10 Lessons Learned in 2018
Some learning themes that showed up for me throughout the past year. Maybe they resonate or perk some new reflections on your 2018 experience as well.
When it comes to your health, one drop too much (of stress of any kind) can spill the entire bucket. (Related: Is Taking On Too Much Compromising Your Impact?)
There’s a wealth of new information and resources for changemakers. Five years in and I feel more than ever we are very much still in the beginning of the ‘new normal’ coming our way.
You don’t need to do it all (at once).
A strong team is everything. Doing your best challenges others to step up and vice versa.
It’s subtle, but it feels different when the response to a new idea is more “I really need this” than “this is really great”. I’m now realizing I used to sometimes think this was the same thing.
Effort spent without space for reflection and integration leaves change on the table (literally and figuratively).
We are the stories we tell ourselves. We alone have the power to let them persist, or to change them. (Related: 5 Ways to Tell Your Impact Brand Story with Authenticity (like a Human))
We don’t give ourselves enough credit for what we naturally do well.
My words mean more when I say less.
Tapping into outside perspective is invaluable in illuminating blind spots and moving you forward (a theme as always… with peers, while coaching, and while being coached).
10 Favorite Articles Penned
I wrote more in 2018 than any year before (and possibly all those years put together!) I didn’t add everything up but I estimate that I wrote an average of ~2k works a week in 2018.
Here are some of my favorite articles written for +Acumen and published on their website:
Liliana Gutierrez, Executive Director of Noroeste Sustentable (NOS) shares how one fishing village set out to restore a declining clam population and ended up restoring the entire community in the process.
10 Favorite Books Read
Between discovering audiobooks on Audible and joining a fabulous book club for leaders (led by messaging strategists Jessi and Marie at North Star Messaging) I suspect I plowed through more books than usual this year.
Here are some of my favorite reads in 2018, in no particular order:
In his usual lighthearted and entertaining way, Mike outlines straightforward strategies to design your business so that it doesn’t live and die by your involvement. Designing a business that you can lead without trading your time to keep it afloat is critical, not only for your own sanity and work-life balance but also in case of unexpected situations like illness.
Being Boss, Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson
I’ve followed the Being Boss podcast for a while now and always enjoyed listening to Kathleen and Emily’s take on business. Being part of a collaborative duo myself (with Solène building Changemakers Association) I loved hearing their own journey growing Being Boss while running separate other companies. So much so that I bought a pre-order copy of this book to send to Solène for her birthday last year. It was on my list for my own bookshelf but a chance meeting with Emily in the Chattanooga airport (and shared Uber ride) sealed the deal. It’s a beautiful book. Perfect for browsing over coffee and a journal.
A quick read that re-frames marketing in a whole new light. I found a lot of the exercises and frameworks in this book increadibly useful and hands on.
This one doesn’t need an introduction. If you love Seth, you’ll love this book. And if you don’t read Seth yet, try this book out and you’ll likely be hooked. He has a way of getting to the root of a topic and sharing ideas concisely in a way that sticks. More pages earmarked in this book than any other on my shelf. A read well worth your time!
For an overachiever like me, this book was exactly what I needed to hear in one of my most hectic years so far. The core concept is simple: do less, but better. Making that core concept a reality in your life is a little more complicated but Greg does a great job of breaking it down and telling stories to illustrate why and how you can adopt essentialism in your own life.
An entertaining and funny ‘kick in the pants’ to get on creating and living the life you truly want. I listened to this book on Audible and enjoyed listening to Jen read it with quirkiness and energy.
The title doesn’t sound like one a social enterprise strategist would be going on about but this was probably my top recommended read in 2018. Nearly every conversation about money and financial sustainability that came up in one-on-one coaching this year could be addressed (at least partially) but principles Mike teaches in this book. With money being the primary restraint on your social enterprise’s impact, this book is an absolute must-read for any impact entrepreneur.
Having volunteered with +Acumen for several years, I was already familiar with Jacqueline Novogratz and this book, but (shhhh!) I hadn’t actually read it before this year. It is an amazingly colorful and engaging read that paints a vivid picture of Jacqueline’s journey before the creation of Acumen.
A wonderfully inspiring book for both life and business. If you want to expand your understanding of what is possible and enjoy some amazing stories along the way, read this book.
This is a quick, fun, read that makes an excellent case for why you need to, and how to, well… show your work. Sharing the behind-the-scenes and messy process along the way is something all of us can do better, myself included!