Declaring 2023 Complete

Declaring 2023 Complete

It’s time to take rigorous inventory of any unfinished business from 2023 you may still be holding on to.

If you haven’t already closed the chapter on 2023, start there. You will find the exercise worthwhile. If you’ve completed the former, read on.

Declaring 2023 complete will allow you to begin 2024 with a clean slate. And don’t we all want a fresh start?

So, let’s explore together.

What Unfinished Business is There?

If you don’t already have your journal in front of you, you may grab it now.

It’s time to identify anything and everything that still occupies your mind, whether in the forefront or in the background.

When you’re ready, consider the following areas and make note of any unfinished business that comes to mind:

  • Finances
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality
  • Career or business
  • Family
  • Personal development
  • Social
  • Physical
  • Recreation

What is unfinished or incomplete? Take your time and think deeply.

If you have emotion attached to anything that comes to mind, there’s a very good chance that you aren’t complete with said person, event, or circumstance. Write it down.

If the story you’re telling yourself about 2024 is that it will be the same as 2023, or that it will be worse, you’re hanging on to constraints from the past. Write it down.

If you’re frustrated, sad, or circumstantially depressed about 2024, your past experiences are running the show. Write it down.

What is the Impact of This Unfinished Business?

Whatever unfinished business you may be holding on to, it’s making you feel a certain way – nervous, anxious, angry, disappointed, frustrated, or otherwise.

We’ll consider emotions in a moment. For now, we want to look at the impact.

For instance, has your email been piling up? It may seem like a small thing, but this can impact many areas of life. For example:

  • It could be eroding your confidence in your ability to get things done.
  • It could be making you feel nervous because of due dates and unfinished tasks.
  • It could be affecting your relationships because you’re thinking about your emails when you should be present with your friends or family.

Make a thorough inventory for every person, event, or circumstance you identified in the previous step. Become fully aware of the impact.

Unfinished business can impact your well-being, health, finances, relationships, affinity with others, and more.

What Emotions Have You Attached to the Unfinished Business?

There are always emotions attached to unfinished business. The question is – what are you feeling?

For all intents and purposes, I will leave out “positive” emotions, but consider which of the following apply to your circumstance, and write them down:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Envy
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Hopelessness
  • Horror

Simply identify all the feelings that apply.

If there are other words that seem to fit your situation better, you may freely select them. Write them down.

Declare Your Emotions Complete

The final step is to declare your emotions complete. It may seem altogether too easy, but it works!

I am going to give you a script to say out loud. It’s short and simple.

Note: You will be declaring the emotions you identified earlier complete, so have those handy.

When you’re ready, say this out loud:

I allow myself to let go of all that no longer serves me or my highest good.

I give myself permission to let go, release, surrender, and submit all that has happened in my life in 2023.

I release all past decisions, choices, and attachments that no longer serve my highest good.

I declare ______, ______, ______ (name the emotions you identified in the previous step) complete.

I declare, decree, direct, instruct, command, and order completion over 2023 and I am ready to accept and receive all the goodness and blessings that 2024 has to offer.

Thank you.

Sit in silence for a minute after you’ve said the above and notice whether anything bubbles to the surface.

If you did the exercise correctly, you should feel a release. A heavy weight may lift. Dark clouds may clear. Your heart may open. Many people tear up. Whatever comes up, it’s okay. It’s old energies leaving your body.

It’s also okay if you felt nothing, but there is a chance you aren’t clear on the impact of your way of being yet. Go back, dig deeper, and try reading the above script again.

Declaring 2023 Complete

I hope you enjoyed this exercise, and I can’t wait to hear how it went for you. Please leave a comment and let me know what you experienced.

Closing the Chapter on 2023

Closing the Chapter on 2023

Ready to let go of baggage from the year past? I know I am.

So, here I will share with you a process I’ve been using to close chapters since 2014.

Follow along, and don’t just read my answers. Open your journal, reflect, write down your thoughts, and surrender whatever needs to be surrendered. 2024 is coming at you fast, so don’t delay!

7 Questions to Close the Chapter on 2023

Though I ended up appropriating these as mine, these questions were originally crafted by Michael Hyatt. Thanks, Michael!

If the last year were a movie in your life, what would the genre be?

Sports drama. If you were a fly on the wall observing me in 2023, you would have seen me highly engaged in my leadership program, in working out, and in my business initiatives.

I don’t feel as though I won many battles, but I know I didn’t lose the war!

I remembered to take time off. I even enjoyed the early part of my summer in Penticton, BC. But I still encountered some issues with my health and burnout.

I slogged my way through and survived, though survival was never the goal. Thriving was. That means change is necessary and improvement is possible.

What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?

  • Surrender. The top theme for the year was surrender. I also shared about this on Day 38 of my “Thinking Positively” experiment.
  • Health. In the early part of the year, most weeks, I went for a massage. In February, I began working out again. In September, I was prompted to take a closer look at my diet. I made big progress, and kept making meaningful tweaks along the way.

What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?

What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?

I was acknowledged for completing the Team, Management, and Leadership Program – Team 2, but I did not feel like there was sufficient acknowledgment. Plus, I would have liked to acknowledge others more.

What disappointments did you experience this past year?

  • My financial life. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that it was a disappointment, considering I hardly made any changes until the end of the year. Still, it would have been nice to see more book and course sales.
  • My romantic life. Some close calls but the plane did not land.
  • My health. I did not expect to experience any major setbacks with my health. But I ended up with eye floaters in September. They are healing – very gradually.

What was missing from last year as you look back?

  • I did not have a permanent (or semi-permanent) residence.
  • I did not get to connect with as many people as I would have liked, for as long as I would have liked, as I was traveling.
  • I had plenty of support from fantastic people – but I didn’t have enough of it!

What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?

  • Most people attempt to change their lives at the level of actions and thought. One of the most powerful ways to catalyze transformation, though, is by changing your life at the level of identity.
  • You can’t just have a product. You need a system to sell it.
  • You must advertise. Organic channels aren’t enough.

Past Reflections

If you’d like to see how things progressed to this point, here are my past reflections for your perusal:

Closing the Chapter on 2014
Closing the Chapter on 2015
Closing the Chapter on 2016
Closing the Chapter on 2017
Closing the Chapter on 2018
Closing the Chapter on 2019
Closing the Chapter on 2020
Closing the Chapter on 2021
Closing the Chapter on 2022

Final Thoughts

With that, I declare 2023 complete.

Let’s have an excellent 2024 together, alright? Let me know how you get on, and stick around for more inspiration.

2023 Wish List

2023 Wish List

The first quarter of 2023 is almost over.

It has been a very productive year for me so far, but I know I can always challenge myself to go bigger.

So, I’ve put together the following 2023 wish list. These are the items that, if they were fully completed this year, I would be thrilled.

There’s almost nothing I’m starting from scratch, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my work cut out for me!

I will be crossing off items as they are completed, and I may even be adding to the list as we go.

Books

  • The Renegade Musician
  • Digital NO-Mad (working title)
  • Surprise, Uplift (working title)
  • Life Transitions (working title)
  • Flashes of Elation
  • The Essential Guide to Creative Entrepreneurship, 2nd Edition (working title)
  • Champion of Artistic Success, Vol. 1
  • Physical copies of Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook
  • Hardcover version of The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide

Newsletters

  • Productivity, Performance & Profits Newsletter

Audiobooks

  • The Renegade Musician

Members Only Audios

  • Bring the 2021 archives fully up to date
  • Bring the 2022 archives fully up to date
  • Bring the 2023 archives fully up to date

Music Entrepreneur HQ Website

  • Merchandise page

YouTube

My 3 Words for 2023

My 3 Words for 2023

What are your New Year resolutions?

Kidding! If you know anything about me, you know that’s a foolish question. I don’t set New Year resolutions. I choose three words for the year, as author Chris Brogan taught me to do.

The best thing about it? It’s fun! Each year, I get to reflect on my three words from the year past and set three entirely new ones. I get to look back on years past and see how they turned out based on the intentions held.

In the sections that follow, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from my reflections for 2022 and new intentions for 2023. But don’t forget – you’re not here to sit on the sidelines and watch. You’re here to get on the court and get in the game. Don’t bounce off this page without setting your three words for the year, promise?

Reflecting on My 3 Words from 2022

Intention – In 2022, I got to discover the importance and power of setting an intention for every conversation or meeting. You could comb through my blog archives from last year, and you’d probably find that this was a recurring theme. Intention serves as the underpinning of every conversation. It steers and guides it. And sometimes it fulfills on itself all on its own, by the mere act of creating it. But if you’re lacking intention, the conversation will tend to idle and derail.

Recognition – I was looking for a breakthrough in recognition, and I think I found it. I can talk about being an award-winning composer or best-selling author, yet all these things are in the past. It’s good to be proud of your accomplishments, and I will hold onto mine, but it’s easy to set up home in your wins instead of staying hungry for more. I discovered that recognition is all about staying hungry for more. You’re as good as the last thing you worked on.

Love – I had to think hard on this one. What breakthrough did I have in love? 2022 was a year of upheaval and adventure, but in a lot of other ways, it was the same as years past. And what I realized was that I had a breakthrough in seeing myself as lovable. I don’t mean that as in “look how amazing I am – I sure am lovable.” I mean that more in the sense of, I now know myself as someone who could be, and can be, loved. My chance meeting with a prospective girlfriend showed me that. It’s crazy how much doubt I’ve had surrounding this simple truth.

My 3 Words for 2022

Ease – I’m starting to feel like my ship has been righted, and I’m pointed towards my North Star. I do have goals, and I am up to something in life, but I’m not looking to force any outcomes this year. I’ve given up on choosing words to force outcomes too. I’m not going to fight an uphill battle with the universe. Last year, I talked about upheaval, and guess what? I ended up going through upheaval! Words really do have power. But I’m not asking for 2023 to be easy, I’m looking to navigate everything that comes my way this year with ease.

Laughter – Life is better with laughter. It’s more fun. It’s more enjoyable. Even heavy burdens can lessen with laughter. I love to laugh, and I have fun making others laugh too. I may not be a comedian, but I have sometimes thought of it as one of my “hidden” callings. Maybe I could incorporate my sense of humor into what I’m already doing more. That would be a novel idea.

Train – I chose this word intuitively, and I don’t know what to expect. It just felt right. Whether it’s moving through challenges as though a freight train, or training others to become the leaders they’re fully capable of becoming, I see a lot of potential with “train.” It’s not a word I would have naturally chosen, but rather something I gravitated towards. Now I get to be in discovery of how the word will set the tone for 2023.

Past Reflections

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)
2019 – Confidence, Breakthrough, Fulfillment (a year of intense personal growth)
2020 – Completion, Curation, Synthesize (a year to find my North Star)
2021 – Maximize, Optimize, Experiment (a breakthrough year in production, productivity, validation, team, and communication)
2022 – Intention, Recognition, Love (a year of upheaval and adventure)

Further reading on setting yourself up for success in 2023 and helpful prompts are available in my Start Your Year the Right Way, with convenient notetaking space built right into the resource. Setting yourself up for a powerful year is but a click away. Let the discoveries begin. Start implementing profitable practices into your own life now.

Final Thoughts

Do you want 2023 to be a breakthrough year? Of course, you do! Are you ready to embrace change in your life? Having come this far into this post, I have no doubt you’re sharp and ambitious. Do you need help navigating the path ahead? I don’t know a single successful person who would have said “no” to such a question on their way to finding their path in the world. Which is exactly why you should get in touch for personal coaching. Now. Let’s see if we’re a good fit to work together.

10 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2023

10 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2023

Another year has come to an end.

For many, 2023 could not have come fast enough. Doubtless, the last couple of years have been trying.

Regardless of what might be going on outside, though, I have always made it my mission to go inside to better myself, and that includes plenty of thinking and reflection time, especially during the holiday season.

In this guide, I share 10 fresh holiday reflections to ring in 2023.

Past Reflections

I didn’t share my holiday reflections last year thinking the article would become so popular, but it seems I’ve found a pulse. Moving forward, I will be sharing my holiday reflections annually.

Here are my past reflections:

15 Holiday Reflections to Ring in 2022

1. You’ve Only Got 50 Opportunities Per Year

We all know there are 52 weeks in a year. If you produce weekly content (whether blog posts, podcast episodes, or videos), then you’ll have created 52 new opportunities to show up in front of your audience this year.

For years, I’ve averaged 48 podcast episodes per year (with The New Music Industry Podcast), though some years I’ve come in a little under (like last year).

When I reflected on this, I realized that I basically didn’t publish during the holidays, or if I was especially sick or busy.

This is a good argument for planning your content well in advance of publishing it. If you have metrics to tell you which of your posts or series have resonated with audiences most, take advantage of that data.

Unless you’re publishing more aggressively, you’ve only got about 50 opportunities per year to show up for your audience. Don’t waste them.

Where I got this: Personal reflections

2. Make Everything a Seminar

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s started far too many content and product initiatives. There comes a point where it’s simply not sustainable anymore.

In reflecting on this, I realized that I was reinventing the wheel more than I cared to admit. I was trying to create fresh content for every initiative.

Moving forward, I intend to create everything as though it were a seminar. That way, it can be transformed into other types of content more readily.

A blog post can become a newsletter article. A newsletter article can become a podcast episode. A podcast episode can become a video. A video can become part of a course.

Although you won’t find me publishing the same content across different platforms simultaneously, the result should be greater consistency in frequency, tone, and message.

This will require a high degree of intentionality and planning, but it should prevent me from running around like a headless chicken making new things for so many different channels.

Where I got this: Personal reflections

3. Decide What to Start & What to Stop

What you choose to do is just as important as what you choose not to do.

You may be starting new initiatives in 2023. But what will you be stopping to make room for the new, more critical initiatives?

If your “start” list is longer than your “stop” list, you’ve got a problem. Adding more on top of what you’re already doing is a sure way to end this year feeling overwhelmed and unaccomplished.

Take some time to reflect and make a list of projects you will be starting and stopping this year. Then, return to the list fresh, and keep chipping away at it until you’re left with the activity that excites you most.

We don’t need more stressed and overworked people in the world, we need more people who are on fire for their passion.

This year, I’m looking at blowing up my business so I can focus more on what counts. More on this in another post.

Where I got this: This Old Marketing

4. Become a Local Celebrity

Ever since my business coach suggested that I begin finding a pathway to becoming a celebrity a few years ago, I’ve been reflecting deeply on the topic.

Influence is the new currency, and being influential means becoming a celebrity, even if only to your most diehard fans. Marketing god Dan Kennedy talks extensively on the topic.

But a recent episode of Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Podcast finally put this into perspective for me. In Mastering Authority Marketing With Adam Witty, Dan and Adam talk about becoming a local celebrity. Aha.

Trying to become a worldwide celebrity, even a national celebrity can be quite difficult. Becoming a local celebrity on the other hand? If you can write a column for a local print newsletter, be interviewed on the radio once per month, and appear on local TV once or twice per month, you can create your local celebrity status relatively quickly.

I’m amazed how long it’s taken me to reach this conclusion, though.

Where I got this: Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing Podcast

5. Use Smart Summaries for Increased Article Engagement

In this video, copywriting expert Jim Edwards explains the concept of “smart summaries” from the book, Smart Brevity.

The idea is that whether it’s a long-form article, podcast episode, or video, you can make your content easier to skim and more engaging by covering off these items before you get into the meat of it:

  • Attention-grabbing headline
  • One sentence summary of the big idea
  • One sentence on why the content matters
  • Three to four bullets with subpoints
  • Call to action

You’ll see me experimenting with this form in 2023!

Where I got this: Jim Edwards

6. You’re About as Old as You Think You Are

“More than ever,” says Jim Edwards, “this idea that you’re about as old as you think you are, is becoming true.”

Most people work for retirement, but entrepreneurs almost never do. They realize how boring and unfulfilling it can be to have nothing to do, to have no purpose and no mission in life.

Age is but a number.

Age is but a number. Share on X

Where I got this: Jim Edwards

7. Your Opinion Doesn’t Matter

If you’re building a business, your opinion doesn’t matter. The only opinion that matters is that of your target customer’s.

In business, the only opinion that matters is that of your target customer’s. Share on X

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in “artist” mode, creating things you want to create instead of listening to what your audience wants and creating that. You end up leaving a ton of income on the table when you don’t focus on the customer’s pain points.

This reality has finally landed with me in a meaningful way. Thanks James!

Where I got this: KLEQ Academy

8. If You’re Going to Think About How Bad it Could be, Also Think About How Good it Could be

It’s human nature to think in terms of what could go wrong. But this is not a balanced approach to thinking.

If you’re going to think about just how bad it could get, you’d need to even the scale by thinking about just how good it could get too. Otherwise, you’re not weighting the scale evenly.

Now that’s wisdom.

Where I got this: KLEQ Academy

9. You’re Bigger Than Everything

The only thing that’s holding you apart from what you want is you see it as something that’s bigger than you.

But it doesn’t matter whether it’s a successful business, incredible relationship, fulfilling spiritual life, or otherwise. The only reason you don’t have what you want is because you have it that it’s at a higher vibration than you are.

But nothing could be bigger than you. You are bigger than everything. And because you’re bigger than everything, you can attract and create whatever you want.

Because you’re bigger than everything, you can attract and create whatever you want. Share on X

Where I got this: Next Level Soul with Alex Ferrari

10. Your Content & Sales Copy Should Have the Same Tone

“Ideally, there should be no difference between the voice of your content and the voice of your sales copy,” says Jim. “If you’re writing changes when you’re selling something, people can be weirded out by it.”

Wow. That makes a lot of sense. One of the reasons our sales copy fails to connect, then, is when we’re being inauthentic – when we’re trying to do something with our copy we don’t usually do with our content!

Where I got this: Jim Edwards

Final Thoughts

What did you discover from my holiday reflections?

Did you have any breakthrough insights of your own?

What changes will you be making in 2023?

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

P.S. If you’re looking for a guide to help you with your holiday reflections, you’ll love Start Your Year the Right Way, which features plenty of prompts to help you unlock powerful insights in your own life. Pick it up now to leap forward in art, business, and life.