Yesterday my sister said to me, “You’re always optimistic!” This was in reply to my updating her on some of the details of my life and telling her why I was optimistic as 2010 comes to an end and 2011 is starting. I am optimistic.
By most accounts 2010 was a difficult year. The economy sputtered along at best. The confidence of the American people and business remained tepid. The politicians continued to fight and posture and appeared tone-deaf to a majority of the people. And the reality that the boom era of borrowing, consumption, and things-will-just-work-out was over and seemed to settle into the psyche of most everyone. On a personal note, 2010 was a year in which I strategically decided to take some hits in my long-term investment strategy.
But, as 2010 comes to an end, I’m very optimistic. 2009 was a year in which I faced the music and realized that changes had to be made. 2010 was a year during which I took action, made some tough choices, and repositioned myself to have a great year in 2011.
Here Are My Top 3 Accomplishments for 2010
1. Singular Focus on Speaking Career
The transition from entertainer to speaker has been a multiple year process. 2010 was the year that I finally dove into the speaking pool head first with no intentions of looking back. I joined the NSA, focused and developed my thought-leadership platform, really committed to writing and blogging, added several coaches to my advisor team, developed a master-mind group and most importantly, started speaking with my passion front and center.
Lesson Learned. Speak (and write) from the heart … not from the head.
2nd Lesson Learned. Success comes easier when you’re singularly focused on one thing that you are passionate about.
I previously wrote how 2009 was a fantastic year in which I stopped, completely re-evaluated my life from top to bottom and decided the direction that I wanted to take. 2010 was the year that action (and implementation of that plan) was taken. I moved, disposed of some investment properties that were a drag on my financial and time resources, joined 3 professional groups that has opened many new doors, improved my writing skills, identified a book partner/publisher, wrote (and posted blogs) twice a week for 50 weeks, re-invested in myself with coaches, training, other bloggers, master minds, and other speakers. All these actions have lead to many new clients, speaking opportunities, personal satisfaction, and peace of mind.
Lesson Learned. Taking imperfect steps leads to success quicker than planning and re-planning the perfect step not taken.
2nd Lesson learned. There is a lot of free advice and inspiration available to anyone who wants to find and use it. My top three blogs that I regularly take inspiration include: Seth Godin, Scott Ginsberg, & Brian Clark. These guys hit the mark daily and I’m appreciative of and wiser for their work.
3. Debt Reduction/Cash Flow Turnaround
As the result of a zealous investment strategy I had previously pursued in real estate, I started the year with a negative cash flow and too much long-term debt. Through an aggressive sale, lots of creative marketing tactics, and ultimately doing what was both right and necessary, I managed to eliminate a significant amount of long-term debt and completely turn around my cash flow position.
Lesson Learned. Owning rental property (in today’s economic climate) is NOT how I’m going to distinguish myself in this world.
2nd Lesson Learned. Returning ownership of a property to a bank is COMPLETING the terms of the original agreement (contract) and not a moral failing.
3rd Lesson Learned. The best strategy often times is simply to cut your loses and move forward.
2010 was a great year for me personally. I refocused my energies into that single thing that will make the most difference in our world … Using the Forrest Gump character and its life lessons to inspire and motivate others to transform their lives. 2010 was a great year because I took action aggressively. And finally, I cleaned up almost all of the mess, confusion, and clutter that I previously had created in my life.
In 2010, I took 100% responsibility for all of my actions and interactions. I dove completely into the pool of life. I feel very confident in my mission as 2010 comes to an end and 2011 begins. I am optimistic.
Next Blog Title: My Goals for 2011
Next Blog Date: January 3, 2011