Last year, my word of the year was PROCESS…

I knew that in order to take my business to the next level, I’d need to be better about creating and implementing processes.

It’s still a work in progress — as is all of life, for those on a growth path.  But through making it a focus for 2018, I was able to make significant improvements in areas of my work that had been, admittedly, a bit chaotic and unpredictable.

Now, a huge portion of the repeatable tasks in my business have a process.

And some of these can be outsourced in full or in part, allowing me to leverage my time and effort, and scale beyond simply putting work into my business to get money out.

So with the new year, I was thinking of a new word.

This year, my word is OWNERSHIP…

Admittedly, this is influenced by discovering Jocko Willink toward the end of last year.

Well, not quite discovering, as I was aware of him for a while.  But I’d always kept his work at arm’s length, simply because I’m not super into the military vibe.  But when I got past that and dove in, I found myself far more into it than I expected.

And specifically, I resonate big time with Jocko’s focus on taking Extreme Ownership of everything in your life that you can control.

There are things in life you can’t control.  Jocko’s example is income enemy fire, in a battle.  You can’t control the bullets flying at you (something he faced in real life).  But you can control your reaction to them, your response, and in some cases you can exercise control over whether or not you will be in those situations.

Recognize what you can control.  Recognize what you can’t.  And take total ownership over how you deal with every thought, feeling, and behavior that you can control.

I am weak…

I often let my uncontrolled thoughts, feelings, and bad behavioral habits get the most of me.

For example, procrastinating and doing something else, rather than the productive thing I know I should be tackling right now.

I know this is on me.  I’ve known, at least on some level, that this is on me, for at least most of my adult life.

And sometimes, I do very well at this.

For example, the fact that I’ve managed to get Breakthrough Marketing Secrets out basically on time every workday of my choosing since 2014 is a pretty big triumph of ownership.

I’m not as strong in all things.

And where others may see these daily essays and admire my strengths, I — like most — see my weaknesses as glaringly obvious, and want to improve.

This is a massive part of ownership.

Making sure that I’m focusing my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on the results I’m looking to achieve.

Making sure that I hold myself fully accountable for controlling all that I can control, with the purpose of achieving my intentions.

Like establishing processes, I see it as a lifelong pursuit.

However by making it my word of the year, I expect to be able to make significant progress throughout 2019.  And by the end of the year, I expect to be able to look back on the year and be proud of how far I’ve come, while also having a new perspective on how I can grow in taking ownership of my life.

One more aspect of ownership…

While the above is far and away my primary focus in making ownership my word of the year, I can’t ignore another meaning.

That is, ownership of my business.

What role does an owner play, versus someone working in the business?  How does that impact my roles and responsibilities?

While I’ve created a business that requires me to be active in the service delivery (both on the training and copywriting fronts), I am not required to do EVERYTHING.

As an owner, it’s on me to recognize the areas where it makes the most sense to set the vision, direction, and principles…  And then work with others on the implementation of strategies and actual work.

Long-term, ownership of a business creates far more net worth than creating the work product that drives the business.  It also creates more freedom, if you’re able to separate the two.

The shop owner who is also the shop keeper will forever be limited to one store.  The shop owner who is able to hand off the keeping of the shop to others has opportunities to grow to two, to twenty, to two hundred or more stores, all creating value without the daily management of the owner.

I don’t know what that looks like in my business, exactly.  And I don’t expect to make as much progress on that side in 2019 as I do with the other definition of ownership.

But by keeping it in my awareness throughout the year, I do know there will be some progress.  And how it happens — and the results generated — may be pleasantly surprising.

Picking your word…

What direction do you want to move in through 2019?

It could be personal.  It could be professional.

This is something you have to choose for you.  It has to mean something to you.  And only you can decide.

First decide where you want to go, then decide the one word that resonates with you, representing that direction.

Open up a Word document, and type this:

2019 Word of the Year:

Then on the next line, type your word, in all caps.

Then, play with font sizes (and margins) until both cover the entire width of the page.  (Your word should be a bigger, bolder font than the line above it.)

Then, print that out and post it somewhere that you’ll see it every day.  Maybe by your desk.  Mine has a special spot on one of my whiteboards.  Or if it’s personal, maybe it goes on your bathroom mirror.

Wherever it goes, pay attention to it.

And keep coming back to it.  Over and over again.  For the next 12 months.

Try to put it in practice.  You’ll find yourself doing so in ways you’d never expect as of today.  And slowly, surely, this should start to move you in that direction you’ve desired.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

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