I was Hooked with the Chapter Title

Discern: The Unimportance of Practically Everything. We are in the middle of some thoughtful planning for 2017. We want to be ready for the new year and be super clear on what 2017 brings. 2016 was beautiful – it tested us, it brought great highs (getting married…starting a news business) and some pretty steady lows (rarely seeing each other, too much travel, starting a new business).

When we started unpacking the lows – it was clear what was causing them. We let other people’s priorities trump our own. So we’ve declared 2017, the year of Essentialism. The Year of Joy.

So back to the title of the chapter. It is the “in-yo-face” third chapter of Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism. It’s convicting and clear message is that you don’t HAVE to do anything. We are making choices every day by saying yes to things that aren’t important to us. We are taking new work on that doesn’t move us closer to lives we want. We are putting other people’s priorities in front of our own.

If you’re like me, you read that paragraph and became completely uncomfortable. Why yes, that is pretty much how I have been planning my days and probably how I’ve been living my life. Because what else am I supposed to do? I am paid to answer to other people.

But that is the thinking that has to change. Whether you are in corporate or own your own business, you are paid to bring value.

Here is how we are thinking about it: Does it bring you joy? Does it help to serve your people in a way that clearly adds value to their lives? So much of what we do doesn’t fit squarely into either of these. I would even argue that a lot of what I personally focus on, I try to force fit into answering the second question.

In this new role of business owner, I’m terrified that my value won’t be felt. However, our clients are just like us. 99% of the time - simpler is better. Less is more. Quality.

If you have a role in corporate, you don’t always have to say yes. You don’t have to be at every meeting. You just don’t. Sit down with your leader and figure out your priorities together, and if there are more than 3, it’s going to be hard to be successful as an independent contributor. Free up time to actually contribute rather than be a face amongst the crowd.

So here’s to planning a successful 2017. If I can help you in any way, please let me know. I have started taking on a few personal coaching clients outside of my corporate consulting. I probably have room for about 1-2 more as I am in planning for a pretty awesome early 2017 launch! Feel free to reach out if you want to chat for 15 minutes about your needs.


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