A Recipe For A Good Year

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2016 was a good year.

I ended the year with a healthy family, a list of accomplished goals, and a renewed sense of purpose. At the beginning of 2016 I vowed to have a more productive year than previous years. Instead of making a list of resolutions I committed to a plan that I was going to live out.

Here are two major results of that plan:

I hosted my first leadership seminar

I published Leading While Green: How Emerging Leaders Can Ripen Into Effective Leaders in October 2015. In March of 2016 I hosted my first seminar entitled “Leading While Green: LIVE” based on the principles from the book. I’ve been presenting on leadership for years but this was the first time that I hosted my own event. I asked a couple of friends to join me as presenters and we worked to train over 50 community leaders that day. That seminar led to more opportunities to share with other groups. (I’ve been brainstorming ideas for my 2017 leadership seminar.)

My list of clients grew

Here are some of the groups that I had the privilege of working with in 2016 as a leadership speaker:

  • Association of Proposal Management Professionals
  • Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission
  • HOSA Washington Leadership Academy
  • HOSA NJ Leadership Conference
  • Community Action of South Central Kentucky Leadership Training
  • Bowie State University
  • Washington Adventist University

Most of these opportunities came because I asked. What the list doesn’t show you are the hundreds of emails and phone calls made. It doesn’t show you the hours of practice before presentations. It doesn’t show you the number of rejections or inquiries of “Who are you again?”

Here’s how I did it (the recipe). 

I planned.

Nothing happens by accident. At the beginning of the year I set some measurable goals and developed a strategy around them. Sitting on the couch wishing for something to be different wasn’t working. Hoping for change never results in change.

I was intentional.

There were quite a few long nights and early mornings. There were days when I refused to watch movies or spend hours scrolling through my social media timelines (5 minutes here and there adds up pretty quickly). My time is my most precious resource and I was intentional about how I used it. When people ask how I found time to write I book my first answer is usually “I watch less TV than you do”. When I say that people smile.

I recruited a group of unwavering supporters.

The idea of being self made is silly. No one does it alone. You at least need the UPS driver who delivers your supplies. I sought out people who were going to be honest with me and challenge me. I also made sure that these individuals were working towards goals themselves.  It’s a bit difficult to take advice from people who aren’t working hard or haven’t accomplished anything. The dynamics of many of my relationships had to change but it was a change for the better.

I accepted that done was better than perfect.

If I waited until everything was perfect I would have accomplished little in 2016. I don’t ever remember giving a presentation with perfect slides, sending a perfect email, or chairing a perfect meeting. It didn’t happen. I didn’t wait until my book was perfect before I sent it to print (people give me the page numbers for the mistakes all the time). It’s easier to come back and fix the mistakes that to wait for all the mistakes to be removed before you move forward. It I had waiting my book would still be stuck in a Word document like some of yours. This is the first day of the rest of your life and there are some projects that you need to be put out there! Stop waiting for the perfect moment and stop stalling!

I believed.

I’m a person of faith who believes that there is a plan and purpose for every life. I also believe that God gives us glimpses and flashes of what’s possible if we choose to live up to our God given calling. That requires you to refuse to settle for less that what you were called to do. I’ve met tons of people in my life who had more talent and more potential than me. Their difficulty was that they couldn’t see past someone’s pre-formatted expectations of them. They accepted the status quo and decided to settle. I believe I was built for more than someone’s career suggestions based on my personality, college major, and skills. Do you believe that you were created for more?

Just to recap here’s the recipe for a good 2017:

Make plans + Be intentional + Recruit Support + Don’t Wait For Perfect + Believe.

Based on this recipe I can’t wait to see what you cook up this year!

I’m opening up a small coaching group to help leaders with their recipe for 2017. The program starts on January 9. Here’s a link with more information: https://pierrequinn.leadpages.co/jumpleadcoach/

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