When it comes to money, there’s a simple truth we’re slow to embrace:
Millions and billions of dollars are changing hands every single day.
Then why does it seem like it’s so hard to earn a little extra? Why does it seem like there’s always more month left over than money?
Well, I’m not here to share about creating wealth. That’s another story for another time.
What I intend to cover here are a few simple things we can all do to create more flow in our lives. And while these steps may be “simple,” they are also life altering if engaged in consistently.
Read on to find out how you can create financial flow in your life…
What I know for sure is that when you declutter – whether it’s your home, your head, or your heart – it is astounding what will flow into that space that will enrich you, your life, and your family. – Peter Walsh
Walsh’s quote says it all.
Whenever I file my mail away, clean up the desktop and downloads folder on my computer, or let go of things I no longer need, I am blessed with remarkable inflow – often in the form of new business.
Dr. Robert Anthony’s Beyond Positive Thinking also lends credence to this counter-intuitive truth.
Decluttering is also a form of completion. Rarely do people complete anything in their lives, and often hold onto objects charged with emotion, tragedy, and trauma. Letting go is healing, It’s an opportunity to complete what isn’t complete in your life. Completion doesn’t just show up – it’s created, and you can create it anytime you want.
Give & Be a Contribution
Giving does not only precede receiving; it is the reason for it. It is in giving that we receive. – Israelmore Ayivor
I went through a long period of being a people pleaser, but I eventually realized that there was nothing in it for me beyond self-sacrifice, and at some point, autoimmune disease.
The turning point for me came several years into my foray in network marketing. One summer, I lost the girl, I lost my business, and I even lost my faith. My prayers were hitting the ceiling, and I was – and I don’t use this word lightly – depressed.
That was the moment I decided to begin acting with agency. Making decisions for myself (especially financial decisions). Acting selfishly. And that worked for a while.
But eventually I got to the point where that simply wasn’t working anymore. And now I’m finding a balance. I’m discovering that giving and being a contribution out of abundance creates flow like few other things ever do.
How much should you give? Give generously.
Who or what should you give to? People or causes you’re passionate about.
What does giving and contributing do for you?
Just yesterday, my post about my productivity tool stack was bombarded with hundreds of views, I added a new subscriber to my online academy for artists and creatives, and I landed a new ghostwriting opportunity.
(Now all I need is an assistant or writing partner to divide and conquer my workload with…)
Look for good things about where you are, and in your state of appreciation, you lift all self-imposed limitations – and all limitations are self-imposed – and you free yourself for the receiving of wonderful things. – Abraham-Hicks
If you’re always looking to the future for the fulfillment of your dreams, it means you’re discontent in this moment. Because you’re discontent in this moment, you can’t attract or create what you desire. What you lack is gratitude for all that you already have.
If you are grateful and happy for what you already have, it creates a space for what you want to enter your world. Remain in that grateful, happy space and you won’t just feel better, but you will also see your desires manifest.
Recently, my friend reminded me of this simple truth.
Step into Your Calling
If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’ – Martin Luther King Jr.
There is no hiding in 2023. You either step into your calling and prosper or you shy away from your greatness and languish in obscurity.
In 2023, I am embracing my personal brand. I’m embracing all I am instead of trying to contain my interests in neat little niches. That has never worked for my anyway. I’m stepping into who I was always meant to be, making the difference I was always meant to make.
If you choose to step into your calling, know one thing – it will invite change into your life. Your friends will change. Your community will change. Your career, or profession, or business may change. Remain open to change.
Are you looking to create the best year you’ve ever had? Then you would merit a reading of my Start Your Year the Right Way, an inspirational work guiding you through goal-setting, planning, and achieving, complete with prompts you can follow to self-diagnose and identify the steps necessary to having your best year ever.
Now I come to one of the most exciting activities of the New Year – setting up my LifeSheet.
In addition to looking back and reflecting on another year, I get to think about – and set into motion – what I want to create this year. Not to mention – I get to identify all the data, metrics, and information that’s going to move the needle in my life and business in 2023.
So, let’s get that LifeSheet set up!
What is a LifeSheet Again?
It’s a Google Sheets spreadsheet for documenting, storing, and tracking key data in your life and business. You can set up your LifeSheet any way you want. The main advantage of Google Sheets is that very they’re searchable.
As with Michael Hyatt’s closing the chapter on years past, I feel like I may have accidentally co-opted the idea, but that was never my intention. Thanks, and credit goes to James Schramko, who introduced me to the concept in the first place. He’s an excellent business coach and I’ve learned a great deal from him.
What I Learned from Last Year
- Simple is better. You can create as many tabs as you want, covering off all key areas of life. But I find I don’t use most tabs regularly. It’s very much an 80/20 scenario.
- Project deadlines are essential. Especially when leading a team. They want to know what your plan is, what you’re working on, when you plan to have a project completed by, and what their role in all of it is. Clarity takes work but it’s critical. Last year, I used my LifeSheet to lay out a timeline for four key projects (although for a variety of reasons it didn’t go as planned).
- The “Accomplishments” tab is my go-to. I have found this to be the most worthwhile tab in my LifeSheet. It makes it easy for me to look back on a year and know exactly what I was up to and what I achieved as result.
- I’m under-utilizing my LifeSheet. I ended up creating 15 tabs in 2022, and only referenced a few on a regular basis. I don’t have this LifeSheet thing down to a formula yet. But I think I have a better idea how I want to use it this year.
Tabs for My 2023 LifeSheet
- 10 No B.S. Rules. I’ve added Dan Kennedy’s 10 no B.S. rules of direct marketing for non-direct marketing businesses as a constant reminder of what should be done and what should be avoided in all my marketing.
- Accomplishments. This was an easy one. “Accomplishments” ended up being my most utilized tab in 2022, and it’s not hard to see why. First, without documentation, it’s easy to lose sight of what I’ve accomplished. Second, I get to acknowledge myself for what I’ve accomplished. Third, these records can serve as reference points for future content.
- Podcasts. For the time being, this is little more than a catalog of the shows I’ve worked on to this point. Big picture, though, I’m thinking about adding all podcasts I’ve worked on to my website, and even starting up a couple of new shows. I’ve already declared 2023 the year of the podcast, so this is apropos. In the future, though, I may create a tab for every show I’m involved in.
- Persona. As I dive deeper into podcasting, I am finally spending more time researching and understanding my audiences better. Perhaps one tab won’t be enough to contain all the data I intend to collect for the three or four shows I’ll be hosting or co-hosting, but for now, it will suffice.
- Sponsors. One of the key revenue streams of podcasting is sponsorships. I don’t have any sponsors yet, so I created this as a holding space for the sponsors who will be eager to sign on.
- Monthly Promotions. One of Dan Kennedy’s 10 no B.S. rules is “there will always be a reason to respond right now.” The easiest way to implement this, at least as I see it, is to have monthly promotions for my audience, i.e., “this offer is only available until the end of January.”
- 4 Projects. You’ve only got 365 days in a year. Split into four, you’ve got four 90-day containers. You’d better know what four initiatives you’re going to be taking on this year, because it will be over before you know it!
In total, I set up seven tabs for 2023, and one (“10 No B.S. Rules”) will remain static throughout the entire year. The tabs are all categories I care about, and this was intentional, as I look to increase the usefulness and usage of my LifeSheet in 2023.
But there’s no denying that the LifeSheet will probably evolve throughout the year. There is other data I may find useful to document and track along the way.
How is your New Year planning coming along? If you don’t already have a copy of my Start Your Year the Right Way, you’re missing out. This essential resource is loaded with inspiration, examples, and prompts you can follow to create the best year you’ve ever had. What are you waiting for? Click on the link to pick up your copy NOW.
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.
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.
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.
What is one thing most people rarely if ever do? Cause completion in their lives.
Unless you’re familiar with the work of author and lecturer Werner Erhard, the concept itself may seem elusive. But the idea is this – we go through our whole lives with baggage thinking we’re obligated to carry with us every tragedy, trauma, and tribulation we’ve experienced.
This guide is about closing the chapter on 2022, but the reality is, most of us have baggage from the distant past we’ve never completed. Why? Because we don’t get into conversation about our incompletes, and because we don’t declare incompletes complete.
But closing the chapter on 2022 is as good a place to start as any. Don’t drag last year into this year. Let this year be a fresh year, especially if you didn’t get along with 2022.
Here is a regimen I’ve adopted for myself and have kept to since 2014 – answering seven simple questions for the sake of completion.
7 Questions to Close the Chapter on Another Year
The following questions were masterfully crafted by leadership trainer Michael Hyatt. My intention wasn’t ever to co-opt them, but I feel like I may have. I think they are great questions, which is why I’ve stuck with them.
Don’t just watch from the sidelines, though. Get on the court of life. Read my answers, and after you’ve had some time to reflect, answer them for yourself too. You’ll be better off for it.
If the last year were a movie in your life, what would the genre be?
Action crime comedy in the vein of 21 Jump Street, or really any movie of its kind where a lot of things go wrong and obstacle after obstacle shows up to frustrate the protagonist.
In June, I embraced the nomadic life once again, not expecting it to last until present day. Things were going relatively smoothly until about mid-September when I began promoting Elite Players: Newsletter. Here’s the obstacle course I found myself navigating:
- A prospective girlfriend called me up to let me know she was dating someone else
- I met a lovely woman and started looking for a home in South Surrey
- A prospective landlord on Facebook was jealous of my self-employed status and wouldn’t go through the application process with me
- I nearly got scammed by a prospective landlord – if I hadn’t backed out of the agreement at the last minute, I would have lost a lot of money and probably most of my belongings
- I ended up having to get my bank card replaced thrice because of the fraudulent rental incident (suddenly, I couldn’t make online payments anymore)
- I nearly ended up with nowhere to stay one night
- While staying with a friend in Vancouver, I got sued by a credit card company
- I filed for consumer proposal
- My car battery died while I was staying in Murrayville, and I later ended up having to get it replaced before my journey to Calgary
- I hurt my lower back during the first days of rehearsal for The 3 Project
When all is said and done, though, it’s been smoother sailing since the completion of The 3 Project. I don’t know why that is.
Presently, I feel like I’m getting a fresh start, especially in business and finances, and I don’t intend to waste the opportunity.
What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring?
Honestly, life felt a little out of control this past year. I made progress in key areas, but I was doing it all while navigating the obstacle course just referenced. The podcast suffered as result.
Also, I’ve been balancing my life as a freelancer and entrepreneur for years, and most of 2022 was not a great year for progressing in the direction of my dreams. Every time I took a step forward, I felt like I was taking at least three steps back.
What did you accomplish this year that you are most proud of?
- My ongoing publishing efforts. I stopped blogging daily in May, only to return to the habit in September.
- Launching the PDF Vault.
- Launching The Most Incredible Back to School Bundle.
- Launching The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide (even though it has become somewhat of a source of confusion for Amazon KDP bots).
- Launching Elite Players: Newsletter.
- Finishing the manuscript for The Renegade Musician.
- Being the associate producer, web developer, marketing strategist, and lighting and PowerPoint tech for The 3 Project.
What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren’t?
- I haven’t received any acknowledgement for The Music Entrepreneur Companion Guide let alone any feedback.
- Streaming on BIGO LIVE.
- My stunning good looks. 🤣 Scratch that, I was totally acknowledged for it.
What disappointments did you experience this past year?
- My financial life. It started spiraling out of control with the scammers I referenced earlier, and it led me to the point of filing for consumer proposal. Honestly, I’m still dizzied just thinking about it. Fortunately, it’s giving me a fresh start.
- My business life. I invested heavily in myself, in my education, and in my growth. And while self-improvement helped me overcome many challenges, it didn’t necessarily help with having a breakthrough in my business life. I think it may have planted some seeds, though.
- My romantic life. Ultimately, not much came of the few chance meetings I had.
What was missing from last year as you look back?
Unlike last year, I got to travel, eat great food, go on an adventure, and perform a few times. There was even some movement in my romantic life. Not bad!
I have this strange feeling that whatever happened last year was supposed to happen, and I probably couldn’t have prevented any of it to begin with.
But it’s safe to say I’ve been missing a permanent residence since June, and I’ve had to improvise, problem solve, and make do with Airbnbs, hotels, and couch surfing.
What were the major life-lessons you learned this past year?
- Sadly, you can’t trust everyone. We’re in difficult times, and there are entitled scammers at every turn. If you’re not careful, you can be taken advantage of.
- Reading gets you into flow. It helps you generate relevant ideas, even when the subject matter isn’t connected in any way to the ideas you’re coming up with.
- I am sublime at what I do. I just need more visibility! 😉
- Giving is powerful. Some of the most successful people give. A lot. It creates flow in life.
Do you want to get complete with 2022? Leave behind some baggage so you can have a fresh start in 2023?
You’ll enjoy Start Your Year the Right Way, an inspirational book with plenty of prompts to help you process everything that has and hasn’t happened in your life.
You can also hire me as your personal coach at a premium. If you’d like to see whether there’s a good fit, get in touch. I don’t respond immediately to most emails but do prioritize potential clients.
I have been consistent in sharing my reflections since 2014. Self-indulgent, perhaps, but if you found this reading valuable, you will find these articles beneficial also:
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
If you want to get complete with events from the past, now is the time to do it. Don’t put it off. 2023 can and will be an incredible year if you do the work of closing the chapter on 2022.
Here’s wishing you the best in 2023 and beyond!
So, what’s the state of your email inbox?
If you’re like most, you have hundreds if not thousands of unread messages. You’re selective in what you read (which is not necessarily a bad thing), and you might even feel stuck in perpetual email hell, depending on the nature of your work.
It is possible to achieve inbox sanity, though it’s going to require a different way of looking at things. Are you ready to be challenged?
Here I explore three simple email productivity tips to help you recover lost time.
Create Rules for Your Emails
At some point, you will be bombarded with opportunity. How you handle it is going to have a massive impact on your overall productivity.
Thus, the need for rules.
Do you accept guest posts on your blog?
Your answer needs to be a hard “yes” or hard “no,” so you can triage quickly. At the very least, you want to say, “we’ll accept guest submissions when X conditions are met.” And X conditions should be clearly defined, so you know when to say “yes.”
I open every email with the intention of deleting or archiving it. That’s one of my rules (you will find some of my other rules in this article).
Takeaway: set rules for your emails so that you aren’t paralyzed in deciding what to do with each message, whether it’s responding, forwarding, deleting, archiving, or otherwise. When you’re clear on next actions for each email, your productivity will increase.
The least efficient way to respond to email of a certain type, especially those where a request is being made, is to write out unique answers individually. This will have an impact on your productivity.
Instead, I suggest setting up templates. These templates should be customizable to the extent that you need them to be. But you should never start with a blank page or reinvent the wheel.
Apps like Gmail let you save messages as templates, and even if your provider doesn’t boast such functionality, you can still save your canned responses in plain text files.
Takeaway: whether you’re aware of it or not, you respond to the same kind of email all the time. And most of the time, your response is the same, too (if not, review the last point on creating rules). So, create templates for your most common types of responses and save them for later use.
Delete Last Year’s Emails
I’m probably about to make you a little nervous, though I’m not about to share anything I haven’t shared before.
One of my rules is to clean out last year’s emails. Sure, if there’s something specifically, I want for my memories, safekeeping, documentation, or otherwise, I will save it to the appropriate folder. Same goes for important contacts (don’t forget to save those before deleting your emails!).
But otherwise, your emails are just taking up space (even if just virtual space), and you’re basically never going to get around to responding to or reviewing those messages ever again.
Yep, you dropped some balls. You didn’t get back to some people. Projects fell through the cracks. You should have responded, and you didn’t.
But because of that, you live in a perpetual state of incompletion, and your mental RAM is over capacity. It’s time to complete what has already happened and live in the moment instead of recalling yesterday’s trauma.
Takeaway: Remember – one of my rules is to archive or delete every message, and the goal is to get to inbox zero. So, ideally, by the time a new year has rolled around, I’m already on top of last year’s messages. I do this so I can be complete with last year and focus on this year.
If you like the idea of causing more completion in life, and need actionable steps you can take to engage in the present fully, you will benefit from a reading of my Start Your Year the Right Way. There are plenty of great tips, prompts, and journaling exercises to help lead you to clarity.
It’s going take some work, and a stronger will to get your inbox sorted. But you can do it.
What did you discover here? What step will you be taking towards inbox sanity today?
See what else I’m up to by checking out my link in bio.