Business Growth Newsletter #208 – New Year, Goals, Predicting the Future

Sales and marketing Newsletter

Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.

In this issue:

– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff

Techniques for FIT

  • This year, put an asterisk next to the items on your to-do list unrelated to creating something. These items tend to be output focused versus outcome focused and will overwhelm your progress if you let them.
  • One way to get a good start to the year is to meet the day with optimism. A good way to build optmism is avoid the news, avoid email, and stay off social media for the first few hours of the day.
  • The future is promised to no one and you’re not going to live forever. Might as well try a few new things this year. You can start by saying “Yes, I’ll try it,” to something new next week.
  • Happy New Year to you and your people! Here in the northern hemisphere, your daylight is getting longer by one or two minutes a day through June. Enjoy it!

Being Human – Goals

“To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


I had a challenging discussion with a client about the importance of goals, goal setting, and metrics. On my side, I felt like she was putting too much emphasis on the goal exercise and neglecting her management role, but on her side she felt like I was being cynical and minimizing the need for individual accountability.

It’s tempting to set a plan, envision successful outcomes, and step into the future with the idea your people will get to where they need to be in 2020 if they just stick to the path. When that doesn’t work, it’s tempting to re-do the exercise quarterly in 2021 instead of yearly. And when that doesn’t work, it’s tempting in 2022 to revisit it monthly. By 2023, you’re on my side.

Case in point, this Outside magazine article on pop-star Mike Posner’s walk across America.

Why Mike Posner Walked Across America
Years after he took that pill in Ibiza, Grammy nominee Mike Posner left behind his life in L.A. to go on a 2,851-mile journey in search of… something. Here’s what he learned about grief, motivation, struggle, and authenticity.

Mr. Posner had a goal and a specific plan. Then life happened.

Help your people set a destination for sure, but don’t end your work there. Your daily effort is in helping them relish the journey every step of the way.

Random stuff

First things first, my latest article for Canvas Magazine:

article down the road apiece predicting the future

“Down the Road Apiece: Give your people the power to predict the future.” Advice to help your people think past quota.


Things change.

I told you this story in January 2016:

Believe it. 

We just had our first real heavy snow in Omaha. For years, my wife has complained about driving in the snow with our little rear-wheel-drive Mercedes wagon. So as I survey #snowmageddon, I think, “How bad could it be? Really?” and venture out.

I learned a few things.

  • Controlling a fishtail comes back to you surprisingly fast.
  • When the police officer in the lane next to you spins out, it’s too late to reconsider your choice.
  • A guy jogging in a snowstorm wearing head to toe Buffalo Bills gear knows how to get a vehicle unstuck. Like a pro.
  • It never occurred to me just how hilly my neighborhood is. 
  • The old guy down the block, the one who is always outside, is only too willing to talk about his marital problems while watching you push your car out of a snowbank. 

Oh, one last thing. It’s not something I figured out, just something I’m reminded of. 

Believe her. 

Since then a few things have changed. The Benz was totaled by some teenager, the old guy down the block passed away, and I’m now convinced the Bills fan was my guardian angel.


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