It's that time.
You see it everywhere, in various formats. Resolutions, goals, changing direction, adapting, thinking "outside the box," etc., etc., etc. Most small business owners, corporate employees and entrepreneurs go through some sort of directional process at the end of one year, the beginning of the next. I believe its an important ritual for many of us; determining where we've been, where we want to be, what we see for ourselves. Giving yourself a direction to move in gives the minuscule tasks of daily life a bigger purpose, right?
I am no different, and have been pondering my options for a few weeks now. Last year, I did decide to follow the example set by Chris Brogan, and created my vision of 2013 around three words (read about my 2013 selection here). It worked. I was able to maintain focus on those three words, and what I had created around them, for the entire year, and I was successful in many of the goals I had created for myself.
This year, another three words have been chosen to reflect what I want to see for myself and my business in 2014.
Coaching: I see coaching in a lot of what I do already, and I really, really enjoy it. I love helping people learn, whether it is through a one-on-one session on Skype, using a tool like #genchat, or speaking to a live audience. One thing 2013 proved to me is that my future is not dependent on doing traditional client work in order to function in the professional realm of genealogy; I can branch into a variety of different area's to engage an audience and create a viable income stream. The enjoyment I get from brainstorming sessions, developing new ideas, and just allowing my creative nature to help me in exploring this very academic world is hard to duplicate any where else in my business life. Coaching - in all its various forms - allows me to continue to do all of those things I enjoy so much. I spent a great deal of time in 2013 developing the platforms that I plan on expanding on in 2014 to continue to coach, both other people as well as myself.
Adventure: There are so many opportunities for adventure in the genealogy industry. Consider that every time you volunteer for a new project, develop a new personal interest, engage in some sort of self-education... that is an adventure! I have two significant volunteer projects lined up for 2014, which I am very excited about: Co-Chair of The NextGen Genealogy Network, which started in 2013, of course; and I will be assisting an already amazing team with the social media for the Preserve the Pensions Project on behalf of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). Other adventures await, I know, such as continuing the ProGen study group, attending conferences, and developing my personal research interests in fraternal societies and mining records.
Innovate: I used the word "innovate" a lot already in the later half of 2013, and I think its important enough to continue the theme. In looking ahead to 2014, I see a lot of opportunity, some that is not fully taken advantage of from a business perspective, in this industry as a whole. Those ideas are good, they just need follow through (for me, this includes some of the projects I have started already as well as those I see others' doing). The concept of "innovate" in the new year means not only to create new concepts, but also to take what is already there and bring it forward. To keep the momentum rolling behind an already proven concept.
There it is. My plan, concept and outline of 2014. There are many sub-categories and bulleted lists behind it all (I'm way too type A to not have those), but I love the idea of three concepts I can stand behind for the year. It allows for a more streamlined focus as I move through daily life, becomes more realistic in general to maintain, and to be honest, three words are way easier to remember than a two page list of goals!