I was inspired by Chris Brogan’s post today, My 3 Words for 2010. I think it’s a great way to summarize your goals, mission and vision for the coming year. The year 2009 was a wild ride. I spoke at several conferences, and hosted Type-A Mom Conference. I launched Momtent and I am organizing a blogging industry organization. I introduced social buzz ad campaigns on Type-A Mom and Foodie Mama. I launched Type-A Mom Magazine. It was a busy year. Too busy (see word #2 below).
For 2010, I would like to see the hard work start to pay dividends. I would like to focus more on results. I want to see ventures that don’t just have a mission, but accomplish it. I would like to see 2010 be the year (for all of us) of harvesting the ripe results of our efforts.
My 3 Words: Queens, Focus, Freedom
December for me was a forced sabbatical. We traveled to Disney World at the beginning of the month, I was sick for three weeks, and then we lost power at home twice (once for three days, which forced us to travel on snow-covered roads to a hotel just to find heat for our family).
It became an involuntary vacation. It was impossible to be productive, and at best hard to get any work done. In the end, it was a gift. I got a chance, long needed, to step away from the work and reflect. To relax and prioritize. Life is a lot like a neo-impressionist Pointillist painting. If we stand too close, it is nothing but random dots. Step away, and the picture becomes vividly clear.
For my first word, I confess I am stealing (with slight modification) Chris Brogan’s word of Kings. His words about behaving like a king really connected for me. He described it as the ability “to maintain poise and balance and charm and demeanor when dealing with life’s unpleasant moments.” I think for women it is even more important to behave regally. The level and intensity of mom blogger dramas I witnessed in 2009 is just unacceptable. In 2010, I’d love to see all of us as women rise above.
If not all women (hey, there will always be the fools who perpetrate this low-life behavior), let’s set the bar and hope others follow. I also think it’s important to command respect. We are professionals. Let’s act like it. (And yes, that includes insisting on being paid for time, consulting, marketing and any other work.) Let this be the year that the mainstream media runs out of mom blogger scandals to cover. You can get mad at journalists for ignoring the inspirational stories about the mom blogosphere and focusing on the negative. But the fact of the matter is, they can’t write negative stories if they don’t exist. Don’t create them, and ignore those who do.
This has always been my challenge. As a journalist, I had a writing coach who suggested coming up with one word that summarizes each news story. It was tremendously helpful, and has stuck with me for years. In fact, I thought of that lesson when I saw Chris Brogan’s list. I am one who tends to think of ten things at once, and operates best with several balls juggling. That is great for productivity, but bad for focus. In 2010, I want to work hard to prioritize and to determine what is worth my time. I did some of this in 2009, leaving About.com after seven years and despite it being a nice stream of income. Sometimes, you have to walk away from things, even important things, to give you time to focus on what’s more important. If it were easy, you would have walked away ages ago.
I am planning to sell some of the social networks that I have fully developed and that have nice Google rankings (PageRank 4 for both), but I don’t have time to grow: Dadosphere (which would be a great buy right now, as I think dad bloggers will be the next in thing) and PictureMyCamera, a social blog/social network for photography enthusiasts). Contact me if you’re interested in buying one, or taking over management for a share of the revenue.
It also means that I will be focusing my services. One issue with being a jane of all trades is that it’s tempting to offer all services. I am going to revamp my hire me page to focus on the things I really enjoy, and which provide a better return on time investment. While I like my SEO Makeover, it is very time-consuming. For things like that, I am looking at developing eBooks or online courses instead. With so many pursuits, some simply need to require less hands-on time. I get a lot of joy from speaking, training and mentoring, so that will be my focus.
There’s one thing I learned from my unexpected time off in December. It’s that I don’t want to be tethered to work and social media all hours. Going off the grid is good for us all. Part of the reason I want to focus is to create more time. I spent the last month doing many things just for fun. I rediscovered reading. I can’t tell you the last time I read a fiction book just for the pleasure of it, but in December I read every book by Karen Chance and the entire Twilight series. Yes, those are books with absolutely no purpose whatsoever except entertainment. It was wonderfully indulgent.
I want freedom on a few levels. I want to earn more for less effort to create financial and lifestyle freedom. When I decided to go from seasoned career woman to work-at-home mom, that was my vision. As anyone who works from home knows, it can be dangerous if you are a workaholic. You end up doing nothing but work. I will not spend 2010 with my fingers glued to a keyboard.
I’d love to hear what three words will be yours for 2010. Share in comments or, if you do a post, be sure to share the link in comments. And thanks to Chris Brogan for the inspiration.