My year in review plus ‘three words’ (and a theme!) for 2014

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It’s that time of the year when a heap of people whom I admire – Mitch Joel, Beth Kanter, Chris Brogan among others, including friends on Twitter – go public with three words designed to help guide and inspire them throughout the coming year.

Author and podcaster CC Chapman extrapolates on the ‘three words’ exercise in his book Amazing Things Will Happen.

I published a post on the topic in 2013 – last year my three words were:

  • Interesting
  • Relentless
  • Momentum

This year, after much deliberation (and conversation with friends on Twitter), I’ve finally landed on my three words for 2014. They are:

CLARITY – We live in a world where there is so much informational noise, not to mention opportunities peeking around from every virtual corner! I’m lucky in one respect in that I have been able to take what I know around PR, social media and content marketing and channel it into different activities and pursuits e.g. speaking, training, writing, coaching and consulting. Towards the end of last year I started consolidating the various elements of my business (in my head at least!) and so this year I’d like to continue this trend towards clarifying not just my business but everything in my life generally.

KICK – I like using words that can take on multiple (but still relevant) meanings; ‘kick’ is one such word. For me, it has several meanings – kick arse (in a positive way!), kick negative thinking, kick bad habits … giving projects and relationships a ‘kick-along’ (momentum). It’s such a strong positive word – I hope I can live up to it in 2014!

REAL – Like kick above, ‘real’ provides me with multiple meanings e.g. Keeping it real (authenticity), making an effort to eat more real food (versus processed crap), spending more time with real friends, telling real stories that matter to people. You get the drift 🙂

UnnamedWe kicked off the new year by setting up a herb garden at home. All part of keeping the food real!

This year, inspired by this article by author and speaker, Beth Kanter, I’ve also decided to reflect on 2013 and review some accomplishments along the way.

YEAR IN REVIEW 

  • Connected with some fun, interesting and passionate people – One of the biggest joys being on social media as well as regularly attending conferences and events IRL (“in real life”) means you invariably get to meet some terrific people, many of whom you stay in touch with and over time build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. I’m pleased to report this has been a pattern in my life, with social media really helping me to take things up a notch or three in this regard; 2013 was particularly fruitful, and I sincerely hope this trend continues into 2014!

  • Built upon my speaking career – I continued building my portfolio of speaking gigs around the country, delivering presentations at a diverse array of events including the Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers National Conference in Queensland, the Sydney Social Media Down Under Conference, National Speakers’ Association of Australia (Victorian branch), the Problogger Training Event on the Gold Coast (fantastic event, keep an eye out for it in 2014!), the International Association of Business Communicators (Victorian branch, co-presenting with my good friend, Dionne Kasian-Lew) and the annual conference for Leading Edge Electronics.
  • Launched a new business – Late in 2013 I unveiled Expermedia, a hybrid consulting, training and publishing business focused around social media and content marketing for progressive brands. Part of the launch included a new blog called THE CONNECTED BRAND – if you’re interested in becoming a trusted and relevant business brand in today’s hyper-connected world, you might find value in this online publication.

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  • Ran workshops and coached/mentored savvy authors and entrepreneurs – I had a ‘wow’ of a time in 2013 running small, intimate workshops with a range of companies, nonprofits and professional organisations, including the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA); I also had the privilege of working with a select number of forward-thinking authors, entrepreneurs and small business owners, helping them to develop their platform and build their personal brand through social media and content marketing.

LESSONS LEARNED: If there’s a lesson or two that can be learnt from 2013, it’s that much of the accomplishments outlined above came about in one way or another because of my content creation efforts (blogging here on PR Warrior as well on other people’s sites, as well as podcasting, YouTube videos, SlideShare presentations etc) plus my regular day-to-day activity on social networks, particularly Twitter and LinkedIn. These activities, collectively, have helped me raise my profile and (hopefully) enhanced my credibility in the social media, content marketing and personal branding space. If it worked for me, it can definitely work for YOU!

THEME FOR THE YEAR

Beth Kanter also explored a key theme for the coming year; this is something author Peter Bregman highlighted in the Harvard Business Review back in 2011.

I was thinking this was probably overkill given I’d nailed my ‘three words’ above, but then a word popped in to my head that kind of sums up everything I’m doing currently or involved with in one form or another, and that’s … STORYTELLING.

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Whether it’s helping a company tell its brand story in creative ways, inspiring entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to tell stories as part of their personal marketing efforts, listening to or reading other people’s stories, or swapping yarns with friends on Twitter or sharing links to great stories via social media, storytelling sits at the heart of everything I do in my personal and business life.

What I want to do this year is help people and companies tell bigger stories (more often), I want to be able to tell better, more engaging stories myself (as well as share other people’s), and I want to continue to be inspired by the stories of people who are out there making an impact on the world and their community.

What about you?

What are your three words for 2014?

Have you got a theme for the year?

Wishing you all the very best for 2014 – thanks for stopping by and supporting the ol’ PR Warrior!

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