177 – Reflecting on My 3 Theme Words from 2019

by | Jan 23, 2020 | Podcast

Did you set any goals for 2019? How about resolutions? How did things turn out?

In this episode of the podcast, I reflect on my three words from 2019.

Instead of setting new year resolutions, I’m in the habit of picking three words to set the intention for the year. Tune in to find out why and how I do this, as well as how things turned out.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:34 – Your process for evaluating your year
  • 01:01 – What I do instead of setting a new year resolution
  • 01:09 – Past reflections
  • 01:24 – My three words for 2019
  • 01:33 – Confidence
  • 02:27 – Breakthrough
  • 03:26 – Fulfillment (delivery?)
  • 04:46 – Record Label in a Box
  • 05:31 – My three words for 2020
  • 05:37 – Completion
  • 07:38 – Curation
  • 08:22 – Synthesize
  • 09:43 – Share your three words
  • 10:07 – What’s new at the HQ?
  • 11:02 – Your solution


As I continue to share my thoughts and reflections on 2019, one thing has become abundantly clear.

Some of you have your own process for reviewing, assessing and evaluating the past 365 days.

If you’ve got a process that’s worked for you, don’t hold out on us – we’d love to hear about it. Share it with the community on the website.

The show notes and full transcription for this episode can be found at davidandrewwiebe.com/177.

Each year, instead of setting a New Year Resolution, I choose three theme words for the year.

This is based on a process author Chris Brogan uses.

Past Reflections

I’ve been doing these reflections since 2015. If you’d like to get caught up with my past shares and theme words, you can go to davidandrewwiebe.com/177 and find the links in the show notes.

2015 – Profit, Outreach, Expansion (planted some important seeds)
2016 – Flow, Create, Helpfulness (an unfocused year)
2017 – Adventure, Collaboration, Health (a challenging but awesome year)
2018 – War, Initiative, Connection (a year that started weak and ended strong)

My 3 Words For 2019

So, it’s time for me to look back on my three words for 2019, which were Confidence, Breakthrough and Fulfillment.


I chose confidence as a theme word because much of the time I didn’t feel confident.

So, I felt that if I could be more confident, it would make a difference in every area of my life.

For many reasons I’ve already shared, 2019 was kind of a tough year. Yet, I could not have done what I did if I didn’t have a strong sense of direction and what was next for me.

I couldn’t have launched two books.

I couldn’t have started a community project.

I couldn’t have earned my location independence to become a digital nomad.

I probably couldn’t have found the strength to keep going if I didn’t believe that everything was going to work out for me somehow.

I think it’s fair to say challenging times call for confidence and although I feel like I set myself up for an interesting year, 2019 doubtless offered plenty of opportunities for me to rise to the occasion.

So, confidence is certainly reflected in my experience.


Not content to kick back and sit on my laurels, I wanted to stand for breakthrough, for myself and for those I care about.

I personally experienced breakthrough in a few areas:

  • I joined a mastermind group.
  • I proactively handpicked and invited specific guests to be on the podcast.
  • I gave away dozens of copies of The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship to people who might be able to help me spread the word.
  • I asked for opportunities to guest post on notable industry blogs.
  • I asked to be on specific podcasts.
  • I achieved location independence.
  • And more.

The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship: Making and Selling Your Neon Yellow Tiger

I didn’t land every opportunity I wanted but I made more asks in 2019 than I have in a long time. That led to numerous breakthroughs.

I have no doubt I caused breakthroughs for others in 2019, especially those closest to me.

I won’t be sharing the exact details, because I prefer to keep aspects of my life private, and so do some of my closest friends, but it’s fair to say the seeds I planted in 2018 have been growing rapidly.


I can see now that I used this word somewhat interchangeably with the word “delivery.”

Deliver I did – but not on everything I promised.

Some of my wins in this area include:

  • Self-publishing two books.
  • Completing the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, as well as two personal development seminars and one course.
  • Releasing two solo EPs.

I think what happened is that I fulfilled on the things that were in front of me, but I didn’t necessarily fulfill on past promises.

I tend to begin every year with a grand vision of what I’d like to accomplish and somehow get wrapped up in a whole mess of other things I hadn’t expected or planned on.

Recognizing this tendency will only help me make more calculated decisions moving forward.

In the last few years, I’ve acted like a superhero, and I’ve discovered myself as anything but. Unless I’ve got the infrastructure to handle it, I would prefer not to take on work that keeps me up late into the night and instead be focused on one or two things.

So, fulfillment is a mixed bag, it seems. It wasn’t good or bad. What happened, happened.

But I know I didn’t deliver on everything I said I would, and I know I won’t be able to unless I remain focused and build the infrastructure necessary to make it happen.

I’ll be right back after this brief message to share about my three words for 2020.

Record Label in a Box

Record Label in a Box

Still don’t have your independent record label set up?

What’s up with that?

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Record Label in a Box comes with a ton of features you’ll find helpful at any level. Just choose from one of their three convenient bundles and off you go.

If you’d like to learn more, go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Label.

Music Entrepreneur HQ is an affiliate of Ditto Music, and if you purchase anything through our link, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

My 3 Words for 2020

And, I’m back to share my three words for 2020.


I’ve learned my lesson. Trying to complete everything is futile.

Hiring and automating only makes sense if I’ve got the resources and motivation to do it.

Assuming my team and my creative capacity remain the same this year, it won’t make any sense to take on more work.

So, 2020 will be about focusing and completing the few things that matter.

And, it might mean letting go of certain collaborative relationships. I’m always reluctant to do this because I’ve often seen myself as a superhero, but I know those tendencies aren’t serving me anymore.

I’m more excited to work on videos, music, books and courses than on empty content work and to that end, I’m channeling that 2009 energy I’ve talked about before.

When I don’t like what I’m working on, I hesitate. I delay. I procrastinate. And, that serves no one, including me.

Completion can come in other forms, too. This year, I will have the opportunity to travel to destinations I’ve never been to, try foods I’ve never tried, meet people I’ve never met and more.

I hope to complete aspects of my existing relationships as well. That might mean having conversations about things that didn’t go well. It might mean relinquishing control where I used to exert it.

The more conscious I become in life, the more present I am to the fact that none of us are truly in touch with what the other is thinking or feeling, and that makes communication a real challenge. The only solution, ironically, is clear and thorough communication.

I’ve been misunderstood more times than I can count, even in the last week or so. We all tend to lean on what’s familiar instead of taking a closer look at what is. When we don’t do this, we miss the transformations that are occurring before our very eyes.

We all tend to lean on what’s familiar instead of taking a closer look at what is. When we don’t do this, we miss the transformations that are occurring before our very eyes. Share on X

Guaranteed, the David Andrew Wiebe that’s before you now is very different from the David Andrew Wiebe that was before you when this podcast originally started.

Completion won’t all be easy or fun. But it will be worthwhile. Clearing my slate and choosing my focus will prove incredibly rewarding, as it already has.


Over the years, the number one thing I’ve focused on in business is content. I’ve flip flopped on this issue before, but ultimately, I don’t regret any of it.

2020, however, seems like the wrong time to stay on the content treadmill and the right time to be curating what I’ve already worked hard to create.

This plan is already in motion, as I turn blog posts into resource guides and infographics, podcast episodes into videos, books into various forms of microcontent and more.

I don’t think there’s a need to reinvent the wheel in 2020. There is so much great content we can all share and repurpose without having to start from scratch.

Curation may show up in other unexpected ways throughout the year and I’m excited to see what happens.


“Synthesize” certainly goes hand in hand with curation.

And, it’s something I’ve been doing on autopilot for a long time.

Since the early days of the podcast, I’ve drawn influence from personal development, spirituality, internet marketing, entrepreneurship and more.

I think this is what some of you appreciate about me and what some of you don’t entirely get about me.

Just look at this episode of the podcast. On the surface, it doesn’t seem to have much to do with music. Go a little deeper, and like someone who goes to a comedy show and gets a joke on the way home, you’ll probably begin to see some things.

Anyway, I can already see that synthesis is going to occur primarily in my books.

I’m currently finishing up The Music Entrepreneur Code, which I think is going to be a game changer in the music entrepreneurship space, especially since it has only gotten more convoluted with time.

But I’m also repurposing and reworking several titles, and I can already tell you that coming back to old manuscripts and revising them has proven a massive lightbulb moment.

I swear to you, some of these books are going to be entirely new beasts, lightyears ahead of where they originally were.

So, I’m excited for that too.

As with any other theme word, I can’t predict how “Synthesize” might show up in other ways, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

Chris Brogan prompts us to share our three words using the hashtag #my3words with the number three, so please share yours using your favorite social network and tag me in the post if you will.

If you’d like to share your words privately, then you’re welcome to send them to: musicentrepreneurhq@gmail.com.

What’s New at the HQ?

So, I won’t necessarily be talking about what’s new at the HQ in every episode unless there’s something worth highlighting.

Today I wanted to let you know that I’ve started posting shorter 30 to 120 second videos on social networks five days per week. I’ve been putting these videos on the website as well.

In these videos, I’m basically sharing quick tips, observations or other contrarian viewpoints. Much of it will probably occur as obvious to you, since you already listen to my podcast. That means you’re a deep diver.

The videos are a little more surface level due to time constraints. Plus, they’ve basically been designed to engage people who don’t know who I am.

Anyway, I’ve already published four videos, so in case that’s more your style, I thought you might want to know.

Find the links to these videos in the show notes at davidandrewwiebe.com/177.

Is it Worth Reflecting as a Musician?
You Can Sell Your Music Even in 2020
What Should You Focus on as a Musician?
New to Music? Start with an Album!

Start Your Year the Right Way

Start Your Year the Right Way: Goal-Setting, Planning & Achieving Big in Your Music Entrepreneurship Career

As I shared at the beginning of this episode, if you’ve already got a working method for setting goals, planning and figuring out exactly what you need to do to get from where you are to where you want to go, you’re way ahead of the game.

For the rest of us, there’s Start Your Year the Right Way.

I developed this workbook last year, and it gives you plenty of prompts to help you clarify what’s at the core of your music and career related goals.

Then, it shows you how to set up the right infrastructure to put you on the path towards achievement.

So, if you’re ready to get started and you’d like to support the podcast, go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Year to grab your own copy.

Thanks for your support.

I’m David Andrew Wiebe and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.