (this was a theme by itself), cashflow, and relentless. The most important asset to any business, especially small businesses is cash flow. It is really the most important asset to you as an individual as well, but that is another blog for another day.
To get the business I was going to buy off the ground and producing, my focus was how can I generate cash flow daily. From that theme I created very specific goals around it. Just like I did before with real estate.
Also, the other words, disrupt and interrupt was the mantra that I would have to live by every single day to go out and generate the cash flow that I needed for the business. So as you can see these two themes go together.
The result I wanted was cash flow, but the mentality I had to have was disrupt and interrupt people to buy my services and pay me money. And lastly, the behavior that I had to demonstrate was to be relentless. Which means never stop until you achieve the goal.
As I wrap up 2017 and I am planning 2018. I am working on what the themes will be for next year. They will be somewhat similar to this past year, but they will help me get to the next level.
I don’t know where you are in your life and your career. But what I do know about human nature is that we focus on whatever it is that is most important. By choosing a theme for your life for next year and the years after, it will allow you to start focusing on those areas of your life.
I can only speak from my experience that when I started focusing on preparing, real estate, and being relentless in creating cash flow. These words were at the top of mind every single day. They guided every decision I made. They got me up in the morning and helped me go to bed at night.
Make the decision for your life and your next season of life today.
If you want to learn more about how to do this. Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org or just put something in comments wherever you read this.
To your success and your future.