Like most business leaders, I just had to begin the year 2020 with an essay about my resolutions for the year and decade to come.
Listen to the audio here
I’m inspired by many movements. They include: business clarity, a focus on creativity and the creation of intellectual assets, financial independence, generosity and resiliency.
I’m horrified by the enormity of our climate change crisis, the wild fires in Australia and a series of xenophobic moves by the Quebec government.
My resolutions attempt to take all these emotions into account. They include two personal intentions: to continue cutting my use of greenhouse gases; and to greet people with “bonjour/hi” as often as possible.
Word of the Year: Share
My word of the year is: share.
This captures my need to focus on generosity. In 2020, I’ll be sharing more reviews, more information and more tips as the year goes forward.
In 2019, I created several free resources:
- 10 videos and 2 podcasts about the creative entrepreneur lifestyle,
- 12 podcast interviews with inspiring Canadians,
- a 12-page profile your business guide,
- a mini course about profiling your ancestors and
- a step-by-step instruction video about using gimp to crop photos,
- instructions for writing a press release and
- ten tips for writing family history
In 2020, I plan to maintain the video schedule at one per month, but will double my podcast distribution, and will create one strong give-away per month. I also plan to better communicate with email subscribers.
More importantly, my experiments in 2019 have given me a better idea about which free resources are most useful, so I’m working on a list of potential products to give away. Please let me know if you need something specific and I’ll try to provide it for you. I will create at least three free webinars, an additional guidebook and another free course in 2020 while continuing to give away the ones that were already created.
After several disappointments and lots of business training, at the end of 2019, I began clarifying my business strategy to match my need to create intellectual property assets, live a seasonal life and increase revenue while continuing to serve the community.
That led to a 2020 resolution to focus primarily on business and limit nonprofit involvement to activities within CAUS and Safe EMF.
Resign from two nonprofit boards.
Finish business plans for three entities: my personal author and creative entrepreneur functions; my new personal publishing imprint Notable Nonfiction; and the nonprofit solidarity coop CAUS (in partnership with others).
Begin implementing business plans, modifying them as required.
Update websites to clarify offers, give-aways and strategy.
Create intellectual property assets
For the first few months of 2019, I maintained Monday as a full-day writing day and then added in additional hours as needed. Unfortunately, the schedule never moved my projects forward as quickly as desired.
Then I experimented beginning each day with a three-hour writing session from 6 until 9 with an aim to focus on my priority action before doing anything else. Breakfast and exercising got moved to 9 a.m. and other activities began after that. The new schedule worked much better than holding a single day free. First of all, no one minds reserving activities until 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. Also, delaying breakfast meant a longer fast, something that works well in our family as supper often gets delayed until 8, 9 or even 10 p.m.
Exercise didn’t fit in as well as it did when I began with that activity, because I often worked through lunch and forgot to take a break. When the schedule held, I created more. I’m a morning person, so writing first thing works well for me. As long as I know what I plan to work on before going to bed, the new schedule has me rushing to my computer and happier at the end of a given week.
I plan to continue the new schedule in 2020, with two differences: I’ll exercise at 9 a.m. when possible and eat brunch at 10, except on Saturday when the first three hours will be dedicated to training rather than writing. That will give me a writing break on Saturdays and yet fit in my courses, which I find difficult to fit into my schedule.
For the first couple of months in 2020, I’m going to rigidly track everything using Toggl to validate the schedule and ensure that it actually results in creating more assets.
I got introduced to the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement in July and it’s simple idea really appeals to me. It contains three components: spend less, earn more, invest well. I began learning more about investing a few years ago and now handle my own stock purchases, something that’s giving me insight into how Canada’s public companies function. I wish these concepts were clearer when I was younger, but it’s better late than never to take responsibility. The “earn more” part of the stool definitely needs work, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on in 2020.
Create and promote at least 10 evergreen products in 2020, including three courses and three books. Re-format current products so that clients can purchase items in the formats they like best.
Set up interlinked products in sets of at least three to increase repeat purchases from buyers who get attracted to additional items that might appeal to them.
Ensure that fans can support my work easily. I’m now a Mixcloud select member. Podcast enthusiasts can pay $2.99 per month to show their support and get early access to interviews. I’ll be figuring out how to make this a valuable resource for readers during 2020; if you have ideas, please mention them in the comments.
I also plan to set up informative affiliate-linked pages on my website so that people can easily support my work via purchases they want. These will be linked to informative comprehensive question answer blog posts so that the value for readers remains primordial.
Cutting my environmental footprint is an urgent desire. I already eat 95% local produce and plan to challenge myself to cut transportation further. Prior to a recent trip to Mexico, I resolved to give up air travel, but the trip changed my mind about that. Travel represents freedom, connection and luxury to me, and I’m not willing to give that up. Now I’m wondering what sacrifice would work instead.
Investigate possible measures to cut my environmental footprint during 2020 and implement at least one of them.
Inspiration from the Web
Several blog posts and podcasts inspired my reflections, including:
Marie Forleo’s Decade in Review series.
Amy Porterfield’s interview with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits
Kornel Szrejber’s interview with Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung
I’d also like to welcome the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to Canada. Love the new website and looking forward to the launch of your foundation later this year.
About the Author
Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.