It's the beginning of year FIVE for me in this business. Guess what phrase I have found myself saying over and over again, since December?
"That project/ workshop/ event/ campaign/ initiative sounds amazing! I would love to support it when you create it."
During the first three years of my business - every time I heard about something that spoke to my heart and my values I wanted to be involved with it. I spoke at every place that would have me, I planned so many events, I created brands, I partnered to host workshops, I even ideated a couple of conferences.
The planning and sometimes the execution of these efforts was very often unpaid. I got a ton of valuable exposure, which I used to build my brand. Some of these projects filled my heart with pure joy and demanded little from me. I was also often tired, lost, and left wondering how I was working so hard and my bank account was not reflecting it.
As I start 2019, I am crystal clear on where I want my energy this year (a few KEY areas), and where I decidedly do not want my energy anymore. For me, it's a year to Lean Out of a lot, so I can focus in my sweet spots that fill my heart and my wallet.
Here are some tips I've learned that may be helpful to you as you decide whether it's a year to Lean In or Out for you...
1) Think about the season you're in. The realities of starting your business demand a Lean In season - from the growing pains, the lessons, and the building of brand awareness. At the same time, your life may be demanding a lot from you - perhaps with a family member you take care of or a new baby. Be honest with yourself about the season you're in, how long this season will last, and how much you can really give.
2) Decide the three big goals you have this year. Once you're clear on your "season", decide on three big things you want to accomplish in 2019. Then, define quarterly areas of priorities and milestones that will make these goals actually happen. Write it down and keep it somewhere you can see it everyday.
3) Come up with your non-negotiables: When opportunities come your way, measure them against what you ALREADY know. Is it aligned with the way you want to live your life? Is it aligned with your goals for this year? Is it a collaboration with people you want to connect with regularly? Will your business or life directly benefit from this oportunity? Come up with your non-negotiables.
It's important that we also leave some wiggle room for life to surprise us. When in doubt, trust your intuition.