I am writing to you from Berkeley, California where I am currently freezing my buns off because it turns out the Bay Area is colder than North Carolina right now. I pretended it wasn’t actually winter when I packed — hence the frozie buns.
But I am not actually writing to you to talk about my wintry ass (although it’s a great topic that we should discuss at some point), I am writing to you because I want to share a story and an idea. You will probably enjoy the story. You will not like the idea. But hear me out, because I think it can really help you to reach your goal in 2017.
Winter time is a time of reflection. And as you saw in last week’s article, I have been contemplating why I reached certain goals I set for 2016 and why I completely missed others. And here’s what I realized:
I set too many damn goals for one year.
One of the biggest goals I had this year was to transition my business from a law firm into something more. While I really do love helping entrepreneurs resolve legal issues, I know it’s a Zone of Excellence for me and I wanted to commit to my Zone of Genius. So my plan was to complete all of our current legal work, taking on very few new clients and getting to a place where we no longer need to rely on legal work to meet our revenue goals. And I accomplished that, which is kind of a big deal.
Somehow some way, I managed to generate more revenue than I did last year, while completely winding down the work that we are most known for and that has generated most of our revenue for the last six years. In less than 12 months, I’ve transitioned my law firm into a completely different kind of business. Even though I was turning down new legal clients left and right, we experienced growth due to revenue that came from the other ways I wanted to serve going forward: coaching and products.
That is a pretty massive goal to have accomplished and I feel great about it. But here’s what’s so interesting about the goals I set for last year: if I am being honest, THIS was actually my focus for the year. I thought my focus was making a million dollars but it really wasn’t. If it was, I could have definitely grown my law firm to a million dollars this year. But I didn’t want to make a million from legal services, so I didn’t do that.
So here’s my point: deep down maybe we all have just one big goal that we are actually, truly committed to for the year.
There may have been 10 things on your Goal List for 2016, but think about it, did you really commit to going after all of them? Or was there one thing you really wanted and so you focused on that (even when it may have looked like you were focused on other things)? I encourage you to do some honest reflection to figure that out. Because if you can do an assessment of the action you actually took in 2016, that can inform how you go about slaying 2017.
And as you think about the different projects and passions that you are considering committing to in 2017, I want you to ponder this:
What would happen if you committed to doing only one thing in 2017?
Now I know all you multi-passionate entrepreneurs are not trying to hear me but just give the idea a whirl. Ask yourself: Would it feel amazing to accomplish the one thing you really want more than anything?
Maybe what you want is to finally pay yourself enough to quit that side hustle you have. Maybe what you want is to launch the product that you have been envisioning for years. Maybe you want to focus on finding the romantic partner of your dreams next year, so you need to work less so you can date more. Maybe you really, truly want to commit to serving 1,000 people via your favorite service or product next year.
What I encourage you to consider is focusing on what you really, truly want next year. Because that’s probably what you are going to do anyway.
Plan to go after the one thing you truly want and let all the work that you do next year support that one big goal.
Tell me what’s the one thing you are gonna commit to making happen in 2017?