Driving Forward in 2024
Hey everybody! Does it feel like Christmas was just yesterday? Well guess what? It’s less than 10 months until the Smith house is covered in decorations again. Crazy, right? Time is a thief and just like that we’re already one month into 2024. New years welcome in fresh starts and renewed energy and as I turned the page on 2023, I was feeling it more than ever. 2024 is the cause for multiple celebrations in my ether: Weddings, graduations, anniversaries. With any luck it will be a year to remember. With that, I’m sharing a few thoughts on things to consider in the months ahead. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you’re shooting for this year.
Maximize time + impact.
It’s a question we frequently ask our clients: “What was the impact your services or product had on target audiences?” During pandemic times we suddenly started examining the time and impact we are both making and experiencing in our personal and professional lives. That caused all of responses from the Great Resignation to Quiet Quitting to the ongoing work model debate (aka hybrid, remote, in-person) that we are still wrestling with today. No matter where you stand on those topics, we can all agree that we have a new appreciation for living life, being with people we love and doing things that fuel our passions. In 2024, let’s make a point to:
- Leverage our teams (work colleagues, family members, friends, teammates) to get things done efficiently, effectively and with proficiency. We’re kidding (and killing) ourselves if we think we’re the only ones who can write a press release, lead a meeting or make a weeknight dinner. Teams are here to have each other’s back, pick up the slack and remind us that teamwork makes the dreamwork.
- Create systems. Systems are routines and for me, routines kick ass. On the surface they can feel burdensome, but they keep me afloat, accountable and moving forward. Some of my favorite systems include: Bi-weekly life coach sessions, scheduled workouts at the gym, reading 15 minutes per morning, walking down the driveway with our dogs to make sure they do their business every morning, monthly calls with my financial business consultant, Monday-morning all-staff touch base, driving morning carpool on Wednesdays, my husband cooking Wednesday-night dinners (bliss!).
- Do what you do best. We aren’t all things to all people so recognize where you bring the greatest value and dig in. Find ways to delegate other items that people with better-suited skills or interest can handle. But there’s a catch…you can’t just do what you’re good at and stop there. And this takes me to 2024 point #2…
Never stop learning.
If we want to get to the next great thing – the thing we truly desire and are driving toward – we have to do the hard work to get there. I’ve been challenging myself to consider my master plan for 5 years from now – where do I live, what do I do, who am I with, what does life feel like? It’s an amazing exercise that makes my heart skip a bit with wide-open possibility. It also begs the question, “how?” To get to that 5-year place, there is a lot I have to learn, try and do between now and then. A lot of ground I’ve never stood on, questions I’ve never asked, experiences I’ve never had, work I’ve never done…Never stop learning.
Watch for waves.
2024 is an election year, y’all. Need I say more? On election night in 2016 after Donald Trump was declared the winner, I got an email from a client severing their engagement with us. They said everything had changed and their business might now fail. My head was already spinning from the evening but that email added another layer of complexity. Wait, is this going to become a “thing”, I wondered. Fortunately there were no other clients who left due to the new president but we certainly felt ripple effects from the economy and other outside factors. None of us could have imagined a global pandemic hitting a few years later. We went from having a diverse group of B2B and consumer clients on March 12, 2020 to a roster of B2B clients on March 16, 2020. The ripples from that wave were massive, changing clients, budgets, expectations, workforces and work models. And then just last year this AI thing we kind of haphazardly knew of through Jude Law and Tom Cruise movies was front and center in our work world. Every podcast, conference and webinar was centered on ChatGPT and we were all scrambling to just start to understand, identify best practices and create basic protocols, let alone catch up. The ocean doesn’t sleep, the waves keep on rolling – it’s our responsibility to not turn our back and keep on riding them.
It was about a year ago when I learned about frequencies and how we as humans operate on one. I know this can sound like some woo woo shit but bear with me. Bottom line is we get to choose how we show up each day, how we react to those around us and how we handle ourselves in times of conflict. What I can’t control is anyone but me…but if I can manage to stay on that high frequency, those closest around me will feel it (they might not understand it and it might actually feel very uncomfortable to them at first if they’re used to me being down in the sludge) and over time they’ll either rise up with me – or clear out. I am constantly reminding my teenage daughters to “stay high” – try to avoid the drama, the petty arguments, the poor decisions. It feels great to walk with your head held high and your emotions clear, focused and positive.
I know the year will come with its share of wins and challenges but it’s my hope that business thrives, experiences reign and we all find more ways to move forward toward the things that make us feel most alive.