Was 2014 everything you hoped it would be? Did you reach your goals for the year? Did you have goals for the year?
Our community is about building businesses and lives that matter. We’re about creating radical value and reaping the enormous benefits of an enduring brand. We believe that our businesses should make our lives better, not worse.
With that in mind, I want to pause and reflect on my greatest victories and failures this year. After all, our businesses are here to enhance our quality of life, right? I hope this will encourage you to consider “How am I doing? Am I stewarding my life and business well?”
The truth is, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. If only for this week, I want to pause from our regular brand training to look at the real life of a brand builder. Who better to throw under the bus than myself?
But First, My 3 Lessons Learned
1) Create a community. I’ve learned that community is one of the pillars of a fulfilling life. This is true for our businesses and our personal lives. By creating community, we benefit from the value of friendship, support, variety, and feedback. This life is not a dress rehearsal, so let’s make the most of it.
2) Define your own version of success. How do you define success? Is it working from home? Having freedom to spend more time with your family? Success looks different for everyone. Don’t let the world define success for you. By clearly defining our own version of success, we’ll have much better understanding of how to spend our precious time.
3) Only focus on what matters. Once we’ve defined our own version of success, we need to stop wasting time on things that don’t point us toward that goal. For example, if your goal is to make $100K working from home next year, there are specific steps you need to take today to make that goal a reality. There are also things you need to stop doing immediately.
My 5 Greatest Victories
1) I focused on my marriage. Leanna and I have been married for 3 incredible years. This year we laughed together, prayed together, and grew together. Although both of our jobs were extremely demanding this year, we consistantly leaned on one another for support and restoration. Neither of us are perfect, but I believe we loved each other well this year. A successful marriage is the backbone of successful life.
2) I started blogging regularly. Building a blog has been a personal goal of mine for years. The truth is, it’s quite a bit of work to write a solid post every week. Is it really worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Since launching this blog 2 months ago, I have reached an astonishing 32,103 readers. Those are relationships I would not have without this blog. If you are considering blogging, I highly recommend it! Danny Iny was the tipping point to get me into blogging. If you’re wondering how to start, his site is a great resource.
3) I began a mastermind group. Second to blogging, starting a mastermind group was the best thing I’ve done for professional development this year. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Barrett Brooks provides a stellar intro to mastermind groups here. Our group meets once a month with the goal of pushing each of us toward our greatest dreams.
4) I created my 5 non-negotiables. This year I realized how easy it can be to spend time on work that doesn’t support my ultimate goal. To solve this problem, I wrote out 5 non-negotiables that a project must meet in order for me to commit myself to it. This is something I picked up from Dale Partridge’s monthly income reports.
– My work must be creative
– My work must provide freedom
– My work must include a community
– My work must offer exponential growth
– My work must have strong income potential
5) I stopped recreational shopping. I have completely rewired the way I think about money in 2014. For years, my idea of a good time always involved spending money. This is a terrible idea for many reasons. First, it creates a positive phycological association between feeling good and losing money. Yikes. Second, it’ll make you broke. Need I say more?
My 5 Greatest Failures
1. I allowed too much stress into my life. The presence of stress is often a choice. I’ll usually notice myself becoming stressed and cut it down. However, this year I consciously allowed stress to persist far too often. In 2015 I’ll protect myself by creating a strategy to close the door on stress as soon as I feel it approach.
2. I spent too little time with God. As a Christian, my relationship with God is the foundation of my life. This year I noticed moments where I lacked gratitude and contentment. In part, this is because I failed to spend enough time in prayer, the bible, and meditation. In 2015 I’ll preset a time of day that is devoted to God.
3. I worked too many unpaid hours. If you own a business, you know how easy it can be to work endless hours. Many of these hours are unpaid. I found myself consistently working hours beyond the scope of a given project. Why? In part, because I’m a perfectionist. I have mostly resolved this issue by implementing a time management system, but it’s an area I need to work on in 2015.
4. I did not excercise enough. Growing a business is hard work. There’s no two ways around it. Sadly, the time I spent cultivating my business was often time spent away from my workouts. Success cannot come at the expense of our health. That is not success at all. To give credit where it’s due, Lewis Howes has influenced me more than anyone else on the benefits of staying physically fit.
5. I traveled too little. I love to travel, it invigorates me. Yet, I traveled very little this year. While this is not my greatest failure, it is a failure nonetheless. In order to live our dream life, we must design it that way. In order to travel more, I need to design it into my life.
Life Is Like A River
There you have it! My top 10 greatest victories & failures of 2014. My overarching theme this year was about creating my long-term vision for a successful life. I’ve learned that life is like a river. It is constantly pulling us down stream. If we’re not actively charting our route and rowing toward it, we can easily wind up in downtown nowhere-ville.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off