Top 3 Takeaways from 2013
It’s the end of 2013, and time to reflect on my top 3 takeaways from 2013. I like to take a look back at the past year, even as I’m making plans for 2014 (that’s another post), and consider what went well, what didn’t work, and what I’m grateful for.
So…. without further ado, here are my top 3 takeaways:
3. Things don’t always go according to plan.
I am a bit of a control freak, and like to plan ahead. In 2013, I thought I had plans in place for expanding the Springboard Academy as well as my PR consulting company. Little did I know what was about to happen in early 2013. A Facebook recommendation turned into a new PR client, Brandman University, for its campuses here in the Puget Sound region. It has provided me with a great new client, and the opportunity to interview many fabulous and interesting students, great campus directors, and committed faculty members, who all share the same goal of learning and improving lives. I didn’t expect a big new client, but worked to develop a niche for publicity here, and am loving the people I’ve met through that opportunity.
What didn’t go exactly as planned was our expansion plans for the Springboard Academy. We made new connections through our business relationships and speaking opportunities, but didn’t land some of the accounts that we had hoped. I believe it was a matter of timing, and we will have some new projects in 2014 that I’m excited to work on, including a new book and executive coaching! (Stay tuned).
2. Don’t be afraid to try new projects.
Back in late 2011, I was asked by Karen Lynn Maher of LegacyONE Authors, to write a publicity and marketing guide for her book writing clients, based on my experience helping authors promote their books. So I did. Then Karen suggested we turn it into our own book. So we did. We spent last spring expanding the guide, and self-publishing our book on CreateSpace. We then printed through Gorham Publishing, putting it on Amazon, and creating an eBook version for Kindle. It was a terrific experience and provided us with such insights into the book writing and publishing process that we are now sharing that information with other authors. I didn’t set out to ‘write a book,’ but indeed, was open to the opportunity to try something new! We launched the book, and are now launching new workshops around Authorship as a Business, with Maria Dykstra of TreDigital.
Through one of my old projects, Another Cougar First Down to raise money for the Glenn A. Johnson Endowed Professorship, I was lucky enough to be connected with a Seattle company that is advertising in new ways online. The team at Admosis did a great job helping us build awareness for our campaign, and that knowledge can be shared with others. It was a group decision to try a new way of reaching potential donors that led to this effort.
And my number one takeaway in 2013…….
1. Be flexible.
This is really an extension of #3 and #2. Flexibility, pivoting when needed, and being open to new partnerships and projects are all keys to being successful. I may have a certain goal in mind and a plan to get there, but if another opportunity presents itself that takes me down a different route to reach a similar goal — I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be so focused on a goal that I lose out on other projects that will provide me with learning opportunities, new business, or both. So I tried to be more flexible this year — whether it was in business or with my volunteer projects with Seafair, the Murrow College at WSU, or the WSU Foundation Board of Trustees. That being said, I also learned how to be more selective this past year, and not overextend myself. The goal is to do a great job, not just a so-so job because the team is spread too thin.
So with 2013 in the rearview mirror, these are my top 3 takeaways. While I am setting goals for 2014, I’m going to keep these 3 takeaways in mind for next year. I hope you take a few minutes to reflect on your past year — what went right, what went sideways, and how to improve things in 2014. I’m always interested in hearing your thoughts. Please feel free to share your comments.