Here's To an Exponential Career
If 2017 was about exponential change, this will be the year of exponential growth.
Last year, I radically rebuilt my life around 6 principles: health, family, freedom, fun, community, and creativity.
My goal for 2018 is to go even bigger: grow my platform, raise my profile, and impact the lives of even more people in a deep, lasting way.
The key challenges will be pushing myself to think more expansively and challenging my introverted inclination to stay in my head.
I’m flexing parts of my brain and personality I didn’t know were there. Just like any new exercise regimen, I know it's good for me yet everything hurts.
Here’s a look at my big, bad plans for 2018 and related tips to help you think exponentially about your own career.
1. Earn 2x what I earned in 2017. Establish multiple income streams, at least one passive.
Why: Four drivers are motivating my money goals this year: health insurance, retirement savings, travel, and helping my mom achieve a life-long dream.
I'll have to think big and really hustle to meet this goal, which is thrilling-slash-daunting. One of the biggest motivations behind my leaving Corporate to run my own show is stepping up as a leader and pushing myself beyond what I’d previously thought possible.
Are your goals truly a stretch, or are you settling for 5% better? I have seen so many high-achievers hold themselves back by not reaching high enough in the first place. If they aren’t assured of winning, they don’t play.
Try the 80/20 rule. If you have at least a 20% chance of failure, that’s a start.
2. Grow this amazing community of career changers through content that engages, teaches, and motivates. Write better more often. Launch a podcast to share personal stories. Harness our community's power in unique ways.
Why: There are so many amazing people figuring out their careers every day.
Too often in our polished social media driven world, we see success stories after the fact.
We see the amazing things they've built—not the self-doubt, failures, and recalibrations needed to get there.
I want to share stories of works in progress—not just finished products.
Imagine the collective power in sharing the realness of our daily ups and downs.
Consider how the challenge you’re working through right now could actually motivate someone else to take a leap.
Think about how their struggle could help you.
Don't wait until you've "arrived" to tell your story. It's already amazing. Think about the hurdles, the twists, the turns. Now go tell it.
3. Nurture and expand personal and professional network. Find teachers, role models, and partners. Build a team. Be more present with family.
Why: As a solopreneur and extreme introvert, I usually realize too late that I’ve completely shut myself off from other humans.
Now that I’ve untethered myself geographically, it’s going to be more important than ever to nurture my current friendships and make new ones wherever I happen to be.
Business-wise, there are key alliances I’d like to build, some aligned with coaching and some that might pave the way into other areas.
Many high-achievers, often because they’re so capable, think they need to go it alone. Whatever level you are, whatever industry you’re in, you need sponsors, champions, and teachers.
Are the people in your current organization, network, and team truly positioned to help you get where you want to go?
Think about your current network. Now think about your career dream team. I'm not joking. I mean a real Career Olympics-worthy group. Who do you need to draft, trade, or bench?
Related: If you haven't read my free guide already, find out how how a well-designed success team acts like compound interest for your career.
4. Balance travel, financial goals, and routine. Minimize more.
Why: I explained in my 2017 assessment how I tend to postpone fun for work-related goals. Now that I’ve made it through the upheaval, I welcome the momentum that comes from stability and a high-performance routine.
That said, I made a lot of these changes exactly so I could travel, which means a lot of variation. The key is discovering where travel, financial goals, and routine align rather than viewing them as in conflict.
Are your goals working in concert, or do you feel like they’re competing? Look for ways to creatively combine them.
5. Make strategic investments in my financial and business education.
Why: I learned late in my career how important it is to consistently invest time and/or money in learning and self-development.
I would be so heads down on crushing a particular role, I didn’t think strategically about what I wanted next—beyond more money and the next promotion. As a result, once I decided to make a change, it felt like so much work to turn the ship.
Now my approach is much more balanced: partly based on where I want to be in 5 years, and partly what is interesting to me to explore no strings attached. You never know where an extra skill might come in handy, and any investment in yourself is wise.
When I ask about their vision, women of all ages tell me they're focused on doing a good job in their current role. This is great EXCEPT when you're not also keeping one eye out for what you want next. Suddenly a boss leaves, a department is reorganized, and you're scrambling to figure out how to adapt.
Think about where you want to be in 1 year and 5 years from now, then work to educate and grow yourself for both.
6. I expand my spiritual practice to bring increased peace, lessen anxiety, and connect more deeply with my full potential.
Why: I have always been a worrier. Since I always found a way to grind through it, I didn’t realize how much it held me back in my career and life until I burned out.
After I took my sabbatical in 2013, I put a daily routine in place and devised several tools to reprogram my brain for success without the stress.
The routine and tools changed my life, but last year’s apartment debacle shook me in a way that I hadn’t experienced in a long time, if ever.
I am thankful for that lesson, and know that I have more work to do this year to prepare myself for the next challenge.
Please tell me you have at least one goal aimed at making the journey easier for yourself (and, dare I say, fun). Where's the joy in crossing the finish line if you collapse from exhaustion?
You cannot connect with your full potential if you're running on empty.
Best Wishes For An Amazing 2018
So . . . those are my goals. I might not meet them all, and that's okay. I might achieve some I haven't anticipated . . . brilliant!
Whatever your career goals, I hope this post encourages you to push them further.
If you've been thinking about making career and life changes, this is your year!
Whether your aspirations are big, small, or somewhere in between, take that first step.
I'm here if you get stuck.
I read every comment. Leave your biggest, baddest career goal below and one step you're taking to make it a reality.
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