We’re three weeks from 2019. WTH? This year has flown by. It could’ve been a little better or it could’ve been a lot worse.
As we get ready for Jan. 1, I implore you to really take an honest inventory of what 2018 looked like for you. What goals did you hit? Which ones did you miss? How far off are you? Can you still accomplish these goals in the next three weeks?
Now, as you plan for next year, adjust accordingly. If you didn’t finish something you still want to finish, reset the goal and give yourself a realistic time frame.
On this Monday, let’s start getting the vision for next year together. Sure, everything we plan for won’t happen the way we expect it to but we can at least prepare for what we can, right? Build that vision board. Set a defined list of goals and steps that will help you reach them along with a timeline. Schedule the difficult review or meeting now so that you know how to move going forward.
Do the hard work now to help offset the additional amount of work next year will bring. Make 2019 your year by putting pen to paper in December of 2018. Let’s get it.
By the way, I’ve got some 🔥 coming next week to help you start 2019 off the right way. Follow @DanDailyReader on IG to be apart (and win some cool stuff).
Make proper planning a priority.
Let me get in front of this and say I took this title from my pastor’s sermon this morning (I’m writing this on Sunday night). Really, I’m just going to paraphrase what he preached on today. To get the full scope, click and watch/listen the link below and begin at 30:30.
As my friend and pastor Dr. Byron L. Benton prepares to transition into his new role as Pastor of Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, SC, he spoke to the fact that, if there is no movement, there is no growth. Now, whether you’re religious or not, you can’t refute that. Though it may be challenging to let go of your comfort zone, you have to do it. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Serve the purpose you’re meant to serve for the season you’re meant to serve it in. But do yourself a favor and move when it’s time.
I hope you start this week with this message and contemplating how you need to prepare to move to the next place in your life. It’s imperative that you grow not only for yourself but for others. It’ll be painful at first, just like all growth is, but it is a part of our human experience.
Dr. B said a lot more during that his sermon about what to do during your sedentary seasons. Check out the sermon here. You can start at the 30:30 mark if you’re not looking to capture the worship side of things.
Make growth a priority.
Today, I was at the Triangle’s dopest barbershop, Rock’s. Not only do I get a consistently phenomenal haircut from Jennifer but I also get a craft beer with every cut. Today, I chose a Founder’s IPA and, right under the can’s rim were the words, “BREWED FOR US.” I thought that was great. They brew the kind of beer they want to drink.
Some people say you should make products or provide services that your customers would like. While I agree with that, I also think that you should never create something that you, yourself, don’t consider dope enough to pay for. In the case of barbers, yes, there are people who want really weird cuts and stuff. But that’s ok. Just think of it this way: if I was that kind of person, would I pay me for this caliber of cut?
If it’s not quality, don’t do it. Every photo I give clients is a photograph I would love to put in my portfolio. Every résumé and cover letter I craft is one that I would provide an employer with myself.
Be proud enough of your work to never give anything that isn’t good enough for you. And, if they want something that you wouldn’t be proud to tell others you did, turn down the business. It’s not worth it.
Make creating 🤬 you like a priority.
Over the past 26ish years, the way I move on Saturday mornings has shifted tremendously. Some of my earliest memories are of watching the MC Hammer or New Kids On The Block cartoons while eating cereal. At the time, I was probably hanging out in my favorite Knicks shirt and some UNC shorts. It was pretty cool after a hard week of doing whatever it is that three-year-olds do.
Looking back now, those were some great times. How I operate on Saturdays now, relaxed as it may be, is still about growth as much as my Mondays through Fridays are. Most Saturdays, I wake up to pull out my yoga mat and stretch (tip to my near/post-30 year olds: STRETCH!), after which I go into the kitchen and pour a cup of coffee, spread some cream cheese on a bagel (unless I feel like cooking), and head over to the NY Times website to see what’s going on in the world. Then it’s time to shower, shave, get to running a few errands, after which I can get to my crossword puzzles. I used to exercise on Saturdays but that’s been moved to my Sunday morning regimen.
Saturdays have changed and, as a kid, I would think of my current life as boring but this is fun. I’m learning, I’m growing, and I’m keeping myself sharp.
Construct a Saturday morning routine. Make it cathartic and enjoyable. And let it work for you.
Make professional development a priority.
If you look at my photography page on Instagram, you won’t see many branded photographs. That is because, starting out, my photography was only meant to be artistic expression. I never thought it would turn into a source of income and recognition for me. But now that it has, I have invested in a professionally done logo (which will be released within the next week or two) and I’m in the process of getting some pieces printed. Going forward, my creations will be treated as a source of income, which they are.
But this post isn’t about turning your passion into a business. It’s about making sure you get credit that can take your craft to the next level. No, credit is not the goal with creativity but imagine the impact your art can have if you know that what people are seeing isn’t even your best work? What if being recognized gets you the resources necessary to create even better products and provide better services? For instance, let’s say there is an awesome video centered around LeBron’s move to the Los Angeles Lakers that a graphic designer created. The video was passed around the web and, finally, Bron saw it. He reposts it. But he doesn’t know who to credit because your creativity is unbranded.
Damn. Now you’ve got a great piece of artwork with a dope soundtrack and no one will ever know you created it because it’s been reposted 37,000 times.
I’m not saying you have to plaster your face or logo across everything you create but I am saying that, if someone wants to get in touch with you to offer you an opportunity to create for their brand, you shouldn’t be impossible to find.
By the way, this post was inspired by that great artist who will likely remain unsung.
Make effective branding a priority.
The Reader is changing. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like going forward. The title will remain but writing by myself five days a week for almost six years has been an awesome exercise and privilege.
So, thanks for reading. And don’t stop. Keep coming to the site. I will still be posting, just less frequently for now (unless I can get some partners, if that’s the direction this goes. I would rather shift my writing schedule than to spread myself thin and not give my readers (or listeners or watchers) what they need.
Peace, for now.
I don’t know what age people become “too old” to change so I’ll say this: You are young enough to change for the better. As I prepare for the next step in my career, I’ve gotten some great advice from a few seasoned professionals who each said, “Whatever the next step is, life is too short to do something you’re good at but that makes you unhappy.” It’s the truth. I’m not saying that I am unhappy but there are days where I ask myself “How can I make the most out of my talents?”
Don’t just jump without thinking about it but don’t not think about it. What really gets your wheels turning? What do you go to bed thinking about and then wake up with on your mind? Answer those questions and figure out how you can make a career out of it. It could be in working for yourself or you could work for an already established entity. While the point isn’t necessarily ownership, it is certainly happiness and it’s not being a slave to any place or person.
No matter what stage you’re at in life, you owe it to yourself to start your days with a smile. Figure out how you can do that and do it. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a fantasty. All we have is now.
By the way, taking that dope photo above? That made me happy.
Make following your dreams a priority.