3 words – easier than resolutions, right?
Back in 2006 Chris Brogan started a tradition where at the end of every year, people share their three words that will guide them through the following year. Nick Kellet, founder of Listly, has blogged about it here, if you want a good old explanation. Some people choose little phrases, like “Do Epic Sh*t” and “Be awesome everyday” and “Soar like eagles!” and others have 3 separate words such as “Can, Do, Breathe” and “Play, Fun, Surprise”.
And I like all those. They’re cool. I don’t think my words are that “cool” but I am ok, today, with being a little less cool and just telling it like it is. So, below are my 3 words for 2014.
The reason this word popped into my mind straight away is because that’s what I have been feeling and getting so much of lately. Ever since I shared this story. I have been overwhelmed by the way people have been getting in touch, on Facebook, by email and by text, to say “I’ve been through this” or “I’m cheering you on” or “I’m there for you” or “You can do this”.
And it makes me want to give support right back! We humans need each other. And we are better together, as a team. This whole “proving I can do it by myself” theory is just lame! No point. In fact, people want to help – it makes us happy! That’s how I am, and that’s how I think other people are too. So instead of feeling guilty, I welcome all the support, and will give back as much as I can, and on repeat.
So much of my work is about teaching others how to share! Yay for sharing! In my field, which is marketing, what works is content marketing, blogging, video marketing and social media. All these work because they are about sharing. And the tools are easy to learn, and the habits are easy to adapt to. Sharing online, showing personality, and telling stories helps build brands, create awareness, and even deepen relationships. It does, and it’s almost a no brainer. Sharing means allowing others (ie your target audience) to get to know, like and trust you. For some of you, this is “broken record” stuff. For others, it’s still a little bit uncomfortable.
I still come across people in the “professional world” who are innately private, who want to give nothing away, who somehow want to market their own skills and their businesses without putting much online but bulleted lists and dry boring facts.
So, my work continues, to gently coerce, encourage, motivate and lead by example. Sharing is ok. As much as you can, even just a little bit, and with intelligence, integrity and empathy. We’re all people here. And you can still be “professional” about it. So 2014 is going to be about helping others find their own personal fine line between sharing enough, and the dreaded “overshare”. It’s different for every one and there is a special, gentle delicate balance. Hmm, that reminds me – time for word number 3!
This bit is the biggest challenge of the three. The other 2 words, I feel confident about them. I am naturally a person who loves the company of others, I have a high people threshhold and a whole lot of love to give. So those are easy. But with the year coming up I am going to teach myself, and let others teach me, how to step back (a little) and when to lean in (a little) and when to know “that’s enough” when it comes to balancing my work, health, family, friends, responsibilities and achievements. Those who know me may feel slightly doubtful. I am known to be a “workaholic” (it’s genetic).
And, to challenge myself even more – I will try and do this without guilt because guilt is a wasted emotion – and I know this. I enjoy my work so much so I don’t wan to feel guilty for working. But I want to learn to enjoy stepping back and giving others the chance to lead sometimes. It will be a good growth experience for everyone.
So, those are my 3 words. Here’s to an amazing 2014 for everyone!