Happy New Year!

I had to do a double-take typing in “2018” in the title of this blog post. It feels more like the dateline of a sci-fi movie I rented at Blockbuster back in middle school than the year we currently find ourselves in.

But here we are and I hope your 2018 is off to an awesome start.

Alongside some really exciting developments at Zilker Media to start the year (including a new office!), I’ve spent much of the past few weeks preparing for this week’s Authority Summit in Charleston, SC where I will be speaking alongside Steve Forbes, Dan Kennedy, Adam Witty and Steve Gilliland. I realize it’s last minute, but, if you’re available and want to learn what’s working now in Authority Marketing, you can learn more about joining us by clicking here (it’s an awesome line-up and I think will be a big value).

I’ve also been doing quite a bit of reflecting.

I always try to jump into the new year with a mix of gratitude and optimism and, if I’m honest, a bit of overwhelm mixed in.

Thankfully, the overwhelm doesn’t come as a result of anything bad but instead just the thought of how much is on the horizon in 2018 – and how much will be required to accomplish the goals that have been set for the year. That same amount of opportunity that fills the year is also one of the key reasons feelings of gratitude and optimism quickly overwhelm that temporary overwhelming feeling.

How about you? How does 2018 feel for you so far? What words typically guide your yearly planning process?

Jumping into 2018 like...
Jumping into 2018 like…

My One Word

Years ago we worked with Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen on a fantastic book titled My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word that introduced a new element to my yearly planning – picking one word to guide my mindset for the year ahead.

After some deliberation, I decided on the word “Believe” to guide my mindset for 2018.

Here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition of believe (the “intransitive verb” version): to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy or ability of something.

Believe is a word I have always been drawn to because the practice of it adds so much fulfillment and richness to life. In certain moments it’s really hard to do but as I look back on the greatest accomplishments and moments of my life almost all of them connect back to the ability to ‘believe’ something was possible even when the hard evidence suggested otherwise.

It’s a word that ignites optimism, confidence and drive for me – key personal values I try to live my life by.

As I think more about that word as a guiding light for my 2018 it has me considering what it is that I believe and, in the spirit of transparency, I thought I’d share a few of the things I scribbled down in my notepad in the “business” category.

What I Believe (Business category) Heading into 2018

I need to do a better job of serving you – my community – with value in 2018 and I’m committing to do that.

The first step toward accomplishing something is believing it’s possible. 

I have to become a better leader in 2018.

Having “good vibes” as a corporate value provides us a foundation of client success, company culture and fun for both.

A great business begins with culture and continues with the cultivation and success of good clients.

A healthy mix of gratitude and optimism is life’s greatest fuel and those who can employ a consistent, mindful approach to both will fuel a rewarding and impactful 2018.

Authority marketing > corporate marketing and 2018 will be the year this shift begins to go mainstream.

Bringing the boys on a few business trips with me this year will be a great way to steal time with them and begin teaching them about entrepreneurship. Smirks or weird looks from any “suits” be damned.

Assessment/Quiz marketing > any other lead magnet you could offer your audience. If you are still offering free downloads, whitepapers or the opportunity to “subscribe” to your newsletter, you’re falling behind. (Related – Catch Engine is coming this year)

The Advantage Media Group/ForbesBooks family is poised for another breakout year thanks to stand-out leadership and a richness of talent and I’m lucky to have a chance to continue collaborating with such an awesome group of Team Members and Clients/Members there. We’re just getting started.

Social media will continue to lift-off in the healthcare space in 2018, perhaps most impactfully by making it more inclusive and diverse (driven in large part by the good work of Dr. Julie Silver’s Harvard Medical School CME courses and the #SheLeadsHealthcare movement).

I’m honored to be in the trenches with Nick Alter.

I’m blessed to be back in the saddle at Zilker Media and will never take the opportunity for granted. We’re building an agency our community (in Austin and around the world) can be proud of for #TheNext100 and the foundation of that success will be our culture.

Zilker Media wouldn’t where it is without Shelby Janner and her quiet poise and media savvy will contribute heavily toward the big year ahead.

Paige Velasquez is a force to be reckoned with and one of Austin’s brightest stars. Her leadership and vision will drive success for Zilker Media and its clients for years to come.

Nichole Davidson is quickly making a name for herself and continuing my belief in Odessa talent.

I owe the majority of my sanity (and much of my success) to Patti Conrad.

Joining EO Austin almost five years ago is one of the best decisions of my life and the combination of pouring into my Forum (13x) and board role in 2018 will continue to help me shift out of my comfort zone.

I need to do a better job of lifting others up the way mentors like Clint Greenleaf, Robbie Vorhaus and others have lifted me up. 

Steve Gordon is the real deal and will continue to shine in 2018.

Be on the lookout for the SI family in 2018 – from Hye to Lake Austin and beyond.

What’s new in your world?

I’d love to get an update from you on what’s new in your world. If you’ve chosen a word for 2018 – what is it? What do you “believe” about business heading into 2018?

To an impactful and fulfilling 2018 – let’s make it the best year yet!

Rusty

Copyright 2018 Rusty Shelton