3 Little Words

It’s January, the month of resolutions, of planning, of strategizing what we hope to accomplish in the new year ahead.

Personally, I don’t make resolutions.  Although there are a few things I could change about me, I know that making resolutions is a waste of time.  Why?  Because I know I’m probably not going to stop procrastinating, there will still be clutter around my house, and even though I pay for membership to our local YMCA, I’m still going to struggle to get my butt over there.  (That’s just who I am.)

I typically make goals instead.

Every year I make a list of things that I hope to accomplish in the 12 months that lay ahead of me.    Some goals are personal, like find a new kitchen table that better accommodates our family or paint the master bedroom.  I might even unpack the last of the boxes from our move 3.5 years ago.  (This particular item has to do with that procrastination thing I mentioned above.)

I also spend a fair amount of time setting goals for my business.   So, during the last week of 2012, I took out a notebook and started jotting down all of the things I hope to accomplish in 2013, like

  • Conduct a webinar once a month.
  • Write an eBook on IP for Entrepreneurs.
  • Blog every Tuesday and Thursday.
  • Build my “List”.

There were goals related to social media and income, as well as a new blog that I’ll be rolling out this month.  When I finished this year’s list, I felt pretty good about it.  With a little effort, each item is pretty easy to accomplish, and if I accomplished every item on the list, I would certainly move by business forward.

Or so I thought.

I was proud of myself and my list.  That is until I read David Ackert’s blog post, Three Words for 2013.  David doesn’t make resolutions.  Instead, David uses Chris Brogan’s “My 3 Words” concept for New Year’s planning.

The 3 words idea is simple.  You identify 3 words that serve as themes for the upcoming year.  These words are supposed to “sum up what you want to work actionably on changing/improving in the coming year.”  According to Chris Brogan, choosing 3 words to focus on helps you look at the bigger story.

“The big story is that which we want to believe about our life and our goals and our plan…Goals are a way of knowing that you’re headed in the direction of your…story.”

So I took another look at my list.

My list was just a list of individual action items.  It’s not a bad list, but merely a laundry list, a to-do list.  It didn’t say anything about what I want to be true and to believe about my life.  Where was my “big story”?

So I came up with my 3 words.

  1. Dare. 

  2. Communicate. 

  3. Earn. 

If I dare to step out of my comfort zone and communicate my message to those who need to hear it, I will earn respect, an audience, and money.

That’s a pretty powerful story.

I challenge you to try this exercise.  Let me know what your 3 words are in the comments below.

5 Things I Learned at the MA Conference for Women

When you are a solo attorney (or solo anything for that matter), it’s always nice to get out and meet people when you get the opportunity.  You know, the type of opportunity where you get to put on nice clothes, have lunch out, and enjoy the company of others.  Well, yesterday I had a great opportunity to do just that.

I went on a fabulous field trip to meet new people, learn some interesting lessons, and grow as a business owner.  I attended the Massachusetts Conference for Women.  It’s the largest conference for women in the United States.  (I heard rumors that there were over 8,000 attendees!)

I would love to share just a little of what I learned from some of yesterday’s amazing speakers.

1.  From Dr. Brené Brown, Shame Researcher & Author of Daring Greatly

“It’s about showing up and daring greatly.”

You can say this about life, work, relationships, love, and just about everything we do as human beings.  You might win.  You might lose.  But you will certainly fail if you don’t show up and try.

After hearing these words in the morning keynote address, I lived them in the first breakout session, The Disruptive Innovation of You.  During Q&A with speaker Whitney Johnson, I asked a question that got a few laughs.  It also got me a few business cards.  Sticking my hand up and asking a question in a room full of women got me noticed and remembered.  Women came up to me all day saying “Hey, you’re the woman who asked that great question.”

 

2.  From Whitney Johnson, Regular Contributor to the Harvard Business Review Blog & Author of Dare, Dream, Do

“If it feels scary and lonely, you are probably on the right track.”

I think this pretty much sums up the entrepreneurs life, no matter what dream you are pursuing.

 

3.  From Jean Chatzky, The Today Show financial contributor

“Saving money will always be no fun.”

It’s the same logic as “Why are things that taste good so bad for us?”  Saving money may not get you the shiny new object of your desire, but it gets you peace of mind.  Which do you want more?

 

4.  From Arianna Huffington, Founder of the Huntington Post & Author

“Make changing the world part of your daily agenda then Grace will be extended.”

If everyone consciously did just a little something to make this world better, every day, then the world would get better.  It’s up to us.

And

 

5.  Also from Arianna Huffington…

“Everything in my life happened to me because a man wouldn’t marry me.”

It’s amazing how often you can look back on your life and see all of the times when what seemed like something really bad actually turned out to be something really good.

I was so inspired by yesterday’s program.  I woke up today with so much energy and excitement, and I just wanted to share a little of that with you.

Have a great weekend!