Wow, it’s 2013. Happy New Year to all! Glad we’re together here instead of being mired in some sort of Jerry Bruckheimer-ish Mayan catastrophe. That was certainly a nail-biter, wasn’t it?
Now, what are we going to do with this 365-day clean slate? Resolutions are usually in order, except that I don’t normally make them. I have resolved to get in better shape ever since the age when that resolution starts making sense (age 24? 25?). Also, I’ve never enjoyed the arbitrary nature of starting really cool initiatives on January 1. If it’s worth doing better, then start doing that thing right now!
In lieu of making New Year’s resolutions, author Chris Brogan chooses three words with which he aims to shape his year. He’s been doing this since 2006. This year, I see people like Mark Schaefer, Jason Konopinski, Justin Levy, Christopher Penn, Mitch Joel and C.C. Chapman choosing their three words, so I decided to give it a try.
Write – This one kicks everything off for me. I am writing a book. Besides getting married and having children, this is probably my life’s most important work. A few months ago I did a Facebook post announcing I had submitted a book proposal to a publisher. It was an exciting post to make, an exciting time for me, and …. I still haven’t heard anything from the publisher. This is something I had better get used to. I’m just going to have to keep plugging away on the deal, but I should not forget that, regardless of whether I get a book deal or not, I have a book to write. I can always self-publish it if every publisher tells me no. Out of 45,000 to 60,000 potential words, I have about 15,000 written. This year, I must write, write, write.
Ship – Part of my problem with writing is that I’m a former CPA. I didn’t gravitate towards a math-laden profession because I’m an awesome writer. Sometimes, the words flow. At other times, great prose escapes my pen, a sort of brain constipation. Seth Godin talks about shipping creativity – watch this David Siteman Garland interview and zero in on the 12:30 mark. Everyone can be creative; everyone has thoughts and great ideas. The trick is to ship that idea – to release it for public consumption and ridicule. Most people do not like to be ridiculed, and because of that, they won’t execute on their best ideas – they won’t deliver. They won’t ship it. I have this really cool book premise (no, it’s not a social media book). I believe very strongly in the idea of civility and happiness in the workplace (and our lives) and want to dedicate a book to it. I’m afraid. I must get over the crippling fear that none of you are going to like it. I must get over the idea that the people I look up to, like the authors I linked to above, are going to laugh at the book’s premise. Truth be told, some will laugh and scoff – that’s just the world we live in. I have to plow ahead and worry about writing the very best book I can, while simultaneously not worrying about what the very worst book review is going to sound like. My creative bent is this book called The Impossible Contract; I must ship this idea.
Bacon – Wait, trust me, it’s not what you think. After 100,000+ tweets and 5 or so bacon-themed t-shirts on my website, I am now known far and wide as a lover of bacon, as the preeminent authority on bacon, as the guy that needs to know when anything bacon-related is going on in the world. Without even really trying, I branded myself as Mr. Bacon, or the Baron of Bacon as Shelley Satke Niemeier donned me. I know the bacon t-shirts helped this self-branding take place. But I had no concerted strategy to be known as the Baron of Bacon. I don’t think I even tweeted about bacon all that often. Again, and I’ve publicly admitted this before, I will sometimes go weeks without consuming bacon. And yet, all of a sudden, people are tweeting me pictures of their bacon Trapper Keepers, bacon toothpaste, bacon cigarettes, bacon shaving cream, and hundreds of other bacony products.
— Bree Smith (@BreeSmithWx) January 3, 2013
I sometimes question how the hell this happened. It might have been preferable had this been a plan, because I would be able to definitively say it was a smashing success. Go read this article and pay special attention to no. 1. I want to better understand who I am and how people think of me. If I had a better grasp of that, it might allow me to get bigger things done. If I had grasped this bacon phenomenon sooner, I might have jettisoned every non-bacon t-shirt I have on my site and focused only on bacon products. In 2013, I want to better understand what I’m good at, and what I have to offer the world.
Please let me know what your 3 words are in the comments below, or link to a blog post of yours where you offer your three words. And let me know what you think of my choices, as well. Happy New Year.