My 3 Words for 2022

My 3 Words for 2022

New Year resolutions be damned. They are typically broken and discarded within 36 days of being created.

Lest you feel special enough to break that barrier, straight for the jugular, resolutions are usually abandoned because people attempt to build on a past of stumbles and failures instead of clearing away the garbage and starting fresh. Building on shaky foundations is foolish, doomed from the start.

For ambitious creatives who still believe in themselves, I prescribe a separate regimen of choosing three words for your year and keeping them visible in your workspace for the duration, a practice author Chris Brogan turned me onto years ago.

Here I will share the three words that lived as possibilities for me this past year, as well as the three words I’ve elected for 2022.

Reflecting on My 3 Words from 2021

Maximize – I discovered the true meaning of maximizing in 2021, in which I was pressed for breakthroughs and expansion in every area of life. I discovered what it means to move multiple projects forward with urgency. I let go of the need to second guess every decision and action. I came to a point of acceptance, that no matter the project, I could create my existence instead of hoping and wishing for a following or waiting for some influencer to recognize me for my talents. I am a champion of artistic success, undeterred by setbacks or failures, which will ultimately serve as the building blocks for my inevitable success.

Optimize – At the dawn of the year, I created my own path to optimization with a YearSheet, and reviewing it now, I can see that it served as my North Star until I was presented with far superior paths. I’m in my third quarter of a yearlong leadership program, in which I got to discover powerful structures for accomplishment. Marketer Russell Brunson’s DotCom Secrets was later layered in, filling some critical knowledge gaps. I got more than just better. I got a breakthrough.

Experiment – At my business coach’s urging, I set out to establish myself as an expert and celebrity in music. And so, experiment I did, with live streams, blogging daily, 18+ platforms, and more. Yet again, I had no way of knowing I would be presented with breakthrough opportunities, and instead of moving idly and frantically from one project to another, as I surely would have done of my own agency, ended up fulfilling on pinpointed, longtime dreams like the Elite Players: All Access Pass online academy. I became a three-time winning, one-time nominated Best Original Score composer of The Nobody Prayer (Original Soundtrack). With Break the Business, I made my first foray into satellite radio. The second edition of the best-selling The Music Entrepreneur Code was also unleashed.

My 3 Words for 2022

Intention – Beyond my 20% time, my days of dizzying and unfocused experimentation are over. I now know myself better than ever, and I’m settling in for the long haul. I am an author, entrepreneur, and musician, and attempting to remove or tweak any part of that is to mess with my very identity. I declare 2022 a year of powerful, massive, intentional progress in areas that matter most to me.

Recognition – Success, for me, is not about individual accomplishment. And while awards and accolades are desired and welcome, I’ve realized that they rarely serve as vehicles for fulfillment and are sometimes hollower than they appear. I seek a breakthrough in recognition, knowing that it will ultimately mean confronting what I have been avoiding and fearing in recognizing myself and others.

Love – Another bold choice, but I’m ready for the challenge. Love takes many forms, whether it’s self-love, loving another, falling in love, demonstrating love through action, tough love, or otherwise. Breakthrough in this area is wanted, knowing it will mean looking deeply in my own life where love is missing and not freely given.

Choosing Your 3 Words

Over the years, what choosing three words has taught me is this – you are choosing areas where breakthrough is desired.

So, selecting “Relationship” as one of your words when you have no desire of confronting your greatest challenges and fears connected to relationship is incongruent. If you’re not prepared for breakthrough in that area – usually requiring upheaval – opt for something else.

Following intuition is acceptable, though, as you know yourself better than you think you do, and you will choose words better suited to your situation than you might think. Too much pondering can be a hindrance in progress.

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)

Further reading and helpful prompts are also available in my Start Your Year the Right Way, with convenient notetaking space built right into the book. Setting yourself up for a powerful year is a matter of setting the right structures in place, and your discovery begins with identifying profitable practices for your career and life.

Final Thoughts

If you are seeking council moving forward with your new year plans, and desire to make 2022 a breakthrough year, the premium on my coaching will be worth your while. Get in touch. I do not respond to all emails straightaway, but always get back to potential clients in a timely fashion.

My 3 Words for 2021

My 3 Words for 2021

Since 2006, Chris Brogan (refer to his post for best practices) has been advising ambitious creatives and creators to choose three words for the year instead of setting New Year resolutions.

I have been following in those traditions since 2015 and have enjoyed sharing my adventures and discoveries along the way.

I used to obsess over New Year content at Music Entrepreneur HQ, where I published past reflections. We’re doing things a little differently this year at the HQ, but I wanted to carry on with the ritual, and this seems like as good a place as any to share.

Here are my three words for 2021.

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)

Reflecting on my 3 Words from 2020

Completion – I was hopeful that I would bring completion to projects that have been gnawing at me for years. The only project I can honestly say I brought completion to was The Music Entrepreneur Code (as well as its companion course), and while proud of that achievement, I think it’s a far cry from what I had in mind. But what I learned as result of busying myself with this, that, and the other is just how scattered and un-systematized different aspects of my work and life were. It’s important to achieve clarity on the scope of every project you take on, so that you know what to do, what get results, and when you can call something “done.”

Curation – At first brush, as I reflected on 2020, I didn’t identify it as a year of curation at all. But now I see that I was beginning to gather and collate the resources I would ultimately be curating and sharing in 2021. Though I still find myself reinventing the wheel at times, I’m beginning to look at my work quite a bit differently. I realize the importance of the Dream 100, at least to the extent that modeling the content that has already worked is going to be a better use of your time than dreaming up something your audience may or may not be interested in.

Synthesize – Synthesizing information across industries is something I’ve been doing for years. Based on results, I’m not sure that the Music Entrepreneur HQ audience finds much value in it. But those reading my daily posts seem to enjoy it. I don’t think synthesis is going to be a major theme going forward, but probably something I will continue to do (rather naturally) because I enjoy it.

My 3 Words for 2021

Maximize – I’d like to make the most of the resources and assets I’ve got. It’s tempting to reinvent the wheel, simply because I’ve got so many ideas to share. But it’s important to do what works, not just what seems like a good idea in the moment. With the creation of The Renegade Musician digital magazine, I have already begun the process of getting the most from what I’ve got. My weekly digests and #StrategySunday posts serve similar purposes.

Optimize – I put together a YearSheet for Music Entrepreneur HQ, because it’s clear what I’ve done to this point hasn’t done much to grow the business. So, I knew that it was time to take a different approach. I needed to come at this problem from a “higher mind,” so I put my executive cap on and thought about what we would do differently, as I was imagining discussing the issues with stakeholders and a board of advisors. And the decisions I’ve made so far have increased session duration and reduced bounce rate on the website. I think we still have a long way to go, but this is optimization in motion.

(Also, based on what’s happening in the music industry, it’s entirely possible that traffic to Music Entrepreneur HQ could crater for a while.)

Experiment – I don’t think I’m just looking to experiment. I’m looking to refine gradually (Kaizen) and maybe even pivot. But I could only have that perspective having come this far into the year. Although the exact details have yet to reveal themselves, I think I’m going to be working towards appealing to a broader base of creatives and creators (hmm… what in the world could I be doing on Medium and News Break I wonder?), and I may even be working my way into journalism and broadcasting on a more visible level.

Final Thoughts

Well, I know we’re three months into the year already, but as they say, better late than never, right?

I’m a bit stubborn when it comes to rituals like this, so I knew I wanted to work it into my publishing schedule, I just wasn’t sure when I ultimately would.

Either way, I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope you select three words for yourself. If you do, respond to this article and let me know!

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician